A Winter Wonderland in Mistletoe Village
Two broken sisters, two defeated children. The promise of a special Christmas. Can they deliver?
Rence and her sister Sandy move to Grace, Oregon, and everything is turning out perfect.
But Secrets lie deep.
Who is the giant that lives in the forest? Why the whispers about him? And why does Rence care?
Will Grace be the place where love and forgiveness finally meet?
Glistening snow, sparkling icicles, and white laden pine branches are everything Mistletoe Village, a winter wonderland, is made up of. The main character Rence and her sister Sandy with their kids, take a wrong turn onto a snowy, thickly forested road. They’ve missed the turnoff to their new home, Grace, Oregon, and that fateful moment in the woods will set the stage for Mistletoe Village.
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful sight. Watching snowflakes fall, warming my nose while smelling the crisp pines, and jumping when I hear clumps of snow drop. It puts me in the mood for Christmas.
The most beautiful frosty wonderland I’ve ever seen was in Japan. Their pines are much different than ours, and their forests even more dense. The serenity of the country itself is so unique, but I appreciate both America and Japan’s frosty wonderlands.
My two sons are missionaries there and married Japanese women, who are sisters. I’ll tell that story another time. It’s beautiful, like my wonderful, godly daughter’s-in-law. Click the link below to see a photo of our family. We’ve grown exponentially since it was taken. With God’s blessing of grandchildren, we have eight more grands.
On one visit to Japan, my daughter-in-law’s father, a Christian Pastor, took us to Nagano. I got to go skiing on the same slopes where they held the 1998 Winter Olympics! But climbing the mountain by car, in the snow…oh boy, talk about a winter wonderland! I can’t even express the beauty. It truly was breathtaking and left me speechless. Unfortunately, I can’t find my photos. But the picture above is another little frosty wonderland in Morioka, Japan, where my sons used to live. My husband and I walked the lake there every day of our visit. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Winter Wonderland Isolation
So back to Mistletoe Village’s Winter Wonderland. Years ago, my husband and I drove the serene Highway 97 to Klamath Falls, Oregon. It was in June, and we were traveling to our two sons’ College Baseball World Series. I have a vivid imagination, and I wondered what was deep in the woods as we passed every dirt road that jutted off the main highway. We talked about what kind of people might isolate themselves like that. We saw cabins distanced miles apart, and the only sign of life was an occasional deer.
My mind went wild, and I thought of criminals hiding out. That’s the suspense part of my writing leading the way. But what of the people who moved there to escape from something. There’s the mystery taking hold. And God’s compassionate heart squeezed me, and I ached for the hurting and alone who might live in isolation anywhere. My husband’s pragmatic mind said, “Maybe they like living alone.” Hmmm, never thought of that.
In Mistletoe Village, those cabins and dirt roads are covered in powdery white. And deep in the forest, built along a running river, is a huge log cabin, circled with smaller cottages … oops, I don’t want to give it away. But early in the book, you’ll meet Carl on that snowy road. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t mind living out there.
A Wonderland of Grace
I love the name of the town where Rence settles in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a wonderland of Grace. But is it? Remember, secrets lie deep. But still, the theme of grace threads its way throughout the book. I can’t help but be mesmerized by God’s grace for my family and me. I’m so humbly grateful. I hope readers will grow in a greater appreciation and awestruck wonder of God’s gift to us. And hopefully, if an unbeliever happens to pick up Mistletoe Village, they might be called to salvation. That would be the most wonderful outcome of writing this story.
I envision Grace, as a small town, not too much like a Hallmark Christmas movie, but close. Grace is small, old, and run down. But it transforms into a winter wonderland the night of the Christmas Festival, complete with reindeer pulling an old-fashioned sleigh, much to the surprise of the town’s people.
A few years back, our church always participated in our city’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. A family extravaganza for the whole family. Our church ran a free craft booth for kids. The main historic district of San Juan Capistrano closes its streets, and people flood the area to enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, and tamales! It’s fun, but we don’t have the snow or sleigh like Grace.
I have fond memories of snow play in the winter wonderland of our local mountains. Although I live near the beach, the snowy mountains are just hours away. To this day, I still get excited when we leave the sun and surf and climb the mountains searching for snow. At sighting the first patch, I still squeal and want to jump out and play.
In Mistletoe Village, when little Livy and Josiah meet Stu and Evelyn, the grandparent-like figures in the town, they go sledding. Unfortunately, Stu injures himself and lands up in the capable hands of Rence, who cares for him at home and at the ER. But like me, Stu is young at heart, and at my age, I’d still love to go sledding with my grandkids too!
Have I gotten you excited about winter? I know some are experiencing unbearable heat right now. My husband and I have prayed for you and asked for the Lord’s protection. But if you can, turn up the air, or go to an indoor mall or library for a little frosty time. Grab a knit scarf and hat, and get your favorite Christmas book. Hopefully, it’s Mistletoe Village. But whatever you read, transport yourself and imagine a frosty time while relishing in God’s grace.
Don’t forget to enter all the fun giveaways. I linked them on yesterday’s blog, Christmas in July. Here’s the link.
Here are the links as well, if you prefer to enter them here.
Christmas in July Celebrate Lit Giveaway. $500 Amazon Gift Card or Forty + Chrisitan Fiction Books. Two winners will be chosen.
Each day a blogger will review my book, and you can enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift card and a signed paperback copy of Mistletoe Village
Only ten more days of the 25% Off Sale for all of Celebrate Lit Books, mine included. Stock up on some great reads in all genres. Click the link for your discount.
So sorry I missed blogging yesterday. I have family from Washington and Japan in town, and it’s been crazy fun around here with my kids and grandkids. That’s it for today. God Bless, and please join me tomorrow. Maybe we’ll talk Christmas cookies!