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Family History Is Important

Pat Wahler Author Interview

The Christmas Keepsake follows a young woman who must decide what’s more important, her dream job or her boyfriend, and seeks advice from her wise grandmother. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Years ago, my grandmother shared with me a few events from her youth. As a teenager, Grandma had begun to sing at a local theater in her small town. But when her mother was diagnosed with kidney failure (a death sentence in those days), my grandmother was shocked by the advice her mother gave to her—advice destined to change the course of Grandma’s life. I won’t give any spoilers, but around these tidbits I wove a story.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

I look back on time I spent with my grandmother, and wish I’d asked her more questions. Seniors, whether family or friends, are a wealth of fascinating stories, and the truth is, family history is important. The past is important. If we take time to pay attention, it can teach us a lot.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this short story?

Decisions often require courage. Especially when it means leaving a “safe” path to take a chance on what seems like an uncertain and scary future.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m very excited about my next novel, scheduled for release in February 2023. The Rose of Washington Square: A Novel of Rose O’Neill, Creator of the Kewpie Doll, is the story of the woman who wowed the world with her iconic creation. But Rose did much more than invent her magical elves. She was also a respected illustrator, artist, sculptor, novelist, poet, philanthropist, and passionate suffragist. I can’t wait to share her story!

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A nostalgic and heartwarming Christmas short story of faith, heart, and hope.
2005 – Just before Christmas, Janelle Young accepts her dream job which means a move from the Midwest to California. When the man she loves insists that she decline the offer or risk the end of their relationship, Janelle is stunned. Torn over what to do, she seeks advice from her octogenarian grandmother, who shares a long-ago dilemma of her own; one that took place in 1938.

1938 – During the final years of the Great Depression, Peggy Norwood is a promising soprano who yearns for a career on stage. She ignores the attentions of a handsome young stranger to stay focused on her dream. But when her mother receives a dire diagnosis, the future is no longer clear, and Peggy is forced to make an impossible choice.

Can a tale from the past, a treasured Christmas ornament, and a touch of magic, guide Janelle’s future?

This is an inspirational small-town story filled with the healing spirit of the holiday season.

INFINITY: A Winter Romance

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It can never be said that Sarah Nightingale is a typical lady. As a seventeen-year-old, she is approaching old-maid status and does not seem to care. She is independent, outspoken, and completely willing and more than able to run her father’s farm. Tobias, her father, realizes all of this but still wants to see her married. When he arranges a meeting between his daughter and Matthew, an eligible and promising prospective son-in-law, he has no way of knowing he has set into motion a sequence of events he will soon regret. Meanwhile, Sarah has designs on a marriage of her own–one no one would ever expect.

Infinity: A Winter Romance, by Catalina DuBois, is one in a series of books that follows two star-crossed lovers through time as they continue to encounter one another and fight for the chance to be together. As they fight to reunite and regain the love that was once stolen from them, they must overcome one incredible obstacle after another in order to defeat the forces that are determined to keep them apart for eternity.

Sarah and Matthew make the perfect pair. The dynamic DuBois has created between the two in this time period is intriguing, to say the least. Sarah is headstrong and cannot be told what to do; she is a fantastic main character. Her boldness shines through everything she says and does throughout the plot. It’s clear that Matthew has been written to shine a light on Sarah’s character. He is likable but takes nothing away from Sarah.

I so enjoy the way DuBois writes. This is the second book in her Infinity that I have read, and the element of mystery she adds to her books makes each a must-read. She leaves each chapter with a line or two that will hook readers every time, urging them on to the next chapter. This is the kind of writing I prefer–I want to be made to feel that I am missing out if I don’t just keep reading. DuBois, without a doubt, is a master at producing books you won’t be able to put down until you have reached the last page.

Infinity: A Winter Romance, by Catalina DuBois, DuBois’s romance is tastefully written with just enough sensuality to attract romance fans. DuBois’s characters are relatable no matter the time period in which the book is written, and the combination of drama and humor, along with elements of romance, pushes DuBois’s works into the top spot on my list of books I highly recommend.

Pages: 154 | ASIN : B0BKYSQNZ9

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The Christmas Keepsake

It’s a few days to Christmas, and Janelle Young finds herself uncharacteristically visiting her grandmother. With a job offer to move to California and an ultimatum from her boyfriend hanging over her head, Janelle seeks advice from Gram on her choices. Their conversations and reminiscing about Christmas lead to Gram narrating her story as a teenager, including how she met her husband in 1938. In 1938, toward the end of the Great Depression, Peggy Norwood is a brilliant chorister who dreams of taking center stage. When her mother’s illness worsens, Peggy has to choose between fulfilling her dreams and her dying mother’s wishes.

The Christmas Keepsake by Pat Wahler is a simple story of love, family, dreams, and choices. Although short, it is a holiday-themed story enjoyable for all ages. The author uses a simple style and symbolism in telling the tale of two generations and alternating between two timelines. The author explores the themes of faith, spirituality, and the magic of Christmas with mementos like the Christmas Ornament.  The book also features a heartwarming love story and evokes deep feelings of nostalgia, especially during the Christmas season. It is exciting how a marriage of convenience morphed into a meeting of soulmates.

In the end, it is clear that Janelle has made her choice after spending a day listening to her Gram. And although they walk different paths, Gram’s story has many lessons to be learned. The Christmas Keepsake by Pat Wahler is a reminder to follow one’s heart and be courageous in doing so. The characters also stress the importance of domestic family and the aftermaths of grief.

The Christmas Keepsake is a beautiful holiday short story. It gives readers that warm feeling of the season and emphasizes the importance of family and connections. This is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter day as you wait for the magic of Christmas.

Pages: 73 | ASIN : B0BFJKCPC1

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The Valentine’s Dance

The Valentine’s Dance by C.H. Eryl is a heartwarming novel about Darci, the Hope Falls event coordinator, and her desire to help her friends find happiness and love like she has. Darci is in charge of planning the Valentine’s Dance for the town and needs to come up with a unique theme to get people excited. She comes up with the idea to have a silent auction of all the single men in town. Having found her second chance love, she hopes this dance will provide her friends with the chance to also find the love they are missing in their lives.

Eryl is highly talented at writing in a way that makes the reader feel comfortable. The detail and aesthetics of the places Darci frequents are described in a manner that makes the reader feel at home. Everything from the décor in the main hall to the taste of the pastries and drinks in the café gives off the feeling of warmth and contentment. It is the idyllic small-town feel where everyone feels at home and welcome.

The Valentine’s dance is the talk of the town, and everyone gets involved in some way. Throughout the planning, we get to know Darci and Brian’s friends, several of whom are single and looking for love relationships of their own. The friendship and camaraderie from all of the characters is sweet and endearing. Readers will want to see them all find their happily ever after. The writing style is clean without a lot of extra information beyond setting the scene. The dialogue is realistic and flows naturally, not feeling forced or overdone.

The Valentine’s Dance is a cozy romance novel that is perfect for curling up and reading in an afternoon. The romance progresses naturally and is set in a contemporary setting, which allows readers to feel like they could walk into this town at any time and see it all play out.

Pages: 208 | ASIN : B09PGLD1S2

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