Sunday, November 23, 2014
A Montana Christmas
When I wrote From Here to There, I liked the characters -- very much, both the major and secondary ones. I also loved writing about living in Montana on a ranch. Although I have yet to live in Montana for more than a few weeks at a time, I do know about ranch living from my own experiences. It's fun to write about a world I love but also where I know the pitfalls.
The idea of a holiday novella that carries on these characters became very appealing. Novellas don't have the same rules as novels. They can be a slice of life and slice of life is what I had in mind.
Since I had not done an epilogue for From Here to There, the novella had the potential of being that (extended to 27,000 words) as it carries on a love story but isn't actually a romance as such. It's about family, the holiday season, and ranch life.
A Montana Christmas picks up the hero and heroine, Phillip and Helene, at a critical juncture. Helene is looking for holiday traditions for her own family as she hopes to get pregnant. Although her parents were not family oriented, she experienced all a family could be at her uncle's Montana ranch, the Rocking H. For Phillip, painful Christmas memories have made him want to avoid the holiday season. He expects disaster when Helene tells him she has invited his estranged mother, brother, and sisters to the ranch for a family Christmas.
This novella also has a bonus-- a short story continuation of longtime friends, Curly and Amos, a year and a half later when Curly Learns a Lesson. I have been thinking that there will be a book somewhere down the road that builds on some of these characters for a continuation of the Rocking H family with a new romance.