Takeover Tuesday

Takeover Tuesday with Carol Underhill

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Thanks for stopping by today. Our Takeover Tuesday guest post writer is Carol Underhill. She’s stopped by to talk about her novel, Angelica’s Christmas Wish. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her.

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My faith in God faltered when my husband unexpectedly passed away. God’s faithfulness in taking care of me, and the love of family and friends, brought me out of my grief into a place of peace. There is joy after heartache. I wanted to bring that message into my story.

The opening scene came to me a couple of years ago. I could see a car speeding around the corner and a little girl in its path; a woman dropping everything and sprinting towards the car, pushing the child out of the way; the woman waking up in the hospital with amnesia.

That was as far as the story would go in my mind. I couldn’t quite imagine how she could remain unidentified in a world where everything is posted on social media. Once I got those details figured out, I sat down and wrote the story.

Anaiah Press announced that queries submitted before June 30 would receive personal feedback. I only had a rough draft, but it was enough to catch the attention of editor Kara Leigh Miller. In August, I signed a contract for them to publish Angelica’s Christmas Wish.

The editing process was an eye opener. I had done some self-publishing and had a following of mostly local readers who liked my books. When the novella came back to me for edits, I realized I had a lot to learn.

The biggest issue was my habit of telling the story instead of showing action. My editor was very helpful through the whole process. With her guidance, Angelica’s Christmas Wish became the book that I had envisioned.

One of my favorite scenes is when the woman calls the father of the little girl in the middle of the night, scared because no one has come forward to identify her. He responds by going to the hospital. The following excerpt is part of the scene.

Excerpt from Angelica’s Christmas Wish:

Mark walked down the hall toward the patient’s room. Perspiration dampened his palms. He rubbed them on his jeans, then took a deep breath before entering the room.
She’d been crying, and her eyes were puffy. Her gently sloped nose was red. Yet she was even prettier than he remembered.
“I’m sorry I bothered you.”
“You aren’t bothering me. I’m glad you called. I’ve been worried about you.”
“I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “I thought someone would come by now.”
“Maybe they don’t know where to look.”
She brushed away her tears.
Mark handed her a tissue. “You have an accent. Did you know that?”
“What kind of accent?”
“A southern accent. You’re not originally from Chicago.”
Her brow furrowed. “What am I doing here, then?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m sure someone is looking for you.”
“Are you sure?”
At the hope in her voice, he wanted to be sure. Instead, he squeezed her hand. With his other hand, he brushed her hair back from her forehead. She flinched as he touched her bruise. “Sorry. It looks very painful.” He dropped his hands to his sides. “I saw videos of the accident on the news last night. What you did was very brave.”
She dipped her chin and blushed, as if she wasn’t used to receiving compliments. “I don’t feel like I’m a very brave person.”
“Maybe it was an adrenaline rush. I’ve heard that people can be very heroic in desperate circumstances. You saw a child in danger and responded. You didn’t even think about the fact that you were putting yourself in danger.” The fact that it was his child she had risked her life for made him admire her more.
Head lowered, she focused on a snag in the thermal blanket. She stuck her finger through the looped thread and toyed with it.
Mark sat in the vinyl recliner. It looked like he might be here awhile. He should be home in bed, sound asleep. Instead, he was keeping a frightened stranger company.

About the Author

One of five siblings raised on a farm, Carol has a large extended family. She attended a little country church where she learned Bible verses and songs that have stuck with her for life. She has three adult children who inspire her to chase her dreams. Her household includes a spoiled black Lab and several rescued cats. Her favorite things are reading, spending time with family and listening to music. She likes quiet mornings with a cup of hazelnut coffee.

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About the Book

When Serena Cole sees a car careening toward a little girl, she jumps in to save the child with no thought for her own safety. Later, Serena wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. Everyone calls her a hero, but she doesn’t recall anything—not even her name.

Mark Harper, the child’s widowed father, isn’t looking for romance, but the beautiful stranger who saved his daughter’s life captures his interest. But when no one steps up to identify her, he brings her home with him. He doesn’t realize that his decision may make his daughter’s Christmas wish come true.

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