We’re delighted to be joined on our blog by Cara Colter who writes for our True Love series. Cara shares her emotional writing journey and the inspirations behind her new festive romance, The Wedding Planner’s Christmas Wish.
I live in a wide agricultural valley snuggled between mountain ranges. It is a typical early autumn day here. It is raining lightly, and the nearby peaks look mystical, their bases swathed in fog and cloud. The greyness of the day is making colours pop: the leaves turning yellow in the nearby woods look as if they are holding the remnants of summer within them; my white and purple petunias are startlingly vibrant in their last days; the marigolds are coming into their own in a celebration of the deep golds and oranges of autumn.
My day started early, feeding sweet-smelling hay to several horses and getting fires going in the woodstoves in both the main house and the adorable little writing cottage that my partner, Rob, built for me. He is away hunting. We would love to have the world’s most organic and natural meat — moose — in the freezer for the winter.
As idyllic as it all can be, we are not immune from the troubles of the world. As I shared in my reader letter at the beginning of The Wedding Planner’s Christmas Wish, my family has experienced a tumultuous and unsettling year. There were two terrible and separate accidents, one that resulted in the death of my beloved older sister, Avon, and the other that altered my younger sister, Anna’s, life forever. In the same period of time, I lost my little Buffy, the dog who had snoozed contentedly under my desk for more than thirty books.
Add to this a strange and troubled world where the rules change daily, and “normal” is a distant longing. People seem to have forgotten there is only one answer to troubled hearts.
And so, through the most difficult time in my life, this is what has helped me the most: these simple stories about the triumph of love over any and all obstacles.
Ever since I was a little girl I have been enchanted with the power of the story and how immersion in a great tale can bring respite, joy and hope. A skillful story teller waves the wand of imagination and magically transports the reader to whole exciting new worlds.
And so for The Wedding Planner’s Christmas Wish, the opening book for the A Wedding in New York trilogy, I had the absolute delight of being transported from my cozy little cottage in rural British Columbia to the dazzling streets of New York City, about as far from wood smoke and moose meat as you could ever get!
My imagination – with a some help from the internet — allowed me to find a little girl in a pink, fuzzy beret hiding under a pile of leaves outside her widowed father’s gorgeous wedding venue on the edge of Central Park. It allowed me to go to a Halloween block party in Queens. It allowed me to ride in a horse drawn carriage and to attend a New York Rangers Game at Madison Square Garden.
But most of all, it allowed me to have a front row seat to the planning of the wedding of the century between heiress Ivy Jenkins and her fiancé, Sebastian Davis, CEO of New York’s most exciting tech start up. Isn’t a wedding always the ultimate celebration of life and of love? Isn’t it always a beacon of hope for the future?
I am deeply grateful to authors Ellie Darkins (Prince’s Christmas Baby Surprise) and Susan Meir (Reunited Under the Mistletoe) for weaving their own brand of magic into this series, all of us sharing the ultimate goal of bringing the healing power of love, to you, the reader.