Christmas Novella Spotlight

Author’s Inspiration:

            After my first book was published and family and friends read Christmas Confusion, they wanted the other sisters’ stories. So, I hurried, wrote Sweet Summer, and submitted it to the publisher. The publisher liked the book, but they didn’t have room on the schedule to release a full novel that year. I didn’t want to wait two years for my next book, so I looked around and visited my sister’s vacation home on Hatteras Island. We visited the December after Hurricane Dorian devastated Ocracoke Island. We took the ferry and drove around the island. I wanted to write a story that highlighted the island and its people and all their needs—and courage. Christmas on Ocracoke resulted.

About the Book:

Reeling from the upheaval of a failed marriage, Annie Hanahan is desperate for a new start—and when she inherits a cottage on Ocracoke Island, she may finally get it. Without a second thought, she packs up and leaves everything behind: her first name, her job, and her ex-husband, because more than anything, she wants to get her son away from his father’s partying and neglectful ways. But when she arrives in the Outer Banks, she finds the island—and her promised refuge—ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.

When their parents died in a tragic car accident, Trey Kingsley dropped out of college to raise his sister. Now that she’s grown and moved away, it’s his turn to find a life of his own. As a contractor who has given so much of his time to helping Ocracoke recover from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, it surprises no one when he offers to help the beautiful newcomer, but something is holding her back. Life keeps throwing them together, though, or perhaps God’s hand is giving them a nudge. Will a little bit of divine intervention be enough for a Merry Christmas on Ocracoke?

Excerpt:

What a way to make a fresh start.

Annie Hanahan glanced back via the rearview mirror and said a quick prayer of gratitude that her baby boy was too young to know what was going on right now. She’d die in shame, or eternal pre-teenaged mockery if he was, say, a decade older. Instead, her two-year old son waved his hands in the air and grabbed a toy Brontosaurus from the diaper bag propped open next to his car seat. 

The police officer drew even, and she lowered the driver’s side window. Up till now, she’d gone her whole life without a ticket.

“Good morning, ma’am. I’d ask if you knew how fast you were driving, but I’m guessing you figured that out by now.”

Annie concentrated on her breathing and not crying. “Yes, sir. I was going 80 in a 65.” So was every good ole’ boy along this stretch of the road, but if she’d been the low hanging fruit, so be it. “I’m sorry.”

The state trooper started to smile but must have remembered who he was and squashed any close-to-human expression from his face. “Well, ma’am, sorry is a good thing. Can I see your license and registration?”

This morning’s almond milk soured in her gut. “I can give you my license, but I bought this car yesterday and only have a temporary registration. My proof of insurance is for the old car.”

“Just give me what you have, and we’ll go from there.” Cars raced past them, behind his back, undoubtedly confident in their own speed now that one of their own had been sacrificed for the cause. 

She located her license and handed the card to the officer. 

“Annie Hanahan?” Officer–she squinted against the morning sun–Parker, looked from the license to her. “Any kin to Coach Hanahan?”

            Annie grimaced. Switching names was difficult, but leaving behind her well-known family might be impossible.

About the Author:

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and the American Title IV Contest where she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include Christmas Confusion, Sweet Summer, Christmas on Ocracoke, and Why They Call It Falling. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the LowCountry of South Carolina with her husband, two children and her crazy cat Chessie Mae.

Author media links:

Website/Blog: https://www.christinasinisi.com/ 

Social Networking Sites:

Twitter: @ChristinaSinisi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christina-Sinisi-Author

Instagram: @csinisi123

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/csinisi/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/101218889-christina-sinisi

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christina-sinisi

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/They-Call-Falling-Christina-Sinisi-ebook

Buy Link:

Meet the Author: Christina Sinisi

My guest today is author Christina Sinisi. She is here to tell us about the recently released third book in her Summer Creek series, Why They Call It Falling.

Christina, let’s start with telling us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you, Carol, for having me as a guest on your blog!

Why They Call It Falling is my fourth published book and I’m very proud of this one because, more than any of my other books, the story weds my two selves—psychologists and romance writer. I am a psychology professor and department chair in my day job.

My husband and I will be married thirty-six years as of August. We have two grown children and a crazy cat, Chessie Mae.

I have several cats myself, so I understand a crazy one.

I absolutely love this cover photo. What is Why They Call It Falling about?

Formerly the wild child of three sisters, Emma Marano grew up to be a single mom working two jobs, estranged from her mother, and lying to her friends. She’d told everyone that her daughter’s father wanted nothing to do with his child, but her own inability to deal with her mistakes and shame led to the biggest lie of her life.

Years later, Justin Lee stumbles upon what turns out to be a daughter he never knew he had. Angry and confused, he insists on having a relationship with his daughter, but to do so, he’ll need to rebuild some sort of relationship with Emma, too. As he gets to know his daughter—and Emma again—he soon realizes that his biggest mistake was leaving her all those years ago. Now, Justin has to decide if he can see past her flaws and forgive her lies, and together, they’ll have to work to reclaim their love and a faith in each other and in God, or they risk losing something precious in the process.

What is the inspiration behind your story?

Why They Call It Falling is the third book in the Summer Creek series, or it can be read as a stand-alone. The inspiration came from the first book—Emma did some pretty hard-to-understand things and I needed to understand why she did them. Everything went from there—why did she seemingly abandon a daughter she loved, why was her daughter’s father not part of the story, and how did she end up with him at the end of the first book? Hmmm…

You lead a very busy life. How do you find time in your day to write?

I am a psychology professor and department chair. The honest answer is, sometimes I don’t have time to write. Then, I forgive myself and know that I will get back to it when I can. In the summer, and on breaks, I write as much as I can. My advice to anyone is to be patient with yourself.

Are you a night owl or morning person?

I almost didn’t answer this one, but maybe I should. I have actually heard some people say that they thought all creative people stay up late at night. I don’t. I’m one of those regimented people—I need to be up in the morning to exercise and get to work so I calculate eight hours back to make sure I get the right amount of sleep. Then, I write when I can. If I need to write in the evening because that’s all I’ve got, I do. In the summers, writing becomes my job (once I get these darned annual reports done for the university). I get up in the morning, eat breakfast, shower, and then write as if it was my paying job. At best, I set word count goals. My best ever was 25 pages in a day, but my more typical is around 5 – 10 when I get going.

Do you reward yourself when a book is finished? If so, what is your favorite treat?

I love to lounge in a comfy chair on my screen porch with a fruity drink and a good book, get in the pool, read some more, repeat. 😊

Who was your favorite character to create?

My favorite characters are the children. I’m a child psychologist, volunteer in the nursery, just love the little ones. And in fiction, they can offer a welcome break from the heavy stuff the adults are going through.

I love to read books with children in them. They are precious, aren’t they?

How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?

I have a habit of choosing names from people I know, as a way of honoring them. The problem comes in when the original thinks the character in the story is supposed to be them. No, the characters are themselves, unique and different.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I am a plotter and use story boards, but then sometimes the story takes over. I’ll refer back to the story boards every once in awhile but I am not a slave to it. I’m thrilled to be teaching a class for ACFW At Home Conference on storyboarding with faith. Hope some of your readers can watch the video!

Christina, thank you for being my guest today and sharing part of your life with us. What’s next for you as an author?

I have one book (a follow-up to Christmas on Ocracoke) under consideration, another book I need to edit, and I’ve started a third.

Where can readers find you online?

Website/Blog: https://www.christinasinisi.com/ 

Social Networking Sites:

Twitter: @ChristinaSinisi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christina-Sinisi-Author-105861987440664/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Instagram: @csinisi123

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/csinisi/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/101218889-christina-sinisi

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christina-sinisi

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/They-Call-Falling-Christina-Sinisi-ebook/dp/B0B1GF6FBC/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Christina+Sinisi&qid=1654020461&s=books&sr=1-2