The first time I wrote a Christmas themed romance—The Christmas Challenge, which was part of my Montana Wilders series—I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. Jane Porter and the Tule Team had way more trust in me than I deserved at the time. I thought all I needed to do was write sweeter (at the time I was writing…spicier), include lots of snow (easy in Montana) and build up to Christmas day.
As a mom, I’d tried to create Christmas memories and traditions with my family to imbue the season with meaning that had eluded me during my own childhood. I reasoned that a Christmas story needed to have lots of Christmassy activities to give it meaning. But after a conversation with Jane and attending her Christmas romance novel craft talk on Zoom several years ago, she said something that really stuck with me: Christmas stories are all about the emotion, the longing, the wish fulfillment of family and the warmth of coming or finding home. By dumb luck, I had sort of hit the mark with The Christmas Challenge because it was a reconciliation between twin sisters and also a homecoming both for the heroine and the hero.
The Christmas Blueprint is my fourth Christmas story, and I feel like with each Christmas story, I find the spirit of love, giving, belonging, and embracing that I have been searching for. Like many of my stories, it involves personal transformation. The heroine, Sophia, is determined to build a life of purpose and meaning even as her parents and many people in the town still long to protect her after the devastating loss of her first responder fiancé. She loves her town of Bear Creek, Oregon and wants to keep the history and character alive even as she works to spear-head a project that she thinks will offer business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, as well as boost tourism and community spirit. Enter the hero, Killian Flanagan (brother to the heroine in last year’s Lighting Up Christmas). He left Bear Creek after high school and has intended to stay gone, only a promise to a best friend has him returning—temporarily.
Sophia and Killian have a history—dancing around a potential romance—but the timing was never right and now there are too many memories and soon too many miles keeping them apart. Sophia is a five generation home town girl determined to make her mark, and Killian wants to build his own empire far north at a large architecture firm in Seattle. But of course they are forced to collaborate on a mixed-use plan for a recently renovated abandoned mill that is part of a larger private project. And even though they know that letting anything get personal is a mistake, they both seem unable to avoid making it.
I rarely have an actual antagonist in any of my books. I prefer to let the hero and heroine’s emotions, history, circumstances and goals keep them apart, but in book one in my Bear Creek series, Lighting Up Christmas, I created a small town mayor with big and very personal ambitions. He had a history with both my first heroine Riley Flanagan and also with Sophia Gonzales. Both Riley and Sophia are all about win-win when they create a plan, but the mayor is all about win-lose. I am a little embarrassed to admit how much fun I had created this arrogant, entitled, glaring man. For me, I think he was a bit of a stress relief for the way politics have become rather fraught in our country, but also I found him a touch comical as well as tragic, which reminded me, that I still believe that kindness should and most often does ultimately win.
I hope you enjoy reading The Christmas Blueprint. For a chance to win a signed print copy of Lighting Up Christmas, a sweet-treat themed Christmas Ornament and a $10 Starbucks gift card, subscribe to my newsletter HERE and comment below your answer to: What is your favorite Christmas romance book or Hallmark movie and why?
Winner will be selected on Wednesday, October 26th
Happy Holidays and happy reading. Tule has so many amazing Christmas releases this year, and another one of our authors, Joan Kilby, has a book turned Hallmark movie Long Lost Christmas.
About the Author
Sinclair Sawhney is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington. She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Shaandaar!