Here's a peek into Christine Schimpf'’s new release, A Christmas Kind of Perfect
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About the Book:
Conrad Hamilton thought his life would be easy. A great job running his own construction business, living in his hometown in Door County, Wisconsin, with Lila Clark by his side. He planned on marrying her as soon as she returned from her Chicago internship but it never happened.
Lila never expected to become a successful writer nor did she plan on spending the last decade in New York. But she did.
Can the magic of Christmas turn two hearts back to one another again or is it too late to capture that special kind of perfect?
Enjoy this excerpt:
Lower Manhattan, New York
Lila almost tripped over her suitcase as she swept into her apartment. Hand to chest, she willed the panic to subside. It seemed that everywhere she went lately, she saw a tall, broad-shouldered man who reminded her of…him. Her first love. He was even showing up in her dreams.
Taking a deep breath, she locked the door and kicked off her high heels. She dragged the suitcase to her bedroom and quickly unpacked as if by doing so she could set memories from ten years ago back in the closet of her mind where they belonged.
It hadn’t mattered where her book signing was or that she’d been out on the west coast working on the movie versions of her books, Conrad haunted her.
Ah, the mind of an author was a terrifying place at times. She’d been working too hard. At least that’s the excuse she gave herself. Settling into more comfortable clothes she headed to the kitchen.
Lila walked to the window of her apartment cradling a cup of chamomile tea sweetened with honey. She watched the street traffic below, which reminded her of a busy ant colony. How she wished the city would sleep, if only for one night. Oh, the blessed silence. She’d walk for miles. Better yet, she’d run. Although Lila feared the attempt wouldn’t be easy. Like so many other activities she used to enjoy doing, she’d abandoned running since moving to the Big Apple years ago.
She padded over to her favorite chair, a chaise lounge in dire need of new fabric, and snuggled in like a fat cat finding its spot. The chair stuck out compared to the eclectic-themed room, but Lila refused to reupholster the piece despite the persuasive arguments from her friends. In an odd sort of way, Lila drew comfort from the inanimate object. They shared the same flaw—an inability to fit in with their surroundings.
Lila’s bones ached. Now that she was back in the city, her life would return to normal. She’d hibernate for the next few weeks and start outlining her next book. Ugh. At this point, she’d much rather clean her uncle’s morning catch of fish.
Goodness, what had made her think of her uncle? He’d died years ago.
Reaching for the remote, she flicked on the receiver. Sounds from an acoustic guitar filled the room. Ooh, much better. She placed her emptied cup near her phone on the end table, leaned her head back on the cushion, and stared up at the ceiling.
Her smartphone buzzed. Ahh. The phone always seemed to ring at the worst of times, scaring her half to death. The clock had barely moved five minutes, and she’d bet her last chocolate donut that her agent Andrea was calling with another idea for a book tour. Lila swiped the call through. With tired eyes and a worn-out spirit, she forced a pleasant tone. Sounding irritated was not how Lila wanted to present herself. “Hello.”
“Hi, I’m calling for Lila Clark.”
Lila’s heart stopped as if she’d skidded on ice and slammed her vehicle into a fire hydrant. This wasn’t Andrea. She recognized the sing-song melody in the caller’s voice, so reminiscent of someone from the past. Was her memory going as well as her stamina?
Christine, what is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
Absolutely killing my darlings! And they always seem to be scenes that you love the most but that’s the tough work of editing. Having a critique group is essential for me so I can weed out what doesn’t work and hone in on what does.
Are your characters created from people in your life?
I’d have to say they are more likely a combination of all the people I’ve met along the way of life. A writer draws from their real life experiences…the great times in our lives and the times that hurt us the most. I believe that’s our voice.
Where do you get your ideas for your books? Would you consider yourself a creative?
It’s pretty simple really. I wait on God’s timing. I find the outdoors very inspiration for my writing and spend as much time as I can outside. Of course, living in Wisconsin, that time becomes more limited during the cold winter months but if the temperature is above 20 degrees – I make sure to get outside. It’s there that I have the most relaxed conversations with God – where I look for His guidance in my work. Once I’m sure of his direction, I proceed to the next story. When I finish one book, I’m never quite sure there’ll be another so I place my trust in The One who does know and let the rest go. I wouldn’t consider that a creative practice but one steered by faith.
Anything on the horizon for you?
Actually yes. In September, I finished a romantic novella entitled, A Perfect Fit, a spin-off romance from A Christmas Kind of Perfect. The story steps into the life of a young woman who typically chooses the wrong kind of man until she turns the decision over to God. But it’s not always easy letting go, even of behaviors that hurt us.
Presently, I’m working on A Perfect Ending another spin-off romance from A Christmas Kind of Perfect with intentions on finishing that work by summer 2018. This story peeks in on a woman with a professional career. Her intentions are to keep moving forward and achieving more and more success until God places her in an unexpected situation and turns her world upside down.
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