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Writer Emma Stiles is at loose ends, but for December she is putting off making life decisions and retreats to her uncle’s tree house, a camper-like structure in the East Texas woods with even a shower and electricity. On the ranch nearby, handsome Jackson Ryder, half his face now disfigured with a large burn scar, is trying to come to grips with his new life. Can they help each other forgive their pasts and start anew? A Christmas Secret could bring them both fresh starts.
Q and A with Veda Boyd Jones regarding The Cowboy’s Christmas Secret
Q: What’s his secret?
Oh, I can’t give that away.
Q: Why have Emma stay in a tree house?
A: My sister was visiting one day when I said I wanted to write a Christmas romance, and she suggested I use a tree house in it. She’s seen many pictures on the Internet of tree houses, and I’m not talking about the kind that you built when you were a kid, but the kind with running water and electricity–a real home, like a travel trailer or a sailboat interior. It was fun to do some research about tree houses and plunk Emma in one while she was finding where she wanted to live. I had to give her a reason to stay there instead of in Uncle Max’s guestroom, so I sent him off on a book signing tour and is having hardwood floors installed while he’s away.
Q: Why did you work in Barbara Robinson’s play?
A: Barbara was a friend of mine, and I was very saddened when she died of cancer over a year ago. I thought I’d work that in as a tribute to her. I’ve read her book on the Herdmans and I’ve seen her play. Both are hysterical.
Q: Why focus on forgiveness?
A: We all need more forgiveness in our hearts. We carry grudges even when we don’t want to, and we need to cast away the pain a grudge gives us and embrace forgiveness, which frees us.