Today, I thought it might be fun to share my visual inspiration for the characters for Untangling Christmas.
We first met Mike Clarke in The Coffee Girl (which is free right now if you haven’t read it yet!) He is Brock McCrae’s best friend and provider of some funny lines.
The second book in the Silverton Sweethearts series, The Christmas Crusade, just happened to be about Mike’s only sibling, Levi. The two brothers get along well and have a strong friendship.
When I was writing Levi and Kat’s story, I decided Mike really needed to have his own story. At that point, I didn’t know what it would be.
Then I got the idea of an electrician helping at a Christmas festival.
Years ago, I served on the board of directors for a Festival of Trees. It was a lot of work, but it was also great fun (and it gave me an excuse to get all dressed up for their gala). Because the festival was held where we could find donated space, we sometimes had challenges similar to what is described in the story with faulty outlets and questionable wiring.
I think one of my favorite events was the year the president of the board got the idea of enlisting the help of some inmates who were in a work release program to paint the store front windows – with a gorgeous scene that looked like something from a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Anyway, it was fun for me to draw on some of those memories and incorporate them into the story.
Although we’d previously met Mike’s character, we didn’t know much about how he looked and what was in his heart, other than he was a big guy (with an equally big heart).
In Untangling Christmas, that big heart has been broken and the last thing Mike is looking for is to fall in love.
I thought Jesse Hutch made a perfect Mike (especially with that hair!)
Mike has been hurt – publicly and painfully – and struggles to get past that.
But thanks to the interference of one bubbly redhead and his friends, he finds the spirit of Christmas alive and well in his heart. (Isn’t Jesse a cutie – exactly how I envision Mike!)
Lindy Booth makes the absolutely perfect Taylor Taggart. From that red hair and pale blue eyes to her beautiful smile, she’s definitely like the picture I have of Taylor in my head.
Taylor has experienced more than her share of heartbreak, but instead of letting it make her bitter, it gives her compassion. She lives life on her own terms, no longer concerned what others think of her – but she does it in a way that brings sunshine to others.
Taylor’s perky, upbeat outlook is infectious, especially during the holidays!
And there you have it!
If you haven’t yet purchased Untangling Christmas, you’ll find it along with 16 other brand-new sweet romance novellas in Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 at these online retailers: