Thanksgiving is my favorite of all the holidays, but New Year’s Eve is a very close second. Although I’m not big on making resolutions, I always create goals to kick off the year. Lately, I’ve been thinking that each New Year is like a blank notebook for me to fill in day to day, month to month. By the end of 2019, I’ll have written books for readers, but I’ll also have lived my new story. What will it look like? Who will the characters be? What surprises might come along? How will I feel about ending another year’s cycle?
With two Heartwarming book deadlines in 2019, I’m focused on the changing of the seasons in my books, along with I see outside my windows as I write in my comfy “shelter from the storm.”
The characters in book 3 of my new Back to Bluestone River series will come to life when spring rolls around in their Illinois prairie town. In the Upper Midwest, spring could bring surprise snow we measure in feet not inches, or we could see the icy rain, sleet, and snow with the ominous name, “wintery mix.” But my characters and I will manage to have mild days infused with the earthy scents of spring.
It’s about time Bluestone River had some new summer events and revived its Fourth of July festival. In book 3, the hero and heroine are immersed in the lives of the older and younger generations. I’ll have to make sure their summer notebook has room for some romance—maybe around the Fourth of July.
As for me, this I’m heading to New York for RWA’s National Conference, which I missed last year. What a great celebration of books and authors, and I can’t wait to meet up with old friends and make new ones. New York and all that goes with RWA National will be prominent in my 2019 notebook.
By the time the leaves start falling around me, book 1 of my series, A Family for Jason, will be out and Mike and Ruby will be enjoying golden fall days and a few coldish rainy ones—and so will I. Mike and Ruby have a few decisions to make before they can enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving at Mike’s house on the lake. But they might be overjoyed and forever grateful for a surprise that makes that holiday extra special.
Meanwhile, in book 2 of my Back to Bluestone River series, the characters will have Christmas looming ahead. Will the hero finally lose the chip on his shoulder? Will the heroine find work that makes her heart sing? I hope by “story-time Christmas” the two can finally make up their minds about taking a chance on love. No matter what, the covered bridge in Bluestone River will once again look like this.
Every year brings unexpected events, for better or worse, and whatever surprises emerge will change my 2019 notebook in ways I can’t yet foresee. When the next winter holidays approach and you look back, I hope your 2019 notebook tells a wonderful story, filled with the easing of whatever burdens you face and the fulfillment of your heart’s desires.
An author of both fiction and nonfiction books, Virginia currently lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She’s also a ghostwriter/editor and a coach for other authors at various stages of their careers. A Family for Jason, Book 1 of Virginia’s Back to Bluestone River series, is scheduled for release in August 2019, and book 2 will follow for the holidays.
Her other Harlequin Heartwarming books include: Girl in the Spotlight, Something to Treasure and Love, Unexpected. She also writes award-winning women’s fiction, including Island Healing, Greta's Grace and The Chapels on the Hill. All Virginia’s stories explore themes of hope, healing, and plenty of second chances.
You can add you name to Virginia’s mailing list at www.virginiamccullough.com and visit her on Facebook at Virginia McCullough and on Twitter @VEMccullough