Sit-down Saturday with Cynthia Thomason

Good morning, all. So happy to have this chance to talk about HIGH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, the third book in my Cahills of North Carolina trilogy. So far the reviews have been very encouraging which makes me feel great except I am also sad to leave this family behind. This trilogy is set in my favorite place, the high mountains of North Carolina where I am lucky enough to spend my summers away from the Florida heat. This story about two brothers and one sister who have contributed so much to this small town area I love so much came to me one day and I knew I had to write it.

What made you decide on the story line for High Country Christmas?

Ava Cahill is a secondary character in the first two books. She was always "the smart one," whose goals led her to the corporate world of Charlotte, NC. But when circumstances changed her life and brought her back to the mountains, she was determined to make things right for her family. She gave up the perks of a corporate life to manage a children's home. The idea for Ava's journey came to me when I visited Crossnore School in Crossnore, NC (Sawtooth Home in the book) and witnessed first hand the wonderful efforts of staff and teachers there. This setting would be perfect for Ava.

How would you describe Ava, the main character?

I've already said she is determined. She is also sensitive, organized and helpful. She usually knows what she wants, but that changes when she comes face-to-face with Noah Walsh, the man who unwittingly changed her life six years ago. But with the help of her two brothers and her mother, Ava overcomes obstacles to enjoy a fulfilling life.

Is there a secondary character that stands out in this book?

I would have to choose Sawyer Walsh, single-parent Noah's runaway daughter whose street smarts lead her to Sawtooth Home where Ava is the administrator. She is a tough, clever, emotionally bruised teen who puts her trust in Ava and learns to forgive her father for what she sees as his shortcomings as a dad. She forms a special bond with another Sawtooth Home resident, little Charlie whose adorable image is on the cover.

Is this truly a Christmas book?

No. Christmas only comes to significance in the last chapter when Ava's brother, Jace has a holiday wedding. The story mostly takes place during a beautiful NC fall. I think readers will experience the love I have for this area because of the splendor of the trees and mountains in autumn.

What makes this story different?

I would have to say that the hero, Noah, is different from the traditional hero. First he has a dangerous occupation as a tower climber, one of the brave souls who climb hundreds of feet into the sky to maintain the cell phone towers that keep us all connected. Second, he wants to do the right thing but he has no clue how to go about it. In my opinion, this type of hero is always endearing, as long as he comes around by the end of the book.

I hope you'll give HIGH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS a read, as well as all the January Heartwarming books. After all, what better time is there to warm your heart than the month of January? Brrr.
Happy reading,



  1. Sounds like a wonderful story. I love your characters' names, not to mention the setting. Any special reason for the names? Congratulations on the book!

  2. This was such a great story, Cindy. I was lucky to have once visited the area right where the school sits. And I've seen a couple of tower climbers on the wind turbines when we used to make drives from Phoenix to California. One time the wind was blowing a lot and while they had stopped the turbine the man was working on, he sometimes blew out away from the unit on his harness. It was a scary sight and I can only imagine what it takes to do the job.

  3. I love mountain settings, and your series sounds fantastic! :)

  4. I really enjoyed the story. Sawyer was a handfull, and gave Ava a real challange. Great story.


Post a Comment