You can choose your friends, but not your family. Isn’t that how the old saying goes? Well actually, that’s not strictly true, some of us choose our families too and I think those families are every bit as special – sometimes even more so – because of that.
As one of the Write Romantics, I write about love, of course; the clue is in the title. The funny thing is that although there remains an element of boy-meets-girl in my novels, I’ve always had an equally strong focus on wider relationships – mothers and fathers, friendships and even the pivotal role of the family pet!
I’m not remotely linking the title of this blog to anything I’ve ever written, but I think I have discovered the greatest love story ever told… It’s not in any Amazon top ten lists, or gracing the shelves of Waterstones, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes and it’s called adoption. Choosing to love a child, who needs that more than anything in the world, with all your heart, has to just about sum love up, don’t you think?
Here’s a little picture of me and my childhood best friend, Claire, back in our primary school days. I won’t point us out in the photo, but we were a little bit nerdy if I’m honest, top of the class and slightly swotty back then, so we’re the only ones wearing the proper summer dresses and rocking some seriously horrendous sandals! We both came from traditional families, a mum and dad, a sibling (or three in my case) and I bet back then we both expected we’d follow suit…
Life turned out to be a lot more interesting than that, though, and I’ve got the most wonderful jigsaw family, as we’re now called, made up of my children and step-children, oh and my husband of course. Not a lot of romantic novels have that sort of set-up, but I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world and it’s far and away the greatest love of my life. But Claire’s story is even more amazing. After a journey to motherhood that could probably fill a whole shelf of novels, Claire and her husband took the last leg of that journey to China, to bring their beautiful daughter home. I won’t tell you all the details, because I’m still hoping that Claire might write that story herself one of these days and it really will be the greatest love story ever told.
I love Claire to bits, for a friendship that goes back so far, but more than that for being one of the people to teach me that love and motherhood are about so much more than genetics. Let’s face it, that’s the easy bit. When I wrote ‘The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come’, Claire was on my mind. The story isn’t hers, but the sentiment is. There are two books in the St Nicholas Bay series so far and whilst you’ll find a traditional love story in them both, you’ll also find the love story of motherhood that comes about in unexpected ways. I hope I’ve done that justice and there was only one person I could dedicate ‘The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come’ to – Claire, a friend I chose, and the beautiful family she chose to build.
‘The Gift Of Christmas Yet to Come’ is available as an ebook priced at 99p here.
‘Somebody Else’s Boy’ is available in paperback and ebook form here and for one week only is on special offer at 99p in ebook format.