Is there a cold snap where you live? After a glorious Indian summer that lasted a long time, there’s one here. Piles of leaves on the ground, swish and crunch every time I leave the house. From now on, we’ll be at warp speed until January. Hold on tight!

Do you enjoy the season? Or is it simply too hectic?

As November closes, so does a promotion I did on One December. That book was the second one I’ve written, and the first one I published back in 2018. Over the years, I’ve edited it a few times, as I learned more about the writing craft.

Each time I reread the story, it brings a flood of nostalgia. No, I didn’t live through the same things as Nikki Mancini. Unfortunately, there was no handsome Mike Branagan gradually falling in love with me. (Shoot!)

But I had similar cross-cultural life experiences which I poured into Nikki’s story. A bit of background: Nikki has been in love with Mike for ages, and when she gets her heart broken after Christmas, she decides to take a one-year teaching position in Paris.

In the early 90s, I moved to France to work in a ministry there. Little did I know that would turn into 13 years. But the first year or two were full of adjustments. Hearing another language all day, and having to learn that language. Getting adapted to French ways of daily life, making friends, learning how to pay bills, and learning to use the Paris subway. And gradually making a life in a foreign country. It is possible.

Kyle, 1991

That’s why when I read Nikki’s story, it unlocks so many precious memories. Memories of the little apartment I had in a Paris suburb when I first moved there. Then several residences later, I was able to live in the Paris city limits, which I loved. Paris as home, instead of a tourist destination. I wouldn’t trade my French experience for anything.

Of course, not all my books have foreign settings. Those that do have dual settings. The books Prodigals in Provence and its sequel, A Promise in Provence take place in Virginia and Provence. Then Julia Redesigned takes place in Washington, DC and Florence, Italy. I hope to one day write more stories set in Europe (because I love Europe…to visit, and to share it with readers.)

Do you enjoy stories set in other countries? How about big cities? Do you prefer small towns? And do you like stand-alone stories, or series? I’d love to hear from you about what you enjoy. (Comment on the post or send me an email.)

One December starts…you guessed it, one December. It ends the following December. The story is about Mike and Nikki, who aren’t so ready for each other. But a year can bring a lot of change.

If you’re in the mood for Christmas stories and haven’t read Good Gifts, that also has a Christmasy theme.

I hope your holidays are filled with joy, gratitude, and fun, and remembrance of what a miracle occurred, changing everything for us. No other gift lasts a lifetime into eternity!

Blessed holiday, happy reading!