I cannot believe it is here! With all life’s circumstances, today has snuck up on me, and I feel unprepared. For me, this officially kicks off the Christmas season. Sorry Halloween, I never liked you anyway, and Thanksgiving, I’m still going to have a wonderful feast and celebrate time with family. But there is just something special about the Christmas season and its ability to refocus us on Christ our true King. It settles me. It brings about a reverent awe that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day grind of life. And that’s what I hope you will feel about this collection of novellas from me, Cara Putman, and Angela Ruth Strong–the awe, wonder, and power of Christmas to refocus us on what truly matters, Christ.
I thought it would be fun to check out some behind-the-scenes information from We Three Kings. So for the next two weeks, I’m going to share some fun information. If you haven’t already, you can pick up your copy of We Three Kings from your favorite retailer now.
While many books come about because the author sends out a proposal and the publisher accepts it, Kregel reached out to me, Cara Putman, and Angela Ruth Strong to see if we would be interested in writing a set of novellas connected with their Christmas novella collection series based on Christmas hymns. This year’s hymn was to be “We Three Kings.” But it wasn’t just free reign, they wanted our heroes to be from one family line of moguls (yes, I had to look that up, so don’t feel ashamed if you had to too), and they would like us each to have our books connected with each gift of the kings: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The stories didn’t have to connect to our current series with them, but that was an option if we desired it.
At first, I explored the idea of something new. What would be a fun twist on gold? Liquid gold–oil? Nope, by the time of my book, there would have been only one major oil mogul, and while I could have twisted that for fiction, I didn’t want to. Gold bars or someone who dealt in gold? Eh. Too on the nose, and I wasn’t a fan of trying to dig into gold mining history at that point. Not with the turn-around time I’d need to work with for research. I can’t exactly remember how, but I landed on the concept of ocean travel via the predecessors to the Titanic. Once I struck on that, remembered the influx of Italian counterfeiters who printed in their home country and then swindled new immigrants, and realized I could connect it to my Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series, I was off to the races.
Originally, Counterfeit Faith was set to release after We Three Kings, so I set up my story to happen in my story-world timeline before Josiah had his story, and gave his sister who has an appearance in Counterfeit Faith, her own story. It was a joy to dive into Josiah’s family, bring out some of their dynamics, and then develop the beginning of the Weise family line.
And yes, Cara, Angela, and I were goofy enough to use the Weise name as a play on the wise men of the Bible. It was so fun to work with these amazing women who are much further along in their careers to develop a legacy that left me in awe and wonder of my characters. I hope when you get the chance to read our stories, you will be left with the same sense of awe of how one family can have such an impact on those around them and leave a legacy of Christ that is passed down through the generations.
When it came to choosing a title for each of our stories, Kregel told us we didn’t have to use lines from the song like it had been done in the other stories. After examining the lyrics, some of which are really depressing and difficult for use as a Christmas title, we put titling on the back burner until the last minute. For me, “Star of Wonder” had always fit, but finding uplifting titles for the other two was difficult until we realized that all three stories are tied to the Light of Christ. Then we were able to select phrases from the lyrics that fit the stories and didn’t break with the tradition of the other Christmas novellas that came before us.
This is the background I used while writing this story, aka, my inspiration board. You can also check out my Pinterest board which has more for you to browse through.
About We Three Kings
IN THIS CHRISTMAS COLLECTION, WEISE MEN STILL SEEK JESUS–AND LOVE
Best-selling romance authors Caudill, Putman, and Strong follow three generations of the Weise family in this third collection of Christmas novellas from Kregel that will prove just as popular as the previous award-winning volumes.
“Star of Wonder” by Crystal Caudill
The Christmas-themed maiden voyage of his family’s grand steamer ship was supposed to be Aldrich Weise’s chance both to instill investor confidence and to romance Celestia Isaacs. Instead, he must foil a criminal and leave his lady love behind forever.
“Beauty Bright” by Cara Putman
Lieutenant Charles Weise served as a Monuments Man after World War II and now works to restore stolen art to rightful owners. Captain Lillian Thorsen pairs up with him not only to return treasures but also to fix the war-torn lives around them.
“Perfect Light” by Angela Ruth Strong
Essential oils mogul Brendon Wise is drawn to Lacey Foster, the event planner for his huge Christmas lights festival. But when he inadvertently makes a spectacle of her on television, Lacey wants nothing to do with him. Will a chance to give gifts to those in need at Christmas be the key to discovering common ground–and maybe love?