So great to have Judythe Morgan as my guest today with a holiday post. I'm ready for the holidays!
Holidays bring memories. Lots of mine involve participation in holiday programs with watching children and grandchildren or performing myself.
As writers we consciously, or unconsciously, use our memories when we plot our stories. I think every story I’ve written includes a personal memory disguised to fit. None more than When Love Endures, book 3 of the Fitzpatrick Family series.
One of my favorite holiday memories is playing a duet with my daughter at her piano recital. That memory provided the springboard for the plot.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, twin daughter and the family musician, is modeled after my daughter who is a pianist and music teacher. But similarities end there. My daughter did not know my son-in-law when she was in high school.
In When Love Endures, Sarah meets her high school sweetheart again when his daughter enrolls in her school music class then takes piano lessons. Old feelings return, but Sarah must win the daughter over.
How she wins the daughter (and her dad) involves a Christmas duet. Check the excerpt below.
I hope a fond holiday memory comes to your mind when you read When Love Endures.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, pianist extraordinaire, gave up on true love when her high school boyfriend, Nick Stephens, ran off to marry his pregnant ex-girlfriend. When his daughter shows up in her music class eleven years later, Sarah must find a way to keep the little girl and her widowed father out of her heart. She can’t risk losing everything again.
Nicks Stephens has other plans. Sarah is and always has been the love of his life and he’s back in Burton, TX to prove it. But there are secrets Nick must keep, from Sarah and his daughter, that could destroy everything he hopes to build.
Can their second chance survive new secrets?
When Love Endures
Sarah was good with her decision not to see Nick except on Sundays which loomed long and lonely without him, Rachel, and their afternoons of board games.
Reality became real. And it hurt.
When she spotted the child at school, Rachel would look away. But not before Sarah saw the blame in her eyes. The child believed all the misery in her life was Sarah’s fault. Rachel might never see her mother’s alcohol addiction as the true cause. One day Sarah'd be at peace with all that.
Today she missed Nick’s smile. She missed them both. She yearned to call him to see how things were going with Rachel. Was she still playing her baby grand? Had Nick signed off on his merger with the French company?
As much as she wanted to know, she wouldn’t accept his calls the way things were now. After the first few texts with declarations of his love and office party reminders, she’d stopped reading. Rachel had to be on board or being together could never work.
With renewed determination, she refocused on finding a closing for the Christmas program. Playing a Christmas duet with Rachel to surprise Nick had been so perfect.
Becca leaned her shoulder against Sarah’s office doorframe. “Whatcha doing? Every time you disappear, I find you in here digging through old school Christmas programs and notes. Don’t tell me you’re organizing files. Something’s wrong.”
“You mean besides the obvious? I’ve broken it off with Nick. Rachel hates me.” She held her hand up to stop Becca from answering. “My program finale idea isn’t going to work anymore, and I can’t seem to come up with a new one.”
Becca’s arms crossed. “Let me guess. Rachel was going to play.”
Sarah nodded. No point in keeping it a secret now. “We were doing a Christmas duet. It was a surprise for Nick.”
“That’s a major bummer. I see why you’re scrambling. There’s always the old standby of Santa or an elf appearing.”
“The best finales are ones where a student is involved. I have better attendance. Anticipating the surprise always draws everyone in. But another student wouldn’t have enough time to prepare.”
“Maybe Nick or Ms. Lorene could—”
“No.” Sarah shook her head. “I won’t
ask them. Even if she agreed, it’d give Nick false hope. I won’t do that. I’ll
figure something out.”
About Your Book
Title: When Love Endures
Author: Judythe Morgan
Publisher: The Danfield Press
Release Date: February 8, 2021
Genre: Holiday Romance
Series/Stand-Alone: The Fitzpatrick Family Series
Judythe Morgan was an Army brat then Army wife. She’s traveled a lot of this world. She’s been a teacher, an antiques dealer, former mayor's wife, and sometimes-church pianist. Her diverse experiences have made her life full, her characters vivid, and her stories authentic and award-winning.