One of the themes throughout the Slippery Rock series is home. I think what it holds in common for all of us is a feeling of safety. Of belonging. While Levi has always belonged in Slippery Rock, and has always had plans to improve his family’s dairy farm – and the town – Camden has never felt she belonged anywhere. She shows up looking for home, and Levi needs to stop and really see his home.
My family’s special project for this new series is continuing with the release of Christmas in a Small Town, too. We’re donating a portion of the proceeds from the Slippery Rock series toward providing Sweet Cases from TogetherWeRise to foster children. Most children going in to foster care have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Sweet Cases are duffel bags given to children coming in to care, and once given, the bags remain with that child, giving them a sense of home and, hopefully, a sense that they aren’t alone. Each duffel includes a warm blanket, a teddy bear, hygiene kit, and art supplies.
“Sure, Calvin and Bonita’s place. You’re gonna continue on this road till you hit the grocery store. At the light you’ll turn south for a couple of blocks before taking Double A Highway West out of town. You’ll turn back north a few miles out when you see the county road sign, then follow 251 until you get to their lane. Can’t miss it. Bonita bought Calvin one of them big mailboxes a few years ago, in the shape of a collie. I swear you could fit a small child in that thing.” He tapped the roof of her car. “Nope, we don’t see many cars like this one around town. You have a nice evening, ma’am.”
Camden’s mind swirled with the information the older man had offered up. Straight to the grocery store, follow that road to the highway, follow the highway to the county road that would lead to the farm. She could handle this. Camden put the Porsche in Drive and waved to the older man as she pulled back onto the road that led through Slippery Rock.
Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
– I’m finishing up a sports continuity with three writer friends – we’re writing about three brothers, all sports heroes, who are coming to terms with a Big Family Secret. It’s been really fun to write!
Every year around Thanksgiving, I get the bug. No, not the flu bug. The holiday movie bug. Thanks to bebe, we have a towering stack of just about every Christmas movie you could imagine – from the original Miracle on 34th Street to The Polar Express. During the holiday season, Friday and Saturday nights become movie nights, sometimes the three of us gather in the living room with the big Christmas tree lit up and binge on holiday cartoons, sometimes we’ll disperse to different rooms to watch the movies we want to see.
You’ve created quite an interesting life for Camden – being scorned in love and then, having another charm her as she’s returnt home – what surprised you the most about Camden’s character for finding strength to face her adversities in romance?
Knight responds: Her strength, in general, surprised me. She allowed herself to be dictated to for most of her life, and so when I started writing her, I thought she would need more reassurances that she was doing the right things. But once she was out of that situation – her domineering mother, specifically – she really stood on her own. She was really fun to write!
“This story was a good one but was quite repetitive, slightly dragged out, and well-written but not to the extend of captivating the readers attention. except in portions of the story. . .
The Characters were very well developed and felt very real. The scenes were described in a way easily visualized.” – LAWonder10
“I love small towns and I loved reading this story. It has a lot of fun things happening. I love the way all the friends ended up back in their small town, still as close knit as ever.” – Vickie
“You guys didn’t play with me when I went to defense. How would you know what I looked like?”
Collin blinked. “High-definition TV. Replay shows. And, you know, we did play with you all through junior high and high school. Doesn’t matter if you’re quarterbacking or playing the defensive line, like you did in college and the pros—the Levi Walters focus is the same.”
“Also, and I don’t think we can emphasize this enough, at least three of your throws pushed the dart through the board and into the wall. So what’s up?” Aiden rolled his bottle of beer through his hands, making it scrape against the table.
Traditions are my favorite thing, whether it’s sitting in a field, getting eaten by chiggers while waiting for the 4th of July fireworks or strolling along a lake front, watching a parade of boats, decorated for Christmas. Traditions, to me, make every holiday more special because, while you’re in the present, the act of repeating a stroll with the Christmas boats or a snowy picnic brings back memories. It makes the experience richer, somehow.
In Christmas in a Small Town, there is a town festival, complete with a street fair and holiday lights and even a regatta so the townspeople can see the lights from the lake. Those are all memories I have from my small town upbringing, but there are even more. Here are a few of my favorite holiday traditions.
“I absolutely adore this town and every time I visit I am blown away. I would love to live in this place. Kristina always brings it to such life. . . . This book is a friends to lovers romance. If you have not visited Slippery Rock you need to go grab the entire series from Harlequin or Amazon!!! You will not be disappointed.”
“It’s a nice-looking dress, though.”
“Not my style.”
“I find that hard to believe. You wear it too well.”
Because she’d been trained to wear it well. Her mother had started her on the pageant circuit when she was nine, and after her father died, the pageants had become almost weekly occurrences. Still, having a stranger comment on her appearance was nice. Maybe a little stalkery, but nice. “Yeah, well, it’s not like it takes a special set of skills to wear designer clothing.”
“I don’t know about that.”
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It exhausts me, but in the best way! When I’m really into a book and all systems are go and the words are flowing it’s so energizing! Sometimes I can write like that for hours on end, I love it! It’s only after I stop for the day that the exhaustion comes in – my eyes get tired, sometimes my shoulders will ache (especially if I’ve forgotten to make a few trips to the kitchen or laundry room to work out those kinks!), and I’ll even have trouble holding conversations with people! A few weeks ago, I had one of those writing days, and that evening was a craft night at our church, and I had the hardest time talking to my friends – just because I couldn’t find my words!
“Christmas in a Small Town is a feel-good, Christmas time romance. . .
While their romance was all that is adorable, their relationship’s conflict felt a little lacking. . . . Still, overall this was a very cute story and a nice addition to the series.
It was fun to see the rest of the Slippery Rock gang again; don’t worry, though, this one would also work just fine as a standalone if you haven’t had a chance to read the rest of the series.”
This will come as a complete surprise to all of you, I’m sure, but I’m not completely organized at Christmas. I know! What? Kristina loves her planner and her lists and checking things off the lists! How can she not have an organized Christmas?
Okay, so maybe I do have an organized Christmas – we decorate at a certain time, and we bake at certain times, and I do try to have my shopping done by a certain time….but that is where the organization ends. I have friends that are organized right down to which bough of the tree which ornament goes on. And the ornaments are only certain colors and shapes and sizes.
The idea though, kept nagging at her. What if Granddad wanted to rejuvenate the school? For her time with the trainer in Kansas City, she knew competition dogs were sought after and could sell for high amounts of money. Training fees on top of that. . .
If she could get just one dog ready for competition, she could help her parents rejuvenate Harris Farms. Could have a real reason to stay here rather than return to Kansas City.
Maria: Do you have any special memories of living in a small town yourself, or did you grow up in a big city?
Kristina: I grew up in a very small town — fewer than 2,000 people, 47 people in my graduating class. It was great! There were summer festivals, parades, lots of down time. At the time (my high school years), I always felt like there should be something more, something bigger, but as an adult, I’m very thankful for my small town roots!