I've never considered myself a physically strong woman, but I work hard. That's why I've always admired strong female characters, women who do what they need to do despite the hardships. Movie characters like Norma Rae and Fanny Bryce shaped my younger years, and later I came to read the news about women like Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi.
I never expect to be famous like these women, but I hope to have the same strength of determination. Each one had a focus, and their passion and unwavering energy toward doing what needed to be done is truly inspirational.
That's why I like to write about strong women. Women who, when faced with a tough situation, simply roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done. Jess Tate is such a woman. She's a widow and the mother of a teenage son. She works two jobs to pay the bills, but finds the time and energy to give to people who are important to her. Despite her exhaustion, she's determined to give her son a merry Christmas. And she can't help offering a helping hand to her handsome neighbor, whose scars include more than the wounds he received in war.
The Christmas Phoenix is Jess' story. It's available now at Astraea Press. Here's the blurb:
Jess Tate is trying to make a life for herself and her teenage son after her husband's sudden death. Running the family’s struggling landscape business in Northern Michigan has been hard work, and her son hasn’t been much help. She’s managed to get by, learning to run the big equipment herself, but between snowplowing early in the mornings and working her daytime job in town, she often wonders if there will ever be more to life than endless work.
Talented ice sculptor Jake Thompson had fame and fortune in St. Louis, but he’s been forced to start over after a disastrous relationship left him embittered and in deeply debt. His sister’s remote vacation home in Northern Michigan is the ideal retreat to lick his wounds and rebuild his career in peace and quiet—except a certain feisty redhead and her teenage son have a penchant for disturbing his solitude.
In the snowy winter, Jake and Jess unexpectedly find their lives and attitudes begin to change. Will family involvements and ghosts from the past keep them apart, or are they strong enough to risk rising from the ashes of their lives like the mythical phoenix?
The Christmas Phoenix can be purchased at Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookstrand!
Read more of Patricia Kiyono's work at her blog: www.creativehodgepodge.blogspot.com
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