As a veteran writer of 50 novels, Susan Page Davis loves historical fiction and often finds inspiration from her family history.
While her own family always had a Christmas tree–no surprise since she grew up in Maine–she was interesting in writing a story set in a place where trees were hard to find.
In The Christmas Tree Bride, Polly moves to Wyoming Territory with her parents and helps run a stagecoach stop during the time period prior to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. ” I added characters to help keep the stage line moving, and also envisioned what sort of romance might take place there.”
In the course of writing the novella, Susan was surprised when one of her secondary characters, Billy Clyde, the shotgun rider, developed a strong personality of his own.
“I set The Christmas Tree Bride in 1867 because I love that time period and the excitement of westward expansion,” Susan explained. “I knew a tree was something a girl would miss,” for her first Christmas away from her greater family. Susan’s own family enjoys large family get-togethers during the holidays.
(Which, of course, was just after the end of the Civil War).
Her heroine, Polly, reflects certain aspects of Susan’s character. She’s impulsive and desires to please and help others. Among the spiritual themes is a simple one: “God provides the things we really need, even when it seems unlikely.” Click to Tweet
The setting for The Christmas Tree Bride is familiar to Susan as she married a man from Oregon and has driven the east to west route and back again several times.
“Most of my ancestors stayed in New England, but my great-great grandfather on my mother’s side did go west after the Civil War, driving cattle out there. He also did some gold mining. My husband’s family, on the other hand, took to the wagon trails and left some vivid tales behind.”
Given her experiences writing historical fiction, Susan wouldn’t mind visiting Winfield Station, “but I don’t think I’d want to live there!”
The Christmas Tree Bride, releases November 24. You can purchase it here.
As with all the 12 Brides of Christmas novellas, a sequel is planned for next summer. In Blue Moon Bride, Polly’s friend Ava, who sends her a Christmas card in this story and sparks her longing for a Christmas tree, will be the heroine. Ava will travel westward by rail for an extended visit with Polly and Jacob.
Blue Moon Bride in ebook-only format, will release on June 22, 2015.
Susan’s parting words?
“Merry Christmas to all our readers, and happy reading!”
Who is Susan Page Davis?
A native of Maine, Susan has spent most of her life there, with forays to her husband’s home state of Oregon, and is now relocated to Kentucky. She homeschooled her six children. Like several other 12 Brides of Christmas authors, Susan descends from patriots who defended their country during the American Revolution, and has used some of their inspiring stories in her own writing.
You can learn more about Susan on her webpage: www.susanpagedavis.com
Susan Page Davis blogs on the twenty-third of the month on the Christian Fictional Historical Society website.
In addition, you can find Susan on
The Christmas Tree Bride can be purchased here.
For those of you who prefer to read on paper rather than in pixels, The Christmas Tree Bride is part of White Christmas Brides, a collection sold in select Walmart stores nation-wide.