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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Defeat The Heat Enjoy Christmas In July

Given the tortuously hot and uncomfortable temperatures we've endured across the country lately, relief in any form is welcome. Glad Tidings, a Class of '85 series romance, my holiday release from The Wild Rose Press takes place in the cooler months of the year, between Halloween and Christmas Eve.

His twenty-fifth high school reunion leaves hard-driving hospital CEO Jake Holbrook feeling he's missing something in life. So when a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life-and his bed-Jake is determined to keep her, even if it means recruiting her to work for him.

Family practice physician Bethany Thomas knows it's a bad idea to sleep with her late husband's best friend-even if he is the only man she's ever loved. Recently widowed, after twenty years of marriage to the wrong man and haunted by guilt over his death, Bethany isn't looking for an entanglement. Especially not with her future boss.

Working together makes Jake and Bethany confront their clashing philosophies to patient care, and as the holidays approach, Bethany unknowingly betrays Jake. Now Jake's job is on the line. Then comes a brutally cold winter night, and two young children are missing. Suddenly, the differences Jake and Bethany struggle with don't seem so important anymore.

Glad Tidings began as a short story which soon became a 75,000 word novel. A novel which was ultimately rejected from an editor I was confident would accept it. Was I disappointed? You bet. But not defeated. I was determined to find Glad Tidings a home, but where? Then came a call for submissions for the Class of '85 reunion series from The Last Rose of Summer line of The Wild Rose Press. As luck would have it, my book was a reunion story. The only problem, the maximum word count for the series was 40,000 words. Much of what I'd written would have to be-horror of horrors-eliminated. Once I got over the distasteful idea of that, I found editing the book down to almost half of its former self to be first a daunting, then humbling experience. It was also one of the most gratifying writing projects I've ever completed. Who knew the book and its characters would become more interesting and more powerful emotionally, simply by cutting things in half? A fact I often recall as I go on to the next project and the one after that.

To find more about my books and short stories, three of which are free, please visit or my author page at


Nikki said...

Kudos to you, for being able to cut your novel to about half it's size! But that's great because you found it a good home. I've read so many wonderful stories from the Wild Rose Press. I'll have to add this one to the list of books to look into.

Margo Hoornstra said...


Thanks. As I've said, cutting that novel turned out to be quite a rewarding experience. Wild Rose Press is a wonderful place for my books and short stories to call home.

MomJane said...

How great to be able to take your story and edit to make it better. I want to read this story now.

books4me said...

Sounds like a great book! Any book about the Class of '85 has got to be good!

books4me67 at

Margo Hoornstra said...


Thank you. I hope you enjoy Jake and Bethany's story. Jake Holbrook is one of my favorite characters. He shows up in other books of mine too.

Toni said...

It sure is nice to read stories that are set with people around my age. Glad you got the chance to share this story with us.


Jannine Gallant said...

This was a terrific story! I had to edit about 40,000 words out of Victim of Desire so I can relate to your initial horror at the thought. It can be rewarding to cut the chaff and find the strong core within!

Margo Hoornstra said...


Glad you liked the year. Hope you like the book. The eighties were good to me.

Margo Hoornstra said...


Maturity rocks! Right?

Margo Hoornstra said...


I loved Victim of Desire! Nice to know we have something else in common.

Mara said...

Thanks for some interesting info about how you got your book published.
marajbrandon AT earthlink DOT net

Toni said...

I agree Margo - Give me an older man any day.

Margo Hoornstra said...


You're welcome. Every book has its own story in more ways than one!

Margo Hoornstra said...


Lower maintenance!

Stacie said...

It must be painful to have to cut out so much of your story to fit the preset word count.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Robin said...

I love the theme, especially the Class of 85 - mine!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

Na said...

I like the Christmas theme story. I read them all year round because I get to bring the magic of the holidays a little closer to home. Even better I like that it is a reunion story because it gives me something to hope for and believe in. I'm glad you believed in your book and didn't give up on getting it published.

Margo Hoornstra said...


Painful but oh so worth it!

Margo Hoornstra said...


Twenty-five years isn't all that long ago.

Margo Hoornstra said...


Sometimes I feel like the poster girl for 'never give up on your dreams'.

Please don't give up on yours.

The holidays are a special time.