This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Christmas is coming, so we thought we'd like to welcome Donna Douglas on one of the stops of her blog tour for her new book, A Nightingale Christmas Wish – out today! Donna has popped over to tell you a little bit about writing this latest book and the characters we'll meet within its pages.
Writing a Christmas book isn’t easy. Particularly not when you’re writing it during one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years. Even with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas on loop and pictures of snow on your screensaver, it’s very hard to feel Christmassy when it’s 80 degrees in the shade and everyone is posting Instagram photos of themselves drinking Pimm’s.
I used to have the same problem when I worked on a monthly women’s magazine. The cookery department would start experimenting with roast turkey and mince pie recipes around July, culminating in the grand Christmas Pudding Tasting around August Bank Holiday.
But here’s the thing … A Nightingale Christmas Wish is not really Christmassy. That is to say, it is Christmassy, in that it begins with the staff of the Nightingale Hospital rehearsing for their annual Christmas show. There’s a lot of festive fun in the air, as Sister Wren tries yet again to lure the handsome Senior Consultant into a duet, and Sister Blake does her best to convince the medical students that dressing up as the Assistant Matron for a comedy sketch is not a good idea.
But there’s a shadow hanging over the festivities. It’s 1938, and the threat of war looms large over the country. Even as the doctors and nurses celebrate the festive season, they wonder whether they will ever see another peaceful Christmas.
And that’s what A Nightingale Christmas Wish is really all about. It follows the Nightingale nurses through 1939, and their hopes and fears as the Second World War approaches.Helen, one of the main characters, has just been promoted to Sister in the busy Casualty department. She’s starting a new chapter in her personal life, too; after mourning the death of her husband, all she wants for Christmas is to be happy again. She thinks her Christmas wish has come true when she meets a handsome merchant seaman. But is she looking for love in all the wrong places?
Ward sister Frannie has seen the horrors of war first hand; she lost her fiancé in the Great War, and she’s also nursed in Flanders. Her Christmas wish is for peace. But she finds herself challenged when she falls in love with a British Army officer. Having lost one man to war, can she really bear to lose another?
And then there’s the Matron of the hospital, Kathleen Fox. In A Nightingale Christmas Wish, she’s faced with a double dilemma. Not only is the hospital threatened with closure as war approaches, but she has a secret that threatens her own future. There’s a very real possibility that neither she nor the Nightingale will see next Christmas…
The story follows the three nurses at the hospital as they come to terms with their uncertain future, and how they deal with it. It’s a story about love, and friendship, and finding a ray of light and hope in the most unexpected places.
Which I guess, when you think about it, is as good a Christmas message as you can get …