Welcome to Peggy’s Hope 4U, Author Cherry Christensen!
I’m delighted to welcome Cherry Christensen to my website today. Cherry has a degree in psychology from Aquinas College and lives in Michigan with her husband and three cats. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and running 5k races with her friends. The Fearful Heart is her debut novel.
In addition to writing, Cherry has been working on crossing things off her bucket list. Some of the things she’s crossed off the list include: traveling overseas for the first time, parasailing, kayaking, and dolphin watching.
Cherry also enjoys watching football, but her husband is not a fan of the game! He is, however, an author. Both are members of their hometown’s local writers’ group. The couple intends to write a mystery series together someday.
Cherry, I have a cat who walks a mile each day to visit my little blind rescue dog. With three, you have to have some great stories! Do any of your feline friends have a personality you’ll be sharing with younger readers?
We used to have four cats, so living at our house was pretty interesting! Cuddles loved to “talk” to us. He had plenty of stories to share when he wasn’t busy sucking his tail. Kismit was the sweetest little boy in the world, but he liked chewing cords. He got into big trouble one day when he chewed my husband’s computer cables! Callie was the only cat who would sit on my lap. She loved playing with her toys, and she was fearless. Kiska is a total daddy’s girl who I say has “too much cuteness” for her own good. Caden is a big lug who is a bit cantankerous, but lovable in his own way. I’m sure at some point their quirks will be woven into my stories.
One of my fondest memories of childhood was taking a boat across Lake Michigan to Canada. What’s it like to live in a state that boasts one of the greatest lakes in the U.S.? And, have you had any adventures on Lake Michigan?
With so many lakes, Michigan is a wonderful state to live in. My husband and I particularly like visiting Empire Beach on Lake Michigan in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. It’s a smaller beach in a beautiful area where you can relax and walk along the lakeshore. Someday, I would like to take a boat ride over to the Manitou Islands.
In The Fearful Heart, you write about two young adults who were best friends in high school. I married the boy who was always willing to help me with my math assignments and who became my best friend. Is this book symbolic of your relationship with your husband?
Not at all! I didn’t meet my husband until after I had graduated from college. Our mothers worked together, and they set us up on a blind date! As it turned out, he only lived five blocks away from my parents’ house. He’s older than me, and at the time, I told one of my friends that I couldn’t believe my mom had set me up with an old geezer! Anyway, we’ve been together ever since, and I couldn’t be happier.
Speaking of husbands, I understand your husband is a writer too. I’m curious what sounds you experience in the background when you’re both writing…care to share?
I listen to music when I write, and I work upstairs. Troy has a room in the basement where he writes and listens to music. Oftentimes, we will Skype each other on the computer to bounce ideas around instead of constantly walking up and down the stairs. (That’s adorable!!)
Doctoral student Hannah Wagganer entertains dreams of teaching at a large university and leaving her hometown of Glen Arbor behind. That is until Jasper Morgan, the new mail carrier, arrives in town. Not only does he set Hannah’s heart a flutter, but he has an instant bond with her cat, Jingles.
Preparing for the church candlelight Christmas Eve service and running the family store, Hannah continues to bump into Jasper—and the prying eyes of the locals who suspect there’s more going on than business as usual.
Blessings and suspicions abound when an anonymous donor pays to have the church furnace repaired, and other locals suddenly find solutions to their problems. Is it coincidental, or the work of a secret angel?
If you had to pick one thing about Glen Arbor you love the most, what would it be?
I would have to say spending time with family and friends at the cottage. We had so much fun swimming and kayaking on Little Glen Lake, sunbathing on the deck, feeding the raccoons and chipmunks, bike riding, and going out in the evening to look for deer. Not to mention the big home-cooked meals! Plus, we had a huge snack bar set up in the living room. The cottage is a special place full of memories.
I love reading Christmas stories all year long, but I’m still a little kid at heart. What do you miss about the Christmases of long-ago?
I miss spending Christmas with the entire family. We’re spread out across the US, so we don’t get together too often.
Is there an excerpt from Secret Angel you’d like to share here?
“I’m not sure about this color,” Naomi, the preacher’s wife, informed Hannah. “I look like a wad of pink chewing gum.”
“No you don’t.” Hannah tied a brown snowflake scarf around the woman’s neck. The color brought out the richness of her dark eyes. “Lovely,” she said as heavy footsteps sounded on the wooden floor behind them. Turning, she spotted Jasper coming their way. “I’ll be right with you.”
“Take your time,” he said.
“Hmmm. I was wondering if you’d run into him yet,” Naomi said, backing into the changing area. “I’ll take the sweater and the scarf,” she announced.
“Pastor Amos will do a double take when he sees you at the candlelight Christmas Eve service.” She laughed, envisioning the older man letting out a low whistle for his wife. Married forty years, they still managed to maintain an endearing fondness for each other.
“Speaking of the service, you’re still planning to help us decorate the church, right?”
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Hannah said, strolling over to a small table where Jasper was thumbing through a stack of woolen socks. “See anything you like?”
He lifted his gaze. “As a matter of fact, I do.”
Is there anything else you’d like my audience to know about Cherry Christensen and/or your writing?
I’m currently writing my third book, which I hope will be released later this year! It’s a sweet contemporary romance set in Colorado. Unlike the younger characters in The Fearful Heart and Secret Angel, the heroine and hero in this book are in their thirties.