Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Romantic Reads: Wish You Joy

Interview with Jan Thompson about her book, Wish You Joy:

Wish You Joy is a unique and sweet, holiday-spirit giving title for a story! What was your inspiration behind this title creation? Explain the significance in relation to the story.

Jan: Thank you. The title centers on the word “joy,” which is one of the undercurrent themes of this Christmas book. In Nehemiah 8:10, we read that “the joy of the Lord” is our strength. At Christmastime, I feel that we are constantly reminded about having peace, love, and joy. Thus, my book title could have been Wish You Peace or Wish You Love as much as it is Wish You Joy. Without giving away too much of the story, let me just say that one of the main characters in my book needs to experience the joy of the Lord, so it is befitting that the title points to that.

Additionally, Wish You Joy is book 9 in my Savannah Sweethearts series of contemporary Christian romance set in the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia, and across the bridge in the beach town of Tybee Island. This entire series has books with similar titles:

Prequel: Ask You Later
Book 1: Know You More
Book 2: Tell You Soon
Book 3: Draw You Near
Book 4: Cherish You So
Book 5: Walk You There
Book 6: Love You Always
Book 7: Kiss You Now
Book 8: Find You Again
Book 9: Wish You Joy
Book 10: Call You Home

Alexis: Tell me about Christmastown. What is it about? Why do they have a new CEO?

A Christmas decorating business based in Savannah, Georgia, Christmastown has been in the Untermeyer family for years. Having undergone some health issues, Mrs. Untermeyer is no longer able to run the business on her own, especially with no help from her grown children, some of whom haven’t been home in a while. As a result, she decides to sell her majority share of the company to the businessman nephew of a family friend.

Alexis: Who is Cyrus and what role does he play in this story?

Jan: The new CEO of Christmastown, Cyrus Theroux easily takes over the reign of the business, becoming the caring and present son that Mrs. Untermeyer hasn’t had in a long time. Cyrus continues the legacy of the family business while also keeping an eye on his elderly aunt and uncle living in Savannah. When Mrs. Untermeyer’s daughter comes to town to see what has happened to Christmastown, he feels that he has to convince her of his good intentions.

Alexis: Who is Amy and what role does she play in this story?

Jan: Amy Untermeyer is the only daughter of Mrs. Untermeyer. A destination wedding photographer, she travels the world and rarely goes home to Savannah. When she finds out that her mother has sold over half the company to someone whom Amy considers to be a stranger, she hightails it home to see if her mother has been swindled. She is skeptical about Cyrus and his intrusion into her family.

Alexis: Has Christmastown always been a family-owned organization? Why was it started?

Jan: Amy’s grandfather started Christmastown many years ago. As long as Amy has been alive, she remembers visiting the warehouse where they store all the artificial trees, wreathes, decorations, and everything Christmas. Amy’s parents inherited the business, and it was up to them to keep the family business going. However, after Amy’s dad passed away, Mrs. Untermeyer ran the company alone while her three children went to school and then left town for college and careers.

Alexis: How does your real-life faith in God play into your fiction storytelling?

Jan: My Christian faith informs every aspect of my fiction books such that I let my characters behave within the scope of what it means to be a Christian. My characters have issues, as Christians also do in real life. My characters feel the pains of life and seek the healing of God. My characters learn and grow in their lives, just as a real Christian would in this world.

Alexis: Did you listen to a favorite Christmas song while writing this holiday story? If yes, which one?

Jan: I tend to write in complete silence, although from time to time I do listen to music as I write. Mostly instrumental. In planning, plotting, and penning Wish You Joy, I drew upon my favorite Christmas carols, such as “O Holy Night.” That hymn speaks volumes about Christ as our Savior and Lord.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, KJV).

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about Wish You Joy and its characters?

Jan: This is my only Christmas book so far, and I hope that, after seeing the journey of life that Amy and Cyrus go through, my readers will affirm the joy of the Lord in their own hearts by the time they reach the end of the book. The bottom line is that God is still God.

I usually include some Bible verses that play a significant role in each book that I write. In Wish You Joy, one of the Bible verse is this: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Jan! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Jan: Thank you very much for inviting me over to Romantic Reads for the third time this year. I am happy that we have reached the end of the year as we approach Christmas. I wish you joy in the Lord!

For readers who missed my other two interviews, here are the links:

Interview about Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1):

Interview about Know You More (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1):

In Christ,

Jan Thompson

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson writes clean and wholesome multiethnic contemporary Christian romance with flavors of women’s fiction, Christian romantic suspense with elements of mystery, and inspirational international thrillers with threads of sweet Christian romance.

Her books are for readers who love inspiring stories of faith, family, and friends.

Book blurb for Wish You Joy:

Christmastown USA has a new CEO. But owning a majority share of the holiday-decorating company makes no difference for Cyrus Theroux if the other forty-nine percent refuses to cooperate… 

A Christmas-themed holiday romance, WISH YOU JOY is Book 9 in USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson's Savannah Sweethearts series of sweet, clean, wholesome, and inspirational multiethnic contemporary Christian romances celebrating faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ. This series is set in the historic southern city of Savannah, Georgia, and on the beaches of small town Tybee Island by the Atlantic Ocean, two of the most romantic places in the world.

Against a backdrop of ocean, sand, and sun, this mix of novels and novellas showcases various aspects of the human need for God and for one another.

Cyrus’s Christmas…
Whoopee! Christmastime is here again.

Cyrus is so excited that he is beside himself. Never mind that it’s ninety-three degrees outside in the middle of a hot July in Savannah. Christmas will be here any day now.

He has checked his Christmastown USA warehouse twice, counted his inventory four times, and added ten new team members to join his thirty. He can spread them all over town.

Sure, he can manage the decorating teams himself, even if his business partner can’t handle it.

What’s with Amy anyway? Maybe he should consider buying her share of the company. He will keep Mr. Untermeyer’s memories and wishes alive. Yes, that’s what he’ll do. Kick Amy off the sleigh and keep Christmastown all to himself—

No. There was something about Amy that draws Cyrus to her. Something he can’t put his thumb on…

Amy’s Angst…
Christmas is too commercialized!

Amy simply cannot believe how anyone could focus on the Christ of Christmas when people overspend and get stressed out at festivities they cannot enjoy with family members and relatives they do not wish to see or buy presents for.

Why Mom has given Amy a forty-nine percent share of Christmastown USA, she’ll never know. Amy doesn’t want it, but she can’t sell it. To sell her share to some stranger would disrespect the memory of Dad, who inherited this business from Grandpa Earnest, who had started the company back in the fifties. The entire Untermeyer family lives from Christmas to Christmas. It was because of Christmastown that Amy’s parents were able to send her and her two brothers to college.

Amy cherishes the happy memories of her childhood and the Untermeyer legacy until some devastating news makes her question everything she has ever known about the Untermeyer family…

Buy Wish You Joy on Amazon

Connect with Jan:
Website: JanThompson.com
Book News: JanThompson.com/newsletter
Amazon USA: JanThompson.com/amazon
Goodreads: JanThompson.com/goodreads
BookBub: JanThompson.com/bookbub
Facebook: JanThompson.com/facebook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thompsonauthor

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