BY DONNA VANLIERE
When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love. Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for. The Christmas Secret is a novel for anyone who wants to see how love is a gift that keeps giving back; that hope is a treasure that never runs dry, and that faith is a miracle that is reborn with each new day.
Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. Lifetime has adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) with plans to premier it along with re-airing of the previous two movies in December. Her non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.
Donna is the recipient of a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women's and family events, including select Women of Faith conferences.
Finding Grace (March 2009) is the powerful and often humorous story of her journey of broken dreams. There comes a time when the wheels come off in everybody's life. No one plans to get a divorce, go bankrupt, suffer depression, or get cancer. The wheels come off and we're left asking, "Now what?" This is the story of how pain and shattered dreams can be confronted and met with peace - simply put, it is the story of finding grace.
Donna's latest book, The Christmas Secret (October 2009) is the fifth title in The Christmas Hope Series and has galvanized her as a perennial favorite by entering the NY Times Bestsellers list a full two months prior to Christmas.
Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David, their labradoodle Lucy, their cats Cindy and Katrina and several raccoons who desperately want to be part of their family.
In the tradition of her earlier holiday books like THE CHRISTMAS SHOES, Donna VanLiere brings us another holiday story of love, faith, and hope so prevalent during the holiday season. In single mother, Christine Eisley, we unfortunately find a very common problem of an ex-husband, Brad, who fails to give any child support, yet tries to take custody of the children, putting that much more stress on Christine to keep her job to support the three of them. To her dismay, she finds out just before Christmas that she has lost her job. Having to use affordable, but unreliable teenage girls as baby sitters, she is often late to work and this time it was once too many. This means more than losing a job, as it will probably result in losing a place to stay as they will be evicted and then Brad will have a better chance of taking 7-year-old Zach and 5-year-old Haley who are her reason for living. Brad knows she can't pay any court fees so the threat of taking the children is very real. Christine panics and it seems as though she has no place to turn until she meets Betty.
But to back up a bit, the reason Christine lost her job for being late once again is very important to the story but was not important to her boss. The fact that a woman collapsed in front of her home and by the time Christine gave her CPR and the ambulance arrived, she was already late for work, meant nothing to the boss. And so what she feared happened and she lost her job as a waitress. The woman who she saved happened to be an employee at Wilson's department store. When she came to and wanted to thank the person who saved her, she couldn't find her. She was gone and disappeared with no way to find her. And so begins a search for this mysterious heroine by the owner of Wilson's because he wants to reward this person for her good deed. He decides to send his grandson, Jason, in search of the mysterious woman. Jason, who lost his job recently because of cutbacks at his accounting firm, thinks working for his grandfather is embarrassing and below him. So when asked to now find a person like this, Jason takes on the job with much resignation and plenty of reasons, he thinks, to be upset. Little does Jason know where this search will lead him until he does find Christine.
Meanwhile, Christine may have gotten the break she certainly deserves when she meets Betty who owns a bakery and restaurant and Betty likes Christine and her little family right away, so hires her. This new job shows Christine a kinder world where she makes some friends and feels like she belongs. Also, she meets a young man who although he is very handsome, he reminds her of her ex in some ways. He comes off as obnoxious at first but for some reason, there is a connection. You can probably guess who that man is, but what happens from here on is part of what makes reading Donna's books so enticing. There are some twists and turns, some mysterious gifts, but most of all, there is a story that is just made for this season of love. You may shed a tear or two but even if you don't, you must admit that you do find a feeling of renewed faith and joy at the characters and the surprises that await all of them before Donna VanLiere is finished with yet another addition to her growing list of holiday stories to read, and read again.
The Christmas Blessing
The Christmas Hope
The Christmas Promise
The Angels of Morgan Hill
The Christmas Shoes DVD
The Christmas Blessing DVD
You may also be interested to know that Lifetime Movie Network is having a special promotion of Donna VanLiere's "Christmas Hope" books. On December 12th, LMN will air the following television adaptations:
4PM ET: The Christmas Shoes
6PM ET: The Christmas Blessing (LMN Premiere - one telecast only)
8PM ET: The Christmas Hope (Premiere)
10PM ET: The Christmas Shoes (Encore)
12AM ET: The Christmas Hope (Encore)
Check local listings for scheduling changes.
Also, in December, LifetimeMovieNetwork.com will post an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS SECRET and an original essay by Ms. VanLiere. The site will also sponsor a contest to win signed copies of the "Christmas Hope" books. Details will be found soon on LifetimeMovieNetwork.com.
Also, if you want more information on any of these works, here are some sites to check on:
About THE CHRISTMAS SECRET: http://donnavanliere.com/
About Donna VanLiere: http://donnavanliere.com/bio.
Previous Books: http://donnavanliere.com/
For Book Clubs: http://donnavanliere.com/
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