Martha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah–a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.
Word crafting has always fascinated and motivated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.
He jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce?
Emma Caldwell doesn’t hate anyone—except for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.
Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both families’ expectations and marry her sister, he can’t find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.
An injury brings Hugh home—just in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesn’t leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the season’s expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men. “.
Q&A With the Author:
What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I and the other authors in the series decided to set our stories in December 1813, which happened to be an incredibly cold and severe winter. I had also been brainstorming concepts, words, and feelings we associate with Christmas. The concept of “peace on earth, good will toward man” sat in my brain for a bit, and I toyed with it a bit before the title was born. Definitely the only time I’ve had a title before a story!
Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what are they are for which Holidays? If not, what other books do you write?
I don’t have any other holiday books yet, but I have a few other books in the Regency genre:
What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
I would love to live and write abroad with my family! We are doing a little test run soon, so that’s the first step. But I also have major FOMO (fear of missing out) with my family, so we will see if I can hack it.
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I love photography—using light to capture meaningful moments that might otherwise be forgotten is very fulfilling for me. I enjoy cooking, though I am a one-dish-at-a-time kinda person (I am no juggler!). I love music and really enjoy singing. I get anxious when there is no chocolate in my home.
Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
All of my stories are based off of aspects of my life—drawn from experience with emotions I’ve felt or that I’ve watched those near to me navigate. I often look through my (copious amounts of) photos from the UK as I’m picturing a setting or scene. A couple of my novels have been directly inspired by places I’ve visited in England.
Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special to you.
My family goes out caroling on Christmas Eve, bags of caramels in hand, to some of the elderly or home-bound in our neighborhood. It’s so fun to be together as a family engaged in something we all love (music) and bringing some needed cheer to those who might otherwise spend the evening alone. One of the songs we sing is an arrangement my grandpa created, which makes it extra meaningful for all of us.