Sunday Dinner with Donna Schlachter

Sunday Dinner

For today’s Sunday Dinner, I invited Donna Schlachter. Donna writes historical and contemporary romance about second chances, because “I’ve had plenty of second—and third, and fourth—chances in my life.”

Sunday Dinner is a traditional (noon) meal served after church on Sundays. Whole families, including extended family, would gather over a large meal to celebrate a day of rest. Multiple cultures enjoy this Sunday Dinner tradition. In my experience, I know it from both my Midwestern farm family as well as my Italian-American family. Now, I’d like to bring Sunday Dinner virtually to you. So, pull up a chair as we invite various guests to join us each week!

Without further ado, please tell us interesting readers would enjoy learning about you.

I am the oldest of five, with two sisters and two brothers (in that order). Which probably explains a lot about me.

Can you tell us about your latest novel?

A community care center, a calico cat, and Christmas—can a single middle-aged woman bring a town together in time to celebrate the King’s birthday? Can a widowed father find a reason to join in? And can the pair see God at work in their lives? A Mommy By Christmas is sure to warm your heart and encourage you to persevere no matter what’s facing you.

It seems a lot of romance novels feature characters in their twenties and thirties. What was involved in writing a story about finding love in later years?

Since I’m in my later years, I sometimes get tired of reading about young, beautiful, fit characters when I’m not. Never was—okay, I was young once. A long time ago. But since readers age along with authors, I thought maybe more mature readers would appreciate hearing about more mature (notice I didn’t say older) characters.

You write about emotional topics, like loss of a spouse, single and step-parenting, and living at the poverty line. What was involved in writing those topics in a relatable, authentic, and conscientious way?

I listen when other people share the stages of their life journey. Losing a friend and standing with the surviving spouse is a real eye-opener. I am a step-mother, so although I haven’t raised younger children, many of the family dynamics are the same. I’ve volunteered with low income folks and at a food bank, so I understand some of those issues, too. But even if I hadn’t, trouble and loss is the same regardless of the source. Feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, guilt, and shame are universal.

Were resources easy or difficult to find on these topics? Do you have a favorite resource?

As I said above, I listen. Folks like to talk to me. I hesitate to offer a solution, because I believe we all know the answer to our own problems. Sometimes we just have to let folks talk it through. I did look up a few websites about step-parenting young children. My favorite is Focus on the Family.

What is one piece of your research that you couldn’t include in the book, but wish readers could know?

I include a parrot at the animal shelter who’d had surgery, and I mention the kind of surgery. I actually assisted on a surgery like that about twenty-five years ago, and many birds don’t survive it.

Do you have another book in the works? What can you tell us about that book?

My next release will be a historical romance set in 1895, a mail-order romance story. A young woman runs from her past, straight into the arms of a stranger. Was she going from bad to worse? Or did God hold her in His hands? A death-bed promise, a family legacy, an unexpected wife–how can he turn his back on them to fulfill a vow? Readers can find the pre-order link here. Print and ebook release on December 31st, 2022.

The afternoon is slipping away, so we have to draw the stories to an end. Donna, thank you for joining us today!

If readers would like to purchase a copy of A Mommy By Christmas, where might they be able to do so?

You can find it on Amazon.

If readers would like to learn about you or your other books, how might they find you online?

 I’d love to connect with readers online! Thanks for asking, and thanks for hosting me. ~ Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

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Sunday Dinner will be on Christmas Break so you can enjoy dinner with your own families this holiday season. Perhaps our conversations here will prompt question ideas for you to ask around the table, too.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! See you in January!

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