Thomas Kinkade emphasized simple pleasures and inspirational messages through his art. Thom believed that both the ability and the inspiration to create his paintings had been given to him as a gift. His goal as an artist was to touch people of all faiths and to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he created. Katherine Spencer was a fiction editor before turning to a full-time career as a writer. The author of more than thirty books, she also writes the Angel Island series, as well as the Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries under her real name, Anne Canadeo. She lives with her husband and daughter in a small village on the Long Island Sound. Outside of her office, she is active in many community charity projects.
A pregnant woman finds love after fleeing from her abusive ex-husband in this syrupy holiday concoction from Kinkade and Spencer, which is set in Kinkade's familiar New England locale of Cape Light, Mass. Leigh Baxter has a jarring first encounter with the idyllic coastal village when her trip through a snow storm leads to a collision with the local minister, James Cameron, a missionary who has returned home from Nicaragua to recover from malaria. Cameron finds Baxter a place to stay with his landlady while her car is repaired, and initially Baxter sticks to her story about being newly widowed. But her trip was actually triggered by her ex-husband, Martin Garret, a corrupt, brutal corporate mogul who abused her during their marriage and promised to use his wealth and power to get custody of their child. Cameron and Baxter's budding romance is as predictable as the lyrics of a Christmas carol, but the narrative pace turns positively glacial once Baxter settles in town as the local doctor's receptionist. A few ineffective subplots fill in the gaps until Garret's detective tracks down Baxter, and she must tell Cameron her real story. The cast of characters is engaging and well-drawn, but the combination of leaden, generic scenes and a formulaic story line make this the literary equivalent of a holiday fruitcake in February: sweet but stale. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.