‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Kate Watson

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Kate Watson

Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has studied in Israel and lived in Brazil, the American South, and now calls Arizona home.

For several years, Kate worked as a senior director for a private university and was one of the faces of a national ad campaign for the university. Shortly following the birth of her first child, she chose to stay home full time and focus on her family and her writing.

Her first novel, Seeking Mansfield, debuted in 2017. A passionate adoption advocate, she is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology. Her second book, Shoot The Moon, releases February 6th, 2018.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Throughout my childhood, my dad owned a company, the success of which relied on government and economic factors aligning perfectly. Unsurprisingly, this led to a lot of financial instability. Some years, we did well. Some years, we did not. When I was little, there were more “did not” years than anything else. And with nine kids, my parents weren’t as worried about Christmas presents as they were about making sure everyone had food to eat and clothes to wear.

In the mid-80s, Care Bears were all the rage. Five-year-old Kate was positively enamoured of Cheer Bear. You know the one: she’s pink with that darling rainbow across her belly? Sigh. Never has an overdramatic little girl wanted something like I wanted Cheer Bear. Several of my siblings wanted Care Bears, too. We begged and pleaded for them. We wrote letters to Santa. We stopped fighting (as much as we could) and helped more around the house—anything to convince Santa that we were deserving of those cute and cuddly stuffed bears.

Problem is, when you’re poor and live in a village (yes, village) in Canada and the only stores to sell Care Bears can price gouge all they want, Care Bears are a luxury your family can’t afford. Even on Christmas. Our parents prepared us for this. But I didn’t believe it. I knew deep down in my bones that Cheer Bear was made for me and I for her.

Unbeknownst to us, our mom told some of the women in our village about our Care Bear plight. Maybe it’s because Canadians are so nice; maybe it’s because village-life tends toward the hyper-involved; but these good-hearted women decided it was time for a Christmas miracle.

On Christmas morning when our parents gave us the okay to come downstairs, I ran for the tree. To my delight, a row of Care Bears was waiting on the mantle for us. I saw the adorable pink and red hearts of Love-a-lot Bear, the telltale orange flowers of Friend Bear, Luck Bear’s green four-leaf clover, the blue crescent moon and star of Bedtime Bear. Then my eyes fell on the most beautiful sight of all: a pink bear with the most perfect rainbow belly badge. Cheer Bear. She was here, and she was all mine.

We ran for our bears, instinctively knowing exactly whose was whose. We hugged and squeezed those Care Bears tight, never noticing that the little red Care Bear heart wasn’t stitched into the bums. Never noticing that the eyes and nose weren’t quite right or that the stitching was made by hand rather than by expert machines. A year or two later, I learned that those Care Bears weren’t manufactured in a Parker Brothers factory.

They were made by the most loving and selfless elves in Santa’s workshop. Elves who had their own families to worry about but who sacrificed their time and talents to make sure that my family could have the happiest of Christmases.

And we did.

Title Seeking Mansfield
Author Kate Watson
Pages 300 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Retelling
Published May 16th 2017 by Flux
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents’ son, Oliver Bertram. Since Finley moved in with her godparents after the death of her father, she and Oliver have grown close. If Finley could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

But when teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertrams, they shake up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Finley realizes that Harlan’s attention is shifting to her. She discovers she might have feelings for him too. Or, is she only interested in Harlan because Oliver is taken? Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart—and keep her own—she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

One response to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Kate Watson”

  1. My heart is whelming right now ♥️

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