A warm welcome to my guest blogger, Rachel Landis, a contributing author to 21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Procrastinate about writing. I’m mostly kidding. When I’m not writing, I like doing all sorts of things like binge-watching Netflix series or trying my hand at the latest DIY Pinterest obsession. My latest hobby is wedding planning!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

My love for stories most likely stems from my childhood, being homeschooled by an avid history-novel- and missionary-biography-reading mom. Every day for years, she would regale us children with adventurous stories of individuals changing the world—or their little part of it. When she read to me the biography of Gladys Aylward, a compassionate missionary to orphaned children in China during WWII, I was captivated by her life and wanted to be just like her. To this day, I want to somehow be involved in an orphan’s life, whether it’s through adoption or by starting my own orphanage someday, like Gladys did.

What else have you written?

I’m a fairly young writer as far as publishing goes, though my love for writing started back in seventh grade. Last year I pushed myself to actively pursue publication and I am delighted by the outcome! I wrote a few stories for my sibling’s newsletter and my church’s website. A wonderful company, Peaceful Valley Furniture, hired me to help with blog writing and other social media aspects of their business. I also celebrated publication of my first article, “A Perfect Place to Pick the Perfect Christmas Tree,” in Pennsylvania Magazine.

What inspired you to write the story featured in 21 Days of Love?

Funny, but I don’t remember my inspiration behind this story. Love, or lack thereof, has always charmed its way into my imagination, urging me to find the formula behind the outcome of happily ever after. My short story, “Call It,” seemed like an ideal way to explore the start of two friends becoming something more to each other. Of course, the story’s climax, when Dereck confesses he loves Lucy, melts my little romantic heart into a sentimental blob. I couldn’t help writing it!

Name one thing that’s on your “bucket list.”

Get married! I’m happy to say I’ll fulfill that desire this August on Sunday the 28th by marrying my best friend and the love of my life, Preston. He’s better than I could have ever imagined.

Briefly share one of your favorite Valentine’s Day memories.

I’ve always like Valentine’s Day because candy, chocolate, and sappy love stories are involved. This Valentine’s Day was extra special because I celebrated it with my fiancé. I woke up to a delicious breakfast of an egg sandwich and fruit—and nothing was burnt! My favorite part was just knowing he was mine and a part my future. I got what I’ve always wanted, without even knowing it: a simple yet beautiful love story with a thoughtful guy who proposed to me on a beach in my birth country. How romantic is that?

Have you read 21 Days of Grace or 21 Days of Christmas? If so, which story was your favorite and why?

My short story, “A White Christmas with You,” is in 21 Days of Christmas, so of course I read that book. I gave it to my family and friends for Christmas. What a fun treat to thank the people who have always supported me and my writing by giving them a copy of my first published short story. But another favorite story? That’s too hard to decide!

Thanks again for sharing with me and my followers, Rachel!

Rachael Landis 2Rachel Landis grew up in the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Jamaica while her parents served as youth directors with an international Christian ministry. Today she finds her home among the rolling fields of Amish County, Pennsylvania.

Since high school graduation in 2013, Rachel has worked various jobs: decorating at a local thrift store, caring for the elderly, and nannying for three children under three, among other interesting experiences. Rachel is studying through Taylor University Online for a certificate in Professional Writing.