Behind the Story of Christmas Charity by Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis for an author spotlight.

— Where did you get the idea for this book?

Christmas Charity is a story about Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill who find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter? She hopes so, before Christmas comes.

Susan Hawkins is the ten-year-old girl from my debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. She’s all grown up now and is given in marriage to a man twenty-six years older. Can you imagine? Actually, I’m named after my great-great grandma Susan Hawkins, and she really did marry my great-great grandpa Patrick O’Neill who was, indeed, twenty-six years older!

— Why did you choose this time and setting?

I grew up just twenty minutes from Cape Vincent, NY, and it really was where Susan and Patrick settled. It’s an adorable little village and a great place to write about and visit. In fact, my husband and I visit the Thousand Islands region in upstate NY every summer. It’s a beautiful, largely unknown, piece of the world where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. There are nearly 1800 islands there, including the largest, Wolfe Island, which is in Ontario, Canada.

— What about the story itself?

My first two published books were Tyndale nonfiction, co-authored with her husband, Dale. Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness. I wanted to explore the topic of stepfamilies in my fiction since I was a stepchild and am also a stepmother. It’s an important and complicated topic, so Lizzy came to be. I hope that my readers will come to understand a little more about stepfamilies by reading about this little girl’s pain and the challenges this couple faces.


Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy and her Christmas Charity novella take readers to a time and place few have gone as does Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series that releases in March, 2019.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters. Find out more at

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About historythrutheages

I write stories of His Story Through The Ages that offer tales of hope and redemption.

Posted on December 1, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Paula Shreckhise

    Fascinating. I like stories that are based on true life. Thanks

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