This holiday season, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Noel Collection returns with another heartwarming story of secrets, heartbreak, forgiveness, and the true meaning of Christmas.On the night of her high school graduation, Richelle Bach’s father gives her and her identical twin sister, Michelle, matching opal necklaces. “These opals look identical,” he tells them, “but the fire inside each is completely unique—just like the two of you.” Indeed, the two sisters couldn’t be more different, and their paths diverge as they embark on adulthood. Years pass, until—at their father’s behest—they both come home for Christmas. What happens then forever damages their relationship, and Richelle vows never to see or speak to her sister again. In their father’s last days, he asks Richelle to forgive Michelle, a deathbed promise she never fulfills as her twin is killed in an accident. Now, painfully alone and broken, caring for the sickest of children in a hospital PICU, Richelle has one last dream: to be an author. The plot of her book, The Prodigal Daughter, is a story based on her sister’s life. It’s not until she meets Justin Ek, a man who harbors his own loss, that a secret promise is revealed, and Richelle learns that the story she’s writing is not about her sister, but about herself.
Showing great tenacity, American author, Richard Paul Evans, grew up in Murray City, Utah, and when he decided to write and publish a book, he could not find a willing publisher, so he self-published. That book was entitled, The Christmas Box. He had been working full time as an advertising executive, when he decided to write a Christmas story for his children. He distributed his book to area bookstores, and it became a huge local success.
The following year, The Christmas Box became the #2 bestseller on the New York Times list. That distinction led to a bidding war among publishers (who originally had no interest). Simon and Schuster won the bidding with their advance payment of $4.2 million! They released the book in hardcover in 1995, and it became the first book to be NYT #1 bestseller in both hard cover and paperback.
In 1995, The Christmas Box was made into a movie for television, starring Richard Thomas and Maureen O'Hara. In 1996 his book, Timepiece, was also made into a television movie starring Naomi Watts, James Earl Jones, and Ellen Burstyn. Other books adapted for movies were, The Locket, A Perfect Day, The Mistletoe Promise, and The Mistletoe Inn.
Evans is known for his conservative Christian themes appealing to family values, and for his children's books. He also founded Christmas Box House, Int'l that helps abused and neglected children, with a network of shelters and services. Another group was established to help men who have feelings of isolation caused by the "toxic masculinity" movement by some women. This group is called Tribe of Kyngs. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, five children, and one grandchild.