When Characters Find Their Truth for Christmas @mimisgang1

Because my mom was wildly infatuated with Bing Crosby as a tween, we always watched his movies together during ‘she and me times’, especially during the Christmas season – Including her favorite, Holiday Inn, filmed in 1942.

In this famous flick, the lead character Jim Hardy is played by Mom’s crush Bing Crosby – his character Jim Hardy abandons show biz on a Christmas Eve, as he gives a final performance, with plans of relocating to a farm in Connecticut with his beloved Lila.

*Whispering* – I think the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him what you have planned for next week,” applies well here… because…

Lila is a fickle one of ‘those’, and decides Jim’s not her true love, and bails on her promise. A year passes, and Jim finds country life a drag. He decides to turn his farm into an entertainment venue he calls Holiday Inn to celebrate every holiday, and hotfoots it back to New York, hoping his former entertainment buddies will share their talents and help promote his new endeavor, which is a huge pretense.

In short, Jim’s full of baloney.

SOme trivia for you – Holiday Inn is most famous for the debut of the beloved Christmas carol White Christmas, although some may assume the movie White Christmas launched this song. Listen…

Using my mother’s eyes, I viewed the premise of Holiday Inn as both a life lesson and a problem solver. In my story A Joyous Holiday Inn, my female lead Chloe is a disillusioned woman who not only dislikes her job in Manhattan, she’s unable to withstand the bald indifference of the populace she’s forced to endure rubbing elbows with each day.

If Mom were still here, she’d ponder these questions: What life lesson will be the deciding factor that changes Chloe’s lifestyle, and ultimately alters her phony attitude? Better yet, how will Chloe solve her problems?

Chloe Parker is on the verge of losing it.

Her glamorous position at a fashion house has become a total drudge, her appetite for the excitement in Manhattan is at starvation’s doorstep, and her self-esteem flounders with indecision.

Still, life has a way of reinventing itself.

After a horrific event occurs in the city, Chloe flees to her aunt and uncle’s home in a rural New Jersey community, hoping to regain her sense of value and purpose.

Does the peacefulness hidden in the serenity of the pines and crystal streams running through her family’s acreage, far from the city, provide the answers she seeks?

Or, is the bold attraction developing between her and the man their town fondly refers to as Twigg, a handsome veterinarian who grows Christmas trees for a hobby, helping to clear her cynicism?

As the holidays approach, will Twigg be able to restore Chloe’s self-worth, and bring the magic of Christmas back into her life with the gift of love?

Now, doe the woman on this cover look like she’s on the verge of losing anything? She has to have inspiration, but more importantly, a driving force to change and get her to this point. Here’s the excerpt:

Chapter One

It wasn’t by chance Chloe Parker resembled a mannequin – she had to work at it.

Her daily routine never varied. She arose at five-thirty each morning to workout in the gym in her building for half an hour. Breakfast consisted of a tasteless veggie smoothie, with a bitter black coffee chaser to get her mojo running.

After showering, she carefully applied her makeup, according to office protocol.

Even though Chloe longed to vary the strict diet she consumed each day, keeping her slender figure was key for the classy appearance ensuring her position as an in-house concierge at the fashion house.

Then, there was her clothing…

Chloe often thought the required office attire looked more like the uniform a girl enrolled in a boarding school was forced to wear. A black, pencil skirt to mid-knee, partnered with a white silk blouse. Her only choice was the top be either elbow-length or long-sleeved.

Flesh colored stockings and one-inch, black pumps completed her professional wardrobe, which kind of stunk because Chloe liked higher heels.

“Continuity in dress and comportment regarding the propriety of the Gwendolyn brand, which I’ve spent years creating, is crucial,” owner Gwen Michaels constantly reminded her six ladies. “Our clients expect perfection, and favor houses like mine, because our standards are top-notch.”

Further, manicured nails in neutral colors were a must, and long hair was to be styled in a French twist or neat chignon. Not only that, if an employee’s hair was colored, the roots were to be touched up before the natural hair color was visible.

“Above all, a lady maintains a melodious tone, and never displays negative emotion while conducting business,” Gwen regularly advised her team. “Prospective clients must be dazzled from the first moment they hear your eloquence on the phone.”

What the heck had I been thinking? Chloe wondered lately. Was I that hard up to work in the fashion industry, that I’d sign a legal agreement following all these asshat rules?


A Joyous Holiday Inn will be available for pre-order December 2, 2018, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, A Joyous Holiday Inn is included in this USA Today Bestselling Collection, LOVE, CHRISTMAS – MOVIES YOU LOVE, available everywhere until December first. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G4K5YR2  Kobo, Nook, ITunes & Others: https://www.books2read.com/u/3G9VyP



Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

The authors of LOVE, CHRISTMAS – MOVIES YOU LOVE have also gotten together, with the guidance of the talented Rebecca York and her Norman to comprise: FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPES: FROM THE AUTHORS OF LOVE, CHRISTMAS 2, and it’s FREE, as our gift to you!

Favorite Holiday Recipes is a collection of recipes from the New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning, International, Bestselling authors of LOVE, CHRISTMAS – MOVIES YOU LOVE (THE HOLIDAY SERIES BOOK 2)
Read the small excerpts that prefaces each recipe as each author tells you why her recipe is important to her story.


We also offer you a taste of our talents with Book Bites 11 ~ A collection of first chapters of the twenty-six, brand new love stories in LOVE CHRISTMAS 2. Read these samplers and discover a new favorite author from New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning, international, bestselling authors. A wonderful and surprising treat for all lovers of entertaining romances for these special holidays!

Get it here, with our thanks! https://www.amazon.com/Book-Bites-11-Authors-Billboard-ebook/dp/B07H4BHZ75

Wait a second! Did you know we are running a giveaway? Are you interested in winning a gift card or a free book? Click here to find out more details on this month’s contest!

Thank you for joining me today – All of us at The Authors’ Billboard appreciate you. Merry Christmas!

Susan Jean Ricci

About Susan Jean Ricci

A late bloomer to the writing life, Susan Jean Ricci's been mighty busy the past six years. The award-winning, internationally read, From Women's Pens author and humorist, Susan's best known for her series of works titled Cindy's Crusades that includes two novels, Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems and The Sugar Ticket, the short chronicle Twilight and Chickadees, and a collection of short stories titled Heart Marks the Spot. Susan's novel Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is a Multi Award winner. Its Sequel The Sugar Ticket placed first for Outstanding Women's Fiction category in the IAN 2016. The sassy My Sexy Chef won a second place award in the novella category via the Global Ebook Awards 2016, and has inspired the hot sequel Chaos in the Kitchen. Susan also specializes in short stories and novellas. Included are Christmas shorts, but she favors the romantic or humorous side of the equation, and that's what you'll find about her writing the most.

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