Chicago Hope by Carmen DeSousa

I love Christmas! I love the traditions, family, gifts…the food.

But I also grew up poor and, oftentimes, wondered why other kids got presents that I didn’t. As I got older, I saw the realities of the world, and realized how lucky I was. While I didn’t get the Barbie Dreamhouse I wanted, I did have a Barbie doll, and we always had a roof over our head and food on the table.

Some children aren’t so lucky…

When our boys were young, my husband, who was a police officer at the time, worked with the local community and knew the families who had rough breaks. The police department spent months collecting food and toys, and then took them to the hard-working families who needed help on Christmas. The faces of the beautiful children…and the tears of the appreciative parents were unforgettable. Our sons learned something, too. When they saw how wide-eyed a little boy was to receive a Tonka truck, they were more appreciative Christmas morning when they got their Nintendo or Sega…or whatever was popular that year.

Someone once said that if a group of people wrote their problems on a sheet of paper and tossed them in a basket and passed that basket around and traded problems, most people would choose to keep their problems. Obviously, no one can prepare for the tragedy that happens in the blink of an eye, but is it possible that we learn to deal with what we have—or don’t have?

When a good friend suggested I write a Dear Santa story, I wanted to bring to life a story of a woman who, like me, didn’t realize how lucky she had it…and forgot about her dreams…or assumed she wasn’t powerful enough to make her dreams come true—personally and professionally.

I hope you enjoy my story of hope. Hope for a single mother…her son…and the children who live on the poor side of Chicago.



Book Description:

Aspiring journalist Maura Hall dreams of changing the world, but she’ll settle for Chicago.

Wanting to make a difference, Maura uprooted herself and her eight-year-old son from the Sandhills of North Carolina and planted roots in Chicago, Illinois. After three years of struggling to publish even one hope-filled article, her dreams begin to crumble and fade, much like her run-down tenement. She works a second job to make ends meet and struggles to balance parenting with work, while her journalistic responsibilities are reduced to correcting typos for her plagiarizing co-workers.

Rick Figueroa seems perfect: he’s handsome, smart, and appreciative of Maura’s vision for their media company. He’s also in a position to share her writing and ideas. Together they launch a Dear Santa project that has the potential to restore hope and Christmas cheer to thousands of children.

But things are not always as they seem… As Maura’s attraction to Rick grows, so do her questions about his identity and his intentions. Soon she is faced with a choice between love, career, and doing the right thing…all before Christmas.



About Carmen: I write stories that overflow with romance, and suspense, a hint of humor sometimes and, of course, a few Kleenex moments. After all, what would a great story be without an emotional event setting the stage? All of my novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic, and will make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

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About Alyssa Bailey

USA Today and Best-selling author in Regency and Contemporary Romance, Alyssa Bailey, is a dyed in the wool Texan living amid the beauty of Alaska. She loves writing about consensual power exchanges between strong, intelligent, sassy women who are not afraid to make a stand and men confident enough to give his woman space, but Alpha enough to keep her safe in spite of herself.  If she can throw a little mystery, humor, and suspense in her stories, it’s even better. Her characters are from varied eras and walks of life. Come take a stroll with her.

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