Heartwarming Christmas romance with all the feels!

When I was a kid, my family didn’t watch a lot of TV. My parents were very firm about us: A) not “wasting our lives staring at the boob tube like zombies,” B) being productive, a.k.a. doing a lot of chores and doing well in school, and C) socializing as a family and playing outside.

They also had clear guidelines and notions about what constituted “acceptable and appropriate” viewing.

I’m making my parents sound very . . . un-fun. Really, nothing could be further from the truth. They were strict (sometimes, aggravatingly so), but they were also supportive of our hobbies and passions, read to us a lot, played with us a lot. And when we did watch television, it was an event. (Our weekly Disney-viewing tradition remains one of my treasured family memories.)

“Movie night” became a bi-monthly or so thing when I was nine or ten (when VCRs became popular—and most people just rented them because they were so expensive). After getting movie-pic feedback from my mom, my dad would go to the local video store and pick out a “kids’” movie (usually animated),  a “family” movie (often a Disney classic, like the original “Parent Trap,” or “Old Yeller,” and an “adult” movie (not that kind of adult, LOL. Get your minds out of gutter!) for him and my mom to watch after we went to bed.

My mom would make homemade pizza dough and put out every kind of topping you can imagine, and each of us kids would get to create a personal pizza with our own version of topping heaven. As they cooked and cooled, my dad would make huge stainless-steel bowls of popcorn—one each!—that he popped in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Us kids would get our pajamas on and collect our stuffed animals and “snugglies”—quilts that zipped up like sleeping bags but that had holes for your face, hands, and feet.

Then pure imagination plus carb overload delight would reign! For an hour or three, we’d be caught up in the hilarity or heartbreak (or both) of whatever that evening’s viewing entailed.

One year, near Christmas, my dad came home with “A Charlie Brown Christmas”—and I, being a huge Peanuts™ freak, practically lost my mind with glee, doing my own ecstatic spinning version of Snoopy’s happy dance.

Sweet and sentimental, funny but also a little melancholy and blue initially, it captured the feeling of Christmas so well to me, even as a young child.

Earlier this year, when I received the exciting invitation to be part of this amazing box set of Christmas romance novels, Love, Christmas 2, where each story was to be somehow inspired by its author’s favorite Christmas movie, there was no question in my mind as to which movie my book would somehow incorporate: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” all the way!

And just as instantly, Sharla Brown—who’s really tired of the Charlie Brown jokes she’s endured all her life because of her name—sprang into my head. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is her favorite Christmas movie for all the same reasons it’s mine. She and I hope you love her story—and all the rest of the merrily festive, heartwarming Christmas romances in Love, Christmas 2.

Wishing you a lovely fall and cozy winter, full of wonderful “small” things that really are huge: family, friends, pets, love, and laughter. (And, of course, good books!)

Ev

P.S. If you haven’t pre-ordered Love, Christmas 2 yet, do it quick! 😍  I’d hate for you to miss out on the fabulous pre-order price! 😍

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Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.

Book 1 in the series, WEDDING BANDS, is FREE right now, so go to your favorite eBook vendor and grab your copy today!

Ev also writes and publishes under the pen name Toni Sheridan.

In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.

When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.

#Writing like a Beast #Romance #mgtab

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Have you ever been up against a deadline and the words won’t come? Yep, welcome to my world.

 

I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.

I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.

 

 

And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.

 

 

I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.

Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.

Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.

If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.

 

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Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Here’s a short exclusive excerpt

Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.

Or, so she hoped.

“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.

“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.

She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”

He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.

“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”

Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.

Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”

Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”

 

 

I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.

Easy, right?

You can pre-order the boxset below. I promise I’ll get it done!

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LOVE CHRISTMAS 2

25 Holiday Stories Movies You Love!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G4K5YR2

International Link: http://books2read.com/LoveChristmas2

 

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 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.

 

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And don’t forget to enter our $50 Giveaway!

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Jacquie Biggar

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.

Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

 

Not quite In the Spirit of Christmas? Tara either…

I’m a mom of eleven children and grandma to 14 so you’d think that being in the spirit of Christmas was a foregone conclusion. Not all the time. Life can get in the way and I find myself overrun by obligations, the day to day hassles of cohabiting with others and the sheer magnitude of the work involved in a big holiday. All but the final child is grown now, but some days I still just want to be an observer, not a worker bee. Then something happens; a sweet seasonal song sung by a four year old, or a hot cup of coffee and freshly baked goodie from my daughter, a grandchild helping me plan the holiday meals, or sitting down to watch one of my favorite movies during the season, The Spirit of Christmas. Then, I feel the magic and all is well again.

Here’s a taste:

In this rendition of that lovely movie, I don’t have a returning spirit, I have Tara who finds herself homeless, alone, and professionally blackballed just days after Thanksgiving. Sad and disillusioned, she goes home to Wyoming, where she was loved unconditionally, or so she thought until her car is repeatedly vandalized.

Tara is experiencing that not quite grumpy, but definitely begrudging feeling of going through the motions because it is required.The Sheriff, Chase Nichols makes it clear he is interested in more than solving the case, but is Tara’s heart so easily mended?

Want more? Here’s a nibble:

The hot air from the heater warmed her. “By the way, I’m Chase Nichols.” He eased the truck back onto the highway.

“Thank you for picking me up, Sheriff Nichols. My ex must have had a flat and neglected to tell me, among other things,” she murmured.

“Just Chase, and it’s obvious your ex neglected to repair it as well.” His tone was condemning. Tara’s first inclination was to defend Roger, but she closed her mouth. Roger was the reason she was even doing this, in the dead of winter. “Ex-husband?”

“Boyfriend.”

He nodded. “I’ll get you to the garage. They’ll fix you up in no time.”

“Thank you for your trouble.”

“No trouble. I was going this way and it’d be wrong to leave anyone on the side of the road in this cold.” He turned and grinned in her direction. “Besides, it wouldn’t look good if the Sheriff left a motorist stranded, would it?” She didn’t know what to say to that, so she didn’t respond with more than an answering nod of her own. He continued to watch her. “You shouldn’t be out here alone. New Yorker like yourself should understand about cold weather.”

“I’m from Wyoming and I didn’t plan it, all right? It just turned out that way.” Her tone snapped, but she was dangling precariously at the end of her rope. If she weren’t so close to the ranch, she would have just stayed the night in the next town.

“You sound worn out.” Concern laced his words. “We’re almost there.”

“I’m sorry. I left New York in the early hours day before yesterday, it’s late, and I’m ready to be home.”

He whistled. “You drove that far, alone, in a couple of days, in the middle of winter? Your daddy knows you did that?”

He did listen, she’d give him that. “I’m an adult, Mr. Nichols—”

“It’s Chase, and I get you’re grown but I bet you’re always a little girl to your daddy.”

She hesitated, his correction putting her off her line of thought. He was right. “In answer to your question, yes, he knows I’m coming. And it isn’t that far. I was careful.”

“Mmm hmm.”

Want to read more? Then how about a healthy Bite of each story in this wonderful collection of 26 Christmas novellas by some of your favorite authors and hopefully find a few new ones to enjoy while you wait for the full holiday meal … October 2018

Amazon US Book Bites 11

 

 

 

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.

 http://alyssabailey.com/ 

 

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.

What if Ebenezer Scrooge were a Romance Author? Love, Christmas #mgtab @AyalaRachelle

My hands-down favorite Christmas story is the one about Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy, cold-hearted miser who encounters the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I re-imagined Ebenezer Scrooge’s story and made him a modern-day romance writer on a deadline.

I can’t wait to share Ebony Cruse’s story with you. She’s an obsessed romance writer who is determined to ignore the charms of her childhood friend, Marine Blaze O’Carroll, so she can write ten thousand words a day.

Too bad, the characters from her past, present, and future won’t let her rest. Join Ebony, along with her cat muse, Sugar Pops, on a very special Christmas night adventure.

Here is an excerpt:

“That’s enough. I’m giving you two a timeout.” Ebony slammed her laptop lid shut. The cracking sound coming ominously from the plastic top startled her cat, Sugar Pops, from his nap.
“Meow.” He yawned and butted his head against Ebony’s hand while pawing her leg for attention.
Ebony picked up a fishing pole toy with a yarn mouse attached to it and cast it. Sugar Pops pounced while she kept the mouse just out of reach.
After a few tosses of the fake mouse, Ebony checked her digital timer display. She’d been writing all day, and she had nothing to show—except a worn delete key.
Her miscreant characters, Abby and Blaze, didn’t want to do anything but have sex. Normally, Ebony would let them go at it all day and night, but she had a deadline and she needed a real, human-interest story for a boxed set dealing with wounded warriors. All proceeds would go to a veteran’s charity, and the organizers specified sweet and sassy, not steamy and erotic.
She used a precious minute to play with Sugar Pops, then dished out a bowl of cat food for him. Since her characters were in timeout, she doled out a few more minutes to brew a pot of strong, all-nighter coffee and fix herself something to eat.
She shivered as she opened the refrigerator and extracted the half-eaten carcass of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli. Shriveled lettuce hung like discarded rags over the chicken bones, and a half-empty can of soda, which had long gone flat, sat on the counter.
The Cruse farmhouse was drafty and cold, but since Ebony was alone, she saw no reason to turn on central heating. Instead, she sat at the kitchen table in front of an antique, cast-iron stove. A single light bulb burned above her, and dishes were piled in the sink in front of a frosty kitchen window.
Ebony had no time for housework. No time for cooking and grocery shopping. No time to do laundry or make her bed. She wore no makeup, did not do her nails, and her hair was a frizzy mess. Lifting her arm, she took a quick sniff and decided showering could wait another day. She did, however, sacrifice time from her writing by brushing her teeth twice a day. It wasn’t as if she was a complete slob!
It wasn’t easy writing ten thousand words every day, but Ebony had to keep up the pace if she wanted to live off her writing.
Boom, boom, boom. Someone knocked on the heavy farmhouse door.
“Ebony,” a deep voice shouted. “I’ve brought your groceries.”
It was Jake O’Carroll, Ebony’s mother’s ex-boyfriend, and he always looked after her whenever she used the old farmhouse for a writing retreat.
Ebony started for the door, but Jake had the door opened already. He bumped it with his hip and carted in bags of groceries which he stacked on the counter.
“Ho, ho, ho,” Jake laughed. The Santa hat on his head bobbed. He looked as ridiculous as the rest of the Christmas Creek community who acted as if they lived inside a perennial Christmas snow globe by dressing as elves, fairies, nutcracker soldiers, and old Victorian merry-makers all year round.
Ebony waved him off. “There’s nothing to ho, ho, ho about around here. I’ve only written a thousand words today. The sun’s going down, and I have to pull an all-nighter if I want to write nine thousand more.”
“Those words will come when you least expect them to,” Jake said, rubbing his white beard. He was always an optimist, even when dating her investment banker mother who’d put work ahead of family and relationships. “Why don’t you take the evening off and come watch the Christmas tree lighting at the town square?”
Ebony’s jaw dropped with aghast. “I can’t possibly do that. I have to get back to work as soon as I eat. Thanks for bringing the groceries by.”
While they talked, Jake unpacked the groceries. “Would you mind me staying here for dinner? I’m sure you can use some company.”
“I thought you wanted to go to the Christmas tree lighting.” Ebony felt itchy as she glanced at the kitchen clock. Three minutes had passed since Jake stopped in. “Thanks for bringing my groceries, but I have to get back to work.”
Ebony dug in her purse for the amount she owed and pressed it in Jake’s hand. The older man had been a loyal boyfriend to her workaholic mother, and Ebony appreciated him looking after her whenever she was in town.
“Will I see you at the Gala Ball this year?” Jake asked as he stepped to the door. “You can’t come home to Christmas Creek and not attend the ball. Everyone will be there.”
“It depends on if I finish my book,” Ebony said, not wanting to say ‘no’ to him a third time. She half-pushed him out the door by patting his back. “Have fun at the tree lighting ceremony.”
Once the door was closed, Ebony leaned her back against it for a split second and took a deep breath. The last Christmas she spent with Jake was the one her mother never made it to. Jake and his son, Blaze, had waited with her at this very farmhouse from Christmas Eve until the day after Christmas, but her mother never showed up.
She had been an investment banker and had instructed them never to contact her while at work. Unfortunately, she passed away in her office on Christmas Day, leaving Ebony orphaned at the age of seventeen.
She couldn’t leave this farmhouse fast enough. When she turned eighteen, she hitchhiked to the city and lost touch with Blaze when he joined the Marines.
That was the last Christmas she’d ever celebrated and the last time she saw Blaze, her almost-step-brother.
The timer rang, jerking Ebony out of her useless daydreams. She rubbed her hands together and was ready to go back to her story.
Sugar Pops had finished his food and was lying on the counter with one leg straight in the air while he groomed his underbelly, clearly content and not in need of attention.
Ebony opened the lid of her laptop and sat in front of it, staring at her document.
The cursor blinked. Blinked. Blinked.

[End of excerpt]. Please Pre-Order Love, Christmas, Movies You Love, Boxed Set to get the rest of Ebony and Blaze’s Christmas Carol Romance. Meanwhile, check out another excerpt narrated by the fabulous Trei Taylor on Audiobook, or order the Paperback (regular print) or (large print) to get a head start on Christmas gifts and reading.

Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.

Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.

She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.