Dear Santa – Alone at Christmas

Hi There – It’s nice to visit every so often. I like to update you on what our members of The Authors’ Billboard are working on – especially during this season.

We love having you as followers, and as a group of authors, we always want to provide you with the best entertainment possible, and at the best price.

Therefore, a bunch of us – 18 to be exact – have gotten together and brainstormed a new collection called “Dear Santa – a Christmas Wish“. After discussing how we can satisfy a single niche during this special season, we decided that there were a lot of subjects we could use, Christmas babies, or puppies, or a second chance at love. Goodness, there were just so many paths to take. But one of our lovely ladies suggested we do it all and use Christmas wishes as our strategy. Wow – that resonated with everyone and so Dear Santa began to take shape.

Now… it’s ready for your holiday reading – Only 99 cents!

Purchase places:

AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, AMAZON.UK, AMAZON.AU, APPLE, KOBO, B&N,

GOOGLE PLAY

***As most authors know, USA Today folks will calculate a percentage of sales from each store where it’s available, and so we hope to interest those of you who can buy from venues other than Amazon.

Purchase Places:

AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, AMAZON.UK, AMAZON.AU, KOBO, B&N

***Amazon has promised Book Bites 13 will be free asap! I’m hoping it’s free now, but if not, please check back. Just so you know, I’ve written them again and begged! :->

We also organized a freebie called “Book Bites 13 – Dear Santa” and will be showing that as often as possible, especially in our weekly newsletters. This set has a collection of the first chapters of each of the 18 books and is a glimpse into what you will be receiving when you purchase the complete collection – Dear Santa – A Christmas Wish.

Because we’re so excited about this new collection and have challenged ourselves to take it as far as the USA Today list, of course with your help, we’ve decided to bring you a new post every day starting today. Each post will highlight one of the 18 brand new stories inside this wonderful cover.

I opted to be first…

My story is called “Alone at Christmas”.

I came up with this idea a long time ago when I was quite young and travelling to visit my folks for Thanksgiving. I met a chatty young woman on the bus who had no place to be that holiday. She was old enough to leave her family and was setting out to return to a small town a half day’s travel from where I was getting off. She’d chosen to go there because it was where her family had vacationed during earlier happy years, and she remembered it fondly. Having no place of her own, she’d decided to make a new life for herself in this strangely familiar setting, get a job, build a future, and try to be happy.

At one point, she left the bus to stretch her legs and her wallet had fallen from her purse. I spotted it and returned it as soon as she re-entered. Her expression made me understand that without that wallet, she would have been destitute. I warned her to be more vigilant, and she promised she would keep the strap around her neck at all times, and the purse zipped up.

Poor little auburn-haired beauty, so determined to make good, be strong and find her way. I would have scooped her up and brought her with me if I could have. I often wondered what had happened to her.

When it came time to write this story, she popped into my head, and I realized that if I were her, my wish from Santa that year would have been to find a special someone… so I wasn’t alone.

Tara overcomes her fears of being alone at Christmas by taking a bus trip to Carlton Grove where she once experienced happiness amongst kind people. Losing her purse during the trip results in her being stranded on the snow-filled streets. When the whines of a trapped puppy entice her to enter a dark, derelict house, she stumbles upon a stranger wounded and unable to move. Doing everything in her power to help them both, she strives to keep them warm during the vicious storm raging against the dilapidated building.

Once Ollie rouses, he finds the girl of his dreams doing everything she can to rescue him from the freezing elements. Being a firefighter, he’s usually the savior in these dire situations. Mind you, he’ll have a chance when she becomes injured in a freak accident. Will he have gained enough strength to save her when she needs him the most?

Love, Christmas 2: Miracle on Christmas Tree Street by Alicia Street

My story in the Authors’ Billboard bestselling boxed set Love, Christmas – Movies You Love is based on the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. I love the way it blends down-to-earth reality together with the magical elements of Christmas.

A personal reason this has always been a favorite movie of mine is because my mother worked in Macy’s Department Store when I was growing up. When school let out for Christmas vacation I would sometimes go into work with her and wander the store all day, watching people shop for gifts and looking at all the pretty decorations and taking in the holiday cheer.

While my story has a rural setting and does not include a court case against a man who needs to prove he is Santa Claus, I do have a pessimistic single mom, and her daughter who is befriended by a Santa-like grandfather figure who might be more than he seems. And of course there is a handsome bachelor who is determined to break through the icy walls the single mom has built around herself.

Luckily my own mother was nothing like the cynical woman in the movie played by Maureen O’ Hara or the one in my story. But this character is the perfect counterpart to the Santa Claus character who enters her life and proceeds to confuse, baffle, and inspire. I love the way he challenges her reality and the way a parent realizes she can learn something from her child.

It is this transformation that creates the story’s message of hope and faith. A belief that wonderful things can happen and that you can still find miracles in a cynical world.

Love, Christmas 2 is available on  Amazon  Kobo  B&N  iBooks

 

 

 

 

A New Christmas Story Based on the Movie, “The Holiday”

My husband, Walt, and I lived in Hawaii for five years while we were both teaching school. We lived on the island of Oahu, near Waikiki, but neither of us enjoyed water sports very much, so we did a lot of hiking along the mountain ridges there. We bought a topographical map so we could find the trails. Many of the trailheads were semi-hidden, and if we missed one, we just walked along until we came across the trail further up the mountain. Once on the top ridges, the trails were worn so deep into the soil that a foot-high lip formed on each side. The mountainside often dropped away straight down, and sometimes not quite as steep, which is the side we came up on. During the wet season, these trails got muddy and slippery.

Once we had a group of friends who wanted to hike with us, so we took them on a trail we hadn’t hiked before. When we didn’t find the trailhead, we went straight up the mountain, knowing the trail cut across it. Halfway up, Walt, who was in the lead, stopped and said something like, “We might find the trail before we get to the top.” The others were all complaining as they pulled themselves up the steep slope by hanging onto the vegetation. They figured we were lost and wanted to turn back. I remember their surprise, as each in turn put their hands on the trail, then pulled themselves up to where Walt was standing, loudly wondering how much further the trail was. The last one looked around and said, “Here’s the trail. What are you guys talking about?”

We took our Australian collie on the trails, and when we were leading groups and got separated, Walt would send her back to me, then I sent her to him. It gave him some estimation of how far his group was ahead of mine.

Sometimes we spent the night on a wide spot in a trail. We took newspapers with us. The newspapers went under us, our jackets over us, and the dog in between as a heater. One Thanksgiving, we spent the night above a naval air station, which we found out later was off limits.

Hawaii doesn’t have snakes, but they do have mongoose. On one hike we met a mongoose running along the trail towards us, its nose to the ground, sniffing as it ran. About ten feet away it spotted us, and instantly dropped off the trail on the almost vertical side, out of sight. It moved so silently, we couldn’t tell where it had gone, and could just hope it was ok. Earlier, we had come across a wild hog. When it saw us, it also jumped off the trail, but we could hear it, like a rolling boulder, crashing through the underbrush, sounding like it bounced all the way to the bottom.

The Hawaiian Islands are a great holiday destination, and I chose them for the scene of my new book, The Holiday (Christmas). It is based upon the movie, “The Holiday,” where two women swap houses. I put the houses in Seattle and Maui. I put a puppy in it, belonging to the man who also ended up at the Maui home, and based the pup’s description on a dog my grandson owns, named General Washington.

I really enjoyed writing The Holiday, a modern Trahern novella. It is part of the new Love, Christmas 2 collection, now on sale for 99¢. Thanks to our many eager readers, this set skyrocketed into the top 100 on the USA Today bestselling list.

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.