Welcome to the Launch for the MISTLETOE KISSES TOUR for
Three Harlequin Heartwarming novellas
By Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
Introducing the Three Stories in Christmas, Actually
The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams
This anthology was born one night in January when Melinda Curtis and Anna J. Stewart and I (Anna Adams) were chatting on Skype, and Melinda suggested a holiday anthology. From there we went to setting, and then to the kind of stories we wanted to write. Christmas Town, Maine came to life and the Banning siblings began living. I hope readers will be moved as I am by Jack and Sophie’s story.
Sophie Palmer was confused when the pregnancy test came back positive, but one thing she knew—she already loved her unborn child. She didn’t expect former Army surgeon, Jack Banning to break all contact with them. He’s promised financial support, but he wants no other contact with her or their coming child.
He must have a reason. She’d known him and loved him for two years. At Christmas, she follows him to Maine to tell him she’s putting his name on the birth certificate.
She no longer loves him. He’s destroyed those feelings, and she will never give their daughter a reason to believe she can expect more than her father’s name, but Sophie can’t forget the soldier who lived by the code of “Leave no man behind,” the doctor who’s cared more for his patients than himself, the man who didn’t know how to be dishonorable.
Fatherless herself, Sophie doesn’t care about the financials. She’ll take care of her own, but she needs to understand why Jack’s become an impossible-to-love stranger.
The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart
For as long as I’ve been writing, I never thought I’d ever write a novella. I’m a novel length kinda girl–I just write long books; sometimes very, very long. But when my friend (and writing Yoda) Melinda Curtis proposed the idea of interconnected novellas featuring a set of siblings, I couldn’t say no. Especially not when she, Anna Adams and I decided to make it a holiday themed anthology. There’s something magical about the holiday season, and writing Callie and Dean’s story was a true pleasure. In all honesty, it was also the easiest thing I’ve ever written; probably because this story comes straight from my heart.
When Callie Banning’s student declares war on Christmas, it’s up to her to teach the little girl–and her widowed father–to believe again.
Normally when I start a story, the heroine is first to pop into my head. This time around, Dean Galloway entered the scene first. I could see him so clearly, shoulder length blonde hair, the brown leather jacket, the haunted twinkle in his eye as he struggled to raise his little girl on his own. And he came with a camera. No idea why, he just arrived that way. Like a gift. There’s something incredibly appealing to me (and hopefully to readers) about a father who is so in love with his child he’ll do anything–even move them all across the country–to keep them happy. Adding a tinge of grief to their story and Callie Banning was just the healing effect they’d been looking for. There are people who just fit from the moment they meet; not necessarily that clichéd “you complete me” fit, but that something special that makes life and love all that more exciting. The Christmas Wish is more than about celebrating the holiday season and rediscovering the magic those months bring–it’s about finding where one truly belongs, both in home and heart. So come on, welcome to Christmas Town, Maine and meet the Banning siblings, who have a very special New Year coming their way.
The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis
The Christmas Date is the third novella in Christmas, Actually – three holiday stories about three siblings living in Christmas Town, Maine, where tradition has it that a kiss on Christmas Eve in the town square gazebo will lead to wedding bells in the new year!
At a critique session, the Annas and I were talking about how we loved holiday stories. It was a natural progression to creating our own special town with heartwarming traditions.
In The Christmas Date, Gina Vernay was in an accident as a child and has a scar down her right cheek. Since then, Gina has always sat on the sidelines, lacking the self-confidence to shine. Wanting what many of her friends have – love, a family – Gina signs up for an online dating account. But her picture doesn’t show her scar. And she’s always too busy running The Tea Cup in Christmas Town to meet anyone, much less a man to share a kiss under the mistletoe in the town’s gazebo. But when one persistent on-line suitor arranges to meet her on Christmas Eve, Gina’s life turns upside down.
I was so surprised and delighted to discover this wonderfully warm collection of stories from Harlequin Heartwarming. I had been wanting to try this line of books for awhile now. I heard that they were sweet, clean, romance stories and felt like this Christmas collection would be a great place to start.
Each of these stories surprised and delighted me so much. I loved the characters and loved that even though the stories were separate, they all had a connection through the characters.
Christmas, Actually is the perfect collection of stories to cuddle up and enjoy on a cold wintry night!
Will your heart be warmed by a sweet kiss under the mistletoe this year?
Come along on the tour to find out!
11/23 – Grand Finale
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!
Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.
The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:
Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn’t need money, she only needs him.
The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:
Callie Banning’s student has declared war on Christmas, so it’s up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.
The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:
Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she’s in for the surprise of a lifetime!
About the Authors
Anna Adams wrote her first romance in wet sand. The Atlantic Ocean washed it away, but Anna kept going. Her stories are of love, like the proverbial stone in a lake, making ripples that spread and contract and involve. From Iceland to Hawaii, and points in between, Anna and her own hero share with children and family and friends who’ve become family. All this living and loving gives Anna plenty of fodder for stories of love set in real life. Come along and live them with her!
Anna J. Stewart can’t remember a time she didn’t have a book in her hand or a story in her head and credits her mother never saying no to a book for turning her into a writer. Anna lives in Northern California with an overly attentive cat named Snickers and is happiest when setting her heroes and heroines on their road to happily ever after amidst family, fun and laughter.
Melinda Curtis grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing “what if” games that led her to become an author. She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say “He made her heart pound.” That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentally ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.
Guest Post #2: 10 Gifts Ideas for Your Teen/Young Adult
I’m a little bit anal about the holidays. I have a basic list I work from that my kids will enjoy or find useful. They’re all in college now, but that doesn’t mean they want a package of socks for Christmas. Here’s a list of 10 suggested gift giving categories for your teen/young adult:
1. Clothes. Stick to the basics, because your taste probably doesn’t match theirs. T-shirts (sports team, comic book/gaming character, funny saying), underwear/socks (they really don’t like to spend their money on this), PJs (especially if they live in a cold weather climate, but stick to bottoms only – matching is nerdy), a new jacket/sweatshirt.
2. Towels. Boring, I know. But they’ve either used their good bath towel to wash their beloved vehicle, or they’ve left them sitting too long wet in the washer and they can’t get the moldy smell out of it.
3. Gift certificates for food. For groceries, fast food, casual dining, coffee.
4. Books. Only if they read them. You can pre-order books at any retailer and have them delivered when they release. Suggested topics: bio of favorite celebrity/sports personality, how to beat a certain game, latest installment in a series of books they enjoy.
5. Technology. Given all you can do with a cell phone nowadays, this is a risk unless they specifically ask for something like a FitBit, tablet, or new gaming console. A new phone upgrade is always a win.
6. Movie passes/gift cards. Another safe bet, especially the ones that allow you to go during prime time instead of bargain matinee.
7. Christmas ornaments. This sounds weird, but there are always ornaments releasing from movies. And not just Batman. I recently saw ornaments from my kids’ favorite childhood movies – The Rocketeer and The Christmas Story (the leg lamp!).
8. University gift cards. Hard to believe, but you can buy a gift card at the university store (to use for books) or a general gift toward college tuition. You can also buy Amazon gift cards (where text books are sold – try to pretend they won’t use it for something else, like a video game).
9. Passing it on. There are things that have been passed on from generation to generation in our house (my grandmother’s tea cup collection, my mother’s figurines, my grandfather’s tree topper). If they have a place of their own – not a dorm room – and you feel they’d enjoy a family treasure, pass it on.
10. A special trip home for the holidays. We always pay for our kids to come home for the holidays. That’s how important it is to us. We want our kids around. We’ve paid for gas and airline tickets. We’ve also hosted special get-togethers for our kids and their friends (we supply the food). We get more out of this gift than they do. Being together is more important than any gift we can buy.
– Gift Card Prize Pack: $20 Amazon gift card and ebook of Christmas, Actually (open
– US Prize Pack: Paperback of Christmas, Actually and three Christmas ornaments
– 3 ebooks of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
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