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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis the Season...


…for Holiday romance! One of my most favorite times of the year!

Last year, my critique partners and I had an idea for a Christmas season set anthology. The plan was we’d each take a grandchild of the powerful Duke of Danby (who is put out that his grandchildren have not yet married or given him great-grandchildren to bounce upon his ancient knee) and tell their holiday love story. Nearly everyone wanted to participate in the endeavor, so much so that the stories of Danby’s grandchildren actually span FOUR different books.

I mean, look at this family tree! (I always have to have a family tree, which probably drove some of my critique partners crazy. But isn't it pretty?)


A SUMMONS FROM YORKSHIRE ~ Collection 1

AVA STONE’s The Counterfeit Christmas Summons is the story of Lady Emma Whitton and her plan to make Christmas 1812 the merriest ever as she lures her childhood crush to Danby Castle. So she uses a ruse to get him there? Whatever it takes, right?

AILEEN FISH’s The Viscount’s Sweet Temptation tells the story of Lady Harriet Thornhill who attempts to thwart her grandfather’s summons but ends up in the wrong carriage with the wrong man. Or is it the right carriage and the right man?

JULIE JOHNSTONE’s Gift of Seduction features Andrew Whitton, Earl of Hardwick who’s been miserable ever since he chose his fortune over the woman he loves. But when he encounters her again, can she forgive him? And will he make a better choice the second time around?

A SUMMONS FROM THE DUKE ~ Collection 2

JERRICA KNIGHT-CATANIA’s Loving Mister Lockwell introduces Lady Isabel Whitton whose home is overrun by…people. All right, they’re her cousins. Still, they’ve invaded her space and so has an uninvited and most infuriating guest.  

LILIA BIRNEY’s A Second Chance For Christmas tells the tale of troubled musician Lord Philip Whitton who has been summoned home from Italy. But before he makes it home, he stumbles upon the only lady who ever made sense to his heart.

SAMANTHA GRACE’s Twice Upon a Time is the story of Julian Beckford who tries to help a foolish cousin engage an actress’s services for an even more foolish scheme. But it isn’t long before he wishes the girl in question was playing a different role altogether.


CATHERINE GAYLE’s An Unintended Journey features Abby Goddard from a less than legitimate branch of the family tree. In fact, Abby’s headed to Danby Castle hoping for a dowry, not that she has much use of one since the love of her life seems to have vanished.

SUZIE GRANT’s A Caribbean Jewel for Christmas introduces high-seas smuggler Captain Randall Whitton who faces down a blackmailing British Naval Commander, but might be out of his depth with a certain Caribbean Jewel.

CHRISTI CALDWELL’s Winning a Lady’s Heart is the story of Lady Alexandra who is still smarting from a scandalous season and the loss of her love, at least until the blackguard follows her to Danby Castle for the holidays.

A SUMMONS FROM HIS GRACECollection 4

JANE CHARLES’s Compromised for Christmas tells the tale of operative Miss Elizabeth Whitton, her daring escape from Napoleon’s France and the stablehand she’s somehow fallen for. All right, being a stablehand is just his cover. He’s a spy too.

OLIVIA KELLY’s It Could Only Be You features American Harry Connelly who’s crossed the ocean to face the man who disowned his mother many, many years ago. But when he finally arrives at Danby Castle, nothing is what he thought it was, and Harry finds himself caught between his past and his future.
PHYLLIS CAMPBELL’s Becoming a Lady introduces American Dorothy Paxton, from yet another illegitimate branch of the family tree. Bribed into crossing the Atlantic to meet her grandfather, Dorothy finds her handsome escort tempts her in ways a lady shouldn’t be.

Many of these talented ladies have other holiday tales to tell as well...

The delightful Aileen Fish has not one but TWO Christmas stories out. 


THE MISTLETOE MISHAP

Seeing the woman to whom he intends to propose standing under the mistletoe, Robert, Viscount Alderton, can't resist stealing a kiss. He's quite surprised to discover her cousin, Isabella Stone, in his arms. And more surprised at how much he enjoyed kissing her.

Unbeknownst to the two, a notorious rake witnessed the kiss and takes it for granted Isabella was a willing participant. The rake's attempted seduction of Isabella becomes the scandal of the Christmas ball.

Alderton will do anything to keep Isabella safe, including marrying her. But Isabella could never admit her feelings for her cousin’s intended, and always hoped to marry for love. Can Alderton prove the accidental kiss was actually fate’s intervention?

THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING SCHEME

The Christmas season has always been important to Nash Sinclair. Home from the war and surrounded by his large, loving family, he realizes what is missing from his life: a wife. Not too surprisingly, he is looking at his sister-in-law’s rather becoming (and unmarried) sister when he makes the decision.

Lady Julianna intends to remain unmarried, having no need for a husband to live the life of her dreams. Rather than explain her unusual choice, she insists only a man who slays dragons would suit her, and since dragons don't exist, neither does her ideal beau.

Not one to turn away from a challenge, Nash enlists the aid of his nieces and nephews in a scheme sure to win Lady Julianna's affection. But as he comes to know the lady better, he realizes he’s risking his own heart. When did his silly idea become a crucial quest?

The amazing Jerrica Knight-Catania has two short stories in one holiday treasure...

THE PERFECT KISS
The original Wetherby Bride, Katherine Wetherby, is in a tizzy! Her brother's friend, the Duke of Weston, has come for a visit, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't seem to hold herself together when she's in his presence. Rather than face up to the romantic feelings she has for the duke, she decides to play matchmaker. But watching him dance attentions on her dear friend only makes her long for him more.

Despite her machinations, it seems Cupid may have other plans for Katherine and the handsome Duke of Weston.

CHRISTMAS WARMS THE HARTS

Catherine Wetherby Hart, Duchess of Weston, is convinced Christmas will be ruined if the famous Hart Christmas Ball isn't perfect. But two special guests might just make it the best Christmas ever in this Hart-warming short story.

The wonderful Lila Birney has a new Christmas novel out this season...


When Lady Penelope Annand's trusted servant goes missing just before Christmas, she is determined to get to the bottom of the matter. Even if that means hiring a thief-taker to track down her maid's whereabouts. But when the darkly smoldering Pierce Howe takes charge of the situation, Penelope finds herself growing more attracted to him by the second--even if she's infuriated by his high-handed manner. Penelope gave up on Christmas wishes years ago when her first husband broke her heart, but could Pierce give her a second chance at love?

Pierce Howe has made a name for himself as one of London's most reliable thief-takers, leaving behind his family's sordid past to create a life of his own. But when Viscountess Annand, known in society as The Ice Goddess, demands that he track down her wayward maid, he receives a Christmas gift he never expected--Penelope's trust. His carefully-constructed defenses begin crumbling as they embark on a Christmas charade to find Penelope's maid. And as the Ice Goddess shows that she does indeed have a melting point, the thief-taker must decide if he can risk it all and tell her the truth about his past.

The lovely Jane Charles also has a new Christmas story that is now available...

A LASS FOR CHRISTMAS

Lady Madeline Trent had grand plans for her future until she learned her family’s awful secret. When a fall through an icy lake lands her in the arms of a handsome Scot, her future is more unsure than ever. 

Lachlan Grant, the Marquess of Brachton, may hold an English title, but he's a Scot through and through. He's bound and determined to marry a lass just as Scottish as he is, at least until his fate is altered one snowy night.
And phenomenal Samantha Grace has a free Christmas read - A BEAU MONDE BACHELOR CHRISTMAS - for people who have signed up for her newsletter here...

Join newlywed couples Lord and Lady Norwick, Jake and Amelia Hillary, Daniel and Lisette Hillary, and Isaac and Serafine Tucker for their first Christmas together.  

Bibi, the Countess of Norwick, would love to give her husband the one thing he really wants for Christmas: a ceasefire between her and his intractable sister. Facing Lady Troll during the holidays without reinforcements, however, would be foolish, and Bibi is no fool. She calls upon her dearest friends, Amelia and Jake Hillary, and a few more familiar faces to spend Christmas in Kent to help make the season a little brighter. Unfortunately, her guests are distracted by their own challenges this holiday season, and Bibi must find a way to connect with her sister-in-law without their help if she hopes to make Jasper’s Christmas wishes come true.

What is your favorite holiday romance, setting or locale? One lucky commenter will win an e-copy of A SUMMONS FROM YOKRSHIRE.

43 comments:

  1. I love old fashioned Christmas stories with sleigh rides, ice skating, and fires in the hearth. It can be set any place that has snow! :)

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    1. That makes me think about Bing Crosby's HOLIDAY INN. I so adore that movie. I think it's time to dust it off and make my teenager watch it with me. (He'll love that, I'm sure.)

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    2. Any time I think of ice skating in a historical, I always think of Little Women and Amy falling through the ice.

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  2. I love Christmas stories too. My mom is totally nuts for them.

    I've so enjoyed the Summons series! I love Mary Balogh's Christmas stories, too. And Sabrina Jeffries 'Twas the Night After Christmas is fab!

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    1. Deb ~ Sabrina Jeffries' new 'TWAS THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS is awesome! (But then again, everything she does is awesome!)

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    2. I can't wait to hear Sabrina read from 'Twas the Night After Christmas tomorrow at Lady Jane's RDU. I haven't been able to read it yet, but I'm about to.

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    3. I have the audio version of 'Twas the Night After Christmas in my car. Sometimes I wish my drive was just a little longer. I am about 2/3 of the way through and loving it.

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  3. Congratulations, ladies! My Christmas reading list is now set. :)

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    1. I know! That's a lot of Christmas stories. :)

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  4. Stacy Dawn, a fellow The Wild Rose Press author, writes a funny, sweet, contemporary series set in Noelle, Alberta. She takes all the trappings of Christmas and twists it into a modern romance with humor. Most of the stories are either short or novellas so they are quick reads.

    I look forward to watching Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman cartoons every year. I love them.

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    1. Beth ~ I love Frosty the Snowman! (The Rudolph one seems so mean-spirited in the 21st century though. Who would have thought a Christmas cartoon would bother my sensibilities, right?)

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    2. There are several movies I have to see each Christmas. White Christmas, Charlie Brown's Christmas, A Christmas Story, and both versions of How The Grinch Stole Christmas are absolute musts. :)

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  5. Holiday Inn is my favorite Christmas movie, and most people haven't heard of it. I think I have Mary Balogh's and Deb Marlowe's on my Kindle, as well as Cheryl Bolen's.

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    1. Aileen ~ I'm so with you! Holiday Inn is my favorite Christmas movie, my absolute favorite. I mean Bing Crosby AND Fred Astaire. What's not to love?!?!

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  6. Although I live in Florida and enjoy the warm weather, I admit that it's nice to see snow for Christmas. I would love to spend a Christmas somewhere in the countryside of the UK where there is lots of snow and lots of friendliness in the community.

    There are so many wonderful Christmas novels out this year and I have been working hard to read as many of them as I can. I adore them. I have recently discovered this Regency Christmas Summons Collection and I am totally enthralled. I absolutely HAVE to read them all! AND, I'm drooling over reading everyone of the novels mentioned on this blog. Sigh....

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    1. Connie, I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying the Regency Christmas Summons stories. We had a blast writing them. :)

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    2. We did have a blast writing them. It was so fun to try to make it all connect. So glad you adore them, Connie. :)

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    3. You ladies are so wonderful! You make me so happy with the novels you write. Thank you so very much!

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    4. Aww, you're so sweet, Connie! :)

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  7. OMGorgonzola, look at that family tree! I'm so impressed! I love holiday stories and yet, I rarely read them. How ridonkulous is that? I'm just so swamped with all the other holiday goings-on. I'm a total grinch.

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    1. The family tree is awesome, isn't it? Great times.

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    2. Aww! You've both made me blush.

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  8. I LOVE THE WHITTON'S STORY! The anthology was a lot of fun to read last year and I plan to re-read this year. The Duke is my favorite. However, I love Christmas theme stories, but I love Christmas.

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    1. Danby was a blast to write. I am tempted to throw him into various other stories all the time, because he's such a memorable character.

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    2. That he is. I love his collection of special licenses.

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    3. Melody ~ LOL! He is a clever old curmudgeon, isn't he? The Duke of Danby always gets his way. Everyone else just has to watch out. :)

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    4. I love the Duke of Danby and I have been able to give him a brief appearance in two separate stories. How can I not use him when there is a connection ;).

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    5. The Duke of Danby would so much fun to have on my blog.

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    6. That would be so hard, Melody! There were 12 of us, each with a slightly different take on His Grace. It sounds like fun, but I don't know how we'd pull it off. :(

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    7. You could always ask his grandchildren about him...

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    8. That would be hilarious. I love that idea.

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  9. Favorite holiday romance? Hmmm, I am kinda cheating because it is my favorite movie and the couple does get their HEA on Christmas Eve - An Affair to Remember. As far as reading holiday romances, I prefer Regency and other historicals.

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    1. LOL! That *is* cheating, just a little bit, Jane. :)

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  10. Hey ladies! Wow, I've missed you guys. I thought I'd stop in and say I love Christmas stories! My tbr pile is so high atm. I have been able to get some good reading in lately, which I am so grateful for, but I haven't had as much reading time as I would like. It always works out that lol. Oh, and I love Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn! I remember a Christmas special years ago when I was very young that featured the beautiful Crystal Gayle singing "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas." And wow, did it leave an impression on my young mind. She was riding in a horse drawn carriage and I remember wanting to be her when I was very young. Of course, no one wants me to sing lol. Trust me, we'll just sweep that little dream under the rug lol. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and may all your Christmas wishes come true. And may all your Christmas reading get done during this crazy time of the year lol.

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    1. Suzie ~ We've missed you too! (No one ever wants to hear me sing either, btw.)

      I never wanted to be Crystal Gayle, but I still want to be carted around in a horse drawn carriage. ;)

      Hope all is well with you, sweetie!

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    2. Miss you too, Suzie, and I am so with you on riding in a horse drawn carriage. I think I will add that to my bucket list. And like you and Ava, nobody wants me singing either.

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  11. Thanks for a fun post and congrats to all the ladies on the releases! I'd have to say a fav and one that I watch every year is While you Where Sleeping :)

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    1. Erin ~ While You Were Sleeping was such an adorable film. I remember I saw it in the theatres before it released as a sneak preview. That was the 1st time I saw it. I've seen it countless times since. :)

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  12. There's always something special about Christmas stories. And a white Christmas at that. I live in the tropics & have always been intrigued by the idea of snow. The closest I get is shavings of ice from the freezer/fridge!

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    1. Linda ~ The tropics! I might be able to get used to that. (As I'm shivering in my home and it's not even snowing in North Carolina).

      I think I'll be dreaming about the tropics the rest of the night. :)

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  13. My favorite holiday romance setting is a snowbound cabin in the woods, or a snowbound manor in the country, with lots of playing in the snow, etc. Since I've always lived in a warm climate, playing in the snow sounds like fun.

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    1. Barbara ~ A snowbound cabin or manor are great settings, very secluded where anything can happen!

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