A dozen ways to fall in love at the holidays…
Come celebrate the holidays with these dozen unique romances, ranging from sweet to steamy and all ending with a happily-ever-after. This anthology of short stories, written by multi-award-winning authors, including New York Times best-selling author, Alyssa Day, will transport you from Labor Day and Halloween antics to Christmas and Valentine romantics. Its stories will whisk you away into contemporary, historical, and paranormal worlds where love prevails. So, savor the authors featured in this enchanting book and bet your heart on some romantic cheer while you enjoy these twelve ways to fall in love.
Proceeds from this novel benefit First Coast Romance Writers, a non-profit chapter of Romance Writers of America that helps writers hone their craft and expand their knowledge of the publishing industry. A portion of the proceeds are also donated to FeedAmerica.org.
Romancing the Holidays: A First Coast Romance Writers Holiday Anthology
Publication date: September 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Valentine’s Day in Atlantis” by Alyssa Day:
Neela slammed open the front door and marched down her front walk, not taking time to enjoy the flowers she’d so carefully planted to border the small but welcoming porch of the little house she loved so much. Not thinking about all the reasons why confronting Marcus right now—or ever—was such a bad idea.
Not even surprised when, as if her anger had conjured him like an evil spirit—a ridiculously handsome, masculine, hard-bodied, evil spirit—he suddenly appeared from around a turn in the path, coming from the direction of the park.
She stopped, fists clenched at her sides, and waited for him to come to her, telling her traitorous heart to stop it, now, when it leapt at the sight of the light in his dark green eyes when he saw her. The touch of silver in the rich, black hair at his temples only served to emphasize the hard lines and sharp angles of his striking face, and his lips—she would not think about his lips.
Nothing about his lips. Ever.
The light in his eyes turned to caution as he slowed and then stopped directly in front of her, no doubt instantly picking up on her body language—he was a trained warrior—and realizing this was going to be no happy encounter of old friends.
“What in the nine hells are you doing telling my son he can train with the warriors when I have specifically and repeatedly told him he cannot?”
A slow, wickedly sexy smile spread across his unfairly gorgeous face. “Nice to see you, too, Neela. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Faking it for the Holidays” by Lia Davis:
Julius probably shouldn’t be as happy as he was about his parents going on a cruise the week of Christmas. But he was. For the first time since he met his best friend and future wife—although she didn’t know that yet—he would be able to spend a normal, quiet, holiday season with Tara.
Just the two of them.
Was it wrong that he wanted to spend Christmas with his best friend, alone?
They didn’t have to listen to his parents, especially his mom, go on and on about how they should get married and give her beautiful grandbabies. It was embarrassing and made things awkward between them for the whole trip to Oregon to spend Christmas with his parents.
Tara had always been fantastic about his crazy family, which made her even more perfect for him. She never complained. She fit right in with them and humored his mom when she started in about the future of their lives and how they weren’t getting any younger.
The whole thing made him hesitate to ask Tara to marry him. He didn’t want her to think he was pressured into proposing, which he wasn’t. He loved her from the moment they met as kids.
He wanted to show her how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, without the pressure of his family lurking and watching them. Yessir, this year was going to be different.
He had Tara to himself.
His cell rang and he snatched it up from the kitchen counter where he was prepping movie-night snacks for him and Tara. It was their usual Saturday night “date” to make fun of bad movies. Not looking at the screen and thinking it was Tara, he said, “You better not be backing out on tonight.”
There was a long few moments of silence. Jules’ heart dropped to his feet. She wasn’t coming over. He’d spent all week gathering the courage to finally tell her how he felt. That he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and not as just her best friend. He wanted more. “Tara?”
“Oh, no silly. It’s your mother. Don’t you check the caller ID?”
Damn. “Mom. How are you? Are you on the ship?”
She let out a disappointing sigh. “Sadly, no. The cruise was canceled last minute. That means we’re staying home for Christmas. You’re coming, right?”
“His Christmas Rose” by Maggie FitzRoy
“One moment, Mother Fae. I’ll be right back.” Connor returned a minute later with a plate full of roast pork and roast chicken, bread, and mashed turnips. The crone gave him an appreciative look and cleaned the plate faster than Connor imagined was possible. Then she grabbed his hand.
While examining his hand, Mother Fae nodded and sang a lilting song to herself in a language Connor thought he knew but somehow could not entirely recall. He was nearly asleep when the crone stood up to leave.
“Well, Mother Fae, what do you make of my fortune?”
“Oh, this one’s pretty,” Rose exclaimed as she dashed over to a tall pine. “What about this one?”
Jack grinned. “Nah, too scrawny.”
She twirled around and pointed to a squat fir. “This?”
He laughed. “Nope. Too short.”
“How about this one?” Rose dashed over to a towering spruce with full, majestic branches. Her smile did something to his heart that no woman’s smile had ever done before. “This one’s perfect.”
Jack gave a quick nod and hurried through deep snow toward her, brandishing his axe and flashing a wide grin. “I agree heartily. You have good taste in trees, Miss Robinson.”
She beamed, her eyes dancing, as snowflakes drifting from the sky landed on her hair. In her rush to join him on his quest, she’d forgotten her hat, and locks of her shiny-brown curls had come un-pinned.
They locked gazes.
“Please call me Rose,” she whispered, stepping toward him.
He grinned. How long had he been wanting to do that? He moved closer. “Rose. And Rosy…I might even call you Rosy…” his grin widened. “Because your cheeks have a tendency to turn rosy-pink when the slightest chill kisses them. Did you know that?”
He wanted to kiss her.
“It’s not the cold…Mr. Cardelle. It’s me blushing, whenever I’m near you.”
And then he did kiss her. Reaching for her hands, he took her into his arms and put his lips to hers as feelings of love and passion flooded through him such as he’d never felt before.
This was love. True love. He was ready, and he sure hoped she’d say “yes.”
He pulled back and looked into Rose’s amazing face. “We better start lugging that tree to the house,” he said, his voice husky, “or they’ll come looking for us.”
Interview with Maggie FitzRoy
Question 1: Why did you choose the holiday you wrote about in your short story?
I chose Christmas because to me it’s the ultimate romantic holiday, full of wonder and joy. Since I wanted snow and ice skating in the story, I set it in Vermont. I write historical romance, since I love whisking the reader back in time, to where love is an adventure. I chose December 1899 because it’s a week away from the dawn of a new century, with new possibilities and new beginnings. It must have been an exciting time, and it certainly is for my characters!
Question 2: What inspired you to write this short story?
Thinking about Christmas in the Victorian era, I saw in my imagination a young woman who was alone in the world, focused on survival, needing love. And how she received the best Christmas gift of all.
Question 3: How did you go about creating your two main characters?
They just came to me as I wrote, beginning with the heroine, on a train trip to her new life, which led to the amazing man who picked her up at the station.
Question 4: Was there a secondary character that helped this story come to life?
Yes, the hero’s sister. Also, in many ways, his grandmother.
Question 5: Do you consider yourself a plotter or pantser? How does that help you create?
I consider myself a plotter. I see scenes from the story unfold in my mind, and then start plotting, alternating back and forth between creating a 3-Act Structure outline of scene ideas and character bibles, one for each character. I use a combination of two well-known plotting techniques in the fiction craft: Snowflake Method and Save the Cat method. They really work for me; they give me a map to follow, and the confidence that I will be able to get where I want to go. That allows me to relax and have fun while watching each scene unfold as I write.
Enter below for a chance to win one of the 5x $5 Amazon gift cardsa Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Pine Enshrined Reviews
Click Here for All Social Media Links through Linktree
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog. This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways and upkeep of the blog!