Christmas Town Homecoming
A 10-Book Connected Holiday Romance Collection with stories by Melinda Curtis, Anna J. Stewart, Anna Adams, Cari Lynn Webb, Cheryl Harper, Liz Flaherty,
Leigh Riker, Beth Carpenter, LeAnne Bristow, Claire McEwen
Welcome back to Christmas Town, Maine!
This holiday season works its romantic magic during Christmas Town High School’s ten year class reunion.
It’s going to be a jam-packed holiday weekend for the returning class, beginning with preparations for the two day event – where a mysterious promise ring has been found in their time capsule – and culminating in a Reunion Ball – where something lost finally finds its home. No one’s expecting to discover love, but this is Christmas Town, where happily-ever-afters are delivered with holiday traditions, glowing twinkle lights, and tinsel.
Consider this your invitation to the reunion where you’ll have a front row seat next to some of the class’s most memorable members – the prom queen, the jock, the mean girl, the drama kid, the teacher’s pet, the bad boy, the math nerd, the girl most likely to succeed, and some of your favorite administrators. From start to finish, this collection of connected, sweet romances from Harlequin Heartwarming authors will warm your heart.
Compare this read to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Inside, you’ll find stories featuring best friend to lovers, best friend’s older brother, teen crush, enemies to lovers, second chance, reunion, medical, and later in life romances.
After the past few days it was clear Miles Fuller had offended not only Karma, but he’d somehow managed to tick off every single deity in the cosmic Parthenon.
He wouldn’t have thought it possible. A delayed, then diverted flight. A rental car shortage, a snow-storm induced highway closure, black ice, an unforgiving, harder than brick snow bank along a two-year old cell phone that chose to die an unnatural death when he was thirty thousand feet in the air. It had all added up to one, simple silent yet screaming suggestion: give up, turn around, and go home.
“Not an option.”
Not because he didn’t give up; for the record he didn’t.
Not because he couldn’t catch the next flight home: his black AMEX could get him anywhere he needed to go.
He wasn’t giving up and going home for one simple reason.
There was no home without Delta.
Join us for a Q&A with authors Anna J Stewart, Beth Carpenter, Cheryl Harper, and LeAnne Bristow!
For those who don't know you, tell us what you write and also, something quirky about yourself.
Anna J: I write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming, ARC Manor (and Christmas Town!) and spicier romantic suspense (Harlequin Romantic Suspense and ARC Manor), and also straight contemporary romance and paranormal. Something quirky? If I had a million dollars I'd buy every Lego set available. I LOVE Legos!
Beth: I write sweet romance. All my published books besides Christmas Town are in the Heartwarming in the Northern Lights series, set in my home state of Alaska. Next August, though, I'll have a Love Inspired Suspense story coming out, which is a new direction for me. Let's see--quirky. Well, I don't like the taste of coffee, but I absolutely LOVE coffee ice cream. Which just goes to show if you add enough cream and sugar, anything tastes good.
Cheryl: I write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming. Something quirky...If I am ever forced to sing karaoke, like to save the world from alien invaders with the power of my voice, I would sing Madonna's "Material Girl." Yes, now, even after all these years.
LeAnne: I write small town sweet and inspirational romance. Something quirky? I always read the end of the book first. I also look up movies and find out how it ends before I start watching.
What is your writing process? Do you outline? Dive in? Do you write straight through or jump around?
Anna J: I'm what's called a Pantser. I know where it's going, not necessarily how we'll get there. I don't outline except for a general synopsis. The first 30 pages for me is always the most fun to write because of the excitement of the unknown. I write straight through, and edit pretty much as I go so by the time I get to the last 50 pages, they fly.
Beth: I like to outline, although occasionally my characters make unexpected detours. I tend to start at the beginning and work to the end, but occasionally if I have a sudden epiphany about a future scene, I'll jump ahead to write it. I'm constantly going back and making little changes as the story evolves. I tell myself to wait until the end to do that, but I can't seem to help myself.
Cheryl: My writing process changes with every book! I start with a loose idea, the general destination, and I prefer to drive straight through to that point, but if I can't figure out how to get there, I just write anything I do know and assemble the pieces later. Is this efficient? Not for me, but it is much preferred to staring at a blank page and fighting off the creeping fear of impending doom.
LeAnne: I use a combination of things when I write. I start out with an idea for characters and I write the first 2 to 3 chapters. Then, I start a very rough outline (just the major plot points). Once I start, I go straight through.
Tell us a little about your characters in your novella.
Anna J: With This Ring is my story. Delta and Miles Fuller were the couple most likely to live Happily Ever After. They've been married for almost ten years now and...well, it's not going well. The reunion is Delta's ultimatum for Miles: either he shows up to spend some time with her (rather than at work), or she's done. And of course his flight is very, very late...
Beth: Marissa was the invisible kid in high school, but in the last ten years, she's gained confidence. Now she's on a mission to get Ryker, the guy she crushed on all through high school, to finally notice her. The snowshoe adventure he's leading is the perfect opportunity. Although Will attended Christmas Town High for one semester, he's only in Christmas Town now to assist his cousin, Ryker. Ryker's life has been a rollercoaster in the last few years and Will is helping him reinvent himself. But seeing Marissa, the one person in Christmas Town that Will connected with with all those years ago, makes him wish for more. Too bad Marissa is still focused on Ryker.
Cheryl: Sydney Atkins is the daughter of one of the heroes of my other Christmas Town novellas. She's dreamed of being a chef and has made that dream come true. Now she's starting a restaurant closer to home, but the warm glow of mistletoe and red wine convinces her to kiss her business partner. After she runs home to Christmas Town, he follows her to straighten everything out and lands in the middle of the high school reunion.
LeAnne: In The Christmas Key, Tiffany Walker was known as the "mean" girl in high school. Her aloof nature pushed people away before they could get close enough to discover her perfect family life wasn't so perfect. Alonzo Reyes was the kid from poor side of town who worked hard for everything he got. He was also the only one who saw through Tiffany's facade. After high school, Tiffany went on a mission to change herself and help others, something that comes in handy when she runs into Alonzo and his special needs daughter at the high school reunion.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Anna J: I'm with Cheryl! TV. And while I don't do much reality shows, I love the Food Network, British Bake Off and my old favorites. I can rewatch my comfort shows countless times. White Collar, Babylon 5, Elementary...the list is endless. I also do some crafting while I'm watching/listening...and I'm getting to know my Cricut machine <G>.
Beth: I read, of course. I like to cook and to garden. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, which we pawned off on the neighbors until they're probably afraid to answer the door, but I've dried some and canned salsa, too. Occasionally, I like to craft or sew. And I throw the toy for Roxy, my canine writing companion, several times a day. Then, I read some more.
Cheryl: SO much television. Like, really all of it. I have too many streaming services and all the channels. My favorite genres seem to be comedies and people behaving badly on "reality" shows
LeAnne: I love to knit. I usually have several projects going at one time. I'm not saying I'm good at it...I just enjoy it.
What's your favorite thing about writing about Christmas Town?
Anna J: The optimism. Everything in Christmas Town is so...nice. I've been craving nice. Christmas Town is a leave the real world behind, this is how I'd love for things to be kind of place which makes it the perfect holiday getaway.
Beth: I love the positivity of Christmas Town. Neighbors helping neighbors, Christmas magic always a possibility, and knowing everything is going to turn out right in the end. And I love working with the other authors and coming together to make the magic happen.
Cheryl: I love the town itself, and being able to return to it and have all these characters, old friends and new, to catch up with is special.
LeAnne: My favorite thing about writing for Christmas Town (besides getting to work with such fabulous authors) is seeing how the stories weave together.
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