#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “Christmas Actually: Bite-sized Sweet Holiday Romance Reads” (anthology) [edited by] Teri Wilson

Posted Sunday, 6 December, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

If you’re a regular visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you’ll notice I have a hearty affection for reading anthologies! Generally, those happen to be in the Speculative Fiction category of influence but I am known to pick up a Romance anthology every blue moon as well! Especially as it were those varieties which launched me into becoming a Romance reader all those lovely moons ago in childhood! Laughs. This particular anthology stood out to me because I am one of those readers who gets really enthused and excited about reading (or watching) Christmas Romances as soon as Thanksgiving concludes and Twelfth Night hasn’t yet reached us in January.

Christmas Romances are quite addictive because they are set during one of my favourite seasons of the year and I would daresay, my top favourite overall!! There is a fever of excitement and joy about Christmas and the pending New Year’s – where Hope is lit aflame and the unexpected delights of the season are just round the corner from enveloping you on your path. Christmas romances to me always have that little bit of something ‘extra’ to hold your eye and attention inside them. They have a way of developing a giddiness within them to keep your heart set on seeing how the story ends on a happier note than it first began and if something has to be resolved, all the better because what is more beautiful than redemption at Christmas?

Anthologies are a great way for me to sort out which authors I want to be reading and which author has a style of preference I prefer to seek out. This particular anthology is a digital first release (sadly, it seems I’ve picked more digital first releases this year than dual released stories!) which means I won’t be able to partake in reading the stories it contains. Once you read my reaction to the story in the extract on this post, you’ll see how disappointing that kind of news is for a reader like me whose just found an author she dearly wants to keep reading!!

I’d love to hear from you dear hearts – which kinds of anthologies do you love to read the most and have you ever picked up a holiday themed or romantic themed anthology? If so, whose the editor and publisher? Which stories/authors stood out to you and is it a habit of reading anthologies for you like it is for me or is it more of a random find and not one you chase after (like I do myself)!!?

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#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “Christmas Actually: Bite-sized Sweet Holiday Romance Reads” (anthology) [edited by] Teri WilsonChristmas Actually
Subtitle: Edited by Teri Wilson

Christmas actually is all around…

Join eleven best-selling and award-winning authors under the mistletoe as they share bite-sized holiday romances celebrating the joy and romcom sweetness of the Christmas season!

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Published by Pretty Bliss Press

on 1st December, 2020

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The following are the stories you will find within “Christmas Actually”:

The Christmas Wedding Date by Shirley Jump

When Holly McDaniels gets roped into attending her hometown Christmas ball, she convinces her handsome neighbor, workaholic Nick Corvino, to play the part of husband, giving the bah humbug bachelor a taste of Christmas magic that just might lead to a very real holiday happy-ever-after.

Gingerbread and Jingle Bells by Caro Carson

A big-city businesswoman answers her grandma’s plea for holiday-rush help at the family bakery, only to find herself apologizing to the small town’s handsome veterinarian each time she thwarts her grandma’s matchmaking schemes—until she discovers the mastermind behind all the romantic plans wasn’t her grandma, after all.

A Merry Aussie Christmas by Stefanie London

Their relationship is so fake it comes with costumes… Will spending a whole month as Patterson’s Bluff’s official Mr. and Mrs. Claus give a golden girl and the town outcast a second chance at love?

Mission: Merry Christmas by Nancy Naigle

A physical therapist finds her client bah-humbugging the Christmas spirit out of everyone and decides to focus on getting him back on the nice list.

Christmas In Sweetland by Lacey Baker

A restless hometown girl strikes a deal with the uptight guy next door to win a neighborhood holiday decorating contest—but they’ll both need a little Christmas magic to survive missing cupcakes, broken twinkle lights and falling in love.

The Matchmaking Christmas Spirit by Lindsay Emory

An event planner and a handsome handyman keep getting thrown together by a matchmaking Christmas spirit who won’t stop meddling in matters of the heart.

Christmas Eve at the USO by Tif Marcelo

When former college sweethearts and Army soldiers reunite at the Dallas Airport USO during a Christmas Eve snowstorm, they try to ignore the love they lost—until the Christmas spirit decides to play Cupid, leaving them with no choice but to go after the love wished they still had.

A Midnight Clear by Victoria Schade

A dog sitter booked to spend the Christmas holiday caring for a client’s new puppy is surprised to discover that an approaching snowstorm has trapped her with the handsome man of the house.

Love Letters for Christmas by Sasha Summers

When a soldier decides it’s time to meet his long-time teacher pen pal, his visit to her classroom brings all sort of surprises—and might just give them their greatest Christmas gift ever: love.

A Snow Maiden for Christmas by Sariah Wilson

Christina and Jack were high school sweethearts until he left her behind to follow his dreams. Now he’s back and their meddling mothers are determined to give Christina and Jack’s former romance a second chance by forcing them to play roles opposite one another in their local winter festival.

A Merry Royal Layover by Teri Wilson

When a veterinarian traveling to a remote European village to volunteer at an animal shelter during the Christmas holidays gets an unexpected first-class upgrade, she meets a charming stranger in the airport lounge who may or may not be the country’s crown prince.

This is a Digital First Release by Pretty Bliss Press

Converse on Twitter via: #ChristmasReads, #HolidayReads, #anthologies
as well as #ChristmasRomance and #ChristmasActually

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Enjoy reading an Extract from ‘Christmas Actually”
: featuring “Love Letters for Christmas” by Sasha Summers

Until this moment, Clay had envisioned his long-time pen pal as a sweater-wearing, baking-loving, storybook-reading, cat-collecting, grandmother-type. Maybe it was the tone of Lucy Brown’s letters—not condescending so much as nurturing. Every month, he received a new, comfort-filled letter from the woman he’d constructed in his mind. The contents of her letters had supported the white-haired, reading-spectacle wearing, almost-sad, and definitely-matronly woman he’d created in his head.

Miss Brown loved to knit—frequently with a cat in her lap.

Miss Brown liked tea, chocolate tea biscuits, and mystery novels.

Miss Brown spent her summers traveling all over the world—her destinations chosen by alphabetical order, then interest level. She’d explained this in such a practical way, he’d had a hard time finding fault with her logic. After all, there were so many places to see, she’d had to come up with some way to whittle down her options.  Alphabetical order it was. The first summer they’d been pen pals, she’d spent a week in Cairo. Next summer it had been Denmark. Last summer, she’d visited Edenborough and wished she’d stayed longer. So far, she’d considered France, Frankfurt, or Florence. He’d had no problem envisioning Miss Brown in her orthopedic shoes, hand-knitted cardigans, reading glasses, while carrying a thick-travel book in a massive purse packed with tissues, cough drops, a sewing kit, and other useful items—trailing after her tour guide and snapping pictures with her camera.

But that had been his Miss Brown.

This Miss Brown didn’t…fit.

It didn’t make sense. None of it. Even her shoes were wrong. They were cute shoes. Red, with a buckle. Not the thick white-soled, orthopedic shoes she should be wearing.

This was all wrong.

But he was here now. There was no going back.

“Well, I’ll let you introduce him to your class, Miss Brown. I’m sure they will be delighted to meet one of your pen pals in person.” Then Principal Charles was gone, the clicking of her heels—far taller and thinner than this Miss Brown’s heels—echoing down the laminate flooring of the elementary school hallway.

One of your pen pals? Meaning his Miss Brown had other pen pals? Did she write to many soldiers? The Miss Brown in his head probably would. She was a lonely spinster, cats aside, who’d probably collect pen pals like she collected tea cups. He’d known about the tea cup collection. He had not known about the pen pal collection.

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I was dearly hoping this anthology was released into print after reading this extract! I mean, for a girl who grew up writing letters to pen pals all round the world, who wouldn’t be captured by this plot and the curious nature of how it is disclosed that the Miss Brown of his imagination is clearly NOT the Miss Brown of his reality? I was chuckling along as I read Clay’s further confusion and of course, the ultimate revelation about who Miss Brown is and how he came to be one of her ‘pen pals’ and that the final bit of annoyance for him isn’t so much that he felt she was meant to be years old than she apparently was but the fact she wasn’t supposed to have ‘other’ pen pals! lol I was so caught inside this extract – the writer definitely knew how to pull me into the story within a few scant paragraphs and that is the beauty of reading short stories!

I am forever amazed at how much depth and centre of place a short story can capture within its small structure and this is surely a wicked sweet representation of how a short can emotionally lock you into its heart without hardly having your attention for very long!! This is also of course why I *love!* seeking out anthologies – you get a lovely sampling of a writer’s collective works all contained in a little bow of a treat called ‘short stories’. Seriously. I could read & devour anthologies until the cows came home because they are simply addictive to my readerly heart!! Ooh, now I dearly wish this were in print – I want to know what becomes of Miss Brown & Clay!!

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This book blitz is courtesy of:

Christmas Actually blog tour banner provided by Xpresso Book Tours and is used with permission.Most of the blitzes I host for this touring company have giveaways attached to them, which is why I route to the main page via Xpresso Tours as an easy reference for where you can find that information.

Find others hosting via @XpressoTours!

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I enjoy being a hostess for:

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Christmas Actually”, synopsis, extract from “Christmas Actually”, blitz tour banner and host badge were provided by Xpresso Book Tours and are being used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #blogmas badge and banner as well as the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 6 December, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Xpresso Book Tours

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