Genre: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance

An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie Klassen

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am unsure if I’ve blogged about my curiosity over Julie Klassen’s novels – I know I might have winked a bit about them during this year’s Christian Fiction Reading Safari in August – as I was seriously attempting to read my first Klassen novel *then!* – however, something has always distracted me and/or left me questioning which of her novels I need to be reading ‘first’ to where I have not made any progress at all in reading her collective works!! I wanted to change this sad fate of mine as she’s an author I’ve been following in the book blogosphere since a year before I became a book blogger (ie. 2012) as much as I have appreciated her guest posts, interviews and other interactions she gives to her readers whilst being a follower of hers on Twitter, too!

When I first learnt about “An Ivy Hill Christmas” – it was when this particular blog tour had been originally announced. I thought, hmm. This might be a good time to dive back into a Klassen novel and/or series – I especially love *Christmas stories* and at the time, I couldn’t discern if this was a novella which ‘fit into the series’ already established in the trilogy of stories released and/or if it was an extension of the series itself wherein new/old characters would be populating the storyline. It took some digging – both on Ms Klassen’s website, her group author’s blog (?) and a random search which led me onto a short Q&A (courtesy of Family Fiction) which revealled the truth! This is a novella within the series and it recaptures the series as it has already become established and thus, moves it forward – thereby, I anchoured this as Book 3.5 as it is a continuation of what was already established and follows suit after the third novel.

I originally borrowed a print copy of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill thinking it would be an easier way for me to read the story – best laid plans, eh? – however, I quickly amended those plans and borrowed it via audiobook digitally via my local library’s CloudLibrary instead! Whilst I also borrowed An Ivy Hill Christmas – I wasn’t in enough time to provide a proper review today, though if you’re familiar with my #25PagePreview posts time after time on Jorie Loves A Story, I think you might get a hoot of a kick out of how I’ve assembled this spotlighted feature for the blog tour with Love Books Tours!

I must confess, this spotlight is arriving late in the night on my day of the blog tour because I misplaced the tour materials and the ‘date’ my spotlight was meant to run! After a seriously long week, I settled into sorting out my blog with some Christmas Coffeehouse songs via #Spotify and tucked into how I could ring out a post about Ivy Hill even if I had to forego the schedule for the tour as I honestly couldn’t sort out where my materials had gone off too! Then, right at the point I thought all was lost – I found everything I needed in two key places – Baker Publishing and a short scribbled note which revealled the 18th was my day! *whew!*

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An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie KlassenAn Ivy Hill Christmas
Subtitle: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella
by Julie Klassen
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

Spend a festive Christmas in the English village of Ivy Hill, as divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance work their magic. . . .

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled--and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764233807

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 35 minutes (unabridged)

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Tales of Ivy Hill series:

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie KlassenThe Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie KlassenThe Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (book one)

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill,
where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

The Ladies of Ivy Hill (book two)

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

The Bride of Ivy Green (book three)

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls’ school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess–a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn’t who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

An Ivy Hill Christmas (book 3.5)

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)
an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #INSPY #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic as well as #ChristmasRomance
as well as #JulieKlassen, #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #INSPYRomance

About Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen Photo Credit: © Farrow Media

Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Love Books Tours, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, the Regency era

#Blogmas | feat. “Roping Christmas” (Rodeo Romance, Book Eight) by Shanna Hatfield

Posted Thursday, 10 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This spotlight is for a #newtomeauthor who is writing Western Contemporary INSPY Romances! I haven’t yet dipped back into reading INSPY Westerns as I’ve been super focused and happily entrenched inside my favourite Western Roms from Harlequin Heartwarming these past several years – which are considered ‘sweet & clean’ if audiences and readers are seeking a romance which are not focusing on scenes or language which might prove offensive to their readerly sensibilities. However, I also know those who read INSPY are not all hybrid readers like I am who read between both mainstream & INSPY markets of publishing. We all have to choose what we will read and what our readerly limits are within our genres of interest. For instance, I had to take a firm step back from the grit and realities of war and focus more on the humanistic stories set within war dramas than being placed inside the battles & descriptive narratives of most war dramas as they are regularly told today.

When it comes to reading Western Romances, what encourages my heart the most is the setting! I love horses & riding – ever since I was a young girl – which is why whenever I am lost in the chapters describing life on a ranch and/or in a Western Rockies community and towneship, I find myself wickedly delighted in the joys of ‘living this life’ as seen through the eyes and hearts of the characters who live there themselves. Now, of course, outside of the Western half of the United States there are other places you can set a Western Romance – as some states still have a lot of rural communities and agricultural heritage within their borders. We also have Eastern mountains on the East Coast which are a fine compliment (if albeit slightly less grand!) to the Rockies, too!

I believe to be a Western Romance it has to have a certain spirit about it – a certain legacy of familiarity built upon Western themes of interest and of course, *cowboys!* are surely a must as much as women who can be independently self-supporting of both themselves and the families they are raising on a ranch or other Western location. I love the ease of soaking into the natural world through a Western lens of influence as well – where you get to see the larger animals roaming free on the range and/or in the forests, whilst you have herds which need to be looked after (ie. cattle especially) and/or you have a horse farm which has its own set of standards and layers of hard-work woven into it as well. And, then of course there is the aspect of ranching life and the responsibilities of being self-reliant and sustainable however which avenue can turn a profit for the ranch.

In essence, I am in love with Western Romances from the start of the first chapter and I love the hours we can spend in the saddle next to the heroes and heroines which make this genre such a wicked delight to be reading! The closeness of family, the importance of hearth & home and the fabric knitted out of neighbours & friends alike is what helps shape a well-rounded Western for me! And, if there is a Western Romance set during Christmas!? Eek. *goosebumps!* As I consider Christmas Romances a special niche of joy in my Romantic wanderings every year!!

Curiously – do you *love!* reading Western Romances as much as I do? I’ve been reading and reviewing a heap of lovely series by my beloved Harlequin Heartwarming novelists over the past several years – from the Rocky Mountain Cowboys to Return of the Blackwell Brothers & this year’s sequel series the Blackwell Sisters to the Sweetheart Ranch series! There are so many wonderful Western Rom authors who are traditionally published as much as there are Indie Authors – either self-publishing their stories/series or are with an Indie Publisher or Press. I love focusing on Indie & Self-Published authors as much as traditionally published authors which is why featuring Ms Hatfield’s series is such a joy for me! I’d love to find more authors like her writing in a genre I dearly love devouring!

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Roping Christmas by Shanna Hatfield

A focused cowboy, a distracted executive,
and a hilarious quest make for an unforgettable holiday . . .

Wyatt Nash is a professional tie-down roper, a good ranch hand, and not too shabby when it comes to attracting women. But according to his five-year-old niece, he needs to work on both his roping skills and his dating game. His sister thinks he needs to settle down. And don’t get him started on the advice he gets from well-meaning friends. When his rodeo sponsor, billionaire Jon Sinclair, asks for his assistance in tutoring a clueless city girl about Sinclair Industries, Wyatt doesn’t feel like he can say no. Then he discovers he’ll be teaching none other than the one woman on the planet who wants nothing to do with him.

Ashley Jarrett would do almost anything to turn her small publicity firm into a huge success. When Jon Sinclair expresses interest in working with her, she readily agrees to his crazy idea to have her learn about his company through hands-on projects. Not only is she forced far outside her comfort zone, but the man documenting every bumbling misstep she takes is an infuriating cowboy she’s determined to ignore.

Packed with small-town charm and the wonder of falling in love, Roping Christmas is a sweet holiday romance sure to bring laughter and infuse hearts Christmas cheer.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 979-8691116568

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This series has 8 books inside it including:

Rodeo Romance series graphic provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Be sure to visit her FantasticFiction page to find the full listing!

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Published by: Wholesome Hearts Publishing

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance &/or #ChristmasRomance + #SweetRomance
as well #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #INSPYRomance + #WesternRomance

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Posted Thursday, 10 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “For This Christmas Only” (Masterson, Texas, Book Three) by Caro Carson

Posted Monday, 7 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am quite sure it won’t be too much of a surprise I like to seek out other imprints by Harlequin Books every so often throughout the year? I have sorted out my top favourites to read regularly are *Harlequin Heartwarming* & *Love Inspired: Suspense* however, this gives quite a bit of wiggle room to seek out their other imprints and find other authors who might be writing stories which are going unnoticed by me throughout the year as they’re writing under imprints I might not regularly have access too and/or have more trouble borrowing through ILL’ing (interlibraryloaning). This is one keen reason I enjoy hosting spotlights like this one today as it gives me a chance to know which authors I might want to seek out next and which stories I might fancy reading within their other imprints.

Harlequin Books has long held a curiosity of interest for me as a reader – as I’ve moved from different imprints to the ones I currently focus on reading the most out of – although, I still mourn the loss of Love Inspired: Historical. I also read a lot of Mira books in the past before settling on Heartwarming. Heartwarming to me held within its scope of writers and stories the kind of stories I was seeking out of Mira but didn’t always feel were executed the way I hoped they might be as a reader who loves relationship based romances. This is why the Romance and Special Edition imprints are on my radar as sometimes, I surprise myself and find a Heartwarming-esque story within their imprints as well.

I’ve only read a handful of stories by this particular imprint and am still sorting out if it is a good fit for me overall or if its just an imprint I’ll read every odd moon but keep with LI: Suspense and Heartwarming full time. I have an extract to share and a few takeaways after I read the extract to share with you as you decide if you want to pick up this title yourself, too.

If you’re a regular reader of Harlequin novels and imprints, which imprints are your top choices and favourites? Which writers and/or their series are making an impression on you as a reader and which do you think might be a wicked good fit for me as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts – especially if you read Heartwarming, Romance or Special Edition imprints by Harlequin on a semi-regular basis as you’d have the best feedback to share.

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#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “For This Christmas Only” (Masterson, Texas, Book Three) by Caro CarsonFor This Christmas
Subtitle: He was successful in business but not in love
by Caro Carson

He was successful in business but not in love in this great romance by USA TODAY bestselling author Caro Carson

His book changed her life…

But he no longer believes his own advice.

After nearly dying in a plane crash, business icon Eli Taylor has become a recluse, until a chance encounter at a small town’s Yule log lighting leads to an evening spent as the fake boyfriend of his superfan Mallory Ames. When she finds herself homeless for the holidays, he invites her to stay with him—if she’ll return the favor and be his fake girlfriend, so he can show his siblings what a loving partnership should look like. Their arrangement will end when the new year begins…or will it?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335894977

Published by Harlequin Special Edition

on 1st December, 2020

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The Masterson, Texas series:

The Bartender’s Secret (book one)

The Slow Burn (book two)

For This Christmas Only (book three)

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Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Converse on Twitter via: #ChristmasReads and/or #HolidayReads
as well as #ChristmasRomance and #ContemporaryRomance

About Caro Carson

Caro Carson

Despite a no-nonsense background as a West Point graduate and U.S. Army officer, Caro Carson has always treasured the happily-ever-after of a good romance novel. After her military service, she worked in the healthcare industry with a Fortune 100 company, talking science with doctors who were rarely handsome bachelor Texans like the doctors in her books.

Now a USA Today bestselling author and RITA™ award winner, Caro is delighted to be living her own happily-ever-after with her husband (who actually is a handsome Texan) and their two children. They live in the great state of Florida, a location which has saved the coaster-loving theme park fanatics a fortune on plane tickets.

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Posted Monday, 7 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

#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

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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

ASIN: B08BH7XL6H

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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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