Welcome to my Twelve Books for Christmas blog. Over these first twelve days of December I'll be introducing you to twelve romance books to warm your heart and make you feel all Christmassy. :) They'll all make wonderful presents for a friend, or you could even treat yourself.
My book for day nine is part of the Christmas Wish Come True collection published by Carina UK. Gina Rochelle has written one of the books in this collection, All I Want For Christmas, and has dropped by to tell us all about it. The other two books are Christmas Every Day by Jaimie Admans and Dreaming of a White Wedding by Misty Shaw. Here's the cover for the collection.
Now over to Gina to tell us about her book.
All I Want for Christmas
Ditching her faithless fiancé, schoolteacher Isabella plans to spend the holidays alone. But when she unintentionally inspires a young pupil to make an impossible wish, she joins forces with his – totally gorgeous – uncle to put things right! Could two wishes come true this Christmas?
Isabella Stevens fought the urge to rebel against the hushed quiet that surrounded her. Even the school halls seemed to know how she’d be spending the long Thanksgiving weekend, not to mention the Christmas holidays.
She looked down at her heavy snow boots, tempted to kick them off and slide across the polished floor in her stockinged feet. Maybe it would help her to forget her cancelled plans…
She was an adult, and a teacher. And even though this job was temporary, she hoped to land a permanent position here at Snow Pass Elementary – the sooner the better.
She stopped at the door of the first-grade classroom and adjusted her bag on her shoulder, taking a deep breath as she entered. She checked the clock above the door. Seven forty-five. Another half hour of silence until the children began to arrive. She walked to the window of the second-story room and looked out at the gray morning. The roads below were showing signs of the getaway-day hustle and bustle, and she briefly wondered how many of her students, if any, would be traveling out of town.
The last few days were somewhat surreal – getting this job offer, arriving in Colorado, renting a room at an extended-stay hotel. Then the earlier-than-expected call-to-duty. Her plan was to go apartment hunting today, but the early arrival of Cindy Atwater’s baby yesterday had changed everything. With barely any time to catch her breath or familiarize herself with the city of Denver, Isabella was here at Snow Pass – one week ahead of schedule. Fresh off an airplane and a broken engagement – winging it.
Want to find out what happens? You can buy the collection here:
Amazon buying links:
I was born and raised in the great state of Iowa – America’s heartland – where my love of reading, writing, and nature was nurtured. I couldn’t imagine a better place to grow up, but the dreamer in me was inspired by the beautiful settings and happily-ever-afters I read about in books. I fell in love with romances when I was twelve years old, and it soon became my dream to create my own. After living in Florida for many years, where I raised my son and worked different jobs – even working as a Disney World cast member – my dream of becoming a romance writer remained in my heart. Today, I live in colourful Colorado – where I get endless inspiration from the beautiful Rocky Mountains and am eternally grateful to finally have the career of my dreams – writing romance.
All I Want for Christmas (included in the Christmas Wish Come True collection) is my debut novel, published December 2015 by Carina UK.
I asked Gina to tell us about her family's festive traditions:
Do you have any favourite family Christmas traditions? If so, what are they?
First, when I was a child, my mother would make oyster stew for dinner every Christmas Eve. I have absolutely no idea where that tradition came from – I’m guessing it was passed down from my grandmother’s Irish Catholic/Native American roots. My mom passed away when I was a young adult, so I didn’t have the time to learn the answers to all the questions I have about things that have stuck with me over the years. But I remember having my stew for dinner, then heading out to Midnight Mass with my best friend every Christmas Eve. It is one of my favourite memories of Christmas, and I have continued that tradition each year since. Second, when my mom learned of my love for Harlequin Romances (when I was twelve years old) she began the tradition of tucking a shiny new book (or two) into my stocking each year. Back then, digital didn’t exist, and I loved taking my book out on Christmas Morning, holding it in my hand, and delving into the romantic world that awaited me. So, to this day, I treat myself to a new Harlequin (in book form) each Christmas, in memory of my mom. I never had a daughter, so I haven’t passed the tradition down, but if I am ever blessed with a grand-daughter….
When do you open your Christmas presents?
This sort of goes back to traditions, as well. When I was a young child, my siblings and I would open all our presents on Christmas Morning. But as we got older, my parents began the tradition of letting us open all the gifts that were under the tree on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Morning, ‘Santa’ always left one big gift for each of us, along with our stuffed stockings. When I became a mom, the same applied, except I’ve modified it over the years to opening one gift on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Morning.
If you could invite any author living or dead to share your Christmas lunch, who would it be?
Well, I’m going to cheat a little on this one because three authors come to mind who have impacted me greatly, and I would love to share my Christmas lunch with all of them. #1 – the late Phyllis A. Whitney. Her book, The Golden Unicorn, left such an impression on me that it is the first book that comes to mind when I think of my all-time favourites. It was everything to me, and I give that story credit for inspiring my authorly ambitions! #2 – the late Violet Winspear. I give her novel, The Honey Is Bitter, credit for making me fall irretrievably in love with Harlequin Romances. And for steering me in the direction of writing romance. And #3 – the very much living Diana Gabaldon. What can I say about her brilliant Outlander series? Gorgeous, awesome, addicting….and well, my favourite book-boyfriend, Jamie Fraser...*sigh*
What book would you like to find in your Christmas stocking?
Going back to the last question, I would love to find a copy of The Golden Unicorn in my stocking this year. I still have my original copy of The Honey Is Bitter, and the Outlander series is available for purchase. But I don’t have a copy of The Golden Unicorn, which is no longer in print. I’ve researched buying a used copy on Amazon but have not yet purchased one. Hmmm – maybe I’ll put that on my ‘Dear Santa’ list this year…
What is the most unusual Christmas present you’ve ever had/given?
My most unusual gift isn’t unusual because of the toy itself, but because of the unusual circumstances surrounding it. When I was four, my family moved back to Iowa over the Christmas holidays, after living in Colorado for a year. On the drive to Iowa, I remember my parents stopping at a department store and telling me and my siblings to pick out one toy each that we wanted most for Christmas. I had my heart set on a red-headed doll with a green satin dress that must have been all the rage that year. We searched for it, and my heart started to sink when the clerk said they might be sold out. But, miraculously, she found one remaining – pushed way to the back on the very top shelf! I remember my mom telling me that Santa left it there just for me, because we were traveling over Christmas. It is one of my most treasured Christmas memories.
Thanks for dropping by, Gina.
Bring a little sunshine into your life!
Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press