Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today's Special - Once Upon a Christmas


I love Christmas anthologies. Not only is Christmas my favorite holiday but it's also a very busy time of year. What better than a collection of short, delicious, bites of romance when time is at a premium? I also enjoy romances set in different eras which is something that makes Once Upon a Christmas unique and especially enjoyable for a reader like me. The stories created by these four talented authors follow one family from the Regency to present day; from glittering Regency and Victorian ballrooms to freezing WWII battlefields to a truly sigh-worthy modern day conclusion when an American woman and an English duke have a second chance at love after a brief meeting seven years earlier. I'm delighted to welcome Maggie Robinson, Tiffany Clare, J.K. Coi, and Elyssa Patrick, the authors of Once Upon a Christmas.  







Maggie Robinson is a former teacher and library clerk who now balances her time between writing historical romance and doting on her adorable grandchildren. She and her husband live in Maine when they're not exploring the world. Her next full-length novel, Schooling the Viscount, first in her new Cotswold Confidential series, will be released January 31, 2017. Learn more about Maggie Robinson and her books at her website and connect with online at Facebook and Twitter




Maggie: The best thing about Once Upon a Christmas? It’s given four friends a chance to collaborate on a book using our multi-genre experiences. JK Coi has a great “Dear Reader” letter in OUAC explaining, which got me a little misty-eyed. We all write such different things, but OUAC follows one ducal family for almost 200 years. That gave me a chance to dive back into the Regency again, Tiff to work her Victorian magic, JK to write her angsty World War II story, and Ely to finish up with her fun modern-day duke. We had a ball with it!

And speaking of balls, A Price Above Rubies begins at one. It is the first time in 20+ books I actually have written a hanky-panky behind the potted palms in a ballroom scene; I’ve generally avoided “the duke and the deb at the dance.” There’s a strong Cinderella element, but paid companion Helen leaves behind something more valuable than a glass slipper. It’s up to Gabriel, 6th Duke of Ravenglass, to find her, return it, and make her his!







Tiffany Clare writes sexy historical romances set in the Victorian era. A Canadian, Tiffany lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, and two dogs. She's currently working on her next book. Learn more about Tiffany Clare and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter




Tiffany: From the moment Elyssa mentioned collaborating on a family-through-the-ages saga, I knew this was our chance to write a story together. We’ve known each other so long, but have always written pretty far apart in style and sub-genre. This was like a breath of fresh air; a chance to tell a great holiday story, and to explore a family through each generation. (Though we had some pretty funny conversations along the way about which duke number we were at and what special items were being carried forward. BTW, our math—mine—sucks on occasion.)

My story starts the MacCallon legacy! I’m looking forward to writing the MacCallon series starting with the youngest sister Emily in Never Have I Ever Kissed a Duke, and yes, there is a game of Never Have I Ever! playing out in this story. It’s a best friend’s younger sister story, with a young independent woman finding her way in the world. But damn, reacquainting with the duke makes him rethink what he thought he knew about the world of falling in love!






J.K.Coi is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. J.K. spends her days in the world of insurance law while devoting her nights to her husband, son, and writing. Learn more about J.K. Coi and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter





JK Coi: What I enjoyed the most about writing Loving Lord Spy for Once Upon a Christmas was brainstorming the themes with these three fantastic writer friends. They all have such unique perspectives, and while they have each always been a font of knowledge, it was amazing to be able to pick their brains on a common project for the first time.

One of the themes we brainstormed was the Cinderella fairy tale, and while not all of us ended up using the theme, Maggie and I did. Although she focused on the idea of the ball and the lost item, I focused on Cinderella’s backstory involving her stepmother and step-siblings. I hope you enjoy my twist to it!






Elyssa Patrick is a former English teacher who left school behind to focus her energies on writing contemporary romance. As noted in her website bio, Patrick pens "quirky romantic comedies that are full of humor, heat, and heart." Learn more about Elyssa Patrick and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter






Elyssa:  I had so much fun working with my friends on this anthology! I love these fabulously talented women, and I’m so lucky that they’re also my dearest friends. They’re like family to me—I know they always have my back. It felt so right to have this anthology center around a family and to explore them through the ages. We each have a different writing voice and style, but all of our novellas fit so well together. There’s a strong connection throughout.

In my novella, I explore a particularly strong connection between my hero, Kit, and heroine, Belle. I had read one Missed Connection that had gone viral—and the ad really got to me. Plus, I have my own missed connection story, so I felt a personal pull to write this. I think we’ve all that moment in our lives where we’ve wondered What If. (For the record, the missed connection in my story is nothing like the missed connections I read or experienced.) I wanted to write about a missed connection that actually reconnected. What would happen if the hero and heroine met after seven years? I wanted to explore that What If. And I had such a blast writing this—I love the story so much. Belle and Kit were an utter delight, and I hope that, if you decide to read Once Upon a Christmas, that you feel that same delight in all of our stories as we did writing them.

Maggie again: Now I want to know what Elyssa’s missed connection is! 

We all hope you have the most wonderful holidays!


PJ here. Many thanks to Maggie, Tiffany, J.K., and Elyssa for stopping by today. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology and give it my enthusiastic recommendation. I'm excited to read that Tiffany Clare plans to write more stories for the MacCallon family and am hoping that Elyssa Patrick's creative spirit might lead her to write stories for Kit's siblings! 


Today's authors are giving away an e-book of Once Upon a Christmas to two commenters. 

What’s your favorite time period to read about? 

Are you addicted to historicals or a contemporary gal all the way? 

Do you look forward to reading Christmas anthologies every year like we do? 

 (Deadline for comments to be entered for giveaway is 11:00 PM, EST, November 11, 2016.)



The holidays are a time for family, celebration--and the Dukes of Ravenglass to fall in love. Spend the Christmas season with the Wynter family, as the Dukes of Ravenglass find their happily-ever-afters in this delightful, heartfelt collection that spans from the Regency era to the present day.

In A Price Above Rubies by Maggie Robinson, set in the Regency era, paid companion Helen Lowe doesn't know the man she shares her first-ever dance--and first-ever kiss--is Gabriel Wynter, a reclusive, notorious duke. When Helen flees after being exposed, she leaves behind something of far greater value than a glass slipper. Can Gabriel find her, return it, and finally open his heart?

In the Victorian-era set, Never Have I Ever Fallen in Love with a Duke by Tiffany Clare, Alexander Wynter has a problem--his best friend's younger sister grew up. When he agreed to help Emily MacCallon make her debut, he didn't expect the beautiful, alluring woman before him--or for her to lead him on such a merry chase. Alexander knows one thing: the only man she'll be kissing forever and ever is him.

In the World War II-set, Loving Lord Spy by J.K. Coi, Winnie Jenkins, a combat nurse, and Lord David Wynter, an injured British spy, fall in love at the worst possible time. Each of them owes a duty to their country and must go their separate ways. They promise that when the war is finally over, they'll meet in Hyde Park on Christmas morning . . . but agree that if one of them doesn't make it, the other won't seek out the reason why. Can they keep their appointment? Or will secrets, lies, and the perils of war keep them apart?

A missed connection gets a second chance in the present-day contemporary romance, Saved by the Belle by Elyssa Patrick. Seven years ago, Kit Wynter met the woman of his dreams. Even after all this time, he's never been able to forget the American girl who captured his heart. When Belle Sweeney answers his ad--for she, too, never forgot him--it feels like there's something still there. Spending the holiday at Ravenglass Abbey is the perfect opportunity to figure out if this is love.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2f3xURD
Nook
iBooks: http://bit.ly/ouac_ibk
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ouac_kobo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/ouac_gp

29 comments:

  1. Good morning from someone who didn't sleep very much, LOL. PJ, thanks so much for having us visit! Hope your readers love the Ravenglass dukes!

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    1. Morning, Maggie! You're up earlier than I was. As you said, a long night.

      Thanks for visiting with us today. I hope readers love the Ravenglass dukes as much as I did!

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  2. oooh, I think I need to find out Ely's missed connection story too! :D

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    1. Whatever her missed connection was, I'm glad it inspired Kit and Belle's story. I adored it.

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  3. Thank you for having us on here, PJ! Just a quick thing, the Nook link for ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS is here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-upon-a-christmas-maggie-robinson/1124588618?ean=2940156817788. And that's my fault since I ran into a snafu with the former Nook link and had to recofnigure things. :)

    As to the missed connection, it was all one-sided on my end. PJ and Maggie, you both actually know this story since I told everyone about it after it happened on the bulletin board.

    So the story: after a long, hard day of teaching, I was on my way home and decided to stop at Starbucks for a much-needed hot cup of chocolate. I was in the parking lot, making sure my makeup hadn't totally worn off, when I noticed this white SUV parked ahead of me and then the door opened and the most handsome man I've ever seen in my entire life got out. He was tall, dark-haired, and just had the OOMPH. I was so OMG that looked away and got my stuff together to head into Starbucks. I thought he could be in there if he didn't go into the store next door (a mens' suit place). I got into Starbucks and it was busy. I didn't see him and was disappointed, but was mentally talked to myself that I wouldn't have done anything anyway because I'm horribly shy and guys like that never go for me. I got in line, and out of the corner of my eye, I see this man walking from the back where the restrooms are located. It was him. You know that part in romance novels where the heroine's whole world stops, where she feels all the goose bumps and her heart races, when she sees the hero? It was exactly like that. He was even hotter closer up--and he had the deepest blue eyes ever. The bottom of his jeans were caked in mud or cement--I'm familiar with that look because my dad is a construction worker. But here's the rub. He was on a date with this petite gorgeous brunette. No idea if it was early stages or serious, but there it was.

    So that's the one-sided story. I sometimes still think about that night and wonder who that man was--since I've never seen him again--but I figure that even if he was single there was no way he'd be into me. I'm still the proverbial wallflower.

    But that's why I figure I'm into romances where the unexpected heroine gets her day--and her hero who completely sees her for the awesome person she is and is completely into her.

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  4. And thank you, PJ! I'm so glad you liked the novella and the anthology. That really means a lot.

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  5. I love reading Regency Historical romance. Christmas anthologies are one of my favorites to read, but only set in either Regency or Victorian times.

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    1. Hi, Diane! I'm a 19th century girl myself usually. But I love TV shows set in the 30s and 40s like the Poirot series and Foyle's War, JK's novella is a great WW II story!

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    2. You're in for a treat since Maggie and Tiff's stories are fab!

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  6. I love contemporary and Regency romance

    denise

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    1. Hi, Denise! Elyssa writes super-fun contemporaries and YAs. :)

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    2. That's great to hear, Denise! And thank you for the shout-out, Maggie! I no longer write New Adult (not YA) but am focused on contemporary romance/romantic comedies. :)

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    3. I meant NA...had a senior moment. ;)

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  7. I'm open to any time period :) And one of my secret indulgences is Christmas stories. Congrats ladies on the new release! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much! I was excited when I cleaned my bedside stand the other day--found a Christmas anthology I forgot to read last year! #badhousekeeping

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    2. I love holiday stories, too, Erin! I'm a huge fan of Hallmark Channel's Christmas movies. :)

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  8. I am currently reading Brenda Novak's Christmas anthology to aid diabetic research. So yes I love to read them. I enjoy reading contemporary books mainly but enjoy reading regency also.

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    1. Brenda is such a hero! I've participated in her auction several times.

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    2. Brenda does so many great things for diabetic research! That anthology sounds like it's a lot of fun, too.

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  9. I love to read about the regency period. I am addicted to historicals, but I do read some contemporary as well. I do enjoy Christmas anthologies since each story is short and they get me in the Holiday mood.

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    1. Hi Amy! I don't start playing Christmas music or putting out decorations until after Thanksgiving but I always start reading Christmas romances (especially novellas and anthologies) in mid-October. Guess it's never too early for a heartwarming Christmas romance! :)

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    2. Good morning, Amy & PJ! I was stunned when I was shopping at TJ Maxx in early October and turned into the Christmas aisle. So not ready, LOL. I usually start Christmas decorations Thanksgiving weekend, since some of the kids are home and can help me put the pre-lit artificial tree together and up!

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    3. Me too, Amy! Karina Bliss just released a great Xmas anthology--You Had Me at Christmas--and I loved all the stories in there, most especially Laura Florand's. I just love Laura's voice and highly recommend her. I also can't wait for Holiday with a Twist from Shannon Stacey--she's a master at the novella and her holiday romances are sooooooo good.

      What's great about our anthology is how you'll want to read all the stories, even if you don't usually read Regency or Victorian or World War II or contemporary. There is a great connection throughout and each novella is super festive. :)

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  10. Hi, ladies! Once Upon a Christmas is already on my Kindle, and I look forward to reading it. I love Christmas anthologies in almost every flavor. Kris even had me hooked on steampunk Christmas one year--not at all my usual genre. :) Happy Holiday greetings to you all.

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    1. And to you too, Janga! Hope you love the book!

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    2. Thank you so much, Janga! I really hope you enjoy it! :)

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  11. I do read historicals mostly, but I don't have a favorite time period. I absolutely love Christmas anthologies: they're a great way to meet new authors as well as quick easy reads during a super busy time of year. :-)

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    1. Hi, Glenda! I'm a "mostly" historical person too. ;)

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