Our brand-new boxed set, Christmas on Main Street – Book 2, includes five heart-warming Christmas romances. My contribution is Mistletoe & Wine, the fifth and final book in my Music Box series.
Mistletoe & Wine takes place at Christmastime in 1986. (The title comes from a 1988 Cliff Richard song that most North Americans probably haven’t heard, but I couldn’t resist using it.) If you read Heart’s Desire, then you’re familiar with Mavis and Will, an interracial couple who fall in love in the 1950s, despite society’s disapproval. Their daughter Colleen is the heroine of Mistletoe & Wine.
I was apprehensive writing from the point of view of a mixed-race heroine. The book Black Berry, Sweet Juice by Laurence Hill helped me grasp the challenges that a biracial child might face, figuring out where they fit within two racial identities. Hill’s book made me appreciate how important cultural identity is to an individual – something those of us born into a single culture don’t usually think about. But I didn’t delve very far into this aspect of the story, focusing instead on Colleen’s budding relationship with Liam Clancy, who is the grandson of Amy and Sean from Sense of Touch. Though I didn’t plan it ahead of time, I managed to tie up the series by joining the two families featured in the first four books.
For Colleen Dixon, Christmas of 1986 seems sure to be miserable. Having just lost her job, her lover and her apartment, she figures a trip across the country to spend the holidays at her grandmother’s house might be just what she needs. Meeting Dr. Liam Clancy during her visit brings a whole new shine to her Christmas spirit. Recently divorced, Liam never intended to fall for a woman again so soon, especially one who lives so far away. Can a holiday fling survive as a long-distance romance, or will the New Year bring the promise of something more?
You don’t need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this story, although many of the characters from the other books make an appearance. The Clancys and Barkleys feel like family to me, and I hope readers will enjoy their journey as much as I have.
Susan R. Hughes is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. Visit her website at susanrhughes.weebly.com.