A Little White Christmas Lie

I’m about to hit publish on my Christmas story. Two of my beta readers consider this my best. I’m not sure I agree, but I will say it’s the most “real.” I would love to hear your thoughts.

Carson Trent doesn’t know the beautiful Millie Cruise who literally falls into his lap is really Camille Harper,  a bestselling romance writer. 

Millie doesn’t know she’s headed for Carson’s grandmother’s inn in a quaint New England town.

Neither Carson nor Millie know that their lives are about to spin out of control thanks to a patch of black ice, a cow, and a little white Christmas lie.

How about you? Do you have a holiday romance you’d like to share? Leave a buy link in the comment line.

Do you love Christmas Stories?

Who doesn’t love a Christmas story? I know I do. There’s nothing so relaxing as to curl up with a steaming cup of tea and a good book. It’s even better if snow is falling outside and you’re sitting in front of a crackling fireplace. I can almost smell the wonderful scent of wood burning and the shadows of the flames dancing across the room. Maybe there is a bowl of popcorn and a snoozing puppy at your side.

Sigh. We can’t have it all. Or can we? We  can certainly try.

Authors of Main Street are excited to announce we have a New Five Boxed Set Coming Soon!

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My book for the upcoming boxed set is, Christmas at the Granger Inn.

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I’m reminded of early one evening when my son, and foster son, were on the trampoline in our back yard. They’d both come running into the house, as white as ghosts. Pun intended. 🙂 Both described a dark haired lady in a purple dress, hovering beside them. They were so scared, I couldn’t help but believe them. Who’s to say what they saw isn’t true? We live on a section of where there was an old plantation years ago. So, I’m also reminded of hauntings surrounding homes such as where this house now sits.

Though I haven’t written anything with a ghost before, one of the other authors mentioned she has a ghost in her story. So, intrigued that I was, and after a lot of thought and a lot of what if’s, my ghost emerged. I found writing this story has been so much fun!

The authors have all new books in the boxed set, but not all of the wonderful stories have a ghost. I hope those of you who do like them, enjoy my new ghost story!

Want to know how to get a FREE Copy of our New Boxed Set?

We’d love to treat you to five new books! Go to the right top of this page, sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll add you to our advance release program. You’ll receive an advance reading copy of our New Boxed Set for FREE. We only ask that you be kind enough leave an honest review.

We hope you’ll consider getting your Advanced Review Copy.

We appreciate each one of our readers and love sharing our stories with you!

I wish you love, butterflies and music.

Please check out these links to my books, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Smashwords. http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html

Please Welcome

This year the authors on Main Street decided to invite Nan O’Berry to join our Christmas boxed set. If you are a western reader, you probably know about her. Nan is local to me and has been a published author for years. She writes both obe-ad-smhistorical and contemporary romances, mostly in the western genre. Her “backyard” is filled with chickens, cattle, and horses. She’s probably more at home on a horse than anyplace else. Between working and caring for her family, she manages to squeeze in writing romances. Her latest release Road to Redemption remained on Kindle Worlds’ #1 and #2 slot for historical for two months after release and she’s still in the top 10!

Yeah, I’m the one who kept trading places with her and that was so much fun! She mentored me when I first started writing in the romance genre, so it was student and teacher trading places, sometimes as often as four times during a day.

Everyone on Main Street is excited to have her join us this year because Nan is the epitome of a Main Street author. She’s that small town gal who writes with the values that she has lived and raised her children to cherish.

I’ve already read her story, Candi Cain Kisses, and I can promise that you will love it! (Just don’t read the ending in public if you don’t want people to see you cry!)  Please welcome Nan O’Berry.

The holidays are just around the corner.

There’s nothing better than writing a story set about the norman-rockwellholidays. Holidays bring people home. We recall the Norman Rockwell painting depicting Thanksgiving dinner. The warmth and desire to belong transcends paint and canvas to nurture the deep need among us to go home again, to feel a part of something, to become again an innocent in a world of uncertainty. That being said, I am thrilled to have been asked by the Authors on Main Street to join their Christmas box set.

Each of our stories features an Inn. In Candi Cain Kisses, ‘my Inn’ is the Candy Cane Inn, an old Victorian on Main Street inebook-candi-cain-4x6-xsm Mistletoe, Texas. This building serves as the small town hotel. One of the parlors on the main floor has been transformed into a tearoom. Here, the citizens of Mistletoe can come at the end of a hard days shopping and enjoy a homemade pastry, a slice of cake¸ or cookie decorated for the season. It is here, where my heroine, Candi Cain meets Jonathan Barlow and his adorable daughter, Felicia.

One of my favorite movies is To Kill a Mockingbird. My hero, Jonathan Barlow is Atticus Finch without his glasses. He’s come to Mistletoe for a ‘do-over’. Losing his wife¸ he feels labeled “the widower”. Coming to Mistletoe, will allow him a fresh start with his precious daughter Felicia. No longer will he be, Tiffany Barlow’s husband.

northern-girlHis daughter, Felicia is a heart stopper. Picture her as the little dark-haired sweetheart from the Northern Bath Tissue. She is drawn to Candi and Candi’s intuition senses the lost waif and understands her issues. Candi’s own mother returned to Mistletoe and her family after Candi’s father’s death.

Of course, love blossoms. However as we know, true love never takes the easy path. I hope you all will take a peek at Candi Cane Kisses and enjoy the journey toward true love for Candi and Jonathan.

Nan O’Berry

Becoming an Orphan

I lost my parents within 11 months of one another. Both required care before their deaths and refused all but family assistance – mostly from me and my family. I am the oldest of three children and the only daughter, so in some respects this is understandable for children my age.

 Oddly enough, it wasn’t my parent’s deaths that consumed and nearly devastated me, it was the unmitigated and unrelenting estate issues I had with my brothers.

 I can write about them in a somewhat detailed and somewhat less visceral way now that my mother’s estate is closed. My father’s estate was formally closed before that, but was, and is, complicated by the fact that he put his real estate assets in all three of our names as joint tenants. I still own one piece of what appears to be non-saleable hunting land in common with my brothers, in Northern Wisconsin.

 Once that tie is severed, I will effectively be an orphan; something I had nightmares of as a child.

 It is the torture of being linked to people whose purpose is to control and demoralize that did not allow me to grieve properly for my parents.

 It’s hard to grieve when you’re treading water.

 I was the Personal Representative and Power of Attorney for my father. In an attempt at fairness, my mother named the elder of my brothers as her P.R. and P.O.A. That was a decision I know she lived long enough to regret.

 My brother tried and failed to keep me out of the hospital – he succeeded, though, in keeping me out until my mother could no longer communicate verbally. He tried to keep her from saying goodbye to me, her eldest grandchild, and only grandson.

 He refused to tell me of the funeral arrangements until two days before.

 He would not tell me where my mother’s ashes were for 64 days – I had to appear before a probate judge who threatened to have my brother incarcerated, to find out.

 Throughout subsequent court appearances, the judge repeated his threat to jail my brother – calling out his behavior as the most despicably obscene he’d seen in all his decades on the bench, including criminal and children’s court. Having been a child and elder advocate for over twenty years, it was the second worst behavior I’ve seen as well.

 Suffice it to say, the totality of what occurred on a personal level was ugly and without merit or cause.

 Without that judge’s order, I may never have known where my mother’s remains were ultimately laid to rest. That kind of torture was exactly what was intended by my brothers.

 I am now thankful to be an orphan. Hopefully, an orphan who writes.

 I have just now begun to write again and I’m finishing a torture scene that has new legitimacy.

 Sometimes as we grow we change. Not always for the better, as in the case of my brothers. I am choosing a path that leads toward the better. I haven’t left the past behind, but I am actively relegating the waste of it to the garbage can.

 One doesn’t need to experience pain to write about it – all we need to do is write it and perhaps empathize with those undergoing it.

 Funny, now that it’s over – mostly because I don’t give two hoots about the land – it’s almost anticlimactic. It’s also a huge relief. I simply no longer fear having no family of birth. I welcome it. I’m also gaining a devilish glee from writing despicable characters based on personal experience.

 I am thankful I can find joy in that, no matter how twisted that may be.

 Moving forward – gratefully,

 Leigh

 

Love Christmas Release

14469659_10153950269706616_8363947040020809228_nPurchase:

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My Love Affair With Conferences

njrw-pyhiabTomorrow night, I’ll head to New Jersey for NJRWA’s annual Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. For me,this conference is like coming home. After another year of workshops, booksignings, and reader/author get-togethers, my hectic schedule tends to end in October – and usually, at my home chapter, New Jersey. While there, I’ll catch up with friends, host writing sessions in my hotel room (complete with wine), attend workshops, cheer on winners of their annual Golden Leaf (an honor I received last year for REUNION IN OCTOBER) and Put Your Heart in a Book contests, and host my workshop, Sole Deep: Using Actors’ Exercises to Strengthen Characterization and Deepen Point-of-View.

I love conference season.

Put a hundred (or more) creative minds in a hotel, and you can’t help but absorb a ton of energy. I often wind up carrying my laptop or a notebook to restaurants, lobbies, and empty ballrooms so I can jot down the ideas zipping through my brain at any given moment.

There are so many friends I only get to see at conferences, writers and readers alike. We catch up on books, other friends, our lives. We hug a lot, laugh too loudly, drink a little too much, eat a lot of chocolate, and squeeze every minute we can together because we know it will have to last us another year.

We connect with writing professionals. Agents, editors, cover artists, and marketers will all be around to offer services and contracts to authors. In fact, NJRWA will host their first Trade Expo at this event, where the professionals can meet one-on-one with authors seeking their type of service.

And the workshops! No matter where you are in your writing career, an author can always glean a new bit of information at one of the many workshops provided at a conference. Conferences are exciting, rejuvenating, exhausting, and I love every one of them.

Once I come home from New Jersey, conference season for 2016 is ended. What’s a writer to do? Start planning next year’s conference schedule, of course! Keep your eyes open; I could be coming to a city near you.

 

 

Waking Up For Christmas

We are all in the home stretch of readying our Christmas stories for an Authors of Main Street boxed set.

I have always found The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks a very romantic book but some will disagree, so in the way of writers, I thought what if?!

My story for the set, Waking Up For Christmas is my version of The Notebook with a happy, happy ending. LOL

Darcy Bennett Thanos is in a coma after a car accident. Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Chase Thanos sits by her side, desperate for her to wake up. In his grief of their failed marriage he stays by her hospital bed telling her of all the milestones of their love, from their first meeting to their last argument, begging her to wake up for Christmas, even if it to divorce him.

wakingupforchristmas-200x300I can’t wait for all the stories to be done and in a boxed set for readers!

Here’s to love and the holidays!!

Jill James, romance writer