Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The #Magic of #Christmas

One of the things I love about Christmas is when December casts its foreshadow across my November. Hints of the holidays, of nostalgia, of crystal snowflakes, and crisp winter winds. But I'm not the only one who feels this way! Authors Allison Pittman and Rachel McMillan hijacked my blogging Tuesday to help usher Coffee Cups and Camisoles into the the Christmas season with a new novella collection and their own stories of Christmas delight....

Allison, I know you're busting to share about your Christmas magic ...

My husband and I met each other in August, and were married on December 21, so all of our Christmases together have been as a married couple. That doesn’t mean they weren’t romantic, but I don’t know if they’d be worthy of a soft musical montage. We did have a Christmas-themed wedding, with the sanctuary full of Poinsettias and evergreen, but that’s because the church was already decorated for Christmas, so I didn’t have to spend money on flowers. Just had the bouquet and boutonnieres made to match. In short, I’ve always had a practical edge to romance.

I guess that’s why I’d have to say the most romantic of all the Christmas romance movies, the one I identify with the most, the one I’d like to experience in real life, is The Family Man with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. I mean, yes, it has the fantastical element of supernatural alternate universe time travel, but the heart of the story is the home. I love that the set designers created a home that looks like one people actually live in. Cluttered shelves and dirty laundry and all. And all of the romance between Jack and Kate happen in stolen moments amidst the chaos. Most of all, I love how everyone in their circle of friends knows how solid their marriage is. To me, that’s a testament to romance.

In my novella Lone Star Christmas Lights, my character Mari wants to be a romance writer, but when the perfect story comes to light, she deems it too “ordinary.” That’s when Larsen, my hero, asks, “Sometimes can’t a story be about two people who find each other? And that’s enough?”

Twenty-six years ago, my husband—Mikey—and I found each other. So far, that’s been enough.

Loooooooooove that! And Rachel? What say you . . . 

I love Christmas and have yet to experience romance at Christmas time. However, being a hopeless and hapless romantic, I get tingly at the thought of it. Especially because Christmas is wrapped in tradition. I love tradition: it connects us to history.  

While my ultimate Christmas wish is a romantic trip to Austria at Christmas-time for the Viennese Christmas Market  --- I have visited the site but never at Christmas and it is not the same.  I would want to be back in my little hometown for the actual holiday. I love being home for Christmas: the lights, the snow, our sparkly little Main Street with its candles and window displays and market with hot chocolate and ice skating on the nearby lake.  I am such a city girl but there is something about my small town at Christmas that I love.
Christmas for me is about family and music and falling into the cushion of tradition.

That’s why a film that I would most like to experience in real life is Very Merry Mix-Up, I love the emphasis on tradition in this film and that there is room for another person within the realm of these traditions.   There is something so cozy about it: the firelight, the main characters needing to stay awake (okay, I don’t want a concussion like they have in the film), the midnight kitchen raid to make cookies and the ornaments that all signify something when they decorate the tree. Not to mention, the romantic night-time walks to view the Christmas lights

In Falling for a Christmas Star, San Antonio native Sam Medina is in Toronto around the Christmas holidays and invites Merry Strathford into one of his traditions: making tamales in the way the Medina family has done for generations.  I really love this moment in the novel because Sam  ( who is in Toronto on a shoot for a Hallmark-like film) lets Merry into his world for a moment. He likens the experience to “bringing a girl home for Christmas for the first time.”

Christmas is the most romantic time of the year--- no doubt about it.  But whether you are snuggling up to someone you love or just enjoying the romance of a single stroll through the snow or the warm reception of your family gathering, make it all count.  That’s another thing I love about Christmas: it is a spring-board for built-in memory making.

YES YES YES! Built-in memory making! The best ever! And, I (Jaime) am totally looking forward to some warm, memory making moments over a truly great novella collection! Can't go wrong when Allison Pittman and Rachel McMillan pair up . . .

Visit the magic of Christmas in their whimsical and hopelessly romantic pair of Christmas novellas Starring Christmas: releasing Tues November 29
Two Christmas novellas by beloved novelists in one set!

Falling for a Christmas Star by Rachel McMillan
Sam Medina has finally made it. A last minute casting change finds him en route to Toronto to star in the latest entry of the Serendipity Network’s annual Christmas movie extravaganza, My True Love Gave to Me. Finally, he will have the chance to shake off his reputation for supporting roles as the best friend or kind-hearted barista and prove that he is leading man material.
Merry Strathford is too busy for love. When she’s not pursuing a tenure track position in Medieval Women’s studies, she’s serving plum pudding lattes at the Holly and the Ivy Café. Thus far, the only romance in her life occurs when she falls under the spell of her favourite made-for-TV movies. That is, until Sam Medina walks through the coffee shop door.
Suddenly, both Sam and Merry are living the romance of a Serendipity movie. But life isn’t all snowflakes and sugar plums and real life —and relationships—are far from cookie cutter shortbread.
Lone Star Christmas Lights by Allison Pittman
Mari Medina is in love…with her neighborhood. She’s converted her historic ancestral home into a cool coffee shop and party space, with an apartment upstairs big enough to share with her mother. It’s a comfortable, safe existence, even if it lacks the spark to fuel her unsuccessful attempts to break into the world of writing romance. Still, she’s always on the lookout for a new taste to bring to her patrons.
Larsen Clarke had everything that comes with a successful career: a luxury apartment, a flashy sports car, and his pick of society women. When hardship strikes his family, he gives it all up, trading for a room in his brother’s home, and a venture into creating craft beer. He’s traded his expensive suit for a plaid shirt, and the only risk he’s willing to take involves bold Texas-based brew.
When Mari and Larsen meet, it’s a collision of retail and romance. She’s looking for a story, he’s looking for himself. Together, they just might find a little lone star magic.

Rachel McMillan is the hopelessly and haplessly romantic scribbler behind the Herringford and Watts series. She grew up in a small Ontario town with an annual Christmas light parade, small-town traditions and so much snow.  Now, she lives in Toronto where she spends most of November and December visiting the city’s many Christmas markets and department store window displays (but only when she is not catching up on the latest Hallmark Christmas movie roster and counting the days until she can go home for Christmas once again.
Allison Pittman is an acclaimed novelist of more than a dozen books. She wasn’t born in Texas, but she’s decided it’s in her blood anyways. She likes Christmas shopping in shorts, picking up the holiday turkey at the local smokehouse, and watching her white Christmas on a television screen. She has three grown-up boys—and one almost-grown-up husband—Mikey— the undisputed nicest guy in the world who lets her keep the DVR filled up with Christmas so that she can watch that part one more time.

Enjoy the MAGIC of Christmas 


Jaime Jo Wright
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.
Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures atjaimejowright.com.

1 comment:

  1. Christmas is a magical time and romantic too, although until I read this post I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe that's why I enjoy the Hallmark Christmas movies. I record them and play them back while I'm wrapping presents. 🎁


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