today’s book: the christmas kiss by virginia mccullough
Christmas is only 30 days away according to Google (if we get to Dec 25th and we have days left over, blame Google, not me lol), BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!
So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s featured book is a sweet contemporary romance where opposites attract – plus the author shares a post about incorporating holidays into her novels!
THE CHRISTMAS KISS
SERIES: Back to Bluestone River #2
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (clean)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2019
Will working together
…lead to together forever?
Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!
create a holiday memory
by Virginia McCullough, author of The Christmas Kiss
As you’ve probably guessed, my new book, THE CHRISTMAS KISS (book 2 of my Harlequin Heartwarming series, Back to Bluestone River), probably has at least a mention or two of Christmas. True, the story starts in the fall, but it ends on Christmas Eve, which is also the season of the winter solstice. So, in reality and symbolically it’s about the coming of light.
Much of Emma O’Connell and Parker Davis’s story is set in the Hidden Lake Bird Sanctuary, a major attraction in the town Bluestone River, Illinois. Once a thriving old-style resort with housekeeping cabins, it was a peaceful, slightly off-the beaten path kind of place. On Christmas Eve, it’s relaunched as not only a bird sanctuary, but a public nature center featuring a boardwalk stretching deep into the woods. Part of the event’s promise will be lighting up the snowy sanctuary. (In the short section below, Stacey is a sanctuary volunteer, and Jason is the 7-year-old, whose story is told in book 1, A FAMILY FOR JASON.)
“It’s almost dark now,” Stacey said. “Who wants us to light up the woods?”
Jason’s hand shot up. “I do.” Then he joined in the chant started by some older kids behind them. “Lights, lights, lights.”
The chanting stopped abruptly when the white fairy-lights on the pier lit up behind Stacey, bringing the first exclamations from the crowd. Then, all two hundred plus people looked behind them and a collective ah rippled through the crowd in response to the intricate outline of lights wrapped around the boardwalk railings and snaking through the woods. Gusts of wind sent lights and tree branches swaying and changing the patterns. The boardwalk light show succeeded in showing the woods in constant motion. The lit up buildings completed the wonderland image.
Emma let out a long sigh. “Kind of makes you believe wood sprites and fairies are flitting about, doesn’t it?”
In another of my books, THE CHAPELS ON THE HILL, I realized early on that the perfect ending for this story of hope, healing, and second chances would take place in the family’s botanical garden at Christmas in the midst of its holiday light display. In that book, Sonia and Aaron Chapel are finally able to let light back into their lives after a long period of darkness.
But is Christmas the only important holiday? I don’t think so. A FAMILY FOR JASON ends on Thanksgiving, which happens to be my favorite holiday. In that story, some key people in Bluestone River have a lot to be grateful for, and one with a unique challenge has a major breakthrough.
Lately, I’ve been having fun with Book 3 of my Back to Bluestone River series (working title, LOVE LESSONS), and Amy’s story starts on her less-than-perfect Valentine’s Day:
With a basket of clean clothes balanced against her hip, Amy Morgan climbed the basement stairs humming the opening bars of “My Funny Valentine.” She was slightly off-key, especially on the high notes, but what difference did it make? The song had looped through her head all day, no matter how hard she tried to purge it from her brain. There was zero chance of that happening, since Valentine’s Day plans were the buzz at work that afternoon. As the River Street Salon’s receptionist she had a front row seat to all the small talk. Most all the women who came in that day were expecting their husbands or boyfriends to show up with flowers, a box of their favorite chocolates, or both.
Amy carried the basket of still warm clothes into the kitchen and plunked it down on a chair at the end of the long table. “Happy Valentine’s Day to me,” she muttered under her breath.
With any luck, Amy’s life will perk up by the end of the story, which happens to be the Fourth of July—and her old friend Eric Wells might play a part in changing her mood.
Meanwhile, I hope you’ll share Emma and Parker’s holiday romance in THE CHRISTMAS KISS.
Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.
Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.
Virginia McCullough is offering one of my readers a $10 B&N Gift Card (open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about The Christmas Kiss by Virginia McCullough? Why do you love books with holiday settings?