Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lee Tobin McClain & First Kiss at Christmas

Posted October 30, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, giveaway, Lee Tobin McClain, romance / 16 Comments

First Kiss at Christmas JustRead Blog TourWelcome to the Blog Tour for First Kiss at Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Lee on the blog today to talk about her new heroine!

first kiss at christmasFIRST KISS AT CHRISTMAS
Series: The Off Season #5
Author: Lee Tobin McClain
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

At 25 years old, preschool teacher Kayla Harris is embarrassed to admit she’s never been kissed. When Tony DiNunzio and his grieving nephew show up in her classroom, she can’t help being drawn to both of them. If only her insecurities-and his guilt over his sister’s death-would stop standing in their way.

As Christmas approaches, can these three come together to form a family… not just for the holidays, but forever?


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Kayla Harris, Character Inspiration

by Lee Tobin McClain, author of First Kiss at Christmas

Thanks for letting me tell your readers about First Kiss at Christmas and in particular, the heroine of the story and how I got the inspiration to create her.

Since I’m not a visual person, I always find a picture of a real life actor or celebrity to inspire me as I write. I don’t have to know anything about the actor’s credentials or claim to fame; it’s truly just about the looks.

Picture provided by author via Wikipedia

For Kayla, I settled on country music star Lauren Alaina. She has just the right friendly, girl-next-door prettiness I wanted for my small-town preschool teacher heroine.

I have always loved preschool-aged kids and preschool classrooms, so making Kayla a preschool teacher was fun. Mind you, I could never be a preschool teacher myself—I lack the patience–but I greatly admire them! I enjoyed writing the classroom scenes, especially once the hero, a big, gruff, scary veteran, started volunteering there to help his nephew adjust to the class. To remind myself of what preschool kids are like, I had fun visiting a couple of preschool classrooms and writing down funny things the kids said and did.

In First Kiss at Christmas, Kayla, the heroine, has body image issues. Not about weight—she’s curvy and fine with that—but about the fact that she had scoliosis as a young person and wore a back brace throughout her adolescence. That, and the teasing she endured because of it, lowered her confidence in herself as a desirable woman. She’s a beloved preschool teacher with many friends and a full life—and a straight, strong spine—but she’s never been able to put herself out there enough to form a romantic relationship.

When I was growing up, I was in church youth group with a boy who had scoliosis and wore a back brace. He was good looking, kind, and brilliantly smart. I’ll admit, I had a major crush on him. But he never showed the least romantic interest in me.

I later learned that he was, in fact, interested, and planned to ask me out… but only after he got his brace off.

Much to my teenage disappointment, that didn’t happen, but I’ve never forgotten it.  He’d been teased and called names for wearing a brace, and it must have made him think no one would want to date him. He was wrong (so wrong!) but it had an impact on him and his life. Kayla is my tribute to him and to all the kids whose differences lead to insecurity and bullying. May we continue to make progress toward supporting all children in all their beautiful diversity.

I was thrilled to be able to give Kayla the happy ending she deserves, and I hope you love her and root for her as much as I did while writing her story!

Lee Tobin McClain

Lee Tobin McClain is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. A professor-turned-writer, she finds inspiration in her beautiful and brilliant daughter, her goofy goldendoodle, and her aptly named cat, Trouble. Learn more about her books at

CONNECT WITH LEE: Website | Facebook | Instagram

First Kiss at Christmas JustRead Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a copy of the first four books in The Off Season series, a Christmas ornament, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 26, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to read First Kiss at Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain?

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16 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lee Tobin McClain & First Kiss at Christmas

  1. Sounds like a wonderful story!!! I have scoliosis (detected too late for a back brace) but one of my best friends and my sister wore back braces. It was a difficult time for each of them, too, as I remember. Looking forward to reading your book!! 🙂

  2. Suzanne Sellner

    As a retired teacher, I love that Kayla is a preschool teacher and has a heart for hurting people.

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