today’s book: Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams
Happy Tuesday! We are, of course, continuing our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! Christmas is only 25 days away, so… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and continue your 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 collection of Christmas romance novellas, and the five fantastic authors behind them discuss writing a Christmas story set at the beach!
CANDY CANE WISHES AND SALTWATER DREAMS
AUTHORS: Amy R. Anguish, Hope Toler Dougherty, Linda Fulkerson, Regina Rudd Merrick & Shannon Taylor Vannatter
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance Collection
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press LLC
RELEASE DATE: September 28, 2021
A collection of Christmas romances by five multi-published authors.
Mistletoe Make-believe by Amy Anguish – Charlie Hill’s family thinks his daughter Hailey needs a mom–to the point they won’t get off his back until he finds her one. Desperate to be free from their nagging, he asks a stranger to pretend she’s his girlfriend during the holidays. When romance author Samantha Arwine takes a working vacation to St. Simons Island over Christmas, she never dreamed she’d be involved in a real-life romance. Are the sparks between her and Charlie real? Or is her imagination over-acting … again?
A Hatteras Surprise by Hope Toler Dougherty – Ginny Stowe spent years tending a childhood hurt that dictated her college study and work. Can time with an island visitor with ties to her past heal lingering wounds and lead her toward a happy Christmas … and more? Ben Daniels intends to hire a new branch manager for a Hatteras Island bank, then hurry back to his promotion and Christmas in Charlotte. Spending time with a beautiful local, however, might force him to adjust his sails.
A Pennie for Your Thoughts by Linda Fulkerson – When the Lakeshore Homeowner’s Association threatens to condemn the cabin Pennie Vaughn inherited from her foster mother, her only hope of funding the needed repairs lies in winning a travel blog contest. Trouble is, Pennie never goes anywhere. Should she use the all-expenses paid Hawaiian vacation offered to her by her ex-fiancé? The trip that would have been their honeymoon?
Mr. Sandman by Regina Rudd Merrick – Events manager Taylor Fordham’s happily-ever-after was snatched from her, and she’s saying no to romance and Christmas. When she meets two new friends—the cute new chef at Pilot Oaks and a contributor on a sci-fi fan fiction website who enjoys debate—her resolve begins to waver. Just when she thinks she can loosen her grip on thoughts of love, a crisis pulls her back. There’s no way she’s going to risk her heart again.
Coastal Christmas by Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Lark Pendleton is banking on a high-society wedding to make her grandparent’s inn at Surfside Beach, Texas the venue to attract buyers. Tasked with sprucing up the inn, she hires Jace Wilder, whose heart she once broke. When the bride and groom turn out to be Lark’s high school nemesis and ex-boyfriend, she and Jace embark on a pretend romance to save the wedding. But when real feelings emerge, can they overcome past hurts?
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christmas at the beach
by the authors of Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams
Amy R. Anguish – Mistletoe Make-believe
The beach isn’t the first place I think of when I think Christmas. Probably because I live in the northern hemisphere—a place we tend to hope for snow around the holidays. Also, the beach I chose to set my story at, St. Simons Island, GA, I had only been at in the summer. Needless to say, research was required.
I am happy to say that it does get down in the forties at night sometimes in December on the Georgia coast. And, the island is full of holiday spirit with a trolley going around to see the lights, a miniature golf course decorated for the season over on Jekyll, a man-made ice-skating rink, and Santa in a few places, too. So, even though it isn’t where I best imagine Christmas, it was easier for me to wrap my mind around it. And fall a little bit in love with the idea, too.
Hope Toler Dougherty – A Hatteras Surprise
One of the unusual Christmas traditions on the Outer Banks and specifically in the village of Rodanthe is the one celebrating Old Christmas or Twelfth night. Falling on January 6th, the festivities, which began in Britain, mark Epiphany. Outer Banks settlers, emulating their British ancestors, have continued the tradition to present day except the observance takes place now on the first Saturday after Epiphany to accommodate island visitors.
One of the customs enjoyed by the residents is the visitation of Old Buck, a bull-like creature who, legend has it, was shipwrecked on the island years ago and whose spirit still lives in the island woods. Lots of singing, oyster roasting, candy-making, and storytelling happen before Old Buck appears. Today, he’s a life-sized puppet run by two men covered by a blanket and operating the big bull-like mask.
Linda Fulkerson – A Pennie for Your Thoughts
Hawaii is a fun place to celebrate Christmas. Not only is the weather great in December (well, the weather is almost always great in Hawaii), but the waves along the North Shore are huge during the holidays. Watching the surfers ride is a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re visiting Oahu for Christmas. Of course, I had to include a scene in my novella, A Pennie for Your Thoughts, where the characters tried their luck against the surf—on boogie boards.
Christmas cards usually depict Santa on the beach, sunning himself. Hawaiian tradition says Santa Claus arrives in an outrigger canoe pulled by dolphins instead of riding a reindeer-led sleigh. And because Christmas trees are delivered in refrigerated containers by ship, it’s important to pay attention to local news of their arrival times or you might miss out. Finally, one of the best parts of celebrating Christmas in Hawaii is the music. Hawaiians love music and have many local favorites that are sung during the holidays.
Regina Rudd Merrick – Mr. Sandman
I’ve never had the pleasure of spending Christmas, but I want to, someday. The closest I’ve come was spending a week in the Pawleys Island area of South Carolina—the setting for my novella, Mr. Sandman”—in October of last year. It was perfect.
In my story, my characters are experiencing insomnia, mutual friends, a Christmas parade, and long walks on the beach, which is my personal favorite beach activity. Taylor, a native South Carolinian, wants to experience a white Christmas so she can relive the happiest day of her life, but doesn’t think it likely to happen. Will she be surprised? I was inspired for this story during my last trip, when I went into a familiar Christmas store at a little shopping area called “Pawleys Island Hammock Shops.” It is a delightful store, and if you find yourself there, be sure to check it out!
Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Coastal Christmas Charade
To me, the beach is always a relaxing place. Since we have family in the San Antonio area, I’ve only been to the Gulf. We usually make a beach stop during our trip. Though I’ve only been in the spring or summer, I’ve visited Texas family during Christmas. Once it was in the 70’s with a warm wind. Another year, we nearly froze to death at Thanksgiving. For Surfside beach, where my story is set, the average December high is 66 and the low is 48. Sounds fine to me since I’m just there for the shells.
Of course, my heroine is an avid sheller. I love to wade along the shore and shell. As the water laps at my ankles, I find treasures straight from God. Who else would bother to create such intricate, beautiful shells to house tiny, insignificant sea creatures? To avoid torturing my heroine with cold water, I let her stick to dry land during her shelling. But she did get to meet the hero in a fun scene with a dog and a horse on the beach. And I incorporated shell Christmas décor when he helped her decorate her family inn.
Amy R. Anguish is the author of An Unexpected Legacy, Faith and Hope, and Saving Grace. She grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her novels include Irish Encounter, Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, and Forever Music. Her recent novella, “A Hatteras Surprise,” appears in Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams. She and her husband delight in visits with their daughters and twin sons.
USMC veteran Linda Fulkerson became interested in writing while working as a copyeditor and typesetter at a small-town weekly newspaper. She has since been published in several magazines and newspapers, including a two-year stint as a sports writer. Linda is the author of two novels and seven non-fiction books, four of which are coloring books for writers. In 2020, she purchased Mantle Rock Publishing’s backlist as well as acquiring all MRP’s future contracts and founded Scrivenings Press LLC.
Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things beachy and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 35-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY.
Award winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does. She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. Shannon is Scrivenings Press Acquisitions/Content Editor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
Shannon Taylor Vannatter is offering a print copy of Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams to one of my readers! (US only. Void 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 makes you want to read Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams by these fabulous authors?
I love Christmas stories
Me too, Lori. It’s one of my favorite times of year. So cozy.
Me, too, especially at this time of year.
It looks like an amazing collection!
Thanks Lisa, it was fun to put it together.
I had so much fun writing and reading these stories. We hope everyone enjoys them
I always enjoy reading stories surrounding Christmas. Would love to win a print book! Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway!
Me too, Lual. Christmas never gets old.
Christmas stories are about all I read this time of year. 🙂
I love Christmas stories. And this sounds so good.
Thanks Jocelyn, it was fun to work with other authors on a common theme.
Thank you so much. We had a lot of fun writing it.
I always enjoy Christmas stories, and I have never celebrated the holidays at the beach. Reading this book of lovely collection of Christmas stories would be the closest I’ll get for now
Me too, Roxanne. I’ve only been to the beach in Texas and only during the summer.
It’s the closest I am going to get, too. But that’s okay with me. 🙂
Thanks Amelia. It’s a bit early, but Merry Christmas!
The title alone has me very interested.
Our publisher came up with the theme and the title as a nod to Robin Leach. She loved his old show.
We were so happy with the title, too.
It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Diana, it was really a fun story to write. And the whole collection is fun.
Thanks so much!
This sounds like a great collection! I’ve never been to the beach at Christmas time but it sounds like it can be just as fun as being in colder climates.
I haven’t either, Megan. But since I’m not a fan of summer or swimming in the ocean, I’d probably enjoy it. As long as I can pick up shells, I’d be happy.
I can’t decide if I would like to actually go to the beach for Christmas or not. I am always so hopeful we’ll get snow. 😉
All these stories sound like a delightful read. Plus, some of the authors are new to me too.
Thanks Stephanie. That’s what I love about novella collections. It’s a great way to find new to me authors.
So glad these sound good to you. I love discovering new authors through collections like this, too.
I love Christmas collections. 💕
There’s always something fun to be found in Christmas collections. And I can vouch for this one. 😉
Mr Lelia. It was really fun to be involved in one.
Christmas stories are the best and lots of new to me authors in this book.
Christmas stories are so much fun!
Hey Merry, the whole series is fun and fits together well.
Thanks Natalya. It was fun to write.