today’s 1st book: A White Christmas in Arizona
Yesterday we kicked off this year’s blog series spotlighting (over 70 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! This is the 7th year for the Christmas Reads Giveaway series, and I think I get more excited about it every year 🙂
Christmas is still 41 days away, according to Google, BUT it’s never too early for Christmas stories. Beginning now and continuing through just after Christmas, I’m going to spotlight several Christmasy releases from 2023. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage (wassail anyone?) and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! And no doubt you know the drill by now – there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN ARIZONA by Tanya Stowe
SERIES: Seasons of Romance
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean)
RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2023
Can White, Arizona’s bountiful Christmas spirit heal Chad and lead him to a happy ever after?
After his very public break-up from his fiancé, Chad Fletcher is convinced that a healthy marriage and his rising political career won’t mix. Christmas at his Aunt Nell’s home in White, Arizona is a great way to forget. Political watch dog, Tessa Conway, plans to spend her Christmas enjoying her grandparents’ ranch before they must sell it. Neither Chad nor Tessa are pleased with Grandma Sophie and Aunt Nell’s matchmaking efforts…until they accidentally bump into each other and the feisty redhead charms Chad. Is Tessa the perfect antidote to his unhealthy relationships? Can Chad really be as perfect as Tessa thinks or is she just caught up in White’s Christmas pageantry?
Chad studied his white-haired aunt’s face and realized she was searching the crowd for something…or someone.
“Aunt Nell, what are you up to?”
Suddenly, her face lit up and she smiled. “Look, there’s Sophie and Jim Conway. Their granddaughter is here for Christmas, you know.”
“Aunt Nell, you promised. No more matchmaking.”
“I didn’t promise. I know myself better than that. Besides, you need a good, small-town girl who will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.”
“I’ve had enough romance to last a lifetime,” he said, his tone tight.
She shook her head. “Your engagement wasn’t a romance. It was a circus complete with performing monkeys and paparazzi.”
“Circus or not, Aunt Nell, I learned a very valuable lesson. A career in politics and marriage don’t mix. At least, not my career.”
“Nonsense again, Chad. It’s a good thing you’re staying for a month. It’ll take me that long to knock some common sense back into that brain of yours. Besides, Sophie’s girl is in politics. She’ll know what to expect.”
Chad doubted it, but he would not waste time arguing with Nell. “You go over and visit with your friends and I’ll run back to the car for your gloves. I’ll meet you by the Christmas trees in Pioneer Square and we’ll watch the lighting together. Deal?”
“Deal,” she said with a heavy sigh.
He ran into the quieter, cooler part of the street and shivered. During the summer months, the cooler temperatures of the White Mountains were a welcome break from the blistering heat of Phoenix. In the winter, however, those same higher elevations could lead to snow.
Not such a bad image. White, Arizona covered in snow.
He found the gloves on the front seat and jogged back. Four or five children surrounded one young woman. Something about her struck Chad as familiar. She had long, strawberry blonde hair and it curled, uncontrolled beneath her purple knit cap.
Naturally curly. He smiled, seeing the way it tried to frizz around her face in the cold damp air. It gave her an uninhibited quality he liked. Though she was a red-head, he could only see a sprinkling of freckles across her heart-shaped face. Even from a distance of ten feet, a pair of the brightest blue eyes he’d ever seen sparkled back at him.
He returned the smile before lowering his gaze. Now that was exactly the small-town girl Aunt Nell wanted him to meet. Glancing back at her laughing face and bright eyes, the idea didn’t seem half bad.
With his back to them, he heard the children around the woman say “Santa.” One little girl squealed and clapped her hands. Fortunately, Chad, turned because the little girl spun and charged right into him. She bounced off his legs and landed flat on her bottom.
Sitting splayed out with her hands behind her, she stared up at him with her blue eyes wide. Her hair curled rebelliously around her navy-blue knit cap. She looked so adorable, Chad bent to pick her up before he remembered her mother had recognized him.
“Sorry,” mumbled little Emma.
“It’s all right. It was an accident.”
She nodded and strawberry curls bounced. “We’re going to see Santa.” She flashed a smile that captured Chad’s heart.
“He’s going to be so glad to see me!”
Chad laughed out loud. “Well, then I guess you need to get over there.”
He looked up in time to see the woman joining them.
“It looks like the Santa line is finally moving.”
Chad couldn’t help noticing that her eyelashes were as long as Emma’s. Even with the dark mascara covering them, they looked luxurious.
“I’m sorry but aren’t you Assemblyman Fletcher?”
He clenched his teeth and pulled the brim of the cap down lower. “Yes, I am, but promise me you won’t tell. I’m trying to escape notice.”
The sound of her soft laughter caught him off guard. He glanced up and she leaned forward.
“It’s not working,” she said in a near whisper, “every single girl on the street has already noticed you.”
A slow, sweet smile spread over her lips and made her blue eyes sparkle. He thought it just might be the prettiest smile he’d ever seen.
That’s when the alarm bells started going off.
Suddenly, he noticed that it had gotten dark and Aunt Nell still hadn’t shown up. “My aunt’s waiting for me, so I’d better get back.”
She nodded. “My grandmother’s waiting, too.”
Her voice sounded disappointed. She gestured across the street. He turned and saw Aunt Nell sitting on a park bench. Beside her was another little white-haired lady. They both smiled and waved.
“Wait a minute…you’re not—”
He turned back around.
She smiled and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you. I’m Sophie’s granddaughter.”
Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary. Connect with Tanya at her website.
Tanya Stowe is offering a print copy of A White Christmas in Arizona 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 A White Christmas in Arizona by Tanya Stowe?