It’s Christmas a little early!
My Christmas short story collection, All Wrapped Up, is now FREE on Amazon!
Four short stories filled with romance at Christmastime:
A girl breaks the news to her sister’s boyfriend that he’s being dumped–two days before Christmas.
An awkward situation develops when a guy is sent to fire a girl from his caroling group.
Two children discover a secret place on Christmas Day.
A Christmas dinner announcement shatters a girl’s dream of a magical social season.
“Like eating romance M&Ms“
To download it for FREE click here.
And now, another Christmas present for you:
My new Christmas novella, A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, releases this week! Based on the ‘Tis the Season short story in All Wrapped Up, this novella gives a more detailed account of what happened to Jenny during her “Christmas Season.”
Jenny Crowley has been duped! At her eighteenth birthday celebration her parents announce that instead of having the London Season she’s dreamed of for years, Jenny has been betrothed from birth to Alexander Isley, son of family friends and heir to a title. A distraught Jenny refuses point-blank to marry Alec, and when her aunt offers to whisk her away to a Christmas house party, complete with many eligible young bachelors, Jenny jumps at the chance to enjoy a variety of entertainments, be courted, and perhaps fall in love.
Alec Isley is between a rock and a hard place. He desires a marriage with Jenny no more than she does, but when his family’s dire financial status is revealed, he follows Jenny to the house party in hopes of convincing her to marry him after all. When he discovers who else is courting her there, Alec is frantic to keep her from making a dreadful mistake. Struggling with new-found feelings for his childhood friend, can Alec convince her of his love in time to save her from being ruined under the mistletoe?
“Aunt Arabella, what is this running the mistletoe Lady Celinda told me about? I’ve not heard of it before.”
“Well, that is a bit of a story.” Her aunt laughed and linked arms with her. “It’s a custom in Marbury’s family. His mother is German and when she married, she brought a lot of those customs to England. That’s why we celebrate Christmas with a Christmas tree.”
“I’d wondered about that,” Jenny said with a smile. “Mama thought it very odd when she first heard of it.”
“Many people do, although Queen Charlotte has had one for many years.”
“Yes, I’d heard that as well. And we are to decorate it on Christmas Eve, aunt?” It sounded like a fun time. “And the Snapdragon? We will have that as well, won’t we?”
“Of course.” Aunt Arabella stopped to look around. “This way,” she called to the larger party following behind them and pointed to several large evergreen trees on her left.
“But what is running the mistletoe?” Jenny had almost forgotten about that mysterious event.
Aunt Arabella laughed, a tinkling sound in the crisp air. “You know what mistletoe is?”
Jenny nodded. She’d seen sprigs of it hung over the doorway at home at Christmas and caught her parents kissing under it a time or two.
“Well, when we come to cut greenery for the house, we also find a ball of mistletoe to take back for the doorways.” Her eyes twinkled. “Be careful going through the doorways for the next couple of weeks, Jenny. You don’t know who you’ll meet coming the opposite way. You’ll end up collecting a lot of little white berries.”
Collecting berries? How odd. “What do you mean, aunt?”
“For each kiss, the gentleman cuts off one of the berries and gives it to the young lady he kissed.”
Jenny’s cheeks heated despite the nipping cold, and her aunt laughed.
“But the ball we find out here is high off the ground. So in Germany the young men dare the ladies to run under the mistletoe. They give them a five count start and if they can catch them by the time they reach the mistletoe ball, they can claim a kiss.” Her aunt grinned and whispered, “That’s how I met Marbury.”
“Really, Aunt?” Jenny’s heart beat a little faster. Would she fall in love with someone who caught her under the mistletoe?
You can download free copies of All Wrapped Up also at Smashwords.
Hope you enjoy all this Christmas cheer!