Highlighting Holiday Historical Romance today.
A few weeks ago, I highlighted Byron’s time in Venice and how I came to write Lady Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil. In recent years I’ve been called upon to write holiday stories to be included in the Bluestocking Belles’ collections also. My first, A Dangerous Nativity, first appeared in a collection that is no longer available. That book, with its goat on the roof and all-animal nativity (also a helpful earl and lovely heroine) turned out to be an excellent introduction to my later novels. The heroes of my three Children of Empire novels all began as boys in that book. A Dangerous Nativity has been mostly free the past few years, it is much loved, and I’ve given away over 18,000 copies. It is still free, but I’m reconsidering that and it may not be in 2019.
The following year, I decided to try something different. Faced with creating characters to appear at a house party linking all the stories in Holly and Hopeful Hearts together, I decided to add a Jewish couple. Hanukkah was early the year in which the house party took place, but I managed to get my hero to a celebration at his mentor’s house in France before riding flat out to catch up with my heroine at the house party. He had some lessons to learn and some making up to do. My theme was open minds and An Open Heart.
When the Belles proposed a collection of stories with a common set of story elements but set against over 1000 years of history and settings, I elected to try something different. Roses in Picardy, a story taking place in France during The Great War, ended on Christmas 1916. The hero is a Canadian soldier who has reached the brink of despair until he meets a French widow who’s little cottage on a floating island gives him refuge from the grim world of war. It appeared in the Belle’s collection Never Too Late.
Since I left my couple hanging, Happy For Now in the midst of war, I had to write a sequel. The Last Post brings them home at last, after separation and fear, on Christmas 1919. It appears in our current collection, Follow Your Star Home. I’m in the midst of rewriting both stories a bit and adding chapters that cover 1917-18 with plans to release it in September 2019 as a full novel.
Now comes the really good news. All three of the Belle’s anthologies are on sale for .99 cents but only until Saturday December 15. I am going to post Highlighting Historical Romance early this week while you still have time to grab a copy at the low, low price. Better yet, you still have time to enter the Follow Your Star Blog Hop, find free short stories on every stop, and comment for a chance at a free copy of Follow Your Star Home—all eight stories and 600 pages of it.