Monday, 7 December 2015

Miranda's Musings

CHRISTMAS 2015 SUPER DUPER BUMPER EDITION!



Happy Christmas, darlings, from me to you. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a happy festive season and happy holidays. It's such a lovely time in the calendar, all glittery and happy and wonderful. So without further ado let me lay a very small portion of my Christmas reading in front of you.

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I look forward to Debbie Macomber's Christmas book every year, buying the hardback because - well, because I can. And because the cover is gorgeous and sparkly and tactile... This year it's Dashing Through The Snow - a road trip story with a gorgeous H&H (hero & heroine), a puppy, the FBI, Home Security, bikies and aliens. Yes, really! A fabulously funny romp.



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If you're in the mood for snowy English village festiveness, try The Great Christmas Knitoff by Alexandra Brown. I so so so wanted to have a slice of the oozy lemon drizzle cake and drink tea and knit with Sybil and these amazing ladies. Having the gorgeous green-eyed Irish Dr Darcy around would also definitely mend any broken heart.



Picture: amazon.co.uk



And while we're in England, how about A Vintage Christmas by the always entertaining Trisha Ashley? I adore her books, they're full of dry British humour, entertaining characters and luscious food. A bit more women's lit rather than romance, but this one has a wedding + Christmas! 'Nuff said.



Picture: amazon.com.au



Here's a terrific anthology with beloved Aussie authors Marion LennoxKandy Shepherd and Michelle Douglas: Home For An Aussie Christmas. From reuniting a husband and wife through a terrifying bushfire, to the beautiful setting of Dolphin Bay (and yummy cooking), to childhood friends finally becoming lovers (this one has kittens) - three romantic stories to cherish.


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And here's another Kandy Shepherd to pop in your stocking: Gift-Wrapped In Her Wedding Dress. Cue the billionaire and the party planner - and another wedding. Yes please! And look below for another story from Kandy in a Christmassy Aussie box set from the Love Cats Down Under. You've got Christmas all wrapped up indeed, Kandy!





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Can you squeeze in some more? Happy Historical Christmas! Christmas Revels II is by authors previously unknown to me but now I'm a huge fan, and am planning to catch up with Christmas Revels, last year's anthology. I don't want to miss a word. I think my favourite was A Christmas Equation by Anna D Allen, with a tall, big-hearted, seriously scrrrumptious red-headed hero. 



Picture: amazon.com.au


And I must, must, must add everyone's beloved author Anna Campbell and her new, dazzlingly super-hot romantic Regency novella, A Pirate For Christmas. Arrrrghh, count me in. It's all about a vicar's daughter, the new earl/pirate (?!), and the naughty donkey Daisy, who provides such laughs, all wrapped up in a big Christmassy bow. And just look at that gorgeous red frock on the cover and all the gold decoration. A swoon-worthy book, inside and out! Anna, we love you. Just keep writing. Psst! See below for the chance to win a great freebie from Anna with just one comment!

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heroesandheartbreakers.com



And wait, there's The Last Chance Christmas Ball with fabulous author favourites Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley, et al. A scrumptious upstairs, downstairs anthology with linked stories. Oh my word, you can never have too much of that.



Picture: www.amazon.com



I've really enjoyed the inspirational 'boxed set' Love's Gift, all Christmassy and delightful to read. Heather Gray's story An Informal Christmas is set in a hospital with sick kids, so get the tissues ready.




I've only recently stumbled on these 'boxed sets' in all romance sub-genres, which sell for a ridiculously low price and give hours of reading enjoyment. On my hit list are Home For Christmas, another inspirational box; there's also Christmas Pets and Kisses, a PG rated box. You can go much hotter with Red Hot Holidays featuring shifters, billionaires, officers, rock stars and alpha males. Fan, fan, fan. Or Shifter Wonderland (the title says it all). Or Alien Wishes and Holiday Kisses, a sci-fi boxed set. There really is something for everyone! You're welcome.

I could go on. And on and on and on! So many seasonal books come out at Christmas, and they're perfect to give away, or give yourself (no-one will notice that extra stocking stuffer; but if they do they'll think someone else gave it to you).

Picture: amazon.co.uk


Last but definitely not least, here are two super special releases, just for you... I simply cannot resist mentioning these delicious looking anthologies. They're are in my Christmas stocking ready to go, and I can't wait to dive in. First up is Hot Christmas Nights with some of my fave Love Cats Down Under authors, so dear to us. Kisses to you all, you amazing authors. Finally, don't forget The Ultimate Christmas Anthology 2015. Look at those delish covers, wow, the temp just skyrocketed...!

Picture:millsandboon.com.au



STOP THE PRESS!  Happy holiday news! The very generous and beautiful ANNA CAMPBELL has donated TWO copies of A Pirate For Christmas for two lucky commenters. I cannot recommend this novella highly enough, it is beyond fabulous. So get your typing fingers ready and comment, comment, comment for your chance to win one before the week is out. Tell me about your Christmas reading, and what you long for under the Christmas tree?


Happy Christmas, beautiful people. Cherish your precious ones and be kind to each other. Thank you for sharing your reading journeys with me through 2015, and I look forward to seeing you again at Miranda's Musings in 2016. And psst, look for a very special reading event (drumroll): The Breathless List, published early next year.


Love from Miranda xxx

 

Love to love:     Christmas romances!

Love to laugh:   well, it is the season to ho, ho, ho!

Love to learn:    what books do you want Santa to bring?



51 comments:

  1. Miranda, what a great line-up, although my Visa Card is now claiming it needs a holiday from overwork. And thank you for that lovely shout for Pirate!

    Waving hello to all the Breathless girls and wishing you all a wonderful Christmas! x

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    1. Thanks Anna, and welcome back to our blog! We love having you, and can't wait to see who wins your Pirate!

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    2. P.S. My credit card is also on fire - I need to blow it out after every use! What's next on your publishing list, Anna? We need to keep enjoying you!

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    3. Miranda, I'm doing novellas for the first half of 2016 - still torn between several ideas for something more large scale. I'm currently writing the 2nd Dashing Widows story, Fenella's book. That's out in Feb. Then in April, it's Helena. Then there's a standalone. Thanks for asking!

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    4. Ooooooo! What an awesome lineup for 2016! So looking forward to it! Thank you Anna Campbell!!

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    5. Wow Anna! If I was even half as prolific with my writing as you, I'd be more than happy. Good luck with it all and thanks so much for your generous giveaway.

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    6. Anna, I *love* novellas! Wow, as Dee said, it's an awesome lineup! Looking forward to each and every one of them!

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  2. Hi Miranda –

    Thanks for your great comments about Christmas Revels II. It’s always exciting when readers like what we’ve written. You mentioned that we were all new-to-you, and since we are often new-to-everyone, I was wondering—how did you find our book?

    I really appreciate your including us in this excellent group. I hope you have an outstanding Christmas.

    Hannah

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    1. Hannah, thanks so much for stopping by, welcome, welcome!

      I found Christmas Revels II on amazon.com, actually, when I googled Christmas fiction 2015, with this blog in mind. Simple as that. Obviously heaps and heaps of stories popped up, but all your reviews were consistently positive and glowing (and also on Goodreads) - you won out for me over many others, I'm delighted to say. And all the stories in the anthology were simply charming, such a pleasure to read. So as a present to myself I'm going to read your first anthology, and I expect I will be 'Christmas charmed' all over again. What's next for you, Heather? Love making new author friends!

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    2. Miranda, I really loved the first anthology. Louisa Cornell's Christmas Story, A Perfectly Dreadful Christmas, is a hoot!

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    3. Thanks Miranda and Anna. I’m having trouble holding upright the “big head” you’ve given me. But it is a very nice feeling. :-) From the very beginning, when we were just talking about doing an anthology, all four of us wanted try to make our stories different—both from the standard Christmas fare and from each other’s stories in a given book. We thought of our anthology as a meal where different tastes combine to enhance the overall experience. We felt we were successful in doing this in CR, and since we had a blast putting the book together, we decided to try it again. We hope CR II continues this tradition. Not all readers will enjoy this variety, we realize this, but since the majority have, we’re already in the planning stages for CR III.

      Of course, we are all also busy working on our own stories. Anna currently has a wonderful Christmas novel in the hands of her Beta readers, and this will be available in 2016. Also next year, Kate will have the first book of a new mystery series out. If you have not read her Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, you’ve missed some intriguing tales. Louisa will publish her debut full-length novel in 2016, something we are really anticipating. And I will publish two novellas that are sequels to Kaleidoscope. I have a tendency to imagine stand-alone books, but have had a lot of people want to know what happened to Tremaine, so I’m telling his story... and then I had to address the story of a character who appears in his book. Since I also have a character readers want to know about from Indentured Hearts, I fear I am developing unintentional series. But it's fun!

      Needless to say, we all stay very busy, but our stories are all works of love, so it is happy business. And I tend toward wordiness when you ask me about what I enjoy doing. Sorry about that. I will now shut up and go have a cup of tea. :-)

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    4. Sunday evening here in America, and I just got your message, Miranda. So excited that Christmas Revels II was included in your blog!! Thank you!

      BTW, if my Beta readers finish sooner rather than later-- no pressure-- the novel will be out before the end of the year. Meanwhile, we're starting to feel the urge to write stories for Christmas Revels III. I have an unconventional hero for the Regency era in mind.

      And what a wonderful suggestion, Hannah. A cup of tea would be perfect about now.

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    5. Wow! I'm downloading this one tonight! I love your description as a "meal where different tastes combine." Kind of sounds like Breathless!

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    6. You got me at the first description! I'm following Dee and downloading tonight. Looking forward to some great reading.

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    7. Anna and Hannah, Christmas Revels II is more than a meal, it's a delicious banquet. You heard it here first, folks! And Kate Parker's Victorian Bookshop Mysteries... you had me at 'bookshop'... Now I'm going looking. Wonderful. So glad you enjoyed the first anthology, Anna Campbell, now I'm really looking forward to it. Dee and Enisa, you won't be disappointed. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. Love your Christmas recommendations Miranda. Such a wonderful list to choose from. There are some fave authors and some new to me authors in this bunch. Looking forward to reading them all.

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    1. Isn't it exciting to read faves, and then discover new faves? And you'll always be a fave for me, Cassandra. I do love your scandalous black raven and the earl in A Scandalous Wager. Happy sigh.

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  4. Ooh, look at all of that Christmas reading goodness! Thanks for taking the time to review TWO! anthologies that I'm appearing in this December, Miranda. Laughing as I just realised both, Home For An Aussie Christmas features (which features my debut book) and Hot Christmas Nights (which features my lastest book) both have friends-to-lovers themes. Can you guess what my favourite trope might be? ;-)

    Merry Christmas, everyone! Wishing you all the very best for the holidays.

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    1. I love the friends to lovers theme. Keep writing them!

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    2. Friends to lovers is one of my favourite tropes, too, Michelle. Always good for a bit of angst as realisation dawns, followed by a satisfying HEA. Have a great Christmas!

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    3. Michelle, you can write your shopping list and I'll read it.. But seriously, I really love that friends to lovers trope, just like Dee and Marilyn. No complaints from this happy little reader here. All wrapped up with a big Christmas bow, thankyou very much. What's your next exciting release? I can never have enough Michelle Douglas news.

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    4. Aw, ladies, thank you. I can assure you that for as long as I can think of new twists on the friends-to-lovers theme, I'll keep writing them. :-)

      Miranda, so nice of you to ask about my next release! My next Mills & Boon romance will come out in February. I LOVE this book so much that I don't care if the entire world gives it one star reviews.;-) It's a reunion story and a caper wrapped up in one. It was lots of fun to write. :-)

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  5. Thank you, Miranda and all of the Breathless Girls for the lovely welcome and for featuring Christmas Revels II in your holiday Super Duper Bumper Edition!

    And a special wave and shout out to La Divina Anna Campbell. Your kind words put me to the blush!

    As Hannah said, we had a great deal of fun putting both Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II together. Our diverse writing styles and voices, I think, make for a wonderful taste of all sorts of Regency Christmas merriment and mayhem - with love and happily ever afters as dessert. I am currently working on the novella for Christmas Revels III and on my first full-length novel as well, which keeps me out of trouble when I'm not running a bakery at the day job.

    I hope our anthologies make everyone's Christmas just a little bit brighter and I wish everyone the very Happiest of Christmases!

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    1. Louisa, welcome! And Anna Campbell (indeed La Divina) is never wrong. I'm absolutely thrilled at the news that Christmas Revels III is in the makings; you can be assured it will feature here same time next year...! I love reading beautiful Christmassy novellas, they are quick to read at such a busy time and really help brighten my Christmas indeed. Happy Christmas from Down Under, we're delighted you popped in to say hi.

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  6. Just popping in to announce the winner of last week's prize pack...Joanne Boog! Congratulations!! Thank you for reading my blog on Google+ for Writers and leaving a comment! Email me via breathlessinthebush@gmail.com and let me know your postal address and hopefully you'll receive your writer's gift pack before Christmas!

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  7. Thanks so much for featuring our box set! It's fantastic to see it among such an awesome bunch of authors I admire :) I just love Christmas covers - all that colour and festive goodness, so pretty! Thanks again x

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    1. Stefanie, a warm welcome to BITB blog! I can't wait to read Hot Christmas Nights, I just have to finish the book I'm reading now and then... fan, fan, fan, I'm I'll be having me some hot Christmas nights indeed. :) What's next for you?

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  8. Miranda, you've outdone yourself with these wonderful Xmas selections. So much choice, we're very spoiled. If only I had the time I'd read them all.

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    1. Enisa, I had to really try hard - what a fabulous job, reading all those books! So much Christmassy fun! Have you got a favourite Christmas read?

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    2. Not from previously read stories. Perhaps one from your recommendations will be a fave.

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  9. Love the recommendations. I have some. Just can't wait till after Christmas so I can veg and only read. 😉

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    1. Don't you just love that 'after Christmas read and veg' time, Joanne? I love it too. I give myself 'the week off' and eat leftovers and read, read, read. Oh the bliss. What's on your Christmas list to read?

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  10. HI Miranda, Thank you so much for including my Christmas stories in such a stellar line up of festive reading! Do you know, I didn't really think about having three Christmas stories out in the one month until I saw them here all together! I love Christmas and really enjoy putting some festive sparkle into my stories. You've made some great suggestions and I'm hoping for a few of them in my stocking. All the best to you, Miranda, for a wonderful Christmas with lots of time for reading - and to the other Breathless gals too! xx

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    1. Kandy, welcome! And yes, you are our terrific Triple Treat for the month - and no-one's complaining at all about not one, not two but THREE of your books being out in one month! The more, the merrier. I love your sweet style of books; I put them down with a sigh and a smile. That can only be good. What's next up for you?

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  11. Hi Miranda! Well, as usual, you've excelled yourself with a fantastic variety of Christmas books and boxed sets for all different tastes. I'm looking forward to some fabulous Christmas reading from your selections. Thank you.

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    1. So welcome, Marilyn. What takes your fancy the most? Hard to pick, I know... I can't wait for your book, The Farmer's Perfect Match. February seems too far away... :)

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    2. I'll probably start with the Hot Christmas Nights selection. As for my book, it'll be in the shops in 8 weeks time, with a book launch to follow shortly after. Hope you can make it!

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    3. I'll be there with bells on!

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  12. Miranda, this is a fabulous list! I have a couple of these, but now I'm adding a couple more to my Christmas reading list. And thanks for including the LoveCats anthology - we're so thrilled it's out in the world. :)

    One other Christmas story that was on my reading list is Jennifer Crusie's Hot Toy. It was originally released as part of a print anthology, but they've released it this year as a kindle single. It's fun and fast and gorgeous. :)

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    1. Hi there beautiful Rachel! So pleased you popped in. Oh, I remember Hot Toy; hilarious fun. Jennifer Crusie is the bomb, she is soooo good. Hmmm... I can sense a reread coming up - it's been a while... What's your next book, Rachel? Reveal all!

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    2. The great thing about rereads when it's been a while is it's almost like a new book. :)

      Right now I'm working on a fun and flirty book that follows on from The Finn Factor - it's the hero's sister's story. It will be out in about October next year and I'm having so much fun with Billie!

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  13. Wow - some fantastic books! Thanks so much for including the Love's Gift boxed set and giving An Informal Christmas a nice little shout-out! I feel like I'm in stellar company here! :)

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    1. Heather, I'm so delighted you've dropped in for a quick chat, thankyou! I found the Love's Gift boxed set so lovely, so special for inspirational readers, particularly at Christmas. I hope others do, too. Your story was very memorable. Now I'm very much looking forward to reading more from you and all the other authors.

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  14. Thanks Miranda for such a great list of recommendations.

    Thank you so much for featuring Hot Christmas Nights. It was great fun putting this BoxSet together with the gals from LoveCats.

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    1. Hi Jennifer, and welcome! Hot Christmas Nights is such a fun box set, it really is, and features such terrific authors. Who can resist?! And hopefully the readers will find the rest of your wonderful backlist. :)

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  15. WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT! Anna Campbell has picked two winners for her sparkling novella, A Pirate For Christmas! And... they are two lucky BITB bloggers who Anna's noted have never read a novella: Sharon Burke and Karen Davis. I'll be emailing you privately about how to contact Anna! And thanks again Anna, for your huge generosity. And happy reading, everyone.

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  16. Thanks so much for including The Great Christmas Knit Off in such a wonderful selection of books. Best wishes and lots of luck and love for 2016 to all the readers in Australia.
    Alexandra xx

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