Swept Away For Christmas By MJ Fredrick

Friday, November 22, 2013

I love just about everything about Christmas. I love decorating, love Christmas songs, love giving gifts, love the shows and the movies. My TiVo fills up with all the Hallmark movies for me to watch while I’m baking, or eating what I’ve baked. Starting Thanksgiving Day, I turn on that channel and make my husband and son run for the hills (since we have only one TV, see).

I particularly like the ones that have bridesmaids or soldiers. Did you see the one called The Christmas Card? Check out the schedule--it’s on quite a bit. I also love the ones with one of the characters traveling home for Christmas, ESPECIALLY if home is a small town and the character thinks he/she is above the town, only to be humbled by the wonderfulness of the traditions.

Then there are the Debbie Macomber ones, with Mrs. Miracle. LOVE! Usually I’m not as drawn to the movies with kids, though I know having kids around makes Christmas more magical. But I love this series.

Another one that was fun was the calendar one...oh, I can’t remember the name, with Kristin Chenoweth.

And of course I like the ones that play with the Christmas Carol theme--someone jaded who learns the true meaning of Christmas!

So it was only natural that I would write a Christmas story. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to write a story with my buddy, Trish?” Together we brainstormed ideas about what kind of Christmas stories to write, and we thought about what might stand out. My idea was to write a “Destination Christmas” type of thing, and since Trish loves the beach, well, that was her dream vacation.

We, along with Tanya Michaels, traveled to Orange Beach, Alabama for research about our small beach town, and spent a long weekend sight-seeing, plotting and walking on the beach (only a few times, actually, because it rained. A LOT.)

We decided Trish would write the story about the girl who returns home after moving to the big city. Tanya would write the reunion romance, and I wrote the story of unrequited love, finally requited, lol! My heroine falls for her big brother’s best friend.

What kinds of things do you look for in a Christmas story? What are your favorite romance tropes? Are you hooked on Christmas movies like I am? One commenter will win a $10 e-gift certificate to the bookseller of his/her choice!

Christmas isn’t always snow-covered with a frosty chill in the air. Sometimes it’s sandy beaches with balmy breezes.

And sometimes we find love in the most unexpected places, a place like Starfish Shores.

Here Comes McBride by Tanya Michaels

Shelby James has only truly loved one man — but Finn McBride broke her heart when emotional baggage from his past came between them. Now, Shelby is serving as maid of honor at a beach wedding where Finn is the best man. Will reuniting with Finn be a Christmas miracle, or the worst mistake she's ever made?

Two Hearts a Leaping by MJ Fredrick

After a break-up with her high school sweetheart, Harley Blume retreats to her brother's home in Starfish Shores to lick her wounds and figure out what she's doing next. But her brother is in the Coast Guard reserves and heading out of town, leaving her in the care of Liam Channing, his best friend since they played college football together. She's never been able to keep her tongue in her mouth when good-looking, easy-going Liam is around. How is she going to find her way if she can't keep her balance?

Cruisin’ for a Kiss by Trish Milburn

When Avery Phillips loses her magazine job right before Christmas, she heads back home to Starfish Shores to spend the holidays with the grandparents who raised her. The plan is to hit the job search hard so that she has a new position when the New Year arrives. What isn’t part of the plan is heading up a remodeling effort at her family’s beach motel or falling for the man helping to save the business into which her grandparents put a lifetime of work. As Christmas draws closer, will Avery stick to the original plan to leave town again or take a chance with Luke Taylor and a new life she never expected?

Look at Swept Away for Christmas, available at Amazon , Barnes and Noble

MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching elementary music, and diving into her own writing—traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.

She's a four-time Golden Heart Award finalist, and she won the 2009 Eppie Award with Hot Shot and the 2010 Eppie with Breaking Daylight.