Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Magic of Christmas: It’s All About Love

Congratulations to "Julie O" and "Kai", the winners of Susanne's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that, of all the seasons and holidays in the year, Christmas is my favorite. I love every single part of it from the traditional carols to the silly new ones. My grandkids really like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”, but Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” tops my list.

I’ve collected hundreds of ornaments over the years, and my tree is as full as full can be. I have ornaments commemorating my days as a teacher, others the birth of my children and grandchildren, and still more that belonged to my own grandparents.  Decorating the tree is a pleasure I reserve for myself each year now that the children are gone, and as I unwrap each ornament, I remember where I got it. It’s a quick trip down memory lane. The rest of my house gets a festive look too, and if I go a little overboard, so what? Christmas only comes once a year.

Before the advent of e-books, I would comb the bookstores for the Holiday stories. I loved reading about love found or renewed at the time of year that exemplifies love for me.  If you looked closely at the tree, you saw my manger under it. It’s made of wood recovered from my own church’s sanctuary floor a few years ago when we undertook to change the configuration of our sanctuary. Church on Christmas Eve is a must in my family’s life, and when I decided to write Holiday Magic, Book 1, Second Chance, I knew the ending had to take place on Christmas Eve—and if I could manage a wedding, why not?

Second Chance is a reunion story based on what happens when we run away from being hurt instead of confronting our pain. Georgia Baxter is the kind of person who always looks to see the good in people—that makes her a nice person, but sometimes nice people are easy targets for bullies or jealous people who don’t always see the world the way it actually is. People like Georgia do one thing when they’re hurt, they run away and lick their wounds. Sometimes the wounds heal, sometimes, they get worse.

Georgia’s healing process is slow and painful. She becomes a successful jewelry designer, she loses a few pounds, but she becomes a recluse, hiding away from all the good things in life including her twin sister, Eleni, the wonders and magic of Christmas, her favorite time of year, and Mark, the man she still loves. When her twin needs her help, Georgia reluctantly returns home, hoping she’d healed enough to confront the people she left behind. 

Somehow reunion stories at Christmas just seem right. If you’re going to forgive someone, the magic and wonder of the holiday seems to me to be the perfect time to do it. After all, Christmas is all about love.

How would you react if you found your fiancé in bed with one of your bridesmaids? 

Weeks before their Christmas Eve wedding, Georgia Baxter canceled everything and fled to New York, immersing herself in her jewelry design business. Three years later, unable to move on, she agrees to come home to help Eleni. What her twin fails to mention is that Georgia’s help will include working with the man who broke her heart. 

Mark Anderson would do anything to undo the night of his bachelor party when he unwittingly destroyed his future with the woman he still loves. When he learns that Georgia is returning to manage Holiday Magic for the winter months, he is excited. This may be his chance to convince her that it was all a big mistake.

Will there be enough magic in the air this season to give their love a second chance?

Excerpt from Holiday Magic
Georgia shook her head. 

“Forget it! As Grandma used to say, ‘Whitewashing the pump won’t make the water clean.’ If you’d told me about all this, I would never have agreed to help you out. I’m sure that’s why you’re springing this crap on me now. You knew I wouldn’t come if you’d been honest about it. I find it hard to believe that you just conveniently forgot to mention this. Seriously, you expect me to be his date for the night? That night of all nights? I’m sorry, Eleni, but you are out of your cotton-picking mind!” Her voice had risen attracting the attention of some of the diners, so she lowered it immediately.

Eleni’s lower lip trembled, and Georgia knew that the waterworks were next. It wasn’t fair. Her sister could read her like a book—a first grade primer, at that!

“Eleni Jean Baxter, don’t you dare cry!” Maybe it’s good I’m angry, she thought, at least when I’m angry I’m not feeling sorry for myself!

“Nobody gives you more trouble than you do yourself, honey. You just don’t think things through. You’ve created this mess, and you really didn’t think about the way it would affect others. You have to stop jumping in with both feet before you test the water. One of these days, you’re going to get hurt. This will be hard for Mark—well, maybe not hard, but uncomfortable at best.”

Eleni giggled. Georgia realized what she had said, and the double meaning easily attached to it.

“Seriously? You’ve got your mind in the gutter now? You know what I mean!”

Disgusted with herself, Georgia couldn’t stop the blush suffusing her cheeks as her imagination brought that image of him vividly to mind. Heat spread through her body. The one thing they had always had was chemistry, lots and lots of reactive chemistry.

“Mark and I haven’t even spoken since that morning. Seeing him again will be very difficult for me, and now you tell me that I’ll have to see him almost every day?”

Holiday Magic, Book 2, The Perfect Choice, will be available from the retailers listed below in both e-book and print, after December 16th. Find out what kind of trouble Eleni gets into in Atlantic City! 

Holiday Magic, Book 1, Second Chance is available in e-book from:

Holiday Magic, Book 1, Second Chance will be available in both e-book and print from

Learn more about Susanne and her books at:
Visit her fan page at:

Susanne will be giving away two digital copies of Holiday Magic, Book 1, Second Chance to two lucky people leaving a comment or email entry.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. This sounds great! I love Christmas romances!

  2. Wow, that is some tree! I always wished I could decorate a tree like that, but mine never turn out looking so bejeweled like that.

    1. It's even prettier in real life. It takes me a good day to do it, and it's pre-liy!

  3. Christmas, family and second chances are always a magical combination.
    Julie O
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

  4. My sister has done the most unforgiveable thing to me. She has stolen pictures that our decrease cousin has given 6 copies of pictures to each of my sisters and brother so none of us should try to get the set of pictures from each other. This particular sister just believes that everything in the house is her even if it isn't. I was livid but with the Holidays, I feel myself wanting to forgive her for her transgression. I'm already cursing the Holidays to make me feel Good Wills Toward All Men. Can't stay angry around the Holidays.


  5. You have my sympathy. Being treated unfairly by those close to us always hurts most. If you can forgive, you are the bigger, better person. Merry Christmas.


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