Three Christmas Stories
“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” - Mark Twain
Joy reunites authors Angela Amman, Mandy Dawson, and Cameron D. Garriepy for a trio of Christmas love stories shining a spotlight on the joy hiding behind life’s complications.
Bouchons’ head chef Carlos and waitress Sami navigate a simmering attraction threatening to boil over. Doing her best to juggle three kids, a clueless ex-husband, and a second chance at an education, Sami isn’t ready for a relationship - especially with her much younger best friend - but she can’t ignore the way she feels when he’s near. With a nudge from a Christmas angel, Carlos decides to put his heart on the line and hope he can help his friend trust in love again.
As if solo holiday travel wasn’t lonely enough, Margot is blindsided by divorce papers moments before her return trip to an apartment that hasn’t felt like home in too long. A grounded flight, a flirtatious stranger, and a generous airport bartender provide distraction from Margot’s travel-weary life until she and her wayward husband collide en route. Forced to face the hopes and fears they’ve hidden from one another for years, can Margot and Vance take one last chance on their love?
Talia Benson has the voice of an angel and a past full of secrets, but when she takes a short order cook’s position in a new town with the Christmas season hard on her heels, she’s hoping to keep a low profile. Pastor Reilly Hunt has his hands full preparing for Christmas services: the choir soloist is called out of town, the baby Jesus has gone missing, and his searches all lead back to Talia and her teenaged son. Talia is tempted by the earnest reverend’s dimpled smile and reluctantly charmed by her quirky new community, but her secrets threaten to disrupt the uneasy peace.
This holiday season, treat yourself to a dose of JOY (then curl up in your favorite chair with a mug of hot chocolate for some comfort)!
Three Christmas Stories
"… Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight."
– Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane
Explore the promise of the Christmas season with authors Angela Amman, Mandy Dawson, and Cameron D. Garriepy in three short, sweet holiday romances.
Upon A Midnight Clear, by Angela Amman:
Julia's high profile divorce left her financially free to do anything she wanted, except fulfill the dreams she lost in an accident a decade before. Something stronger than a whim draws her to a storefront in the nearly forgotten town of Warden's Bluff, New York, where visions of tiny dancers practicing their pliés under her careful instruction promise to fill that void.
Julia doesn't deal in tomorrows, but Josh, who keeps crossing her path as Christmas settles over Warden's Bluff, is the kind of man who just might change her mind... if she's willing to take a chance on next year.
Star of Wonder, by Cameron D. Garriepy:
Ivy Brennan, former therapist, astronomy enthusiast, and self-declared goat lady is carving out a fresh start for herself in the woods outside Thornton, Vermont. Christmas is coming, but Ivy is more concerned with missing goats and approaching meteor showers.
Sterling West is crashing with his uncle at the family Christmas tree farm since his ex-fiancée sold their apartment out from under him. He's bagging trees and picking up freelance web design jobs while he figures out what to do next, and where the best stargazing is.
Ivy's sister, Sterling's uncle, four goats, and the Geminid meteor shower conspire to bring Sterling and Ivy together as the holiday approaches, but connections neither Ivy nor Sterling are aware of tangle like last-year's Christmas lights, threatening to trip up their newfound attraction.
The Rarest Gift, by Mandy Dawson
For restaurateurs Sabrina and Mark, dissolving their marriage was simpler than dissolving Buchons' - the dream Sabrina thought they were building together - but nothing about their separate-but-together existence is easy anymore.
An unlikely angel arrives in Mark's life while he flirts with culinary self-sabotage. Sabrina explores drastic measures to save the floundering restaurant. Both of them find themselves reflecting on the bitterness that drove them apart - and the sweetness beneath it - until a family emergency forces the pair to reevaluate the flavor of partnership, dreams, and love that won't quit.
Perfect romantic escape holiday read.
Two Christmas Stories
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
– Norman Vincent Peale
Join authors Angela Amman and Cameron D. Garriepy in seeking out the softness and beauty of Christmas in two short, sweet holiday romances.
Sweet Silver Bells, by Angela Amman:
Poppy is a copywriter on a mission: finding the perfect song for a client's Christmas launch party playlist. Agency-artist-slash-part-time-DJ Theo seems the perfect person to ask, but their usually easygoing friendship feels clouded. Whether it's the company's Jingle Jamboree gift exchange, her faux pas at last year's holiday party, or something else entirely that's causing the tension, Poppy can't say. Theo's musical taste turns out to be spot on, but are Poppy's instincts?
Santa's Photographer, by Cameron D. Garriepy:
Shell -- a.k.a. Candy Cane -- is on a break from her seasonal job taking photos for a mall Santa when an attractive passerby catches her muttering an angry rant... while wearing her elf attire. Embarrassed by her costume and her foul humor, Shell blows off the man's unexpected compliment, but holiday magic has other things in store for them both. Serendipity, mistaken identity, and a little boy's Christmas wish weave their lives together as December 25th approaches, but will Santa's photographer make the connection in time?
Two Christmas Stories
Two short holiday stories from authors Angela Amman and Cameron D. Garriepy, perfect for a cozy fire, or a flight home... for the holidays.
"I met a man who lives in Tennessee
He was headin' for Pennsylvania and some home made pumpkin pie.
From Pennsylvania, folks are travelin' down to Dixie's sunny shore.
From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific.
Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays, you can't beat home, sweet home."
Or can you?
For Merry Jackson, home for the holidays means spending Christmas alone in her Boston apartment, until a chance meeting in a market and an elderly neighbor's misfortune bring someone new -- and special -- into her life, but is he meant for her?
Georgia Gérard escapes Chicago's frosty weather to spend Christmas in Maui with her family, but she can't quite leave her secrets on the Lake Michigan shore. Rumors swirl around her professional life, and an irresistible man from her past won't leave her alone. Will Georgia find the peace she craves on Lahaina's sunny shoreline?
Twenty years after flirting with rock and roll stardom, Moira Kennedy is a tired bartender who still dreams of the sweet rush of performing. With twelve dreary days until Christmas looming, Moira's achingly dull life spins off its axis. Who is the handsome stranger in the red scarf? Why is her ex threatening to dredge up their past? Is there still music in her soul? And will this be a happy Christmas after all?
Twelve Days 'Til Christmas is a work of short fiction, a Christmas romance which includes salty language and adults making the occasional poor choice.
“Ain’t nothing in the dark that ain’t there in the light…”
Stories of darkness and light — physical… otherworldly… and in the human spirit. From dangerous to romantic to chilling, this collection showcases seven absorbing tales and an unforgettable cast of characters.
In Kate Shrewsday’s “To Hear the Dead Proclaim,” a trans-Atlantic air traveler comforts her seat mate with a sympathetic ear. His story allows her into the mind of a genius, but some conversations are best left unspoken.
In “Flutters,” Angela Amman takes us into the steamy Savannah heat, where the last surviving daughter in a family of women with extraordinary powers struggles to maintain her mother’s legacy at all costs.
Helen has lived her life obsessed with a statue, going so far as to travel the world for a glimpse of it in person. The consequences of her trip reveal an ancient curse and leave Helen’s life forever changed in Mandy Dawson’s “Awakening.”
Previously published as a stand-alone short, Cameron D. Garriepy’s “Requiring of Care” follows Lucy Montgomery to an unusual job interview. The would-be nanny is pulled into the world of Violet, a little girl who holds fragments of a haunting story.
“Bad Deal,” an excerpt from Andra Watkins’ debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis (Word Hermit Press, 2014), introduces us to an unusual little girl named Emmaline Cagney. Emmaline longs to fly from the dark side of her mother’s affections, but what strangers lurk in the shadows?
From Kameko Murakami: A terrible accident robbed Danaë of her life, but not by killing her. Instead she is cursed, invisible to the world, with one exception: the dying. When her path crosses that of the one living man who knows she’s there, Danaë must decide if she is to remain “Unseen.” [Previously published.]
“Ain’t nothing in the dark that ain’t there in the light, Edie.” Nyctophobic Eden Summerhill has nowhere to go but the lonely family farmhouse she’s inherited, but the darkness is waiting there for her in “Love Apples” by Elizabeth Yon.
The seven stories here range from the psychological thriller to parental betrayal to the more standard ghost story, but they will all creep into the corners of your mind and take up residence there.
Four Stories About Love
"Love is metaphysical gravity." R. Buckminster Fuller
A force beyond reason and the laws of nature, love draws us together in many ways. In these four short stories, four authors explore the essence of love, from practical to magical.
"In Her Hands," by Angela Amman, explores the moment in which a woman weighs the choice between expectations and the lasting passion she craves.
A shy librarian offers her beautiful best friend a shot at the English teacher she secretly desires, in Mandy Dawson's "Home." But what if beauty isn't all he needs in a lover?
Cameron D. Garriepy's eponymous "Valentine" is a young woman whose fairytale is sidetracked by a trickster loose in the streets of New Orleans.
In "Elephants in the Atmosphere" by Kameko Murakami, a young woman in extraordinary circumstances finds love in an unexpected place and against all odds. Is a happy ending even possible?
Metaphysical Gravity is a shimmering jewel of a book.