On Sale: October 1, 2010
Featuring: Karina Barrett; Reid Sullivan
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Single mom Karina Barrett is thrilled to treat her kids to a
fairytale Christmas vacation... but will a sexy innkeeper
make her own holiday dreams come true?
For Karina, it's the chance of a lifetime: a free cocoa and
gingerbread-filled holiday at a quaint Michigan B&B called
The Christmas House. In return, Karina will play spy and
report back to the company hoping to buy out the popular
hotel. It's all too good to be true...especially when Karina
meets innkeeper Reid Sullivan. The man is a walking talking
Christmas miracle—and she's hoping to meet him under the
Single dad turned globe-trotting adventurer, Reid isn't
quite sure how he and his daughters got roped into helping
out this year at his family's B&B. But once he arrives, it
doesn't take long for a certain guest to catch his eye.
Fun-loving California girl Karina is hard to miss, and Reid
senses the attraction is mutual. As Christmas approaches and
the weather grows colder, things between Reid and Karina
heat up. But when the true reason behind Karina's visit is
revealed, will the holiday magic disappear before the ball
drops on New Year's Eve?...
73 comments posted.
Re: Holiday Affair
I am all about the cooking on Christmas. It is my way of loving my family and in that they always look forward to the meal because of the love. I do however stay in my p.j.'s as long as I can!!!
(Michele Powell 12:51pm November 1, 2010)
I really love the sound of Home for the Holidays. It sounds like the fun chaos that we have every year and we wouldn't miss a minute of it.
(Cindy Olp 3:35am November 1, 2010)
I have delusions of Wizardry every year...but end up with and enjoy chaos! Keeping family and friends at the forefront and relegating the "shoulds, oughts, and maybes" works pretty well on the whole.
(Jl Welling 8:44am November 1, 2010)
I'm not even close to a Martha! I'm lucky if I get everything done by New Year's :>)
(Karin Tillotson 10:35am November 1, 2010)
Nope, also, not close to a Martha though I do my best and the kids seem to be pleased each year.
(Valerie Bongards 11:00am November 1, 2010)
I have a huge family, so traveling is about all I do on the holidays. We usually have about 7 different houses to visit. I do still find time to decorate my house inside and out and bake cookies to take to each house. I love the holidays, but boy are they exhausting.
(Cassie Holloway 11:02am November 1, 2010)
Easier is better - that's for sure. We got rid of the big tree (has to be artifical because of allergies) and now have a small tabletop tree that takes only 10 minutes to decorate. It's fun and quick enough that we don't lose interest!
(Jessica Badeaux 11:10am November 1, 2010)
"mismatched, shiny, and potentially tacky" LOL - Boy, this is a woman with kids. And you're right, the more stuff on the tree the better! We have a 3 day party at my house. All the family comes over and sleeps over. By the 26th I'm done! But we have a good time (as long as they leave by the 27th) and the memories will be with us forever.
(Catherine Bybee 11:36am November 1, 2010)
Hi everyone! Thanks for having
me here at Fresh Fiction
again. It's always nice to
Wow, it sounds as though you
all have the MOST wonderful
Michele, I'm all about the
baking. I love it. Every year,
we make gingerbread cookies in
the shape of teddy bears, and
the whole family pitches in.
It's a really fun tradition.
And they're SO cute.
Cindy, "fun chaos" is exactly
it! LOL. :)
Jl, I'm with you on
relegating. How else can
everything get done so that
everyone can have a good time?
Karen, that's funny! I try to
get a head start by picking up
gifts for people throughout
the year if I see something
perfect for them...but it's a
sometimes. Good intentions
count for something, right?
Hi Valerie! I think you're
right. Tschüß! :)
That *is* a lot of traveling,
Cassie! Sounds like a lot of
fun, though. It must be very
nice to see everyone. :)
Jessica, I have a small tree
like that in my office. It's
decorated lickety-split, and
brightens up my workspace all
December long. :)
LOL, Catherine! That sounds
like an awesome time, with
sleepovers and everything! You
are very lucky. :) And yes, I
can never have too much on the
tree. I figure there's always
room for more! :)
(Lisa Plumley 11:46am November 1, 2010)
Am looking forward to the
holidays -- family, food, and
new books to read on my days
(Sandy Haber 12:04pm November 1, 2010)
I am definately no martha. I just try to relax and enjoy the day. It's not suppose to be about everything being "perfect". Its just about spending time with your family and enjoying it. I don't want to spend my day stressing over making sure everything is just right.
(Christina Andre 12:41pm November 1, 2010)
I love Christmas, and I try to make it really special for my family. I am a long way from being a Martha Stewart, though. I think if you try to do too much, you can't really relax and enjoy the holidays.
By the way, one of my favorite holiday traditions is reading old and new Christmas stories. Your anthology ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS is a yearly re-read!
(Cheryl Castings 12:46pm November 1, 2010)
would love to win Holiday Affair to get in the holiday mode
(Catherine Myers 12:59pm November 1, 2010)
I am definitely like you, I sit around in my pjs and just want to relax.
(Raelena Pavey 1:40pm November 1, 2010)
Hello, Sandy! Yes, new books!
That's definitely something to
look forward to. :)
Hi Christina! See? You're much
wiser than I was! I hope you
have a lovely holiday. :)
Hi Cheryl! Aww, aren't you
SWEET? Thank you so much! That
means a lot to me. I like to
re-read my favorites, too.
I'll have my fingers crossed
for you, Catherine! BTW, you
can read the first chapter of
Holiday Affair on my Web site,
if you'd like a teaser. :)
(Lisa Plumley 1:40pm November 1, 2010)
Raelena, we must have posted
at the same time! (You have a
beautiful name, BTW.) You all
are making me want to WORK in
my pjs. Who wants to wait for
(Lisa Plumley 1:41pm November 1, 2010)
I love books about the Christmas Holidays, this is my favorite time of year and I always try to read at least one book during this time. This would be a good one to read
(Joyce Bruner 1:42pm November 1, 2010)
I am definitely no Martha. My adult daughters who live at home want Momma to cook certain things at Christmas. It's been that way for many years.
(Andrea Infinger 1:52pm November 1, 2010)
I'm a flawed Martha. I live in constant chaos but can whip out a Christmas wreath in less than an hour.
(Dani Brantley 1:58pm November 1, 2010)
Both my parents cook Christmas dinner together...my father does pretty well in the kitchen... all of us help decorate before hand...
(Colleen Conklin 1:59pm November 1, 2010)
i love holiday stories thanks so much for the great contest
(April Strength 2:20pm November 1, 2010)
Hi Joyce! I start stockpiling
holiday releases as soon as
they arrive in stores (usually
in October). It's way to early
for me to read them, but I
don't want to miss out!
Andrea, there are definitely
things I make every year, too.
But the kids aren't the only
ones who look forward to them!
Wow, I'm impressed, Dani! I'm
hopeless at anything that's
creative in that way. Good for
Aww, that's sweet, Colleen! My
hubby helps me, too. These
days, the kids also lend a
hand. It's nice "together"
Thanks, April! I love
Christmastime, and I'm really
excited about Holiday Affair.
I think it's a fun story, so
I'm happy to spread the word
about it. :)
(Lisa Plumley 2:30pm November 1, 2010)
I love the Holidays. I put everything of the tree, fr. the decorations that were made when my girls were small & now fr. the Grandkids. We drive about 9 hrs. & then cook all the next day, but it's fun.
(Pat Wilson 2:58pm November 1, 2010)
Oh, I'm more for a relaxed Christmas. I used to be the first person in the family up and waiting on everyone else; now, everyone waits on me. I used to wrap beautiful presents with gorgeous bows - now they're lucky if the presents are wrapped. I also give gift cards - you don't have to wrap those. And family tradition insists on frozen doughnuts for breakfast - even though they are next to impossible to find anymore.
(Kelli Jo Calvert 3:19pm November 1, 2010)
I have stopped trying to be Martha for some time now. I have a tree with lights strung permanently, I wrap gifts as I acquire them and I am more apt to enjoy the holidays. I love stories about Christmas.
(Robyn Lee 3:25pm November 1, 2010)
Well, I used to be up half the night after working the 3-11 PM shift wrapping presents while everyone else slept soundly. I've cut down on the baking and cards a lot, but still enjoy a good cookie exchange. Our family tradition includes Santa Claus soup which is either cream of mushroom or cream of celery so Santa could warm up a bit along with the hot chocolate. Sometimes there were ashes in the shape of footprints by the fireplace along with the stockings with a tangerine at the toe, individual cereals, chocolates and candy canes to tap before breakfast. After breakfast which came all too soon was the present opening time. Holiday stories make me feel warm and cozy.
(Alyson Widen 3:36pm November 1, 2010)
I am definitely a holiday fail. LOL. I once had perfect parties and decor, but 3 small children later and mostly of my decor is made of construction paper. Sad, but it has taken toe pressure off. Kids just love the spectacle and at my house, you're guaranteed to see a spectacle!
(Julie Lindsey 3:53pm November 1, 2010)
I am way past the point of making things perfect, too exhausting. I just want to enjoy the grandkids now days.
(Vikki Parman 4:08pm November 1, 2010)
I used to bake hundreds of Christmas cookies, and other goodies to share with friends and neighbors. However, with my kids out of the house and no grandkids, I have toned down my baking. The holiday is much tamer, but I do miss the excitement of youngsters in the house for the holidays.
(Robin McKay 4:16pm November 1, 2010)
Hi Pat! That sounds like fun!
Isn't it nice to have those
traditions to look forward to?
We sound just the same, Kelli
Jo! I hope you can still find
some frozen doughnuts this
year. I make French toast or
waffles for breakfast on
Christmas day. The recipe for
the French toast is on my Web
site. Yum. :)
That's smart of you, Robyn!
Enjoy your Christmas this
Wow, Alyson! You are
dedicated. That's impressive.
I love hearing about your
family traditions -- so neat!
LOL, Julie! On our tree, we
still hang (non glitzy) pipe
cleaner garlands...that we
made with our kids almost
twenty years ago. I love
seeing them every year. :)
That must be nice, Vikki! I
hope you have an enjoyable
(Lisa Plumley 4:16pm November 1, 2010)
I used to go crazy baking
decorated sugar cookies except
every year they came out just
horrible, no one had fun and I
just got frustrated. Now we
stick to simple chocolate chip
with my son eating more chips
than he pours into the batter
but no one cares because it's
(Jodi Webb 4:18pm November 1, 2010)
Hello, Robin! Holy moly,
that's a lot of cookies! I
used to make gift baskets full
of homemade cookies and fudge
for family and friends, but
not on the scale you're
definitely add something
special to the holidays, don't
they? I hope you have a
wonderful time this year. :)
(Lisa Plumley 4:18pm November 1, 2010)
Jodi, that's a great idea. :)
I'm a pretty good baker, but I
have a heard time with rolled
sugar cookies. I make them
into balls, squish them into
circles, and call them
decorating. They still taste
(Lisa Plumley 4:19pm November 1, 2010)
I stopped trying to be Martha at Christmas LONG ago---just having family together at Christmas is enough for me.
(Sue Farrell 4:31pm November 1, 2010)
LOVE Christmas!!! It's family & love & laughter - great food too.
(Mary Preston 5:09pm November 1, 2010)
When my kids were little I thought I wanted the perfect Christmas but we're not a perfect family so now I just enjoy the time with the family.
(Maureen Emmons 5:37pm November 1, 2010)
Hi Sue! That's very smart of
you. The best thing is having
everyone together. :)
Hello, Mary! Me too! That's
one reason I have such a great
time writing Christmas-themed
romances. I've done two full-
length Christmas-themed books,
one novella, and one
collection of three short
stories so far...and I hope to
do more. :)
Maureen, that sounds lovely.
Besides, imperfections are
lovable AND interesting! :)
(Lisa Plumley 5:55pm November 1, 2010)
I'm very laid back...I do make a lot of my Christmas but I've cut down on who receives. I've discovered in many cases a card is all I need to give to some. My hubby (couple yrs ago) got rid of the tree we'd had for years and got this godawful white thing...I deal. It could be worse & we still put the handmade ornaments from children & family on it...
(Ivy Truitt 6:04pm November 1, 2010)
I am more relaxed on the holiday but not before but that is due to work- as long as the kids are happy we are happy
(Audra Holtwick 6:04pm November 1, 2010)
I take the easy way out and cook food that I've made before and know will be easy to make. That way I get to enjoy everything that's going on around me.
(Leni Kaye 6:12pm November 1, 2010)
I'm lucky if I get my Christmas cards out by Valentine's day.
(Shannon Scott 6:20pm November 1, 2010)
Hi Ivy! Your cards sound nice!
I'll bet everyone loves
receiving them. You definitely
seem to have the holiday
Audra, I know what you mean.
It can be frenetic leading up
to the holidays, but
everything slows down once
Christmas Day arrives. I dread
the day someone decides the
mall needs to be open 24/7,
even on Christmas. :(
Hello, Leni! That's a good
idea. I've simplified a LOT
over the years!
Ha! Shannon, you crack me up.
;) A card is nice whenever,
(Lisa Plumley 6:26pm November 1, 2010)
I am a lot like you. This year we will be visiting my mother-in-law's house for Christmas. She is planning on putting on a thoroughly Danish Christmas. I have experienced this many times and always marvel at how organized and relaxed she is while whipping up picture perfect goodies and meals, decorating and ensuring a good time is had by all.
(G. Bisbjerg 7:06pm November 1, 2010)
Hi G! A Danish Christmas sounds
neat...and so does your mother-
in-law! I hope you all have a
terrific time. :)
(Lisa Plumley 7:19pm November 1, 2010)
Perfect went out a long time ago. Christmas Day is now getting up at 7am, an hour of drinking coffee on the lanai, donning the bathing suit and packing the beach bag, chairs, and umbrella. Then it's off to the deli for breakfast and then down to the beach for a fun-filled day by the sea. This book would be a great beach read and look forward to winning the "Home for the Holidays" selection to complete this wonderful holiday we call Christmas. After the beach and on the way home we stop at the market and get two turkey TV dinners and finish our relaxing day at home playing darts and of course drinking our holiday beers.
(Karen Appleby 7:25pm November 1, 2010)
I am so not Martha Stewart. Last yr I had a meltdown in the parking lot of Academy. My sister talked me off the ledge and told me to get her hubby a bottle of liquor. That got me laughing. With our family it's about family, not the decorations. We usually gather and have fun and then fix something fabulous for dinner. On yr it was fajitas with all the works. We haven't decided on this years menu. But back to Martha, I think she's and alien clone from some freaky planet...
(Maude Allen 7:31pm November 1, 2010)
Karen, that sounds heavenly! I
live in Arizona, so I can
definitely get behind an
I still miss snow sometimes.
Hi Maude! LOL! You're funny.
Have a super time this year.
(Lisa Plumley 7:39pm November 1, 2010)
I love the holidays, but I learned long ago that Martha need not worry. Perfection is not my strong suit. Staying up very, very late the night before is my holiday tradition.
(Rosemary Krejsa 8:19pm November 1, 2010)
My bday is 12/23 so I'm all about Christmas, love to put lights in the windows, would keep them on all yr if no one would laugh at me,lol. Not a great cook, but I do my best, not many to feed and the little ones don't ask for much, so I luck out.
(Dina Stornello 8:36pm November 1, 2010)
I try to have a relaxed Christmas. It gets a little hectic with last minute baking and shopping but everything always turns out fine.
(Cheryl Lynne 8:57pm November 1, 2010)
Very sweet and funny.
(Soha Molina 9:24pm November 1, 2010)
Every Christmas, I tried to keep things simple but it's never as it seems. Wrapping presents never get wrapped until Christmas morning. Christmas dinner is never without the drama. What can I say, the Holiday seasons are always chaotic.
(Kai Wong 9:37pm November 1, 2010)
It's jammies, toys everywhere, a
nap in the afternoon, cookies
for breakfast and lunch....
(Cathie Veres 9:37pm November 1, 2010)
I always intend to get the cards out & shopping done early, several kinds of cookies made, but time flies by & things just fall where they may! The important thing is to spend time with family!
(Diane Sallans 10:22pm November 1, 2010)
I love to decorate the tree and wrap the presents, but I don't try to make it perfect. I like things more relaxed and fun.
(Ginger Hinson 11:56pm November 1, 2010)
Dear Santa, thank you for bringing super centers that stock it all and have premade shortbread cookies I only have to bake and gingerbread houses I whip the icing for and glop candy on :) seriously it is about the time we get together. We will wrap the presents in new tea towels, old calendars, newspaper flyers (shiny so they don't leave print on everything lol) and just enjoy our time as a family sipping cocoa and watching christmas movies.
(Darci Paice 12:08pm November 2, 2010)
I've always dreamed of having the perfectly decorated house and all that for Christmas and it has yet to happen. Actually I have come to not be so "happy" at Christmas because it is not what I expect. However last year I went and spent Christmas with my daughter and, at the time, my Grandson's first Christmas. Not having all the stress of being the Mom to do everything and just being able to enjoy my Grandson, it made it one of the best ever. Am going again this year and since he is a year older and will understand a little more, I expect this one to even be better. YAY.
(Vicki Hancock 12:42pm November 2, 2010)
When I lived near my family, I liked to have the "Martha" type Christmas. Now that it's just my Husband and I that celebrate it, I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to the decorations and the giftwrap, but I don't run a tight ship. Whatever goes that day is fine with me, as long as we're together. I cook a lovely meal for the two of us, and make sure I have some cookies baked that go back to my childhood. I guess you can say the old and the new collide. lol
(Peggy Roberson 1:09am November 2, 2010)
I haven't read either of those books, so I'd
love to win! :) Both sound really good.
(Wendy Sachs 1:12am November 2, 2010)
I wish I'd had these comments to read when I was a young "Martha Wannabe"! I thought I was the only one out of step, overwhelmed,& frazzled. "Too late I learned to be smart" :)(that's a dutch family saying). Now, everyone brings a dish, cookies are made with greatgrandkids (every cookie is admired as a great piece of art & beauty (even when it has multicolored icings piled lopsidedly completely obscuring what the cookie was supposed to be)!! It is about family AND friends loving & sharing. Music, laughter, joy, relaxed people...Yes, that makes it "A WONDERFUL LIFE"!! :) :) Your book sounds like an excellent read.
(Jean Merriott 1:13am November 2, 2010)
I used to try to do the super Christmas thing, but no more. I was actually rather successful with the great decorations and baking for a while. Moving into an 1898 house that needed to be totally gutted and renovated, cured that. We are still working on the house and tripping over boxes. It is kind of hard to decorate when you can't find the decorations and don't have any room for a tree.
I look forward to being able to decorate and bake again, but it will be in a much more relaxed way.
(Patricia Barraclough 8:38am November 2, 2010)
I love Christmas. This is my
first year hosting Christmas for
my family, and I'm nervous!!!
(Jessie OLeary 8:49am November 2, 2010)
I am so looking forward to your new book.
(Linda Riffe 10:21am November 2, 2010)
Hi Rosemary! I hope you have a
nice holiday this year. :)
Dina, I have a December
birthday too (Dec 5th). I
think you should leave up your
lights if you want to. Why
Cheryl Lynne, relaxed is what
I'm usually going for too.
Have a happy Christmas this
Hi Kai! I've found at least
one way to make gift wrapping
easier. For the past few
years, my family has been
wrapping gifts in reusable
fabric gift bags. Easy and
fast! You can buy them, but we
just made ours with some
festive holiday-printed fabric
and some iron-on Stitch
Witchery to make the seams (I
don't have a sewing machine).
They work great!
Yum, Cathie! I like the way
you think. :)
You're so right, Diane! Plus,
there's always next year,
Ginger, decorating the tree is
my favorite. I don't go all
out with outdoors decorations
(probably partly because of
living in AZ), but there's
something magical about a
Christmas tree. :)
Darci, that sounds lovely!
What a great approach to te
holidays. Plus, your comment
made me laugh. ;)
Yay, Vicki! That's a good
point, too. There can be a lot
of pressure during the
holidays to feel happy, happy,
HAPPY *all* the time, which
just isn't possible. You're
smart to take the time to
enjoy your grandson. Sweet! :)
Letting the old and new
collide sounds just right,
Peggy! I hope you and your
hubby have a lovely holiday.
Thanks, Wendy! I have my
fingers crossed for you. :)
Hi Jean! What a nice
exactly the way cookies are
decorated in my house (and in
Holiday Affair too,
actually!). Have a nice
Wow, Patricia! That's a lot to
take on. Good luck with your
Christmas this year! I hope
you have a wonderful time amid
the boxes. :)
Good luck, Jessie! As you can
see from everyone's comments,
no one expects perfection. I
bet you'll do fine. :)
(Lisa Plumley 1:16pm November 2, 2010)
I'm in the Southern hemisphere so our Christmas falls in summer. We're all about casual outdoor barbecues and salads. We usually have one of those pear shaped trees with decorations we've picked up during our world travels and the wrapping paper and ribbons go in all directions. I think as long as you spend time with friends and family the day is always a good one.
(Shelley Munro 2:26pm November 2, 2010)
Over 30 years ago when my boys were small I remember how guilty my husband and I felt that we couldn't do more for them for Christmas. It was a time when we were struggling to pay the mortgage and basic bills as well as buy groceries - the days when everything was paid for in cash so you waited to go shopping after cashing your paycheck. Looking back I think that those were the easy days after all. It was a time when you could explain to your children how lucky they were that they had a Christmas tree and were getting a used bike for Christmas and not underware and socks! The thing they would be the most excited about was getting a book that was bought just for them and not taken out of the library. I fun time was watching Seasame Street on our black and white TV that got 2 channels but since one would rather read than watch TV and the other was color blind they didn't care that they didn't have a color TV like all their friends. As they grew older and were inching toward being teenagers they would complain about all the gadgets their friends have that they didn't and I'd ask then why did their friends all want to be at our house? It really was a simpler time - a time when you could make the rules and they might not like them but followed them anyway. We always felt that our one grace was that both our boys used to read and that the one treat we could hold over them was we would take away their books if they didn't behave! We still love Christmas but it seems a little more hectic now and darn it's just not as much fun than getting a big thrill about all being in the kitchen together making homemade cookies and talking about how great and what a steal that used bike was to get and it was shiny red one too!
(Jeanne Miro 2:48pm November 2, 2010)
Our Christmas changes every year, due to family health concerns. We quit giving gifts to our siblings and donate money to local charities instead. But we do work hard at finding 'stocking stuffers' for everyone.. Nothing elaborate or expensive - but fun stuff. Last year my husband got a 'head lamp' for when he's outside walking the dog in the dark!
(Cate Sparks 2:59pm November 2, 2010)
I'm definitely no Christmas wizard! But fortunately our Christmases have become easier these past years.
(Minna Puustinen 5:16pm November 2, 2010)
This book sounds like a great way to start the holadays mystery, epinage, the kids are happy and love what more could you ask for?
(Cj Swier 5:53pm November 2, 2010)
The only part of Christmas I really enjoy in the "Reason for the Season".
(Sheila True 8:44pm November 2, 2010)
My mom used to manage to do all the fancy packages, cooking, decorating...I only seem to be able to do one thing per year. Once I co-ordinated the packages...all versions of reindeer...once I made candy...once I made all the presents...once I made decorations. But lately...and this is odd...since I am not working and my kids are grown...I don't do ANY of it. I guess I retired. ;)
(Penny Mettert 3:34am November 3, 2010)
sounds like a great book for the holidays
(Kathy Weber 8:35pm November 29, 2010)
Wednesday Night is the first night of Hanukkah. why doesn't anyone write about that?
(Gloria Walshver 10:11pm November 29, 2010)
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