Thank you for having me here today to discuss my Christmas novella, JOYFULLY HIS. Originally,
I'd only planned three books for the Sterling Canyon series—one for each friend.
But Avery's twin, Andy, who first appeared in the first book when he injured the
hero while driving home from happy hour, kept popping up. By the end of the
third book, I felt he'd suffered enough and deserved his own happily ever after.
At the start of this novella, Andy has just completed his yearlong probation
following the accident mentioned above. His persona non grata status has made it
difficult for him to find work and integrate back into the social fabric of his
small Rocky Mountain town. What he really wants is his old job back as a ski
instructor, but his criminal record makes that a near-impossibility. Enter Nikki
Steele, his former boss and long-time friend.
Unbeknownst to him, Nikki feels somewhat responsible for Andy's predicament
because, on that long ago evening, she'd left him at the bar instead of taking
his keys. She's also harbored a crush on him for many years. Due to these
circumstances, she goes out on a limb with her boss to get Andy rehired on a
probationary basis. A blessing and a curse, because working together is just one
more reason why neither one should risk crossing the line of friendship.
The biggest challenge in writing this novella is getting people over the hump of
Andy's past. Drinking and driving is, after all, not only illegal, but also
extremely selfish and dangerous to others. But this is exactly what's
interesting to explore—whether some actions are beyond redemption, or if
everyone deserves a second chance.
The consequences are Andy's actions were widespread. His victim required knee
surgery, while Andy suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. He lost his
beloved job. The accident also nearly tore his family apart because the assets
he held jointly with his sister were at risk in a civil lawsuit. Fortunately,
that suit was settled, and Andy entered a plea bargain in the criminal case that
put him on probation for a long time.
Throughout the series, we've watched Andy mature as a result of his experience.
He apologizes to his victim and speaks to high school students about the dangers
of drinking. He attends AA meetings and serves his sentence with his parole
officer. He takes odd jobs to keep up with his financial obligations. And he
suffers from a guilty conscience. At heart, he was always a kind, laid-back guy
who was generally considerate and well liked. But after two years of misery and
loss, now he wants a chance to reclaim his life and the trust people used to
place in him.
I believed he's earned that chance. To me, one mistake (even a big one) can't
erase all the good things about a person, especially when that mistake was born
of recklessness rather than intent. I think Andy's worthy of love and respect
because he's grown from his mistake. He appreciates the value of true friendship
and forgiveness, and he's done everything within his power to prove that he's
Those who've read my other books know that I'm particularly fond of a redemption
story. Heroes who struggle with those big questions of "how did I get here and
who do I want to be" are going to be the ones who most appreciate love and a
second chance. These are the guys who, when they finally commit, do not do so
lightly. I think Andy Randall is that guy now, and that makes him worthy of
Jamie Beck welcomes readers back to Sterling Canyon, Colorado, where a
disgraced but charming ski instructor falls in love while trying to redeem
Folks in Sterling Canyon know that small towns have long memories. Two years
after the DUI that injured a pedestrian, Andy Randall is still making amends. He
hopes the Christmas spirit will help him get rehired as a ski instructor, but
that job will come with conditions. He can't afford another mistake, which is
exactly what making a play for his former boss and friend, Nikki Steele, would be.
Nikki races down double black diamonds and hikes mountains better than most
guys, unafraid of tumbling down the slopes. But trusting the guy who once shot
her down could end in a fall that actually hurts, especially when she'd have to
vouch for him with her boss. Still, the resort needs another instructor
to handle the holiday tourists, and Andy's sexy grin and relaxed charisma make
him hard to resist.
With both of their reputations now on the line, can Andy convince Nikki that the
second chance he wants isn't only about the job?
| Holiday [Montlake Romance, On Sale: October 16, 2017, e-Book, /
Jamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing stories about
love and redemption. In addition to writing novels, she also pens articles on
behalf of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and
strengthening families. Fortunately, when she isn't tapping away at the
keyboard, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive
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