Thursday, July 14, 2022



Happy Christmas in July! Welcome to the first blog in the 2022 Christmas in July Reader Blog Tour & Giveaway, which runs July 15-22, 2022, (contest closes at 8 p.m. Eastern on 7/22). At the bottom of each author's blog post, you will find the name of a Christmas song. Write them all down and provide all song titles (26 in total) on this Google form. See below for a list with links of all participating authors!

Note: You must grab all the song titles from every author in the 2022 Christmas in July Reader Blog Tour & Giveaway to be eligible to win the grand prize of a $520 Amazon gift card, plus a copy of each participating author's book OR first place prize of a copy of each participating author's book. At the end of this blog post is a link to the next blog, and so on, to the final blog post (26 authors in all).

Today, I’m promoting my 2015 Christmas novella, Yuletide Reunion, which is part of A Western Christmas anthology. Why am I promoting a book from seven years ago? Well, in this lovely little story, I established a fictional family with five brothers. After telling the story of two brothers, I wanted to write about the other three. My brand new release is Finding Her Frontier Family, and continues the story of the bold, brave, and handsome Mattson brothers and their cattle ranch along the Rio Grande. But first we need to lay the groundwork for the older brothers by telling you more about the younger ones. See more about that story below this blog entry.

 

Yuletide Reunion is set on a fictional ranch beside the Rio Grande near the fictional town of Riverton, New Mexico. My late sister lived in a beautiful, real life adobe house beside the river, and during my many visits to see her, I was inspired by the history of the area. I’ve long wanted to write a story set on her land, although I’ve tweaked the descriptions for this story’s sake. After all, it takes place in 1886, and of course life was harder back then. No phones, no television, no running water. Meals were cooked on woodstoves. Many natural and human dangers faced the settlers every day. Still, our hardy ancestors managed to survive and build strong communities. They also loved to celebrate Christmas, just as we do today.

(This picture is copyrighted by Louise M. Gouge.) Our family has many traditions that we enjoy at this time of the year. Perhaps your family does, too. One of the traditions that takes place in New Mexico each year is Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration of Navidad, which is Spanish for Christmas. When learning about the difficulties of past generations, I’m also struck by the attempts of some people to get along with their neighbors. I was inspired to write about two such groups within my fictional community.

For hundreds of years, Mexicans had settled in the land we now call New Mexico, then known as New Mexico Territory. After the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, new boundaries were drawn, giving the territory to the United States. The Mexicans living there were given the opportunity to move to Mexico or remain on their land. Numerous families remained. At this time, many “Americanos” moved into the area, and animosities sprang up between the two groups. In my idealistic community, the pastors of two different local denominations decide to set the example and bring their congregations together, concentrating on their common belief in Jesus Christ instead of their differences.

Yuletide Reunion, part of the A Western Christmas anthology, available at Amazon.com or Harlequin.com: A Western Christmas.

Emma Sharp's family needs to rebuild their barn before Christmas. All help is welcome—even if it comes from the handsome neighboring rancher who jilted her two years ago. Can Jared Mattson prove that he wants to build not just a barn with Emma—but a bright future together?

Question for readers

I’d love to hear about some unique Christmas tradition you may have, from special stockings to special recipes to community celebrations. Have you ever heard about Las Posadas? Tell me in the blog comments.

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Here’s MY CHRISTMAS SONG TITLE: “We Need a Little Christmas

Save the holiday song titles from each blog stop, and when you reach the final blog, enter all the song titles on this form for a chance to win the grand prize of a $400 Amazon gift card and a copy of each participating author’s featured book OR first prize of a copy of each participating author’s featured book.

Save the holiday song titles from each of the 26 blog stops, and when you reach the final blog, enter all the song titles on this form for a chance to win the grand prize of a $520 Amazon gift card and a copy of each participating author's featured book OR first prize of a copy of each participating author's featured book.

Thank you so much for visiting! The next author on the tour is Katy Lee and her Christmas book is Holiday Suspect Pursuit. You can find it at this link. Remember, the 2022 Christmas in July Reader Blog Tour & Giveaway ends July 22 at 8 PM EST!

Top of Form

 

13 comments:

  1. I love hearing about different traditions! Thanks for sharing and keep on writing!

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  2. I have heard of Las Posadas. As a matter of fact, my dad, will either go to one of those or a novena. I am of Hispanic ethnicity(amongst others), I am not fluent in Spanish so my dad will go and pray with friends or members from the church. I remember very vaguely going as a child at church (more than 20 years ago), and the goody bags (filled with candies and peanuts) the kids were given out.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Carmen. How fun that you know this tradition first hand.

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  3. Riding around looking at Christmas lights on houses and pretend to see Santa so the kids get excited 😊

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  4. We always take the grandchildren to see all the lights and decorations

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    1. Me, too. I love to see all the lights and decorations.

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  5. We always bought a new ornament each year for our tree to add to the collection.

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    1. Oh, that's another one we do! Thanks for commenting.

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  7. We attend the Living Nativity at our church and participate in the Christmas program. We also make homemade cookies and de!iver them to our neighbors. Also no presents are opened until the Christmas story from Luke is read.

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  8. This is one of the best and most meaningful to me.

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