Are you a romance fan? If so, is it all year round, or just at Christmas? (Hands up everyone who secretly looks forward to yearly repeats of Love Actually.)
If you enjoy reading romance, you’ve probably come across the following award-winning Australian authors: Kandy Shepherd, Bronwyn Parry, Cathryn Hein, Anna Campbell and D B Tait. All have books published by mainstream publishers, and all have ventured into the realm of self-publishing. Their latest offerings? Christmas ebook novellas*, just in time for Santa! (And some for as little as 99c!)
I’m always curious to know why established authors choose to self-publish titles alongside their traditionally published works (or instead of them, as Aussie author John Birmingham reflected a few days ago). So I thought I’d ask the authors, and find out a little more about their Christmas novellas along the way.
When last year I was invited to submit a novella for a Christmas-themed e-boxed set I was delighted as I love writing festive stories. The story had to be set in Australia at Christmas time and be steamier in heat level than the ‘close-the-bedroom door’ books I write for Harlequin Mills & Boon. The anthology went on sale last Christmas (2015) for a limited period. When the rights to Millionaire Under the Mistletoe reverted to me, I decided to self-publish it as a Christmas 2016 release.
Millionaire Under the Mistletoe is a contemporary reunion story that plays out over just two days. When London-based expat chef Carly de Luca makes a surprise visit to Sydney, she encounters her first love Dylan Burke. They broke each other’s hearts four years ago in a storm of misunderstandings. Can they find the courage to take a second chance on love? The story is passionate and heartfelt but fun too. Oh, and there’s a cat named Morris who plays a small but significant role. Animals have a way of sneaking into my stories. – Kandy
The North Wind, a Christmas novella, is a slight change of pace from my usual gritty romantic thrillers. It’s a stand-alone story set in the same small town as the books in the Dungirri series, and there is a mystery to solve – but there are no murders and not as much danger. It is Christmas, after all. This is my first foray into independent publishing and I’ve enjoyed the creative control of the process – and the much quicker timeframes! – Bronwyn
For the last several years I’ve noticed a lot of authors putting out Christmas books, and who can blame them? Themed stories are hugely popular, especially in the contemporary romance genre, which I write. This year, after finishing my contracted book early, I finally had the chance to jump on the bandwagon and jump I did. Santa and the Saddler poured out of me, I think for two reasons. Firstly, I was revisiting Levenham, the fictional south-east South Australian town that has been the setting for three of my previous releases and is loosely based on where I grew up, and secondly, because the characters were so gorgeous. Each day it was a joy to sit down with them. Danny and Beth are kind, sweet and hard-working, and deserving of love and happiness, but there is one big barrier – the saddler heroine is leaving town and our Santa-costumed hero must use every trick in his bag to convince her to stay. Wonderful festive fun! – Cathryn
Thanks so much for featuring my novella today. Since 2011, I’ve written a Christmas story every year, and it’s become a highlight of my writing schedule. This year I was feeling particularly festive, so I’ve got two out – one in the anthology Under the Kissing Bough, and a stand-alone called A Match Made in Mistletoe. A trope I always enjoy in romance is the character who thinks they know exactly what they want out of life, then love comes along and turns everything upside down and takes them on a journey to happiness that they never imagined. Serena, my heroine in AMMIM, has spent all her life in love with the boy next door, but this Christmas she can’t stop thinking about dark and brooding Giles Farraday, the Marquess of Hallam, her beloved’s best friend. Mayhem ensues! Wishing you and all your readers a very happy Christmas! – Anna
D B Tait
I wanted to write a Christmas novella as part of my Deception series. Festive Deception is a bit lighter than my two other novels in the series. It has Julia and Dylan living together, in a pretty good space and working out how to make their relationship work. But murder and mayhem won’t leave them alone. This time, out of the blue, a character strolls onto the page in the form of Margaret Henderson, an ex-spy in her seventies. I love her and I think I’ll be writing some more about her. The Blue Mountains is a big part of my work and in Festive Deception an Art Deco house is also a feature. Hope you enjoy!
My note: I hope Deb features more of Margaret Henderson, too. She’s a cracker!
If you haven’t yet discovered these authors and you enjoy romance and/or romantic suspense, you’re in for a treat! You can find out more about the novellas and how to purchase them via the following links: Anna Campbell, Bronwyn Parry print version* (also available as an ebook from major online retailers), Cathryn Hein, D B Tait and Kandy Shepherd (also available from Amazon).
About me: Writing as Lizzy Chandler, I’ve published two ebooks with Harlequin Escape, one of which, Snowy River Man, is now out in print with MIRA as part of the Country Secrets anthology. You can find out more on my website: www.lizzychandler.com.