Get Inspired! Authors Share Their Holiday Traditions


’Tis the season to be merry and bright…spend time with family and curl up by the fire with a great book.

This year Annabeth Albert, Therese Beharrie and Mary Shotwell share what they love most about the holiday season, including some of their favorite books, movies and family traditions.


Annabeth Albert, author of the Out of Uniform series

I absolutely adore the holiday books and novellas that come out each year, and I have a habit of revisiting my favorites annually. For the last ten years or so, I’ve made it my personal tradition to read only holiday releases between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and to treat myself to several new ones each week as my present to myself during such a hectic season.  My favorite holiday books include Anne Calhoun’s Breath on Embers, Z.A. Maxfield’s I Heard Him Exclaim, Amy Lane’s Turkey in the Snow and Heidi Cullinan’s Sleigh Ride.


Don’t miss Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert—available now!

Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?


Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.


Therese Beharrie

Christmas means two things in our house: family and food. In my mind, though, those two things are slightly different: Christmas books and Christmas movies! Give me any Sarah Morgan Christmas book (I recently read One Enchanted Moment and LOVED it!) or Hallmark movie, and you’ll find me somewhere sighing with festive happiness.


Don’t miss A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie—available now!

A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie

Of all the weddings in all the world, Angie Roux had to be mistaken for a bridesmaid in this one.

Caledon, South Africa, is supposed to be just a stop on the way to Christmas in Cape Town, part of Angie’s long-avoided homecoming. She never expected to star in a bizarre comedy of errors, but here she is: convincing a handsome stranger to be her fake boyfriend for the day.

Ezra Johnson, the handsome stranger in question, turns out to be a pleasant distraction from both the wedding and thoughts of her first family Christmas without her father. And he seems to loathe weddings just as much as she does. He’s the perfect temporary companion.

But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours. Including a connection so strong it tempts them both into thinking of something more permanent…


Mary Shotwell

Hands down my favorite holiday movie has to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Clark Griswold so desperately wants to have a perfect Christmas experience for his family but nothing goes the way he envisioned. With a cast full of realistic characters (admit it, everyone has a cousin Eddie in the family), comedic high jinks and nostalgia, it warms the heart to see the imperfect Christmas exceed any ideal Clark could have imagined.

My mother and I have a tradition every Christmas. Right after Thanksgiving, she mails me a holiday-themed book (the likes of David Baldacci) to read by Christmas and we discuss it over the phone. It’s an early Christmas present and one that I hope to continue when my daughter is older.


Don’t miss Christmas Catch by Mary Shotwell—available now!

Christmas Catch by Mary Shotwell

Can an unlikely romance return the magic of Christmas to an entire town?

All podcaster “Cheery Charlee” Ridgeway wants for Christmas is to land her one-millionth follower. But first, she needs a really good story. Amid hundreds of submissions, one stands out: a plea from Cape Sunset, a small fishing village that hasn’t celebrated Christmas since Jack Fortner lost his fiancée four years ago.

It’s the perfect pitch, but who knew Jack would be such a downright Grinch—or so heart-stoppingly handsome?

Jack’s comfortable crab-fisherman routine is shaken when Charlee blows into town with bells on. It’s not long before the pretty podcaster is breathing new life into Cape Sunset, captivating everyone—including Jack, who’s feeling things for Charlee he once thought he’d never feel again. Not that he shows it.

Despite Jack bah-humbugging her every move, the show must go on. But the closer Charlee gets to Jack, the more growing her audience is the furthest thing from her mind. Thankfully, Jack has a few surprises waiting under the tree…including a love that will last a lifetime.


What are your holiday traditions? Let us know in the comments!


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