Shannon here: Amy R. Anguish shares insight into her setting for Mistletoe Make-believe, her Contemporary Romance Novella, included in the Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams collection. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Sept 28th – Oct 12th to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 23rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Amy:
Some Christmas Magic
When I was first offered the opportunity to write a novella for the Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams collection, I had mixed emotions. First, I was elated. Second, though, I was overwhelmed. I had never written a novella before. And I had to write it on a beach—at Christmas time!
Needless to say, it took me a minute to get my brain unscrambled. Because I am the kind of girl who loves Christmas where it might actually get cold, and maybe even snow. Not somewhere there might be sunshine and ocean breezes. Those are for summertime. When the water is warm enough to actually enjoy.
That being said, when I stopped and really thought about it, I knew where I would set the story. Because the most romantic beach, I could think of was the one where I had my own honeymoon. Granted, that happened in mid-June instead of late December, but it gave me a general idea of what the area looked like anyway. I just needed to winterize it.
Where is this place, you’re asking.
It’s St. Simons Island, Georgia. Just off the coast of Brunswick, south of Savannah. And both times I’ve been blessed to visit there, driving around the island feels a bit like magic. It’s the part of the world where oak trees grow their branches every which way, dipping down and touching the earth in places before reaching toward the sky again. Their arms drip with Spanish moss.
Marshes cover a good part of that area between the islands and the mainland, but then you get to the ocean side and can stare out at miles and miles of waves, the saltiness of the air tingling your nose.
Dolphins and shark teeth and shells and sand dollars are easily found if you go at the right time of day and area.
It has cute little touristy places and other spots full of historical significance—an old fort, a WWII museum, churches founded back in the 1700s. And don’t forget the ice cream.
Every time I think about this island, I remember the sweet days of the first week of my marriage, and how we soaked up the sun as much as each other. And then I think of when we returned fifteen years later, kids in tow, to introduce them to the beach on one of our favorite spots.
And I hope that I wove at least a little of those feelings into my story. Because the island truly does hold a bit of romantic magic for me. And I hope you can feel the Christmas magic I added for my novella, Mistiletoe Make-believe.
If you get the chance, you should definitely visit.
About Amy: Author of An Unexpected Legacy, Faith and Hope, and Saving Grace. Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good. Learn more & connect:
And check out the YouTube channel she does with two other authors, Once Upon a Page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiu-jq-KE-VMIjbtmGLbJA
About the novella collection – Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams by Amy Anguish, Hope Toler Dougherty, Linda Fulkerson, Regina Rudd Merrick and Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Mistletoe Make-believe by Amy Anguish – Charlie Hill’s family thinks his daughter Hailey needs a mom–to the point they won’t get off his back until he finds her one. Desperate to be free from their nagging, he asks a stranger to pretend she’s his girlfriend during the holidays. When romance author Samantha Arwine takes a working vacation to St. Simons Island over Christmas, she never dreamed she’d be involved in a real-life romance. Are the sparks between her and Charlie real? Or is her imagination over-acting … again?
A Hatteras Surprise by Hope Toler Dougherty – Ginny Stowe spent years tending a childhood hurt that dictated her college study and work. Can time with an island visitor with ties to her past heal lingering wounds and lead her toward a happy Christmas … and more? Ben Daniels intends to hire a new branch manager for a Hatteras Island bank, then hurry back to his promotion and Christmas in Charlotte. Spending time with a beautiful local, however, might force him to adjust his sails.
A Pennie for Your Thoughts by Linda Fulkerson – When the Lakeshore Homeowner’s Association threatens to condemn the cabin Pennie Vaughn inherited from her foster mother, her only hope of funding the needed repairs lies in winning a travel blog contest. Trouble is, Pennie never goes anywhere. Should she use the all-expenses paid Hawaiian vacation offered to her by her ex-fiancé? The trip that would have been their honeymoon?
Mr. Sandman by Regina Rudd Merrick – Events manager Taylor Fordham’s happily-ever-after was snatched from her, and she’s saying no to romance and Christmas. When she meets two new friends—the cute new chef at Pilot Oaks and a contributor on a sci-fi fan fiction website who enjoys debate—her resolve begins to waver. Just when she thinks she can loosen her grip on thoughts of love, a crisis pulls her back. There’s no way she’s going to risk her heart again.
Coastal Christmas Charade by Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Lark Pendleton is banking on a high-society wedding to make her grandparent’s inn at Surfside Beach, Texas the venue to attract buyers. Tasked with sprucing up the inn, she hires Jace Wilder, whose heart she once broke. When the bride and groom turn out to be Lark’s high school nemesis and ex-boyfriend, she and Jace embark on a pretend romance to save the wedding. But when real feelings emerge, can they overcome past hurts?
Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-spm0_wQcZ0
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: Have you ever visited a place that felt like it held a bit more magic than others? Or even that seemed more romantic?
Come back Oct 8th for Hope Dougherty!