Guest Post from Jo McNally – The Challenges of Writing a Holiday Themed Novel

Today I’m hosting romance author Jo McNally, who’s going to tell us a bit about the challenges she faced when writing STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW. Be sure to check out info on her book AND giveaway below!

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Stealing Kisses in the Snow was my first holiday romance, and it was exciting to tackle a new sub-genre. There were a couple of unique challenges that kept pushing back at me as I wrote–the predefined end date, and getting the emotions to go deeper than snowflakes and Christmas lights.

I usually write from a start date and let the romantic relationship play out organically in my books. But a holiday romance generally ends on the holiday. In an early draft, Piper and Logan were being so cautious that when I went back and tracked the days, it was December and they were still just flirting around. I realized I couldn’t let them just meander through their relationship because tick-tock, Christmas was coming! I charted out the weeks from the start of the story in October up to Christmas Day (the final scene in the book) and moved things around so the timeline felt natural but still hit the target.

My other challenge was writing a fun holiday romance with laughs and snowstorms and joy, but also with intense emotions. Piper is a widowed mom of two, and she’s promised them a “perfect” Christmas. Her plans don’t include the rugged oil rig worker who just cruised into town on a Harley to help his grandmother run the Victorian inn where Piper works. She’s had love once in her life, and lost him when he was killed in action. She’s not sure she deserves a second chance at love, and she’s convinced it wouldn’t be fair to her kids. So her reasons for resisting her feelings for Logan are complex. She has frank discussions with Logan, her children, and her former in-laws about her late husband and his importance to all of them. Logan has to navigate that reality and responsibility as he’s falling for the cute little mom in the ruffled apron. That story of a family coming apart, then coming together again, was important to tell, but at the same time, this is a funny, sexy story that ends on a not-so-perfect, but very special, Christmas Day.

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Stealing Kisses in the Snow

by Jo McNally

GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

Maybe “perfect” is over-rated…

Between juggling two kids, two jobs, and a fixer-upper house, single mom Piper Montgomery is so busy she can hardly see straight.  But when rugged biker Logan Taggert strolls into the B&B where she’s working, she can’t help but stare.  He has bad boy written all over him. She’s promised her kids a “perfect Christmas” this year, and bad boys aren’t part of the plan. But how can she resist?

Once his grandmother is back on her feet, Logan can leave her Victorian B&B get back on the road.  It’s where he belongs after all, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club biddies try to convince him otherwise.  But there’s something about beautiful, spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if kids and commitment might be just what he needs after all.

As Christmas draws ever closer, so do Piper and Logan.  Could these two opposites find all they want this Christmas is each other?

Read an Excerpt

“Okay, Lily. If you see that giant again, bring him to me so I can tell him to stop hanging around here. It’s bad for business.”

Lily giggled and dashed out of the kitchen before Piper could tell her they were leaving soon. She put away the rest of the dishes and tossed the dishrag into the bin to be washed. She was mopping up the last corner of the floor when she heard the kitchen door open again. Good—Lily hadn’t wandered far.

“I’m glad you’re back, sweetie. I’m almost done, so—”

“Momma! I found the giant! Isn’t he hoomongus?”

Piper turned and froze, clutching the mop handle tightly. Lily was standing in the doorway, holding hands with a stranger. Well over six feet tall, with straggly, wet hair hanging to his shoulders and a scruffy beard, the man was clothed entirely in black leather, including leather chaps on his long legs. He had the deepest-set eyes Piper had ever seen, shadowed under heavy, dark brows. With his size and overall menacing appearance, it was no wonder Lily thought he was a giant.

And he was holding her daughter’s tiny hand.

Piper bristled, her exhaustion gone in a flash. She’d gladly battle actual monsters to save her children, and big or not (and he was big), this was just a man. A man who was about to regret touching her little girl. She brandished the mop handle in front of her like a sword as she went toward him. “You let her go right this minute! And get out of here! I’m calling the police…” She fumbled to get her phone out of her back pocket while still aiming the mop at him. Her voice was fast approaching a scream. “You get the hell away from my daughter!”

Jo McNally will be awarding one print copy of SLOW DANCING AT SUNRISE by Jo McNally and 1 print copy of STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW by Jo McNally, shipping limited to North American (US and Canada) only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click here to enter the contest!

Meet Jo McNally

Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she’s not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she’ll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

 

Author Links

Website: https://jomcnallyromance.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoMcNallyAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoMcNallyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jo.mcnally/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15850595.Jo_McNally

 

STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1335041486

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow-jo-mcnally/1129992769

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow/id1446004554

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jo_McNally_Stealing_Kisses_in_the_Snow?id=vTp-DwAAQBAJ

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