A Texas Kind of Christmas

A Texas Kind of Christmas by 

Jodi Thomas  Celia Bonaduce   Rachel Miles

Expected publication:  Oct. 29, 2019 – Kensington Books

Book courtesy of the Kensington and NetGalley

Description:

It’s Christmas Eve, 1859, and everyone who’s anyone is headed to the glorious St. Nicholas Hotel for the most talked about ball of the season. It’s the kind of Texas night where anything can happen—even love . . .
 
ONE NIGHT AT THE ST. NICHOLAS
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
 To escape her stepmother’s plot to marry her off, Texas heiress Jacqueline Hartman spends Christmas Eve sharing a hideout with an accused bank robber. After a night in Nathaniel Ward’s arms, Jacqueline is certain she has met her match after all. But will his heartfelt promise of love lead to his demise at the hands of the law?
 
BIRDIE’S FLIGHT * Celia Bonaduce
Seamstress Birdie Flanagan gets the surprise of her life when she receives a beautiful gown—and a sudden invitation—for the ball of the season! Birdie creates a stir from the moment she arrives, capturing the eye of the dashing Captain Douglas Fairbanks.  But will a secret from her past keep her from her long-awaited happily-ever-after?
 
SPIRIT OF TEXAS * Rachael Miles
When lovely spinster Eugenie Charpentier makes a trip across the Texas frontier with former Texas Ranger Asher Graham, she dreams of an adventure, and the rough-and-tumble cowboy is happy to oblige. But both Eugenie and the rugged lawman are keeping secrets. Can they find each other—and love—on the dance floor at the Christmas ball?  (publisher)

My take:  What initially sold me on this book was seeing Jodi Thomas’s name. I think it’s the first time I’ve ready anything by Celia Bonaduce and Rachael Miles. It turned out to be a great introduction because I’ve added them both to my TBR list. I’m a fan of historical romance of this era and a US setting and I’m glad to have found new-to-me authors. I enjoyed their writing style.

The connection shared by the three novellas is a Christmas Ball hosted at the grand Dallas hotel, The St. Nicholas. It is the destination and main setting for the characters but Christmas plays a minor role. At the forefront are well-to-do fathers looking to marry off their daughters, a financially independent spinster who might have found her soul mate, and the terrible beauty that is the Texas terrain. I enjoyed each story and recommend the book to fans of the authors and historical romance.


THE HISTORY BEHIND A TEXAS KIND OF CHRISTMAS: 

➢ Sarah Horton Cockrell opened the St. Nicholas Hotel in 1859 under her own management, one year after her husband, Alex Cockrell, died at the hands of a Dallas sheriff. It was known as one of the most fashionable, grand hotels of its time until it burned down in the Dallas Fire of 1860. It was the first building constructed taller than two stories and the crowning social event Dallas society was the grand ball with which it made its debut. Sarah Horton Cockrell named the hotel after the man she chose as its manager – Nicholas H. Darnell, a captain in the Indian wars of 1839, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Texas Congress of 1842, and Lieutenant Governor elected in the first state election of 1846. 

Sarah Horton Cockrell (1819-1892) 

➢ An astute businesswoman, real estate maven and transportation pioneer whose wealth and power defied gender conventions of the time, Sarah Horton Cockrell went on to own nearly 1⁄4 of Downtown Dallas, opening the Dallas Hotel (later known as the St. Charles), a number of flour mills and other businesses. She constructed the first iron bridge across the Trinity, leading to enormous economic development for the state. 

➢ After Sarah Horton Cockrell’s death in 1892, The Dallas Morning News’s obituary stated that her funeral procession and floral tributes were among the largest ever seen in Dallas.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS 

Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and her historical anthology, A Texas Kind of Christmas (Nov. 2019). The first book in her new series with Kensington, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, comes out May 2020. Please visit her at http://www.JodiThomas.com.


Celia Bonaduce, also the author of The Venice Beach Romances and the Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas series, has always had a love affair with houses. Her credits as a television field producer include such house-heavy hits as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; HGTV’s House Hunters and Tiny House Hunters. She lives in Santa Monica, CA, with her husband and dreams of one day traveling with him in their own tiny house. She can be found online http://www.CeliaBonaduce.com

Rachael Miles is an acclaimed romance novelist and historian specializing in the 19th century, as well as a professor of literary history. A fifth-generation Texan and native of Dallas, she now lives and teaches in New York. Visit her online at http://www.RachaelMiles.com.


Meet Jodi Thomas, Rachael Miles & Celia Bonaduce at these Upcoming Events! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 @ 6pm DALLAS WOMAN’S FORUM at the Alexander Mansion of Dallas Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres with Jodi Thomas, Rachael Miles & Celia Bonaduce (Author Talk, followed by Q&A and Book Signing) 4607 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204 

Thursday, November 21, 2019 @ 11am DALLAS WOMAN’S FORUM at the Alexander Mansion of Dallas Luncheon with Jodi Thomas, Rachael Miles & Celia Bonaduce (Author Talk, followed by Q&A and Book Signing) 4607 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204 

Thursday November 21, 2019 @ 6pm INTERABANG BOOKS 10720 Preston Rd #1009B Dallas, TX 75230 

Saturday, November 23, 2019 @ 11am DALLAS ARBORETUM – Rosine Hall 8525 Garland Rd. Dallas, Texas 75218


 

 

One Wish: A Christmas Story by Jodi Thomas

One Wish: A Christmas Story by Jodi Thomas

Expected publication:  Oct. 29, 2019 – Zebra

Digital galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

My take: Maggie has a journal where she has recorded wishes over the years. Ranging from flowery, hopeful wishes to now – when she wishes to spend a day with a good man. She doesn’t hold out much home that she’ll get her wish.

On a night just before Christmas she’s the only person in her mercantile when three men with bad intentions come in and threaten her. They don’t realize there’s another person in the shop and he upsets their plan. He is a man from Maggie’s past. She and Sam knew each other as children. Twenty years have passed and they have an opportunity to get re-acquainted.

This is a novella about finding friendship and possibly love. It’s a warm story peppered with Jodi Thomas’s trademark humor. I enjoyed it! The format is perfect when you need a little escape during a busy day.


 

Christmas in Winter Valley by Jodi Thomas (plus a note from the author)

Readers often ask me where my characters come from.  Most simply just walk in my brain and introduce themselves.  I learn their stories and secrets kind of like the readers do, a bit at a time.  But in CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY, it was different for one character, TYE FRANKLIN.

I met a man who owned a wonderful bookstore in Terrell, Texas.  There was something about him that made me ask, “Did you ever rodeo?”

He moved forward in his chair, spread his legs apart and answered.  The love of rodeo was still there after twenty years.  His body and mind was setting a horse even though we were in a restaurant as he told me of the thrills and heartaches.  The adrenaline, the fun, the pain.
 
My character Tye came alive in my mind and I loved his story in CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY.
Jodi Thomas

Christmas in Winter Valley by Jodi Thomas

Published:  September 24, 2019 – HQN

Book courtesy of HQN and NetGalley

Description:  Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.

Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.

With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.(publisher)

My take:  It’s two weeks before Christmas and all across the Maverick Ranch creatures and cowboys are stirring. The Holloway brothers (introduced to readers in book 7 of the Ransom Canyon series) are busy running the family ranch, seeing to horses, and visiting in-laws out of town. They don’t have time for orphans, accidents, injuries and ex girlfriends but they’ll be forced to deal with all and then some. My favorite part of the book involved young Tatum and the ranchers who show him what family is all about. And I loved Tye and his growing relationship with the ranch cook. Christmas in Winter Valley is a charming and romantic book perfect to curl up with this Christmas season. Fans of Jodi Thomas will not be disappointed.


Be sure to go to http://www.jodithomas.com and sign up for Jodi’s e-mail newsletter for all the latest news about booksignings and new releases!


The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas

Pub. date:  May 7, 2019 – HQN Books

Review copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  A rainy-day ritual—a tea party between three little girls—becomes the framework of not only their friendship, but their lives.

Redheaded, curly-haired Zoe is open-hearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.

As Zoe, Emily and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other, and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all. (publisher)

My take:  The Little Teashop On Main is the story of 3 forever friends and the man who loved them all.  Zoe, Emily and Shannon couldn’t be more different but they were brought together as little girls and their friendship grew over the course of their lives. They were more like sisters and stayed loyal and protective over the years. Jack was their friend and loved them as such, with one exception. He loved them all but was in love with one.

This novel felt a bit different from author Jodi Thomas’s other books. I felt a dream-like quality from the very first page that continued throughout. I liked that aspect but wasn’t sure how things would end up – as I usually do with her novels. That said, it still had the same heart and humor that I’ve come to expect in a Jodi Thomas book. I liked it very much. Just be prepared for an emotional journey with this one. Recommended to fans of Jodi Thomas and novels about friends/sisters.


PRAISE FOR JODI THOMAS, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

“You can count on Jodi Thomas to give you a satisfying and memorable read.”
Catherine Anderson, New York Times bestselling author

“Western romance legend Thomas’s Ransom Canyon will warm readers
with its huge heart and gentle souls.” —Library Journal

“Compelling and beautifully written, it is exactly the kind of heart-wrenching,
emotional story one has come to expect from Jodi Thomas.”
Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This tale will grab readers, who will fall in love with the main characters and be just as
enamored of the others.” —Library Journal, starred review, on Lone Heart Pass


A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY
bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.
With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she served as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”
When not working on a novel, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at http://www.jodithomas.com.


The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas

The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas

Published:  Dec. 18, 2018 – Kensington

Book provided by the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes you back to the Old West, where two strangers find love in the least likely place, with the least likely person, just in the nick of time . . .
 
As a Yankee in Texas two years after the Civil War, cowboy Broderick Monroe is given the jobs no one else wants to do—including keeping company with the cursed Widow Allen at the annual Valentine’s Day dance thrown by his boss’s wife.
 
After losing two husbands to the war, Valerie Allen has become a local pariah. Rumor has it that if a man touches her, he’ll be dead by morning. But Brody believes in curses about as much as he believes in love.
 
One secret embrace in the moonlight leads Valerie to think she has found a kindred spirit, but fate—and the curse—aren’t done with her yet . . . (publisher)

My take:  This novella was originally part of the anthology Be My Texas Valentine (published in 2012). It’s a story of two people who’ve been dealt some hard blows by life. When they meet at a Valentine’s dance they know they aren’t meant to be. He agreed to sit next to her when asked by his boss’s wife and she is too proper to disagree. But that doesn’t mean she must speak to him. She’s known around the county as a cursed widow. He’s known as a Yankee and only tolerated because of his strong work ethic. As always happens in a Jodi Thomas story, unexpected circumstances will change the course of lives and this reader loved finding out how. Told in the author’s warm and charming style this is a novella her fans and those of historical western romance will want to read. I’m glad I finally discovered it!


 

Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi Thomas

I love when author Jodi Thomas gives her readers a new book. It means she’ll be stopping by with a guest post in addition to another fabulous book in her series. Thanks for visiting, Jodi!

When I started my story of the Maverick Ranch for MISTLETOE MIRACLES, I wanted to begin with Griffin. I saw him as a far better man than he thinks he is and I knew by the time readers followed him through the story, they’d agree with me.

Griffin is the oldest of three boys.  When his father grew ill, he took over the ranch always making sure that his brothers saw themselves as equal owners.  

Isolated and with the weight of the ranch on his shoulders, Griffin knows that he has to do something to save the ranch.  In the years since his father and mother died, he’s tried everything and now he’s faced with one option open.

He’ll have to marry for money.  Oh, he promises he’ll just need to borrow enough to make the loan payment for the year, then he’ll be back on his feet. He promised he’ll be honest about why he’s marrying and he’ll be good to any woman taking him on as a husband.

But he’s totally unprepared for Sunlan.  She’s everything any man, any rancher could want in a wife.  She’s beautiful, smart, from an old ranching family, and to Griffin’s surprise, needs to get married worse than he does.

I hope you love Griffin, Sunlan and all the characters in MISTLETOE MIRACLES.

Enjoy,

Jodi

Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi Thomas

September 25, 2018 • MMP • HQN • 368 pages • ISBN 9781335005632• $7.99 U.S.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found, and family always brings you back home.

Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it’s a money pit. He’d sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch—just in time for Christmas.

Jaxon O’Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another.

Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she’s single, she’s happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she’s baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he’s her husband? (publisher)

My take:  The feeling I got while reading Mistletoe Miracles is why I will read any book Jodi Thomas writes. I read the first few pages and was quickly drawn into the charming and warm novel. I smiled as the Holloways found the solution needed to save their ranch; as the local hermit was thrust into a situation that forced him out of his self-imposed shell; and as fiction turned into reality for the high school drama teacher.

Mistletoe Miracles is fun, emotional and even dramatic in a few parts. I enjoyed it all and recommend it to fans of Jodi Thomas, contemporary romance, and a good story. While Mistletoe Miracles is the seventh book in the Ransom Canyon series it can stand alone. A few supporting characters are back but a reader doesn’t need to have met them before.


About the author:

A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus. Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.” When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at http://www.jodithomas.com.

Praise for Jodi Thomas:

“Western romance legend Thomas’s Ransom Canyon will warm readers with its huge heart and gentle souls.” —Library Journal

“Compelling and beautifully written, it is exactly the kind of heart-wrenching, emotional story one has come to expect from Jodi Thomas.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This tale will grab readers, who will fall in love with the main characters and be just as enamored of the others.” —Library Journal, starred review, on Lone Heart Pass

“[Sunrise Crossing] will warm any reader’s heart.” – Publishers Weekly, A Best Book of 2016


 

Mistletoe Miracles contest!

Jodi Thomas is running a contest for a vacation in her New Mexico condo where she does a lot of her writing. She would love for her readers to experience Red River, an enchanted place that is very personal to her. To enter the contest go to Mistletoe Miracles 3 Day Vacation at Jodi Thomas’ Red River Condo. Good luck!
A message from Jodi Thomas:
I’m very excited about our new contest for a three-day vacation at Red River, New Mexico–either a weekend or during the week. You’ll be stepping into an enchanted place that is very personal to me.
Years ago, my sons were wanting to learn to ski and every time we would go to a little town in New Mexico, it seemed to cost us a fortune. I saw some condos up there and I thought, you know, if we bought a little condo that would solve the problem. Turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Many times a year I go up there whenever I’m reading through a book I’ve just written or if I’m trying to think of an idea. There’s something about sitting out on my patio and watching a branch of the Red River go passing by.

The town of Red River has always been a special place for me. It’s in the enchanted circle in northern New Mexico. Now we have a little bitty place up there, a little bitty hideaway where I go up to write. And It’s always fun. My favorite thing to do in the fall is to curl up in a blanket out on the balcony and watch the Red River go by as I begin a book. Red River, New Mexico is an enchanted place I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.