Santa Comes to Town with C. J. Anthony – Post + Giveaway

July 28, 2016

C. J. Anthony joins us today to chat about her story for Christmas in July – Falling for Santa Claus!

Santa Comes to Town

Hi, I’m C. J. Anthony, I’m a new author at Dreamspinner with my first release out July 24, called Falling for Santa Claus

This is the sixth stop on my blog tour. I hope you’ll prop your feet up, grab some ice cold lemonade or ice tea, turn that AC up to it’s coldest setting and blast it while you follow along. You’ll get to find out more about the story, why I wrote it and also a little extra side story about what Jack, Nick and the other residents of Great Falls are up to this summer. At the end of the tour, I’ll be choosing two winners from all the comments on all of the blogs (which means every time you comment on a different blog, you get another entry!) and they’ll receive a special Christmas in July gift from Santa himself. Blog links are listed below.

This is my first book with Dreamspinner, and I’m so excited! I’ve been reading M/M gay romance since 2011 and Dreamspinner has always been one of my favorite go-to publishers.

My book is Falling for Santa Claus, and yes, that’s right… it’s a Christmas story released in July! My main focus for the story was just to write a warm and fuzzy Christmas story. It had been a while since I’d written anything and I decided something light and fun and short would help get me back in the groove.

It does actually take place during the Christmas season, in a very small, very nosy fictional town in Vermont called Great Falls. The town holds a lot of festivals and celebrations throughout the year and Christmas is of course no exception. There is a Christmas parade (featured prominently in the book), and they also decorate the town all up in lights and festive decorations. They hold a town Christmas party where many of the people go from house to house during an evening—sort of a Christmas party crawl, I suppose could be another name for it.

I live in a small town (not as small as Great Falls) and while my town doesn’t do Christmas up quite as festively as Great Falls, there are a few events the town does. There’s a decorative light display at our fairgrounds. Local organizations hold craft fairs. We do have a small parade, I think.

As for my own traditions, I try to always put my tree up Thanksgiving weekend, though I’m not always successful, depending how busy the weekend is. I don’t do Black Friday sales anymore but I did when I was younger, with my mother. Every Friday after Thanksgiving was spent in line outside a store at 0-dark thirty waiting for the store to open. (Of course Black Friday has changed so much since, with stores opening Thanksgiving Day, etc.)

We always opened our own gifts on Christmas Eve with hot chocolate and cookies. Christmas morning was for “Santa” gifts, when I was young enough to believe. Christmas day is dinner at my aunt’s house, and the food is always family Italian dishes.

What are some of your own Christmas traditions? Or fun Christmas events in your town? Enjoy the excerpt below and then comment below, I’d love to hear about everyone’s holiday traditions.

 

Excerpt:

Reluctantly I got up, only to discover I was out of coffee. I’d forgotten that the general store had been so crowded Wednesday with people getting last-minute essentials for their Thanksgiving meals, that I had turned around and walked out without even grabbing a cart. Hence, the empty coffee canister today. Crap. With a sigh I headed upstairs, got dressed, and walked the three blocks to Mabel’s. At which time I discovered—too late—why Nick had told me to stay away from town. The streets and tiny shops were flooded with people. Every single man, woman, and child who resided in Great Falls was bustling about, yelling and carrying packages. Black Friday sales were apparently not just for big city stores. All of the shops had huge signs of 50% off and Buy One, Get One Free. It was only seven thirty in the morning, and every store had lines of people out the door waiting to check out, because there was no room for everyone to crowd inside. I laughed at how ridiculous it was. In Chicago, customers who had made it outside the store with their item but hadn’t paid for it yet would keep on walking—if not running—to get out of there before they were caught. But not in Great Falls. Here everyone was so honest and faithful they all lined up and patiently waited to pay for their purchases. No, wait. These people were far from patient. In fact this was a side of the townspeople I had not seen before. People were barking at each other, pushing and shoving. Good God, Mrs. Glassman just tackled Herb in an attempt to grab a Magic Bullet Pro 900 blender out of his arms!

It felt like I was in the twilight zone…. Where had my nice, quiet, friendly town gone? What alien ship had come down and replaced all of the residents’ souls? I guess no town was free from the greed of Black Friday.

I managed to squeeze and push my way to Mabel’s, which, thank God, was open and completely empty.

Mabel smiled and poured a cup of coffee for me. “Mornin’, Jackie.”

I sat down at the counter, inhaled a big whiff of coffee, and sighed. “Good morning, Mabel. How come you’re not out there with everyone else?” I asked as I took a big gulp of the hot, energizing elixir.

“Because in about an hour or so, they’ll all be heading in here for coffee and breakfast.”

I shuddered. “I hope you don’t have any specials today. They’ll be ripping the food out of your hands.”

Mabel cackled. “Nah, they’ll have cooled off by then.” Then she frowned as she stared out the window. “At least… I hope so.” A second later her wide grin was back as she turned toward me. “So what can I get you, Jackie?”

“I’ll take a breakfast sandwich with egg and ham to go. And another coffee, also to go. I think I’m going back home and staying there for the day.”

She cackled again as she headed back into the kitchen.

A bit later she handed me my sandwich in a bag and the coffee in a to-go cup.

“Jackie, don’t pay this morning no mind. Be sure to come back through town later this evening,” she said softly as she winked at me.

When I got outside, I took one look at the crowd and turned in the opposite direction, toward the library. It was closed for the holiday weekend, but I had plenty of work and administrative duties I could get caught up on. I ended up working all day, eating lunch from the vending machine, so it was pitch-dark out when I finally locked up about six and started home. I’d only walked a block when I had to stop and stare at the scene before me. The streets were nearly empty, normal traffic for six o’clock in the evening. But the town! What a complete difference from this morning. Every house was lit up with white and red and blue and yellow and green and all the twinkling lights of Christmas. There were pine wreaths on doors and garlands around lampposts. Lighted reindeer sculptures and cheery plastic Santa Clauses adorned front yards. A light snow began to fall, right on cue. It was all so perfect, like a scene out of a movie, or better yet, a living, breathing snow globe. As I walked, I saw neighbors helping each other. Even Herb was helping Mrs. Glassman string lights up to the top peak of her house.

It took me twice as long as usual to get home because I was soaking in all the spirit and joy that exuded from every house. People waved and yelled hello, and I waved right back. My face muscles ached from smiling so much. I was so glad Mabel had told me to come back tonight. No matter the issues that came with living in a small town like Great Falls, moments like these made it all worth it.

Check out Falling for Santa Claus today!

FallingForSantaClaus_postcard_front_DSP

Dreamspinner Press  Amazon  ARE  BN  Kobo

Blurb:

When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.

Follow the rest of the tour:

July 17 - MM Good Book Reviews
July 21 -  Oh My Shelves
July 24 - Divine Magazine
July 24 - Love Bytes
July 25 - Bayou Book Junkie
July 28 - Dreamspinner Press Blog
July 29 - Prism Book Alliance

Author Bio:

C. J. Anthony started reading and writing at an early age. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging piles of books home for her to read. She loved getting lost in the people and places and adventures she found in books. It wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and travelling to the moon with her best friend.

C. J. has always been a hopeless romantic, believing in true love and soul mates, and HEAs with a little humor and a little angst along the way–life is never perfect, after all, but everyone deserves a happy ending and someone there to catch them when they fall. Her favorite stories to read and write revolve around the idea of “opposites attract”—couples who start out as two people who couldn’t be more different from each other. They might appear to be the odd couple to the rest of the world, but to each other they are perfect, creating their own happy ever after with a little hard work and a whole lot of love.

Not surprisingly, C. J. is a big lover of Rom Coms—she’ll gladly take Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant asking him to love her, over car crashes and shoot-em up movies any day. She also watches way too much TV and every singing reality show there is. She loves music and musicians of all genres with the attitude that nothing is a guilty pleasure and all music has a purpose even if it is just to make you dance and laugh.

She spends most of her time juggling a day job and a commute and freelance design work on the side and falling asleep on her couch.

 

You can find C. J. at:

https://www.facebook.com/cjanthony.writer

@C_J_Anthony on twitter

www.cjanthony.wordpress.com

7 Responses to “Santa Comes to Town with C. J. Anthony – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Jen says:

    Thanks for the post! We buy our tree 2- 3 weeks before Christmas and then do a family party to decorate it and the house. On Christmas Eve, we watch A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version) and open one gift each. Christmas morning we open the rest of the gifts and have a big breakfast.

  2. Kristian Erdmann says:

    I absolutely love Christmas it is one of my favorite holidays. I always put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, I love my tree so much! My favorite tradition is going to my grandma’s and eating lunch and opening presents. I mean come on nothing is better than grandma’s!!!

  3. Angela says:

    I love Christmas but we don’t do Christmas gift because we celebrate Sinterklaas on december 5th and thats when the kids get their presents :) We have a Christmas Tree and we just enjoy being together as a family, eat some delicious meals and watch a good movie or play some games. Just spending quality time together.
    Again congrats on the release and thanks for the fun blog tour.

  4. H.B. says:

    Thank you for the post and congrats on the release!

    My family has never been big on holiday celebrations. When I was in my teens we started exchanging gifts but that only lasted a few years. We recently started back up but only for the kids in the family.

  5. Trix says:

    I always look forward to seeing family friends on Christmas Eve, who bring us amazing homemade pork tamales! Sometime soon, I hope to take them up on their offer to show us how to make them…

  6. susana says:

    We do a lot of singing in Christmas Eve, what with my nephews preparing a show to entertain the family… That’s a really nice thing, we have dinner in Christmas Eve and Christmas day together. I do love it

  7. C.J. says:

    Susana, how fun for your nephews to prepare a show for everyone!

    Trix, oh yummm! I love tamales.

    H.B., my family stopped gifts several years ago too.

    Angela and Jen, your plans sound like so much fun.

    Kristian, I love my tree too!

Leave a Reply