Get in holiday spirit with books

There’s several new anthologies that bring some great writers together for the holidays!

New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels and Marie Bostwick, Laura Levine and Cindy Myers ring in the holidays with “Secret Santa.”

Michael’s “Mister Christmas” interrupts Claire O’Brien’s holiday at the request of a wealthy (and supposedly dying) client. Flying all the way to Ireland, she finds that her client has just wanted to play matchmaker with her and his relative, the handsome Quinn Connor. Has his matchmaking interruption worked?

Bostwick’s “The Yellow Rose of Christmas” follows Miss Velvet Tudmore, an older singleton who has tried to drill the importance of staying away from bad relationships into each new generation of her small town – to no avail. But could her holiday be shaken up by the presence of a secret admirer? Is it the handsome new man in town? Or someone different? Will she finally have a romance of her own?

Levine’s “Nightmare on Elf Street” follows Jaine Austen as she gets a new holiday job – that of playing Santa’s elf! But the Santa Jaine finds herself working with is a boozy bore, who only got the job because of his girlfriend. When he is found murdered, the list of suspects seems pretty long. Can Jaine find who would want to kill Santa?

Myers’ “Room at the Inn” tells the story of a couple’s snowed-in Christmas and their finding away to reconnect. Barb and Jimmy Stanowski are on their way to a friend’s house in Colorado to spend the holidays when they are waylaid by the snow and forced to seek refuge with several others in a small fishing cabin village. Barb soon learns more about her fellow refuges and even more about her husband!

This is a great festive collection just right for an evening with some eggnog.

“Secret Santa” is published by Zebra. It is $7.99 and 386 pages long.

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Amish romances are gaining in popularity and a holiday anthology is perfectly timed with “An Amish Country Christmas” by Charlotte Hubbard and Naomi King.

Taking sideline characters from Hubbard and King’s series, this collection tells warm stories of love, family and faith.

In Hubbard’s “The Christmas Visitors,” brothers Nate and Bram find their lives forever changed by twins Mary and Martha’s visit. Will the siblings all find love?

In King’s “Kissing the Bishop,” Nazareth has been helping Tom since his wife divorced him. Their relationship might be more than friendship if it wasn’t for the law that no Amish person can marry again until after their spouse passes away. Are they forever to be friends-only?

This inspirational romance is great for those who enjoy Amish Country.

“An Amish Country Christmas” is published by Zebra. It is $6.99 and 352 pages long.

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Three romances occur after a cookie swap in “The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap” by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell and Kimberly Kincaid.

Three best friends take part in their town’s annual cookie swap for charity, and the three encounter men who will change their lives forever!

In Kauffman’s “Where There’s Smoke” Clara needs to learn how to bake cookies and not rely on her friends’ help anymore, especially since she’s been named the newspaper’s cookie columnist. Going to the local bookstore to find a book, she encounters a firefighter selling a calendar for charity – her old friend (and crush) from high school, Will! When a storm hits town, Clara and Will are stuck together, especially after Clara’s attempt at baking ends with a fire in her house! Can her old crush become a flame of romance?

In Angell’s “The Gingerbread Man,” Abby finds the charming stranger named Lander who bought her cookies at the town’s swap in a car wreck outside of town. She takes him in, trying to help him as the snowstorm ranges around them. After she learns her “naughty” cookies distracted him and caused the wreck, she feels guilty. Will the storm that brought them together bring romance to the season?

In Kincaid’s “Sugar and Spice,” baker Lily is facing off against Pete in a cookie contest that could make or break her business. Lily doesn’t want to like Pete, since he’s her cookie enemy and her friend Clara had had a “date” with him once. Can she and Pete cook up romance?

These sweet and sassy stories will be a sweet treat to savor!

“The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap” is published by Kensington.

It is $15 and 416 pages long.

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