Christmas in July!

MaryJoPutney_TheBestHusbandMoneyCanBuy_eCover4 (1)The Best Husband Money Can Buy

By Mary Jo

Here in the US, a heat dome is producing some very hot weather.  Since it isn't possible to teleport Down Under for cool winter weather, Christmas in July sounds pretty good!

I've never turned down the chance to write a Christmas story, so I've written quite a few holiday tales.  Since I've regained the rights to some of the earlier ones, I've released a pair of holiday story collections, Christmas Candles and SunshineForChristmasChristmas Revels. In recent years I've start to publish individual stories in standalone e-versions and at the same time producing audiobook versions because a lot of people really enjoy audios: The Christmas Cuckoo, The Black Beast of Belleterre, Sunshine for Christmas.

This year I chose "The Best Husband Money Can Buy" for the standalone e-book and audio treatment, and tomorrow (July 14th) the e-book version will be released.  The audio version should go live on October 13th in the run up to Christmas.  Once again the wonderful Siobhan Waring is doing the narration and I'm looking forward to hearing her purring the story into my ears. <G> The story:

Emma Stone was raised as part of a large, loving aristocratic family, but after she was orphaned and left penniless, she became a tired, lonely governess. Then through an act of kindness, she inherits an unexpected fortune and realizes that she can now have the husband and family she craves.

 Anthony Vaughn, the dashing distant cousin she'd admired as a child now needs a fortune to pay his father's debts and preserve his family estate. Together they strike a bargain—even though Emma knows she risks not only her fortune but her heart…

 "Best Husband" was published in Christmas Candles along with "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know," the one Western story I've ever written, which turned out to a good partner because both stories involve Christmas candles lighting up windows to beckon weary travelers to the warmth and welcome of home.

Finding good images for covers is always a challenge, but I really like how this cover turned out.  That good looking, laughing young man fits my image of Anthony, MaryJoPutney_ChristmasCandles--1who was a very charming fellow. He brightens Emma, and she steadies him and give him purpose. In other words, it's a happy ending!

ChristmasRevelsChristmas Candles and my other holiday collection, Christmas Revels were originally published several years ago, and at the time, I also had print on demand editions released. 

However, more recently the specifications for POD were changed and my print editions of these two collections disappeared. I didn't notice until I started work on the Best Husband release and found that print editions weren't available. Ooops!  But that's being worked on now and some time in the next few weeks, print will be available for those who prefer it. Lots and lots of Christmas,  <G>

If you're looking for some virtual snow, here's the buy link for The Best Husband Money Can Buy . There are even snow angels in the story!

Mary Jo





Sunshine for Christmas!

Sunshine for Christmas ebookSunshine for Christmas

By Mary Jo

It's Christmas novella season and I'm celebrating by releasing a freestanding e-edition of this story plus an audio version.  Not that Sunshine for Christmas is a new story.  It's one of five novellas included in my Christmas Revels collection, so if you have a copy of Christmas Revels, there's no need to buy a separate e-edition of Sunshine for Christmas.

But it was the very first novella I ever wrote and I started it with some wariness because I'd never written at this length before. (Most novellas are in the 20K-25K range, though they can be somewhat shorter or longer.) 

The trick is to get a whole, satisfying story within a novella length, and it can be particularly challenging for a romance, where it takes time (and words!) to build a convincing relationship.  This is one of the reasons that reunion/second chance at love stories are popular for novellas.  The main characters already have a relationship, for better and worse, so a lot of the emotional groundwork has already been laid. 


Read more

Christmas Revels!

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

"Revel" derives from a Middle English word that means "celebrate," and it always sounds happy to me.  That's why I chose the name Christmas Revels years ago for a print collection of five of my holiday novellas.  All of those stories have been released in different e-versions in recent years, but now, for the first time, I'm collecting those original five back into an e-book version of Christmas Revels.  

MaryJoPutney_ChristmasRevels200The title had been in my mind for years, ever since we visited my sister and her husband in Boston one holiday season, and she took us to the Christmas Revels, a delightful sort of medieval variety show inspired by historic mummer plays.  The performance was held in a theater on the Harvard campus, I think, and was loosely structured around the old tale of Gawain and the Green Knight.  Lots of music, dancing, and hammy comic acting.  

Read more