Friday, December 3, 2010
ROMANCING THE HOLIDAYS
by Hope Tarr
A HARLEQUIN CHRISTMAS CAROL
Harlequin Anthology, December 2010
When I first got together for an online brainstorming session with my fellow anthology contributors, Jacquie D’Alessandro and Betina Krahn, our email back-and-forth quickly turned A Christmas Carol—and settled there. Beyond the staying power of Dickens, who doesn’t love a good story of transformation and redemption, especially around the holidays? Add a generous dollop of romance—make that three dollops—and you’ve got, so we calculated, a recipe for a Christmas crowd pleaser.
In Tomorrow’s Destiny, my romantic retelling of the “Christmas Yet to Come” portion of the classic, prickly, scotch swilling Covent Garden bookshop proprietress, Fiona MacPherson faces losing her beloved bookshop and turning thirty on Christmas Day. She’s also lost her beloved father to death the month before and her dancing days five years before to a mishap on an iced over train platform. The accident has left her with a very slight limp and a very great fear of crowds. Unbeknown to her, it also caused her to miss meeting her soul’s mate, her One True Love.
Fiona’s life quite frankly sucks in the manner of a lemon sans the peppermint stick. Her only source of sweetness is her monthly book club gatherings with her two friends, Adelaide and Claire, and as the holiday approaches even that small joy is about to be snatched away. Addie is bound for Paris, ostensibly to study art but in reality to mend her broken heart. Claire is likewise carried away with her own romantic troubles. And now a gentleman scholar from Oxford, Tobias Templeton, is poised to seize the bookshop that is both Fiona’s birthplace and the only home she’s ever known. Small wonder Fiona is humbugging the holiday.
Unearthly pale and sun blind, Tobias isn’t exactly in the Christmas spirit either. He doesn’t care a whit about the bloody bookshop, which he’s rightfully purchased from Fiona’s dying father, but there’s one rare volume among its inventory he’s convinced holds the alchemist’s cure for his “curse.”
Fiona wants her shop. Tobias wants his book. Their stubborn, single minded pursuit of their cross purposes is poised to have them miss out on meeting yet again. Fortunately Fiona’s guardian angel-in-training, Fern, has a very different notion of what their Happily Ever After should look like, and it doesn’t involve real estate or books. When Divine Intervention takes the form of an Angel of Christmas Future, two unlikely lovers are about to find that sometimes surrendering to destiny brings the biggest gift of all.
What wishes, hopes and/or prayers are you thankful you didn’t receive? Or maybe you received them but packaged in a very different, very unique wrapping from what you’d had in mind?
Post a reply—naughty or nice, slapstick or serious—and be entered to win a copy of my backlist contemporary Christmas romance novel, It’s a Wonderfully Sexy Life.
Wishing you a holiday season brimming with mistletoe moments. --Hope♥
Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s first and only monthly romance reading series. Hope will read from and sign A Harlequin Christmas Carol at the December 6th Salon, 7-9 PM at Madame X (94 West Houston Street). Visit Hope at http://www.hopetarr.com/ and http://www.writernyc.com/.