As Christmas draws closer, Donna Alward shares a few of her favourite Christmas scenes from her keeper shelf!
I don't read a lot of Christmas books. I always mean to read more than I do, but I usually have so many on the go and the window of opportunity seems small. But even in books that aren't Christmas themed, there are sometimes holiday scenes as the story goes on and some of those are my absolute favourites too.
If any of you are familiar with Nora Roberts' McGregor series, you'll remember one of the McGregor Brides and the 12 Days of Christmas theme. I loved the final scene, set at the McGregor castle, on a snowy Christmas morning. I loved all three brides (Laura, Julia and Gwen) but Gwen and Bran's story was my favourite of the three.
I've often said that one book in particular "told" me that I should be writing for Harlequin Romance, and it just so happens that it is a Christmas book, written by one of my favourite authors (and friends!) and is a RITA winner. If you haven't read Christmas Eve Marriage by Jessica Hart, try to grab a copy. Thea is a delight and you will laugh and sniffle your way through.
Then there's A Christmas Wedding Wager by the PHS's own Michelle Styles that was out a few years ago, a lovely Victorian Christmas story with a to-die-for hero in Jack Stanton. Gorgeous setting and traditions that reads like the very best Christmas card.
I can't forget my favourite author ever either. I adore LaVyrle Spencer's books and there are a few with such lovely holiday scenes. One is in YEARS, because Linnea has gone home to be with her family for Christmas and the only people she wants to be with are the Westgaards - the family she's boarding with as a teacher. Her goodbye to Theodore - Teddy - and her yearning are so innocent and lovely. And when she returns...it is simply blissful reading. Another is in FORGIVING - Deadwood is NOT a quiet, religious town. But when Noah and Sarah listen to the bells ringing out at midnight, it's breathtaking.
Go ahead - share your favourite Christmas stories or scenes in the comments!
Donna's first ever holiday release was out in November. A Bride for Rocking H Ranch is included in Montana, Mistletoe, Marriage. Her next book hits the shelves in January!