Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Celebrating the Holidays BAD BOY Style by Anna J Stewart

Greetings Heartwarming groupies! I hope all of you have survived the beginning of the holiday season and are raring to go. I have to admit, for a lot of years, I lost my holiday spirit. Twenty years in retail will kill it dead, trust me. I don't do Black Friday sales (partly because I feel so bad for the workers and partly because the thought of all those crowds give me the shakes). Instead, I hunker down staring on Thanksgiving day and while the turkey roasts, I start getting out the boxes (and boxes and boxes) of holiday decorations.  Everything except the main tree and door wreath goes up before we eat (including my Harry Potter Christmas tree). This was my progress as of Saturday morning...


I've still got to work on all the ornaments on the main tree, but hopefully by the time Friday rolls around, the house will be finished. Why Friday? Well, that would be because yesterday, my first full-length Harlequin Heartwarming went on sale!  *cue giddy girl squeal*


Harlequin (Print or E)

Isn't he, er, I mean, it gorgeous? I've always had "issues" with people on covers because I like to imagine what the characters look like without being guided. I've changed my thinking on that about now. I'm perfectly happy with this image of Luke Saxon (in fact, I'm a bit happier than what I came up with!).

I've often heard that the more stories/books you write, the more you find what your "story" is. Looks like redemption is going to be a foregone theme for me for a while, beginning with THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOR and continuing in June with the second Butterfly Harbor book, RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION.  There's something about a bad boy wanting to make things right that strikes a chord in me. It always has and Luke's return coincides with the town's reinvention as it tries to regain a foothold on survival. I LOVE writing about small towns, the communities, the large casts of characters. Add all those elements into one story and yeah, it's no wonder diner owner Holly Campbell is feeling a little overwhelmed. It doesn't help that Luke taking over as sheriff means her father's out of the job he's held for thirty years, and that Holly's super-genius son (he's about one step away from super villain) makes it his mission to wreak havoc on Luke's tenure. But this story is also about forgiveness and acceptance, of other people and of one's self. There are times stories sort of write themselves. This was one of them.

So, I'll be celebrating my holidays this year with an added dose of "dreams come true nog". 30 years ago I picked up my first romance, a Silhouette/Harlequin title, and by the time I was done reading that book, I knew this was what I wanted to do: write romance. Don't tell me dreams don't happen. I'm living proof they do. So thank you to everyone who helped make BAD BOY a reality. I'll be lifting a glass (or two) in your honor all the season through.  With maybe a little drooling over my cover involved. That's okay, right?

How about you? Is there something special you're celebrating this season? Something you're extra grateful for? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! 

Happy reading!
~Anna J

USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for the independent heroines she writes. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com.

31 comments:

  1. Yes, he...oops, your cover is gorgeous. Congrats on your newest release! Merry Christmas!

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  2. Your story sounds so enticing. And I love that guy…I mean cover. I avoid Black Fridays because of the crowds but I never realized how it would be awful for those having to work in the stores. Looks like you’re already prepared for the coming holidays. Lovely pictures and lovely cover!

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    1. Hi Marion!! *waving* Yeah, my BFF works at WalMart, so I hear the horror stories first hand. Thank you for stopping by today! <3

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  3. Anna, congratulations on the book. Can't wait to read it. I never worked in retail, but I've always been irritated that profits come so far in front of people. It's so not fair that some folks can't celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday the way it was meant to be celebrated. I would never shop on Black Friday either, the crowds would drive me to drink more than coffee. You got the jump on Christmas decorating. I've barely started that.

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    1. I wait all year to start to decorate, Roz! LOL. And now I can enjoy it longer . Thank you for posting! Happy holidays and merry Christmas!

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  4. Boy, twenty years in retail, I think I'd take up sewing and make my own clothes. I always hate when shoppers rifle through the freshly folded sweater and leave them in a ball for the poor sales person to refold.
    Congratulations on your release, Anna! The story sounds great and the cover..nice! He reminds me of the actor from JAG.

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    1. Oh, Jill, I"m right there with you! I can always tell the shoppers who have never worked in retail. They're so careless and messy (my first job was at a Hallmark store, so I get extra irritated when people put cards back in the wrong place (or not at all!). And you're right! He does look like David James Elliot. Even more reason to love it! Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  5. Congratulations, Anna! Your cover is fantastic. I'll be reading soon. I love your dreams come true real life story. Merry Christmas!!!!!!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Catherine! Makes me a little nervous thinking about you reading my book! *bites nails*. Have a great Christmas!

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  6. Congratulations, Anna. It looks like an amazing book. I believe in redemption, and the power of love. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth! And yes, tis the season for the power of love, definitely. :) Merry Christmas!

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  7. Congrats, Anna! That is one hot bad boy on your cover!! ;). I avoid Black Friday too and I love that you have a Harry Potter tree! Very cool!

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    1. Hi Rula! *waving madly* My poor Harry Potter tree might need to be bigger next year, LOL. They're still putting out ornaments! I've had to start displaying them around the bottom! :) Merry merry Christmas!

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  8. Anna, your cover is gorgeous. I also don't shop on Black Friday or thanksgiving day/night. We have a rule in our house that Christmas will not make an appearance until after Thanksgiving is over so Black Friday is spent decorating the house.

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    1. Hey, Sophie! Sounds like we are of like mind! I just saw your cover and I LOVE it! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy . Merry Christmas! and thanks for posting.

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  9. Congratulations, Anna! So happy for you! I worked in retail in my thirties in a book store/Hallmark shop - the month of December was crazy! I'm not sure if Black Friday was worse than the 12/26 1/2 price on Christmas sale or the other way around. Anyway - happy not to have to deal with that anymore. Your cover is gorgeous, and the fact of your book's release is a wonderful way to launch the holidays! Could you have two drinks for me?

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    1. I can definitely do that, Muriel! I've worked in both a book store and Hallmark, and I agree--December was definitely not a jolly time for me, LOL. Have a great Xmas!

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    2. I can definitely do that, Muriel! I've worked in both a book store and Hallmark, and I agree--December was definitely not a jolly time for me, LOL. Have a great Xmas!

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  10. I have my Kindle copy and I can't wait to read it! Buttttt I have to cuz I'm at work;)

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  11. Anna, you truly lucked out in the cover department. Over the years I've seen cover styles come and go, but your "bad boy" is a winner.
    Cynthia

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia! :) I won't ever get to complain about cover ever, LOL

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  12. Anna, congratulations for the release of your first Heartwarming book.

    I love the story concept and, yes, the cover, too!

    I look forward to reading it...as soon as I get some decorating taken care of. (We're a little behind this year.)

    You have my absolute best wishes for much success with this book and all your future ones!

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    1. Thank you, Kate! You're always so supportive and encouraging. <3

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  13. Waving to you. Good luck with the release. It's on my TBR pile...you know how that goes!

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  14. I don't do Black Friday either, especially when it's on Thursday! I'm a big Harry Potter fan :)

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    1. Right there with you, Pam! Thanks for posting. :)

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  15. You're decorations are beautiful and that cover is to die for! I am looking forward to two weeks vacation over the holidays. I can't wait to sleep in and get some major writing done! :)

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  16. Anna, chiming in late. (I've been having major computer problems the last few weeks. Finally ordered a new one yesterday - yay!) Congratulations on all of your success. It is well deserved. So excited to read this book! Any chance you could zip on up here to WA and help me decorate?

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