Hi peeps, we have C.J. Anthony popping in today on the first day of the tour for her upcoming release Falling For Santa Claus, we have a great guest post, an tasty excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Falling For Santa Claus
When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.
Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.
Hi, I’m C. J. Anthony and I’d like to thank MM Good Book Reviews for hosting me today. I’m here to talk about my new novella with Dreamspinner Press coming out July 24th called Falling for Santa Claus…
*record scratching noise* Back up, wait…did I just say Santa Claus? But it’s July, you’re thinking. Santa Claus comes in December with all that cold and snowy crap right? Not in July when it’s shorts and T-shirt weather and ice cream and sunshine and all the good stuff we look forward to all year, right? Well, yes, that’s true…but before you think I need my head examined, remember we read to escape and take ourselves away to different worlds. So, when you’re lying on the beach baking in the hot, burning sun, or maybe when you’re stuck inside because going outside is like walking on hot coals…escape to Great Falls, Vermont and experience a little Christmas in July!
Today’s post is the first on my blog tour. I hope you’ll prop your feet up, grab some ice cold lemonade or ice tea, turn that AC up to it’s coldest setting and blast it while you follow along this week and next. You’ll get to find out more about the story, why I wrote it and also just what Jack, Nick and the other residents of Great Falls are up to this July. At the end of the tour, I’ll be choosing two winners from all the comments on all of the blogs (which means every time you comment on a different blog, you get another entry!) and they’ll receive a special Christmas in July gift from Santa himself. Blog links are listed below.
Let’s start off with an excerpt to introduce everyone—Jack is spending his first morning in Great Falls having breakfast at Mabel’s Diner. Had he known the grilling he’d get as the new guy in town, however, he probably would have stayed at home in bed.
“Did you bring anyone special with you, Jack? A wife?”
“Florence, he’s not wearing a ring!” Mabel exclaimed exasperatedly.
“So? A lot of men don’t wear wedding rings! Or maybe he lost it. Maybe it fell off in one of the moving boxes while he was packing. Maybe—”
“Um, no wife,” I said quickly, to stop Florence before her list of ways to lose a wedding ring went on for the next hour.
“A special girl, then?” Florence asked with a slow grin.
“No, no girl.”
Florence’s smile got bigger, and Mabel leaned in again. “Well, there are some lovely young single ladies in town,” Flo said. “The Kelsey girl is back from college, although she’s probably a little too young for you. Linda Mayer just got divorced. She’s on the market again and just about your age, I bet!”
I held my hand up while I swallowed, giving me time to decide what to say and if this was the right time. I had a feeling everyone in this town would find out anyway, and I might as well be upfront about who I was from the beginning. Hopefully my new neighbors had open minds.
“Actually… I’m gay.” I said the words and held my breath.
The diner went completely silent for a moment. Then Herb burst out laughing. “Mabel! Looks like you’re out of luck!”
“Shut your trap, Herb!” Mabel yelled back.
The rest of the customers went back to eating with no comments or cares, apparently.
Relieved, I also turned back to my pancakes.
I grimaced as Flo shrieked in my ear. Clearly there were no worries about Flo’s reaction. My declaration only served to excite her even more, for some reason, as she bounced in her seat.
“Mabel, you know what this means? We can have a Pride parade now!”
En route to a table, Mabel threw the plates of food down in front of the two customers and skidded back across the floor, her cheeks flushed with excitement. “Yes!” she exclaimed.
“Nick refuses to let us have one, but now that there are two of you, he’ll just have to accept it!” Flo said.
I looked at both ladies carefully, feeling like I was missing something in the conversation. “Ummm—”
Flo grabbed my arm again. “For years, Nick St. James has been the only gay person in town, and he won’t let us hold a Pride celebration. He’s not really into our town’s social festivities.”
“He hates them,” Mabel interjected.
“He doesn’t like to make a big fuss. But we’re really a very friendly, tolerant town, Jack. Don’t you worry. We are proud of all of our citizens, including our gay brothers and sisters.”
“We don’t have any gay sisters in town, Flo,” Mabel said.
“Okay, but we have gay brothers—or we had one and now we have two! We just want to show our support and appreciation.”
“And I want to wear my rainbow feather boa.” Mabel smiled dreamily.
“You’ll be okay with us having a Pride festival, right, Jack?” Flo asked.
“Yippee! I’m putting it on the calendar for June!” She turned and started digging through the huge purse sitting on the counter.
“Flo and I are the festival cochairs for the town,” Mabel explained.
“Which festival?” I asked slowly.
“All of them!” Flo answered with a giggle.
* * * * *
Uh-oh… Jack what have you done? Mabel and Flo take their festivals pretty seriously!
Does your city or state hold any special summer festivals? Comment below for an entry to win!
C.J. Anthony started reading and writing at an early age. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging piles of books home for her to read. She loved getting lost in the people and places and adventures she found in books. It wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and travelling to the moon with her best friend.
C.J. has always been a hopeless romantic, believing in true love and soul mates, and HEAs with a little humor and a little angst along the way–life is never perfect, after all, but everyone deserves a happy ending and someone there to catch them when they fall. Her favorite stories to read and write revolve around the idea of “opposites attract”—couples who start out as two people who couldn’t be more different from each other. They might appear to be the odd couple to the rest of the world, but to each other they are perfect, creating their own happy ever after with a little hard work and a whole lot of love.
Not surprisingly, C. J. is a big lover of Rom Coms—she’ll gladly take Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant asking him to love her, over car crashes and shoot-em up movies any day. She also watches way too much TV and every singing reality show there is. She loves music and musicians of all genres with the attitude that nothing is a guilty pleasure and all music has a purpose even if it is just to make you dance and laugh.
She spends most of her time juggling a day job and a commute and freelance design work on the side and falling asleep on her couch.
You can find C. J. at: