Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas in New York Series!

Posted November 10th, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 212 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance authors Patty Blount, Jeannie Moon, Jennifer Gracen & Jolyse Barnett to HJ! 

Four best friends. Four unexpected reunions. Christmas in New York.

Love is coming to town this November 11th, in a heartwarming four-book series, “Christmas in New York.” Greet the most wonderful time of the year with Sabrina, Cassandra, Jade, and Elena. Each young woman takes an incredible journey through the holiday season of light and receives the ultimate gift—her very own happily-ever-after.

Christmas in NY

Single mom Sabrina, who never left her coastal Long Island hometown, reunites with her daughter’s father—the hockey player who broke her heart in THIS CHRISTMAS, written by Jeannie Moon. Like her heroine, Bree, Ms. Moon is a native Long Islander with a soft spot for her home region. Her Forever Love series by Intermix, including The Temporary Wife and The Second Chance Hero, features a North Shore LI family. It was natural to Jeannie that Bree and Jake find love again in historically beautiful Holly Point.

New York City academic Cassandra finds magic once again with an Irish musician—the first love she never forgot—in ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, written by Jennifer Gracen, author of the Seasons of Love series (Booktrope). Jennifer is a native Long Islander with a love for the life and spirit of the city.

Adirondack girl-in-transition Jade returns home to her lakeside village to discover the boy next door is all grown up in A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW, written by Jolyse Barnett. Jolyse is the most nomadic of the group, having lived her first twenty-one years in upstate New York, working summers in mid-town Manhattan as a temp during her college years then relocating to Long Island after marrying. Her visceral reaction upon Jeannie’s suggestion they all write a holiday novella based in New York was to write a love story set in the Adirondacks, a place of nostalgia to her.

Restless Elena reconnects with the kind-hearted stranger who gave her a glimmer of light during her darkest days in GOODNESS AND LIGHT, written by Patty Blount. An author familiar with tackling tough topics in her young adult novels such as Send and Some Boys (Sourcebooks Fire), Patty was compelled to write about the aftermath of 9-11, New York’s greatest tragedy, with a story of healing and hope.

Will the magic of Christmas help them find love?

Jeannie, Jen, Jolyse, and Patty are excited to share their stories with Tule readers. Happy romancing and happy holidays!

I asked authors Jeannie, Jen, Jolyse, and Patty to share a few fun fact about the Christmas in New York Series, here’s what they had to say about their books:

Goodness and Light by Patty Blount:

 1) Heroine Elena Larsen was a ‘wild child’ as a teen, yet now is Miss Responsibility, trying hard to make up for all the mistakes she made when she was young.

2) The Lego store Elena and hero Lucas visit and purchase a replica of the UN building in really exists, as does the bakery that sells monster cupcakes. The hot cocoa recipe Lucas uses to seduce Elena is also real — and Patty-tested/Patty-approved.

3) I own a copy of the baby name book Elena’s sister, Kara, spends most of the story bookmarking. The scene when Kara asks Lucas what he thinks of the name “Stella” is an inside joke — Stella is the nickname for fellow Christmas in New York author Jeannie Moon’s new car. Most of the names in the story were chosen because of their meanings. One of my coworkers has a daughter named Nadia and as soon as she told me it means ‘hope,’ I knew I had to use that one, too.

4) In an early draft of Goodness and Light, hero Lucas wears a Santa hat when he first meets Elena, but critiques indicated it didn’t feel ‘alpha’ enough so the hat was ditched, except for a very hot dream Elena has about him where he wears nothing but the hat and a smile.

5) The IT pick-up lines used in the story are real — and yes, were used on me.

This Christmas by Jeannie Moon:

 1) I put my pets in my books. Charlie’s white dog, Holly, is actually modeled after one of my dogs–a six year old rescue who likes to give hugs. I’m not kidding. The dog gives real hugs.

2) Sabrina and Jake were the main characters in the very first book I ever wrote. It was long and melodramatic and will never see the light of day, but I loved them. The book also centered around an athlete hero and a secret baby, but that’s where the similarities end–the setting, the premise, even the child–are all different. I feel very nostalgic writing about them, but the new story is a much better vehicle for a couple of characters I didn’t want to let go.

3) The town of Holly Point is not modeled after any specific town on Long Island. It’s actually a composite of several south shore towns, but I did place it pretty far east on Long Island. From New York City (Manhattan) it would take over an hour and a half to drive there, without the infamous Long Island traffic.

4) I’m a school librarian and my program director is named Vincenza. We call her Enza. Yes, I stole her name. And yes, I did tell her. She’s a terrific lady, a supportive administrator and I’m thrilled to give her a shout out in my book. Bree’s father, Ed? My principal, and an awesome human being. He doesn’t know he made it into the book. 🙂

5) I cannot ice skate. Me and the ice–we’re not friends. I’ve tried. I’ve taken multiple lessons, but like Sabrina, I cling to the sides and cry, while struggling to stay upright. It’s pathetic. All my kids can skate, as can my husband. Me? I’m a complete loss. Bree’s fear of falling comes from my own experience. I badly bruised my tailbone when I fell trying to ice skate.

All I want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen:

 1) I’ve always had a thing for Scottish/Irish men (the accents! the legendary Celtic passion! the Celtic history!), but haven’t actually tried writing one. Sean was my first. With that in mind, I asked a friend – a guy from Ireland who moved to the US a few years ago (and plays guitar, bonus!) — for help with Sean’s dialogue/slang etc. because I was so afraid of him sounding like a caricature instead of a real character.

2) Cassandra lives in the Chelsea area and Sean lives in the Village. Both are well known parts of Manhattan. But despite my having lived on Long Island my whole life (only 45 minutes east of NYC), I’ve barely spent any time in those two particular neighborhoods.

3) For Cassandra’s mom, Joann Catalano Baines, I borrowed and played with the name as a shout out to one of my lifelong closest friends, Joann Caggiano. She is a true Italian mama, and I have indeed heard her threaten to beat her kids with a wooden spoon on several occasions. When I told her I’d be putting it in this story, she laughed hard and high fived me. (P.S. She never actually beat them with it, for the record.)

4) I originally was going to have Sean romance Cassandra by the tree at Rockefeller Center in a scene, then decided it was just too cliché and ditched it. Instead, he takes her ice skating at Bryant Park… which, really, is another Christmas in New York kind of cliché, but hey.

5) I was dying to throw some Chanukah symbol in the story somehow – have someone trip over a dreidel, or see a menorah in a window, something – because I’m Jewish. But decided to let Christmas have its own day in the sun for this story. 😉

A Light in the Window by Jolyse Barnett:

 1) I set A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW in the Adirondacks because like my heroine Jade, I was born and raised there. I’ve ridden the Essex-Charlotte ferry between New York and Vermont, swum in Lake Champlain, and hiked and skied its mountains too many times to count.

2) A few of Jade’s childhood memories are mine—including her father singing along to Jingle Bell Rock on the car ride home from her grandparents’ Christmas night. However, where Jade has two brothers, I am blessed with two brothers AND two sisters.

3) Starling is a fictional village I’ve created. It’s near the very real Lake Placid, site of the 1960 and 1980 Winter Olympics. I wanted Jade’s hometown to be named after a bird native to the region. Starling won out over hummingbird because it contained the word, star, an homage to the Star of Bethlehem and the spirit of Christmas.

4) By day, I’m an elementary schoolteacher. I’m also quite the history buff. I still get grief from my family about dragging them to a hot and dusty fort in Bermuda when we could have been laying on a beach instead. I modeled my hero, Ben’s, career after three personas in the education world especially adept at inspiring others to learn: Bill Nye the Science Guy, Ken Burns of Civil War Documentary fame, and the fictional Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series.


Giveaway: $10 Starbucks gift card, a Christmas-themed mug, and some holiday treats for Giveaway.  

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Leave a comment for the authors on your thoughts about this Series. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Authors:

Fab4Four best friends.

A sentiment true not only for the characters in Tule’s Christmas in NY series set to release November 11th, but for the four authors behind the creation of these young heroines as well. It all began back in 2010, when one by one, Jolyse, Patty, and Jen met Jeannie through Long Island Romance Writers. The following June, the four chapter mates attended the RWA National Conference together in their home city of New York and solidified their friendship, jokingly nicknaming themselves “The Fab Four.”

The four friends attend writing workshops and other events to strengthen their craft. They hold informal brainstorming and plotting sessions at each others’ homes (which may or may not involve adult beverages) and, like their heroines, keep in touch via a constant stream of mass media texts when life takes them in different directions. They often crack each other up with their off-beat humor and—when necessary—talk each other down from emotional ledges. Jeannie, Jen, Jolyse, and Patty are as different as their heroines, but they all agree the best part about writing is meeting people as a result of their passion.





212 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Christmas in New York Series!”

  1. LJT

    I read the series and it is wonderful! Each author brings a unique and harmonious voice to the holiday season.

  2. Terri Shortell

    The series sounds great. I love holiday themed books, so I’m looking forward to reading these. Thanks for the review and giveaway. Wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas.

  3. Joan V.

    I love the idea of 4 different love stories all set in different parts of New York. As individual as the authors yet all are about Christmas.

  4. Shari

    I am loving this series, I have already read two of these books, will be reading the other two tonight, staying up late. Wonderful Christmas love stories, it is a magical Christmas.,

  5. Cheryl Hastings

    Love holiday books and series/sets are even better! Can’t wait to read them 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett

      You’re so right, Trudy. I thought I may tire of the holiday season after listening to Christmas carols all summer while writing Jade and Ben’s love story, but I was wrong. I’m more in the holiday spirit than I’ve been in many, many years. What a blessing! 🙂

  6. Christina Esdon

    I’ve just finished reading Jeannie’s book – a great way to start! Looking forward to the other books. Congratulations to you all, Jeannie, Jen, Patty, and Jolyse!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      You’re very welcome, Michele! Thanks for sharing your excitement and we hope you love Sabrina, Cassandra, Jade, and Elena as much as we loved creating them. 🙂

  7. belindaegreen

    You asked: Leave a comment for the authors on your thoughts about this series.

    Christmas stories are always fun to read. Love and romance at the holidays embodies what the season is about. Series that include these elements are great reading. I like that the series is an ensemble with the same focus but can stand alone. I like that the authors collaborated in creating the series. That makes it so much more of a joy to read. Great job ladies!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Belinda G

  8. Taswmom

    I love holiday romances, and especially Christmas ones! This sounds like a wonderful set! Thank you for the great info and giveaway!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Taswmom. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and hoping that you love the series. Good luck in the giveaway! 🙂

  9. Kate Sparks

    I love Christmas themed books and I’m very happy to have a new series by new-to-me authors! Thanks HJ!!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Hi Kate! Great to meet you too. I agree. Sara and HJ is wonderful. We appreciate the opportunity to share our stories with you all. Happy reading and good luck in the giveaway. 🙂

  10. Mala Garava

    Holiday romance, NYC setting, school teacher, or librarian, omg, all my favorite themes and details about characters! I can connect to it, everything is very inviting. Hope this is international.

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Thanks for your feedback, Kimberly. We’re proud of this series and thrilled about our early reviews. Enjoy the holiday season and good luck in the HJ giveaway!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      That’s the beauty of ebooks, isn’t it, goge? Being able to carry all those incredible worlds around wherever you go and open them at any time you have a free moment. Wishing you a terrific holiday season and happy reading! 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Agreed, Nancy! Christmas is such a romantic time of year, getting cozy with someone special under a big blanket next to a roaring fireplace while sipping hot cocoa or walking hand in hand down the street, snowflakes fluttering iridescent in the light from the festively decorated shops. I love it!!

      Good luck in the giveaway. 🙂

  11. Joye

    This series sounds great. I like reading a series if there are only 3-4 books instead of a lot more.

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Good point, Joye. I also love the fact that our readers don’t have to wait to devour the entire series and that they are so competitively priced! If you buy by the 12th, they are 99 cents each. Wishing you a joyous holiday season. 🙂

  12. patriciablount686

    Wow, so many wonderful comments! Thank you all so much. I really hope you enjoy the series and hope the holiday season is as warm and happy for all of you as it will be for us 🙂

  13. Kelly Youngblood

    This looks like a good series! Who doesn’t love romance and Christmas… put them together… even better! 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!

  14. Gigi

    I have read A Light in The Window and This Christmas so far and I have loved reading them both. I liked how you the authors coordinated enough to do a series of books about a group of girlfriends and what happens to each of them.

  15. Doris Lankford

    Would love to win these books, so I can read some new authors I haven’t read before. I love Christmas stories all year round.

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Me too, Doris. Good luck in today’s giveaway for the Starbucks Gift Card, themed mug and assorted treats. Yum! You may wish to visit our author sites too, for more info on future book giveaways. Thanks so much for your feedback and interest in our series. Merry early Christmas!! 🙂

  16. Bonnie K.

    I love the covers. The Christmas in New York series sounds wonderful. We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas in New York when our girls were teens.

  17. Tina

    Goodness and Light by Patty Blount,This Christmas by Jeannie Moon,All I want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen, and A Light in the Window by Jolyse Barnett are a wonderful series.I am looking forward to reading more books by these authors. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  18. Ashleigh Downes

    I haven’t read any of the stories yet but I love it. They look so happy and so amazing. I’m from New York.

  19. AmandaS

    These covers are some of the most gorgeous I’ve seen, I just love them! I’m looking forward to starting this series =)

    • Jolyse Barnett

      The cover art is beautiful, isn’t it. There’s even a romantic story behind the cover of A Light in the Window. You may visit my website if you’re interested. We hope you love the stories between the covers just as much. 🙂

  20. Christina Riggs

    I’m looking forward to reading these books! Q? Is it hard for 4 different authors to collaborate on one idea or premise? Thank You!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Great question, Christina! We enjoyed the process. I won’t lie and say it was always sunshine and roses, but we all respect each other as people first and writers second so we were able to compromise on any areas of concern. Each of us would send any scene that included reference to another author’s characters and get feedback/approval before moving on. That meant we needed to be accessible to each other throughout the nine or so weeks of writing. For me, it was a challenge to share information about my characters at the beginning because I also felt like I was just getting to know them. Once we each had our characters solidified in our minds, we were able to brainstorm the bigger picture areas of the series–living close to each other really helped!

      So, in a nutshell, I believe this type of series would be quite arduous without the close friendship and geographical proximity we four have.

  21. laurieg72

    Patty -I love how you personalized your story with real life tie-ins!

    Jeannine- I like that you included your dog as Holly.

    Jennifer- How neat to have a friend from Ireland help you out with the dialogue. Ice skating is a fun activity to include in your story. Love men with accents.

    Jolyse- Love your tie-in to some of my favorite educators. My children enjoyed Bill Nye. We all watched Ken’s Civil War serie. We also enjoyed The Magic School Bus series!

    i want to visit the Adirondacks. Beautiful scenery!

    Thanks for sharing a bit a background to all of the stories. I really like the personal touch!

    • Jolyse Barnett

      Thanks, Laurie. I was raised in the Adirondacks so it was easy to take its beauty for granted until I moved away. Each time I return, I feel the way Jade does in A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW, as if a piece of me has always will always be there. I’m part of the mountains as much as I am the ocean surf of my current Long Island home.

      I once wished I could be Ms. Frizzle. My colleagues can attest to that…I often dressed in dresses to match the topic I’d be teaching my third graders on a particular day. LOL

    • Jeannie Moon (@Jeannie_Moon)

      Hi Laurie, I’ve included one of my pets in all my books so far. My cat Moe Kitty became a bit of a celebrity because of the first three Forever Love Stories. Holly is a six year old rescued dog who has a gorgeous long white coat. It seemed appropriate to include her in a Christmas books.

  22. angela smith

    i havent read any of the books yet but they sound great.i love reading books set during christmastime

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