Monday, December 26, 2022

Christmas isn't over yet! - by Susan Aylworth

So here we are on the day after, putting everything away until next year and suffering the post-Christmas letdown. Or not! No one says we have to let go of the sweetest season of the year. I wrote my Christmas Town series because I love the idea of a place that celebrates the season all year. Then, just when I finished Book 5, I found such a place. 

Frankenmuth, Michigan is roughly 90 miles north of Detroit, minutes south of Lake Huron. Founded in the late 1800s by German immigrants, it retains a European flavor and boasts the largest Christmas store in the United States (possibly in the world). It also has a famous German restaurant and bakery, a themed, mostly-indoor water park, and a number of other attractions that make it a tourist destination. Roger and I visited there as a post-Thanksgiving romp with our son, Paul, and his family. We couldn't resist having our picture taken at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. 

I didn't know about Frankenmuth, or about Bronner's, when I created Bedford Falls, California, and put the Everything Christmas Wonderland on the corner of Main Street and Bedford Boulevard, but it was a bit like coming home to visit Bronner's and drive down the lighted and lovely Main Street of Frankenmuth. Christmas all year!

You're invited to visit Frankenmuth, but if you can't get there, you can visit Bedford Falls, California, also known as Christmas Town, from the comfort of your favorite chair.

The series begins with Book 1, A Joyful Eve in Christmas Town.
A new job brings Claire Reiser to Bedford Falls, California, a Sierra resort town that celebrates Christmas all year. She arrives just days before Christmas, expecting to be alone for the holiday. Ben Scarge is also new, whisked in to manage the estate of his late Uncle Simon, a curmudgeonly miser who puts Scrooge to shame. Like Claire, he anticipates a lonely holiday. Then a furry visitor delivers a gift neither Claire nor Ben will ever forget. Welcome to Christmas Town!

The five-book series covers the Christmas romances of several close friends. Each is a sweet holiday love story, each highlights a favorite furry friend, and each celebrates the Christmas spirit. Enjoy Books 1-4 as we build up for the release of Book 5, Holly and Hearts in Christmas Town, coming Feb. 8 in time for Valentine's Day. 

Book 2 features Claire's friend and neighbor, Kiley Ross, who is finally fulfilling her dream of going back to school. One of her required classes is a newswriting workshop led by graduate student Nick Santino, who looks very much like a famous Hollywood star. Speechless at first, Kiley soon finds herself giving spirited arguments to many of Nick's ideas. As the two strike sparks off one another--in both annoying and delightful ways, they begin an attraction that they must avoid: teacher-student relationships are strictly forbidden. But the term will come to an end, roughly around Christmas time, and who knows what may happen then? Read St. Nick Comes to Christmas Town

Kiley's buddy Amanda Velasquez gets her own story in Kisses and Kittens in Christmas Town, Book 3. Amanda's mother is a successful model who has groomed her daughter to do the same. But Amanda is built more like her dad, who played linebacker in the NFL. When Amanda meets Marco Fuentes in the ski resort's workout room, she's sure he's a physical trainer trying to recruit her as a client and steers a wide path.

Dr. Marco Fuentes works out during his off hours from the town's medical clinic. He's instantly attracted to the statuesque beauty and her efforts to improve her health. It takes a box of abandoned kittens to bring them together and a little Christmas magic to overcome the damage a well-meaning mom has done to her daughter's self-image.

In Book 4, Mischief and Mistletoe in Christmas Town, Amanda's friend and housemate, Emily Draper, prepares to serve as Amanda's maid of honor. That puts her in close touch with Marco's brother, Dr. Carl Fuentes, also his best man. The two spark instantly.

But Carl has opportunities for a career change that will take him far from Christmas Town, and Emily, who has suffered from a rare illness for much of her life, is now healthy enough to plan her own future. She has the chance to work with a Michelin star chef at the renowned Winter Magic Bakery in Bedford Falls. These two need a Christmas miracle. A cat named Mischief, a sweet but confused service dog, and a bundle of mistletoe may be up to the challenge.

Bethany Sheridan lives next door to Amanda and Emily with her disabled adult daughter, Gracie. When her neighbors tell Bethany of a strange man  peeking in her windows, she can't help jittery nerves. But when she meets the new director of Grace's respite care program and hears his explanation for why he was there, her heart softens and interest blooms.

Richard Hale's instant attraction to beautiful Bethany only underscores his admiration for her bright and lovely daughter. He wants to spend more time with them both. But he has problems of his own: a traumatic brain injury has left him with a severe stutter. 

A box of fostered puppies, a sweet but confused golden retriever, and a wheelchair-bound Cupid with surprises of her own may be needed to bring this pair together. Read Holly and Hearts in Christmas Town, coming Feb. 8. 

Leave Christmas behind us? Why should we? Frankenmuth and Bedford Falls have both found ways to celebrate all year long. I like their spirit. 

Susan Aylworth is the author of 25 published novels including four books in the Christmas Town series. Watch for Book 5 coming in time for Valentine's Day. She  also has small-town sweet romance series set in and near the Navajo Nation and in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Susan lives in northern California with Roger, her writer husband of 52 years. Contact her at her website:, @SusanAylworth, or via Susan loves travel, music, her large and scattered family, and perfect raspberry jam. She also loves hearing from readers, especially if you'd like to have your name in a future book. Beware: You may be the plucky sidekick or jealous rival!


No comments:

Post a Comment