Writing Christmas Romances in July @AyalaRachelle

Baby, it’s HOT outside. The sun is shining and the beach is beckoning. But inside my writing den, it’s cinnamon spiced and Christmas scented with jolly Christmas music jingling and the click-clacking of keyboards popping. July and August are Christmas time for me and my Author’s Billboard buddies–busy little bees tapping out Christmas all summer long.

Christmas hits our house early in the year. Shortly after the New Year, while the confetti’s sprinkled on the floor and the empty champagne bottles hit the recycling bin, Christmas is already a sparkle in my eye. Our Author’s Billboard team starts thinking about our Christmas boxed sets. We brainstorm themes and concepts and comb through our series looking for characters needing a merry, ho, ho, ho, and love under the Christmas tree.

Tentative titles are jotted down, covers made, and the ideas go into hibernation until June, July, or August. Then it’s crank up the Christmas playlists, browse for Christmas photos, stream Christmas movies to get into the mood, and sample Christmas recipes and research Christmas traditions and decorations. While the weather is hot outside, snow and evergreen trees swirl in my mind. My son comes downstairs and ask, “What’s with the Christmas songs? What’s going on?” My husband wonders why Christmas paraphrenalia are showing up at the door: a snowglobe here and an ornament there. It’s all part of living with Christmas all summer long.

This year, I’m writing three Christmas romances. Two of them are with my editor and the third one is just getting started. You’d think I’d be sick of Christmas by now, but I love it. It’s a season of joy and cheer, of family and friends, of giving and forgiving, and of love and re-loving. It’s the magic of a child’s wishes, a grandmother’s care, a friend’s suggestion, and a stranger’s yearning–a season for belonging and a reason for welcoming. Some common themes are: coming home, finding a friend, going from Grinch to elf, turning charitable, warming up the grieving, and blessing the poor in spirit. An outsider is brought into the fold. An estranged relationship is restored. Or an unexpected distraction turns into attraction. These are some of the fun Christmas romance themes to write about–all year round.

Rachelle Ayala’s 2021 Christmas Romances

Preorder for 99c: [Sweet] Dashing Through Christmas, Misty Jolly and Dash Weston play guessing games while rushing through a Christmas project with no help from Westie, a “talking” dog.

Preorder for 99c: [Sweet] Dottie’s Christmas Wish, All Merry Jolly wants is to make Dr. Colton Dale smile. All his daughter, Dottie, wants is a dog. Will Christmas wishes come true for three lonely hearts?

[Sassy] Santa on Strike, Bette’s bar is on the ropes when her biggest attraction, the barroom Santa, goes on strike a few days before Christmas.

Be sure to sign up for my Newsletter (get two free ebooks) to be notified of our upcoming Christmas boxed sets for a fun festivities and romance in the air.

We Still Need Heroes by Rachelle Ayala

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Heroes are the men and women who step up in times of crisis. They charge into burning buildings and rush toward disaster zones. They defend us against bullies and bad guys, and they stay on their jobs when others retreat. We appreciate our heroes because they inspire us and give us hope. They help us in times of need, and they do their duty while others are fleeing and hiding. We appreciate our heroes on special days like Veteran’s Day and anniversaries of their heroic acts. But do we understand the toll it takes on them and their families?

Being a hero entails sacrifice and putting others in front of self. Our military men and women not only fight bad guys but give aid and support to vulnerable populations. Our first responders put their safety at risk when responding to disasters or calls for help. Our health care workers stood at the front line to treat patients when an unknown disease sickened their communities. Every day, mothers and fathers put their children’s welfare in front of their own by working long hours to put food on the table or sacrificing for their education.

The qualities that heroes have: bravery, courage, resourcefulness, duty, honor, and sacrifice are still needed today. We need men to stand up for what’s right and women to nurture the weak and helpless. People to hold the line for freedom and individual liberty against the dark side of totalitarianism and mind control.

I’m grateful for all heroes: the police who catch criminals, the firefighters who save lives and homes, the military who secure our freedoms, the pastors who preach the Bible, the parents who protect the children, the essential workers who did their jobs, the patriots who stand against tyranny, and most of all, God who gave us his only begotten Son.

Forgive me for being sentimental. The 20th anniversary of September 11 just passed by, and while the ending of the war was not what we expected, it does not in any way diminish the heroism of the policemen, firefighters, and rescuers who charged into the buildings or all of the many military men and women who held the line against terrorists and warlords. They battled at tremendous personal cost and we owe them continued gratitude. Who knows how many attacks were prevented by their sacrifice?

Many years ago, I wrote about an Afghanistan War veteran, Tyler Manning, who returned home disillusioned and suffering from PTSD. He was homeless, subjected to flashbacks, and had lost his faith. It took a tiny four-year-old girl, Bree Kennedy, to see something special about him as he sat underneath a Christmas tree scavenging thrown-away food from a mall food court. I wish the war had ended better, but I know his effort was not wasted. Tyler’s story became a three-part Christmas series called: A Veteran’s Christmas.

In book 1, A Father for Christmas, Bree finds Tyler under a Christmas tree and brings him back to society and a romance with Bree’s mom, Kelly.

In book 2, A Pet for Christmas, Tyler returns to Afghanistan to work at a charity he founded, only to have it blown to bits. He and his translator then embark on a daring escape from Afghanistan with the help of a stray Kuchi dog.

In Book 3, A Wedding for Christmas, Tyler gets involved with a former Afghan female soldier and helps her get off the streets–all while trying to juggle his wedding to Bree’s mom, Kelly

Check out the first book, A Father for Christmas FREE.

A Father for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala

So let us remember to honor our heroes every day and to let them inspire us to give a helping hand and nurture those in need. All of us can be an every day hero by standing up for the values and ideals that made our country great and by giving our time, labor, and care to others. Like the children’s song says, JOY is Jesus, Others, You with yourself last.

Blessings, Rachelle

#Bestdeal Christmas Boxed Set – 10 Romance Novellas for #99cents

Ready for Frosty and Rudolph?

Romancing Christmas: 10 Love Stories to Spice up the Holidays

Multi-author boxed set

Release Date: November 3, 2014

Genre: Holiday Romance

Cover Artist: http://www.bellamediamanagement.com/


Do you like your Christmas nice…or a little naughty? Bring the season into your heart with love stories to match your mood. This boxed set from 10 of today’s hottest romance authors will warm your heart even on the coldest night.

~~Purchase Links~~

Broken Protocols 3.5 by Dale Mayer

When Charmin Marvin wonders when Christmas Day would be in their new time frame, he sets events in motion no one could have expected.

Dani and Charmin lost a lot when they were brought 200 years into the future. But nostalgia brings the possibility of Christmas back into Dani’s life – if she can make it happen.
Levi hates to deny Dani anything, but all holidays were removed from his society by the government decades ago. He has no idea what she’s talking about – and when he does research and finds out – he wonders if something can be done. And someone outside of their small family wonders, too…

Dani has the best of intentions – but creating Christmas in a world that no longer knows what a holiday is makes her life very complicated very quickly.

Website: http://www.dalemayer.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaleMayer.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaleMayer

Shades of Holly by H. D. Thomson

Do you like murder and mystery with your mistletoe?
Enter Zach Howard, a man who’s finally managed to get his life on track this holiday season, until that is, he comes across a pair of otherworldly sunglasses. They reveal scenes of a terrifying future. Holly, the one woman he’s never stopped loving, is in danger of a psychopath. This time around, he’s determined to fight for Holly, even at the risk of his own life. But even if he manages to save her, can Zach restore her faith in him? He prays that this Christmas miracles and angels do exist.
Season For Love by Chantel Rhondeau

The specter of death tempered by beautiful miracles is all in a day’s work for head nurse Tess Riggs and pediatric specialist Dr. Dash Brisson. But discovering Christmas is the season for love could be their biggest challenge yet.

Website: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChantelRhondeau
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChantelRhondeau

Christmas Hope (2013 Golden Heart finalist) by Leslie Lynch 

A one-man landscape business keeps a roof over Sam Bledsoe’s head and food on the table—and keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. Free spirit Becca Sweet is pregnant—and down on her luck. With Christmas and a storm on the way, living in her car is no longer an option. When Sam comes to Becca’s rescue, they discover that Christmas hope applies to all, even to them. Will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?Website: www.leslielynch.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieLynchWrites
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Leslie_Lynch_


A Christmas Miracle (a 2014 Carolyn Reader’s Choice winner) by Sandy Loyd

Megan Jenkins isn’t looking forward to Christmas, a holiday that reminds her of what she had and lost, a husband who died right after Christmas the year before, leaving her a young widow with a fatherless son to raise. During the course of this Christmas Eve, Megan experiences her own Christmas Miracle as she learns the true meaning of giving with the help of Kevin Murdock, a long-time friend who’s always been there for her.Website: www.sandyloyd.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sloydwrites
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sloydwrites


The Salty Carmel Christmas by Barbara Lohr

Nothing ever changes for Rachel Morgan in Paris, Indiana. And then Eli kisses her. When Rachel returns home for Christmas, she’s not exactly the family success story. The soft-spoken guy with killer blue eyes makes Rachel take a second look. Paris offers her a second chance. Sometimes life can be like a salty Christmas carmel—sweet but with a tang you remember. Sometimes the boy you leave behind is the man you want forever.Website: www.BarbaraLohrAuthor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Barbaralohrauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BarbaraJLohr

Heating Up the Holidays by Marcia James

When Chris Spencer returns home with his daughter, he’s not looking for a second chance with his first love. And the last thing Nicky Paxton needs at Christmas time is her high school heart-breaker. But thanks to a hairless dog and a lonely child, they might get their Christmas desires.

Website: www.MarciaJames.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarciaJamesAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Marcia_James

Insanity Claus by Carolyn Hughey

A widow of two years, Mallory Gardner is struggling to keep her business alive and still function in her dysfunctional family. Having two daughters, one of which who blames Mallory for her father’s death is enough to test anyone’s sanity. But when Arden J. Miller waltzes into town, he has other ideas—like capturing Mallory’s heart even though love is the last thing on her mind.
Can two irresistible forces deal with immovable objects, or will the effects of the holiday spirit help resolve issues previously thought to be unsolvable?Website: www.carolynhughey.com
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/YUamEZ
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ScribBLINGDIVA

A Family for Christmas by Tallulah Grace

Erin Matthews returns home to find closure, but she soon discovers truths that change her life forever. Luke Simmons never expected to meet a woman who sparks fire in his soul, even as his heart is breaking. Together, they find healing, and the true spirit of Christmas, in the love of a patchwork family.

A Father for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala
Single mother Kelly Kennedy can’t afford lavish gifts for her four-year-old daughter, Bree. Homeless veteran Tyler Manning doesn’t believe he deserves a Merry Christmas. When Bree asks Santa for a father and picks Tyler, both Tyler and Kelly must believe in the power of love to give Bree her best Christmas ever.

New Romance – Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala

Passionate, raw and sexy.

Evie Sanchez is recovering from heartbreak by working at her parents’ Filipino restaurant when in walks Romeo Garcia, the boy she left behind. Only now, he’s a hot movie star surrounded by gorgeous actresses and adoring fans.

Bad boy Romeo Garcia never understood why Evie stood him up at the prom. When he rescues her from a flying coconut in the dumpster, he is determined to dig into her heart for the reason. Their mutual attraction and unresolved feelings ignite in a scintillating night of daring sex, and Romeo shows Evie what she’ll miss the rest of her life if she walks away again.

Evie lands a part as Romeo’s co-star and falls into her role, totally in love. He plays his part, too, with his romantic gestures and skillful lovemaking. But is the fantasy real or revenge? Evie and Romeo are about to discover if their buried feelings will explode in pure delight or utter disaster.

“Second chance love is always the sweetest.” – Jessica Cassidy

“Sexy and funny, a unique take on love reignited.” – Racquel Reck

Author’s Note: I had a lot of fun writing Evie and Romeo’s story. I let my fantasies go wild and I hope you’ll enjoy the motorcycle, hot tub, and restaurant scenes.

Taming Romeo is available for 99c [introductory price] on Amazon US India UK DE FR ES IT Canada Brazil Japan Mexico Australia

Cover Design: Rebecca Berto, Berto Designs
Contact Rachelle at: Website

Reblogged from  From Mia’s Desk…

Please welcome Rachelle Ayala and Michal, from Michal’s Window. This is an Out of World interview, with a bit of In World flavor as our guest speaks to us from… well… Heaven. Enjoy!

You can also visit me as I guest at Rachelle’s site to talk about character interviews! See my post at Rachelle’s Window!

– Mia Darien at MiaDarien.com

* * *

Mia: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Michal: I wanted it to be Queen Michal the Great, but the 21st century author went to a liberal arts college and sought to confine me to that darn window. Seems like every disaster in my life hangs out a window.

Mia: You still haven’t told us the name of the book.
Michal: *crosses her arms* Her favorite general ed course was “The Russian Experience.” I mean, she loved Catherine the Great. And who was she but some obscure German princess of little money?

Mia: I happen to know it’s called “Michal’s Window.” You were saying about your window?
Michal: Windows and I just don’t get along, thank you very much. I’m a 3000 year old queen. What do I need with windows and mirrors?

Mia: Indeed. So… Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Michal: *holds up hand* One question at a time, please. I’d prefer you to know very little about myself. I am, after all, a very private person.

Mia: This book seems like a tell all. You narrated it in first person. Tell me, Michal, was sex really that great back then? And with three men? You must have broken quite a few taboos of your culture.
Michal: *juts out her lip* Please, after 3000 years in Heaven, what do you want me to say?

Mia: Let’s pretend for a moment. You’re back at your father’s palace, and a young, handsome, red-headed harpist has just stepped in the gate. What did you think of him? What did you feel?
Michal: *sighs and rubs her palms on her dress* He was really very sweet, standing their trembling and sweating. But when he settled down to strum his harp, all I could do was imagine him singing to me, and strumming my hair. That intense look in his eyes, the fervor of his love for God and his desire for peace in Israel–I just wanted all of that directed on me.

Mia: So, love at first sight?
Michal: Oh yes.

Mia: What do you think his first impression of you was?
Michal: I knew he wanted me. After all, I was the princess of Israel. But it took a while for him to convince me that he cared for me and not my position. Of course, being the daughter of a man who hated him presented great difficulties.

Mia: I could imagine it would. All right, let’s move on. What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Michal: The author? Ha, she was in love with David and Ittai. I was so mad at her. I mean, how dare she think about David all the time? And Ittai should have been a secret. Really, these 21st century women have no shame. But she’s Bathsheba’s bratty great to the hundredth generation granddaughter so I’ll let her take the wooden spoon and…

Mia: I’ll leave that for the two of you. How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Michal: Well, she did portray me pretty positively despite all the bad press I get elsewhere. This was the first book where I get to be victorious. My life was filled with dramatic tragedies, my husband escaping my father’s wrath through my window, the years he spent in the wilderness, my estrangement from him while married to Phalti, and then my disgrace at the Ark of the Covenant incident. Most books have me as the villain, the jealous first wife, unable to accept the sainted Abigail and beautiful Bathsheba. So I actually feel pretty good about this one, especially with three men in love with me throughout the book.

Mia: Certainly quite a thing. Do you like being a characer in such a book?
Michal: *smiles* How can I not? A girl’s gotta have some fun. Granted the book had a lot of tragic moments, but the author always gave me fun parts, my time with Jada, my little going-away party for Aunt Kyra, and of course the rug scene. Too bad she cut out my frolics with my sister’s future husband… Ahem…

Mia: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Michal: My future is pretty assured. It’s really peaceful up here in my mansion. The walls are gemstones with water trickling through so my favorite orchids can grow between the cracks. There’s a brook of diamonds and streets of white gold. And David is with me, did you want a word with him?

Mia: Let’s leave him where he is. What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Michal: She seems to have left ancient Israel, although she has a draft of a follow-on story about Ittai’s time of exile. I do make brief appearances. There is a great scene of me buying a slave to set her free. Ittai just does not know how to bargain so I used him as a dummy while I talked the temple master down. But honestly, who knows if she’s going to run with the story. She seems to be working on some story about horseless chariots running over people. The people in that story are all stuck in front of boxes with magic lids that show moving pictures and play music.

Mia: We call them movies. It’s like a window where you can see people’s lives as they are played out.
Michal: Oh, sort of like the viewing tablets we have in Heaven, but they censor all the good parts.

Mia: Right. So. Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Michal: Oh, that’s easy. There’s a woman who lives in France with lots of children. Angelina Jolly, I think. She looks tough enough to kill a man. You do know I killed a man, right?

Mia: Yes, indeed. But we’re out of time, thanks for being here tonight.
Michal: You’re welcome. I’ve got all eternity. Well, it’s back to looking out my window. *waves and floats away*

* * *

Author Bio: Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. Her first book, Michal’s Window, is a romance set in Biblical times. Rachelle has always lived in a multi-cultural environment, and the tapestry in her books reflect that diversity. Rachelle is currently working on a romantic suspense involving software engineers. She is a very happy woman.

Rachelle’s Sitehttp://rachelleayala.blogspot.com


Buy LinkKindle

Michal's Window Cover Art


March 22nd, 2012