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18 Holiday Themed Romances Featuring Unusual and Unlikely Holidays of All Stripes

Helmed by USAT Bestselling Author Caitlyn Lynch, eighteen authors have banded together to explore several lesser-known holidays such as Pi Day, World Naked Gardening Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day. Our authors hail from around the globe and include bestsellers and emerging writers.

Featuring sweet country romance and sex in the big city, there's something for all romance readers, including lovers of queer romance. Polar bear plunges. Second chance and workplace romance. Sexy neighbors. Persnickety vampires. Matchmakers galore. Even a cute shifter or two. This anthology has it all!

Come celebrate the year with us!

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Taking the Plunge by Shoshana David

January First is Neve’s favorite holiday. Not because of the new year but because it’s City Island’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. She expected the usual day: an icy swim in Long Island Sound, a beach party, and a long hot shower. She definitely didn’t expect her neighbor’s visiting friend to be as hot as he is. But is that all there is?


Will Neve be able to act on her attraction?


Or will she be stuck out in the cold?

***

A native New Yorker, Shoshana David adores celebrating the romance in and of the city. Unlike many authors, she didn't catch the writing bug until college, but since then she has filled up notebooks and thumb drives with her various writings. Her stories feature the kind of hero/heroine she wishes she'd seen in fiction, including characters who share her own Jewish Heritage.


When she's not typing away at a computer, you can find Shoshana working as a librarian at a small library in one of New York's suburbs, exploring the city on the hunt for a CVS which doesn't print out receipts taller than her, or taking in a show. Shoshana lives for tea, chocolate, and latkes... probably in that order.

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Phoebe and the Pea by Catherine Bilson

Governess Phoebe Faraday is aghast when she finds the pea in her Twelfth Night cake and is crowned Queen for the day… only for not one, not two, but three beans to be found by eligible gentlemen! Three Kings is two too many, but which king will Phoebe choose?

***

Growing up in North Wales in a house for which the foundations were originally laid in the 14th century, Catherine Bilson’s interest in history was probably inevitable, but she despised the 20th century geopolitics which passed for history at school. Instead, she devoured every historical novel she could lay her hands on and found her greatest joy in the clever social commentary and witty repartee of Jane Austen.


When she moved to Stevenage in Hertfordshire for work in the late 1990s, she could not help but imagine Old Town Stevenage as Meryton and the nearby Knebworth House as Netherfield.


She married an Australian and moved to Queensland in 2001, far from the history she had grown up with, and it was then she started to write historical romance herself.

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The Boy Next Door by Mei Edwards

Jane is supposed to be on vacation. One whole week to relax and unwind, if only she can tear herself away from her work. Fortunately, there’s a distraction over the fence. She hasn’t seen Toby in years, and the connection is immediate. But when push comes to shove, is she willing to take a chance on a holiday romance?

***

Born and raised in New Zealand, also known as the best middle of nowhere, Mei Edwards grew up a voracious reader. She could often be found leaving the library with a stack of books as tall as her, ready to read her way to a happy ending. Creating her own worlds for others to enjoy has been a long standing dream. When not writing, Mei can be found at her nine-to-five job or planning her next overseas adventure.

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A Holiday (or Two) to Remember by Christina Rose Andrews

In order to climb Mauna Kea, Grace needs to work on her endurance. What better place to do that than her neighborhood gym? Unfortunately there’s a not-so-small problem. A problem in the shape of one of the hottest guys Grace has ever seen. He’s got abs, arms, and the scariest resting murder face this side of the Terminator. Is Grace woman enough to overcome her trepidations? And is her new gym partner secretly an assassin in disguise?

***

Christina Rose Andrews is actually two friends, Lark and Rose, writing underneath one penname.


A native of Colorado, Lark currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the mother to two fur babies. She has an adorable godson and several very neglected plants. She graduated from East Grand Rapids High School. While at Central Michigan University, she initially studied Education and even made it to student teaching before realizing the career wasn’t for her. She graduated with a degree in “Do you want fries with that?” otherwise known as History and Earth Science. She’s a bit of Jack of all Trades, which is oddly useful when it comes to writing and gives her several real life analogues for characters and plots. In her spare time, she likes to help put on large fandom conventions and hang out with family and friends.


Rose is a New Yorker through and through. She is the proud parent of a well-mannered potted plant and the aunt to an adorable set of twins and a cute pit bull puppy. While most of her family went to Harvard, she bucked tradition and went to Haverford, where she received a degree in “How to be a Cult Leader” aka Religion and Psychology. After graduating, she pursued a master’s degree in Library Science at Pratt Institute. Currently, she works as a librarian in the suburbs of New York City. When she’s not on the train to work, she likes to read, play video games, and have tea. Because TEA!!!


Lark and Rose met in an online writing community in 2009 and promptly had an argument. After that, it was a long slippery slope into co-authorship. They chose to write cross-cultural romance since it was something close to their hearts and it was damn near impossible to find stories featuring characters they wanted to see. Both Lark and Rose are proponents for destigmatizing mental health, solving problems through conversation and listening, and creating real characters—not caricatures.


They have presented at internationally recognized events.

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The Editor by Siobhan Kearney

Being a published author isn’t what Sophie expected. The pay isn’t great. The hours are long. And the deadlines are impossible. At least her publisher-approved editor is decent. More than decent, dreamy. Too bad she can’t graft her editor’s personality onto her sexy downstairs neighbor. Except fate’s got a funny way of throwing them together… in more ways than one.

***

Siobhan Kearney has always believed in fairy tales, spirits, and kissing underneath the mistletoe. She wrote her first story when she was eight—a harrowing tale about a brave Amtrak who saved a slow moving freight train in the mountains of Colorado and had a romance with an equally heroic commuter train. She was eight; it wasn't that complex.


A practicing Green Witch, Siobhan is often frustrated by inaccurate depictions of her religion in the media. Her stories will often incorporate aspects of various forms of Wicca or Paganism. And some point she'll write that series on Paganism in Writing her publisher wants.


When she isn't beating her head against the keyboard creating paranormal love stories, she works as a research assistant for a world-class structural engineer. One day she hopes to join her boss in being Wiki-worthy, but for now she'll settle for relative obscurity. She enjoys spending time with her family, exploring nature, reading, gardening, and talking about herself in the third person.

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Easy as Pi by Leslie Bond

It’s Pi Day, and someone’s got to make all those pies. That someone is Cassidy, working at his boyfriend Bobby’s family bakery. The pressure of being an outsider is bad enough, but having to make dozens of perfect pies is enough to turn Cassidy’s body into one big knot. It’s a good thing Bobby’s there to help relieve all that tension...

***

Leslie Bond lives in North Carolina with one husband, two house panthers, and way too many books. And yes, that really is the secret to the best peach pie you'll ever have!

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Lip-Locked Besties by Livvy Ward

Ally always was a fun-loving, confident woman… right up until the supposed love of her life broke her heart. Chris is charming, handsome, and sometimes an over-confident flirt with a history of not seeing what's right in front of him. When fate turns these besties into roomies, can they see what's right in front of them? Will they finally find the piece they didn’t know was missing? Maybe with the help of an odd holiday, they'll find out!

***

Livvy Ward was born and raised in Australia. She’s been a fan and avid reader of paranormal romances for the past twenty years and has worked numerous mundane jobs. If asked she’d tell you her absolute favorite aside from writing was her time as a professional dog trainer.

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Melting Hearts by Annika Steele

April moved to Pittsburgh. She misses her sunny Texas skies. Snow on her birthday? The worst. If burning a snowman on the spring equinox will guarantee the snow will go away, yep, she's all in. So what if her neighbor happily scoops heaps of snow out of his driveway--and whistles while he's shoveling!

***

Annika Steele began writing in third grade: an illustrated fanfic of the Atari game “Defender.” After filling notebooks, utterly unaware that she was a writer at heart, she abandoned her stories somewhere around her third year of college, probably when the typewriter/word processor died and was replaced by the roommate's new 386. A ridiculous number of years later, she stumbled across a fanfic site, put fingers to keyboard, and hasn't stopped writing since.

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Naked Attraction by Liv Honeywell

Juliet is enjoying relaxing in her recently inherited roof garden on an unusually hot day for May in the UK when she decides to take part in World Naked Gardening Day. It’s freeing and extremely pleasurable to bare all outdoors, and she finds that dancing naked is great fun too. Except she’s not as alone as she thinks.

***

Liv Honeywell is a BDSM erotic romance writer and, when not writing about delicious, hot male dominants and the female subs who love them, she’s usually doing something craft-like, reading, or baking and trying to decide which of her many other book ideas to work on next.


In her books, she includes a lot of humor, with realistic characters who aren't perfect and scenes where sometimes things go wrong. D/s is often portrayed as terribly serious, with constantly subby subs, and frowning Doms who never crack a smile. That hasn't been Liv’s experience at all, and she likes to bring some of that fun and laughter into her books, as well as some really hot kink!

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Wrong Number by Krissy V

Two very different people are brought together by a misunderstanding. Sometimes love blossoms in the most unusual of places.


Daisy has a secret she doesn’t want anyone to know.


Eoin gets stood up and decides to give his blind date a piece of his mind, except he has the wrong number. It turns out his mistake was the best thing that happened to both of them.


Daisy needs to overcome a lot of issues to meet Eoin. Can she get past her insecurities and compulsive tendencies to meet him?


No one knew how significant two different colored shoes would be.

***

Krissy V is a mother to two young children, who in turn keep her young. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, but she's originally from South Devon in the UK. She works full time in a pharmacy and writes in all her spare time, in her lunch hour, when watching TV at night and anywhere the urge takes her.


She is always thinking of situations that be turned into a story and has started a few stories, which in turn will be completed and released to her readers.

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A Guide to Playing Rich by Ava Bari

Stef and Eli haven’t led glamorous lives. They’re simple. Normal. Nobody. The same cannot be said for Viv and Terrance, America's hottest new power couple and Stef and Eli's respective best friends. At their friends’ engagement party, the pair find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. There's just one problem: they each think the other is a stuck-up celeb. Can their budding attraction overcome one whale of a misunderstanding?

***

Ava Bari is a native New Yorker who now makes her home in the American Midwest. She currently attends the University of Iowa working towards a degree in English with a focus on Creative Writing. She is an avid manga collector and a singer who spent nine years in concert choir. A lifelong lover of the tall, dark, and handsome stranger, she firmly believes in the power of true love conquering all.

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Finding Pride by Diana Ferris

Student by day, recluse by night, Louise safeguards her secret. But when she meets Fernanda her life is turned upside down.


Finally, Louise is free to be herself as she never has before.


But will she fight for this love? Or will her demons snuff out her light forever?

***

Diana Ferris is a Peruvian immigrant who has been residing in Connecticut for the past 21 years. She’s currently working toward her associate degree in Liberal Arts. A woman of many passions, Diana’s interests range from history to anime; from writing to tarot. She is constantly hounded by incessant plot bunnies who are trying to destroy her sanity, all while surrounded by supportive family and friends who lend a helping hand whenever possible, and she’s all the more grateful for it.

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Dane's Redemption by Susannah Kade

Trapped in the body of a bat, Dane has lost hope of being human again. On International Bat Night, he’s drawn to Tessa, a descendant of the witch who cursed him. Tessa is wary of bats, but when one’s injured, she has to save it.


Dane counts himself lucky that Tessa cares for him, and his attraction to her grows each day, but will either of them survive her attempts to break the spell?

***

Susannah Kade spent the first ten years of her life in the English countryside daydreaming, chasing butterflies and reading fantastic tales of magic and mystery.


One day her parents decided Australia would be a nice place to live.


During the long voyage, Susannah learned the value of an active imagination and spent her days making up stories.


She still loves the sea, but prefers to feel the sand between her toes.


A librarian and mum to one human and two fur babies (canine and feline), she loves to write fantasy and sci-fi adventure romance stories set on Earth and other worlds.

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Dear Dolly by M.T. Kearney

Dolly Carter is excited to finally meet her pen pal. But a stranger shows up in her friend's stead making an outrageous request. Bystander Jim Markson, who has been following the stranger for days, insists that Dolly needs protection. Will she accept the help of this smart, handsome, quirky man?

***

M. T. Kearney’s stories, both fiction and nonfiction, have been published in more than twenty print magazines and various online sources. She’s written a young adult sports fiction book, See Andie Run.


A native of California, she’s a graduate of California State University, Northridge, with degrees in American History and Journalism. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. In her spare time she sings in a contemporary worship band, knits hats for the homeless, and surfs the internet for story ideas.

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The Seadog's Wife by Katherine Moore

Thrown together when cast as the leads in a pirate movie, a pair of formerly married actors realize that their divorce was a mistake.

***

Born in Washington, D.C., Katherine Moore now lives in a small Pacific Northwest town very much like Silver Birch. She has worked as a food writer, a caterer, and a movie extra as well as a freelance lifestyle reporter and staff writer for magazines in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Richmond, Virginia.

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Feral Heart by Regina Griffiths

Candice hopes her childhood home will offer her comfort and a place to hide from a life that’s not turning out the way she wanted. She doesn’t expect a cat and an old friend to complicate things and send life spinning out of her control.

***

An Earth-origin carbon-based lifeform currently residing in the Sacramento Valley, Regina Griffiths is possessed of an unusually high caffeine to blood ratio and as a result has more sass than sense. A female of the species, her family unit consists of one husband, one viking, one child, three cats, five dogs, and a snake. When not falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes she can be found smashing words together until they cooperate and turn into stories.

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Crewel Intentions by Joy Demorra

Vlad, Nathan, and Ursula are enjoying a brief romantic sojourn in the dazzling city of Ingleton. While the whole city is on pins and needles in anticipation of the upcoming winter festivities, the trio only have time for each other. Until an unavoidable social event arises, along with some worrying concerns about Nathan’s formal attire. Between the two of them, however, Vlad and Ursula are certain they can find a way to get the shirt off his back.

***

Joy Demorra is a Scottish born author currently hopping between continents.


When not off gallivanting through time and space you may find her taking a leisurely evening stroll through the floating city of New Paris, or leading a revolutionary revolt by space pirates against ninja librarians. If neither circumstance is currently applicable try under her desk. It’s a well known fact that deadlines can’t reach you there.

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Unlawfully Ugly by Caitlyn Lynch

Forced into planning her office’s Christmas party, Jodie strikes gold—ugly sweaters. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned. Can hot associate Joseph turn this ugly party into a night to remember?

***

A USA Today bestselling author, Caitlyn Lynch started writing when she was four years old, extending stories she felt ended too soon (usually before the romance bit started in earnest).


It took a lot of years (and a lot of practice writing fanfiction) but she eventually plucked up the courage to share some of her original stories with the world, and remains constantly amazed that people actually enjoy reading them. She hopes to continue sharing love stories with you for many years to come.

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