I’m bubbling over with early holiday cheer. Our fifth anthology A TEXAS CHRISTMAS released on October 1st. And as it is with every book release I never take a deep breath until I read some reviews. I’m happy to say that the reviews for this book have been exceptional. It’s on track to outsell all of our previous ones. So, I’ve begun to relax. Sort of.
Until we found out the anthology hit the NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST!!
Oh my dear Lord, this has to be one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me!
I, along with fellow Filly sister Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace, can now claim the distinction of being called New York Times bestselling authors. Jodi Thomas has been one since heck was a pup and he’s a grown dog now so it’s old hat for her.
Anyway, I’m still pinching myself at this dream come true.
My story in A TEXAS CHRISTMAS is called “The Christmas Bell.” It’s a story of the powerful magic of Christmas and love that can heal all wounds.
Banker’s daughter Tess Whitgrove has been to Boston to bring back a Christmas bell to Kasota Springs, Texas. But a horrible blizzard has trapped the train in the middle of nowhere. Rancher Sloan Sullivan rides to the rescue, bringing supplies that are desperately needed.
The only problem is that Tess and Sloan haven’t seen eye to eye for quite some time so the meeting is rather awkward. If not for the fact that the passengers consist of four little orphans, a pregnant woman, and a very ill man, Tess would’ve told him what he could do with his supplies.
Forced to accept his help is a bitter pill to swallow. But then the magic of the season kicks in and before long they’re working together to save the passengers and finding that love and forgiveness can come when you least expect it.
My story brought the subject of Christmas bells to mind. Since gift-giving was pretty sparce in the Old West, people embraced bells to give the holiday special meaning. Nearly every town had a bell that was customarily rung on all important occasions as well as Christmas Day.
East Hampton, Connecticut was once known as Bell Town because 30 bell manufacturers called the place home. Today, Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company is the remaining bell maker in East Hampton and the oldest one in the U.S. They’ve been in business since 1832. For 179 years they’ve consistently made bells of all kinds: bicycle, door bells, dinner bells, Salvation Army bells, wedding and anniversary bells, jingle bells, and you name it. If a bell is needed Bevin Brothers can make it.
The most famous bell of all is the Liberty Bell. It was first rung on July 8, 1776 to summon the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
It was last rung in February 1846 in honor of George Washington’s birthday. A big crack appeared and made the bell unringable. Ever since it’s been kept in a place of reverence.
I’m giving away two copies of A TEXAS CHRISTMAS today. Just leave a comment to get your name in the Stetson.