In the Christmas Spirit

Time is flying by and it won’t be long before Santa will ride in on his sleigh. This year has been one big blur for me. I’ve released four books since January and have one more left next month—To Marry a Texas Outlaw. But today is the release party for CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS and I’m so excited to have this out!

I felt really honored to have my story included in a book with Leigh Greenwood, our own Margaret Brownley, Rosanne Bittner, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas. These six stories are guaranteed to warm your heart. Margaret’s especially.

My story – The Christmas Stranger – is about a drifter, Hank Destry, who has no home or family. No reason to celebrate anything. He’s riding through a huge blizzard with his dog and finds the drifts too large to continue. His coat is too thin and no protection. Unable to hold on to the reins, he slides from the saddle into the snow.

Sidalee King is returning from visiting a lonely old woman named Miss Mamie and finds him. She loads him into her wagon and takes him home to the Lone Star Ranch. She works in the mercantile for the Legend family. Cholera took her family years before but she’s determined to give Miss Mamie a good Christmas. If only she can reunite the old dear with her son George. That would be perfect.

This story is about finding that one place to belong, healing old wounds, and giving of yourself without expecting anything in return. Giving is what Christmas is all about and I think you’ll love the journey Hank and Sidalee take in finding the courage to open their hearts to a happily ever after.

Hank’s dog Beau almost stole the story and I guarantee he’ll make you laugh. Such a scamp.

Here’s a short Excerpt:

Hank slowly tugged the long silk ribbon from around her neck, trailing the red fabric down one arm. He leaned closer. “There’s some mistletoe right over your head. I hope I’m not pressing my luck, but do you mind if I kiss you?”

A happy, warm glow swept over her. “I don’t see anyone trying to fight you,” she whispered.

He pulled her up into his arms and drew the ribbon around her, tethering her to him. Sidalee had never felt more alive, more breathless, more…hot.

She tilted her face to him, feeling the wild beat of his heart that matched hers. He gently anchored her against the hard wall of his chest. The moment his lips touched hers, an aching hunger swept through her, turning her knees to pudding.

The yearning for him was so strong she clutched him to keep from falling in a puddle at his feet. One arm curled around his neck just under his hair. The strands brushed her skin like tiny feathers.

That’s when she knew she was falling in love with Hank Destry.

* * * *

What about Christmas do you love most? Is it the smells, the sounds, the food? Leave a comment to be included in the drawing for two copies (your choice of format.)

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

73 thoughts on “In the Christmas Spirit”

  1. Hi Linda. glad to be back for a visit after missing so long. I have had some bad health problems and, my computer messes up so much just don’t get on very much. My favorite thing at Christmas is having most of my family together, which doesn’t happen very often. 4 kids, 12 grands, and all of my great-grands. Tho, some of the younger bunch misses sometimes. But I love listening to my kids talk and laugh. I could just and listen all day. Also enjoy the grands, which all all grown ups too now. And, those young great-grands can be so entertaining. Christmas is always a time for getting special foods and lots of great desserts. YUMMY!!!. I hope I can win this book of yours. Sure sounds good. Hugs! Maxie

    • Good morning, Maxie!! I’m so excited to see you. I missed you terribly and didn’t know what happened to you. I do hope you’re better now. Yes, kids can be so funny. I love seeing how their minds work, and boy, do they have opinions about everything. One of my favorite TV shows years and years ago was the Art Linkletter Show and the segment Kids Say the Darndest Things. It was always really funny. I’m thrilled that you’ll get to spend Christmas with them. I think you’ll like this Christmas book. I’m so proud to be in it. I hope you win a copy.

      Much Love and Hugs!

  2. There are so many things I love about Christmas. The time of year (I love Winter), the smells, the twinkling lights on houses and in stores, the food, Christmas stories and Christmas movies, time spent with family and the feeling of compassion everyone seems to have at this time of year. Most importantly is the celebration we give to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Cindy W.

    • Good morning, Cindy……I’m glad you came by to talk about Christmas. There is a strange excitement in the air during Christmas, isn’t there? Everyone’s step seems livelier. I try to slow down and just enjoy it. Yes, we can’t forget that this is a celebration of Jesus’s birth. I always tear up and get a lump in my throat each time I hear how he came to be born.

      Enjoy your day and good luck in the drawing!

  3. Happy Release Day Linda- My favorite thing about Christmas is family, celebrating Christ our Savior, and enjoying a wonderful
    Meal with our love ones.
    Congrats on your newest book, I loved both your and Margaret’s stories, especially, but everyone of the 6 stories were inspiring and captivating.
    Love you my sweet sister friend.

    • Good morning, Miss Tonya…….Thank you for the best wishes for this book. Release day is always exciting. Yes, Christmas is about the love of family and of Christ our Savior. My heart always bursts with love. Thank you for liking my story. I was very proud of the way it turned out. The best compliment I’ve received about it is that it reads like a full length book. I’m blessed that you enjoy reading what I write. Blessed that my stories satisfy.

      Much love and hugs!

  4. Happy Release Day! ???? My favorite part of Christmas is the way my parents house transforms to a Christmas Wonderland. All the day to day deco gets packed away and box aftee box of Christmas decorations transform their home into a warm inviting Christmas Wonderland. Outside also becomes Candyland and has been nominated by The Empire Tribune (the local paper) for more than one year as best Christmas lights display. I truly believe Christmas will never be the same when my parents are gone.

    • Good morning, Stephanie……Oh how exciting! I’m sure you feel as though you’ve stepped into a magical place when you go visit. I hope they live close by so you can go often. It sounds very special. You know, dear, when (and it pray it’s a long time off) things change with your parents, you can always bring the the tradition to your house. Your daughters would love to help. Yes, I’m happy, happy that this is release day!!

      Much love and great big hugs!

  5. Beautiful cover Linda. I love the whole idea of Christmas. The sounds, sights and smells. It’s a time of giving and bringing joy to those we can. It’s my favorite holiday.
    Carol Luciano

    • Good morning, Carol…….Thank you for the compliment on the Christmas cover. I just love it. That splash of red on her dress really sets it off. 🙂 Christmas is (or should be) a time of giving. Making someone else’s Christmas bright is what I get the most joy from. There are tons of forgotten elderly, the homeless, and children who are in need of help.

      Good luck in the drawing and have a wonderful day!

  6. My favorite thing about Christmas is the whole family getting together ! Love listening and singing along to Christmas music. Have a nice day !

    • Good morning, Roberta…….Thanks for coming to join the discussion. Christmas is about family, the ones we’re born with and those we choose. The music and listening to the excitement in people’s voices makes my heart swell. I love the Christmas season and I love writing about it.

      Good luck in the drawing and big hugs!

    • Good morning, Debra…….Spending Christmas with family seems to be everyone’s number one joy. We need that sense of belonging and let love wrap around our hearts. The smells, the lights and the food blend into our love for family.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing.

  7. Congratulations on your new release! Since the only family we have left is my son and me, we’re grateful we’re together, especially after this past year, and we love our missing loved ones who are still with us in our hearts. The season otherwise is a quiet one for the two of us.

    • Good morning, Eliza…….So great to see you. Man, you have much to be thankful for this Christmas. For a while there, it was doubtful you’d see this one. I’m glad you have your son to celebrate with. I love that song I’ll Be Home For Christmas. It always brings tears to my eyes. Home is definitely where the heart is. I pray you find love and contentment this season.

      Much love and good luck in the drawing!

  8. Hi Linda my favorite about Christmas is the children the looks on their faces when they see Santa has been here. All the wonderful decorations,the tree,food and the love of your family.thankyou Yvonne

    • Good morning, Yvonne……..Hey, Happy Birthday! I missed posting something yesterday on FB. The children are always so wide-eyed at Christmas, aren’t they? I, too, love watching them and seeing the magic through their eyes. Makes me feel young again.

      Good luck in the drawing! Love you, lady!

  9. The Christmas light on the tree. The smell of the fireplaces in the house’s. The look you see on your grandchildren faces when they open their presents. The turkey cooking in the oven. The family and friends all gathering to celebrate with you. Fabulous excerpt. Thank you for sharing.

    • Good morning, Charlene……I can see you have a whole list. But how can you narrow it to just one thing? I can’t. Christmas is a blend of everything all wrapped up and tied with a bow.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  10. I always feel it’s a magical time of year. You can see it in the happiness of people out shopping or joining friends for get togethers. The kids are happy about the toys they will be getting. I love shopping for gifts for family and friends. But I shop early. When it gets closer to Christmas, it gets stressful with the crowds. But I still get out to the mall to look at the decorations and one mall has a huge Christmas tree set in the center of a skating rink. Every year I go look at it. That really says Christmas to me.

    • Good morning, Janine…….I’m so glad to see you. Wow, I’d love to go sit and watch the skaters in the shadow of the Christmas tree. It sounds very special. I always say I’m going to shop early and be done but I never do.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

    • Good morning, Estella……Thanks for coming. The children have such wide-eyed expressions as they take everything all in. I love watching them too, and hearing the excitement in their voices. I hope you get to be around a lot of children this Christmas.

      Much love and good luck in the drawing!

  11. Hello Linda, What a beautiful book cover. What I Love about Christmas is everything. The family time, waking up to big and little faces that are excited on Christmas morning. Cooking a huge family breakfast , complete with bacon, eggs, pancakes and all the whatever anyone wants.
    This year will be a little different as I lost my lil momma in May. A little sadness when we read the Christmas Story. God Bless all of you and may the Christmas light shine on each of you.

    • Good morning, Roberta……Thank you for the compliment on the Christmas book. I love it too. I’m sorry your little momma is in heaven but she’ll have a grand time up there. Just try to focus on that and not the hole left in your heart. God bless and keep you.

      Tender hugs! Good luck in the drawing!

  12. I love everything about Christmas. The food, smells, lights, sdnow and of course the meaning of Christmas.

    • Good morning, Cathy…….It sounds like you really enjoy the holiday. It is very special. Probably the most special time of the year.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

    • Good morning, Sally…..I’m glad you enjoyed the little excerpt. I, too, love snow at Christmas and am always disappointed when it doesn’t. I hear we’re supposed to get a lot of snow here in the Texas Panhandle so maybe it will snow this year on Christmas. 🙂

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  13. I really enjoy the food at Christmas but mostly would I love is spending time with the family. It seem in this busy world of ours we just don’t spend enough time with the family. Your new book sound fabulous with some great authors.

    • Good morning, Quilt Lady…..It’s so good to see you. It seems family is the most important thing with the commenters on here today. It is for me too. It’s the only time we can all get together so I cherish these moments as I’m sure you do too. I know you’re going to love this Christmas book and I think the stories will remind you of home.

      Much love and hugs! Good luck in the drawing!

  14. Hi Linda. Your story sounds lovely and I have a feeling that tissues will be needed. You asked what we love and I have to mention all three that you listed. The smells , sounds and food all are part of my Christmas memories. The scent of tive pine tree when I was younger, the smell ofcinnamon coming from the kitchen. Christmas music coming from our radio, telling about Jesus’s birth and also reminding me that I’d better be good! Santa’s Ho-Ho-Ho as he stood on the corner of Main Street in our little town, my squeals of delight that have echoed and been repeated by my daughter and now my granddaughter. Traditional food such as Jam cake as only my mother could make it and Country Ham because my Daddy loved it. Yes, Christmas us a time to remember my past and to help my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter make her own memories!

    • Good morning, Connie……So great to see you. It sounds like Christmas is a very special time for you. Love will just spill from your house. I think it’s important to remember the past times we cherish now in our memories but also delight in helping our young ones make theirs. Yes, you may need tissues a time or two. The people in my story are all alone and dreading spending the holiday surrounded by emptiness. Nothing is worse I think than being alone when everyone else is full of happiness and cheer. But miracles happen and love abounds. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll really enjoy the one in my story. He tried to take it over and I had to wrestle it away from him.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  15. I started a tradition in our family of having a tree trimming party every year. After 40 plus years my grown daughter is taking over the reins. Our youngest this year will be her new son and my first grandchild who is 1 month old and my mom who is 95!

    • Good morning, Catslady……Great to see you. Your tree trimming party sounds like a fun affair full of laughter and love. And how great to have your mom and your grandchild! That’s cause for great celebration.

      Much love and hugs! Good luck in the drawing.

  16. The music, I just really feels it captures the spirit of the holiday, and goes into our soul. Reading a Linda Broday is a gift that keeps on giving.

    • Good morning, Karen……Music does fill our souls down to our feet. I love the carols and also all the other. My favorite Christmas song is I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I always think of our military who are serving far from home. So sad that they’ll only be home in their dreams.

      Thank you so much for the kind words about my stories. That thrills my heart. 🙂

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  17. I am happy to hear about this new Christmas anthology. I love Christmas stories, and I read lots of them in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There is just an extra dose of warmth, love, and hope in these stories as well as in the music, movies, decorations, gatherings of friends and family, and church services. That’s what I love the most – the uplifting of our spirits and the renewal of hope.

    • Good morning, Cheryl C……..I’m so glad you came. I love your passion and I do think the best part of Christmas is the renewal of hope and uplifting of spirits. We just need that desperately, especially in this day and time with so much violence and anger around us. We need that uplifting to sustain us through the trials and remind us that we’re never truly alone.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  18. Christmas is about family and the reason we for being. I love the smells and time I spends with everyone. Love to see the tree and the children’s react to the lights. Any book my friend Tonya Lucas tells me to reads is so worth the time.

    • Good morning, Kristi……Thank you for coming over! I’m glad to see you here. Christmas appears a special, magical time for you. Oh wow! Tonya Lucas seems to be my book fairy. 🙂 She’s such a dear friend. I do hope you enjoy the books she recommends, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  19. I love everything Christmas especially the meaning of it. Second would be my family and all the fun we have. I love to decorate and go Christmas shopping(looking for all the great deals).
    So excited about your new book, I love reading Christmas book starting at the end of October. Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms will be the perfect read for me. Now I’m so excited I might start my Christmas reading in October!!!!

    • Hi Pam……Glad you came. You definitely have your priorities in order. Celebrating the meaning of Christmas has to come first. All else second. I’m happy this Christmas book has caught your interest. I do think you’ll like these stories.

      Good luck in winning a copy!

  20. I have been starting to think of gifts for people… I love the music, the goodies we bake… always use cinnamon oil to make things smell wonderful in the house! 🙂

    • Hi Colleen……..So have I. I actually have a little list started. Of course, the list doesn’t equal having bought them but it’s early. I love the smell of cinnamon. That will really put you in the Christmas mood. Good smells and sounds just soothe our spirits like nothing else. Since I don’t bake much, I’m going to come to your house.

      Big hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  21. What’s not to love about Christmas?! For me I feel like it brings a sense of love and togetherness. The music that everyone hears and listens to is uplifting and fun. The smells and special traditions are also some of my best memories. Ever year we have a sugar cookie decorating contest. Also Watching the best movies with my kiddos warms my heart. My boys who are 8 and 5 now ask to to watch my favorite White Christmas. Everything Christmas warms my heart!

    • Hi Cori…….I’m happy to see you. My how your boys are growing! They’re at a great age. I’m sure the excitement is already building at your house. I love watching Christmas movies and reading holiday books. Your sugar cookie decorating contest sound like great fun.

      Big hugs and good luck in winning this book!

    • Hi Mary B…….Thanks for coming. In all the hustle and bustle, we should never forget to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Surrounding ourselves with the warmth of family makes the holiday much better.

      Big hugs! Good luck in the drawing!

  22. Howdy Linda, congrats to you (and Margaret, too) on the lovely-sounding story and great collection! I can’t wait to cuddle up with your Hank. Of course Jesus is the reason for the season, but I love every secular second from Santa to legends and everything else. I love a blazing fireplace with stockings above it, and white twinkly lights everywhere. Last year I got bunches of strands of tiny fairy lights (original purpose: wedding centerpieces LOL) and stuck them on wreathes, candles, my deer antlers…can’t wait to go it again. Of course my family is the main centerpiece! Love to you, my friend, and congratulations again! xoxox

    • Hi Tanya!!! It’s great to see you, girl. I hope you’re doing well. The lights make everything so pretty at Christmas. I can only imagine how they’ll light up your house and add that little bit of magic. Yes, family is everything always. I hope you’ll enjoy these Christmas stories.

      Much love and hugs, dear friend!

    • Hi Denise…..Thanks for coming an weighing in on the discussion. I hope this Christmas is full of everything that warms your heart.

      Hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  23. I love everything about Christmas. Most of what I enjoy centers around family. Baking all those special things we make just during the Holidays. Teaching the younger generation how to cook those special things as well as make some of the special crafts we do for the Holidays. I love the Christmas music (but not starting in October) and seeing the decorations people put up. Decorating the house and yard is a family affair including Christmas cookies, popcorn, hot chocolate, and maybe an Irish Coffee by the fire when we are done. I have a bookcase of Holiday reads which I try tor reread every year and which I add to every year. Many are anthologies which are perfect for this busy time of the year. This one will be the perfect addition for this year.

    • Hi Patricia……Seeing your name come up always brings a smile. Families are what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? We just love to be together and filling the house with laughter and good smells. I hope you enjoy Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms.

      Much love and hugs!

  24. I love seeing my grandchildren’s faces light up when they see what Santa has left them for Christmas. What a delight! It makes my heart happy.

    • Hi Melanie…….Thanks for coming. Those little ones are so much fun to watch. They get really excited with the tree, the lights, the gifts. I love watching them.

      Wishing you a happy heart. Hugs!

  25. I love revisiting old memories, all the family getting together, a big pitch in dinner, then giving the little ones a gift, always on Christmas Eve. I cherish those memories.

    • Hi Lesia…….Thanks for stopping by. Those memories often have to fill the spaces inside us. I, too, think about time’s past and my loved ones who are no longer here. We used to all gather at my mom’s but after she passed we kinda scattered. We don’t get together anymore. I miss those times.

      Hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  26. Congrats on your newest release! I love the festive atmosphere of Christmas, the smell of peppermint and hot chocolate, decorating the Christmas tree with the family….

    • Hi MH……I’m so glad you came. Thank you for the congrats. I’m just really excited to be in this anthology with so many bestselling authors. Enjoy the sights and smells this Christmas and keep loved ones close.

      Hugs and Good Luck in the drawing!

  27. I love the spirit of the season. Mostly though,I love being with my family. Sharing the spirit of the season with them.

  28. I love the smell of cinnamon so I start it in my wax warmer just ASAP close to Christmas as I can

    • Hi Miss Glenda…..Glad you came. I’m going to come to your house because I love the smell of cinnamon too. Just so nice and it adds cheer. Enjoy being with your daughters and son.

      Much love and hugs!

    • Hi Caryl……The birth of Jesus is a very special time. I never tire of hearing the story of how he came into the world. Thank you for the congrats on this release. I think these stories embody the spirit of Christmas.

      Hugs and good luck in the drawing!

  29. Purchasing just the right gift for my family, Checking out the holiday sights and sounds at Disneyworld, especially the gingerbread houses in the resorts (we live 2 hours away), the special foods, and decorating our tree with Margaritaville like ornaments. … the holiday books from my favorite authors. Definitely looking forward to reading Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms.

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