Tuesday, November 6, 2018

We have a friend in Anita Hughes...plus a book giveaway

We're pleased to have Anita Hughes back at CLC to get us into the holiday spirit with her latest novel, Christmas at the Chalet. Doesn't the cover look cozy? Anita is participating in our Disney and Fairy Tales theme month by telling us which Disney character she can relate to the most. Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have one copy of Christmas at the Chalet to give away!

Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named "One of Australia's Next Best Writers." (She still has the newspaper clipping.)

She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program.

Her debut novel MONARCH BEACH was released in June 2012, followed by MARKET STREET and LAKE COMO in 2013. FRENCH COAST and ROME IN LOVE were released in 2015.

ISLAND IN THE SEA: A MAJORCA LOVE STORY and SANTORINI SUNSETS and her first holiday novel, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, were released in 2016.


CALIFORNIA SUMMER was published this past June.

Anita lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets. (Courtesy of Anita's website.)

Visit Anita online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

It's the day after Christmas, and Felicity Grant is at a gorgeous ski chalet in St. Moritz for the biggest fashion show of her career. Felicity is a rising star on the bridal design scene, and this is her best collection yet. But when her boyfriend gives her a spa day instead of a diamond ring for Christmas, she has to face the possibility that she may never walk down the aisle in one of her own stunning designs.

And then there's Nell, the top model headlining Felicity's show. Nell is planning her dream wedding to her wonderful fiancé with one catch: her divorced parents can't stand each other and threaten to no-show if the other is there.

Add to that Felicity's race against the clock to create a special gown for a prestigious bridal salon, and what both girls need is a Christmas miracle. What better place to find one than in the Swiss Alps with its dark forests and sparkling vistas?

But for Felicity it's hard to recognize a miracle even when it's right in front of her, and for Nell one miracle might not be enough to fix the past. Can dreams really come true or is that the stuff of Swiss fairy tales?
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

Which Disney character am I most like?

I thought about this question as I start preparing for the holidays. One of the best parts about the holidays is Christmas with my children and I still remember a Christmas almost twenty-five years ago. My son was about three at the time, and he got a Buzz Lightyear toy in a McDonald's Happy Meal. Of all the Christmas presents (including real presents bought with much anticipation from the toy store) that was his favorite and it resulted in watching Toy Story again and again.

Twenty-five years later, that memory resonates with me because I am beginning to feel a bit like Woody - one of my favorite characters in the movie. Woody is the most loyal toy but he feels that Andy has outgrown him .He worries that he isn't really needed anymore and he'll be assigned to the toy box in the attic.

My children are mostly grown now and it's easy to feel a little like Woody - greatly loved by one's children but not really needed. It's common for mothers with adult children to feel like that - we long for the things that used to drive us crazy: days that revolved around a child's nap, the endless lines at Toys 'R' Us (which of course doesn't exist anymore) rainy afternoons when one tries anything to entertain the gloomy faces glued to TV or computer screens.

But just as I'm feeling a little "Woody" like, I get a text or a call from a child at college or one on the way home from work with some exciting update about their lives. Another daughter wants me to book a plane flight home or asks my advice on picking out a Christmas present. I realize that why I may feel like Woody, I'm still greatly needed after all. And if I happened to have kept that Buzz Lightyear toy (unbeknownst to my son), I'm confident that one day when he marries and has children, it will find a new home with his own son or daughter and my grandchild.

Thanks to Anita for visiting with us and to St. Martin's Press for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends November 11th at midnight EST.


desdemona said...

I had a teddy bear named JoJo. I still have that bear!

Janine said...

I had a stuffed tiger that I took everywhere. I remember some of the fur was wore off in some areas because I slept with him every night and when we weren't sleeping, he got a lot of hugs.

Kelley B said...

I loved my Barbie dolls.

susieqlaw said...

My teddy bear.

Suburban prep said...

I think it was called Dancerina or something like that. I loved ballet and this was a doll that moved with ballet steps.

traveler said...

I enjoyed playing with a tea set. This was a special gift which I treasured greatly.

Elizabeth G said...

I had a Madame Alexander baby doll who I loved. She had dark hair and blue eyes like me. Most dark haired babies always had brown eyes. My best friend actually bought me one as an adult for Christmas one year. She knew that I had always been looking for one. ❤️😍

Kathy said...

I have my Barbie that I got in 1962. I also have a Madame Alexander I got a few years before that. Love them both. Thanks for the chance.

Di said...

My Pop Pop gave me my first Barbie with various outfits including a beautiful wedding dress.

Mary C said...

A Panda Bear

Joanne Mielczarski said...

My Shirley Temple doll.

Jan H said...

I had a Barbie doll.

jean602 said...

Lots of arts and crafts.

Rita Wray said...

I have a teddy bear which I have had since childhood.

Mary Preston said...

I had a doll called Petranella. She was beautiful.

diannekc said...

My teddy bear. I still have him.

Linda Kish said...

I had a big stuffed tiger.

bn100 said...

can't remember

Patricia said...

My stuffed “animal,” which was really more of an cubist pillow, that my dad had named “Googley.” I went everywhere with Googley for a while. ;-)