Monday, December 03, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside - but snuggle up, it's Christmas!

My second guest helping me celebrate my 20th anniversary are a group of hugely popular authors who have collaborated to produce a sizzling anthology of contemporary Christmas romances - Baby It's Cold Outside

I have no doubt that the cover will have you racing to the bottom of the page to click the "buy" links, but I did ask Kate Hardy, whose story is called Tis the Season to Kiss Santa (well, yes!), and the other authors, to tell me a little bit about how four authors collaborate on a project like this - and what they love about Christmas.

This is an anthology of books by four authors. How did that come about?

We’d heard that Entangled were looking for Christmas stories and we all really wanted to write one – especially one with snow – so we decided to pitch together, and Entangled loved our ideas.

How did you work together?
By email – Amy Andrews is in Australia, Aimee Carson is in the US, and Heidi Rice and I are in the UK, so email was the best way of dealing with all the time zones! So we bounced ideas off each other, made suggestions, and were basically each other’s cheerleaders. We have to credit Heidi with genius when it comes to titles :o)

What is/Is there a theme running through the stories?
Yes – they take place on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – and all our couples are brought together by a snowstorm. Hence ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’… but it’s definitely warm inside!

What, or who, was the inspiration for your story?
Kate: Making gingerbread men with my daughter and discussing the possibilities of making a gingerbread Christmas tree out of stars. That’s when I thought about having a pastry chef as a heroine – one who loves Christmas. And who better to pair her with than a man who hates Christmas?

Heidi: I used to have this great recurring dream as a child of getting stuck in a sweet shop overnight and being able to take anything I wanted. So when we came up with the snowed-in idea, I nabbed Christmas Day so I could fulfill my fantasy - which has matured somewhat since my childhood and now involves getting stuck in a luxury department store overnight with a hunky guy! So basically, the inspiration behind this story is my Curly Wurly addiction as a kid!

Amy: Initially it was a clip of Lady Antebellum singing Baby, It's Cold Outside and then I had a vision of my heroine all alone in a snowed-in cabin, tipsy on egg nog to keep her warm because she couldn't find any matches to light the fire, and I knew a strapping young man was going to come through the door and light her fire in more ways than one!
Aimee: Being snowed in one holiday season at the Seattle airport. Fortunately the weather cleared in time for me to make it home for Christmas.

Can you describe your book/ the anthology/ in a sentence or two?
Kate: TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.

Heidi: TIS THE SEASON TO LOVE SHOPPING One unlucky-in-love workaholic, one sexy single dad, a snowed-in department store on Fifth Avenue and a sprinkle of fantasy shopping make for one hot wish come true for two strangers on a chilly Christmas Day in New York City!

Amy: TIS THE SEASON TO BE KISSED A down-on-her-romantic-luck kindergarten teacher plans to drown her New Year’s Eve sorrows in a gallon of spiked eggnog, but the arrival of her best friend's sexy younger brother threatens to melt the snow piling up outside the tiny Vermont cabin.

After  the worst year ever, a jilted music manager rings in the New Year alone, swearing off men forever. But things get complicated when her brother's best friend, the perfect man with the perfect body, tempts her to break her vow—if only for one hot night!

What do you love about this book?
We have four completely different takes on the holidays – and I hope readers have as much fun reading it as we did writing it!

Who, if Hollywood came calling, would you choose to play your hero?
Kate: Robert Downey Junior. (Think Chaplin rather than Tony Stark – though I love the Marvel films!)

Heidi: I'm leaning towards the super-delicious Matt Boomer of White Collar fame (Google him, you won't be sorry!!!) for my sexy photojournalist hero Ryder Sinclair but I feel a lot more research on YouTube may be called for before I can make a definitive choice.

Amy: Zack Efron. The grown up Zack with the buzz cut from The Lucky One - not the teenager from High School Musical!!

Aimee: The super hunky Kiwi Karl Urban.

What do you love most about Christmas?
Kate: getting to see family and friends, sharing good meals and talking too much, laughing too much and playing board games (especially when we change the rules!).

Heidi: That wonderful feeling of expectation and sparkle that goes with the Season – which isn't so much to do with getting presents anymore but all about the anticipation of seeing family and friends, seeing the Christmas lights everywhere lighting up the dark nights, going to parties and generally enjoying the social whirl (but if my husband's reading this, I still want that Orla Kiely purse!)

Amy: You know - I just love everything about it! I love the whole season! But I mostly love the general good mood people are in, how we all seem to walk around with a spring in our steps and smile at strangers and bid them Merry Christmas. I love the whole goodwill to all men thing!

Aimee: Spending quality time with my kids while eating all sorts of delicious food. It's a twofer!

PS!  There's a download of the bookj for one commentor!

Baby It's Cold Outside is available here at Amazon UK and Amazon US.


Amy Andrews said...

Congrats Liz on 20 amazing years!

Kate Hardy said...

Thank you for having us, Liz - and congrats on 20 years and all those fantastic books :)

Heidi Rice said...

Me three, Liz! Thanks for having us and happy 20 years. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

20 years!That's amazing, Liz. And thanks so much for having us here today!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

A book by four of my favorite authors sounded too good to be true! It's on my Kindle ladies and I can't wait to read it.

Leigh Morgan said...

The Christmas anthology sounds like just the thing for the cold nights here in the mid-west! I love hearing about what inspires stories, it's fun to delve into the minds of creative people. Congrats on two decades, Liz! Amazingly Wonderful. Happy Holidays.
Leigh Morgan

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Don't know where my other comment went sooooo... First off, congrats on your anniversary Liz!

And so excited for a book by four of my favorite authors! I have it on my Kindle, ladies. Can't wait to read it.

Heidi Rice said...

Thanks Leigh, can honestly say this book with DEFINITELY keep you warm. LOL.

And Wendy, OMG! I hope you like it..

Carol Hedges said...

Congratulations Liz! A wonderful achievement. I have to say, just looking at the cover of this, on a cold frosty morning, brought a warm feeling to my coldy body ! Hahaha

bn100 said...

Congrats! This sounds good.


jbcweiss said...

I love Christmas anthologies and this looks like one I won't want to miss. Thanks for sharing!

jbcweiss AT sbcglobal DOT net