In the spring, I issued invitations to fifteen of my friends who write Westerns or Western Romance (or in one case horse racing romance) to submit stories for a Christmas anthology set in my town of Sweetwater Springs, Montana in 1895. Ten of them accepted for Sweetwater Springs Christmas. I think none of us had any idea of how much work this kind of collaboration would be. It wasn't easy for them to write in MY "world" and in some cases, the authors had never written short stories. (Nor did I have as much time as I thought to guide everyone because I was bogged down in finishing Harvest of Dreams, which went 30k longer than I expected.) Nor did I realize how much time I'd spend editing to make sure the stories matched my town and characters both from past and FUTURE stories. Since I have about ten stories in my head, that's a lot of characters no one knows about yet. For example, I couldn't accept another hero or heroine who'd be a doctor because the town already has a doctor and is about to acquire another.
But we've had a lot of fun in the process and friendships have grown out of the collaboration. I've LOVED seeing what other authors could do with stories set in Sweetwater Springs (with my characters making some brief appearances.) I hope you enjoy reading the collection as much as we've enjoyed creating it!
Here's the description:
Come celebrate the holidays in 1895 Sweetwater Springs, Montana, as ten Western Romance authors join New York Times Bestselling author DEBRA HOLLAND in telling SHORT STORIES of love and laughter, heartbreak and healing, and most of all, Christmas joy.
ELIZABETH AYERS - A CHRISTMAS FAR FROM HOME
Far from home, a young Wyoming rancher and the daughter of a Montana railroad man learn the true joy of Christmas is in giving.
LINDA CARROLL-BRADD - WISHES ON A STAR
Will a wish on a star foretell the future of a young suffragette and a visiting rancher?
MJ FREDRICK - ABIGAIL'S CHRISTMAS ANGEL
A lonely widow and a lonelier marshal make peace with their past.
DEBRA HOLLAND – THE GIFT OF MUSIC
Can two reserved people overcome their limitations and find love?
DEBRA HOLLAND - A FAMILY FOR IKE
A newly-orphaned boy finds and unexpected family.
DEBRA HOLLAND - THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS
The town banker learns that perhaps some things are more important than money.
PATY JAGER – A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
Ida doesn't remember the last two years, but her husband is determined to find her and reignite their love.
JILL MARIE LANDIS - UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
A spinster discovers it's never too late to embrace love and the surprises life has in store.
TRISH MILBURN – A NEW HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
A woman scarred in face and heart finds love with a cowboy.
LINDA MCLAUGHLIN - THE BEST PRESENT
A grieving ten-year-old girl anticipating a sad Christmas receives some holiday surprises.
BEV PETTERSEN - THE CHRISTMAS CROSSING
With a little Christmas magic, two searching hearts discover they can bridge much more than a raging river.
TORI SCOTT – A PROMISE FOR CHRISTMAS
Faced with her first Montana winter without her husband, Rachel Tanner and her young son need a miracle.
CINDY WOOLF - SUGARPLUM DREAMS
Julia Bosworth travels west to fulfill a special dream and finds her heart’s desire.