Christmas In July

Monday, July 24, 2023 by Patti Shene









TITLE:  A Mommy by Christmas

BLURB:  A community care center, a calico cat, and Christmas—can a single middle-aged woman bring a town together in time to celebrate the King’s birthday? Can a widowed father find a reason to join in? And can the pair see God at work in their lives?

Check here for an excerpt from A Mommy by Christmas

GIVEAWAY: Answer the following question to be entered into a random drawing for a free ebook copy of A Mommy By Christmas;

Question:  Do you think you’d like living in a small town like Christmas Ridge? Why or why not?

PLEASE cleverly disguise your email address so you don’t get phished. For example: donna AT livebytheword DOT com







Donna Schlachter


When I was asked if I’d be interested in writing a book set in a small community in Colorado around Christmas, I was excited. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite holidays. I’m sure it has something to do with lots of food, especially desserts. But I know I love these holidays because they point me to God, and my gratitude for Him sending His Son. Of course, Resurrection Day is the highlight of my year, because without that, there would be no hope.


But back to the “Finding Love in Christmas Ridge” series. A community center, which is the hub of activity for the town, features in every book. There are a few central characters, such as the center manager, the director, and a medical student who does janitorial and custodial work. As a group, we laid out the town and the community center, then each author was free to set their own stories. We were to include those key characters, and could mention each others’ as well.


In figuring out what story I wanted to tell, I needed characters. A little boy came to mind, one who wanted a mommy but was afraid to voice his longing to his dad, as they both grieved her recent passing. Next came his daddy—but what might he do for a living? Perhaps the town veterinarian. Which immediately brought to mind a dear friend who is a vet.


And now, the heroine. Sort of like me, but not quite. I have a friend who is a print and design broker, and she works from home, so that fit my idea.


Next, they each needed a story. A problem. And dreams and desires.


Tasmyn Wright, consigned to remain single if that’s what God wants, is lonely. Maybe she needs a fur-pet. On a whim, she visits the local animal shelter. A delightful man about her own age helps her choose her new housemate, a long-haired calico she promptly names Belle because the creature is so beautiful. And as captivated as she is with her choice, the kind man at the shelter takes up far too much of her thoughts. But with a new member of her household, her work-at-home job as a print broker, and her volunteer work at the community care center, she has no time for romance.


Wim Sutton, the widowed father of seven-year-old Noah, loves his job as veterinarian at the shelter. Not only does he get to fix up sick or injured animals, he thrills at matching adoptees with their forever families. Take Tasmyn Wright, for example. Clearly Belle was in kitty heaven-on-earth. Still, he senses the cat will have its work cut out if it’s going to bring Tasmyn out of her shell. Although she occupies a good deal of his thoughts, he needs to focus on his son and his job. Since his wife’s passing suddenly from cancer the year before, Noah has struggled in school and in church. No, he needs to focus on his own family before he even thinks about expanding it.


Writing the story was easy, given that now that I knew these people, putting on paper what they’d say and do in the sticky situations I placed them in was simple. Not to say I didn’t cry at a couple of points, because I did. Loss is never easy.


A hybrid author, Donna Schlachter writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter. She is taking all the information she’s learned along the way about the writing and publishing process, and is coaching writers at any stage of their manuscript. Learn more at this link.


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and the rest of the Christmas Ridge Romance Series here



TITLE:  Christmas Falls

BLURB:  When motorcycle-riding Reggie Sweet falls and hits her head, she meets the man of her dreams. But is she dreaming? Or is he real? 

Motorcyclist Reggie Sweet comes to Christmas Ridge for a job as the new morning host on the local radio station. When she visits the Christmas Ridge Community Center to coordinate a destination for a Toy Run to collect gifts for underprivileged kids, she slips and falls on ice hitting her head. She opens her eyes to see Shane Spencer, her dream guy. 

But is she unconscious and dreaming? Or is he real? If she’s dreaming, why not cut loose, get a little crazy, and have some fun? But if this is her life, she’s making a fool of herself. 

Shane Spencer wishes he could date a girl who doesn’t know he’s a country music star and would just like him for who he is. Could this biker gal be her? 

If Reggie’s romance with the man of her dreams occurs while she’s unconscious, what happens when she wakes up? Will he be gone forever? Or can dreams come true? 

In Christmas Falls, Reggie Sweet falls for the man who loves her like no other. But is he real? 

GIVEAWAY: ebook (leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing for this Christmas novella. Drawing closes Friday, July 28th at midnight MT)



F. Tilly Brownne writes women’s fiction, drama, sweet & clean historical as well as contemporary romance, and Christian fiction. She writes nonfiction and screenplays as Dianne E. Butts, and has been known to produce a few award-winning short films. Everything she writes contains at least a thread of Christian faith. When not writing she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, gardening, and photography, which she uses on the covers of her line of journals. She lives in beautiful Colorado. Connect with F. Tilly:







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TITLE:  Cathy’s Christmas Confession

BLURB:  During a snowstorm, widow Cathy Fischer creams a stop sign on her way to work at the Christmas Ridge Community Church. Acquaintance David Martin stops to help. Cathy sees signs of deep grief in David, a recent widower. She reaches out with support in an attempt to help David through this most difficult first Christmas without his beloved wife.

David Martin struggles with grief over the death of his wife. He blames God for her rapid demise after her cancer diagnosis. Cathy reaches out to him with compassion and support and soon enlists him in her mission to bring joy to others at Christmas. Will their joint quest restore David’s faith?

David needs to turn loose of the past and embrace his future. Cathy has a confession to make to the entire community that may give David a different perspective of who she really is. Will her confession set her free?

Does God have plans in mind for the two of them they did not anticipate?

GIVEAWAY: print or ebook (leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing for this Christmas novella. Drawing closes Friday, July 28th at midnight MT)


Patti Shene Gonzales hosts Step Into the Light, a weekly interview style podcast, where guests share their journey out of darkness or ways they lead others out of darkness. She hosts writers on her two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer. Patti enjoyed a thirty-year career as a psychiatric nurse and has always harbored a desire to write. Cathy’s Christmas Confession released in November 2022 and is her first full-length published work. Patti enjoys writing, reading, critiquing, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Colorado with her devoted feline companion, Duncan. Connect with Patti:

Website  (sign up for my two blogs, Patti's Porch and The Over 50 Writer and podcast Step Into the Light or just one of the three or any combination as you prefer)

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 Twitter: @pattishene

 Linkedin: @Patti Shene

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 Amazon Author Page


 Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a chance to witn a copy of all three books in the Christmas Ridge Romance series! Drawing closes on Friday, July 28th at midnight MT.



Diane CRdinale From Schroon Lake At 7/28/2023 10:56:05 PM

I just bought your book today Patti. Can’t wait to read it. Will read on my flight to Italy. Was so happy to meet you. I knew your Mom, wonderful lady.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you so much, Diane! It was a pleasure to meet you. Have a great time in Italy and enjoy the book.

Rosalind From Schroon Lake, NY At 7/27/2023 8:11:09 AM

They are all very much the kind of books I live to read.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Rosalind. Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us know you were here!

Debbie Chadbourne From Schroon Lake, NY At 7/26/2023 9:54:09 AM

How wonderful to enjoy the Christmas spirit in the hot days of summer and then curled up on the cold winter day.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Debbie. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing the joy of Christmas with us during the hot summer months.

Connie Hasb From Bayport n y At 7/25/2023 8:11:00 PM

Good luck with your books ladies. Patti I would love to get yours.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you, Connie! If you don't win the drawing, I will try to remember to send you a copy. We go back a looonnngggg way! Hugs!

Patty From Schroon Lake At 7/25/2023 3:13:52 PM

Love to read and Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Patty. Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation.

Ellie From Schroon Lake At 7/25/2023 12:32:37 PM

As a former journalist, I respect anyone who can write. Congratulations!!!!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you, Ellie, for stopping by. Journalism is its own special form of writing.

Michele La Puzz From Hawley PA At 7/25/2023 9:26:18 AM

Would love to read your Christmas book, your Christmas book looks like a great read and all the other books look great too! Heard you are a great author! ??

Reply by: Patti Shene

Oh, MIchele, thank you for your kind words! Can't hardly claim "great author" status yet, but I appreciate your support.

Wendy Meyer From nappanee Indiana At 7/24/2023 9:53:31 PM

After reading Patti’s Christmas book I would love to read the other books. Christmas is my most favorite holiday and I love reading Christmas themed, story books! Merry Christmas ??

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Wendy! Thank you for your kind words and for the Christmas greetings! Merry Christmas to you!

Terry Johnson From Schroon Lake, NY At 7/24/2023 9:48:04 PM

What could be better than Christmas books?? They look great and I look forward to reading them all!! Thank you!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Terry! It's a joy to see you here! Thank you for your love and support, sis!!!

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