Welcome Guest Author Leah Braemel!

Hi Gang! I am so happy to welcome one of my favorite tweet buddies…Leah Braemel. She’s also one of my favorite writers! This is Leah’s first visit to our little corner of the internet, so help me make her feel welcome…WELCOME, LEAH! Take it away…

Late one Christmas Eve when I was six or seven, I listened to a narrator tell the story of The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. About a young couple, James and Della, deeply in love, but so poor they couldn’t afford to buy each other a present. They sacrificed their most prized possessions to buy that special gift for each other. James traded in his heirloom watch to buy ivory combs for Della’s knee-length hair of which he was so proud not knowing Della had sold her hair for enough money to buy him a silver watch fob. In the end, neither of them could use their presents, but it proved to me even at that young age, that the thought behind the gift was worth more than the monetary value.

Ever since then I’ve always tried to put a lot of thought into each present I bought. To tell the receiver that I thought specifically of them when I bought it, or made it. It’s tough to do sometimes. Especially if the person you’re buying for already has everything they want, and hasn’t given you any ideas. (Yes, I’m looking directly at my husband!) But still, I try to put that thought into the gifts.

So when I was invited to be part of the Carina Press Red Hot Holiday anthology, I knew I knew I wanted to write a feel-good happy story and wanted my own hero and heroine to feel the same way. To face similar decisions of having to give up something they really loved—in their cases, their careers—in order to be with the other.

In my I Need You for Christmas, Ryan knows moving to the arctic circle might affect his future as an artist, his accessibility to the art world, yet he doesn’t hesitate to make plans to be with Meg. And Meg, who has dreamed all her life of serving with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, makes a decision that she can still serve the Canadian public just with a different force. More drastic than Della cutting her hair, but the same thought is there. Though perhaps their motives are a little more selfish too.

Is there a particular present you’ve bought for someone that meant a sacrifice? Have you ever received one that showed that the person giving it to you was thinking specifically of you when they bought or made it? Is there one you’ll always treasure?

Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of one of my backlist.  Then pop over to my website and leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle in my “I Need A Kindle for Christmas” contest, and don’t forget the Merry Menage giveaway too.

You can buy I Need You for Christmas from Carina Press,  or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Apple. You can also buy the entire Red Hot Holiday anthology, with stories by KA Mitchell and Anne Calhoun.  Or you can listen to the entire Red Hot Holiday anthology as an audio book from Audible.

The only woman in a houseful of men (even the cat and dog are male), Leah Braemel loves hiding away from all the testosterone to let the dust bunnies fend for themselves. You can visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or on FaceBook and Goodreads. Don’t miss her upcoming print release of Private Deceptions, an anthology containing Private Property and Deliberate Deceptions from her Hauberk Protection series.