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Laura Chapman: My father is a percussionist – or drummer if you like. My childhood memories are filled with his performances, which varied from jamming on a trap-set with a swing band to donning a tuxedo and playing the timpani with a full orchestra. When Libby Mercer suggested writing a story with a connection to the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” I had my inspiration. I’d write Twelve Drummers Drumming, the tale of a drummer and his wife as an homage to my dad – the best drummer I know – and to my mom, who is the most patient and supportive woman in the world.
Libby Mercer: Actually, I made a conscious decision not to write a holiday love story. I’d been feeling a bit burned out when it comes to writing romantic prose, so I decided I wanted to do something completely different and that’s how I came up with the idea for a Secret Santa treasure hunt. Once I started writing it, however, the story took on a life of its own, and I had to adjust my intentions. You can’t ignore the muse!
Isabella Louise Anderson: My inspiration for writing Meet Me Under the Mistletoe was my family's ranch in east Texas. When white lights are hung around the exterior and a fire is lit inside, it gives off a magical feeling of a country Christmas. It's my favorite place to celebrate the holiday or, like my character, sit in front of the fireplace and write.
Lauren Clark: I was inspired to write A Very Dixie Christmas because I had so many readers ask me to continue the Dancing Naked in Dixie storyline. This time, I focused on Shug Jordan's sister, who opens a bakery in Eufaula. PD (Patricia Dye Jordan) is a single mom whose 8-year-old daughter decides she's not certain she believes in Santa Claus anymore. With the help of one very charming and adorable UPS man, PD saves Christmas for several families in town, finds happiness, and restores her daughter's faith in the magic of the holiday season.
Nancy Scrofano: The inspiration for Ice Dating came from watching an episode of the sitcom Reba. One of her friends convinced her to go to a speed dating event. Of course, it was awkward and hilarious. I wanted to come up with a way to put a holiday twist on speed dating, so I thought of speed dating on ice. And to my surprise, it’s actually real. It isn’t popular at all, but there have been a few ice dating events before. I knew that would be the perfect setting for a Grinch-type main character to express her cynical humor.
Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.