Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sarah McNeal and the Importance of Christmas Stories?

KAREN: Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of time travel, historical romance and paranormal romance novels at Publish with Rebecca J. Vickery, Vickery Tales Press and Western Trail Blazers. She's here to chat about the importance of Christmas stories. Do you have a favorite Christmas tale? 

Sarah will be giving away a copy of Gifts From the Afterlife in digital format to one lucky winner. Read on and find out how you may add this book to your Christmas stocking. Good Luck!

How Important Are Christmas Stories?
By Sarah McNeal

Ever notice how many popular authors consistently put our Christmas books?  Most publishers also offer Christmas themed anthologies as well. I have no statistics to prove one way or another whether publishing Christmas stories is profitable or even if they help get an author’s name out there, but I know from my own taste in reading that I am a Christmas story enthusiast. I can’t call it the Christmas season unless I’ve got a couple  Christmas themed stories ready to read—and I love it when romance is involved.

Every year my publisher, Victory Tales Press, offers a new Christmas collection of stories by several writers and I think it’s a wonderful advantage for both authors and readers. Anthologies are a useful way for a new author to find readers and it helps if some established writers are in the mix. It’s like have a safety net of sorts. The first time I ever read a Linda Lael Miller western romance was in an anthology. I have been a fan of hers ever since.

Heartaches of heartaches, I missed out on the Christmas Collection this year, but all is not lost. My story from last year’s Christmas Collection, Gifts From the Afterlife, has released as a single at the $.99 bookstore just in time for Christmas. Here’s a little sumpthin’-sumpthin’ from my story:
 How dark must it get before Lydia sees the light?

Sarah will be giving away a copy of Gifts From the Afterlife in digital format to someone who can answer this question: What is Lydia’s neighbor offering to do for her in return for the use of her stove? Contest ends at Midnight. Good Luck!

Lydia Sinclair’s life has run off the rails.  She has lost everyone she loves and Christmas has lost its meaning.  As Christmas approaches, Lydia wants to go to sleep and never wake up again.  Perhaps an angel, some ghosts and a childhood sweetheart can convince her that life is worth living again.  Can Lydia let go of what once was, renew her joy in Christmas and find the promise of hope for her future?

 "I don't get 'liquored up' and, yes, my name is Lydia Sinclair. You're not a stalker, are you?" She gave him what she hoped was a piercing look then peered at the grocery bags. "So, now that we've established you're not a serial killer, a stalker, or a scam artist, what is it you want?"

"Very nice, Lydia Sinclair. I couldn't feel more welcome than if I had walked into a pit of feral cats." He chuckled. "I thought this being Christmas Eve with me just next door and who, by the way, has no electricity might come over to your house and ask to borrow your stove in return for a Christmas Eve dinner." He winked. "Complete with dessert."

"You cook?" Nothing could be more unbelievable than a drop dead gorgeous man who cooked.

The grin grew even bigger. "Yes ma'am, I do, and pretty damn good. I picked it up when I was doing post graduate work. The motto was either learn to cook or starve." He picked up his bags again. "So, what'd you say? Free dinner sound good to you? Besides, it's Christmas Eve. Nobody wants to be alone on Christmas Eve."

Now where had she heard that before? Her teeth began to clack together from the cold. The moment of truth was upon her. Instinctively, she knew if she turned this man away, her life would carry on the same as it had been or, if she invited him in and shared Christmas Eve dinner with him, her life might just take a whole new turn.

You can purchase a copy of Gifts From the Afterlife at:

Where you can find Sarah McNeal:


Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Karen. It's always fun to be here.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


You're so welcome. I love your interesting posts and hearing about your new releases!

Melissa Fox said... Best Blogger Tips

Lydia gets dinner, dessert, AND a handsome man! Now that sounds like a great Christmas present to me! Enjoyed the excerpt - oh, the possibilities...

Rebecca J Vickery said... Best Blogger Tips

Loved this story, Sarah. Well-written Christmas stories just seem to make the holidays even more special -- like the feelings we get watching It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol.
Keep blogging Ladies!

Cheryl Pierson said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah, I can't wait to read Gifts from the Afterlife. I have fallen behind so far in my reading for pleasure--it seems that every minute is taken up with reading for BUSINESS. LOL But I'm hoping to have all my ducks in a row by the week of Christmas and just be able to sit down and READ. I love Christmas stories so much, and this one looks like another winner!

LisaRayns said... Best Blogger Tips

My mom loves Christmas stories. She's so happy this time of year.

Diane Craver said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the excerpt you shared. Great dialogue - I already want to read more about Lydia and her drop dead gorgeous man next door!

I was wondering since you write time travel, historical romance and paranormal romance, do you have a favorite genre to write? And what is your favorite genre to read? Thanks ahead.

katsrus said... Best Blogger Tips

I love anthologies. I always find new authors. And a Christmas one even better. Thanks for the giveaway.
Sue B

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Rebecca, thank you so much for taking the time to come and read my blog. Your kind words mean a lot to me.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Melissa, you are so funny. Yes, Lydia did get the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm so glad you liked the excerpt. Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time to come by. You aren't alone about getting behind on reading--me too. I am reading your Christmas story about the characters from legendary Camelot. I am so hoping that little Jeremy finds a home with Arthur and Ginny. I love this story so far.
Thank you once again for always being so supportive.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Lisa, my mother loved Christmas, too. It was never the same after she died. I hope you enjoy every moment of the holidays with your mom. Thank you so much coming by and commenting on my blog today.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Diane, thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I am so glad you liked my excerpt and the dialogue. I really appreciate that you dropped by.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Sue, I love anthologies, too. I have found some fantastic authors from reading their short stories in an anthology. You're right about finding new authors that way. Thank you so mc for coming by and leaving a comment.

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice excerpt. He's going to cook her a Christmas Eve dinner with dessert.


Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

I really like Christmas stories. I've been watching the Hallmark stories for the holidays. Of course my dad thinks they're too sappy. lol

Your story sounds really good.


Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

bn100, yes, he's going to cook her a dinner that includes dessert. I like men who can cook. Once I had my pldest sister's son and my middle sister's son living with me and both of them cook. One nephew specialized in main dishes and the other in desserts. It was a very good time for me.
Thank you so much for your kind comment and for stopping by.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Katrina, I've been watching the Hallmark Channel's Christmas stories, too. There's nothing sappy about love. Love makes the world go round. Men, what can I say? I think ice fishing is sappy--and boring, but men do it anyhow. LOL
Thank you so much for droppy be and leaving a comment.

Jenny Twist said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sarah. I'm so glad you wrote this. I was wondering myself whether it was worth writing Christmas stories. I know now you, at least, read them. Lots of love

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Even in the music businss artisits make Christmas albums--including Jewish artists like Barbara Striesand. Says to me that Christmas stories, like Christmas albums must be very important.
Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment, Jenny. I really appreciate it.