Welcome to the kickoff for the All I Want For Christmas is You Readalong that I’m co-hosting with Forever Romance! Like last year’s read of Jenny Hale’s Christmassy book, we’ll be reading and sharing thoughts on Twitter and Instagram. I wanted to take a minute to remind you all that we are starting TODAY and hopefully you’d like to join us!
🎄December 9: Chapter 1-5
🎄December 10: Chapter 6-10
🎄December 11: Chapter 11-15
🎄December 12: Chapter 16-20
🎄December 13: Chapter 21-Epilogue
Interview with Miranda Liasson
What was your inspiration for the Angel Falls setting? What are some of your favorite restaurants or establishments to write about in the small town?
There’s a village about an hour away from where I live in Northeast Ohio called Chagrin Falls. I got to know it a little better a few years ago when I had to drive my kids there for SAT prep classes. I would drop them off and then take my laptop to the local coffee shop and hang out there while they did their thing. In the process, I got to explore the Main Street, see the pretty old homes, and check out the falls which are in the middle of the downtown. There is a beautiful park next to the river where they hold art shows and other events. It’s probably the prettiest small town I’ve ever seen, and it’s filled with theater, arts, activities, etc.—very vibrant.
I was excited that my editor let me locate a small town in Ohio. I mean, Ohio is in the heartland. There are no mountains and no beaches…but Ohio offers plenty of small-town charm and good old fashioned Midwestern friendliness.
On the main street, there are a coffee shop, a popcorn shop, a Jeni’s Ice cream (gourmet ice cream original to Ohio!), a home shop, and cute restaurants. The library has a beautiful scenic garden and there are many old homes from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Did you know, going into writing this series, that you wanted to include a holiday novel?
Yes, that was set up from the beginning because of the timing of the book.
The fun thing was giving hints of Rafe and Kaitlyn’s relationship through the other two books as a teaser to their full romance in book 3. Knowing that it was going to be a Christmas book made it even more fun!
The fact that I got to write about Rafe in all three books meant that going into book 3, I felt that I knew him really well, and I was really excited to write his story.
In fact, I think he’s my favorite hero that I’ve written so far!
Rafe, as the only brother in a family of sisters, is this funny, easygoing, good-looking guy, always ready with a punch line.
Yet he’s really very complicated underneath, with a complicated inner life and a real fear of loving anyone again.
We see Rafe in Book 1 as Colton the police chief’s best friend, and we see him as a loving brother, but in this book, we see exactly who he is behind the carefree, fun facade. And that was really fun to explore!
All in all, it made me fall in love with him too!
As a side note, It was really interesting writing about Christmas when it was 90 degrees out! That is something everyone should experience! I would get in the mood with my Christmas mug and pretend to be cold! Lol
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
Well, some of them are in the book. ☺
My husband bought me a kangaroo ornament when I was pregnant, just like in the book.
And when we were shopping for our first Christmas tree, it really did fall right at our feet. And he did push me out of the way, just like Rafe did for Kaitlyn.
Our kids each have a shoebox full of ornaments that they made in school. Rafe’s family embarrasses him by bringing his out and showing Kaitlyn all the ornaments with his little-boy school photos on it, with his stick-up hair and missing-teeth smile. I loved that!
We have a tradition where one child gets to put Baby Jesus in the manger before bed on Christmas Eve. Until then the crib in our manger is empty. One year, one of the kids “stole” him and hid him somewhere! (Fortunately he did not charge ransom to return him.) ☺
On Christmas Eve, we have a huge dinner that has one course for every apostle. My mom was of Polish descent and the meal is a traditional Polish meal. It’s a lot of work but we’ve kept the tradition going for many years!
When you aren’t writing books, what kinds of books or authors are you reading?
I read EVERYTHING from literary fiction to women’s fiction to all kinds of romance. I’ve really have enjoyed selections from Reese Witherspoon’s book club like This Is How It Always Is and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as well as what’s currently popular in romance and the books that my friends write.
My favorite romance author is Lisa Kleypas and she’s the reason I started writing romance. She tells wonderful, emotional stories that I feel are just riveting. And her prose is beautiful. I’ll also read anything by Kristan Higgins—she’s got a natural wit that’s amazing and she’s a gripping storyteller.
The fiction that I like the most somehow always seems to have a romance in it. ☺
My favorite book so far this year has been The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I’ve been meaning to read for the past ten years and finally got to (making me feel that there is hope for the rest of my TBR pile!).
Follow me on BookBub if you want to see what I’m reading! As an author, I feel a responsibility not to critique my colleagues, but I do put the books up there that I’ve really enjoyed and would highly recommend!