Friday, December 11, 2020

Interview ~ THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS by Christi Barth

The Magic of Christmas
by: Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: October 15, 2020
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Holiday parties and gift-buying will have to wait this year. Rowan West is up for a promotion to advertising manager. All she has to do is come up with a campaign to stream people back into a struggling, Christmas-themed adventure park and resort. She’s more of a big city-bright lights girl, but hey, anything to hop up to the next rung on the ladder. And in this case, anything is right. Because she’s stuck with a horrible partner as she treks out to see the park for herself.

Jeremy Kincannon doesn’t so much love his job. But he’s doing his best to excel at it. He has to, in order to shut down the, oh, entire rest of the company that believes he’s only there because his step-father owns the business. So when he finds out he’s a finalist for the advertising manager position, he’s ready to fight tooth and nail to get it. Even if it means spending a week with the annoyingly perfect—and even more annoyingly pretty—other finalist.

They begin the trip as office adversaries. But spending so much time together, away from rivalries and rumors, reveals the truth of who each really is. Or maybe it’s the magic of Christmas working on them? Because the adventure park neither cared about turns out to be exactly what helps them find what they truly need in life...each other.

Hi Christi. Welcome back to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. 
Hi everyone – happy holidays!

Happy holidays to you too. Your latest book is The Magic of Christmas with Tule Publishing. What can you tell me about this story?
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Hallmark movie, then this book will make you happy, I guarantee.
  • Office adversaries (who refuse to admit their attraction), both competing for the same promotion;
  • Christmas themed adventure park and resort;
  • Snarky-turns-flirty banter;
  • Romantic night time snow tubing;
  • And, of course, a dog!

Sounds really fun. Tell me about the characters Rowan West and Jeremy Kincannon and why you like/love them?
I love Rowan because she doesn’t want anything she doesn’t earn—and she works her butt off to get the promotion she knows she deserves. Oh, and she’s always prepared with snacks! I adore Jeremy because although he’s driven, too, he is aware that life must be enjoyed and lived, not worked through. Watching him force Rowan to have fun is absolutely delightful.

Can you please tell me about one of your favorite scenes from the book, and why it’s a favorite?
In their effort to assess how best to package the resort/adventure park, they work as waiters at its traditional Christmas feast. Rowan and Jeremy have to dress up in medieval attire (super sexy!) and work together, even though they’ve only worked at odds with each other for two years. The carols, the candlelight, and the giant kissing ball overhead work their magic to soften these two toward each other and it both melts my heart and puts me on the edge of my seat wanting them to kiss!

What’s something in The Magic of Christmas that Rowan and Jeremy do that you would love to do yourself, and why?
The snowtubing in the dark of night. On a starry hill with an automated pulley system (that’s key). I’ve done it a few times, but I always had to lug my tube back up the hill, and omigosh that wears you out!

Was there anything that surprised you about this story?
Jeremy seeks out his mother’s advice. Usually, that’s the heroine’s wheelhouse, right? But slowly revealing that Jeremy’s job isn’t mired in nepotism and that his story is far different than what Rowan thinks? I love giving the reader that slow surprise, and his deep relationship with his mother is the icing and sprinkles on top!

How do you get into writing a Christmas romance, when it’s not Christmas time?
About 85% of it fall under ‘that’s my job’. I wrote a whole series about mobsters in witness protection in Oregon without 1) going there or 2) embedding with the Mafia, lol. That said, Christmas is its own special snowflake, so I burn balsam candles, essential oils that are holiday themed, and I play Christmas carols every day during every writing session (usually I don’t write to music at all). I wrote this one in Feb – April. But…I’m so excited…I turned my schedule upside down so that I start writing my 2021 xmas release on 11/22 and will finish it by January. This will be my 5th xmas book, and I’ve never written one in the season before!

That’s pretty cool. Hopefully, it was a little easier writing during the season for you. How do you come up with your character names?
Soooo much research! I have lists on Post-Its of names that I hear just in daily life that I like. I keep theatre and symphony programs to scour for interesting last names. I use IMDB for blockbuster movies, because their list of crew members is enormous, and really diverse and good. And the names have to fit the characters – Rowan is very type A – she couldn’t have a cutesy name like Brittney or something ultra-romantic like Liliana. Oh, and I prefer the hero and heroine to have different length names.

Christi, thank you so much for answering some questions for me.

“I’m not gunning for you personally, Rowan. Just the promotion.”

“Okay.” She said the word, but her eyes, and the stiffness of her entire demeanor, still screamed that she was wary of him and his motivations.

The family seated across from them were watching, wide-eyed. Clearly they also saw her as an emotional powder keg on the verge of being sparked.

Whatever. He’d stated the truth. That was all he could do.

Jeremy couldn’t bribe her into believing him. Into taking him at his freaking word. That required trust. And it didn’t look like Rowan had much of a supply of trust stashed in her oversized laptop bag.

He stepped back, putting her luggage between them. “We need to call a truce.”

“I didn’t know we’d declared war.”

“Don’t. Don’t lie to me. You’ve been on guard and on attack since the day we met. I don’t know why. I don’t need to know why.” To smooth over any feathers he’d undoubtedly ruffled, Jeremy joked, “Unless it’s that you have a violent dislike of my cologne. I’d be willing to toss it if that’s the case. To bring peace.”

Rowan leaned forward. Went up on tiptoe until the floofy top of her hair brushed the underside of his chin. All his senses went on alert. Because even after being sniped at by her all day, Jeremy couldn’t not notice that a beautiful woman was pressed up against his chest. That they were closer than they’d ever been before.

And he liked it.

After a quick sniff, she rocked back on her heels. “No, I like it. You smell like the woods, when we’d go out to cut down a Christmas tree.”

Her cheeks pinked up. Her head angled down and to the side, almost like she didn’t want to see his reaction to her words.

Was she embarrassed?

Was she flirting?

No. No way. Not possible.

From anyone else he’d entertain the likelihood, but not from Rowan West. She didn’t flirt with anyone at Lakeshore. Not even jokingly, at happy hour. It was a line that everyone was aware that she never crossed.

And if she did one day, it sure wouldn’t be with him.

Purchase The Magic of Christmas from:

USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

Places to find Christi Barth:



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