Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Christmas in October with HOLIDAY DEFENDERS!

Debby Giusti here!

Christmas books are always fun to read, even in October. This month, you'll see Holiday Defenders on the shelves of bookstores around the country. The story features three Love Inspired Suspense novellas, each with a military theme. You’ll find my story, "Mission: Christmas Rescue," along with "Special Ops Christmas," by Susan Sleeman, and Jodie Bailey's "Homefront Holiday Hero."

When my editor invited me to take part in the holiday anthology, I jumped at the opportunity and started brainstorming story ideas. To prime my inspirational well, I noted elements that should be included, especially those that tug at the heartstrings. Naturally, children had to be in the story--little ones who love Baby Jesus. The children would to be old enough to express a simple faith, yet young enough to be totally enthralled with the magic of the season.
           
Twinkling lights, evergreen wreaths, mistletoe and snow would be included as well. I love Nativity scenes and added a crèche with the infant Jesus that would tie in with the characters deepening their faith.



In my mind’s eyes, I saw a small town nestled in the Tennessee Mountains. No military post in sight, yet my hero would be an army guy--big and strong but wounded in Afghanistan.


The story would take place over a few days leading up to Christmas, which didn’t provide much time to fall in love. That’s precisely why I gave my characters a history. Not a good history, mind you, because if there’s one word I focus on when creating a story, it’s CONFLICT. I pit hero against heroine, or vice versa, and then make them struggle to rekindle the previously flawed relationship. When the chill starts to warm, I add a black moment that destroys all their hard work and makes the reader wonder if they’ll ever get together again.



Without giving too much away, I ended up with a military hero who needs to protect a woman he left ten years earlier. She’s moved on with her life but can’t forget her first and only love.
           
When two little ones are in danger, the hero and heroine work together to keep the children safe. They’re on the run, but they’re not sure who’s after them and why. All that has to be revealed as the story unfolds. What they uncover ties in with mistakes made in the past that must be reconciled before they’re able to fall in love again. At the climax, they confront the antagonist in a fast-paced action scene before the resolution and happily ever after.

Do you like to read—or write—holiday stories? What about novellas? Do you enjoy the shorter read?

Ho, ho, ho! Only 79 days until Christmas!

Happy writing! Happy reading!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, THREE MILITARY MEN OF HONOR MUST DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO SAVE CHRISTMAS
Mission: Christmas Rescue, by Debby Giusti
On the run from a killer, Elizabeth Tate must accept U.S. Army Captain Nick Fontaine’s protection for the sake of her young niece and nephew. Now her life is in the hands of the very man who broke her heart years ago.
Special Ops Christmas, by Susan Sleeman
Researcher Claire Reed’s top secret project is stolen, putting her at risk of being kidnapped to unlock it. Her undercover bodyguard—her former love, Green Beret Travis Chapman—is on his most dangerous mission yet.
Homefront Holiday Hero, by Jodie Bailey

When someone tries to kill the daughter of a military official, U.S. Army major Tyler Rainey must keep Kelly Walters from harm…while guarding his own heart against very unexpected feelings.
Available here.

20 comments:

Jenny Blake said...

I love Christmas stories and novellas. I love reading them at this time of year up to Christmas. I like the shorter stories especially now that I am not reading as much as I would like. Your story sounds interesting I like the suspense element in a story.

Missy Tippens said...

Debby, I just LOVE that cover. It's one of my favorites! And the story sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it!

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on your latest release, Debby! Christmas stories can be such fun. I wrote my first one this year. It's a short story in Guideposts A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection that released this month.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Jenny,
I like a fast read, too, especially when I'm super busy! Hope you're doing well, Jenny!

Hugs!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Missy!

I like the cover too! Took me a few minutes before I noticed the guy in uniform! Love those military heroes!

Debby Giusti said...

Keli,
How nice to do a Christmas short story! Congrats to you!

Sandra Orchard said...

I love reading Christmas novellas and novels. In December, I'll often read one a night! Yours is on the pile I'm eagerly looking forward to!

Pamela Tracy said...

Jenny, good to see you!

Great cover, Deb

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Sandra...my Writers' Police Academy buddy!

A novella a night!

I'm on the computer until late. Then I'm so tired that I fall asleep after reading a page or two. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Pamela!

Dana Mentink said...

Well...this makes me think I need to get started on my Christmas shopping! :)

Jolene Navarro said...

Love the cover - brought to mind "Boots on the Ground."
From Thanksgiving to My birthday (Jan 2) is such a magical time. It feels as if anything is possible. May 23 yr old daughter reminded me that we only have 11 weekends left until Christmas. Let the planning begin. OH I think I have told you before but if not - your photo is stunning.

Debby Giusti said...

I need to shop, too, Dana! LOL!

Debby Giusti said...

Jolene,
Happy Birthday ahead of time.

I had a Christmas baby! Such a special birthday.

Merry Christmas in October to all!

CatMom said...

Sorry I'm a day late in commenting, Debby---but I am thrilled to have this book, and cannot wait to read YOUR story in it!
I have always LOVED Christmas, so naturally enjoy Christmas stories too. :)
Hugs, Patti Jo

Margaret Daley said...

I'm not ready for Christmas just yet. Love your pictures Debby, and the cover of your new book.

Debby Giusti said...

Patti Jo, it's always the right time to stop by the blog!

Had so much fun traveling with you to ACFW!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Margaret,
I like reading Christmas stories in October, but I'm not ready to put up my tree or to decorate the house. I'll wait until December for that! LOL!

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