What? Christmas? It’s not even Halloween yet.

I know, it’s early to be talking Christmas. You’re not ready. Heck, I’m not ready. And I have a three-year-old to think about.

Back in college, I worked retail. By Christmas, I was so sick of the holiday season I wanted to poke someone in the eye with a candy cane. (That the store I worked at was in the center of the mall where a two-story polar bear sang Christmas carols with a voice that sounded like a drunk Muppet probably didn’t help…)

But those days, I was prepared. I had my Christmas list ready in September and my shopping done by Thanksgiving. I was set. (Sadly, I’m not nearly that organized these days.)

So, if you think about it, it’s not really that early to start thinking about holiday shopping. These days, people start shopping (for holiday books anyway), round about late September/early October. So, really, we’re right on time.

And do we have some Christmas magic to weave for you.

First up is volume four of our Fiction River line, Christmas Ghosts. And let me tell you, this volume is a gift to the reading world.
FR Christmas Ghosts ebook cover webParanormal romance writer Kristine Grayson invited a stellar group of cross-genre authors to tell heartwarming stories of love set in the holiday season. From Regency England to modern day Portland, Oregon, ghosts facilitate—or try to stop—true love in the dark at the end of the year. Featuring stories by bestselling authors Mary Jo Putney and Carole Nelson Douglas to fan favorites M.L. Buchman and Anthea Lawson, Christmas Ghosts provides the perfect beginning to the mid-winter festivities.

But don’t take my word for it. Publishers Weekly calls it “A sugary Christmas treat for those who love romance.” And RT Book Reviews says: “The beloved Victorian Christmas ghost storytelling tradition continues to thrive in modern day, and this multi-genre anthology of short stories is proof. Cuddle up next to a crackling fire with some holiday music playing softly in the background, and lose yourself in eight amazing Christmas stories by a gang of super-talented, cross-genre authors. Not only are they heartwarming, but they incorporate mystery, science fiction, romance and ghosts! A few tend to be more animated than others, but each one is special, and guaranteed to jingle someone’s bells.” And Library Journal says, “This title offers eight original love stories that will give romance readers several satisfying happy endings.”

The book is available in ebook and trade paperback, and will be available in audiobook form in a couple of weeks.

But that’s not all Ms. Grayson has been doing lately. She also has a sweet new Christmas novella out called Visions of Sugar Plums.

Visions of Sugar Plums ebook coverNissa Kealoha helps control Santa’s image—his brand. An Image Specialist with Claus & Company, she helps promote his positive image and deflect anything negative. This year, Nissa finds herself counting the days until she can return to the Greater World to goose holiday donations and remind people about the good Santa represents. Until a man on a mission threatens her holiday plans.

Professor Ryan Palmer possesses the perfect voice in the perfect body. And he uses that perfection to launch an anti-obesity campaign against, of all people, Santa. Or as he sees it, Santa’s image. Ryan thinks the mythology of Santa eating cookies and drinking eggnog contribute to the obesity epidemic—one he hopes to help reverse.

Nissa must stop Ryan from tarnishing Santa’s image, but when they meet, sparks fly—the magical, person-of-your-dreams kind of sparks. Can Nissa keep her objectivity? Can Ryan let himself believe in the impossible? Can they find their own kind of Christmas magic together?

So, get that warm, hot chocolatety holiday feeling started with these fantastic titles. I might even be inspired to start that overdue Christmas gift list. (And that would truly be a Christmas miracle!)

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.