Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, author Katie Eagan Schenck is guesting. She’s talking about her latest release A Home for Christmas, a contemporary romance, now on sale for .99 cents. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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In addition to A Home for Christmas, I have written two other sweet romances: When Cardinals Appear and Barefoot in Blue Heron.

When Cardinals Appear is very near to my heart because it deals with grief and loss. It’s about two former high school sweethearts, Lanie and Nate, who reconnect when Lanie comes home to settle her late mother’s estate. At first, they try to avoid each other, but it’s a small town and thus, they’re thrown together often. Each time they are, Lanie sees a cardinal. She soon learns the legend “when cardinals appear, angels are near,” but she dismisses it as a myth. However, when she discovers that Nate is hiding a secret from her about her mother, she starts to wonder if there’s a purpose to the cardinal’s visits. She confronts Nate and forces him to choose: break Lanie’s heart with the truth, or his by letting her go for good.

Cardinal was chosen to be part of the Romance Writers of America’s Romance Author Mentorship Program this summer, and I worked on editing it with author Virginia McCullough. I’m currently querying it and hope to find an agent soon!

Barefoot in Blue Heron is really three romances combined into one. It was inspired by Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and is written in the vein of Love, Actually. It’s about three very different siblings who are called home to their small beachfront town to help save their family’s pub, but they can’t agree on the best course of action. Loyal Emily teams up with a hotel heiress, but there’s more to their relationship than business. Ambitious Peter wants to sell, but his attraction to an interested buyer clouds his judgment. And Cassie’s too caught up in her own love triangle between the local mayor and a high school crush to be of much help either way. But when Cassie suffers a life-threatening experience, the siblings must put aside their differences and work together before they lose the pub, their bond, and a chance at love.

Barefoot is still being edited, though I have stuck my toes into the querying pool with it. The responses I’ve received thus far have been promising, and I hope once Cardinal finds a home, Barefoot will soon after.

I’m currently working on the first book of a faery fantasy trilogy for National Novel Writing Month (better known as NaNoWriMo). Now that I’ve fulfilled my promise to my mom, I’m ready to tell the story of Astreilles, my main character, who has patiently waited her turn for almost two decades. I’m undecided on whether I’ll try to go the traditional route or self-publish the series under a pen name, but I expect it will be a while before the books are ready. Still, I’m excited to delve into this new genre, and I hope I can share my other two completed novels with the world soon!

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Title: A Home For Christmas
Series: N/A
Author: Katie Eagan Schenck
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Blurb:  Brad has just one wish this Christmas: to find a real home. Having lost his parents before joining the Marines, he misses that sense of belonging and family. When he meets an introverted flight attendant on his journey to start his civilian life, he wonders if this might be his chance.

After a messy divorce, Shelly has decided the only person allowed within the brittle walls of her broken heart is her daughter, Lilly. At least, until she meets a friendly man who hails from her hometown while working a routine flight. When she learns he needs a place to stay, she offers the apartment over her garage out of the kindness of her heart – and her desperate need for extra cash.

Even as Brad endears himself to Shelly by saving the town’s Christmas pageant, she attempts to keep her distance to protect the fragile stability she’s built since her divorce. But Brad’s willingness to walk the fine line between what Shelly’s heart wants and what her head allows slowly wears down her resolve. And when Brad receives a job offer near the only family he has left, Shelly must decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart again before he leaves her home, and her life, for good.

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Lilly’s phone was still connected to the speaker and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” played. “I love this song, though it’s bittersweet.”

“Because you haven’t had a home for Christmas?”

“Well, yes,” he said, staring at the tree. “However, the lyrics aren’t really promising the singer will be home for Christmas. He mentions at the end how he’ll only be home in his dreams. For me, home isn’t about a specific place, but more about the people who make it a home.” He turned toward her. “My parents are gone and, as I told you before, my sister and I aren’t close. So my home for Christmas is truly in my dreams, because it doesn’t exist anymore.”

Shelly’s eyes softened, and she took his hand. “I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“It’s not your fault, and I’m not surprised.” He gave her a half smile and patted her hand before letting go. “Leave it to me to turn a lovely Christmas song into something depressing.”

“But you’re right, it is kind of a sad song.”

“Perhaps we can make it happier.” He stood, then performed a slight bow and offered her his hand. “Would you like to dance?”

She raised her eyebrows dubiously, but she accepted his hand and he pulled her to her feet. They faced each other, both unmoving, until Brad brought her closer to him and placed his free hand on her waist. Her hand rested on his shoulder as they swayed together to the beat.

She was soft and warm in his arms and he detected the faint scent of cinnamon and something floral. As they turned in the limited space of the room, he was reminded of earlier that morning when he helped her into her coat. The way his fingers tingled when they touched her skin. He recalled how the look in her eyes made his heart stop. Now, his heart was pounding, and the air seemed to hum with electricity, just like that morning.

He directed her to twirl, then caught her at the waist. This time, she was close enough to rest her head on his chest as they continued to sway. He tightened his arm around her and wished this could last forever. For reasons he couldn’t quite explain, it felt like they had known each other for years, instead of only one day.

The song’s last notes played, and they stopped swaying in the sudden silence. When she gazed up at him, her emerald eyes were sparkling. She was absolutely radiant, the happiest he had seen her since they met. He released her waist, but he held onto her hand.

With a smile, he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it in what he hoped was a gentleman-like way.

“Thank you for the dance.”

Shelly averted her gaze. “You’re a wonderful dancer.”

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Debut author, Katie Eagan Schenck, writes sweet romance that warms the heart and gives all the feels. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s either working on regulations for the federal government or binging Hallmark movies. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their three cats.

Follow Katie:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

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