Thursday, December 19, 2019

#GIVEAWAY #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza Jo McNally

Today is Jo McNally's turn on the blog, she's a relative newbie to Special Edition and she and her husband just like two days ago moved from North Carolina to New York and she's sharing a very special message about the spirit of Christmas. Plus she's offering a #giveaway too (well if she can find the box it's in LOL)
Ho Ho Ho

Jo is offering one entrant a copy of each
Of her holiday themed novels
Please Use Rafflecopter form to enter
Ho Ho Ho!

 Jo's Message:

Finding the Spirit of Christmas

Hi, everyone! I may be a new name to many of you, since I just joined the Special Edition family this year after writing for Superromance. My holiday romance, It Started at Christmas… is about an interior designer, and that’s a subject that’s close to my heart. I worked for a furniture company for years, so I enjoy creating colorful rooms that work for us. And I like things in their place.

What does that have to do with Christmas? Well, Himself and I just (like...three weeks ago) moved from North Carolina back to upstate New York. We bought a fifty-year-old house that needed some love, so we’ve been frantically painting and dealing with contractors and doing a very good imitation of zombies as we worked ourselves beyond our limits.


Wait...what does that have to do with Christmas again?

Here’s the thing. One of my favorite things to do is decorate for the holidays, and I always do it Thanksgiving weekend. I open each box of ornaments, garlands, nativities, and our Santa collection and it feels like greeting old friends. Indeed, some of the ornaments are older than I am (thanks, Mom!). I spend days decorating our large artificial tree. I’m obsessively fussy about where each decoration goes. So fussy that my husband knows to just leave me alone when I start. And when I’m done, the house is a Christmas-y wonderland. It’s perfect. Until this year.

This move has been exhausting, both physically and emotionally. The dust is just beginning to settle, and there are still boxes to be unpacked and stuff to be organized. Christmas is right around the corner, and I have a book deadline! I came to a realization last week—Christmas doesn’t have to be picture-perfect this year. In fact, we don’t even need a tree, since we’re spending the holiday in Boston with our grandkids.

I needed to let go of “perfect” in order to actually enjoy the season. The moment I did that, I felt such a sense of peace. I’m not saying we don’t have any decorations. Several Santas are out, and we have a smattering of mis-matched lights out front so the new neighbors don’t think we’re grinches. My favorite nativity is on the mantle.

But what’s most important this year is that we’re back near our families again. We have a home we love and we have each other. Even our dog, Tully-girl, is relaxing this week. When faced with the choice of an extravagant Christmas under a time-crunch, or a more low-key Christmas with some healing rest and more time shared with loved ones, I know I made the right decision.

After all, Christmas isn’t about what we see. It’s about what we feel in our hearts. It’s about love, joy, and peace. And this year, I’m finding those things by keeping it simple. And that’s what I wish for all of you, dear readers. Whether you find it in simple surroundings or in a house full of sparkle, I wish you love, joy and peace this Christmas.

Oh, and books. I wish you lots and lots of books! Merry Christmas!

Jo's SE Christmas novel

It Started at Christmas...

Miniseries: Gallant Lake Stories

She was hired to design his house.
Instead she created a home.
Interior designer Amanda Lowery can turn Blake Randall’s crumbling castle into a Gallant Lake showplace. But helping the real estate mogul with his guarded heart and his troubled, orphaned nephew? A much bigger challenge. With demons in her own past, Amanda yearns to help them both heal. But will she find the family and safety she’s craved…or become a Christmas casualty in Blake’s latest business plan?

About Jo:
I write the same kind of romances I like to read – stories about characters facing real-life challenges with real-life consequences. The stories are emotional, but still have humor, and love always finds a way to pull the characters through together. 
I live in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – my slice of the bed is very small. When I’m not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), I can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends while listening to an eclectic playlist. If the weather is absolutely perfect, I might join my husband on the golf course, where I always feel far more competitive than my actual skill-level would suggest.

Jo's website

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to join your holiday celebration this year!

    1. Jo thank you so much for participating whew what a whirlwind journey you've taken and I'm honored that during it you so generously gave of your time. Merry Christmas

  2. I brought out all the decorations and put up the tree. I lost all my ornaments last year but my online friends and blog buddies sent me a bunch that I have on my tree this year. That really made Christmas special for me.

    1. oh that is the real meaning of Christmas Mary

    2. That's so nice! I was living in New Bern, NC last Christmas, and so many people lost their holiday decorations, along with everything else, when Hurricane Florence hit. Many people donated decorations (I filled two boxes) and they were so appreciated! It's something to think about this time of year.

  3. I love this post. But I can't believe you moved during the middle of the holidays season! That's insane!! Both of these book sound great. I LOVE Christmas romances.

    1. I know right Kim. Merry Christmas to you too!

    2. LOL! I can't believe we did it either! It was an impulsive decision (even for us), but we knew it was right as soon as we decided back in August. The timing was...not great. And I have a book deadline, too. Never rains but it pours! I hope you get a chance to read the books.

  4. Another New Yorker like myself

    1. We were in North Carolina for eight years, but upstate NY has always been "home". My family is here and Himself's family is in Boston, so we'll be able to spend a lot more time with them. Both of my book series are set in NY (Catskills and Finger Lakes), so I guess it was bound to happen!

  5. These books sound so great! I've been wanting to read Jo McNally! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Thanks for the chance to win, I just love reading books!