All of my characters are special to me, but there are a precious few that I simply can't let go. While writing When We Found Home, I fell in love with Keira, the twelve-year-old who was abandoned by her mother, orphaned, sent to foster care, then rescued by an older brother she'd never met. (No spoilers! That’s all backstory that happened before the story starts.) Except it didn't feel like a rescue to her. It felt like her world was being turned upside-down again. The new family formed a loving bond by the end of the book, but I wanted more. I had to know that Keira was going to be happy. So I pushed myself to create room in my schedule to write a story for Keira. Better yet, I wrote it during the Christmas season so I could immerse myself in the holiday spirit.
It Started One Christmas is available now—and it's only $2.99! (This is an ebook exclusive novella. Next year, Harlequin plans to make it available in print as a bonus novella.) If you haven't yet read When We Found Home, don't worry, It Started One Christmas works as a standalone. Then, if you love this Christmas romance as much as I think you will, you can always go back and read When We Found Home.
One crisp December night, Keira Carlesso takes in yet another stray—this time, a man. Dalton is a brilliant scientist with no home for the holidays. As Christmas works its magic, two strangers become friends, then best friends, then something much, much more…
Susan Mallery’s heartwarming charmer proves that true love is the greatest Christmas gift of all!
Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister—Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.
But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love. But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit…until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.
In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.