Getting Into The Holiday Spirit With Debora Dennis!

Hi everyone! First I want to thank Cynthia for having me here today as a guest on the blog. I know it’s only early November and Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but I’ve been deep in holiday mode since I decided to write a Christmas novella…which was at the end of August! So, here I am today, ready to spread a little holiday cheer.

MuffinsandMistletoe_200x300_2While the rest of my family spent their days jumping in pools and wearing shorts, I was sitting at my computer imagining heavy winter coats, cold mountain air, and Christmas carols. Turning up the A/C in my house helped get me in the right frame of mind too.

Muffins & Mistletoe was simply a story that spoke to me on a hot summer day and wiggled its way into my thoughts, so I let the muse have her way. I cranked up the A/C, made some hot chocolate and listened to the characters. It was only when I started baking gingerbread muffins on hot summer mornings that the kids began to question my sanity.

Such is the life of a writer on a mission, and I think most of us will go to great lengths in the name of research!

Starlight Hills is a fictional small town in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. As with any small town, this town is filled with a quirky cast of secondary characters—each with their own ideas on whether the hero and heroine should be together at all. Add in one muffin-making matchmaker to the mix and the fun began.

From the smell of Christmas cookies to fresh cuts pine, the holiday is a magical time of year for me. Everything seems to sparkle, everyone seems a little nicer, our hopes and dreams seem more within reach. My husband and I got married the week before Thanksgiving many years ago expecting every year to be filled with family and friends from mid-November through the New Year, and we’ve never been disappointed.

Those were the feelings that inspired me to write Muffins & Mistletoe. Today, in celebration of the release of my holiday novella, I’m offering an eCopy (ePub or Mobi) copy of Muffins & Mistletoe to one lucky commenter, so don’t be shy, tell me what inspires you around this time of you?


Welcome to Starlight Hills! Mountain views, small town charm, and one little bake shop, where romance is always on the menu.

Christmas is the best time of year to be in love in Starlight Hills. Cold nights perfect for snuggling, plenty of mistletoe to be caught kissing under, and an abundance of gingerbread muffins for sharing under the stars. But when Corinne Mackenzie turns down a proposal from the man she loves at the Thanksgiving table, it could be the worst time of year instead. Convinced the only way to fix the biggest mistake of her life is to enlist the help of the town’s resident matchmaker, she’s got a plan to make this the best Christmas ever.

After his proposal is rejected in front of family and friends, Jimmy Crane knows his only chance of surviving the holiday is to avoid the woman who stomped on his heart. The only obstacle to his plan is his matchmaking mother and Corinne’s knack for getting him under the mistletoe.


Corinne walked inside the Itty Bitty Bake Shop while Jimmy held the door open. She brushed past him and inhaled the clean smell of his soap mingling with the coffee and fresh muffins from the shop. Home. That was what it smelled like, what it felt like, to walk through a door with him on the other side. She’d always known in her heart that this man meant everything to her, that walking through any door and into his arms was all she would ever need.

Yet at that table last week she’d let her head convince her she needed more time. She’d looked over at her brother, alone and divorced after less than a year of marriage. Then she’d thought about their parents and the years of fighting after they split up when she was five. Instead of comparing their relationships to hers, she should have been looking in the eyes of the man she loved and let her heart do the thinking. What she wouldn’t give to be able to go back and do it all over again. The right way this time.

The tiny bell over the entry jingled as the bake-shop door closed behind her and forced her thoughts back to the present. She scanned the deserted shop, each table with a small potted poinsettia in the center. Soon the regular morning crowd would bring the little shop to life. She tried not to look into Jimmy’s eyes, not wanting to see the hurt she caused, but she couldn’t help herself. For a second, their gazes locked, and then he quickly turned his head. She couldn’t blame him, but she wasn’t ready to give up.

She’d hoped for a few minutes alone with his mother to go over their plan for tonight. Catching him here now was an added bonus.

She removed her gloves, shoved them in her pockets and swallowed the nervous lump in her throat, knowing she had to say something. “Thanks for letting me in. It’s freezing out there this morning.” She tugged on the red and green scarf looped around her neck as she stood there, hoping he’d stay and not rush out the door.

“Supposed to be below freezing all week, I hear.” He shrugged and reached to retrieve the bag off the table by the window where he’d left it before opening the door for her. “I guess you’re here for the gala committee meeting.”

“Yes. Perfect timing to catch a ride into town with Dalton, too.”

“Speaking of your patient brother, he’s waiting for me. I should go.” He was eager to escape, but also too polite to grab his muffins and run. No matter how angry or upset he was with anyone, his character would never allow him to be rude. It was one of the many qualities she loved about him. She’d latch on to any opportunity that might enable her to get back into his good graces. If he wanted her to run barefoot and naked out into Triangle Park and dance around the Christmas tree proclaiming she was as idiot, she’d probably do that too.

She decided not to suggest that.

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Debora Dennis is a native New Yorker and has been an avid romance reader since she first discovered Barbara Cartland on the shelves of her Junior High School library. A true believer in second chances and that it’s always the right time to fall in love, she writes spicy time travel romances. She never leaves home without her NOOK and always has a book on the table beside her bed. An eternal optimist and firm believer that love really can conquer all, every story she writes celebrates romance (and her love of chocolate…you’ll find her heroines usually share her love of the confection!)
Most days you’ll find her at the computer early in the morning and late at night with a mug of coffee and a bag of Lindt chocolate truffles keeping her sane.
Visit Debora online at:

3 thoughts on “Getting Into The Holiday Spirit With Debora Dennis!

  1. Debora, what a delightful holiday read! I love the cover, too. Did you put that together by yourself? I giggled as I read about baking gingerbread in the summertime to ‘get into the mood’… only fellow writers will appreciate the lengths we must sometimes go to in order to ignite the writing magic! Oh, and I also began with Barbara Cartland! Feels like a lifetime ago at this stage, doesn’t it? What inspires me at this time of year is the anticipation of it all, the magic of Christmas lights, the scents of gingerbread and evergreen, the taste of hot chocolate, the window displays. I’m very visual. Wishing you much success with your very timely story!

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