Christmas · short stories

Exquisite Christmas: 21 romance authors share stories and recipes

exquisite quills, rose anderson, helena fairfaxI’m really thrilled to announce that our holiday short story anthology – Exquisite Christmas: 21 romance authors share stories and recipes – is now available for pre-order.

The anthology was put together by a group of authors I belong to called Exquisite Quills. Romance authors are well-known for being supportive of one another, and this  group is a brilliant example of authors working together and helping each other out.

The collection is the brainchild of the fabulous author Rose Anderson, who has handled everything, including designing our wonderful cover. I love it. It has such an uplifting feel to it, and really reflects the romantic stories inside.

We decided to add to the fun by interspersing our stories with some of our favourite holiday recipes.  The recipe I chose is called Parkin – a type of gingerbread made with treacle (molasses). Parkin is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night (otherwise known as Guy Fawkes night) on 5th November here in the north of England, along with toffee apples, pork pie and peas, and baked potatoes.

Helena fairfax, exquisite quills
Sunset on Calton Hill, Edinburgh                   (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

I have two stories in the anthology. My second is called A Question at Hogmanay and is set during the Hogmanay torchlight procession in Edinburgh. The story features Leon and Lizzie – the hero and heroine who first appeared in my summer romantic suspense novella Palace of Deception. It’s a standalone story – you don’t have to have read the novella – but I thought it might be interesting to show just what happens when someone brought up in the heat of the Mediterranean follows the love of his life to live in a cold and snowy northern city. How will he adapt? Will their love survive? New Year is a time to reflect on our decisions and I wanted to show that the path of true love often doesn’t run smooth. And their dilemma plays out in the setting of Edinburgh by torchlight – what could be more romantic?

There are dozens of other stories in the anthology, and with delicious new recipes to try it’s the perfect read to dip into over the holiday period. I do hope you’ll have time to try out some stories from some of my favourite author friends.

You can find Exquisite Christmas on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, and international Amazon stores. It will shortly be available at all other major ebook retailers, and in print. I’m looking forward to the print version coming out very much. The perfect Christmas gift!


Do you like Rose’s cover as much as I do? Do you enjoy reading short stories? How do you celebrate New Year – out on the town or curled up in front of a nice fire? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!


7 thoughts on “Exquisite Christmas: 21 romance authors share stories and recipes

  1. What a wonderful idea for an anthology of romance writers. And yes, I’m very curious about Leon and Lizzie. So glad you are writing more about them. A book sequel too?? So much fun learning about your holidays and celebrations in England. And I’m always glad you give the definition of terms like treacle. How do you know so much about usages in American English and English English?? LOL..Best wishes with the latest release!


    1. Thanks very much, JQ. I’ve had fun carrying on the story of Leon and Lizzie. Palace of Deception is a short novella, as you know, and I felt there was still a lot to explore with these two characters, who had only really just got to know each other.
      Regarding American and English English – I’ve really only just recently realised how different our two languages are, especially when it comes to food. I still have a lot to learn, and it’s been fun so far running my recipe blog posts.
      Thanks so much for dropping in, and for your great comment!


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