Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paty Jager and a Christmas anthology

Author Pagy Jager is my guest author today as she discusses the making of a Christmas anthology. If you are looking for something to put you in a Christmas frame of mind, this is the real deal.



The Making of a Christmas Anthology

By Paty Jager



Mid-summer I was contacted by Debra Holland and asked if I’d be interested in participating in a historical western Christmas anthology. I like anthologies, and I like projects that can help with cross-promotion. My answer was yes. 


Debra said the story had to be set in her fictional town of Sweetwater Springs, Montana. Which meant reading her books and getting to know her town and characters. She also said we could use some of our characters or completely new ones. The other catch; all the stories happened on the same year at Christmas time. 


Debra, myself, and nine other authors are in the anthology. We set up a FB page just for us where we could discuss what our characters were doing, what their names were so we didn’t double up names, and ask questions about the town and people. All this chatting made the stories meld together as cohesive as we could.


I took the easy way. I brought in a new couple and also Zeke and Maeve Halsey from my Halsey Brothers Series. As Pinkerton agents they are hired by the main character to find his missing wife. She is in Sweetwater Springs living at Widow Murphy’s boarding house. My easy out; was keeping most of the scenes in the boarding house and they were the only boarders at the time of their visit. That way I only had to deal with one of Debra’s characters, although the heroine does have a run-in with the cranky store owner Mrs. Cobb in the beginning of the story. 


Other authors took on the daunting task of their characters attending the Christmas celebration at the new hotel and meeting more of the locals in Sweetwater Springs.

Reading the blurbs and the book, you’ll see that each one of us brought our own voice to our stories but the town and atmosphere is clearly Sweetwater Springs.






E. AYERSA CHRISTMAS FAR FROM HOME

Frank Coleman comes to Sweetwater Springs to ask Adie Reiner to be his wife, but things don't happen as planned. Frank has been devastated by the plight of the Crow Indians, and when he discovers the indifference and bigotry within the Reiner household towards the Indians, he leaves. But he doesn't leave alone. Adie and her sister come with him. Adie is determined to help those less fortunate. www.ayersbooks.com



LINDA CARROLL-BRADD - WISHES ON A STAR

Free-spirit Richelle Quaid is outspoken, confident and a little bit spoiled. She sets tongues wagging with her bloomers and bicycle but also catches the eye of visiting rancher Landon Howard. An incident with her bicycle causes his prize colt to bolt into the cold Montana night. As Richelle and Landon track the animal together, they can’t fight their growing attraction. Will a wish made on a star foretell their future?   www.lindacarroll-bradd.com



MJ FREDRICK - ABIGAIL'S CHRISTMAS ANGEL

US Marshal Benedict Traylor has avoided Abigail Sinclair, his best friend's widow, since his friend's death in the spring. Part of his reason is guilt over his role in Marcus's death. A bigger part is his guilt over the tenderness he feels for Abigail. But it's winter, and he knows she needs his help. When he arrives and finds her unconscious on the floor of her barn, his plan to stay only a little while flees. As he nurses her back to health, his affection for her blossoms anew. www.Mjfredrick.com



DEBRA HOLLAND – THE GIFT OF MUSIC

The holiday season brings renowned harpist Blythe Robbins to town to perform at the newly-opened hotel. Timid Blythe is drained from a grueling performance schedule and wants nothing more than to rest and do some soul-searching about her future. Peter Rockwell, shy scion of a prominent hotel family, seeks to gain his experience managing a hotel away from his overbearing family. Can two reserved people overcome their limitations and find love? drdebraholland.com



DEBRA HOLLAND - A FAMILY FOR IKE

Elderly hermit Chappie Henderson rescues newly orphaned Ike Tannerson and takes him to town to find a home. As Ike struggles to fit in with his new family, Chappie worries for the boy. But to help Ike, Chappie will need to emerge from his long solitude, something that seems impossible. drdebraholland.com



DEBRA HOLLAND - THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS

The town banker Caleb Livingston opens his new hotel, crowning the holidays with a lavish party for the whole town. Although his intention is to advertise his business, in the process, the banker learns that perhaps some things are more important than money. drdebraholland.com



PATY JAGER – A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER

Dr. Carson Raines has one wish for this Christmas; to find his missing wife. He enlists the help of a married couple who are Pinkerton Agents. They find his wife, Ida, living in Sweetwater Springs as a spinster. Ida is pleasantly surprised to run into one of the new boarders at Mrs. Murphy’s boarding house. He’s a handsome doctor who might be able to help her discover her missing past.  www.patyjager.net



JILL MARIE LANDIS - UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

Spinster Violet Winters is determined to make the best of spending her first Christmas alone in Sweetwater Springs. When she slips and falls one icy cold evening, not only does Rory Townsend, a drifter nicknamed "Tumbleweed" come to her rescue, but the townsfolk rally to help too. Violet quickly discovers what it means to live in a close knit community and that it's never too late to give up on love and the surprises life has in store. www.jillmarielandis.com



TRISH MILBURN – A NEW HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
Grace Mayfield leaves behind betrayal and heartache in Kentucky for a new life in Montana. She'll be satisfied with a stable, happy new home on her cousin's ranch cooking for the ranch hands. What she doesn't expect is to find true love with cowboy Andrew Kingston, especially when she's been failed by love before. www.trishmilburn.com


LINDA MCLAUGHLIN -  THE BEST PRESENT
Ten-year-old Allison Harcourt's life has been turned upside down since her father lost his job and her beloved grandmother died. She's not looking forward to Christmas, especially since she can't figure out how to finish the scarf she's making for her mother. An unexpected stop in Sweetwater Springs brings her and her parents to the boarding house of the widow Murphy. Sometimes sweet things can be found in the most unexpected places. www.lindamclaughlin.com



BEV PETTERSEN - THE CHRISTMAS CROSSING

 Ellie would love to leave her father’s peddling wagon. But spending Christmas Eve locked in the Sweetwater jail is the bossy Cal Barrett's idea, not hers. How can she possibly sit behind bars when snow melt threatens to wash away her beloved animals, and her dream of finding a home? However, with a little Christmas magic, two searching hearts discover they can bridge much more than a raging river. www.BevPettersen.com



TORI SCOTT – A PROMISE FOR CHRISTMAS

When Rachel Tanner loses her husband two months before Christmas, the holiday looks bleak for her and her young son, Cass. Then her husband's brother arrives in Sweetwater Springs to help Rachel make it through the winter, turning her life, and her heart, upside down.  http://toriscott.blogspot.com



CYNTHIA WOOLF - SUGARPLUM DREAMS

Julia Bosworth is a woman scorned. Determined to follow her dreams and not those of her mother, she comes to Sweetwater Springs, Montana to open a sweet shop. Little does she know that in Sweetwater Springs dreams really do come true and Christmas miracles happen.  www.cynthiawoolf.com


Buy Link:






18 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Rain, Thank you for having me here today!

Rain Trueax said...

I liked what you were writing about, the anthology, the whole way that kind of project comes together and I appreciated you having me on yours. I really have liked the symbiotic way so many western writers work together to help each other and not just for the holidays but year round

woolfcindy said...

Very nice blog. It was great being in the anthology with you.

Paty Jager said...

Rain, Western romance authors are very giving. I enjoy the camaraderie we have.

Thanks Cindy!

Maggie Lynch said...

All the stories sound interesting, but I really like the "lost wife" angle on yours--especially over such a lengthy time period. It is great to have a NYT Bestselling author including you in an anthology.

Because I'm thinking of a group anthology project, I'm wondering if you could answer a couple of questions regarding your experience.

1) Was there a word length minimum/maximum for each story?

2) How long was the finished anthology in pages or words?

3) What was the time frame from initial request to be in the anthology to providing a finished story?

4) Did one person do the work of cover and editing, sequencing or did each author play a role?

I hope this isn't too many questions. I've asked this of others who have done anthologies and it is interesting the different approaches.

Judith Ashley said...

I love reading about collaborations between writers. This one was very productive! Thanks for sharing the process!

Melissa Keir said...

What a great anthology! I love anthologies because I don't have a lot of time for reading. I'm glad that you all were able to work together and put out a wonderful book!

Anonymous said...

I was surprised how quickly this whole anthology project came together. Good job, everyone!

Danita Cahill

Carole St-Laurent said...

What an awesome project! This must have been so much fun.

Dorothy said...

Beautiful cover!

Bev Pettersen said...

Enjoyed your blog! It was great fun writing a short story for this anthology, and especially linking our characters to Debra's town. The Facebook page was extremely helpful for sharing ideas.

Diana Mcc. said...

All the stories sound amazing! How long were the word counts for the short stories? What a beautiful cover!

Paty Jager said...

Maggie,
1) Was there a word length minimum/maximum for each story? We were to stay under 12,000 words each.

2) How long was the finished anthology in pages or words?
It was 460 pages.

3) What was the time frame from initial request to be in the anthology to providing a finished story? We were contacted in August and had to have the finished story to Debra by October 1st.

4) Did one person do the work of cover and editing, sequencing or did each author play a role? Delle did the cover, Debra, Linda Bradd Caroll and E. Ayers did the editing and sequencing and formatting. We swapped stories to proof.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks for stopping in Judith!

Thanks Melissa. It was fun colloborating with the other authors.

Hi Danita! Yes, it was a miracle and Debra said she didn't get much sleep towards the end. Mainly because she had three stories in the project and was editing the other stories.

Hi Carole, It was a lot of fun. Thanks for commenting.

Thanks, Dorothy. Delle Jacobs did a great job.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Bev, It was a lot of fun and the FB page was a great way to communicate.

Hey Diana! The stories were 12,000 words. Thank you!

E.Ayers said...

Hi, Paty. I had so much fun being part of the anthology and working with everyone. It was crazy and hectic, and everyone was such sports about every aspect along the way. Couldn't have asked for a better group of creative writers. And super stories all bundled together!

Rain Trueax said...

wow, great comments here leading to more information on how such a project comes together. This truly does look like a great anthology for the Christmas season especially.

Paty Jager said...

Elizabeth, It was great fun! I agree everyone worked so well together.

Thanks Rain!