Monday, December 8, 2014

On Tour: Merry & Bright, 6 Wonderful Christmas Stories by 6 Amazing Authors!

Merry & Bright

Merry & Bright by Six Authors
Paperback, 244 pages
Published November 14th 2014 by Simon and Fig

CLP Blog Tours is hosting a review blitz tour
for the holiday anthology Merry and Bright December 8-15

About the Book

Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano.

From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!

My thoughts about Merry & Bright ~~ 

When I first saw that this book was on tour, I knew I had to particpate. For one thing, I love Christmas stories. And for another thing, I have read and loved books by 4 of the 6 authors included in this anthology so I knew it would be full of great stories!  

A Very Dixie Christmas by Lauren Clark 

I loved Lauren's story. We get to take a trip back to Eufaula, Alabama which is where her book Dancing Naked in Dixie is set. I loved that story and I loved going back and revisiting Eufaula. The first page of the story contains these words -
'But when I look back, it came down to three things. A list, my UPS man, and some mistletoe.'
How can that just not grab your attention? I knew it was going to be a interesting story!
'You know, Christmas magic only happens when you really believe in it. When you wish and pray for good things to come - not just for you, but to your family and neighbors. Sometimes, you even have to wish for a little happiness for people who aren't very nice to us.'
Christmas at Mulberry Inn by Cindy Arora

I had not read anything by Cindy before reading this story but she will be an author I'll watch from now on though. Her story really stuck with me, even after I moved on to the next story and the next book on my list. 

Poor Saffron, she travels to the Mulberry Inn to escape her life and to visit her best friend, who also happens to be her soon-to-be ex's sister. 
'"Your daddy works here?" I ask and scribble Saffron Swift, then stare at my signature. I had worn the name like a badge of honor for twelve years, and oddly, I'm not her anymore.'
I loved the setting of the Mulberry Inn and the little community it was a part of. The people in this town come together and celebrate Christmas with wonderful traditions. It reminded me of the community I grew up in and the traditions that we had. What a sweet story! 

Ice Dating by Nancy Scrofano

What a fun idea for a story - 'speed dating... on ice'. Poor Quinn, her friend is just trying to hook her up with someone, and why not try it at the ice rink.
'Because I've been engaged four times, and I've been abandoned every time right before 'I do'. I'm the anti-Julia Roberts, starring in Runaway Grooms.'
Nancy has such a great sense of humor and it really comes out in the situations her main character gets herself into.
'Oh, and here's the best part of this evening... we're wearing tacky Christmas sweaters and mistletoe headbands. Yes, all of us. A crowd of grown adults dressed like a group of grandmas having a party for their knitting club.'  
What a great story!  

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Isabella Louise Anderson

I just finished one of Isabella's books and knew I would enjoy this story. Lexi goes away by herself over the holidays to focus on her manuscript. She just wants to be alone to write, and to get over her cheating boyfriend, Matt. She has no idea that her secluded vacation would turn out the way it it.

What a sweet story about finding love when you're really not looking for it.

Secret Santa by Libby Mercer

I am a big fan of Libby's stories and this one did not disappoint. I love the idea of a Secret Santa and this Secret Santa sends Abbie on a treasure hunt; a treasure hunt that takes her back to all the places that were important to her and Rafael, a long time ago. 
'Your Christmas dreams will come true, Abbie MacQueen, if you follow these simple instructions.'  
Abbie thinks she is on a treasure hunt to learn that she is getting the job she wants. But her Secret Santa has other ideas.

What a fun story!

Twelve Drummers Drumming by Laura Chapman

I am a little prejudiced when it comes to Laura's stories. She and I are both from Nebraska and as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of Nebraska but you can't take the Nebraska out of the girl. I love that she incorporates references to NE into her story. And then her story takes place in n Colorado. What's not to love about that?

Autumn and her husband, Tuck are spending a glorious Christmas together. Two weeks by themselves, no family or band reponsibilites to get in the way of their special time together. But then things start to go wrong and things aren't what they seem to be. Autumn is beginning to doubt and question the actions of her husband. Their perfect Christmas has suddenly gone all wrong.
'On one hand, this explains Tuck's absence and the distance. It doesn't explain why he bothered bringing ne here, or why he still claims to love me.'
A great love story that leaves us with such great wisdom --
'No gift under the tree is greater than the present.'

Author Bios

Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. She is the author of Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local bookstores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, the Mobile Writers Guild, and a regular contributor to Parents & Kids Magazine's Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition.

Check out her website at

Cindy Arora

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine, and Fodor’s. Her debut novel, Heartbreak Cake, was released November 2013 by Simon and Fig and her novella, “Cake Therapy”, appeared in the anthology Petit Four: Four Stories, Frosted with Love in November 2014. She’s also mama to an adorable little boy, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author.

To learn more about Cindy,
please visit her website at

Nancy Scrofano

Nancy Scrofano grew up watching classic television shows, classic movies, and listening to oldies, all of which she still adores today. Nancy has a penchant for the fifties, mostly because of her favorite show, I Love Lucy. She has seen every episode countless times and will happily share the trivia she knows with anyone who will listen. Nancy worked as an editor and a journalist for her college newspaper, then went on to develop sociology textbooks for an academic publisher. She has a master’s degree in media psychology, as well as undergraduate degrees in communication, radio and television, and liberal arts. Nancy is a freelance writer and the author of True Love Way, Cupid on Deck, and American Honey. Additionally, she is the founder and managing editor of Fictionella, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction. Nancy lives in southern California where she is at work on her next novel.

For more about Nancy,
please visit her website at

Isabella Louise Anderson

Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. At the young age of ten, she was reading everything from Judy Blume to Danielle Steel, so in 2010, Isabella signed up for a creative writing course, deciding it was time to turn her passion for writing and books into a career. A year later, Isabella finished writing her first book, Redefined Dreams. Her second book, The Right Design, was published in 2014. Her website, Chick Lit Goddess, features books and other Chick Lit and Romance authors, along with sharing book reviews. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. Isabella lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. If she’s not eating spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, she can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading books, often two at a time.

For more about Isabella,

Libby Mercer

Libby Mercer was born and raised in the Heartland of America, Libby Mercer's adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school and she's since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city that she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion—first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design. Libby is the author of Fashioning a Romance, Unmasking Maya, and The Karmic Connection.

To learn more about Libby,

Laura Chapman

Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction blogger and author. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She spent four years traveling the country as a writer/photographer, and currently works in communications. Born and raised in Nebraska—in a city, not on a farm—she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Her debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats, was released in December 2013.

For more about Laura,
please visit her website

Lucie Simone, Editor

Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, romance and all things Chick Lit. She also has a degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production. She is the author of the novels, Picture Perfect and Hollywood Ending. Her short story, “Aprez Vous,” is featured in themanthology, Petit Four: Four Stories Frosted with Love. Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angeles.

For more about Lucie,
please visit her website at

Buy the Book!

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  1. Thank you so much Susan! We really appreciate being featured on your blog :) xxx, Lauren

  2. Nebraska represent! ;) So glad you enjoyed our anthology. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it.


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