My True Love Gave to Me

So … hey there! It’s been … um … seven months? I’ve never had a very good concept of time, but this is ridiculous. Lots of things have happened since then, which I will post about soon!

However, today is the release of MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: Twelve Holiday Stories!


(The real cover doesn’t do this. Unless maybe you’ve had too much egg nog.)

First Page

My story!

pages uk

The Macmillan UK edition! Look at those pink edges!

Last November, I participated in Y’all Fest in Charleston, South Carolina (which is an amazing yearly event and everyone should go). By Sunday morning, the festival shenanigans were over, so Stephanie Perkins and I went to a place called “Toast” for breakfast. We ordered Creme Brûlée lattes, and discussed our love of Hallmark holiday movies, among other things. Before our cups were empty, Steph had an idea.

Steph Latte

Lattes of Inspiration at Toast

A really (REALLY) short time later, she and her kick butt agent sold that idea, and MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: Twelve Holiday Stories was born! And I got to contribute! I was excited, so excited!



I mean, REALLY excited.

elf jumps in tree


But when I saw the list of the other contributors, excited shifted toward overwhelmed. My confidence went … well … let Uncle Eddie demonstrate:

Good Eddie

But I persevered, with a lot of help! Here’s the thing about Stephanie Perkins. What you see is what you get. The kindness? Genuine. The authenticity? Authentic. Her belief that you can do it (yes, you too!)? She’s not foolin’ around. She’s an amazing encourager and a brilliant editor. Through her feedback and edits, and then through Sara Goodman’s at Saint Martin’s Press, I was able to write a story of which I am proud, and not just because it’s titled “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus.”

It’s a mashup of THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGENT EVER by Barbara Robinson (where Gracie got her last name), and the Dixie Stampede, which I changed to the Rebel Yell (my apologies to Dolly Parton). I drew on the five years I worked in children’s ministry to write it (the glitter observation is a direct quote), and it has one swear. Okay, more than one swear. (I totally emailed my pastor and told him.)

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME received a star from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the School Library Journal. That in itself is a Christmas miracle!

Grab a copy, snuggle up under a cozy blanket with your favorite hot beverage, and enjoy. May you find the stories inside as magical as this:

hogwart christmas


  1. I’m so excited about this one! I’ve never seen an anthology with so many authors I love (and you, yes you!). Now my only problem…US or UK version?

    Since I saw both of you at Y’allfest last year, I extra loved this story.

  2. I cannot wait to read your story! And thanks for sharing the link to TOAST. I’m headed back to YALLFest this year and will have to check it out.

  3. I am looking forward to reading this! Your father-in-law was bragging on you and I loved it! Good luck to you!

  4. Wow that’s so awesome! A lot of great authors(though you are probably my favorite!). And I’m so happy to see you back! I’ve been checking your site every month for new stuff. Absolutley can’t wait to hear what’s been going on! I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.

    Is there another series? 😉 Because I’ve read the Hourglass trilogy like…um.. 8 times :p

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