Guest post – author Leigh Riker

Guest post – author Leigh Riker

Good morning!  I’ve got a guest post from fellow author Leigh Riker.  So without further ado, I’ll turn it over to you!


A Heartwarming Christmas to You


Leigh Riker

We’ve all heard the old saying: “When I was a kid, I had to walk through hip-deep snow uphill to get to school.” (probably without shoes!)

We can laugh or roll our eyes at that, but I grew up in northeastern Ohio where we had some real blizzards. We neighborhood kids didn’t hike to class but we built amazing snow forts on days when there was no school. That also gave me more time to wallow in the Sears catalogue, trying to find the perfect Christmas present.

Then one year, my mom had the flu, and on the night before Christmas my little brother and I worried there’d be no Christmas. We didn’t even have a tree yet! With the snow already falling from a pearl-white sky and with a magical silence all around, nothing was moving on the roads. But our dad was truly our hero that night. Rising to the occasion, he pulled us both on a sled, thankfully downhill, to the only tree lot that was probably still open on Christmas Eve.

We were freezing but Dad didn’t complain. Back home he wrestled the tree into its stand then helped us decorate. And while sipping hot cocoa, I managed to stick my finger in an empty socket on a string of lights. After that I wasn’t cold! I glowed.

And ever since, that out-of-the-ordinary holiday has been my favorite Christmas memory.

This coming season, warm your heart with A Heartwarming Christmas, 12 holiday romances from 12 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, award-winning writers.

There are actually four connected anthologies, and each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of PG-rated romances is set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually.

This year’s A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages. With a wonderful Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

In my novella, “His Christmas Gift,” national park ranger Brady Sullivan comes home to make peace with his family. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work and for a time Brady is at loose ends—until he decides to help Cara Crawford, a pretty would-be writer, with her Christmas tree lot. Cara inherited it from her sister, who’s gone now, and the business isn’t doing very well. But Brady knows how to fix that, if not his personal life. Or how to deal with his growing attraction to Cara.

Too bad Cara hasn’t forgotten his part in the long-ago scandal that rocked the little town, distanced Brady from his family, and destroyed her sister’s life. Yet to her dismay, she hasn’t forgotten Brady either. Should she believe him now that he was innocent then? Can Cara trust once again in the magic of Christmas? And this time in her happy ending?

Forgiveness is the key. For Cara and Brady, it’s the greatest gift of all—with love.


A Heartwarming Christmas can be pre-ordered now (the official release date is October 13).


B & N: Coming soon!

And don’t miss our pre-launch Facebook party on August 26th! See details on my FB author page (Leigh Riker Books).

And who is Leigh?


Award-winning author Leigh Riker grew up with her nose in a book. She later began her career by writing short stories, but with her first novel, she found her true fictional “home.” And after seventeen novels, her passion for writing romance remains as strong as ever. With her husband and their mischievous Maine Coon cat, she now lives in the Southeast where she is (of course) working on a new novel.




I’ve also got a great interview with Leigh:

Who is your favorite author?

For romantic suspense I like Sandra Brown. And right now I’m enjoying Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island romance series.

How do you describe your writing style?

It used to be called “lyrical” but I’ve pared that down to a more contemporary, leaner style with lots of emotion.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Characterization is my favorite part of writing. I think Brady Sullivan and Cara Crawford are a pretty interesting Christmastime duo.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

I hope not <g>. I did once use my mother-in-law. But I’m sure there are little bits of me, favorite things, a way of looking at the world that come through.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

That’s a tough one. I love them all like children. But if I have to choose one, right now it’s Sunshine Donovan in my July 2015 release, Man of the Family. In this story Sunny is going through a bad patch—divorce, career problems—but she pulls through and in the process finally overcomes her very painful past. Which just may help some readers cope with their own experience of abuse.

What books have most influenced your life?

I absolutely love Katherine, a Medieval saga by Anya Seton that’s no longer in print. I’ve read that book at every stage of my life—and each time I learned something new from it.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Gone Girl. An interesting novel, but I’d make the characters more sympathetic and do something else with that ending.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

I loved watching the Monkees on TV, liked their songs. But it’s really the Beatles for me. They were very much a part of my life when I was dating my husband so there are a lot of memories connected to their music. And of course, they’re the Beatles!

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Hmm. Maybe Diane Keaton. I love her fashion sense! Or possibly, Sandra Bullock.


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9 Replies to “Guest post – author Leigh Riker”

  1. I remember pouring over the Sears Toy catalog for hours, trying to find, not dolls, but cap pistols. Did you know there were at least 6 pages devoted to cap pistols back in the day?

    I love your story about your dad taking you to find a Christmas tree.

  2. Leigh – I’d like to look like Diane Keaton, too. Love those flared-skirt dresses in ‘Because I Said So.’ And who wouldn’t love to inhabit Sandra Bullock? I love the sound of your novella. We all need second chances and forgiveness. Congratulations on being part of such a neat project.

  3. I’m looking forward to reading this anthology! I want to meet Brady and Cora. I also read Sandra Brown and Virginia Kantra’s books. Great interview!

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