Merry & Bright by Denise Devine

It’s the happiest season of all… With snowflakes dancing in the air, and the ring of carols everywhere, Christmas holds a special place in our hearts, our favorite time of the year. Set in the Midwest, this sweet collection of “Happily Ever After” Christmas stories are sure to brighten your day and lift your spirits. Enjoy them all year! A Merry Little Christmas – Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find love along the way. A Christmas to Remember – Stranded together in a blizzard, Katie and Ryan discover the true meaning of Christmas. Once Upon a Christmas – When old friends unite, will a new enemy keep them apart? So This is Christmas – He’s her childhood nemesis; is it possible to become best friends forever?

Denise Devine

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

This sweet collection of “Happily Ever After” Christmas stories are sure to brighten your day and lift your spirits.

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

Book One, A Merry Little Christmas – When Merry pulls out an envelope from Tony that she’d forgotten in her purse and realizes it is the deed to her house. Even though they are no longer together, he’d paid off the contract and is giving her the paperwork with a note that he hopes she finds the happiness she deserves.

Does your heroine prefer a real or artificial tree for Christmas?

She can’t afford a real tree so she gets a second hand one from the thrift store.

What’s the one present your hero least wants to open Christmas morning?

Anything that reminds him of his past. Several years prior to the story, his wife and son died a couple weeks before Christmas in a car accident.

Would your hero hang mistletoe?


What scene did you adore writing in this book?

Oh, so many! The last scene is the best for me.

What is your heroine’s favorite Christmas tradition?

Taking her two young children to see Santa and get their pictures taken.

Does your hero love or hate snow?

He’s okay with now. It’s Christmas that gives him problems.

For Christmas, will you be having turkey, goose, ham, prime rib, or something else?

I honestly have no idea. My husband cooks all of our holiday meals and he obsesses over every detail. He decides the main course, he does the grocery shopping, and he cooks the meal. I take orders and clean up the mess!

What’s the strangest Christmas tradition your family does to celebrate?

We play bingo for lottery scratch offs. We started out with white elephant gifts, but the scratch offs caught on and now it’s the fun part of the day after the kids open their gifts.

Excerpt from Merry & Bright

Tony shoved back his chair and jumped to his feet. “Merry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”
His words echoed through an empty room. She’d already fled the kitchen, her long blonde hair flowing behind her as she left him standing alone. He stared at the doorway she’d disappeared through, mulling over her outburst.

Either she is one talented actress or her anger is real.

His instincts were leaning toward the second point. He didn’t know where Neal had obtained his information, but his brother-in-law had Merry Connor all wrong. For someone who supposedly conspired with her husband, guarding the stolen goods until he got out of prison, she certainly didn’t act like it. Her flushed cheeks, rigid stance, and trembling voice appeared to be genuine. Her story, if true, must have been a nightmare to endure.

How could Aidan Connor do that to her? Why would he deliberately sabotage the future of his own children and his wife?

They’d covered everything he wanted to discuss, including the subject of Merry’s credit. Her business call sounded urgent, so he decided to take his leave. He cast a cursory look around her kitchen once more then headed for the front closet to retrieve his jacket. The sparse furnishings were secondhand. The entire house looked mismatched, as though Merry had decorated with garage sale bargains. The woman didn’t own a single item of value as far as he could tell—not even a decent television. She definitely didn’t live like a woman who had at least a million bucks stashed away.

Cody came bouncing down the stairs, meeting him at the front door. “Who called?”

“Who called?” Lily repeated as she followed behind her brother, crashing into his back on the bottom step. “Are Grandma and Grandpa coming over?”

“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask your mom about that.” Tony smiled to himself. These kids were quite a handful, but at the same time, they made an endearing pair. He wondered, wistfully, if his own son would exude as much energy if he were alive.

“I’m hungry,” Cody said and rubbed his stomach. “I wish we were having pizza for supper.”

Lily pushed past her brother. “Tony, are you eating at our house tonight?”

“No, I’m afraid not.” He pulled his jacket from the closet and slipped it on. The lonely, faraway expression on Cody’s face made him pause. Fate had dealt the boy a raw deal, losing his father the way he did. Every boy needed a man’s influence, someone to teach him values, and guide him through the bumps and bruises of life. “Maybe some other time,” he said slowly, wondering why guilt pressed on his heart from all sides.

He headed back to the kitchen to retrieve his folder, passing Merry in the dining room. She sat at the table, still talking with someone on the phone. He waved at her, politely letting her know he would let himself out.

Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author who has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. She loves all animals, especially dogs, cats and horses, and they often find their way into her books.

She has written sixteen books, including books in the Beach Brides Series, The Perfect Match Series and the Hawaiian Holiday Series. Besides the USA Today list, her books have hit the Top 100 Bestseller list on Amazon and she has been listed on Amazon’s Top 100 Authors.

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