12 Brides of Christmas

Brides novella Goodreads wedding

For Christmas 2014, Barbour Publishing tried a new idea involving an ebook series called The 12 Brides of Christmas.

Like the weekly serial format of stories as done in Charles Dicken’s time, The 12 Brides of Christmas were twelve distinct novellas centering on a gift given at Christmas time and a resultant wedding.

In the busy season leading up to the holiday, we thought readers might enjoy having a simple novella, easy to read in an hour with a warm drink by your side, to look forward to each week in the three months leading up to Christmas.

For those with ebook readers, it worked.

But for the many who prefered to read physical books, hearing about the stories without a way to read them was frustrating.

Your frustration has ended.

On October 1, Barbour collected all twelve stories into one 544-page book!

Now you can read them all in one sitting from a book held in your hand or give a copy to a friend. Novella collections make great teacher gifts and are something people can enjoy in a short time

The twelve stories center on festivities, nutcrackers, stars, trees, creches, gifts, gingerbread and fruitcakes; they also are festive, advent-related, snowbound, evergreen and my favorite, yuletide.

All set in the mid and western United States, they cover the country from Illinois to Mississippi to Arizona to Wyoming and everywhere in between in the 19th century.

For detailed descriptions of the individual stories, see the 12 Brides of Christmas webpage here.

In the fall of 2014, I posted stories about each writer and her story. Here’s a brief story summary with links to each writer’s full interview:

The Festive Bride by Diana Brandmeyer:  When Roy Gibbons finds Alma Pickens as a mother to give his daughters for Christmas he thought it would be a simple arrangement. But this is the only wedding Alma will have, and she is determined to make it festive. Will this bride be more than Roy bargained for?

Diana’s novella is a poignant story of love between a widow and a widower, which reflects her own personal experience–though she didn’t have to fall in love quite so fast!

The Nutcracker Bride by Margaret Brownley:  While gathering walnuts, someone throws a bag of money into Lucy Langdon’s wagon. Now Chad Prescott, a Texas ranger, is determined to recover the bag, but not before he is shot as a prowler.
Waking up in a house full of German nutcrackers is rather disconcerting for this lawman, but not as troublesome as feeling his heart fall for the lovely Lucy.

Leuchtstern, Christmas Star

The Christmas Star Bride by Amanda Cabot: Esther Hathaway lost her one true love at Gettysburg twenty years ago, but she is still willing to celebrate her niece’s wedding by commissioning Jeremy Snyder to paint her portrait.

 Will Esther’s prayers for God to ease her loneliness be answered by a wounded vet?

The Advent Bride by Mary Connealy: Melanie Douglas attempts to connect with a troubled student using an advent box with hidden rewards. When Henry O’Keeffe sees a remarkable change in his son, he has to meet the new teacher.

Will more than one prayer be answered in the small Nebraska town?

 The Christmas Tree Bride by Susan Page Davis: Polly Winfield lives at the stagecoach station that her father operates and often sees Jacob Tierney, one of the drivers. But winter arrives on the

prairie bleak and uneventful, and she confesses to Jacob that all she longs for is a Christmas tree.

 Will a stagecoach accident prevent him from making her wish come true?Christmas in the post-War United States

The Nativity Bride by Miralee Ferrell: Deborah Summers has waited five years and prayed for Curt Warren to return to Goldendale, Washington, passing up another marriage proposal by believing in her first love.

When tragedy finally brings him home, will a rift with his father drive him away too quickly?

The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman: Mississippian Annabelle Denson dreams of visiting cousins in Illinois and seeing a white Christmas. In the face of her excitement, Samuel Frazier hides his growing affection for her behind a quiet smile and a carpenter’s lathe.

Samuel starts to worry that if she goes, Annabelle won’t return. Can he convince her to stay?

The Gift-Wrapped Bride by Maureen Lang: Sophie Stewart’s family has just moved to Chicago to join her brother and help start a church. Sophie is an artist with big dreams, but she feels her parents are pushing her to marry someone like Noah Jackson, a young man from their Ohio hometown.
But forgiving the past and recognizing Noah’s maturity and changes may take a miracle.English: Two gingerbread men in a basket of co...
The Gingerbread Bride by Amy Lillard: Maddie Sinclair loves Harlan Calhoun, but feels like she can’t get his attention, so she visits an eccentric woman in the Ozark Mountains for an herbal mixture—a love potion—that she bakes into a batch of gingerbread cookies.When Harlan suddenly proposes, Maddie is torn by guilt and confusion. Is this true love or just the herbs talking?Christmas pudding decorated with skimmia rathe...

The Fruitcake Bride by Vickie McDonough: Pastor Clayton Parsons waited a year to bring his fiancée, Karen Briggs, to his new church post. They plan a Christmas wedding, but in the meantime Karen helps the church ladies with various projects, including a bake sale.But revealing her fruitcake recipe could spell disaster for her future in Bakerstown, Missouri.The Snowbound Bride by Davalynn Spencer:  On the run from a heartless uncle, Arabella Taube hides in Nate Horne’s farm wagon just as a harsh winter storm sweeps into Colorado.

Despite Ara’s mysterious background, Nate’s mother thinks she is the answer to a prayer and the hope for his future.

The Yuletide Bride by Michelle Ule: Ewan Murray and Kate McDougall hold a mutual appreciation for music—and each other. But as she comes of age, Ewan realizes he must do something to prove his worth to her merchant father.

Will a refurbished heirloom and a sudden snowstorm be the key to earning permission to marry?

If you’re curious about what happened next to these characters, check out The 12 Brides of Summer!12 Brides of Summer

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