Friday, November 4, 2016

Love, Heartbreak, and the Holidays

If you have been following Five Directions Press on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (and if you have not, why haven’t you?), you may have noticed that we have started regularly posting images based on lines from our books. For the last week, those images have featured Courtney J. Hall’s A Holiday Wish (Silver Bells 1), which released into the world yesterday.

You may also remember Courtney’s Some Rise by Sin, which came out in 2015. Wasn’t a sequel, Some by Virtue Fall, supposed to follow? Well, yes—and it will, for sure. Can’t waste that gorgeous cover, right? But the Muse doesn’t always show up for the job on cue, and some days she arrives with a mind of her own. In this case, when Courtney asked for help with Cecily Haughton, what she got was Noelle Silver, who burst onto the scene ready-formed and chatting up a storm. So like any writer, Courtney said “thanks for the gift” and wrote it all down. Thus was born Silver Bells, a contemporary romance series focused on the winter holidays.

I love smart, funny romances—especially ones set between Halloween and Christmas—and this one is a gem. I’d say that even if I didn’t write for the same publisher and belong to the same critique group. I devoured the first draft, and the story only got better from there.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Read the details below, check out the images on social media, and decide for yourself. You can also go to the Five Directions Press page and read or listen to an excerpt before making up your mind. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I only wish I could discuss the series on New Books in Historical Fiction, but that will have to wait for Some by Virtue Fall.

Courtney J. Hall, A Holiday Wish

Noelle Silver has been a wedding planner for six years, and in all that time, the only bride she’s failed to get down the aisle is herself. Abandoned by her fiancé and disillusioned with love, Noelle is ready to pack it in and leave town when Brooke St. John, orphaned heiress, offers her a staggering amount of money to organize Brooke’s Christmas Eve wedding to a much older man.

Noelle is reluctant at first, but the payment Brooke offers is more than enough for Noelle to start a new life. It’s also an opportunity for Noelle to prove to herself—and her former fiancé—that despite her broken heart, she still has what it takes to pull off a wedding worthy of an heiress in the two months Brooke has given her.

But the best man, Brooke’s older brother Everett, is dead-set on stopping the nuptials. Will he succeed, driving the final nail into the coffin of Noelle’s career as a wedding planner—and shattering what’s left of her expectations of love?

“Memorable characters, a frantic scramble to put together a Christmas wedding, and an unexpected attraction. A Holiday Wish is a beautiful story about finding yourself again when all seems lost.” —USA Today bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett

You can order the book on (free if you have Kindle Unlimited) or through a local bookstore; to learn more about the author, visit

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