I grew up loving to escape to the fantasy world in books. While other kids were out and about, I loved hanging out at the library. Nothing made me feel as happy as walking out with a stack of books in my hands. At the age of twelve, I began writing after I had a series of extremely vivid dreams that begged to be made onto a story.
In high school and college, I focused on science and graduated with a degree in environmental biology with a heavy side of biochemistry.
After college I began writing again, but quickly realized I had failed to take a single writing or grammar class. Luckily, I'm a quick learner. I love writing stories with interesting characters, from paranormal to suspense, but they all have romance and I’m a sucker for a happily ever after.
Can a rebound romance be the real thing?
Christmas is Remi’s favorite time of year—the lights, the parties, the smell of cookies baking. But this year only the stench of betrayal hangs in the air. She can't show her face at the many holiday get-togethers after being dumped by her longtime boyfriend. To put a bow on his insult, he leaves Remi with a puppy who is more like a fuzzy, innocent-eyed Piranha. This was shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever, until she spies a handsome man from her past. Cade is back in town, avoiding his ex-fiancée, at least until after the holidays—not that he ever liked the season much. Being left at the altar on Christmas day tends to chill the merriest heart. Handling the situation with grace, he did what any mature adult would do—promptly took a job out of state. Now back home, Cade ventures out and runs into Remi. He hasn’t seen his best friend’s sister in years but there she is, being dragged around by an unruly pup. It’s the first time Cade has laughed in weeks. But before they can properly catch up, his ex shows up. Desperate, Cade wraps an arm around Remi and plants a kiss on her cheek, claiming her as his girlfriend. What says Christmas better than a season of lying, sneaking around, and the real possibility of death when Remi’s older brother finds out about their charade?
Originally published in the 2022 A Christmas to Remember Anthology
MERRY MIX-UPS by Emily Bybee
Will a second chance at love be under the tree?
Max would do anything for his best friend, Brad. Anything except date a kleptomaniac. His grandparents raised him with a firm set of morals and rules. But Brad’s fiancée insists on the double date.
Cassi is freshly moved back to Denver after a bad break-up. She’s hesitant about her first date in a year, especially a blind date, but her best friend, Becca, pushes until she agrees.
Half way through a colossal flop of a double date, Max has no interest in seeing Cassi again, and vice versa. But in a twist of fate, Becca and Brad announce they’ve moved up their wedding to Christmas Eve. Three weeks away. As the best man and the maid of honor, Max and Cassi are stuck together wedding planning. Cassi is funny, kind, and—much as Max doesn’t want to admit it—beautiful. Problem is, he can’t forget the stories about Cassi’s days in college as an unchecked kleptomaniac.
Cassi tries to make the best of the situation. Much as she tries to connect with the handsome man she’s forced to work with, nothing she says seems to be right. One minute they’re having great conversation and the next he’s a complete ass.
Then it hits her. He has to know about her past. The single night that drove her out of the state and still haunts her. With the wedding looming and a lonely Christmas on the horizon, emotions are high. And emotions don’t always follow the rules.