Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're getting a little jingle jolly as we welcome Rachel's Random Resources with a special wintery guest. It's a book the features a collection of stories ready to make your yuletide delightful, or any day for that matter because really, who couldn't use a little Christmas...right now! So, with that in mind, let's turn our attention to our featured title, then KEEP READING for a SPECIAL EXCERPT, plus your CHANCE TO WIN!
The Mistletoe Mixtape
The Christmas Collective
About the book...
Snuggle up for the holidays with 12 very different tales of love that will have you dancing under the mistletoe!
The Mistletoe Mixtape, the second anthology from The Christmas Collective, is a diverse and inclusive mix of stories, with more swoon-worthy characters, second chances and happy endings.
Amongst these twelve Christmas music inspired stories you will discover long lost love, festive fantasy, LGBTQ+ love stories, witty one liners and holiday romances. There really is a story to capture every reader’s festive spirit. So grab yourself a hot chocolate, pop on your favourite festive tunes and immerse yourself in the magic of The Mistletoe Mixtape.
~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
Extract from Under the Mistletoe by Hayley-Jenifer Brennan (The Mistletoe Mixtape)
The extract I would like to share with you today is from the sixth story in The Mistletoe Mixtape anthology: Under the Mistletoe by Hayley-Jenifer Brennan. This story whisks us off to South Korea where we meet English Language teacher, Paige. Not only is she trying to deal with the loneliness of spending the Christmas season so far away from her family back in Ireland, but she’s also struggling to cope with her lazy, self-centred colleague (and boss’ son), Jihoon.
In this extract, we join Paige as her preconceptions about Jihoon are thrown into question when he surprises her on Christmas Eve.
I wandered up the stairs and towards the office on Christmas Eve morning with a steaming mug of tea in one hand and my phone in the other. I was multitasking – triple checking the schedule for the following morning and also texting my family and friends at home to wish them happy holidays in case I forgot the next day with all of the expected chaos that four kids who were special enough to have their own camp would bring. Christy’s present was tucked into the paper bag that hung on my arm, alongside the race car. I hadn’t decided whether I was giving it to Jihoon or not yet. I didn’t want to make an ass of myself, but his story had left me surprisingly touched.
I was glad when my keycard decided to be gracious that morning and it beeped to signal that I was granted permission to enter. I was startled to see that Jihoon was there before me, standing at his desk and scribbling something with fixated ferocity. I turned so as not to interrupt him and couldn’t help the gasp that escaped me. The room was covered in decorations and fairy lights.
‘You like it?’ Jihoon asked. ‘I thought about what you said and figured the teachers should have at least one day to feel festive.’
‘I love it.’ My voice came out as a whisper. ‘You even got real Frozen decorations.’
‘Yeah, no offence, but the knock-off Olaf in the snow-globe is terrifying.’
I nodded, taking in all the decorations. ‘It’s, um, it’s nice to see you on time for once,’ I remarked, unsure of what else to say.
‘I came early to decorate the office and the classroom for the kids coming tomorrow.’ He said it so nonchalantly that my brain took a couple of seconds to register it while I was staring at the sparkling fairy lights.
I spun on my heel when I finally processed what he had said. ‘You did? For the kids?’
‘Yeah.’ He looked up from what he was writing and cocked an eyebrow. ‘Yours were pathetic.’
I scoffed, unsurprised at the sudden wave of disappointment I felt. ‘Great,’ I said. ‘Thanks.’
There was a long pause as I made my way to my desk, but I felt his eyes on the back of my head the entire time as I walked.
‘What?’ he said after a moment. ‘That’s it?’
‘I’m sorry?’ I placed my things down on my desk and turned to look at him, not bothering to cover my confusion. It was too early for this.
‘I just insulted your decorations. Normally you practically fight me for much less.’ He looked just as confused as I felt.
‘I’m not in the mood today,’ I said, a pang of loneliness hitting me when my gaze fell on a wrapped gift he had sitting on his desk. I missed home today more than usual.
‘Did I do something wrong?’ he asked. ‘I mean, aside from existing in the same space as you?’
I sighed, giving in. ‘My decorations were fine.’
‘Oh, well, it’s no fun now.’ He folded his arms. ‘You’re just placating me.’
The office smelled damp and I knew it was cold, but the disappointment, loneliness, and now irritation warmed me from the inside. ‘No,’ I said. ‘I mean it: my decorations were fine. The kids won’t even notice – they’ll be too busy running around the place.’
‘I didn’t even realise you had put up decorations, they were so pathetic,’ he said, smugly.
Fury boiled in my jaw, and I stomped down the office, ready to give him a piece of my mind for constantly deeming my work and just straight up not doing his. I was so focused on getting there that I didn’t even make my usual trip over the taped down cables. When I arrived at his desk, I took a deep breath and angled my chin up, ready to let five months of frustration out on him at once, but the glint in his eyes stopped me dead.
‘Wait—’ I shook my head, realisation smacking me like a sledgehammer. ‘You actually enjoy annoying me?’
His eyebrows floated into his hairline. ‘You think I stick around the office for the coffee?’
About the author...
The Christmas Collective is a group of twelve romance authors who came together when shortlisted for a festive romance competition. Together they have created two Christmas Romance anthologies, More Than Mistletoe (2021) and The Mistletoe Mixtape (2022).
The Christmas Collective authors are spread far and wide, across the UK, Ireland, Spain and South Korea, however, one thing connects them despite the distance: a love of romance and Christmas.
Purchase Links for some of the authors in The Christmas Collective...
~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~
Chance to Win a Paperback copy of The Mistletoe Mixtape
(Open to UK and Ireland only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK and Ireland entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!
Until next time, remember ...if it looks good, READ IT!