We are delighted to welcome Annabeth Albert to Sinfully with some festive cheer, as she joins us to celebrate the release of Wrapped Together, book five in the Portland Heat series.
Thank you so much for having me! My new release, WRAPPED TOGETHER, is a holiday story starring all my favorite things about the holidays in Oregon. Oh and two competing shop owners with a wager on a holiday decorating contest. And some seriously sexy winter fun. But along with all that, I was able bring so many of my favorite parts of the season to life in the book. Now some of our traditions are shared in other parts of the country, but some are uniquely Oregon. What are your favorite local traditions?
Here are my top ten favorite things about the holidays in Oregon, many of which make an appearance in the book.
1. Zoo lights. Outdoor light displays happen all over the country, but what makes this special is how the Oregon Zoo comes to life with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. My kids loved the wonder and magic of all the displays.
2. Eggnog lattes. Sure you can get these all over now, but I had my first one in Oregon, almost a decade ago now, and it was a revelation. It wouldn’t be the holidays without at least one!
3. Holiday Concerts. No matter where you live, there’s probably a holiday concert or twelve waiting for you. But here, we’re particularly blessed with music from the Portland Symphony, the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, the Nutcracker from the Oregon Ballet, and seasonal performances from groups big and little all over the region.
4. Pioneer Square Christmas Tree. New York has Rockefeller Center with its iconic tree, but the giant tree in Portland’s Pioneer Square is no less magical to me.
5. Gluten Free cookies. I’ve been gluten free for years now, and I’ve noticed when traveling to other places how good those of us with food allergies have it in the Northwest. It’s relatively easy to find tasty gluten free holiday offerings!
6. Local Christmas trees. Oregon has one of the highest per-capita number of tree farms in the country, and the larger tree farms offer fun for the whole family.
7. Local meat and salmon. A few years ago we tried to do an all local meal—everything produced in the Pacific Northwest and it was actually really easy to locate all the meal components. Our favorite dish? The amazingly yummy northwest salmon!
8. Craft fairs. We take our crafting very seriously in the Northwest, where even church bazaars get downright competitive in showcasing the handmade treasures of crafters young and old. One of my favorite spots for locally made goods is the iconic Portland Saturday Market, but I also love many of the smaller regional craft showcases.
9. Tuba Christmas. I know I mentioned holiday concerts, but this deserves its own line. When I first moved here, I was utterly astonished by this annual tradition. More than 250 tubas playing Christmas music. Yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds.
10. Local cider, ale, and wine. Finding a local sparkling wine that won’t break the bank is a recent annual New Year ’s Eve tradition for me, and for the family we love the west coast tradition of Martinelli’s sparkling cider with our holiday meals.
In the comments, I’d love to hear about your own local traditions. And I can’t wait for you to meet Hollis and Sawyer in WRAPPED TOGETHER as they make holiday memories together!
(Portland Heat #5)
Published ~ 6th December 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Christmas
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .
For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .
::: LISA’S REVIEW :::
Portland Heat Series
Meet Annabeth Albert
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency
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