top of page
  • N. N. Light

Christmas in Tahoe by Martha O’Sullivan is a Christmas in July Fete pick #romance #onsale #giveaway

Title: Christmas in Tahoe

Author: Martha O’Sullivan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:

Laurel Reynolds is an aspiring romance novelist with a rock and roll pedigree who returns to her Lake Tahoe roots in search of a fresh start. Falling in love with McGovern Scott was not on the agenda. Gov is all in favor of her plan to start over—as long as it’s with him. But has Laurel fallen in love with Tahoe’s favorite son or the sexy hero she created? And with Christmas quickly approaching, can Laurel find the courage to leave the past behind and focus on the future?


Laurel Reynolds always had a plan. For as long as she could remember, she went to bed knowing the next day’s agenda. But now for the first time in three decades of living, she had no idea what she was doing tomorrow, let alone the next day.

And she liked it.

But she was the only one. Her mother thought she’d lost her mind, her boss thought she needed an intervention and her best friend was convinced it was the divorce talking. And as Laurel watched the pastel haze suffuse the mountains and dusk fall over the lake, she had to admit that one had legs. Why, they had collectively argued, would the managing editor and heir apparent to publisher of L.A. Digital magazine, with a trendy apartment and a bright future, want to move to a sleepy little town in the mountains to write a novel.


But that was all she wanted to do. Part of her had always wanted to be an author, but the rest of her, the practical, ambitious, realistic part, knew that was a pipe dream. It was nearly impossible to make a decent living as a writer today. She’d only landed the job she had because she’d fallen into a college internship, worked her ass off and stayed on after graduation for peanuts. Much of which had been facilitated by her ex-husband. She used to feel guilty about that; now she considered it paying it forward.

Laurel slowed her pace, anticipating the upcoming change in elevation. When she was a girl, the view from the curve on Lakeshore Boulevard had been her favorite part of the drive. She still remembered goosebumps erupting on her arms as the lake came into view. First it only teased, peering out from behind the forests of massive trees and panorama of snowcapped mountains. Then suddenly it emerged, a boundless expanse of cobalt blue, the crests of its waves gleaming like millions of tiny diamonds in the sunlight. And if Lake Tahoe could hold its own for millions of years, through droughts and wildfires, long, harsh winters and scorching hot summers, surely she could face her fears and make something tangible out of the ideas that had been running amok in her head for what seemed like just as long.

By Christmas.

She found herself pulling onto the shoulder at the vista at the top of the hill. She got out of the car, zipped up her jacket and filled her lungs with the crisp mountain air. Walking to the lookout, she took in the lake with its rocky shoreline, the rows of bottle washer pines casting lengthening shadows over the water, the crashing of the waves in the evening wind. Resting her forearms against the rail, she took a few deep breaths, shut her eyes and indulged herself in the summers of her childhood. The scent of sunscreen melded with pine straw and cedar filled the air, wall-to-wall sunshine warmed her cheeks and sand, coarse and silty, coated her toes. Boats zigzagged the lake, towing tubers and skiers as jet skis skirted the shore, leaving a trail of white in their wake. Her mother stood in ankle-deep water, a hand shielding her eyes from the sun, making sure Laurel didn’t venture past the buoys. Every so often a melody floated through the air as if on butterfly wings, its harmony as familiar to her as the voice that carried it.

She opened her eyes, damp now, and returned to the present. She’d rented a furnished house in town, something that had taken some persuading on her part. Most single-family homes here only leased annually, were partial to locals and preferred to share a common thread with the other party. When offering to pay over asking didn’t move the needle, Laurel pulled the nostalgia card and did a little name-dropping. After all, she’d spent many summers here as a child and wanted to return to her Tahoe roots. To those carefree, seminal, fundamental years on which she’d based her life. That, and, oh by the way, her grandmother was Ronnie Reynolds. And although the property manager didn’t appear to be old enough to recognize the name, let alone appreciate the zeitgeist of Southern California in the seventies, Laurel had a feeling the property owner was. The house had been owned by the same person since the sixties. A person who must treasure it enough to never have sold it in the last fifty years despite its value increasing tenfold. And that person was likely right around the age of someone who would appreciate the music and culture of Southern California in the seventies. The leasing agent, her skepticism bordering on condescending, had finally agreed to humor Laurel and run the request by him.

So it had come as little surprise when she’d called back within fifteen minutes and in a considerably friendlier tone of voice, congratulated Laurel on securing the property for seven months at the advertised price and not a penny more. The only caveat was that the house was scheduled for some maintenance and repairs which wouldn’t be completed until late May. That was fine, Laurel had insisted. She could put on her noise-cancelling headphones and escape into her writing hole, such as it was. By day’s end, she had mailed a check for the deposit and signed an electronic lease beginning May the first, which was tomorrow.

But for tonight she was treating herself to the best hotel in town, a nice dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. Straightening, she let out a bolstering breath, tapped the top of the guardrail in farewell and left the sunset behind. Her grandmother had always told her to listen to her gut, that anything was possible if she wanted it badly enough. And Laurel was about to see if Ronnie Reynolds was right about that too.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Grab your e-copy on sale for $1.99!

What I love most about the holiday season:

Christmas is all about hope and joy and miracles and the new year represents new beginnings. Christmas in Tahoe is all of that and more!

Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?

Christmas in Tahoe begins in the spring and culminates at Christmas. What started as spending a Christmas in Tahoe turns into forever. What says Christmas more than that?

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card:

Open internationally.

Runs July 1 – 31, 2023.

Drawing will be held on August 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Martha O'Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing her own books is the realization of a lifelong dream. She is a graduate of Illinois State University where she wrote for the school newspaper and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. She is also a former Acquisitions Editor at MacMillan Computer Publishing. Martha writes contemporary romances with male/female couples and happy endings. Her Chances Trilogy—Second Chance, Chance Encounter and Last Chance—and standalone novel, Christmas in Tahoe, are available in print and digital formats at online retailers everywhere. Her next book, Sierra Fall, will be released in 2024. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Florida with her husband and daughters.

Social Media Links:


Jul 20, 2023

spending time with my family is my fave part.


Rita Wray
Rita Wray
Jul 11, 2023

Sounds great, I love the cover.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jul 11, 2023

Thank you, Martha, for sharing your book in our Christmas in July Fet!

bottom of page