Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: The Christmas Makeover by Susan Lute 💕 Guest Post, Book Tour, Freebie Offer and $15 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Holiday Romance)

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Christmas Makeover by Susan Lute 💕 Guest Post, Book Tour, Freebie Offer and $15 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Holiday Romance)

She loves him the way he is, mismatched socks and all.

He’s ready for the lights…

Baker Grant Reed loves discovering new Christmas recipes, making people smile, and Angel Point—not necessarily in that order. But when his editor turns down his proposal for a Christmas cookbook, he must show her how serious he is about becoming the premier pastry chef in the country. He turns to his best friend, Faith—if anyone can give him a complete makeover that will turn heads, she can.

She knows how to make things sparkle…

In her past, Faith Hathaway was a costume designer for some of Broadway’s most prestigious plays. Now, after moving to Angel Point to help her grandfather, she owns and operates a vintage boutique and helps out at the local theater. When Grant asks for a makeover, she’s torn—she loves him the way he is, mismatched socks and all.

In exchange, he promises to show Faith, who has never enjoyed the holiday season, the magic of an Angel Point Christmas. But as the two grow closer, Grant can’t help but wonder…has he got his Christmas wish all wrong?

Susan Lute discusses her favorite trope and character development!

Susan Lute stopped by the Tule blog to discuss her new Angel Point Christmas book, The Christmas Makeover!

Time Lapse Photography of EggIf you could spend the day with Grant or Faith, who would you choose and what would you do?

That is an interesting question. I’d love to spend a day with both Grant and Faith. Faith has heart. She loves her granddad. She fits in two worlds—city and country. If I spent the day with her, I would be thrilled to help her work on costumes for the play. I used to make my own clothes when I was younger. Working on costumes with Faith would be super awesome. On the other hand, I love Grant—and who wouldn’t—because he always has a plan. He trusts Faith. She’s the one he turns to in a crutch. The fact that he makes the best apple fritters in Angel Point is just a bonus. Taking one of his baking classes screams fun! Sorry Faith. It’s a toss up but I have to say, learning to make apple fritters from a man who is not shy about wearing mismatched socks wins hands down.



The Christmas Makeover is a sweet friends to lovers romance. What drew you to this trope? What is your favorite trope to write?

More often than not I write a friends to lovers romance. It’s my favorite trope. My second favorite is an arranged marriage set in today’s world, mostly because it’s such a challenge to make it believable in a contemporary romance. And writing a Christmas story . . . what could be better? When I first started thinking about Grant and what his Christmas story might be, I knew I wanted him to need a makeover, ala Ebenezer . . . er Eleanor . . . Scrooge. He’s the geek baker who wants to be more. Who would be his accomplice for this task? It could only be his best friend, Faith, who brought her own complications to this holiday adventure. 


Free stock photo of art, celebration, christmasAre your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? What did that development process look like for The Christmas Makeover?

The short answer is that, while I plot a story ahead of time, when I write, what unfolds is sometimes only loosely related to the outline I start with. Which is okay. I like surprises along the way. Before I plot a story, I do a lot of upfront work on my characters. Grant for instance, has always been a baker. His archetype is the best friend. Faith’s archetype is my favorite to write, the spunky kid. This is a Christmas story, so that is a major plot line in this novel. Grant loves, loves, loves Christmas. Faith is more bah humbug. I dive deep into all the characters’, primary and secondary, goals, motivations, and conflicts. I answer a few questions about who they are at the beginning of the novel and where they will end up at the end. Again, it’s the surprises that make getting to know them worthwhile. For instance, who knew Grant always wore mismatched socks and why?


What was your favorite scene to write and why? 

For me, every scene locks into the next. As I’m writing, I see them moving across the screen like a movie. That makes it hard to pick my favorite, but I guess I would say my favorite scene is when Grant realizes he wants more than to be best friends with Faith.

“Is Tara coming?” Faith wrapped both hands around her cup. She wore knitted fingerless gloves. Her fingers were tipped with charming Christmas-red nail polish. 

“She can’t make it.”

“Oh no. Why?” Faith leaned against his arm in sympathy. His chest warmed. “Grant, we can fix this. We’ll just go and convince her to come and participate in the festivities.”

“Hold on there.” He stopped her with a light grip on her arm. How could he put this? “She’s busy learning her part, and it’s okay. Honestly.”

She searched his face. “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely.” He gently urged her forward. Stuart and his grandma had already followed the carolers and were half a block ahead. He bent his head so Faith could hear better. “How about we make a new pact. The rest of this week is all about enjoying Christmas.”

The frown line between her brows cleared. Her lips turned up as she tugged on his coat, pulling him forward. “Deal.”

They spent the next hour caroling. The parade ended in Seagull Park north of Warren. A lone fir tree sparkled with lights and decorations from the star tree topper to the bottom limbs while lamplight cast a cozy glow over a Christmas village of booths selling everything imaginable for the holiday: wreaths, stockings, candy, books, small toys, food and drink. Santa was seated in his sleigh chair by the tree, and elves helped kids line up to tell Santa their Christmas wishes.

He watched the kids bounce around in line. Angel Point would be the perfect place to raise a family. He’d always known that, but tonight, it seemed so much more real.

He glanced at Faith as he escorted her to a fire pit in the middle of the celebration. Wood benches formed seating around a low fire. Sitting, he patted the bench beside him. “When do you want to have your next baking lesson?”

“What will we be making?” She sat beside him. The reflection of Christmas lights sparked in her dark eyes.

“My almost famous Christmas fritters, of course.”

“Of course. About time, too.”

He laughed and shrugged one shoulder. As much as she loved eating them, it was a given the fritters wouldn’t be a hard sell. “So, the menu is okay with you?”

Her tinkling laugh woke up his pulse. “Oh, yeah. More than okay.”

“There you two are,” his grandma said at his elbow. “We wanted to let you know we’re going to head to Stuart’s. A movie and a nice, warm Christmas drink are calling our names.”

“I have the original version of Miracle on 34th Street.” Smile lines fanned out from Stuart’s eyes as he turned to Faith. “Can Grant bring you home?”

“Sure can.” Grant turned to his enchanting companion. “Right?”

“Maybe. I don’t get into a vehicle with just anyone,” she teased, leaned over, and looked at his feet. “Let me see your socks.” 

Uh-huh. Who knew Faith Hathaway had a sock fetish? 

It was a good thing the old Grant hadn’t gone anywhere. He pulled up both pant legs just enough to display his favorite mismatched socks. 

It started to snow.

“You just bought yourself a passenger, Mr. Reed,” she smirked, holding out her hand to catch the slowly floating snowflakes.

He pulled her up and drew her into a dance that had the makings of a lively waltz. When they stopped, laughing, his grandma grinned and with a brief wave, disappeared with Stuart into the surrounding crowd.

“How about tomorrow for your lesson?” he asked as they made their way to the booth that sold candy canes.

“I can come to the bakery after three.”

“That works. I’ll have everything ready when you get there.”

Grant was pretty sure he hadn’t seen Faith enjoy anything as much as exploring every booth in the village. They found gifts for their grandparents. Talked to folks they knew. When he dropped Faith off at her granddad’s house, his grandma’s car wasn’t there. 

He waited, watching until she turned on the doorstep and waved before going inside. 

She hadn’t mentioned hearing from her producer friend, and he hadn’t quizzed her. There was no denying she’d had fun tonight. Grant hadn’t wanted to throw a wrench in the evening. 

Angel Point had definitely shown Faith her true Christmas colors. The only problem? He’d also discovered that if he weren’t careful, where Faith Hathaway was concerned, his heart could easily take the plunge and never be the same again. And he was starting to think, the fall might be worth it, even if all he was to her was just a friend.


What are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading a new release from Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Dance Away With Me. SEP is one of my favorite authors, and as usual she doesn’t disappoint. This novel may be her best story yet. I love it!

“Okay, here's the deal.” Grant gave her a searching look. “I want you to give me a makeover.”

“A makeover?” Faith sat back in her chair. “Why?”

“I need to convince Rachel that I'm ready to take on the world with my cookbooks. That means—”

“Getting a new look?” She frowned at the man watching her so closely. 

“My favorite jeans have holes in them. I love Christmas more than the average elf. Oh, and my socks never match.”

Faith tried to hold in her laughter but failed. “I like all those things about you, except your jeans and those hideous, loud T-shirts you wear.”

“See?” He threw up his hands before he caught on that she was teasing. He joined in her laughter. “If I'm going to make people watching the video believe I'm a respectable baker, it all starts with a new look. You're the costume designer, so I know you can do this.”

Well, dang it. The wind went out of her best-first-date-ever sails. She sighed heavily, patting her upper chest. “Grant, that's just all window dressing. What's important is what's in here.” 

He held her gaze. “You're right, but if people can't get past the window, how are they ever going to find the good stuff inside?”

Heat flashed up her neck as she admitted softly, “I like you just the way you are.”

“I appreciate that, but—” He squeezed her hand. “The YouTube gig was your idea.”

A good friend would help a guy in need. The words played in her mind, not on his lips.

She sputtered out, “You are . . . kind of . . . scruffy. But what's in it for me?” If she sounded self-serving enough, maybe he'd change his mind.


She's just what the doctor ordered... but never knew he needed

U.S. Marshal-turned-Sheriff Taylor James can trace her family back to the original thirteen Marshals appointed by George Washington. She's good at her job, but once they find out she's the local law, she can't get even one of her dates to stay past the appetizers. Her plan? Convince good friend and hot neighbor Dr. Gabriel Adams to give her dating lessons since his dance card is always full.

A survivor of childhood leukemia with no guarantee his remission will last, Gabe lives by two rules: Don't get emotionally involved and don't let his well organized life spiral out of control. When he's given a baby, with his name on her birth certificate, he needs Taylor's help. But dangling dating lessons in exchange? If that will get the dedicated sheriff to lend a helping hand, could it be a bargain worth making?


She doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters…

Summoned to Angel Point for her sister's bridal shower, U.S. Marshal Dakota James's plan is to make sure her sister doesn't make the same mistake their parents did. But her quick in-and-out mission gets derailed when Taylor won't listen and instead tries to introduce Dakota to every member of the single male population in Angel Point. One former marine in particular sets off life-changing fireworks that tempt her to reconsider her single status.

He wants to be more than friends...

Beckett Leland came to Angel Point to check on his cousin's widow and young boys and found a quiet, out-of-the-way town where he and his retired military dog, Tucker, could peacefully make the transition to civilian life. What he doesn't count on is running into a fiery, passionate woman who doesn’t believe that love and happy endings are possible. But he wants more than friendship from the marshal who has taken his heart into custody.

Can he convince her that true love is real and their happiness waits just around the corner?


Susan is an award winning author of contemporary romance, women's fiction, and dystopian romance. Like all children of military families, she spent her childhood moving from one duty station to the next. She likes to say she is first and foremost a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer, and novelist. These days, when not working as a Registered Nurse, she remodels her house and writes whenever she can.


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  1. Thank you so much for hosting The Christmas Makeover. The only thing I can add is that Christmas is one of my favorite time of the year, right behind summer ;) We haven't put the tree up yet, but I have started wrapping presents. We celebrate Christmas Eve with the family, then watch Christmas movies Christmas morning.

  2. I love the sound of this story. I'm definitely adding it to my reading list.

  3. I love the cover and think the book sounds good.

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt and I can't wait to read Baker and Faith's story for the holiday and I love the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a wonderful holiday season!

  5. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details and for offering a giveaway, I love the cover, synopsis and excerpt, this is a must read for me

  6. sounds like a fun one

  7. This sounds like a sweet holiday read.


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