When her boyfriend dumps her four weeks before Christmas, Hannah throws herself into holiday preparations in order to dull the pain. But nothing seems to help, until Hannah quite literally bumps into Owen, while Christmas shopping.
Hannah and Owen hit it off immediately. But Owen is nursing an old grief of his own…
This is a short and sweet holiday romance of 5900 words or approximately 20 print pages.
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- Christmas Shopping with a Broken Heart is a short and sweet holiday romance of approx. 5900 words. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- Christmas Shopping with a Broken Heart was quite literally inspired by its title, when the phrase “Christmas Shopping with a Broken Heart” suddenly popped into my head. Initially, I wanted to use it for a poem, but then I started writing a short story instead, literally a week before Christmas.
- Many years ago, I actually did go through a break-up about a month before Christmas, though the details were far less dramatic than what happened to Hannah. Though like Hannah, I threw myself into holiday activities and preparations to get over the break-up.
- Hannah’s family Christmas dinner – roast goose with red cabbage – is a traditional German Christmas dinner (and coincidentally also Alfred and Bertha’s Christmas dinner in The Tinsel-Free Christmas Tree). Cranberry sauce is not entirely traditional, but frequently served with goose.
- Coincidentally, Hannah’s problem with jarred cranberry sauce, namely that every brand contains a binding agent she is allergic, too, is also my problem with jarred cranberry sauce. There are only two brands I can eat and those are difficult to find.
- Christmas Shopping with a Broken Heart is the second short holiday romance set mainly in a shopping mall just before Christmas that I’ve written. The other one is Christmas Gifts. And indeed, there is a link between the two stories, since the protagonists of both stories end up going to the same coffee shop.
- Why shopping malls? Well, malls are an environment that offers pretty much anything a story could possible require, they make it easy for people to meet and come in contact with strangers and they are an environment associated with holiday stress.
- Indeed, I might eventually link Christmas Gifts and Christmas Shopping with a Broken Heart as well as potential future holiday stories set at shopping malls together in a series.
- The cover is stock art by Elena Barenbaum, though I added the snowflakes myself. The look was inspired by the illustrated covers Bertelsmann used for its book club hardcover editions in the 1960s and 1970s (see some examples here, here and here). My Mom had dozens of those book club editions, when I was a kid, so the look is iconic for me for romance and women’s fiction covers.