Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas in July with Sally Smith O'Rourke

Reading about Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage by Sally Smith O'Rourke, in the very hot month of July is a fantastic tribute to Christmas in July.. Sally shares how this book came to be and also shares a favored trailer of the book. It is awesome! I love the idea of a story told by Meteor! Hope you enjoy it too. There is also a giveaway. Read more about it at the end of the post.

Prepare to fall in love with the magical world of Sea Pines, the snug fire lit cottage on the storm-swept tip of Cape Fear, where Robert, Laura and Meteor live surrounded by the boundless beauties of nature. Share their passion, their adventures and the joy that only the birth of a beloved child can bring. Rediscover all that is good and noble in life, from the untarnished perspective of a creature striving to understand the complexity and grandeur of human love. 

Michael O’Rourke and I spent almost three decades together as friends, partners, soul mates, as well as husband and wife. Our life together was the ultimate collaboration, a collaboration of love. Out of that collaboration many projects were created, including The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, The Maidenstone Lighthouse and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage.

Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage is a very special story and holds a singular place in my heart. Meteor’s Tale, as it was originally titled, was created not only out of our love for each other but also for the love of our grandson, Nicholas. Nicky wanted a “big” dog like a Golden Retriever, but his mom, Kelly, felt that since she would be doing the bulk of the care a smaller, more manageable pet would be better. So Nicky had to settle for a stuffed Golden Retriever and Jenna, a larger-sized Pomeranian; a very cute Pomeranian.

Out of Nicky’s desire for a big dog and my curiosity about the kind of man who would choose to maintain a lighthouse alone, came Meteor’s Tale. It’s the story of a loving family told through the eyes of the family’s pet Golden Retriever. Only Mike would have thought of an idea like that, to tell a dog’s story in the first person.

After we completed the original story, we discussed turning it into a Christmas story, an evergreen project, he called it. Unfortunately, I lost him before we were able to carry out the ideas we had to make it a holiday tale. Mike’s amazing talent and gifted writing were silenced in 2001. Like The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, I didn’t want this story to die with him. My publisher liked the story but wasn’t sure what to do with it so I told them about our Christmas idea, they liked that too and Meteor’s Tale became Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage.


A Golden Retriever puppy named Meteor was bred to be a hunting dog. Unable to stand to a gun after a childish prank perpetrated by his breeder’s teenage son, Meteor is given, as a pet, to a reclusive war hero. While nursing his injuries…physical and emotional, Robert has taken up residence at Sea Pines Cottage and is the keeper of the local lighthouse. Meteor, the Golden Retriever, tells the story of Robert’s bravery in saving a young woman floating on a plank in a storm. A romance blossoms when Laura returns to Sea Pines Cottage in search of the man who saved her life. They marry on Christmas Day. A year later a baby, Nicholas, is born on Christmas day. Meteor tells the story from the prospective of a beloved member of the family.

Connect with Sally Smith O'Rouke
Austenicity (the everything Austen site)

Purchase Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage

What people are saying about Meteor...

This book is one of the best books that I have read this holiday season!

I absolutely loved this book!

I loved the whole thing and I highly recommend it to everyone.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially if you are looking for an uplifting story and a quick read.

My taste in pets runs more to the feline side, so I wasn't sure if I'd like a book narrated by a dog, but I must admit that I fell in love with this book -- and with Meteor the dog!

I highly recommend this novella for all the lovers of Holiday Romance and General Fiction stories.

I’m looking forward to pulling this one out again in another month or so, when the holiday hustle and crash gets a little too frenetic for me. I’ll sit down and spend a bit of time with Meteor and his family, and remember why I love the holidays.

Life as seen through the eyes of a golden retriever is endearing and has lessons for us humans. I not only read it but then gave three copies as gifts to friends and family.

If you want to read a lovely short story about the Darcy's First Christmas at Pemberley written by Sally Smith O'Rourke, follow the link to this heartwarming and very touching story. It is everything you would imagine their first Christmas to be!  The Darcy's First Christmas at Pemberley  There is also a link to their first New Year on that same page!

Celebrate an Austenesque Christmas in July with these other authors and their books

Regina Jeffers                                    Sharon Lathan                                 Kara Louise
Christmas at Pemberley                     A Darcy Christmas                           Pemberley Celebrations
                                                                                                              (other holiday stories too)
Amazon                                            Amazon                                           Amazon
Barnes & Noble                                 Barnes & Noble                                Barnes & Noble


Thank you Sally Smith O'Rourke for telling us a bit about your Christmas novella. I love Christmas stories and this one sounds perfect. I look forward to reading it. For a special treat with this Christmas in July post Ms. O'Rourke, Regina Jeffers, Sharon Lathan and Kara Louise are kindly giving away one trade paperback (domestic only) OR one eBook (international) for an eReader of Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage, Christmas at Pemberley, A Darcy Christmas (eBook only) and Pemberley Celebrations to one very lucky winner. Isn't that fantastic! Thank you, ladies, for your generosity! To be entered leave a comment below. Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @.  Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, July 29.


  1. What an uplifting story about how your book came to be written, Sally. Just from the premise, good reviews and my love for dogs (although I don't own one yet), I'm looking forward to reading Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage.


  2. Hope you enjoy it when you do. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It is always so interesting to read about the background of a book. Thank you for sharing, Sally. The thought of winning and reading Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage is already cooling me off during these hot, humid days.

    1. I feel the same, Eva. It is so hot here and seeing the book cover with the snow is wonderful!

      Wasn't the background of this book great!?

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I adored this book and its a good read at any time of the year. I know I'll be re-reading it in the future.

    Please don't enter me in the contest, Janet!

    1. So glad to hear how much you liked the book, Sophia Rose. I look forward to reading it soon.


  5. Delightful post and delited to find your Christmas in July !
    Fabulous titles I'd be thrilled to receive and add to my Austen in August reading. faithhopecherrytea [at gmail.]com
    thanks for hosting !

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by. They are fabulous titles aren't they and all excellent books!

  6. Among the first titles I purchased for my Kindle last Christmas were an assortment of novels centered on the Darcys at Pemberley for the holidays. Would love to add to that collection!


    1. These would all be wonderful to add to your collection. If you have a chance, be sure and follow the link above to read Ms. O'Rourke's short story about the Darcys' First Christmas. It is a lovely story.

  7. I loved "The Man Who Loved Jane Austen" and "Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen" and now I can't wait to read this one!! Beside that, I do love a great Christmas story.


    1. Liz, I loved TMWLJA and YAJA too. Weren't they marvelous. They both evoked so many emotions.

      I too, love a good Christmas story! Four good ones here!

  8. Pleased that you enjoyed my Austenesque novels. Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage (Meteor's Tale) holds a special place in my heart.

  9. Sally, it is so good to have you visit with Christmas in July. I appreciate that you are willing to share your story with us. It is touching how it came to be and I admire your bravery and dedication to your books and the love of your life.

    Thank you.

  10. Christmas any time is fine by me! It is my favorite holiday of all.

    Thanks for including A Darcy Christmas in the mix.

    Merry Christmas, everyone! LOL!

    1. It is my favorite, too, Sharon. Thank you for sharing in the giveaway. It is such a fabulous one at that!

  11. Any of these would make a good Christmas present in July or anytime! Thank you for the giveway!

  12. what a GREAT giveaway for the middle of the summer!!
    thank you!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  13. Cecilia A. Hook

    I am anxious to read these books thank you for giving chances to win the giveaway. angelbrimom at optonline.net

    (I always have to comment as anonymous.What do I have to do to comment otherwise, thank you.

  14. patkf2007 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    Combinations of my two favorite things - Christmas and Jane Austen!