Even though the holidays are still a few months away, we’re thrilled to be celebrating the talented Anita Hughes’ latest book, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, out today! Like with all her books, readers can expect to be transported to an exotic (and in this case, very romantic) location, which is great news for armchair travellers. Here’s more about Anita’s latest novel, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS …

Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel de Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs-Élysées and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.

When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the “city of lights” wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller, and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.

Anita stopped by to take our Tall Poppy Q&A, where she shares her strangest job, what book had the greatest impact on her, and what she’s working on next… 

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.

One book that made an impact on me was PRINCESS DAISY by Judith Krantz. I loved all her big, juicy novels with strong female characters and lots of fashion and romance. I especially loved PRINCESS DAISY because it was set in Europe and had wonderful descriptions of the locations.

Do you have any phobias?

One interesting thing I have found meeting other authors, is many have phobias. I think it is a sign of an overactive imagination (or at least that’s what I tell myself). One of my phobias is being stuck in freeway traffic. I live in Southern California so that is a frequent occurrence. I often take side roads to avoid the freeway and end up taking longer to reach my destination!

What the strangest job you’ve ever had?

The strangest job I have ever had was at a famous surf shop called RON JON’S when I was a teenager. It bills itself as the world’s largest surf shop. My job was to walk around the entire floor to make sure no one was shoplifting. I think that’s when I started making up stories in my head because there was nothing else to do!

What’s your next big thing?  

This is always one of my favorite questions because I am always excited by what comes next. My next book, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA comes out in April. It is set in St. Bart’s, which is a gorgeous island in the Caribbean. I imagined sitting on a white sand beach and drinking daiquiris the whole time I was writing it!

What are you reading right now?

I just read TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY by Liane Moriarty and loved it. I have read all of her books and adored all of them. Her writing is so fluid and her characters are fun and relatable. Also, since I’m Australian I get particular enjoyment from the way she describes Sydney.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Anita, and all the best with your new book!

Anita Hughes grew up in Sydney, Australia and attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program. She writes women’s fiction for St. Martin’s Press and her titles include MONARCH BEACH, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, and SANTORINI SUNSETS. She lives in Dana Point, California with her family. You can find Anita on her Website, Facebook page, and Twitter.