12 Days of Christmas: Elisabeth Barrett




I’m thrilled to be back at UTC for the holiday season! I don’t know what winter is like where you are, but it is wicked cold in Silicon Valley. And by wicked cold, I mean that nighttime temperatures have regularly been in the twenties for the past couple of weeks and there is actual ice on the roads. Now, some of you may be out there in truly cold places saying, Elisabeth, you wimp! That’s nothing! Where I am it’s -14˚ with the wind chill factor, my pipes iced over, my car won’t start, and my water pump froze, so suck it up, Cali girl.

And yes, I should suck it up. I mean, 45 degree highs aren’t too bad for the dead of winter. I’ve tasted real winter; I spent half my winters in the frigid Connecticut woods.  I know what it’s like—the chapped lips, the cracked hands, and the freezing damp that seeps into your bones.

And while I am well aware that Southern New England winter can’t compare to winter in places like the Upper Midwest, at least my Connecticut home was well-insulated. The homes in our region of California aren’t really built for the cold. The windows aren’t double-paned (in fact, we have some windows that actually don’t even close; they just flip out and in), and there’s no buffer attic or basement floor to keep everything warmer. In fact, in our house we have a closet (with a window, no less) that Mr. B and I call “the gateway to freezing” because during the winter it is 20 degrees colder in there than in the rest of the house. And our poor kids, who have never known what it’s like to really be cold, huddle on a floor vent, trying to warm their feet, even when it’s in the mid-fifties outside.

So when I went to Lake Tahoe last winter to do research for my holiday novella CHRISTMAS IN TAHOE, I knew it would be really, really cold! I pulled out wool rollneck sweaters that I hadn’t worn for years and rummaged through the back of my closet for a long-forgotten winter coat. I even found a pair of sturdy boots that saw me through college. Armed with my gear, I bravely drove north.

The cold, the ice, the snow—everything melted away when I saw the splendor of Lake Tahoe. It was so beautiful! The lake was clear and sparkling and blue, and the snowy mountains surrounding the lake looked like something off a postcard! It was then I knew I’d chosen the right setting for my main characters, Ann and Chase, to move forward with their lives. Both were hurt in the past—Ann personally and Chase professionally—and each needs some time to heal. In the freezing cold of Tahoe, they do that, and more, generating plenty of heat in the process. Whether they’re skiing down the mountainside or nestled in front of a roaring fire, love is everywhere . . . they just have to find it.

Christmas in tahoe

Silicon Valley actuary Ann Smith is an expert at calculating probabilities, but lately the odds haven’t been in her favor. Two years ago her fiancé died a week before their planned Christmas wedding, leaving Ann heartbroken and alone. When a friend suggests heading up to Lake Tahoe for a long Christmas weekend of skiing, wine, and relaxation, Ann thinks it might be just the thing to help get her life back on track. But Ann’s plans go awry when her friend cancels at the last minute, and Ann ends up driving to Tahoe with Chase Deckert, a sexy snowboarder who pushes all her buttons.

Chase Deckert is a man who lives by his own rules. A few years ago his business partner betrayed him by selling out their biomedical research for a quick profit. Chase left science far behind, and now spends his days snowboarding in Tahoe, wanting nothing to do with the dog-eat-dog world of Silicon Valley. Chase has closed his mind and his heart and only believes in one thing: fate. But fate seems to be in a giving mood, because joining him for Christmas is a brave, beautiful woman who shows him the true meaning of the season and helps him rediscover a part of himself he’d long forgotten.

Fueled by the mountain scenery, the season, and their unbelievable chemistry, Ann and Chase end up learning more about each other—and themselves—than they ever imagined possible. Can one long, steamy Christmas help them realize they’re meant to be together? Or when the holiday is over will they be right back where they started?

Buy at AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, or Apple!

About Elisabeth Barrett

Raised in small-town Connecticut, Elisabeth spent most of her formative years playing the piano and reading everything she could get her hands on. In high school, she took a job at her local bookstore where she first discovered romance novels. She would stay long after closing time to squeeze in just one more chapter.

After working summers as a guest student at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, she studied biology as an undergraduate before attending law school. Elisabeth then spent nearly a decade working as a patent attorney, focusing her practice on both biotechnology litigation and prosecution. Inspired by those summers on Cape Cod, she started writing fiction . . . a habit she can’t seem to break.

Now a displaced New Englander, Elisabeth lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses.


To thank you for stopping by, let me know how cold your winter has gotten this year, and one commenter will be randomly selected to win a digital copy of CHRISTMAS IN TAHOE!

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we have really cold weather today we are getting 4 to 8 inches of snow it is bitter cold

Jeannie L

erm… I wish I had winter. I live in Singapore and it’s hot, rainy and humid throughout the year. Temp is around 79 to 90+ deg F. Whenever I have the chance I choose to go countries with 4 seasons to experience cooler or wintery weather. Sorry to those who are experiencing bitter cold weather.

Lori Meehan

It’s gotten as low as 11 here in upper Ohio and today we are getting snow. We are at about 5 inches since last night. It’s going to be a white Christmas. Yay!


It’s in the low 20s here and it’s snowing. We going to get about 3 to 6 inches.


20s and 30s here and got more snow than expected last weekend….expecting 3 in and got 8!!…but it’s already gone 🙁


definitely a white christmas here 🙂 Snow on the ground and very cold weather. Thanks for sharing!


I’m in the Bay Area also, and yes, we also have the single paned, uninsulated windows, so it’s hard to keep the cold air out.

Michelle A

Normally our weather is in the 30’s and low 40’s this time of year. Since thanksgiving we have had snow, ice and some freezing temps. Make me wonder how cold it will get this winter. Sounds like a good story. Look forward to reading it. 🙂

Pansy Petal

I moved to Texas to get away from the cold and snow of Michigan. For the most part, I guess I did. But, I think I have been here long enough now that today’s 53 degrees feels very cold for me. Yep! I am a wimp!


So far we are having a n up and down weather here in Southern California. Just this week we were cold and right now it is hot.

jodi marinich

it was snowing all day here in new jersey so we are stuck in the house..boo hoo


We’ve had a couple of days in the high 30’s, mid twenties mornings. that’s pretty darn cold around here.

Leanna h

I used yo live in Minnesota and temps would be -10 frequehtntly when I was a kid. School was canceled because it was so cold. Once in high school and once in college. I live in Texas now and the coldest I have seen was 24. 50 degrees is the coldest I want.

Susan Rollison

In sunny SW Florida we have had only a few cool (for here) days so far. Today it was 80. I’m finding it a bit hard to realize that Christmas is less than two weeks away. After 58 years in Ohio, this is my first winter as a new Florida resident. I wonder if I will always associate Christmas with cold weather!


We’ve had a cold snap down here in Central Texas . For us anyhow. We’ve had a string of days where it didn’t get above freezing and got down to the low 20s. It rarely stays cold for as long as a week down here. That’s why I live here. 🙂


Winter? It’s winter? We got 3″ of snow yesterday and last night.. it turned to rain and it all gone. I hope that will be the trend for the rest of “winter”.


It has snowed twice and has gotten in to the 20’s so far. Lucky for me I got the tree from the farm before the first snow and work from home. No need to drive anywhere if I don’t have to go outdoors.

Meghan Stith

The windchill has been in the negatives. I live in Upstate New York and currently, there is two feet of snow outside.

Christy Harrelson

For Georgia so far it hasn’t been too bad only 25 so far. Thanks for the chance to win, I’m craving a good Christmas Romance so I can’t wait to read this new release 🙂

Mary Preston

We had a very mild Winter, but Summer here now is sweltering.

Amy R

Our temps have dropped to single digits this winter and we had ice and snow a couple days ago.. This week we are expected to have highs in the 50’s by weeks end.


We have had more snow in the last 8 days than we had all of last winter if that is any indication! It has been really cold – and since winter actually hasn’t started yet, it has me a bit worried for what winter may bring.