Our December 2012 Top Pick in Romance is a tale of an inescapable connection from "an author deft at mining deep emotion." Robyn Carr takes her readers to Virgin River at Christmastime in My Kind of Christmas, a hopeful tale of a rugged Navy man and the woman he loves.

We chatted with Carr about sexy scenes, great books and the upcoming holiday season.

Describe your book in one sentence.
The hardest question in the world—Angie LaCroix and Patrick Riordan retire to Virgin River for a respite from their traumas and find that love and passion does as much to heal wounds as a vacation could.

What is it about Virgin River that makes it such a hotbed for romance?
It's removed from the world in a way and exists as a place of community and caring, a kind of magical town where people help each other, can trust each other, and commitment is the order of the day. It could be something in the water, but whatever you need, chances are you'll find it in Virgin River.

Who is your favorite character you've ever written?
That's a little like asking a mother who her favorite child is. I guess the character I've gotten to know best is Jack Sheridan, who has appeared in every Virgin River novel. He has so many sides—by turns sexy and courageous or funny and meddling. I do love him. And he loves me.

What are the sexiest scenes to write?
Not the sex scenes, actually, but the scenes that lead up to the sex scenes—the caress, the touch, the shiver of expectation, the kiss. The seductive words and the growing expectation that it's the right match, the perfect possession.

What's one book you think everyone should read?
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, so much deeper and more complex than the movie by the same title. The character growth and story development and smashing denoument are stunning.

What do you enjoy most about the holidays?
The gathering of friends and family, not to mention dangerously delicious food everywhere you turn. For our family, the pleasure in giving far exceeds the fun of opening our own presents—both giving gifts within our family and giving to charities. Every time I put five dollars in the bell-ringer's bucket, my heart gets larger!

What's next?
After 20 Virgin River novels, a new series starts in March with three novels scheduled for 2013. The anchor character came out of Virgin River, and we'll travel to a new location in the beautiful wilds of the Oregon coast—and I am having so much fun! That doesn't mean I'll stop writing about Virgin River, but it's time to freshen things up a bit.

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