Hi everyone! It’s me, Lou Sylvre, and I can’t believe it’s already November. You know what I didn’t do this year? I didn’t write a holiday story! I want to blog about holiday stories today, though, and I’ll get to that a bit farther down the page. First, to clear up about old business…
Thank you so much everyone who took the time to respond to my questions about book length and long MM series. I got several repeat recommendations. Mentioned most was Santino Hassell, the series In the Company of Shadows. A little research finds the first book is Evenfall (all the books have wonderful titles), and the series is coauthored with a writer named Ais. Apparently a talented writing team and I don’t know how I’ve managed to not read them prior to this, but I will be doing so, guaranteed. The two winners from the contest (two because I ran it an extra month) are Agi and Elizabeth! Help me to congratulate them. (I’ll contact you both privately.)
Now about November and Holidays looming on the near horizon and the absence of a holiday story written by me…
Last year, Dreamspinner released my one and only true holiday book on December 23. I loved writing Falling Snow on Snow, and it is still one of my favorite book-children. Beck and Oleg start out with a tough December, but make it better by the end, and I’ve never written two characters who deserve a little wintertime joy more than they do. Today’s blog really isn’t about that book, but since I mentioned it…
Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.
Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.
Like I said, I didn’t write a holiday story this year, and I’m kind of sad about that. There’s something special about a good love story set in this time of year. I know half the world is in the middle of summer in December, but even holiday romances set in the Southern Hemisphere seem to be about that magical feeling of belonging, of being home or finding it, of little gifts that mean more than all that money could buy. I’ve written about holidays in my novels—the novella Yes and the final novel in the same series, Because of Jade, both have scenes of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in fact, although they are years apart in story time, the holidays tie the stories together. They are poignant, and the sections have some of what a holiday story is supposed to have—described by writer Jennifer Snow as “romanticizing of elements.”
“As writers, we play a part in enhancing the holidays for our readers by taking elements that may not be as magical in real life and making them sparkle on the pages. For example, take snow. Put the cold, wet, often dirty and slushy, inconvenience that lasted far too long this winter in a holiday story and it transforms into big, soft, beautiful flakes falling peacefully outside the window as the hero and heroine snuggle by a warm fire […].
~~ Jennifer Snow on Writers Fun Zone blog 11/09/2015
Here’s a tiny bit of that sort of thing from Because of Jade:
That night, Luki stood out on the stoop watching stars, trying to see their imperceptible dance across the sky. The surface of the strait looked like no more than a thin line or a sparking fuse from where he stood, and the snow on the ground, the ice in the trees, answered with little bursts of light where starlight touched down.
That’s a kind of writing I love to do, and holiday stories provide a wonderful opportunity for it, whether you’re writing about wintery white suburbs or tropical beaches. But there’s something more to a true holiday romance, something that satisfies that need we all have to believe in magic, even if it’s only for a little while. Of course I think Falling Snow on Snow does that, but I can think of a few others (by other people) I will always love for the magic they find in the holiday season. One is Jamie Fessenden’s “The Christmas Wager , a holiday historical with just the right touch of candlelight, snow, sparkle, and surprise.
What are your favorite holiday romances? Any November through New Year holiday, any country, any time, any holiday tradition, I’d love to have you make your recommendations in comments. Christmas? Hanukah? Kwanzaa? Thanksgiving? New Year’s Eve? Tell me what I should read to get that warm fuzzy feeling.
I’ll be back next month and hope to see you then. Meanwhile thanks, Love Bytes, for hosting me; and thanks, everybody, for reading and commenting.