Do you have travel plans for the holidays? Maybe you're not driving or flying a great distance, maybe you're simply adding some different names to your holiday guest list, or attending a gathering you haven't been invited to in previous years, or trying a different recipe for fruitcake.
Did you find some new catalogs to shop from? A new store at the mall that has the BEST baked goods?
My holidays have taken a slightly adventurous turn, though I'm not traveling beyond Western Maryland. After nearly three dozen historical titles, I'm looking forward to the release of a trilogy of contemporary romances in January, February, and March. Last month we issued the first novella, Kiss and Tell, for $.99 and this month's novella, A Kiss For Luck, is available for FREE. Next month's title, A Single Kiss, is my first full length contemporary romance, and I'm hoping my readers love it as much as I do.
A walk on the contemporary side has helped me see all of my writing in a different light. I've fallen into historical vocabulary, historical social mores, and historical devices, that I hadn't realized had become so ingrained. For my contemporary series, the heroes are lawyers, private investigators, and I'm thinking of having my next hero be a judge.
Those guys aren't going to confide in their horses or cut a dash turning down the candlelit ballroom dance floor, but they might grouse out loud to their dog or their cat--or to each other.
Because like a holiday gathering, the exact spices in the eggnog aren't what make the holiday, and the wreath on the door isn't what makes people feel welcome. Winter holidays, regardless of which faith tradition you observe them in, are all about the love. So too, has writing a contemporary series helped me see that no matter the setting, the time period, or the particular characters involved, it's all about the love.
Dunstan Cromarty, from Kiss and Tell, is a Scottish attorney who's chosen to make his home the wilds of rural Maryland, but he has a streak of stubborn loyalty any of my historical lairds or lasses would recognize. Gideon Granville, from A Kiss for Luck, came to the US from Britain as a teenager, but his courtly manners and gentleman's intuition would have served him well in a Regency ballroom.
And the Knightley brothers, Trenton, James and MacKenzie, have the same protectiveness and brusque honesty with each other that Windhams, Lonely Lords, and MacGregors expect from their siblings and sidekicks.
Like the best holidays, the joy we take in a good romance is not a matter of the trappings or outward details, or even the dark chocolate marzipan, it's about the love. It's all about the love.
Read an excerpt of Kiss and Tell.
Read an excerpt of Kiss for Luck.
Read an excerpt of A Single Kiss.
What's the one, fixed tradition you observe every year, the one you'd hate to see fall by the wayside? Is there an aspect of the holidays you WOULD like see set aside? To one commenter, I'll send a $50 Amex gift card.