Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop!
Welcome, blog hoppers. Perhaps we've never met. I'm Anne Holly by name and holiday writer by trade (eight or nine of my titles are "holiday books"), quite by accident - almost.
I have written before about what I like so much about holiday romance, though I never did intend on devoting so much of my writing career to this little faux subgenre. They just seem so magical to me – especially the autumn and winter ones, with their natural beauties. To write a holiday romance is to instantly connect with a well of emotions, memories and shared myths, and that’s a wonderful thing.
I once wrote about A Christmas Carol and how it gathers up so much of what’s special about the holidays:
Christmas is the time when we have in our collective subconscious the two extremes –the optimistic Christmas lover, Tiny Tim, and the misanthropic cold hearted Scrooge, who wasn’t really a bad guy deep down. Really, he was just hurt by life. Now, most well-adjusted people fall some place in between, but those two extremes represent the spectrum of romance: Someone full of love, and someone who has had the love beaten out of them. Those are the characters to which I am naturally drawn – and the redemption that is achieved when the one overcomes the other, and the romance that pools in their bond when it all works out right in the end. This is likely the main reason I write so much about the holidays. It is a time of salvaging the human from the ravages of plans gone wrong, of love unrequited and of tragedy spilt over a life time.
I wrote that about two years ago, and I still believe it. I am an optimist at heart, but it doesn’t come easy. Anyone who retains optimism into adulthood knows that it’s a decision one makes – not to forget or ignore all the setbacks and knocks, but to push through them and not let them get you down. This is where I’m at. Refusing to let life make a Scrooge out of me.
I also believe that the magic of the holidays rests in its ability to heal up a bit of the wounds of the year, and to renew hearts and spirits. It’s no coincidence it’s at the end of every year. This is why I believe in the restoration of Scrooge, and why the ideas found in A Christmas Carol float around the edges of so many of my books.
Unwrapping Scrooge, I fully embraced the premise that Christmas can heal. In it, a successful yet gloomy writer must decide if he can unscrooge himself enough to woo an optimistic young exchange student before she returns to Canada – and she must decide if she can meet him halfway:
Smiling instead, he switched on the waffle iron, and considered the way she would look as she watched the snow. Being Canadian, perhaps she had a special relationship to it. He had begun to look at it differently, himself. What had previously been a cold, wet annoyance now appeared somewhat magical, blanketing them in sparkly privacy within their warm little bubble.Of course, Molly would be a Christmas-lover—she even smelled like Christmas, all cinnamon and vanilla. For Kale, who never even really considered what Christmas meant, Molly was the human embodiment of the season. Bright, shiny, and fresh.“I guess that would make me, what? Halloween?” He snickered at his own fanciful thoughts. “Not even that exciting—more like the August Bank Holiday.”
To this day, that book remains one of my favourites, and those characters still hang with me.
Good for the Goose, a twice-shy professor must make the decision to risk her heart again or be weighed down by the pain of divorce forever.
My holiday erotic-romance anthology, All I Want, features six couples who have similar decisions, about happiness and pain, and the courage it takes to restore and be restored. It’s a theme I love, and one of the reasons I am such a romance fan, and a fan of holidays.
Maybe I’m naïve to still believe in the magic of the holidays, but I refuse to believe Black Friday and credit card bills are all we have to look forward to every year. If you think this way, too, or you’d like to, check out my books. And, of course, have a very happy holiday, and all the best for the New Year!
Leave a comment on this post, and be entered to win. I’m giving away the winner’s choice of Unwrapping Scrooge, Good for the Goose, or All I Want: The Anne Holly-Day Collection. (18+) Plus, this blog hop has a slew of other great prizes along the route, as well as a pretty amazing grand prize! (Please be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.)