Even rough holidays can mean love…

Yep, I wrote a drama as my first holiday novel. NOT inside the box, but then again, neither am I. Why all the angst when readers want bright and shiny over their break? Well, for starters, not all readers insist that everything be perfect at the beginning of a story, even if they are reading romance. Next, this is more women’s fiction than classic romance, and that’s what I want to write, so that’s what I’m writing. And finally (and this is what reader reviews are responding to most strongly so far),a lot of people have rough holidays, and I’ve been there, and when I was I was searching for realistic stories similar to my troubles that ALSO had happing, uplifting, promising endings that helped me believe I would, too.

christmas ornament

I do love stories that take me to an escaping place where all is bright and shiny. I love visiting those worlds. But my world wants more of what feels real, than it does of what feels like Disneyland. So I often gravitate to deeper themes in my writing and reading time, I think because I want to explore how to find love in those places, and hope and faith and trust.

Dark passages are just a journey to more light, I keep reminding myself (and hopefully my readers). So we go down some tough roads. They’re only seques to better places than we’re leaving behind. Even if those tough places are holidays, as they are for many of us.


Because there’s always love. There’s always that place inside that longs to connect and believe you belong. Holidays make us want that more, I think, and maybe they help us try harder if we’re paying attention. What will your holiday spirit be this year: change and growth and meaning more to others and yourself; or longing for what you don’t have or what’s now lost to holiday’s past?

There’s always love, even when everyone else’s happiness seems unreachable for you, and sadness wants to own your holiday. Fight that instinct. Fight for your happy ending. Read and see and do whatever you need to, to believe that your heart can thrive and overcome.

shiny tree

I’ve lost a loved one close to the holidays. That experience scarred me in ways that will never go away, as similar hard times affect my COML characters in deep, undeniable, un-Disneyland ways. But while I’ll remember that difficult time in my life this year, like every Christmas since it happened, that won’t be the spririt I celebrate this holiday. I will give and allow myself to receive. I will love and feel the bounty still in my life. I will feel grateful for all that I have, and do my best to honor those blessings instead of giving them up because I feel too tied still to what I’ve lost.

And I will continue to write characters who do the same and search for readers who love them.

Join me, won’t you?

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