Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lilian Darcy: Great Holiday Reads

I’m writing this while most Americans are sitting down to their Thanksgiving dinner. We had ours last night. Yes, we live in Australia where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated, but my husband is American, so we do celebrate it in our family.

We had a big, golden, crispy-skinned turkey, and lots of baked vegetables – potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, asparagus – and then for dessert there was pumpkin pie accompanied by a friend’s to-die-for home-made ice-cream.

We all sat around the table, and the kids are at an age now where they’ll do that. They’re happy to relax and chat instead of scooting off as soon as they’re done eating, the way they used to.

So I’m thinking about holidays. And I realize I don’t often use those big, festive holidays as themes in my books. I don’t think I’ve ever written a Christmas story. Which is weird because I do love all those big celebrations.

I do want to alert you to some great holiday reads that others have written, however.

Top of the list would have to be Jane Porter’s The Kidnapped Christmas Bride. Yes, it is every bit as fast-paced and sizzling and dramatic as it sounds, and yes, the cover matches the mood perfectly. As well as the drama, there is layer upon layer of real emotion, and celebration, and family, and change, and a love between two people that’s survived more than its share of challenge. You will read this one in a single sitting, while not even hearing your family talking to you.

A close second is Megan Crane’s Come Home For Christmas, Cowboy. The passion and emotion in Megan’s stories is so intense, you feel as if you’re living inside her characters and you don’t want to come back out again. It’s like jumping into a chalk pavement picture in Mary Poppins, only adult-themed. Dare and Christina belong together but they’ve lost their way, and it takes her strong stance and a big, warm family Christmas to help them find each other again. I loved this story.

My third recommendation is actually four stories, all centered around the theme of Christmas in New York. Four friends who’ve grown up almost like sisters, four stories of second chances and lost and found love. Each story is very different and can be read alone, yet together they create such a vivid picture of the diversity and magic of Christmas in one of the world’s best cities. It’s a magical series altogether. The individual stories are This Christmas by Jeannie Moon, All I Want For Christmas by Jennifer Gracen, A Light in the Window by Jolyse Barnett, and Goodness and Light by Patty Blount.

Finally, if you’re ready to skip past Christmas and on to Valentine’s Day and chocolate fantasies, my own women’s fiction novel The Sweetest Thing is free on most major ebook sites. I hope you’ll like it. 


Laurie G said...

THANK YOU for my early Christmas treat and the recommendations too.

dstoutholcomb said...

<3 Denise