Everything about the days between Thanksgiving and the New Year makes me happy. Cold weather? Love it! There’s no better excuse for wearing my beloved sweaters and booties. Snow? Few atmospheric events are as lovely. It helps tremendously that I don’t have to go out in it unless I so choose. Just curl in a chair and watch it fall outside my window while I sip hot chocolate and… read.
Some of my favorite stories ever have holiday themes. Love. Family. Joy. Many of my favorites are light-hearted and humorous. The holidays are my happy place and I adore books that give me warm fuzzies.
Gentlemen and Ladies
Hot Toy – Jennifer Crusie’s smart and funny story of a determined shopper who grabs the last of the season’s hottest toy off the shelf and finds herself caught in international espionage is short but so on target I laugh just thinking about it. Maybe because when my boys were young I WAS that shopper… without the espionage or hunky partner in crime.
A Kiss for Midwinter – I just love Courtney Milan’s lush and light (how does she do that?) historical romances. This one is a side story to her wonderful Brother’s Sinister series. Cheerful Lydia’s past mistake may have ruined her reputation… but not her chance at love. Throw in Christmastime and England, and I am set for the night.
A Lancaster County Christmas – Yep, an Amish romance. Suzanne Woods Fisher weaves a lovely, cozy tale of a harried business woman who drives off the road and lands in the warm embrace of an Amish family for Christmas. There’s snow and love in the mix, making for a cozy and heartwarming read.
Men and Men
The Ugliest Sweater – Few things tickle my holiday strings like a holiday sweater. My newest one this year has snowmen on it! In Gillian St. Kevern’s lovely novella, hero Dan also loves sweaters, and his is the ugliest ever. Ugly enough he broke up with his boyfriend over it. That’s some ugly sweater. It also catches the eye of London’s hottest DJ at the local coffee shop. Need I say more? Read this story and its sequel, Ibiza on Ice, for great holiday fun. Dandy writing and lots of holiday-inspired laughs.
Christmas Kitsch – It wouldn’t be Christmas without an Amy Lane story. This one is my favorite, and as close to angst as I allow myself to get during the holidays. Rusty gets kicked out by his family at Thanksgiving, but with the love of his friend Oliver and Oliver’s kitschy family, he’ll be okay. Heartwarming and sure to ring your bells.
The Festivus Miracle – My husband’s family celebrates Festivus because they save up all year for the Airing of Grievances and just plain like a reason to celebrate. This lovely story by Kim Fielding gives Festivus a similar family spin as uptight Tony learns what the season, and true love, is all about from fellow student Eddie. Simply joyful!
Though I haven’t written a holiday story of my own, I look forward every holiday season to reading those of other authors. Hope you, too, find time to indulge in some of these loveliest of stories.
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.
Tali’s books include the Pride of Uttor series: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, Adored, and Victory Portrait, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often publishes in anthologies, and puts up free stories and excerpts on her blog.
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com