I’m not a particularly jolly person, Gentle Reader, but I do have a weird love of holiday romances and stories. So if you are like me, I thought I might recommend a few that I recently found, or not so recently as the case may be…
I’ve chosen for a range of ages and taste, because, frankly I’m an eclectic kinda girl.
Winter Story (Age 3 & Up)
Don’t know the Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem books? OMG they are delightful! (Yes, my dear UK readers, these charming books were never a thing in the USA. We are sad.)
These lovely beautifully illustrated little stories are very, very British. Start your young ones on the path that will inevitably lead to Great British Bake Off. You want the hardcover print editions of these books, trust me. Frankly, I prefer Barklem to Beatrix Potter.
Winter Story is wonderful – the ice ball alone! So cute, such adorable little field mice running about and being so proper and cozy.
The household schematics will knock your socks off, and any kid lucky enough to receive this book as a gift. Warning, they will want all of them. They are all wonderful. And if you can’t get just Winter Story I can highly recommend the Year in Brambly Hedge box set, I grew up with this.
The Dark Is Rising (Age 10 & Up)
This is the second book in the Dark is Rising series, but it was the first one written. Like Narnia, I’m not convinced you must read these in world chronological order, but you can if you wish.
This one is both my favorite and the most winter-centered. I ADORE this book, it’s magical and wonderful and serious and thrilling. Merely thinking about the central poem gives me chills.
Come on say it with me, you know you want to.
When the Dark, comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track,
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.
Argh, it’s SOOOO good. I highly recommend the audio, as that way you know how all the welsh words are pronounced. Before there was JK Rowling we old fools had Susan Cooper. I wasn’t wowed by the movie, don’t bother.
Gay Holiday Romances
Yes, I Found a Jewish One!
For all those who lament the lack of non-Christmas romance this time of year, Eight Nights in December is rather sweet.
Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate.
It’s very new-adult, exploring sex for the first time and that kind of thing. The setting is New York, the family is Jewish, the sex is explicit. It’s a bit of a love letter to New York.
And, of course, a Christmas one…
If you want your gay boys with Christmas and a hot friend-of-the-older-brother trope than try Yours For The Holiday by DJ Jamison instead.
Christmas Romance for the Hets
Daniel and the Angel Novella
One of my favorites is a true classic, Daniel and the Angel, I read this story in a paperback collection a million years ago, well before I ever even contemplated writing romance myself. Fortunately, for all of us, it exists as an ebook now!
When wealthy financier D. L. Stewart’s finds an injured woman in the snow in front of his New York City mansion, he has no idea she is the fair Lillian, a big-hearted and somewhat inept fallen angel, sent back to teach him what Christmas is really about.
A delightful tear-jerker that’s almost painfully sweet, I nevertheless still love this one.
BONUS: A Princess for Christmas Movie
I am weak in the face of sappy Christmas movies recommended to me by romances authors on Twitter. (This one then conformed by Drunk Austen. Trust me, just do everything Drunk Austen does. You can thank me later.) So this year I watched A Princess for Christmas (featuring Sam Heughan).
It is plagued with all the flaws of the genre: cliches, bad dialogue, and the child actors are cringe-worthy. BUT I still enjoyed it and there may even have been a little tear. So, spike that nog, or tot that totty with an extra jigger of brandy, sit back, and wallow.
There it is, I hope I have managed to make your holidays a little more fun and romantic or at the very least given you a gift idea or two.
Hugs and happiest of happies!
Yours in cosy tea-riddle and slightly grumpy comfort,
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Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for December is The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune.
OUT IN PRINT & DIGITAL!
“Guys, it is worth the wait. This novella is delightful. It gave me so many vibes that I got from Soulless.”
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
I Smell Sheep says of The Sumage Solution:
“Carriger does a great job of writing horny supernatural males. This is kind of a subjective generalization, but if you’ve read lots of paranormal romance then you know what I’m talking about. Yeah, it’s a genre stereotype, but that is why it tastes soooo good.”
Quote of the Day:
“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”
~ Oscar WildeGail Carriger Recommends, Holiday