We’re thrilled to have Madeline Ash here with us today chatting about her latest release with Holiday Books! Readers, be sure to leave a comment as Madeline and the Tule Team would love to hear from you. Take it away, Madeline!
Having not written a romance with Christmas as a key theme before, I wanted to capture every special sparkle of the festive spirit in YOU FOR CHRISTMAS. While planning, I came up with a list of things that really make the festive season stand out (for me), and to celebrate release week, I thought I’d share some snippets of those from the story!
Fairy lights (don’t be shy, the more the merrier)
He had to admit, the display impressed. A morass of fairy lights glittering golden. No music playing yet, just a gentle galaxy contained within these four walls, an indoor wonderland that would have people pointing up from the street below.
Summer sun (it’s Australia, after all)
Regan inhaled deeply, smelling home.
The festive season had never seemed right, cold and coated in snow. She’d hardly recognized it, year after year. Now, as she entered the mass of trees, the sticky clog of sunscreen on her skin and relentless heat from above felt undeniably like Christmas.
A freshly cut Christmas tree (got to love that smell)
She led the way through the bright green maze, deeming one potential tree too narrow, another too sparse, and another not nearly triangular enough. She yelped when the pine needles stabbed her bare skin, and laughed in outrage when she realized Felix had picked a small branch and had been poking her with it every time she turned her back.
Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You (because it continues to get better with age)
Regan asked, “Do you really need this many lights?”
“Possibly more,” he said without hesitation. “I’m writing a program that’ll sync the lights with music. Press play and they’ll make patterns in time with the beat, full on sound and light show style. I haven’t decided on a song yet, but I’m thinking the cornier, the better.”
“Mariah Carey,” she said instantly.
“How many other Christmas carols do you know with a real beat?” she asked, stepping up onto the coffee table with her arms high so he could weave through. He eased passed, dragging awareness across her chest like a heated magnet. Pulse thudding, she distracted herself by singing the opening bars of All I Want for Christmas Is You.
A dash of madness (because let’s be honest, most people stress a little at this time of year!)
Popping the bottle top off a beer, Felix slid open the door to his third floor balcony and confronted the sun. Summer hadn’t been shy this December, spilling hot over the city like a sticky latte, making the rendered outside wall almost too warm as he leaned against it, swallowing the cold brew and gazing down at the busy city street below.
Melbourne bustled with a pre-Christmas panic that frayed tempers and loaded bags with impulse buys. Horns blasted more often than usual, tram drivers dinged wildly, surely cursing the merry sound, and mania fueled the general mood seething up from the streets.
With no family, no kids, and nowhere else to be, Felix cleanly dodged this particular seasonal torture.
And (the author in me decided) a down-trodden heart in need of Christmas peace.
Regan. His memory of her was blurred. Mixed parts carelessness, attitude, and fierce generosity. She could have been anywhere, done anything in her eight years away. He had no idea what had made her steal twenty grand and split in the first place, just as he didn’t know why she was back now.
Only one thing was certain.
She’d come home looking as broken as when she’d left.
What about you? What things do you particularly adore at Christmas, or what things – if you were without them – would stop Christmas feeling quite right?