“It’s hard to choose favorites, there were so many different kinds of wonderful.” — Goodreads review of Holiday Ever After
I learned so much from Summer Sizzle, that many mistakes could be avoided in my second go at producing an anthology. Like asking the contributors to use their pen name and legal name when signing the agreement. Like encouraging my fellow Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) people to write early and often.
(Of course, I found ways to make many new mistakes, which I am keeping to myself.) We decided to go with two USA Today best-selling authors, Nora Flite and Pamela DuMond, let the story length run a little longer, and for there to be fewer of them this time, only fifteen. From our Holiday Ever After blurb:
Get tangled up with a Regency tavern wench, your own Mr. Scrooge, or the ghosts of Christmases past and present. Open your home and your heart to visitors from far away. Is your secret Santa a Navy SEAL, a handsome jock, or an artist? Perhaps you’d like to ring in the holidays with that office party hottie, the sexy exchange student next door, or a Vegas stripper? Whether you like your holiday treats sweet or spicy, there’s something for everyone in Holiday Ever After.
As we’d done with Summer Sizzle, we went with a targeted heat level of 3-4. Unlike the movie rating system, there isn’t one gauge for what heat level is, but generally, 1 is a “bonnet romance” – there might be hand-holding, or perhaps a fairly chaste kiss at the end. 5 is an “unleash the hounds, the whips, chains, and group sex,” while a 3-4 is steamy, may be erotic, but is a little less explicit.
I made my story, “No Room at the Inn,” a second chance romance, a couple who’d drifted apart after the death of their baby son to SIDS. Another challenge accepted – could I write about babyloss and make it a steamy romance? You’ll have to read it to find out.