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The Story Behind the Story…

The Best Blue Christmas

It’s that time of year! Christmas movies, Christmas specials, and… Christmas reading! Today I want to tell you a bit about the backstory for my novella-length story The Best Blue Christmas.  

What I love about this story is that the scenery and locations are one hundred percent authentic. My family lived in the Yukon for a number of years, and the stores, insurance agency, apartments, and even the quaint log Anglican church that appear in the story are based on real counterparts in Watson Lake, Yukon. So is the snow and bitter cold!

Another thing that is “real” is the “Blue Christmas” evening at the Anglican church. This is based on a real event that I attended. When we lived in Watson Lake, the ministerial association, made up of the five small churches in the area, got together every month for prayer. We also did fundraising together, a Christmas banquet, and other activities. It is probably the only place I’ve lived where unity among believers was something that was intentionally practiced. In any case, the Anglican minister, fairly new to town and a female, was holding an event for people who don’t like Christmas. It’s true that many people actually feel lonely during the holidays, or it can bring back painful memories of loss. To be supportive, I went to the evening’s event. It was purposely void of all the usual Christmas “hoopla’ but was moving nonetheless as people shared their stories about why Christmas was hard for them.

Fast forward several years to 2014. I was working with a publisher (Helping Hands Press) on several projects including a Science fiction collaboration called Colony Zero and the first edition of my book Neighbors. The publisher invited its authors to submit Christmas short stories with the idea of creating an anthology. I’d never written anything “Christmasy” before, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Since my fiction is mostly in the romance genre, that was an easy decision, but I wanted it to be something different. For some reason, I thought about that Blue Christmas evening. What if my main character hated Christmas because it brought back too many painful memories? The story came together quite quickly and the authenticity of the setting made that part easy as well. Here’s the blurb:

Cassidy suffered tragedy at Christmas time that forever tainted her view of the holidays. To put it bluntly, she hates Christmas! It’s why she ran away to the Yukon in the first place–so she wouldn’t have to face her family each year in December. To her surprise, she finds an unlikely ally in her good-looking outdoorsy neighbor, Brad. After attending the advertised ‘Blue Christmas’ celebration at the Anglican church, they make a pact to help one another get through the season. However, the more time they spend together, the more they realize that Christmas might not be so bad after all… depending on who you’re with!

If you haven’t read THE BEST BLUE CHRISTMAS yet, it’s only 99 cents at most retailers and it’s a short and easy read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you do read the story, it could use some love and reviews on Amazon or elsewhere!

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