Thanks for letting me join the Festive Kisses event!
I’m Delilah, and this year I released my first book since 2016—Comet’s First Christmas.
Someone is turning Santa’s most fervent believers into non-believers. If new Santa’s reindeer Comet and her sugarplum-sweet PA, Jillian, can’t find and stop this hacker, there won’t be enough cutout cookies and hot chocolate in the world to restore balance to Santa’s Naughty-or-Nice list by Christmas Eve.
I was drawn to writing a Christmas romance because after a bruising 2020, we all deserve something sweet. Comet is lighter both in tone and in heat compared to what I am otherwise working on, but it feels right, especially for Claudia.
On with the interview!
1. Favourite thing about the festive period
I think my favorite part of the holidays are the Christmas lights. When I was little I remember driving around to look at people’s homes—which we now do with our girls.
When we lived in Singapore, we would always go the length of Orchard Road (think 5th Avenue in NYC for comparison) which was just glowing with lights. There was a theme every year and lights were strung over the street, down the street, lights in the trees up and down the road and lights in the trees erected by the stores.
In San Jose there’s an annual tradition called Christmas in the Park. Lots of organizations and groups buy and decorate a tree that is displayed. They put up a temporary ice skating rink. There are carnival rides and games. Obviously that wouldn’t work this year.
This year, Christmas in the Park was turned into a drive through event with tons of Christmas lights that blinked in time to music (over a radio station). I loved the lights. We sang along to the songs, looked at the lights and had a great start to the holiday season.
2. Favourite holiday romance (book or film)
I found a great lesbian novella last year called Mangoes and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera. It’s an own voices rivals to lovers story set at a baking show. Both Kiskeya and Sully have high stakes when it comes to winning, and when they’re paired together they have to work together to win the competition. A major conflict is the Sully wants to use the flavors of home (Dominican Republic) whereas Kiskeya—because of personal experience—is worried that the judges will mark them down.
This is a four alarm fire in terms of heat, skillfully written.
3. A holiday tradition
I grew up with fake trees as a kid and broke twenty-something. My partner and I didn’t bother with trees before we had kids, and then we moved to Singapore, where real trees were in the hundreds of dollars, so we used an artificial one.
This year is the second year our family has had a live tree since our move back to the states. It genuinely makes me so happy. The smell of it. Decorating it with ornaments that largely have meaning or are connected to special memories makes me really happy. I love revisiting the memories . Seeing it.
4. Favourite thing about holiday romances
As kids, Christmas is a magical time of year. But then we get older and learn that Santa isn’t real. For me, Christmas really lost its shine from 1990 (the year my grandmother died) until 2003 when I was twenty-five. The thing that helped me rediscover the season was Love Actually (which I know is a controversial and divisive movie—and for good reasons). I went home and within the week was back in a festive mood. Since then I’ve watched plenty of holiday romances including The Princess Switch, and I’ll be watching the sequel this year (it’s on Netflix!).
I find Christmas romance soothing. It’s a guaranteed happy ending where anything—including magic—can happen. In my book, Christmas magic helps reindeer fly faster, protects North Pole tech like the Naughty-or-Nice drive on it, and even has a transporter system like Star Trek.
Here’s an excerpt from Comet’s First Christmas
“Come in,” called the voice.
The door swung open and I swear that my heart just…stopped.
Jillian gave us a dazzling smile and stood. She had also abandoned the official Pole attire rules, but I couldn’t be bothered to care. Not when her blue eyes sparkled at me. Not when those plump lips curved in a smile. Not when I was wondering if her blonde hair felt as silky as it looked.
“Comet, welcome! I’m Jillian”
“Hi, I’m Clau—Comet,” I said.
Jillian took my offered hand in both of hers and held it for a moment as she continued to speak. “Thank you for coming last minute like this. We understand it’s a lot to take in. We are fully prepared to get you ready for the Big Show. We have every faith in you.”
My hand had started tingling when she touched it—as if a champagne bottle had been popped in my hand. Bubbles fizzed throughout my hand, and up my arm like a delicious toast to New Year’s Eve. I licked my suddenly dry lips.
“—than gingerbread?” Jillian finished and looked at me expectantly.
“Sorry?” My face burned with mortification. She’d been talking and I’d been objectifying her.
“I asked if you were hungry for more than gingerbread,” Jillian said. “It must all be overwhelming.”
“That’s certainly one word for it,” I said with a wry smile
I’m giving away five copies of Comet’s First Christmas. Please leave a comment sharing your favorite Christmas memory or gift (either than you’ve given or received). I’ll pick winners on Dec 17th. Your choice—E book or print.
Delilah Night: delilahnight.com
In addition to this wonderful prize from Meka, and in celebration of the Festive season, I, Nix, will be giving away a £25/$30 voucher for a book retailor of choice across the event. Each comment, on ANY post, will be classed an entrance; just fill in the Rafflecopter at the bottom. You can enter once a day.a Rafflecopter giveaway