Our Christmas Anthology

Decorated Christmas tree on white background

Some time ago, our Writing Something Romantic sisterhood decided to publish an anthology of Christmas stories. While other things, including life, intruded on our original schedule, we have accomplished our goal at last!

Each of us contributing to the anthology wrote a story in our own genre. So as you might expect, my story, A VOTE FOR LOVE, is a historical romance. It didn’t take me long to decide the setting.

Montana Territory in the 1880’s is a favorite of mine. I’ve visited the state on several occasions and its history has always fascinated me. I love the time and place and find it easy to recreate in my imagination.

The story of the suffragettes in the West has always intrigued me. Women earned the right to vote in Wyoming and Montana before suffrage was gained nationwide around 1917. The suffragettes didn’t have it easy. Speaking out on street corners and passing out thousands of leaflets was considered quite shocking at the time. They actively campaigned against politicians who opposed the vote for women. And they campaigned for pay equity and improved working conditions. Sound familiar?

My story is about spinster suffragette, Paulette Winslow. I was inspired by a photo of a real-life suffragette who lived in Great Falls, Montana, during that time period. She was shown standing by her bicycle, which she rode to the library where she worked as the city’s librarian. Something about her—the way she stood so straight and proud—caught my attention and my imagination took over.

Did I mention this was a romance? Enter my hero, Brent McFarland. Tall, broad-shouldered and drop-dead handsome, he’s newly arrived in Helena to take over the Gazette from its former owner. Brent wants the territory to become a state and make Helena the capital. He’s not completely opposed to women’s suffrage—he just believes it’s the wrong time to write about it in his newspaper. He wants to keep the horse before the cart.

The moment Paulette and Brent meet, sparks fly! The feisty redhead nearly whacks the wealthy newspaper owner over the head with her suffragette posters. But a sleigh ride into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree, ending in a snowball fight with friends brings the two adversaries together. Their attraction outweighs their differences, and in the end, they find their happily-ever-after.

 

 

 

A Witch For Christmas – a Short Story

This year my critique group, Writing Something Romantic, decided to publish a holiday  IMG_1611     anthology of original short stories. Because I write light-hearted paranormals, I focused on a humorous witch story with a Christmas Eve deadline. I played the “what if” game. What if a witch who’s been cursed by an evil sorceress must find her one true love by Christmas Eve or be doomed to a loveless future? What if she doesn’t realize that her perfect match is right under her nose?

I had fun with this story. When I named my characters, I chose names from witch and wizard folklore, from movies like Harry Potter and TV shows like Bewitched. I borrowed fantasy book author Roald Dahl’s first name and a name from the high fantasy video game Zelda. The fancy restaurant in my story, Tres Becheur, means “very snobby” in French. I wrote my scenes from memories of whizzing down snowy slopes on a dented aluminum saucer, and afterwards enjoying a mug of rich, hot chocolate with a generous dollop of whipped cream. I still love decorating for the holidays, from overloading the Christmas tree to trimming the mantel, even though I sometimes wish I had a witch like Abigail Goodbody to lighten the task with a well-placed spell.

And, as with almost all of my stories, there be animals. Abby’s canny feline familiar is a blue-eyed ragdoll named Endora. Joe, Abby’s lovelorn next-door neighbor, resists the siren call of his familiar, a calico tomcat. Oh, not to forget the pickled frog sacrificed to the swirling depths of a black cauldron.

If you love your Christmas on the lighthearted, magical and decidedly romantic side, check out “A Witch for Christmas,” in WSR’s Love for Christmas anthology, available in November 2017 from Amazon.