CLICK ON THE SNOWFLAKE TO OPEN THE DOOR!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM JENRE!
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
(or Jenre has a bit of a moan about a sad lack of m/m historical Christmas anthologies)
Back in the days before I read m/m romance stories I spent many years reading m/f historical romances. In particular I used to love the Christmas anthologies that publishers such as Berkley or Avon produce where three or four authors would write Christmas novella length stories, sometime interlinked, sometimes not, and they would be published together. The date for release was often (and could still be) the 1st of December, but I would save mine to read in the couple of days before Christmas, so I could really get into the spirit of the stories.
If there’s one thing I miss, now that I read mostly m/m, it’s those Christmas anthologies because, as far as I know (and do correct me on this if I’m wrong) there isn’t an m/m equivalent of those historical Christmas anthologies. There are anthologies of m/m contemporary Christmas stories, and I often buy them to get my Christmas story fix. There are also m/m historical Christmas one off stories, such as those often featured in the DSP Christmas ‘Daily Dose’ stories, but they are few and far between and when you add up how much you’ve spent buying four of those stories it often amounts to a lot of money.
No, what I would really love to see published is the equivalent of those Avon anthologies. Four stories of about 100 or so pages all set in Britain in the past (and often the Regency period). Why, you might ask? What is it about historical Christmas stories that I like?
Firstly, I love reading about the simpler Christmas celebrations from years ago, where fun would be had collecting holly, pine cones and other bits of trees to decorate the house, rather than the shiny plastic we get these days. Where eggnog and spiced wine, mince pies and roast goose were compulsory rather than a bit of seasonal fun, and presents were handmade and personal – after all our Regency gent can never have too many monogrammed handkerchiefs.
Secondly, according to the Regency romance novels I’ve read it always snowed at Christmas during the early 19th century. This allows for being wrapped up in furs, taking part in lots of snowball fights and going on sleigh rides through the British countryside. What do you mean that’s sheer romanticism and probably never happened?!
Finally, Christmas is a time when you are forced in close proximity with your family and therefore any secrets are difficult to hide. Secrets such as the fact that you’re a man and you’ve been carrying on with your valet/best friend’s brother/groundskeeper/local farmer’s son. It adds a bit of confusion and spice to the holiday period, and makes for lots of delicious scenarios such as hiding in cupboards together in order to get some ‘quiet time’.
Ah, even writing about it now, makes my heart go all aflutter, and gives me a strong yearning to revisit my Christmas romances of old!
So how about it, you writers of gay historical romance? Why not get together and produce an anthology that I can anticipate as much as I did with those Avon books? It’s a bit late for this year, but surely next year is a possibility!
In real life Jenre is a shy, capable, slightly frazzled wife, Church administrator and Mother of four who spends far too much time printing out and folding leaflets; picking up stuff and putting it away; and dealing with the ginger terrors (her cats). In cyber life she is a bossy, opinionated blogger and reviewer, with a weakness for pimping her favourite books and authors. She has been known to be ‘refreshingly honest’.
Jenre will be giving away this lovely rocking horse Christmas Tree ornament to one lucky commenter. All winners will be posted on Christmas Day.
The BONUS BUMPER PRIZE QUESTION (don’t answer this yet – write them down and I’ll ask you to email them in on Christmas Eve.)
6. In “A Christmas Carol” who was dead, to begin with?