A few years ago, we featured polar bears (left) in our Christmas blog. They were fun, in shop windows and on market stalls. I thought they were almost as good as our burglarious santas.
But this year, even though we were nowhere near the end of November, the polar bears had grown. I found nine-foot high bears on the pavement in Piccadilly outside the Park Lane Hotel (shown left and below).
They were eye-catching, certainly, but in the middle of November?
What do we poor punters have to do to be spared Christmas adverts and — crucially — Christmas jingles for weeks and weeks in the run-up to the great day?
What have we done to have White Christmas inflicted on us over and over again? Never mind the people who work in the shops that have Christmas jingles on a never-ending loop. Possibly a recipe for madness?
I’m thinking of starting a petition to ban all mentions of Christmas — especially adverts and cloying Christmas music — in all public places before the 1st of December. Perhaps even before the 21st of December 😉 Let me know if you want to sign up!
The Antidote to Christmas — how it began
The Libertà hive likes Christmas but we prefer it to be at the end of December, not starting in November, or even earlier. What’s more, we’d noticed that there are loads of Christmas offerings, including stories, that are so twee and sugary they make our teeth ache.
We decided we needed an antidote.
And we thought that you, dear readers, might welcome an antidote as well.
So Sophie, normally a writer of contemporary romance, decided to write romantic suspense — a thriller, for Christmas haters. While Joanna, who normally writes Regency romances, would focus on a contemporary tale, with a timeslip to Victoriana, which she’s never ventured into before. Well, why not?
Got to keep the authors on their toes, no? 😉
The result? I Hate Christmas, the two-book box set
It was huge fun. As well as a huge challenge, for both of us. But the resulting box set is here:
We had intended to write novellas but… Our stories demanded to be longer and fuller. So the box set now contains two full-length stories, both totally new.
The box set is NOW available to at your local Amazon for only £2.99 / $3.99 / €3.99
I Hate Christmas — blurb
Christmas is all sugar and spice? Sweetness and light?
Some people hate Christmas. And some people just want to run away and hide until it’s all over…
Two new full-length stories from favourite authors to provide an antidote to Christmas schmaltz
One Christmas Tree To Go
Gabriel Bliss doesn’t do Christmas, though selling Christmas trees helps to keep his struggling nursery business afloat. Lucy, his titled landlord’s daughter, would help him if he’d let her, but bitter experience has taught Gabe never to trust rich employers.
Will a strange encounter with a Victorian image change his mind about his place in the world?
Joanna Maitland, Regency romance writer, dips her toes into different times.
I Hate Christmas
A week before Christmas and Jet Delaney is dreading it. But escorting a billionaire’s offspring to Madrid steps up her troubles to a whole new level of ghastly: a terrified teen to protect, a mad burglary to resolve, even kidnapping. Will she ever make it home?
Axel, the handsome stranger who makes her laugh, is keen to help. But whose side is he on?
Sophie Weston, contemporary romance writer, ventures into thrillers.
Joanna and Sophie
PS: For those who may be wondering… Yes, that’s a Maine Coon on the cover and no, it’s not Sophie’s beloved TK. Pity, eh?