Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guest Author -- Jane Goodger

We are so happy to have author Jane Goodger dishing with us today. Jane's latest book, A Christmas Scandal, is the second in her Victorian era Christmas trilogy. Jane is a former journalist who decided that she preferred her stories to have a happy ending, so she became a romance author. She lives with her husband and three children in New England, and they do their best to always give her a happy ending. I was introduced to Jane (and her books) when we were living in Naples, Italy. Please welcome my friend, Jane, to The Romance Dish.

Merry Christmas RomanceDishers! To Gannon, who I met in Naples, Italy, Buon Natale. I’m honored to be the guest blogger today. Because I’m in the middle of writing a Christmas trilogy, I thought I’d write about Christmas and dish about my kids and Santa Claus.

Two of my three children no longer hear Santa’s sleigh bell, which makes me a bit sad. Anyone who knows the story of the Polar Express by fellow Rhode Islander Chris Van Allsburg, understands the poignancy of this loss.

My middle boy, Thomas, wanted to believe so badly that it was a relief of sorts to him when I finally told him that, no, there is no Santa. He’s an intense little boy with a heart far too big for his little body, and the idea of Santa was so wondrous to him when he was little that the loss of his fervent belief is heartbreaking.

He would ask again and again for the truth, but always in front of his little sister, so I had to lie. It’s a lie a parent shouldn’t feel guilty about, but I did. I don’t like lying, especially to my children, but this whole Santa thing was supposed to give me a pass on that mother guilt. He’s ten and far too old to believe, and so when he asked this last time I brought him up to his room and we had one of our little sit-downs. He knew. In his heart, he knew. But he was still sad, in a mature way that was also heartbreaking.

My oldest believed until he was nine and his reaction to this news was anger. He’s vowed to never tell his children the Santa story and cannot believe I continued to perpetuate the lie, to sucker kids. He’s thirteen now and very opinionated, so I let him go on and on how parents should never, ever tell children about Santa knowing that when the time comes, he will. Most of us do. For some reason, when we have kids we remember that magic, that fluttering feeling in the pit of our stomach on Christmas Eve knowing that Santa is on his way and will stuff presents beneath the Christmas tree and we want our kids to experience it too. If only for a little while.

I still remember my father’s face when I told him scornfully that there was no Santa. I was five. Some rotten kid made fun of me because I still believed in the jolly man and I was embarrassed that I still did. My father rang a little bell on that Christmas Eve and called up the stairs that I better get to bed because he’d just heard Santa’s sleigh. And that’s when I informed Dad that I no longer believed. He looked so darned sad. I was the youngest, you see, and he knew that Christmas would never quite be the same again.

Christmas in the Goodger house is still fun and will probably continue to be fun long after my little girl, Claire, stops believing. We’ll talk about the true meaning of Christmas (remember Jesus?) but I’ll still miss Santa.

Thanks so much, Jane, for being with us today! Romance Dishers, one lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of A Christmas Scandal today.


  1. Hi Jane ^^
    Nice to meet you. I love Christmas stories set in historical periods. ^^ I'll have to look for yours in the bookstore if i don't win it.

    I remember i was nine when i stopped believing in Santa as well. I'm not sure what brought it on, but it's something that i just knew that Christmas. My sister and I never formally told our parents we didn't formally believe anymore. It was something that was sort of just accepted.

    As of it now things are interesting at my household because there is a sixteen and nineteen year gap between my two brothers and me. Noah and Luke are 7 and 4 and absolutely can't wait for Santa to come. Ashley and I sort of have to play a game with them since we don't want to shatter their beliefs.

    It's a tradition anyway in my family for the parents in my family has always given their children stockings till they've gotten married and have had a child. Most of the things in them are relatively small and things you can buy at the dollar tree. This tradition though makes things easier though. Mostly because Ash and I don't have to explain why Santa didn't leave anything for their big sisters (they don't see us as adults even though we're both in our 20's) Therefore they believe that Santa only gives us little things because "we're older and he doesn't want us to feel left out". lol


  2. Hi Jane,
    Congrats on the recent release of "A Christmas Scandal." I really enjoyed "Marry Christmas" and look forward to reading book two of this trilogy. I still believe in Santa, but not in the same way that I did as a child.

  3. Hi Jane

    The book sounds really good I love Christmas stories I will be looking for this one.

    My children have grown up now and I have 4 beautiful grandchildren and it is so much fun with them Jayden is the eldest and he will be 4 in January Hayley was 2 last July and Jake and Corey will be one next week (not twins) and Jayden and Hayley are getting so excited and I love it I do hope they continue to believe in Santa for while yet. I was 12 before I found out about Santa not being real and it broke my heart but my kids were all about 10 when they stopped beleiving but we still had fantastic Christmases.

    Have Fun

  4. Hi, Jane and Buon Natale!! :)

    It's always a little sad when the kidlets stop believing in Santa. Morgan is still hanging on, even though she's ten, like Thomas. In her heart, I'm pretty sure she knows, but she's not quite ready to give it up yet.

    I was eight the last time I believed in Santa. My mom said the Christmas just wasn't the same when my sisters and I stopped believing. So my parents were thrilled when the grandchildren came along years later and the magic was alive once more.

  5. Hello, Jane. You're a new author to me, so I will eagerly check out your books. I love Christmas stories, too.

    I don't remember when I found out that Santa wasn't a real person, but my mother, bless her Christmas spirit, carried on with the tradition even up through my college years. :) (Presents appearing under the tree on Christmas morning.) My daughter is 9 and still believes and I'm sure she also is beginning to wonder about certain things. It will make me sad in some ways when she knows, but I think I'll carry on with my mom's tradition!

  6. Hi Jane :)
    Thank you for the heartfelt post. As a parent I know the sadness when the magic of believing is gone as the children get older. I told my children when they no longer believed in Santa that he was what we called the spirit of Christmas and still exists in the hearts and minds of everyone who believes in the spirit of giving and charity.
    Thank you for sharing here today,
    Happy Holidays,

  7. What a wonderful, heartfelt post, and I find I am really being to love Xmas romances, and yours have a real attraction, Victorian AND Christmas! I will certainly keep an eye out for your titles!

    I was a stubborn child, sure, I heard the talk on the playground of "There is no Santa", I refuse to believe such radical talk.
    At age 9, I finally started to doubt, LOL! So I went and asked my father, logically how COULD Santa get around the world in one night?
    He held me close and told me the truth in a gentle voice.
    I was devastated. A broken-hearted little girl.
    Something magical was gone.
    But, I had a younger brother and sister,(5 and 9 years) so I got to watch them, and I got to believe again, and revel in the magic of Christmas.
    I still do to this day.

  8. Hi Jane,
    I remember well the pain and anger that I felt when I , at the age of 8 years old, found out that there was no such thing as Santa. As a parent I had a hard time with whether or not I wanted my own children to beleive in Santa. I decided to perpetuate the lie and let them beleive. when my youngest son finally found out from one of his classmates he was shocked an very dimayed that I would let him beleive in a lie.

    Your book sounds really and I would love to win, thanks so much for the chance!

    Chris Mead

  9. Jane, I think part of the joy of Christmas is having someone who believes in Santa so much, who is excited for his visit. I must admit that Christmas lost a lot of its meaning for me when I grew older and more jaded. But now that I'm a parent myself (to a beautiful 18 month old), that joy is happily returning!

  10. Hi, Jane, and welcome to The Romance Dish! We're thrilled to have you spend the day with us. And congrats on your newest release! :)

    My son sounds a lot like your Thomas. He's 9, very tenderhearted and will probably be devastated when he finds out that there is no "real" Santa, though he did ask me recently how exactly Santa can deliver that many presents to that many houses in only one night. I will do my best to convince him that there really IS a Santa, as long as he believes. My daughter is 5 and still believes. I was eight when I found out and I promised my mom I wouldn't tell my brother, who is a year younger than me. Actually, she told me that if I didn't "believe", then I wouldn't receive any presents from Santa. Being a kid, it worked! LOL

  11. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful stories---I appreciate all your comments.

    Merry Christmas,

    Jane Goodger

  12. Thanks Jane, I enjoyed the post about Santa. It's been so long ago I can't remember when or how I stopped believing in Santa, or even when my son stopped. I know we still enjoyed our Christmas's even without that belief because we still got to be with family and celebrate the season.
    I love historical romances and Christmas stories are always a treat. I'm looking forward to checking out your books.

  13. Deb, I love your mom's tradition. My mom continued to fill our stockings and Easter baskets, but we couldn't see her doing it. :)

  14. RK, I also tell my children that Santa is the spirit of Christmas and as long as you believe, he is real.

  15. Drew, my two oldest continue to "believe" for their younger sister's sake. It keeps a little of the magic alive.

  16. Chris, it seems like so many children find out from kids at school about Santa. My younger son did.

  17. Rosa, enjoy a magical Christmas with your toddler!

  18. Andrea, I always tell me kids the same thing your mom told you--if you don't believe, you don't get the good presents. ;)

  19. Jane, I hope you and your entire family has a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for the lovely blog!

  20. Barbara, I love Christmas romances, too. I hope you enjoy Jane's books!

  21. Count me in on a chance to win your book! Thanks!

  22. Hi Jane, How I love your covers !!!

  23. Lady Graeye, thanks for stopping by.

    Emmanuelle, I like Jane's book covers, too.

  24. Your books sound wonderful. I love trilogies and I'm looking forward to reading them.

  25. I remember being told at school by a friend that Santa wasn't real and coming home asking mom if it was true....I was heart broken, but my mom was cool and she explained it so well that I remember feeling all was right with the world....(I think I already had a pretty good clue anyways).

    That said, I have a 22 month old granddaughter that is very excited about Christmas this year and I'm looking for to a few more years when the children (believe) and are in awwww on Christmas morning...Life if good!!!

    Thank you for the great giveaway contest and Happy Holidays!!!

    mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net