Monday, October 11, 2010

Today's Special - - Christie Kelley

It's our pleasure to welcome back historical romance author, Romance Bandit and Dish favorite, Christie Kelley!  Christie is celebrating the October 5th release of the fourth book in her Spinster Club series, Scandal of the Season.  It's the story fans of the series have been waiting for and features the unlikely pairing of "bad boy", Anthony Westfield, Viscount Somerton with shy and quiet Victoria Seaton.  But, as you can see from Christie's blog there's much more to these two characters than what their surface images would have you believe. 



Merry Christmas, dishes!

Oh, wait, it’s only October. Well, let’s start the holiday season early. When I heard that my editor wanted me to write a Christmas book with an October release date, I thought he was crazy. I never realized that many October books have holiday themes. The original book that the editor slated for October was my April release, Something Scandalous. Now that would have been an easy book to add in some Christmas. In the story, my hero brings seven of his younger siblings over from Canada so with all those children around during the holiday season would have been simple!

Instead, they moved Something Scandalous to April and Scandal of the Season became the Christmas themed book. Hmm, my darkest hero now is in a Christmas book! Okay, my heroine does take in orphans so I suppose that might help. Of course, the orphans are all from the “ladies” in the brothel next door. And quite honestly, I always imagined my hero and heroine away from the orphans during most of the story.

Another complication to this was the time period. During the Regency, Christmas wasn’t celebrated as in Victorian times, which is where we get many of our current customs. Christmas was much more solemn. While Christmas trees weren’t completely unheard of, it was not an accepted Christmas custom. And if they were used at all, it was just a small tree that fit on a table. Basically, it was off to church in the morning followed by a large meal and maybe a gift or two exchanged.

So now what do I do? I can’t tell my editor no to adding Christmas to the story.

I worked around the situation.

I had my heroine, Victoria love December because people are more generous to the orphans and less likely to be angry if she happens to pinch a little change from them. (Did I mention she’s a pickpocket?) While my hero, Somerton despises December, and Christmas because of several bad things that happened to him during that month in the past. Then I decided to have a secondary character invite my hero out to a country party in December. The host loves Christmas and wants everyone to be in a Christmas mood. I was able to add a tree but have my hero and heroine talk about how strange that is and discuss how it will never become an accepted custom. There also was a belief that it was bad luck to bring evergreen cuttings into the house before Christmas Eve. So little by little, I was able to add enough Christmas into the story to satisfy my editor.


I guess it all worked out.

So what do you think about holiday themed books? Do you love them and rush out to get them as soon as they’re released? Or do you dislike them? 

Thank you so much for having me today! This is one of my favorite sites!

We love having you visit with us, Christie!  For more information about Christie, please visit her website or friend her at facebook.  And be sure to check out the Contest tab at Christie's website.  She's holding a new website contest every week during the month of October! 

  

46 comments:

  1. Whoo Hoo Christie I am so excited about this book I am sure I am in love with Somwerton and have been form the start and I am sure that the sparks will be flying between him and Victoira.

    As for holiday themed books I love them and try to read as many as I can during the Chrissy season

    Congrats on the release Christie

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  2. Hi Christie! Hi Dishies! Goodness, Christie, you're everywhere at the moment. Congratulations on the release of SCANDAL OF THE SEASON! Actually I got my latest RT today and it's got Santa on the front. I really did a double take! I'm not so crazy on Christmas books - I'll read them but I don't actively seek them out. I did last year read a fabulous anthology with Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan in it. Courtney's novella ended up being nominated for a RITA and I'm not surprised. All three stories were fantastic. Just looked up the title - it's THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS.

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  3. Congrats on the new release, Christie. I can't wait to read Victoria's book and I'm really excited about Sophie's upcoming book. I do enjoy holiday themed books and I read them all year round not just around the holidays.

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  4. Thanks, Helen! I never really read many holiday themed books. At least not on purpose. If one of my favorite authors had a holiday book out, I'd buy it but only because they'd written it.

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  5. Hi Anna! I feel the same about Christmas books. I don't actively seek them out but if it's an author I love, I'll read it. Thanks for popping by!

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  6. Hi Jane, I didn't even think to ask if readers will read a holiday themed book during the summer :) For me, it wouldn't matter.

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  7. Hi Christie! Welcome back to the Dish!

    I love Christmas. I play Christmas Carols non-stop from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's. I pretty much bake non-stop from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I decorate every room of my house for the holiday.

    I guess nobody will be surprised that I also adore Christmas romances. I have favorites that I pull out every year to re-read and I always look forward to the new Christmas-themed books that hit the market. While I don't partake of other Christmas activities until after Thanksgiving, I have absolutely no problem reading the romances in October!

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  8. Helen, I share your feelings about Somerton. I've been eagerly anticipating his story since the first book!

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  9. Hi Anna! Courtney's novella was lovely, wasn't it? I wasn't a bit surprised that it finaled in the RITAs.

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  10. Hi Jane! I'm excited about Sophie's book too. I can't wait to see who Christie pairs her with!

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  11. Hi PJ, I know I'm not surprised to hear you decorate every room in your house for Christmas! I also decorate a lot (not every room!) and start my holiday season the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I bake so many cookies but after 26 years my husband has finally accept that I'm going to bake way more cookies than he thinks we need.

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  12. When it comes to holiday themes I don't like or dislike them. Although I do think it's funny that they all seem to come out in October when the holidays aren't anywhere beyond the fringes of my thoughts. I might find them more interesting and "oooh, holiday theme, must get" if were actually around the holidays. At this time the story/characters influence my decision rather than seasonal themes. For that reason, it may actually be best for my pocketbook that they put them out now :) less impulse buying :)

    Congrats on the release -- it sounds like a good read (holiday theme or not).

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  13. Hey, Christie! It's great to have you with us again!

    I'm a huge lover of all things Christmas! Decorations, carols, movies, books....you name it. Like PJ, I will start playing holiday music and decorating soon after Thanksgiving. No surprise that I count Christmas themed books as a fun part of the season, and I'm fine with starting said books in October.

    I don't like the fact that stores have their Christmas merchandise out BEFORE Halloween. They could at least wait until after. I love Halloween, too---my house is decorated for that holiday as we speak. :-)

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  14. Hi Christie, I'm a huge fan of Christmas stories and have acquired quite a collection. I store them in a large chest and bring 'm out in november. I also give myself some early Christmas presents, new books, so that I get in the holiday spirit.

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  15. Hi Christie!
    Congrats on the new release! I actually haven't read any of your books...yet. ;)
    I like holiday themed books, though I haven't read too many of them.

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  16. Hi Christie! It's good to have you back.

    I do like Christmas/holiday books. I love having the characters get caught in the fuzzy glow of the season. And I absolutely love Christmas carols and holiday songs.

    Some of my favorite Christmas themed romances are Johanna Lindsey's The Present, and NR's The MacGregor Brides where three cousins all fall in love during the holiday season, thanks to their meddling matchmaking grandfather, lol. And there's Lisa Kleypas's Christmas at Friday Harbor which I'm definitely looking forward to later this month!

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  17. Hi gamemistress, I was at Kohl's the other day and their seasonal area was already filled with decorated Christmas trees. So maybe the publisher have this right :)

    I try not to think too much about Christmas until after Halloween.

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  18. Hi Gannon, I decorated for Halloween this weekend. It was fun to pull out some of the old paper pumpkins and ghosts my kids decorated in preschool and elementary school.

    And I so agree about the stores not starting their Christmas decorating until after Halloween. It's just wrong!

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  19. Hi Kirsten! I love that you store your holiday books together and pull them out for the holiday season. What a great idea!

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  20. Hi TrishaM, thanks for stopping in! I haven't read too many holiday books either but I think this year I may pick up a few.

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  21. Hi Lisa, I love holiday songs and carols too. Usually the day after Thanksgiving one or two of the radio stations here switch to all holiday songs. The kids hate it but I love it!

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  22. Christie said, I try not to think too much about Christmas until after Halloween.

    You know, I can remember when you didn't see any Christmas items in the stores until the day after Thanksgiving. As kids, we were so excited for that special day when our little town was transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland. It's become so commercialized that now I see Christmas sections in local stores from July on. I miss the magic. :(

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  23. I love Christmas, and one of my favorite rituals of the season is getting my boxes of Christmas keepers out of the closet and rereading them throughout November and December. They include everything from Barbara Robinson’s classic The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to the four books I added to the collection last year: The Heart of Christmas, an anthology that includes the wonderful Courtney Milan story already mentioned, “This Wicked Gift”; Carla Kelly’s “Christmas Promise” in the Harlequin Historical anthology A Regency Christmas; the delightful Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry; and a fun mystery by Carolyn Hart, Merry, Merry Ghost. I look forward to reading Scandal of the Season, Christie.

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  24. PJ said...

    You know, I can remember when you didn't see any Christmas items in the stores until the day after Thanksgiving.


    I miss those days too, PJ. It was special when you went to the department store for the first time after Thanksgiving and everything was decorated. Now the kids have that two months before Christmas. It's just not the same.

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  25. Thanks, Janga! I really am going to have to find some Christmas themed books this year. I did read Johanna Lindsey's The Present many years ago. Maybe I'll see if I still have it.

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  26. I can't wait to read this Christie. I love this series. I just love the sparks between Anthony and Victoria. I can't wait to see what happens between them.
    As for holiday themed books, I like them. I don't go out of my way to buy certain themed books. If they are themed then so be it.

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  27. Hey Christie!!

    Love that cover! It is so Xmasy! I would love to find a wicked rake under my tree!

    I am not all that keen on Xmas books, but I do like the anthologies.
    But I love a Xmas romance that has just the right level of hotness and holiday schmaltz.
    I find a lot of holiday romances lack heat, but I will bet yours doesn't, *snort*

    All the best for your release!

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  28. Christie, while Something Scandalous could have been a fun holiday book, I actually think Scandal of the Season is a much better fit. Not because of the orphans, but because Somerton's journey back to a man who re-discovers his heart is perfect for this season of joy and love.

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  29. I enjoy reading Christmas stories but I always end up reading them at some other time of the year. The Christmas season is wonderful but so busy, I find it hard to do a lot of reading then.

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  30. Hi Danielle, I know you've been waiting patiently (or not) for Somerton and Victoria's story. Thanks for popping in!

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  31. Hi Karyn,

    I find a lot of holiday romances lack heat, but I will bet yours doesn't, *snort*

    LOL...that made me laugh. I'll let you decide. I believe RT rated the heat level as hot!

    Thanks for the compliments on the cover. It's beautiful in person. The colors really pop!

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  32. PJ said...

    Christie, while Something Scandalous could have been a fun holiday book, I actually think Scandal of the Season is a much better fit. Not because of the orphans, but because Somerton's journey back to a man who re-discovers his heart is perfect for this season of joy and love.


    Wow, thanks, PJ! Something Scandalous would have been a fun book to put Christmas in but I also think all those kids would have taken over the book.

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  33. Georgie Lee said...

    The Christmas season is wonderful but so busy, I find it hard to do a lot of reading then.


    Me, too! But I'm finding it difficult to find reading time at all lately. The holiday season only makes it worse.

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  34. Christie, I know we're all looking forward to Sophie's story. Do you know when it will be released? And are you at liberty to give us any hints as to what it will about?

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  35. Hey there Christie (smooches all around)!! It is always wonderful having you with us.

    I have to say I love the look and sound of this book. You know I'm a sucker for a holiday romance.

    My hubby LOVES the holiday season. It is not uncommon to hear him singing Christmas carols in October. In fact, the youngest one was singing Jingle Bells just last week.

    Wishing you much success with this release. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  36. PJ, One Night Scandal comes out June 2011.

    Hmm, not sure how much I can give away here :) She does end up with a man who's been in several of the books. Any guesses?

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  37. Hi Buffie! I'm so glad to be back here. I love this blog and you ladies.

    I love that your husband enjoys the Christmas season so much. My husband grew to love it more as the kids came along.

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  38. This book sounds great!
    I like holiday themed books. I just don't usually read them during the holiday season.

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  39. Hi Chey, that's funny because I don't usually read the holiday books during the holidays either. Maybe that's why the publishers put them out. They want them read before season gets too hectic.

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  40. Hmm, not sure how much I can give away here :) She does end up with a man who's been in several of the books. Any guesses?

    My guess would be Ancroft. He deserves a happy ending.

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  41. I enjoy holiday books. Couple of my favs are The Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleyas and The Present by Johanna Lindsey. I would read them in the Summer too! LOL! Thanks for sharing today

    evjochum@aol.com

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  42. I love holiday themed books. I don't rush to get them when they first come out but I do love to have them on hand by Thanksgiving.

    I sometimes read them again when I need a pick me up in the hot summer.
    You know Christmas ion July.

    Congratulations on the new release it looks like something I will enjoy reading this holiday season.

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  43. I love the Christmas books, especially the anthologies. I save them very year and have almost one bookcase of them. It is a special time of the year and people just act differently. It is a season of love and caring. Perfect for romance.
    Best of luck with your release of SCANDAL OF THE SEASON.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  44. Christie, thanks again for blogging with us and best of luck with your new book, Scandal of the Season.

    Sorry I didn't get back here last night but I've been having computer problems. Hopefully, it's all taken care of now!

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  45. Hi Christie,

    Congratulations on your latest book. It sounds terrific and is already on my BTB list!

    Holiday themed books? I can take 'em or leave 'em. Not big on my list of must read books. But if a good one comes along, I'll pick it up.

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  46. I enjoy reading Christmas holiday books especially as the weather grows colder. It gets me in the mood! It's my favorite time of the year!
    Scandal of the Season sounds like a book I'd like to read!

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