I’m obsessed with Christmas. Seriously, I’m that person everyone on Facebook posts those photos captioned with stuff like “Thanksgiving is the next holiday! Wait your turn, Christmas!” about. I watch the Hallmark Channel round the clock beginning the weekend after Halloween for their annual “Countdown to Christmas” series of schlocky holiday romances. The “holiday” section of my iTunes Library has more songs in it than any other genre. I can recite every line of dialogue from The Santa Clause, Home Alone and Jingle All the Way. I’ve hosted Christmas in July parties. I buy multiple boxes of holiday-themed teas (Celestial Seasonings’ Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is the best, by the way) so I can drink it year-round. Like I said, obsessed.
But the one thing I’ve always loved most about Christmas, and the thing I miss the most since graduating from high school, is singing carols. I was in a competitive choir when I was in high school, and we sang the most amazing arrangements of the most amazing holiday songs beginning in October. We practiced for months to put together intricate concerts, and then we spent the entire month of December performing around the area at malls, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and corporate offices. All of it culminated in a huge winter chorale, where hundreds of people came to listen to us. I loved every moment of it. There’s such a rush that came with performing those songs with a large group of singers, from being surrounded by the wall of sound created by sixty voices joining in bright harmony. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced since.
When I decided to write A Christmas Caroler, my first holiday story, I knew I had to write about my favorite part of Christmas when I was younger: the music. I put a lot of my own high school choir experience into the story of Jeremy and Zach. That same feeling of awe the music inspired in me is what drives Jeremy’s dreams of being a professional chorister, for example. Singing songs at Christmas is something that I have always loved, and I think it’s one of those things that really bonds people at holiday time. I think music has a power over people, in general, but it seems even stronger during the holidays; you’d be hard pressed to walk through a shopping mall in December and not hear someone singing along to the carols being pumped through the sound system (especially if it’s Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”… not that I’m usually that person, or anything). The music of Christmas is so ebullient, so warm and inviting, so evocative of love and togetherness that I think we can’t help but be comforted by it. Hopefully A Christmas Caroler can evoke some of those same sentiments in you.
The Blurb: Jeremy Walsh is a high school senior who’s got big plans for his future — namely, to perform at Carnegie Hall. But before he can get there, he needs to secure the solo in his renowned high school choir’s Christmas concert and get into college. Everything seems to be on track until a cute new student, Zach Brooks, shows up and ruins all of Jeremy’s plans by snatching the solo out from under him. With his college auditions looming and the Christmas concert fast approaching, Jeremy has more on his plate than he can handle. Can the magic of the Christmas season bring Jeremy and Zach together?
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED