10 Things I Like About Winter
So, since the first book in my four-book contemporary fantasy romance series, the Hearts of the Anemoi, is set in winter, I thought I’d share a bit about why I enjoy this season. NORTH OF NEED is about a long-exiled snow god who falls in love with a grieving widow at Christmastime, and the wintry setting is nearly a character, it’s so important to the story. So, without further ado, here’s 10 things I like about winter:
Snow men. Notice I didn’t say making snow men, because I’m not very good at it! LOL But I totally love seeing them decorating people’s front yards. I love watching kids make them. I love the cute faces made out of rocks and sticks. I love the image of someone’s scarf wrapped around their neck. I’ve always found snow men cute and magical, and have a whole collection of snow men ornaments and figurines. No wonder I like NORTH OF NEED’s hero, Owen, so much!
The crisp, cleanness of new snowfall. I love the unbroken newness of a fresh snowfall. How it blankets the world. Makes everything clean and white and bright. How, for a moment, before those first foot or pawprints make tracks through the snow, it’s like a whole, brand new world has been created. Pure winter magic.
The quiet while snow falls. You ever notice, no matter how hard or soft snow falls, it’s entirely silent. How powerful is that? Snow has the physical ability to change and cover the physical landscape, and yet it does so in absolutely silence. Really cool.
Snow on tree branches. I’ve always liked the way trees look when their branches are snow-covered. Nature’s holiday decoration, done just for us to enjoy.
Warm comfort food. Aw, man, this is a good one! Winter is the season of a nice think beef stew, or a spicy pot of chili. Winter is chicken pot pies and turkey casseroles and warm apple pie and hot chocolate with little marsh mallows and whipped cream. Yeah, this is a definite favorite part of winter!
Christmas carols. I don’t like ‘em too early, and I’m done with them by about December 27th, but during the holiday season, I love hearing Christmas carols. I find myself humming Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…Jack Frost nipping at your nose… Tell me you don’t hear that in your head right now! And that it doesn’t make her chest go all warm and fuzzy! LOL
Christmas light decorations. Christmas lights make the world festive and bright, and I love driving around and seeing how everyone decorates. And this is something my kids (ages 5 and 7) especially like, too. To them, lights are magical and fun, and their excitement at seeing them is one way I like to see Christmas through their eyes. I especially enjoy driving through big light displays—we have one in our area at a State Park and we go every Christmas Eve.
The smell of the Christmas tree. We always get a real one, so our house is always a wonderful, yummy combination of smells—the pine from the tree, the Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie candle burning, the warmth of the fire.
Christmas cookies. I don’t know why, but chocolate chip and sugar cookies don’t taste as good any other time of the year! I love baking them and having the smell permeate the house, icing the sugar cookies with my girls, and always having some to share with friends.
The spirit of giving. Ever notice how giving everyone becomes at the holidays? I don’t just mean Christmas presents, but of course those are fun, too. The season brings out people’s generosity, even at a moment when their expenses are higher and they don’t have as much to give. Still, people turn out to donate food, clothing, presents for needy children. They pick up tags from Angel Giving Trees and give toys to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. The spirit of giving is something I especially love about winter.
So, that’s it! 10 Things I Like About Winter! Now, I know winter’s not a lot of people’s favorite season, but come on and work with me—what’s one thing you especially like about winter? (And, if it’s not your favorite season, share which one is! The Anemoi series will feature a god in each, so you won’t hurt my or Owen’s feelings… *grins*)
Thanks so much for reading!
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About North of Need:
Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves…
Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she’s recreated the very thing she’ll never have.
Called to life by Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.
Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration–before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.
Chair Lift 3 took them where they needed to the top of the mountain, and Owen loved how Megan snuggled into the side of his body, their thighs pressed tight together. He gazed down at her. “Beautiful up here,” he murmured as the unnoticed resort glided by beneath them.
“Yeah.” She turned away from his chest and took in the view, then glanced up to see him staring at her. A blush bloomed over her cheeks, discernible even under her ski goggles and beanie. She leaned back against him. He squeezed her in with his arm around her shoulders. At the end of the lift ride, they jumped off together and she guided them to the trail she wanted to try.
“Okay, promise me you won’t cheat.”
“Cheat? What do you mean?”
“None of that snow god voodoo,” she said.
Owen’s whole body shook with amusement.
“I mean it,” Megan said, humor coloring her voice.
He steadied himself using his poles. “No voodoo. Got it.”
“Good. Okay, then. Wait here a second, I want to show you something.”
He nodded. “All right.”
Megan slowly skied away from him. “Stay right there, now,” she called over her shoulder. Just as he started to frown at how far she’d gone, she threw him a mischievous look, dug her poles in, and shoved off. “Catch me if you can!”
Owen gaped. “That little…And she told me not to cheat.” He didn’t think on it long, though, because he was after her in a flash. He knew why she made him promise not to use his powers. She was good. Surefooted and centered. Handled the turns with ease and zigzagged on the straightaways to pick up speed. Gods, her competence on the snow had him hardening in his pants.
He whooped out a cheer of pure exhilaration. The cold air whipped at his hair—he wore neither hat nor goggles, not needing them. He filled his lungs with the wind, fed off it. Tightening his stance, he gained on her, but never caught up. Man, was he going to make her pay.
At the bottom, they twisted to a stop, their downhill skis carving into the snow and sending up sprays of powder. Owen glided toward her.
“Sorry, sorry,” she giggled out with a hand over her mouth.
Owen grabbed it and pulled it away, wrapped it around his back.
“I told you, never hide your smiles from me.” He kissed her cold lips. “Naughty, naughty girl.”
She nodded. “Yep. Ready to go again?”
He smacked her bottom, though her insulated snow pants kept his bare hand from having the effect he really wanted. “You better believe it.”
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About Laura Kaye:
A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.