Not only is Christy the author of this story, and the author of two wonderful historical romance novellas, but she is also the cover designer for the anthology. A truly talented person who works way too many hours in many venues, I'm lucky she had a few moments to join us today.
Tell us about your inspiration for this story, Christy.
I’ve always loved stories set during wintertime and somehow linked to Christmas traditions. When I was a kid, there was an archway in the wall that joined our living and dining rooms, and sometimes we would hang a bundle of mistletoe in the center of that arch. It was glossy and green, and I knew the special tradition of giving or receiving a kiss when you stood under the mistletoe with someone. I’ve always wanted to incorporate that tradition into a romance story.
I grew up in the Midwest and most of my extended family lived nearby, so the holidays were always a grand event with lots of laughter, food, and fun. It was a chance to catch up and plan for the coming year. The backdrop of the holidays immediately evokes sentimental memories, yet it also makes me think about change. The advent of a new year is a time when anything is possible—resolutions are made, fortunes can change, new beginnings are just around the corner. The story of Ben and Amelia came to me wrapped up in this notion of a new possibility—a relationship that blossoms from friendship into love.
The friends-to-lovers story is one of my favorites. When I was younger and first read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I was devastated that Jo March didn’t end up with her friend and neighbor Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. Mr. Knightley and Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma are my favorite example of literary longtime friends with the potential for more. Much like Ben and Amy in my short story, “Don’t Forget the Mistletoe,” they are the closest of friends, even confidantes, but one of them is driven to risk the comfort of their friendship for the chance of something more.
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