Okay, so those who know me know I am a SUCKER for holiday-themed romance stories and movies. I got hooked on them as a teenager when I discovered an anthology of Regency Holiday Romances. I devoured it, and have looked for more every holiday season.
For me, that “holiday season” starts in November, and some years lasts until March. I crave romances that take place in snowy venues, mysteries in snow-bound country homes, average girls who find their prince in a fictional kingdom in the snow-covered Alps.
See, the key ingredient for me is snow. It’s a rarity here, and cause for celebration because Snow Day! Am I right? When you live in the hot, humid, sweltering South, you pine for ice skating parties, sledding down monster hills, and drinking hot cocoa by a crackling fire in the hearth. I love stories where the girl returns or arrives in a small town and falls in love–probably because I am not a city girl myself. I love wreaths on the doors, and baking snickerdoodles, and at this time of year, I want holiday stories and movies.
Mostly because the message of these stories is guaranteed to be uplifting. There is joy, hope, love and a little bit of magic to be had in these stories, and we could all use a little bit more of that these days.
This is the first of a series of Holiday-Themed Posts asking for your recommendations.
This post is for story and movie recommendations. This time, Monday Nov 8, I’d like very much if you’d sell me on YOUR favorite holiday movie or novel. This post is for you to recommend something you love, but not your own work, please. Next week, Monday Nov 15th, I’ll ask for links to YOUR holiday stories–and I want to hear about them ALL. There are 12 holidays of all nationalities and religions celebrated in December alone–if you’ve written a story set during one of these times, I want to hear about it! It does not have to be a new release, either! The post after that, Monday Nov 22, I’m going to be asking for your gift-giving recommendations, with special focus on those for writers.
I have some current favorite movies to share with you here. Yes, I love It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas in Connecticut, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and not a single Christmas goes by without a re-watch of The Muppet Christmas Carol. But I also love The Holiday, with Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law. A fun, heartwarming movie about finding your place with the right people. I also adore Last Holiday with Queen Latifah–I adore how she finds her inner lioness when she thinks she is about to die. I’m also a sucker for The Princess Switch movies–how many characters can Vanessa Hudgens play in one movie? Can they possibly add a 4th character? We’ll have to see! Because I also love musicals, I make a point of re-watching A Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish. Just love this one! I’m also fond of A Princess for Christmas, in part because I really like Katie McGrath as an actress and she brings her skill to this movie.
As for stories, there are almost too many to share! I have on tap to read On Christmas Tree Cove by Sarah Vance-Tompkins, Holiday Ever After by Jill Shalvis, The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo, and Jenny Holiday’s A Princess for Christmas. In the past, I’ve enjoyed A Timeless Christmas by Alexis Stanton, It Happened One Christmas (Anthology), Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory, A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas, and SO MANY MORE. It’s embarrassing how many of these stories I have on my Kindle, and I’m looking for more!
So share with me YOUR favorite holiday movies and stories! I want them all! Tell me where I can find them, but more importantly, why do you love it so? Why should I love it too?? I can’t wait to indulge!
I read Jenny Holiday’s A Princess for Christmas last month and it is wonderful! I felt like I was reading a Hallmark movie, so a bit over-the-top and unrealistic, but so much fun who cares! Something a bit more unusual would be Craig Johnson’s novella Spirit of Steamboat Springs. I love the Walt Longmire series and this is an exciting flashback to an unbelievable rescue on a cold, blizzardy night. If you can get the audio narrated by the exquisite George Guidall, it’s even better. As far as movies go, I am a sucker for the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and have been happily watching them every weekend. They have even branched out the last year or so to a few less traditional couples, but still with the love showing through all the families and fake snow.
Oh good! I picked up A Princess for Christmas because it had that Hallmark vibe–now I have something fun to look forward to! I’ve never tried the Longmire series, though I’d been on my radar for a while. How are you listening to your audiobooks, may I ask? I used to have a long commute, but it’s very short these days. I don’t tend to listen to music on my phone and my iPod is so old I can’t upload anything to it anymore. So I’m always curious how people go about listening to music (streaming?) and audiobooks these days.
I am SUCH a sucker for the Hallmark movie, but I don’t think I can get it where I am. We’ve done away with cable; we’re streaming certain channels only. I should look into that though!
I only listen to audiobooks in the car, because when I’m home I’d rather just read. My 10 year old car doesn’t have bluetooth, so I actually listen to books on CD, mostly from the library. Though Amazon sometimes has MP3 CD’s for $10 or less. I’ve read all Craig Johnson’s Longmire series via CD. While the books are very good in themselves, George Guidall gets the nuances just right to show the underlying humor, exasperation, or irony of some of the crazy situations Walt gets himself into.
I have used a jack and the car’s aux connection to get a few MP3 audiobooks from the library, once I realized my old ex-phone made a great MP3 player that I could just leave in the car. (One of those “duh” moments.) It works okay, but I had to learn to shut off the radio and then ALSO pause the book on the the player, or the book just kept going while I was out of the car. Oops! It’s too much of a pain for everyday use, so I don’t do that unless I’m making a longer trip. Which of course I haven’t done for a couple years now. Fortunately, the St. Louis County library keeps getting a lot of books on CD. I keep saying if they ever run out, I’ll look into the e-audio more, but I haven’t had to yet.
I believe Hallmark has it’s own streaming service. Google tells me it’s $6.99/month, and includes all three Hallmark channels. It might be worth it for this time of the year. And maybe there’s a free week trial period? You might want to check it out. 🙂
Yeah, the newer cars don’t even come with CD players anymore! There’s a USB port, and I can use my iPod that way, but I can no longer add anything to it. My drives are so short these days that it would take me a year to listen to an audiobook! In fact, I never got into podcasts for similar reasons.
Sadly, you can’t get the Hallmark channel without also having cable or satellite, which we ditched. I tried to sign up for it the other night. 🙁 There are some streaming services that offer it, but not Roku, which is what we have. I can try looking for it through one of the other streaming options though!
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I just released today – Christmas Notes. A heartwarming seasonal novella.
Can a slice of pizza and a flute erase the ravages of life and allow Giselle and Ethan to fall in love by Christmas?
Collapsing in front the biggest department store in the city on one of the busiest days of the holiday season was not how Giselle imagined her day. Cold and hungry, she trudged through her daily existence wondering if she’d ever find happiness again.
Teenagers. Ethan loved working with them and turning their raw musical talent into something beautiful and rewarding, but that didn’t fill the black void in his soul.
Like fate, the songwriters’ muse nudged Giselle and Ethan together. But can Giselle overcome her fears and can Ethan get past the darkness that surrounds him, so they can find love?
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L7954ST
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/u/3keqvO
NOTE – This book will only be available in ebook as it is too short to be put into print or audio.
Aw, I love when two people who really need each other meet through fate! Thank you for sharing this with us!
I think you posted to the wrong entry though. I believe you want this one instead? (Just so you’re on the list with everyone else in one place for readers to find) http://mckennadeanromance.com/have-you-written-a-holiday-romance-or-mystery-tell-me-about-it
When Rudolph Was Kidnapped by me (Christine DeSmet) is a humorous romantic mystery Christmas novella available at Amazon from my publisher. It’s set in northern Wisconsin and is the first in a series set in the same small village of Moonstone, and protagonists are new from story to story, though some supporting characters repeat from story to story. The entire series is romantic mysteries. I’ve also written a screenplay based on this sweet story about Rudolph and am marketing it.
This sounds very intriguing! I love series set in the same town so you can build on the character relationships!
I love ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, best ever! ‘A Dream of Christmas’, ‘Mistletoe Promise‘, ‘The Nine Lives of Christmas’, ‘Christmas Cottage’, ‘A Shoe Addict’s Christmas’, ‘Christmas Land’, ‘Christmas in Evergreen’, ‘12 Gifts of Christmas’, ‘Christmas Incorporated’, ‘ Christmas with Holly’,
The Sweetest Christmas,
A Very Merry Mix Up,
A December Bride, Love Actually
Yes, I have a problem! LOL
Oooh, I’ve heard of some of these but not all of them. Thanks for the rec list!!
Angela, I didn’t realize most of these are books as well as Hallmark movies! (Except for Mistletoe Promise, which was okay but not as good as the movie.) Since Christmas in Evergreen and Nine Lives of Christmas are two of my favorite movies, I’ll be checking out those books first. Thank you!