December is I :::Heart::: the Holidays month at my blog. During these next twenty-two days, besides the usual blog posts, I’m featuring authors who write holiday romance. Today, I have Seelie Kay in the interview chair. We’re discussing The Last Christmas. Be sure to check out the excerpt.
Seelie: The holidays are a season of love, joy, and family–a perfect time to celebrate romance!
2. How many holiday romances have you written so far? And which one would you recommend for readers to try, besides the one you are featuring? Feel free to leave a link.
Seelie: I have written three: A Touchdown to Remember–a sports romance (https://www.extasybooks.com/a-touchdown-to-remember), The President’s Daughter--a tale of romantic suspense (https://www.extasybooks.com/the-presidents-daughter), and The Last Christmas–a paranormal romance
3. What do you like most about writing holiday romance?
Seelie: The setting. The holidays create the perfect environment for romance. It’s almost too easy to fall in love!
4. What do you like least about writing holiday romance?
Seelie: The belief that a holiday romance cannot address serious issues. All three of my holiday romances are intended to send a message. In “A Touchdown to Remember,” the story revolves around concussions in professional football and the need to have an exit plan. “The President’s Daughter” is about adoption, and how families born of the heart are just as meaningful as those born of the blood. And “The Last Christmas” is about family and the special miracles they can create when they fight for it together. I just couldn’t write a purely romantic tale.
5. What inspired you to write your featured holiday story?
Seelie: At the time, my (recently deceased) father was 94-years-old and as you might expect, had experienced a number of serious medical, age-related events. Each time, we were told to prepare for his death. Each time, he survived. The fact was, my Dad wasn’t ready to die. And his children and his grandchildren weren’t ready to let him go either. So I started thinking about terminal diagnoses and how they are really a best guess, not a guarantee. That, of course, led to thoughts how a terminal diagnosis often causes people to give up and prematurely mourn the death of the person who is ill. I wondered how that impacted the outcome. And because I was preparing to write a holiday book, I also started thinking about the power of family, and how, time after time, families are capable of creating miracles.
That led me to “The Last Christmas.” Christmas truly is a time for miracles, and thought it important that everyone be able to experience one through the tale of the Wright Family.
On a side note, my father died in January in a rather miraculous way. He took a walk around his block and when he arrived back home, collapsed and died. That he went without suffering and at a time when we were emotionally prepared for him to pass over, was its own little miracle.
6. If a reader asked you why they should read your holiday romance, what would you tell them?
Seelie: In this story, when the doctors say there’s no hope, Santa begs to differ. After all, he claims, miracles are love combined with action to get the desired result. And at Christmas, everyone deserves a miracle! This is a tale of hope and the power of family, with a little sizzling romance mixed in.
7. Lastly, how are you going to spend the holidays?
Seelie: This is my first Christmas without my father, so I imagine I will spend time remembering him and the great impact he had on my life and the lives of others. As an educator, my father believed any child was capable of learning and he fought hard for that to be recognized in public education. For example, he implemented one of the first alternative education high schools in this country. Of course, we will celebrate Christmas, but it will be a subdued and emotional celebration.
At Christmas time, everyone deserves a miracle!
Blurb: David Wright is dying from cancer. He is not expected to see another Christmas. At least that’s what the medical professionals say. Fortunately, Santa begs to differ. After all, modern medicine is nothing more than a best guess. Santa believes anything is possible until you give up.
When Santa tells David’s wife, Joan, that heaven is full and she has to keep her husband alive, she is beside herself. She has no medical skills. How can she save anyone’s life? Set your skepticism aside as Santa embraces a family already mourning their father’s terminal diagnosis and teaches them that a Christmas miracle doesn’t always require heavenly intervention. Sometimes, all it takes is a family with enough love to create their own. As Santa says, a true miracle is when love combines with action to get the desired results. And only humans are capable of that.
Will Santa’s words fall on deaf ears? Or will Team Wright find a way to save their father’s life?
“It’s not about you, it’s about him, Joan.,” a grumbly voice said. “You’re looking at this all wrong.”
Joan turned so fast she almost lost her balance. She glared at the old man who had spoken. He was around seventy, with ruddy cheeks and twinkling blue eyes. And thick white hair. Lots of white hair. Flowing over his shoulders, winding up in a very lush beard. On top of his head was perched a brightly colored red knit hat. She frowned. “Wait a minute. You’re Santa Claus. Without the red suit, but clearly, you’re him. I’d know you anywhere.”
The man bowed and with a smile, said, “At your service.” He gestured toward a park across the street. “Let’s take a walk.”
“Oh, no. I’m not going anywhere with you.” Joan shook her head. “I didn’t mean you actually were Santa Claus. Everyone knows he doesn’t exist. I just meant you looked like him. You’re just a man who looks like him. I don’t know you. Why would I…” She glared at him. “You’re not even wearing a red suit. And since when has Santa taken up armchair psychiatry?” She ran a hand through her blonde hair. “I must be hallucinating.” Despite her objections, she followed him across the street.
Santa laughed. “My dear, I have been dispensing advice since I was old enough to talk and make people listen. God chose my role a long time ago and I have gotten very good at it.” He looked toward the heavens. “Sorry, old boy. Still working on that humility!” He chuckled. “Man never stops reminding me.” He smiled at Joan. “Do you sense any ill-intentions from me? Of course not. I’m Santa. All I want to do is talk.”
Joan reached out and touched his shoulder.
He laughed again. A laugh that came directly from his belly. “Yes, I’m real. Well, as real as a centuries-old spirit gets. I even eat all those cookies children leave me each year. And let me tell you, that’s a heavenly feat.” Again, he looked skyward. “Yes, sir, I am well aware that borders on gluttony. A sin. You know darn well it has nothing to do with gluttony and everything to do with the magic of Christmas, an affirmation that Santa is real. I do it for the children.” He smiled at Joan. “Sometimes, He gets a little overbearing with his angels.”
He smirked. “Even God has his faults. He is by no means perfect.” A strong wind swirled through the plaza, nearly catching his knitted cap. He clapped his hand on his head to hold it down. He whispered, “And he doesn’t take criticism too well, either.”
Joan stared at the man. Surely, she was losing it. Santa a spirit, an angel? He and God didn’t even travel in the same circles. She shook her head, trying to make the hallucination go away.
Santa sighed. “I know, I know. You’ve been taught that I’m not real. That I’m a myth. That’s a rumor started by Satan himself, the old devil. He can’t stand the fact that people embrace the goodness in the world. And that I spread good cheer. He would much rather unleash a plague and make people miserable. He hates Christmas. He hates that the birth of Christ is celebrated, and his birth, well, is not. He really can’t stand the fact that love binds people so tightly during the holidays.” Santa shook his fist toward the ground. “The fool pouts all through the holidays.” He then sat up straight and gazed at Joan. “Christmas is really about love, you know. All kinds of love. The type of love he’ll never have. Love of family, love of children, love of—”
“What the heck do you want?” Joan blurted. “People are starting to stare.”
Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.
Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.
When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!