Last week, my latest novella, The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright, came out from Avon Impulse! The title says a great deal about the hero. :) As for the heroine, Eliza Cade–she’s the youngest of four sisters, and not allowed to come “out” until the three older ones are married.
I didn’t grow up in a large family–there were just two of us kids, plus my parents. And though I love my family dearly, I’ve always been rather fascinated by the dynamics of large broods. Especially at Christmas. There’s a sort of joyful chaos that seems to reign at their family holiday celebrations. And there are some fictional families I’ve come to feel so fond of, so close to, I wish I could crawl into the books and be present for their Christmas dinner.
For example, the March family.
Little Women is not really a Christmas book, but I always closely associate it with the holiday. After all, it’s right there in the first line: “‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo.”
I read the book countless times as a growing girl. Over and over, I loved reading about Amy’s limes and drawing pencils, the copies of Pilgrim’s Progress all four March girls received from Marmee, and the Christmas breakfast they shared with their poor neighbors, the Hummels. Growing up, I always longed to be part of one of Jo’s plays and to sing carols around the piano as Beth sang and played. And maybe catch Laurie under the mistletoe.
Another family I’d love to join for Christmas?
If the Weasleys can make even orphaned, unloved Harry Potter feel welcome, they can surely make room for me at their table. I want to curl up in their tumbledown house, open Christmas crackers with the twins, look through Mr. Weasley’s collection of Muggle artifacts, and pull on a desperately ugly knitted jumper from Mrs. Weasley. And look at that tree! It’s like my hair is turning ginger, just with the force of my wishing to be in that scene.
Of course, all imagining aside–we have our own sprawling, joyous family of sorts here in The Ballroom. Eight authoresses, many rakes a raking, plenty of ladies dancing, one oft-leaping Lord Monty, our many wonderful guests. And a parrot in a fir tree….
“But this is not at all fictional, Miss Dare!” Lady B insists from across the room. Albert is helping her rearrange a few of the Christmas ornaments.
Oh, of course not!
Your turn. Which fictional family’s holiday celebration would you want to join?
The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright is already available in digital format (and for just $0.99!). A lucky commenter will get one of my very first print copies, signed and mailed in the new year.
And in case you haven’t seen it, I’ll post the Rake Name Generator – a widget we made just for kicks, so everyone can have a Scandalous, Dissolute, Very-Long Rake Name of his or her own!