When I first envisioned the five-novella series I intended to write and release in 2015, the sparks for the Christmas story were the first to appear, which was kind of too bad as it was the last in the list. I needed to write the winter, spring, summer, and autumn novellas before I could get to Christmas!
My daughter suggested the title Merry Kisses during a brainstorming session, and I fell in love. It clearly said “Christmas” while adding a playful twist on wording.
What if . . . what if a character was forbidden from saying “Merry Christmas” to customers, even if the greeting was said to her first? Thus Sonya, the toy store clerk, was born. She is adept at using similar words in response, like “merry crystals” or “merry princesses.” But when the goodlooking guy buying a boatload of toys wishes her a merry Christmas, she blurts out “merry kisses.” And gets fired because her boss doesn’t believe her.
Heath is bemused and intrigued by the pretty but flustered cashier . . . and guilt-ridden that her verbal slip cost her job. After she agrees to meet him for coffee down the mall, he’s dismayed to discover she won’t go out with him. He’d been buying toys for a Santa gig, and Sonya believes Santa is all kinds of wrong.
Because I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, nearly everything that happened in the novella after that was a surprise to me. At times I despaired of Heath and Sonya getting things worked out! It was a fun ride with deeper undertones than I’d first expected.
Giveaway Question: What favorite Christmas tradition from your childhood do you still love to enact today?
Can a disillusioned toy store clerk and a mall Santa resolve their differences in time for merry kisses at Christmas?
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
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To enter the drawing for a copy of Valerie’s book, please leave a comment before Sunday, November 22nd at 11:59 p.m. (Central time). After a random drawing, the winner’s name will be announced on Monday, November 23rd.
Thank you for reading the Story Spark behind Valerie’s novella and participating in the giveaway.