I love Christmas stories. I keep my favorites flagged, reading them again and again over the years, adding to my collection—stories by writers like RJ Scott, Amy Lane, Astrid Amara, Jet Mykles, and of course, Josh Lanyon whose “The Dickens With Love” is still my all time favorite for his mastery of both craft and story.
So when DreamSpinner announced their annual submission call for their advent calendar, I desperately wanted to write my own Christmas story--one that, while not necessarily rising to rest among the hallowed ranks of my favorites, at least wouldn’t writhe in shame to be seen among them.
So I set myself a very high bar, one that I quickly understood would be virtually impossible to achieve—that of finding an original story without clichés and hackneyed sensibilities. Christmas love has been done to death and I wasn’t having any luck breathing new life into the genre. I was about to pull the plug on my dreams when inspiration finally struck two days before the submission deadline.
My muse is a prickly thing, an unrepentant and disruptive child with a terrible sense of humor at my expense. I can’t count on her to appear on demand or to conform to my story outlines, yet she is a glorious creature when I let go and give her freedom to run. And run we did.
For two days I wrote around work, around my family, around the clock. The deadline flogging me on so I no longer cared if what I wrote would work or would be accepted by those who eventually read it. I wrote to finish, not knowing how the story would end. And as I hit send, two minutes before midnight deadline and with a submission email that was a hot wet mess—I was content. It was enough. The story of Kris and Tyr were its own reward.
Kris Hamilton escaped the rat race in LA to live his dream of owning an art studio and making snow globes in a Christmas-themed town in northern Minnesota. But life in a tiny town isn’t as peaceful as advertised, and being treated like an outsider is making Kris’s Tourette's flare up. When he inadvertently offends Tyr Tollefson—a beautiful blond giant of a man—Kris is ready to chuck it all. But he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Tyr's cousin Bun, who shows them the magic of Christmas and gives them both a lesson in love and acceptance.
I’m still not sure where the story of Snow Globe came from, but I’m grateful I have a chance to share it with you. It’s the story of Kris Hamilton, an artist who moves from the relative security of his life in Los Angeles to pursue his dream of opening his own studio in a small northern Minnesota town. He hand sculpts snow globes, and on paper it seems like he’d be a good fit for the Christmas theme of the town.
Unfortunately nothing about Kris allows him to fit in. He has a form of Tourette’s that alienates him verbally, his long hair and West Hollywood fashion sense marks him as a stranger physically, and he finds the early welcome slowly withdrawn by the townsfolk.
The isolation plays havoc with Kris’ Tourette’s and when he meets the Tollefson family on a particularly bad day, Kris inadvertently offends Tyr, a six-foot four blond god bent on avenging the slight to his family, particularly to his mentally challenged cousin, Bun.
It’s Bun who is the true hero of the story. She and Kris form an unlikely friendship that eventually brings the two men closer, before a crisis in the Tollefson family tears them apart. It’s Kris’ final sacrifice for Bun that shows Tyr that hiding from his own heart and living apart from Kris is no life at all.
In celebration of GuysLikeRomanceToo’s second anniversary, I have a paperback copy of Prodigal Wolf co-written with author Sara York and released by MLR Press in August. Wishing you all the happiest of holidays –LE
I hope you take a moment and read Snow Globe. It will be part of this year’s DreamSpinner Advent Calendar available at
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