Sponsored by The Mistletoe Matchmaker by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
The days are turning colder, preparations are under way for the Winter Fest, and everyone is hoping for a little holiday magic on the Finfarran peninsula. And as Cassie Fitzgerald, fresh from Toronto, is about to discover, there’s more to the holidays on the west coast of Ireland than mistletoe and mince pies. The dazzling third book in Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s Finfarran Peninsula series, The Mistletoe Matchmaker is a heartfelt celebration of community, family, and the meaning of home. “The perfect winter heart-warmer.” — Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of Between Sisters
It’s Monday! I’m weirdly excited for it!
Whatever, let’s talk about what’s been going on.
News and Useful Links
While I was squeeing about Farrah Rochon’s cover last week, Kwana (KM) Jackson was revealing her own cover at Frolic. It is pretty effing cute.
Have you heard about Penny Reid’s new venture, Smartypants Romance? She commissioned authors to write stories in the extended universes of her Neanderthal and Winston series, and is publishing them in quick succession. The first one, Baking Me Crazy, came out last week, and the next one is only days away. Have you read one? What do you think?
If you like calendars (or even if you don’t), this is a gorgeous project to back.
Check out this super moving, super interesting look at neurodiversity in romance from three #ownvoices romance authors.
Have you ever wondered what your favorite writers’ writing space looks like? Beverly Jenkins wrote about hers, and it’s nice to know we can have something in common with these paragons of greatness.
How familiar are you with incorrect Twitter? There is probably an “incorrect [insert title here]” for most things that have a strong internet following, and the Incorrect Latinx Lit account totally hit my funny bone with this one.
With the introduction of the expansion of the Green Valley world, it might be time to dig around with Penny Reid’s Winstons. Good thing Dr. Strange Beard, featuring youngest bearded Winston brother Roscoe and his longtime crush Simone. This is one of my favorite couples, in part because they have such barriers—Roscoe has an eidetic memory, except of course, that doesn’t mean he knows other people’s points of view; Simone is a Fed working undercover, and can’t tell people why she’s in town. The misunderstandings abound, and the whole Winston family is there to witness it.
The fall is all about many things, and October is heavily Halloween-based. But there are other holidays in the Fall, including Thanksgiving!
A Match Made for Thanksgiving
To be fair, Jackie Lau is Canadian, and her characters are, too, so this particular Thanksgiving is in October. But the sentiment is still there!
Nick is all about the single Toronto life. He picks up women in bars and lives for himself. (He also looks a touch like Henry Golding, but that’s neither here nor there.) After he overhears Lily muttering about picking up a one-night stand, they have the night of their lives, and even though both swear it’s only for a night, neither can stop thinking of the other. Which gets a little complicated when Lily shows up at his family home for Thanksgiving…as his brother’s blind date. (There are some serious Wong family shenanigans happening and they’re literally the best.) But that doesn’t erase the chemistry they still have.
This is the first book in Jackie’s new Holidays with the Wongs series, which promises more delightful shenanigans at Christmas, Lunar New Year, and Valentine’s Day. So keep an eye out!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for another book that sits at the right edge between spooky and precious, there’s Love Spells for the End of the World by Alys Murray. This one comes with a similar amount of family shenanigans, but there is also a completely different kind of relationship between the protagonists.
Bel is a witch. She lives in a town full of supernatural beings, which only opens itself up to humans on one night of the year. Bel is…not a very good witch, which is perfect, because her human neighbor (on the other side of the town’s barrier) is an equally incompetent witch hunter. He’s been failing to kill her for the past ten years, but now, she needs him. Because a hellmouth just opened up in her house.
The key element of this kind of enemies-to-lovers story is the purpose of their enmity. Witches and witch-hunters are natural enemies, but primarily due to ill-conceived theories about each other. Bel and Elijah learn more about each other, and the worlds they inhabit, and that helps them with both their inner and outer conflict. I don’t know if I handle this kind of relationship better because of the supernatural setting, but it’s pretty cute.
What are you reading this week?