Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Seven-Month-Long Holiday Season

By Heather Fraser Brainerd

Make sure to leave a comment after the post for a chance to win the prize of your choice! Details below…

Oh my, I just love the holidays! For me, the holiday season starts on October 1st when I haul out the boxes of Halloween decorations. And boy, do I know how to keep it going, swapping out the décor from one holiday to the next, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Valentine’s Day to St. Patrick’s Day to Easter – whew! Yes, folks, that’s a good seven months of holiday revelry!

My most cherished holiday decorations are those made by my kids when they were little. There’s nothing like a construction-paper jack-o-lantern or a cardboard cornucopia to lift your holiday spirits! I’ve kept every single one, and proudly display them as we move from one occasion to the next.

This autumn, I have even more reason to get excited about the holidays. I have two different holiday-themed books coming out: Dream Shade, set during Halloween, and The Sound of Sirens, which takes place at Thanksgiving. Here’s a little bit about each…

Dream Shade is a Young Adult paranormal mystery (with a touch of romance) about a group of teens trying to solve a ghostly puzzle. Here’s a mini-excerpt for you:

The feel of the dream still lingered over me. Looking around my room, I half expected to see trees. Instead, what I saw made my breath catch in my throat. There, by the window, stood the dark-haired young man.
Okay, I’m totally losing it, I thought while gazing at him. And then, my God, he’s beautiful.
He was tall, broad-shouldered, and narrow-waisted. His features were striking; they were finely chiseled yet somehow…manly. He wore simple clothing: a plain button-down shirt, dark trousers, suspenders. This was certainly the man I’d dreamt of before. Studying him, I felt drawn to this strange, beautiful young man, yet terrified to move a muscle.
Shivering, I suddenly realized it was more than fright that made me tremble. My room was freezing cold, feeling more like the dead of winter than mid-October. My breath hung in front of me in a frosty cloud.
Without thought, I lifted my shaking hand from the blankets, reaching out to the young man. At that, he began to disappear, fading slowly. Soon he was gone.
As I lay back down, my thoughts spun wildly. What the heck just happened? Who—or what—was he?

Get your copy of Dream Shade from MuseItUp Publishing.

The Sound of Sirens is Book Two of the José Picada, P.I. Series. In this one, private detective Josie Cates doesn’t know which is worse: another run-in with a supernatural creature, or spending Thanksgiving week with her family. I brought along a little excerpt for this book, too:

Al silenced me by putting a finger to my lips. We crouched there, huddled together, peering through the crack between the barrels while three suited men jogged past the entrance to our hideout. A few seconds later, Al crept to the opening and peeked out. He waved me over to him.
“Let’s go,” he whispered, leading me back the way we’d come. Instead of heading to the water slides, however, he veered left at the giant redwoods and moved amongst their shadows, picking his way from the base of one tree to the next.
“You’re good at this,” I commented as he chose our route.
“Used to be a Boy Scout,” he answered, sounding embarrassed.
I had the urge to make a wisecrack, but since my safety rested on his scouting skills, I decided to let it go.
Finally, we emerged from the forest to find ourselves at the head of Main Street. A mere hundred yards or so stood between us and TommyTown Square, on the other side of which were the park gates and freedom. I was about to launch myself into a sprint, but Al placed a restraining hand on my arm.

The Sound of Sirens is scheduled for release next month. Keep an eye on my MuseItUp author page for the release date!

Happy holidays to you and yours, however and whatever you may celebrate!

Connect with Heather:

Be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win your choice of Dream Shade, The Sound of Sirens, or Deception Al Dente (Book One of the José Picada, P.I. Series).


Wendy said...

such a lovely bright post. I loved it. Good luck with your holiday themed books. They sound sensational!

Helena Fairfax said...

Lovely photo of your Hallowe'en decorations, Heather. What a great idea to decorate for every holiday! Enjoy Hallowe'en, and good luck with your new releases!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Wendy and Helena! I have to admit, I got the "decorating with school projects" idea from my mom. She puts up all our old Christmas-themed school work each December as part of her decorations. I just expanded the idea to include all of the other holidays!

Suzanne de Montigny said...

I cherish the things my kids have made over the years too.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne! Don't those precious projects just bring back such sweet memories?

Marsha said...

Lovely post, Heather. We hang on the Christmas tree the angels our daughters made in pre-school. Their school pictures are the faces. I liked the idea so much, we made our own for a couple of years.
Your books sound great. Good luck with the releases.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Marsha! Your angel ornaments sound adorable!

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I have some wonderful tree ornaments that my son had made over the years when he was in school. They are some of my most cherished ornaments.

Best wishes on your books!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Susanne! Yes, those little-hand-made ornaments are the best!

Unknown said...

Suzanne de Montigny is the winner of the random prize draw. Congratulations, Suzanne! And thank you to everyone for your lovely comments.

J.Q. Rose said...

Kind of late getting in here. Just wanted to say congrats on your holiday themed books. I'm glad you like Halloween. Decorating is fun to do and especially with such sweet memories too. Best wishes!