Tales of Holidays Past ~ Sunday Spotlight by Brandilyn with Giveaway


Tales of Holidays Past:

The Holidays are a magical time for many.  No matter your religion, or lack there of, there is likely something for you during the winter months.  The three most recognized celebrations are probably Christmas, Hannukah, and Yule.  Don’t shoot me if your favorite was not mentioned.  It is just as important as those three, but those are the three I find addressed in this list the most.

Christmas means different things to different people.  It is a secular holiday as much as it is a religious one.  With it’s origins in the Pagan holiday of Yule and the Christian celebration of Jesus’s birth, you have two factions who think theirs is the meaning of Christmas.  Whatever your belief, however, most people can agree that Christmas is a time for giving, a time for family, and a time for love. It has a special feeling for many.  It is celebrated around the world in various forms and with various traditions.  You may not celebrate Christmas the same way as your neighbor, but if you do celebrate it, you probably have your own tradition.

For people in the Northern hemisphere it means snuggling by the fire, playing the cold, being with friends and family, helping those in need.  For people in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the dead of summer.  The thought of a fire is likely unfathomable… But it is still about family, generosity, and togetherness.

As I don’t observe Hanukkah or Yule, I asked some special guests to give me their thoughts on the celebrations.

Prism Reader Hannah B had this to say about Hannukah:

Hannukah is known as the Festival of Lights, and Feast of Dedication, it is a commemoration of the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in 167 BC. The story tells of how the Maccabees rejected the occupier Antiochus Epiphanes and retook the temple against great odds. When Judah Maccabee rededicated the temple, they did not have enough oil, but for one day. That little bit of oil though lasted for eight whole days until more oil could be prepared.

Hannukah to me is the story of how the few lead a successful uprising against a larger force. A story of standing up for one’s believed and rights. The lessons I try to teach about this holiday (so that children don’t just focus on the gifts) is the importance of ‘equal rights’ for everyone that it is a holiday of “rededication” to try to put into action in our daily life the meaning of freedom (living in the US where we are lucky to live in a democracy), friendship, and peace.

Dreamspinner Press Author Jamie Fessenden tackled Yule for us:

Ancient pagans attempted to counteract the long, cold nights of winter with festivals spanning several days, featuring light in the form of fires, torches, and candles, feasting, drinking, and revelry. In ancient Rome, it was called Saturnalia, and in Northern Europe it was Yule. The Yule feast had to be prepared for weeks in advance by brewing large quantities of ale, and the celebration went on for about two weeks. Later, this custom was adapted as the “twelve days of Christmas.”

Some people avoid Holiday books because of the “cheese” factor or the religion factor or for any number of reasons.

Prism Reviewer PizzyGirl is in the process of changing camps from the anti-holiday story to appreciating them for what they can be:

I do not really have any favorites to share because I used to stay away from holiday stories. I always felt they were too cheesy, too predictable, and too short. I had other books that I would rather spend my time on. But now, I find myself looking forward to the cheese. I find myself excited to read this guide because I want to know which stories other people love so that I can read them myself. I want that quick read that leaves me feeling all mushy and happy inside. Maybe it is because I have been reading so much that has left me feeling apathetic that I am now looking for something short, sweet, and endearing.   -PizzyGirl

What I have found through my obsession with Holiday stories is that there is a holiday based story for everyone.  I have read ones centered on a variety of Winter holidays, including but not limited to Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, and of course New Years.  I have read campy. I have read serious.  I have read sweet. I have read heartbreaking. I have read vapid. I have read inspirational.  Whatever your poison there is a holiday tale out there for you.

I asked the Prism reviewers, and our focus group, a seemingly simple question.  What are your favorite LGBTQ titles centered around the Winter holidays.  So here are our recommendation for LGBTQ titles centering on the Winter Holidays.  The one caveat is that these are all originally published in 2013 or before.

Here are some M/M Recommendations from Team Prism

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And for our LesFic readers, here are a few recommendations from Ameliah:

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So… Which titles will become our new favorites?  You will just have to watch the blog throughout the rest of November and December to see!


Brandilyn has kindly offered 1 lucky commenter will win $10 in All Romance eBooks Omnibucks. All you have to do is tell us your favorite LGBTQ title centering around the Winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Yule, Christmas, Hannukah, Boxing Day, New Years, etc).

Contest will end 5 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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14 thoughts on “Tales of Holidays Past ~ Sunday Spotlight by Brandilyn with Giveaway

  1. Of LGBT this one: A Great Miracle Happened There by Kim Fielding

    Of non LGBT: Peters Jul by Johan Krohn (a Danish Christmas rhyme from 1870)

  2. It’s sort of a toss up between Astrid Amara’s holiday books (Holiday Outing, Carol of The Bellskis) and Josh Lanyon’s Lone Star. I’ve read all of them multiple times. 🙂

  3. I love giving Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara a read every year around this time. The DSP advent calendar Anthologies also always have some pretty good Christmas stories in it too (at least the ones in the past few years have been).

  4. I love Jamie Fessenden’s THE CHRISTMAS WAGER…I’m usually not into Regencies, but the setting and characters are excellent (there’s even a non-annoying child!), and the romance is a very sexy slow burn. For that matter, given how modern most of her work is, I was surprised at how good KA Mitchell’s AN IMPROPER HOLIDAY is.

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