Romance author Susan Mallery discusses how books can inspire the holiday spirit and reveals the scavenger hunt included in her latest book, Christmas on 4th Street. To celebrate it's release, Susan Mallery is giving away ten Fool’s Gold limited edition brass ornaments to Amazon readers who enter to win by November 23 (see below for details).
“The Christmas spirit” is a magical feeling that conjures the past, present and future at this special time of year. Let me explain. A snippet from a favorite carol sets you humming, reminding you of when your mother used to sing it while she was decorating the tree, and maybe encourages you to sing it for your own child. Watching a child’s awe when meeting Santa Claus at the mall can remind you of your own first meeting with the celebrated elf. We might not run to see what Santa left us anymore, but we can't wait to watch the children in our lives enjoy that same excitement as they check under the tree!
Books, for me, have always played a role in building that ineffable Christmas spirit. I read holiday stories to get in the mood. I like emotion-filled books with a fundamental optimism, stories that celebrate love and family and community and the sense of connection that makes life meaningful. I’m honored to know that my Christmas romances have helped other readers get into the spirit, as well.
Christmas is about connecting with people you love and, for me, that means my readers. As I write, I always feel connected to my readers and aware of my commitment to write a story that will carry them away. With my latest book, Christmas on 4th Street, I had an idea for including my readers in a more tangible way: together, we created a Christmas scavenger hunt that’s woven into the pages of Christmas on 4th Street.
About a year ago, I invited readers on my Facebook page to suggest objects for me to incorporate into the story. From the hundreds of suggestions, I chose sixteen at random.
Some of them were really random—a pair of red polka-dot rain boots, a Santa pin with a light-up nose. Others were emotionally significant, such as a fireman’s hat or jacket with the number 46, in honor of the reader’s late brother, or the little Statue of Liberty that another reader’s family has been re-gifting for years as a running joke.
As I incorporated each of these objects into Christmas on 4th Street, I felt my readers with me more than ever before. The Christmas on 4th Street scavenger hunt became their gift to me as well as my gift to them. I had so much fun that I’m planning to invite readers to suggest objects again, which I’ll work into next year’s Fool’s Gold Christmas romance, a book I’ll start writing any day now.
May the holiday season be filled with books you love!
To celebrate the release of Christmas on 4th Street, Susan Mallery is giving away ten Fool’s Gold limited edition brass ornaments to Amazon readers. To enter for a chance to win, just send your mailing address to email@example.com before midnight CST on November 23. See Contest rules for more details.