Our Pages

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holidays with the Not-Quite-Human

We're in the middle of the year's biggest holiday season, where Halloween rolls blithely into Thanksgiving, which gives way to Christmas, and then New Year's. (And of course if one lives in Louisiana, one can add Twelfth Night and the Mardi Gras season to that lineup.)

As an author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as an avid paranormal-fiction reader, I’m always interested in how (or if) holidays are treated in our favorite books.

Do the Black Dagger guys paint Easter eggs for baby Nalla? (I totally want to read that!) Does Anita Blake sit down with her 2,375 men for Thanksgiving dinner and, uh, “dessert”? (Hm...I might have read that, now that I'm thinking about it.) Do Cat and Bones hang up Christmas stockings and fill them with silver bullets and knives?

Usually, we ignore the holidays in our books, or brush past them. But in my Sentinels of New Orleans series, I decided to embrace the holidays. Because nobody does a holiday like my favorite city. (I mean, have you heard of Naked Bike Ride Day? And did you know there was a PARADE for that? I’m still having nightmares. Google it, and you'll see what I mean.)

In River Road, everyone’s hunkiest shapeshifter Alex Warin decides to throw a combination Halloween party/housewarming, complete with costumes. Against her better judgment, my wizard DJ lets her loup-garou friend Jake talk her into going as Red Riding Hood to his Big Bad Wolf. The undead pirate Jean Lafitte was ready to go as himself, until he learned it was Alex’s party and he wasn’t invited. (Bah to “le petit chien.”) DJ’s friend Eugenie and her creepy, mysterious boyfriend Quince Randolph went as hippies, complete with tie-dyed clothes and Grateful Dead tunes.

In Elysian Fields, the story picks up a couple of weeks later, so we get to contend with Thanksgiving. Normally, DJ might be dragged to Picayune, Mississippi, to eat turkey with Alex and Jake’s families, but things are kind of strained on that front by the time Thanksgiving arrives. DJ can’t cook, unless you count reheating pizza. So she’s made plans to spend the holiday hanging out alone in Jean Lafitte’s suite at the Hotel Monteleone, eating doberge cake and charging movies to his room account (he’s out of town, too). Of course plans have a way of changing...

Now I’m turning my mind toward Christmas, and what kind of chaos and shenanigans my characters can get into. I mean, the Elves are now a major species in the series, so perhaps they could help Santa...unless Santa himself is an Elf with weight issues. Something to ponder. And then there’s Twelfth Night, and Lundi Gras, and Mardi Gras...And somewhere in there, I think I need to work in Naked Bike Ride Day...

Have you found a “paranormal” holiday that you enjoyed? Leave a comment to win a Sentinels book!


18 comments:

  1. Suzanne,
    Naked Bike Ride Day??? LOL Now that's something I DON'T want to see. The little bike shorts are bad enough. But a paranormal Bike Ride could be interesting. :)

    I imagine a paranormal New Years Eve would be a blast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Samantha--I agree, New Year's would be fun with a bunch of paranormals...well depending on their idea of what fireworks might entail :-)

      Delete
  2. I think Christmas is special in "Christmas in Dogtown". Thanks Suzanne. Happy Holidays to all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roger! Have a great holiday yourself :-)

      Delete
  3. I have to agree with Roger's choice of Christmas in Dogtown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandy! "Dogtown" was a fun story to write, with one of my favorite Christmas traditions from Louisiana in it. Have a great holiday!

      Delete
  4. Suzanne,
    Great blog! I'm with Samantha on this, however...I'm going to have to pass on naked bike ride day! As it is, I'm scarred from a mental image that my writer's brain created. ; ) I can't think of any paranormals that incorporate holidays...but I was thinking about this the other day; I write Regency and have been an avid reader of it for years and years...and it's like holidays cease to exist within the pages of the books. Granted that has a lot to do with when the London Season took place, but it is still peculiar. : )

    ReplyDelete
  5. I LOVED Halloween in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Lots of magic:)

    and it is awesome you embraced holidays in your books. I love it when authors do:)

    Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely post Suzanne. Christine Feehan has a lovely Carpathian Christmas book, some kind of reunion with all the previous couples. And her Seven Sisters series has 2 Christmas stories I love. Sierra Dean has a Secret Santa book in her Secret McQueen series. And if I really start thinking, I might remember more books.
    Don't enter me, I already have all your books :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. To keep with yoyr list of character i did love the bite before christmas to see Cat & Bones celebrating^^

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved Christine Feehan's Dark Celebration that gives you a peek at all the characters and what they are doing. Jeaniene Frost's The BIte Before Christmas was great also. Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can't think of particular holiday celebrations in the myriad of paranormal books that I have read (although it seems that there is usually some end of the world event coinciding with Halloween). I love the idea of the BDB painting Easter Eggs in their designer duds, though! Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL... thanks for a fun post! Umm... I really haven't read any paranormal Christmas themed books... definitely gotta go change that! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hehe, now you have me picturing all the big Alpha BDB boys decorating eggs and cookies for Christmas. I love that you add holidays to the books, makes it more real. My favorite has to be The Bite Before Christmas with Cat and Bones. Love the couple and was fun seeing them celebrating.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can't think of one! Usually the only holiday books I see are of the regular romance variety and that's not really my thing (I read almost exclusively urban fantasy.) But I like the idea. And I think they could make sense. Usually the vampires in paranormal books are wealthy; I can think of so many that would embrace the gift-giving holidays as excuses to show off that wealth.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd like to see Wrath dress up as Santa for Nalla. What a hoot that would be! The above mentioned stories by Christine Feehan come to mind for paranormal celebrations of Christmas. Still trying to find time to read Christmas in Dogtown. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I about spit out my drink when I read the Anita Blake thing. :) I'm with Miki I loved a Bite Before Christmas with Cat and Bones.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan. Loved catching up with all the characters.

    ReplyDelete