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!