Hi Zoë! Welcome to Rabid Reads! Scroll down to check out Zoë’s thoughts on snow during the holidays and she’s also giving away a signed copy of her latest book, Devil’s Kiss, plus a special bonus!
Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series. December marks the beginning of her new paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles.
by Zoë Archer
This is the time of year when television is full of ads showing people building snowmen or gathering at a holiday dinner as snowflakes fall softly past the windows. In stores and shopping malls, we’re inundated with songs about ice-frosted winter wonderlands, sleigh rides and white Christmases. Holiday cards show glittery snowflakes or snow-dusted evergreen trees. And the food—roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing—is all hearty, warming fare perfect for chasing off winter’s snowy chill.
What’s the common theme? Not the holiday itself, but snow.
I’ve lived most of my life in Los Angeles, California. For a few years, I lived in the Bay Area and San Diego, and I also lived in Iowa City, Iowa when I was in graduate school. Of all the places I have ever lived, the only place where it snowed regularly was Iowa. And I was sure to hurry back to L.A. every winter break.
The holiday season never meant snow to me. A few times, my family and I drove to Big Bear in the San Bernadino Mountains, where we attempted to ski. I say “attempted” because I don’t think that having my skis in the snow-plow position as I slowly skidded down the bunny slope counts as actual skiing.
It always feels strange to watch commercials, hear songs, and see films that depicted the holiday season as being synonymous with snow. Looking outside my window throughout December, I see a smoggy blue sky and lawns kept artificially green by sprinklers. Yet when the city puts up its holiday decorations, everywhere I see snowflakes made of tinsel.
It’s weird—I feel like I’m missing something, as though there’s an integral component of the holiday season that I’ve never really experienced. I do know what it’s like to live with snow (those two years in Iowa), including shoveling out my car and scraping the windshield, trudging through mounds of rapidly graying snow as the winter grinds on, stepping outside and having any exposed skin risk frostbite. Snow can be fun, but it can also be a tremendous pain in the butt.
I was actually born in New York, and my parents emigrated to California when I was a baby. One of the reasons they left the East Coast is the weather. I have very vivid memories of my mom cheerfully saying as we pulled out of the driveway, “Another ho-hum day in Paradise.” Trust me, I’m not asking for sympathy because I can wear jeans and a t-shirt on New Year’s Day.
Of course, there are people all over the world who don’t expect snow during the holidays. Christmas falls during the Australian summer. It’s sunny and warm on New Year’s Eve in Morocco. But here in the U.S., the holiday season has always been thought of as snowy.
But maybe it’s time for me to stop comparing my holiday season to what advertisers and songwriters tell me it’s supposed to be, and just let myself enjoy December in Los Angeles for what it really is: pie-baking time!
What holiday traditions do you find strange? Leave a comment + fill out the form, and Zoë will pick a winner at random to win a signed copy of her new release, DEVIL’S KISS, plus a book from her backlist (US and Canada only). Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada
Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I am a new GFC follower! and I follow on twitter also 🙂
Great post! I live in snow country and we haven’t got any yet this year. It really doesn’t feel like Christmas without it.
I’m so excited for Devil’s Kiss and the trailer is really cool. Thanks for the giveaway!
I can’t really think of any holiday traditions that I find strange. I do like learning about traditions in different cultures & throughout history. This book does look good. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
What a great giveaway! I hope I win. As for strange traditions…mistletoe is strange once you stop and think about it. It’s like, let’s shoot a parasitic vine out of a tree, hang it up, and kiss under it. Romantic!
I can so relate to the “no show” Christmas. I’m from Northern California and it’s a rare occurrence when we get snow. When we do, it’s like a major event where I’m from-lol! It’s a short drive to get to the mountains where the snow is, so many drive up to play in the snow 🙂
Thanks so much for the giveaway! Devil’s Kiss is on my TBR list 🙂
Gosh, I’m so excited about yet another book! Sounds delish!
Hmm, strange holiday tradition – I have to agree with the Mistletoe. I’ve never been comfortable with anyone and everyone trying to grab me and kiss me under it. Some times there were some pretty icky guys trying to corner me there *shudder*.
Thanks for the giveaway chance!
I am not sure I find any strange maybe at New Years Eve – though its supposed to be good luck for all year is sauerkraut and pork. Its one of my fave dishes just find it strange to be good luck to eat this at midnight.
I think a strange Christmas tradition is the poinsettia plant! I mean, it’s poisonous for heaven’s sake! You have to worry about your kids or your dog taking a bite because the big red flowers are so tempting, and then you have a nice Christmas visit to the ER! That never made sense to me 🙂
@Tiffany – Yay! Welcome! And good luck. 🙂
@Amanda Bonilla – I can’t imagine Xmas without snow either but so far it’s looking like we might have a green Christmas this year…
@Christina @ Twin Dragons – I love a good book trailer!
@June M. – Good luck!
@lda – I hear ya, mistletoe is an odd tradition for sure!
@Amber Hughes – Playing in the snow is fun. 🙂
@Gena – LOL what kinda of Xmas parties do you go to? 😉
@BLHmistress – I’ve never heard about this one before… thanks for sharing!
@Julie W – I didn’t know poinsettias were poisonous. Good thing I’ve already kept mine outta my dogs’ reach.
I can’t really thing of anything strange. To each his own I guess 🙂 We started a tradition with my kids a few years ago where Santa get’s them their very own fav. cereal box all to themselves. My sister thought it was silly but when we go grocery shopping we always go for the cheapest brand and never the sugary goodness ones they want. So each year now, they look forward to the one they want and they get the whole box to themselves and they don’t have to share. LOL they love it
I don’t think I’ve really found any holiday traditions necessarily strange but more interesting than anything. One that my told me about comes from her German ancestry where they hide a pickle in their Christmas tree and the person who finds it gets a prize. Thanks for the awesome giveaway and happy holidays!!!
Eating fruit cake. Why on earth do we make or sell this stuff?! It’s gross. 😛 Other then that nothing else I can think of…
Thanks for the giveaway and Happy New Year. 🙂
Happy New Year…
I really can’t think of any strange ones but I too agree with hiding the pickle in the tree. I can’t put the pickle with Christmas. I’ve also heard such great things about Devil’s Kiss and look forward to reading it. Beautiful cover.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
I think the strangest holiday tradition that I have heard comes from Germany where they hide a pickle on the Christmas tree! The one that finds it gets an extra present! Weird!!
Thanks for the giveaway!
darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com
thank you very much for the great giveaway! This sounds like a great book would love to read it! Happy New Year to you!