Marilyn Brant's newest novel is out and she's visiting to share her memories of past holidays. Read her enjoyable piece and take your chance to win a copy of her previously published romances.  The giveaway details are at the end of the post. Good luck and happy holidays, everyone.

I love holidays and special celebrations! Before my son was born, I used to be an elementary school teacher who loved nothing more than traveling and learning about new cultures. (Anyone who read my last women's fiction book, A Summer in Europe, already knows how much that's true, especially when it comes to traveling in beautiful Italy!! *waving to Maria Grazia*)

Well, as the teacher of my classes, I would lead my students through social studies units on topics like “communities” or “cultures," which always led to discussions -- especially during the holidays -- about “celebrations around the world.” And, since I was also really fond of films like Bing Crosby's and Fred Astaire's "Holiday Inn" (one of the inspirations for my newest novel, Holiday Man, which is a contemporary romance that takes place over a year of holidays), I couldn't imagine what could be more fun than the idea of creating and celebrating holidays!
These days, I might find myself chuckling about the goofy paper mache projects and plates filled with international appetizers my students and I made, but the truth is that always really loved teaching these units. They were so enjoyable. And, above all, my classes not only loved them, but they always learned a lot in the process.
One of my favorite activities was the reading of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall’s children’s book, I’m in Charge of Celebrations. The girl narrating the story has a deep love for her desert environment, and she’s come up with a number of special personal celebrations based her experiences living there. There’s “Dust Devil Day” and “The Time of the Falling Stars” and a bunch of other interesting and clever events that she uses to mark her year. Basically, she’s created days no one would ever find on a standard calendar, but she’s highlighted those singular moments of joyful celebration.
I always made my students come up with their own special celebration as an accompanying class project, but that was as much for me as it was for them. I still think back on days from my childhood and teen years that were memorable enough to warrant their own special "holiday" in my world. And, as an adult, I have a number of them, too. Special dates that I’m certain no one but me celebrates -- at least not for the reasons I’m pausing to honor them. But that doesn’t make them any less important to me than other favorite holidays, like my son’s birthday or Christmas or (because I think the Bill Murray film is hilarious and have to watch it every year) Groundhog’s Day.
What about you? Do you have personal celebrations in addition to the national holidays and traditional birthdays or anniversaries? Or, if you could make up a day of celebration, what would it be for?  

Marilyn Brant
A Summer in Europe~Out Now from Kensington Books!

                       HOLIDAY MAN , Marilyn Brant's new book is out now!

Get caught up in a modern romance that -- like the famous Bing Crosby  & Fred Astaire film, "Holiday Inn" -- takes place over a year of holidays... 
Shannon Quinn is the small-town girl who runs "Holiday Quinn" -- a holiday-themed inn based in scenic Door County, Wisconsin.
One winter evening, wealthy Minneapolis businessman, Bram Hartwick, blows into town along with the fast-falling snow. The sparks Bram and Shannon create succeed in heating up the chilly Midwestern night, not to mention plenty of holiday weekends in the year that follows...
But is their relationship only for special occasions, or might it be the elusive everyday love that neither thought could be found?

Available digitally for just $2.99 at:
(Coming soon to Sony, All Romance eBooks & more!)


Win an e-book copy of Marylin Brant's romances!  Open internationally, you can win either On Any Given Sundae or Double Dipping  . Check them out and choose your favourite, then leave a comment answering Marilyn's questions at the end of her post, and finally add your e-mail address  This giveaway ends December 30th.


Literary Chanteuse said...

It's my husband's birthday on the 25th so we always celebrate with a christmas themed cake.

Thank you for the giveaway! Merry Christmas!


rhease7en said...

I celebrate my all-time favorite authors' birthdays by reading their famous books every year. Like every July I'll be reading the Harry Potter series to celebrate J.K. Rowling's birthday on July 31st. Reading Pride and Prejudice, Emma, & Persuasion to celebrate Jane Austen's birthday on December 16. And what better way to start a new year every year than reading J.R.R. Tolkien's books to celebrate his birthday every January 3rd. Happy Holidays!


Marilyn Brant said...

Maria Grazia, thank you again for inviting me to visit!!

Margaret, what a fun way to make your husband's birthday special for him! I hope he had a great celebration yesterday ;).

Rhea, ohhh, I *love* your special author celebration!! I reread Austen every year, too, but I hadn't thought to do it on her birthday. Really clever idea!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season :-). xox

LĂșthien84 said...

Erm, I'm not very creative so I'd choose to celebrate Jane Austen's birthday on 16 December to read one of her novels or Austen-inspired books.

My choice of book is Any Given Sundae.


Erika Messer said...

I don't have any special celebrations, but if I could make one up it would be A Williams Syndrome celebration Day! My daughter has WS and I am part of a Foundation to support WS individuals and the absolute JOY and LOVE they bring to everyone that knows them is worthy of a day of celebration in their honor!

I would love to win Double Dipping!


Thanks for the contest and the great story!

Marilyn Brant said...

LĂșthien, admittedly, I am biased (!!), but I think the awesomeness of Jane Austen makes that a perfectly wonderful celebration :).

Erika, I don't know anyone with WS personally, but all I can say is that I wish there were a day like that, too, to celebrate your daughter and the delight she brings...and, also, to honor parents like you who are so loving and accepting of their children!

Huge thanks to you both for stopping by today!!

Edie Ramer said...

What about a Dustball Day? I could have a lot of dustball celebrations in my house. In fact, I could say, "Oh no, I can't vacuum today, honey. There's another Dustball Day next week."

I love it that you were inspired by the Holiday Inn movie. We watch it every year! I wish I'd thought of something so brilliant.

(I've read all of Marilyn's books, so don't enter me in the contest.)

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL!!! Okay, that's brilliant! I could *totally* get behind Dustball Day! In fact, my office may just be the most naturally perfect environment for such a celebration since I have such an aversion to dusting... ;)