Cora and I are twitter buddies and one of our big connections is being history research NERDS. Well, and general nerds, as you will see in her blog post below. I was very excited that Cora has a NEW novella out just in time to be featured during my Celebrating Pheme week where I’m posting about a bunch of other authors who have books out. Check out the book description and some insider info below. And enjoy the novella!! Happy reading!
Kissing by the Mistletoe
Maddie Hayward has been actively looking for a husband for nearly three years, but no gentleman will spare her more than a smile. Everyone thinks she’s destined to wed Kit Mathison…except neither of them is interested in a romance with the other. When Kit and his family come to visit the Haywards for Christmas, the whole village expects a proposal–but Maddie has other plans. Can she convince everyone that her friendship with Kit will never be a courtship? Or will she have to choose between her closest friend and the chance at family of her own?
Thomas Mathison has loved Maddie since the day they were first introduced, but can’t ask for her hand until he can afford to support a family. When she suggests a sham courtship between them he agrees, despite his misgivings. Being seen with someone other than Kit would shatter the illusion of an arrangement between them and give Maddie a chance at a happy life. But while she would be feigning affection, Thomas would not. Can he conceal his true feelings from her while executing her plan? Will he have the strength to let her go when he returns home?
Mistletoe Easter Eggs & Research
I’m a bit of a superhero movie nerd, and one of the things I love best about those films is the Easter eggs and subtle nods the filmmakers hide in their work. Since I tend to do the same thing, I thought I’d share a few from Kissing by the Mistletoe and talk a little bit about the research I did while writing it to celebrate its re-release.
The first things a reader would likely notice are the characters names. I have a tendency to name my characters after favorites from fandoms, research, or anything else that strikes my fancy and I did it here, too. In Kissing by the Mistletoe, we have brothers Thomas and Kit (short for Christopher) who were named for Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth—and you might catch a tiny Thor/Loki vibe when you read the scenes they appear in together. Their surname, Mathison, comes from Alan Turing, whose middle name was Mathison. The heroine, Maddie, was named for the goalie of the 2018 Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, mostly because I’m a hockey fan and Maddie Rooney was putting on a clinic while I was writing the outline for this book 😉
Further into the book, there’s a scene where the main characters and their families attend an assembly in the village closest to where they live. It’s held at a place called the Flying Horse Inn, which is modeled on an actual place called the New Flying Horse Inn near Ashford in Kent. It’s been remodeled and updated, but it was in operation during the 17th century with both a posting house and a coach house (which are now rooms for overnight guests).
There’s also a scene where Thomas, our hero, is lounging by the fire reading a book called The Philosophy of Nature, or, the Influence of Scenery on the Mind and Heart. This is, in fact, a real book written by a gentleman named Charles Bucke and published in 1813, the same year the story is set. A few pages into the first chapter is the line, “Love is composed of all that is delicate in pleasure:—it is the union of desire, tenderness, and friendship…” which I think sums up Thomas and Maddie’s relationship rather well. And no, that’s not a typo—there really is a colon and a hyphen right next to each other in the quote!
I’ll close with the item that was probably the most fun for me in writing this book: the title. Kissin’ by the Mistletoe is an Aretha Franklin song released in 1963 that had the exact right feel for Maddie and Thomas’s story. I listened to it dozens of times while I wrote—unusual for me, as I almost always write in a quiet space—and danced to it when I got stuck on a scene. Somehow I’d never heard it before I went looking for musical inspiration, but it’s become one of my favorite holiday songs 🙂
If you’re interested in any of the other things I researched for this little novella, you can find them here: https://www.pinterest.com/coralee49/mathison-brothers-christmas-novellas/kissing-by-the-mistletoe/
About the Author
Cora Lee is a National Bestselling author of Regency romance. She went on a twelve year expedition through the blackboard jungle as a high school math teacher before publishing Save the Last Dance for Me, the first book in the Maitland Maidens series. She then followed it up with five other novels and novellas ranging from sweet and traditional to spicy and suspenseful.
When she’s not walking Rotten Row at the fashionable hour or attending the entertainments of the Season, you might find her participating in Romance Writers of America events, wading through her towering TBR pile, or eagerly awaiting the next Marvel movie release. If you’d like to find out more about Cora or her books you can sign up for her newsletter, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, or Goodreads.