I'm also a lover of jazz standards, and one of my favorites is, "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" There are many versions out there, but the definitive one is probably by Ella Fitzgerald. Here it is if you haven't heard this classic:
The song plays a role in a pivotal scene in . I loved the imagery of this swoony romantic ballad playing in the background while the hero and heroine are having a big "morning after" fight, after she discovered that he's been, ahem, slightly less than totally honest with her. To keep in the holiday mood when I was writing this story (in June!), I listened to the ballad constantly. I felt vindicated when my editor later told me she listened to it again and again while editing it.
But my biggest motivation for writing a New Year's Eve story is that I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this holiday. Just as a birthday marks the passage of another year, so does New Year's Eve. Sometimes that's a good thing; other times, not so much. If life in general isn't going too well on New Year's Eve, we all like to believe that we'll get a fresh start with the new calendar. Sometimes that happens, but not always. And we all know that sometimes our most sincere New Year's resolutions don't survive the month of January! The optimistic yearning that things will be better in the new year makes this holiday romantic.
Lots of single women complain about feeling lonely on Valentine's Day, but for me, when I was single, no holiday was worse to spend alone than New Year's Eve. People are having fun, blowing noisemakers, throwing confetti, and toasting the new year with their special someone, and you're left to wish you had someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight. That's the situation Kayla finds herself in. Her boyfriend dumped her for another woman only a few months ago, and on New Year's Eve, as she drags herself to a dreaded work-related party, she discovers he's married his new girlfriend. It makes her feel so alone. You can kind of ignore Valentine's Day if you're unlucky in love, but there's really no way to ignore the year's end and all of the celebration that goes with it. Luckily for Kayla, her discovery of her ex's marriage kicks off a chain of events that leads her to her own hero.
As for me, New Year's Eve is now a date night for us. My husband and I send our son on a sleepover and we get to ring in the new year just the two of us, which is wonderful. Lucky for me, I no longer have to worry about not having someone to kiss at midnight!
When she’s not writing, working, or mommying, she’s doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn’t eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Ashes in the Wind that her mom bought for her at a garage sale years ago was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels. Her all-time favorite romance writers include Laura Kinsale, Patricia Gaffney, Elizabeth Delancey, and Marjorie Ferrell. Current favorites include Julie Anne Long, Erin McCarthy, and Shannon McKenna.
Special-needs teacher Kayla Johnston writes off any shot at New Year's Eve romance when she's summoned to a fundraising event for her school at the remote estate of a wealthy would-be-donor. But when a massive snowstorm hits and Kayla careens off the road, the sexy stranger who rescues her brings to mind cozy fireplaces and steamy midnight kisses…among other things.
Reclusive entrepreneur Ryan Langford may be missing his own fundraiser, but being marooned in a cabin with Kayla beats ducking a room full of people after his money any day. Too bad she's so irritated with the gazillionaire who ruined her New Year's Eve that he feels like he has to lie about his identity. But when the sparks fly and they fall into each other's arms, Ryan knows he's made a big mistake. Will she be able to trust him once the snow melts and the truth comes out?
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