Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Romantic Reads: The story behind "Love, Laughter, and Luminarias"

Welcome Jaycee Weaver to the blog!

 She's here today to share the story behind her Christmas holiday story: 
Love, Laughter, and Luminarias.

The Story Behind Jaycee Weaver’s Christmas story,
 "Love, Laughter, and Luminarias"

A huge fan of Christmas books (especially novellas), I’d wanted to write one since beginning my first novel. Unfortunately, every time I sat down to write or even just brainstorm, nothing worthwhile came out.

I remember running errands in August of 2018, asking the Lord for an idea while also grousing about how hard to was to feel Christmassy in the triple digit summer heat. Less than a minute later, still driving, I had to pull out my phone and dictate the ideas that came before I’d even finished praying!

What if my hero was an author attempting to write a summer book in December? What if his main character is based off his real-life love interest and he doesn’t even know it?

On the way home, I swung into the nearest Starbucks and sipped a vanilla iced coffee while scribbling into my ever-present notebook as fast as my hand could move across the page. I left an hour later with the whole first chapter completed and a character sketch of my heroine, Nina, to go with Garrett, my author hero.

I thought, what if his best friend preferred movies and comics to books?

Friends-to-more is my favorite romance trope, but I knew I didn’t want it to be the same old unrequited love angle I’d read hundreds of times. What if neither of them ever had feelings for the other… until suddenly, they do? All these what-if questions helped the characters and plot start coming together.

Staring down the face of a deadline if I wanted to release it in time for holiday sales, I again went to my knees for direction. Before opening my eyes, I felt a distinct promise in my spirit—if I would fast from reading anything but the Word for the rest of the month, He would give me the story faster than anything I’d ever written before.

Not read for a few weeks?
I could give up chocolate more easily than books. When it comes to reading, I’m voracious, so you can imagine my distress. But I did it. I used the time I normally spent buried between the pages working at my computer or notebook. Two and a half weeks later, the first draft was done. Two and a half weeks after that, it’d been through multiple edits and I was moving on to cover design and then sending it to advance readers.

When those readers came back with wonderful things to say, I knew this little book was completely and utterly the result of God’s faithfulness to keep His promise when I’d responded in obedience. It’s a lesson I pray I never forget.

Before I ever published a single book, I knew I wanted to showcase my hometown, Albuquerque, New Mexico, in every book. Since then, I’ve branched out a little into fictional towns in NM and Oklahoma, but primarily all of my books are set where I live. It’s good we have a lot to offer all year through, because after twelve books I still haven’t run out of things to highlight about life here.

My favorite Christmas tradition in the whole state is that of luminarias. Throughout the holiday season, buildings all over the state display electric luminarias in lieu of regular Christmas lights, but the most beautiful are only lit Christmas Eve. Paper lunch sacks are rolled down at the top, and inside a simple votive candle is nestled atop a few inches of sand. These bags line the tops of walls, sidewalks, and basically every horizontal surface available. As soon as the sun goes down, people light the candles (which can take hours!) and hold vigil to keep them lit. We drive through participating neighborhoods with the lights off and admire the simple, peaceful beauty.

In Love, Laughter, and Luminarias, I explain the tradition and some of the cultural beliefs surrounding it, but I also use it to illustrate our place in the family of God. Nina particularly finds this message meaningful in a whole new way that transforms her life and sets her on the path to Christ… and maybe love where she least expected it.

I hope you will, too!

Author Bio:

Lover of Jesus, family, books, coffee, music, and crafting (in that order), Jaycee Weaver is perpetually pursuing at least one of her passions. 

She writes contemporary Christian romance stories featuring realistic characters in everyday situations where God is at work in big ways. 

She appreciates books where the characters face shortcomings, temptations, and adversity but always get their happy ending, so that’s what she writes.

Book Blurb for "Love, Laughter, and Luminarias"

He has his books. She has her fandoms. They've always had their friendship. Could Christmas projects, snowball fights, and local traditions spark feelings neither knew were there? 

Surprisingly successful action-suspense author Garrett Wilson is struggling to write a summer novel in December. That is, until he witnesses his best friend, Nina, chase down a shoplifter and realizes that maybe his tough, attractive heroine might not be based solely in fiction.

Geeky-chic Nina Trujillo finds herself contemplating a God she’s never believed in after her brush with danger taking down a thief. That one decision could change the whole course of her life, and quite possibly, her feelings for the one guy she’s never considered more than a friend.

When Nina dives head-first into a series of Christmas projects and ideas for new traditions, she drags Garrett along for the ride. Will her newfound courage and all the extra time together bring their feelings out into the open, or will Nina escape back into the comfort of her fandoms and lose him forever?

Connect with Jaycee:
Website: https://www.jayceeweaver.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jayceeweaver
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jayceeweaver
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/weaverjaycee
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/weaversgrrrl
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17239020.Jaycee_Weaver
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jaycee-weaver
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Jaycee-Weaver/e/B076CVKRPJ?ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vu00_i1
Honored to be an InspyRomance author/blogger on the web and Facebook.

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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