Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Featured Guest: Susan Hawke ~ What Christmas Means To Me

Diverse Reader is so happy to have author Susan Hawke aka Susi Hawke here today with a lovely post and a look into her holiday book Rules for Santa. Get some cocoa, relax, and enjoy.

What Christmas means to me…  

A few holiday thoughts from Susan Hawke

While I was writing Rules for Santa, I thought a lot about Christmas. I wanted to write a sweet, fluffy story... kind of like a gay Hallmark movie in book form, if you will. This naturally required the watching of several Hallmark movies, listening to hours of Christmas carols, and consuming gallons of cocoa. Hey, we all have our methods, right?
Rules for Santa is part of Davey's Rules, a series I'm writing that features different "Daddy" types. In this one, the Sugar Daddy is a "Santa Daddy" and I let myself go over the top with the sweetness level. I have to say, writing it definitely put me into a holiday mood. I found myself doing a lot of thinking about the holidays in my free time, and the happiness of Christmases past is still making me smile, even now. So what does Christmas mean to me?
First, there's the whole expectation of a white Christmas. Having grown up on the West Coast, I’ve never experienced a white Christmas. I’ve had many wet ones, and more than my share of holidays spent in shorts because the weather was warm and sunny… but never have I had a snowy one. 
And yet, I think of snow in the air when I picture Christmas, how weird is that? It’s so real in my mind that I can almost smell it, along with all the other glorious sights and scents that make up the day. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, candles burning around the clock, the tree filling the room with its fragrance, and food. So much food. 
But wait… most of those are also manufactured scents for me. I’ve never seen a chestnut in my life, let alone smelled one roasting. I’m too nervous about fire to ever leave a candle burning unattended. My allergies are so bad that I can’t do real trees, so that’s one more fake scent memory. As for the food, well… okay. I’ll give you that one. Holiday cookies, anyone?
So if most of my scent memories are lies, where did they come from? Songs! Those kitschy, classic, hummable, unforgettable songs that we all know and love… or love to hate. The day after Thanksgiving is the best day ever for me because that’s when my season of music begins. I may not have the best voice, but I will cheerfully sing each and every one of those carols at the top of my lungs and smile while I do it. 
As you may have guessed by now, I’m a Christmas girl. I love every little part of it. Whether the trees of my childhood when we were so poor that my family decorated it with school pictures of all four of us kids and a string of popcorn, or the ones I’ve had as an adult with more lights than the Vegas Strip… or so it feels. The decorations aren’t what makes the tree—its mere existence is enough for me. What other time of year do we willingly put an actual tree in our home? 
To me, Christmas is about remembering the happiness of the past, enjoying the gift that is the present, while hoping for tomorrow. And for each of these things, there’s a song to help me feel it. Christmas isn’t about how much money is spent, whose house is decorated best, or whether or not my husband finally gets me that Roomba I’ve been hinting at for a decade.
Christmas is about nostalgia and recapturing the magic of childhood when it made sense that Santa would somehow visit my chimney-free home. Christmas is about remembering the family I’ve lost while focusing on the ones that are here. Christmas is about taking one part of the year and making it special whether with old traditions or new ones I’ve made. Christmas is about food and family—whether the one you were born to or made along the way. And woven through it all is that precious music that highlights the season and makes me smile.

Rule #18: Daddy’s boy will always believe in his Santa Daddy.

Homeless, alone, and now jobless, Cameron Evans is lost… until he’s found after a prominent local attorney literally trips over him when the boy is passed out from dehydration.

Scott Hendrickson has two things in life: his job as an assistant district attorney, and his son Davey. Other than that, he lives alone in a house that’s too big, too empty, too… lonely.

It’s not just Cameron’s life that might change for the better when Scott takes him in. Scott can provide material things and security, but Cameron returns the favor by breathing fresh air into Scott’s stale life.

Two men who need each other… one magical holiday season. Could a little Christmas magic be all that’s needed to bring the biggest gift of all? Maybe Cameron doesn’t need a Sugar Daddy… because he already has a Santa Daddy.

This is the third book in a series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Get ready for all the squishy holiday feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.

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