Today author Michelle Mars stops by to talk a little about her story that is part of the Eight Kisses, Hanukkah anthology, available now. I’ll have a mini review of the anthology tomorrow. But until then, here’s Michelle talking about her experience being part of this anthology.
It has been such an amazing and personally rewarding experience to be a part of making a Hanukkah anthology. Growing up in a minority religion, Jewish, I always knew I was different. Everything around me said so, as did most of the romance books that I was able to get my teen and young adult hands on. Every holiday book, around the winter season, was Christmas. And even when not a holiday, the protagonists were never Jewish. Often if there was a Jewish person in the story, they were portrayed stock full of negative stereotypes.
Then one day, I’m minding my own business on the site with lots of faces that isn’t a book, when into my life steps a call for Eight Kisses. It was like trumpets went off announcing to all my other projects that they were going to be taking a back seat for a bit. I recognize it’s not the first romance book centered around a Jewish holiday, nor the first to portray Jewish love, but it is one amongst few.
The real crux of what I wanted to talk about today, though, is the very individual voices that have been combined to create this awesome book and why it means so much.
The thing is, that Jews come from as many different backgrounds and as many different traditions as there are Jews. There is no one Jewish experience to rule them all.
In Eight Kisses, that shines through very clearly. Each story in this anthology shows another facet of Jewish experience and Jewish love. I adore the stories that teach us something and there are many such beautiful moments that can be found like this in Eight Kisses. You will learn traditions, beliefs, and blessings. You will see faith and you will see inter-faith.
And every story portrays another stitch, another loop, another design in the tapestry of the Jewish experience.
The Jewish reader
can find a character and say, “This person is like me.”
With my story, Frisky Connections, I wanted to capture a couple that I’ve been wanting to read. A contemporary rom-com that was light and sexy like any other book in its category, whose couple just so happen to be Jewish and they’re excited to celebrate Hanukkah. Shira is a brash blogger and self-defense instructor and Aaron is the CEO of a tech company. This is a secrets-kept-for-good-reasons (aren’t they always) trope, not super angsty, and full of laughs.
For me, as a reader what shines most brightly is seeing the varied and wonderful ways each author has their protagonists fall in love. Sometimes they banter. Sometimes they have a super strong attraction. Sometimes there is a connection forged over years. Sometimes you have to fight to reconnect. These stories are the stories of lovers the world over. These are romance stories. These are also Jewish stories.
I hope that this journey into love, while celebrating the festival of lights, brightens your day and warms your heart.
(And maybe your loins too. )
The American Library Association’s Booklist says: “[E]ach novella shines as brightly as the candles in the menorah…From gentle to heated these couples show the diversity of Judaism and observances for Chanukah. Sure to have you craving more than just latkes this Chanukah.” (Starred review)
Eight all-new tales of Hanukkah romance!
Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, celebrating an ancient miracle with candles, fried foods, and family gatherings. What better time to find true love?
From Regency Scotland to contemporary New York City, from sweet short stories to super-spicy novellas, Eight Kisses spreads a feast of love. Interfaith opposites attract. A small-town reunion offers a second chance. An interracial couple rises above initial misunderstandings. Online dating yields unexpected foodie dreams. A Jewish mourner discovers solace at a Catholic feast. A hometown visit heals old wounds. The girl next door is something more. Seasoned lovers reaffirm true love.
Move over Christmas movies! Spin the dreidel, gobble the gelt, and devour a tower of latkes as you read these tales of Hanukkah love!
Eight Kisses includes the following stories by USA Today bestselling authors, award-winning authors, and exciting debut authors:
- Lori Ann Bailey – “A Highlander for Hanukkah”
- Mindy Klasky – “Harmony Lights”
- Rose Grey – “Can’t Help Falling”
- Michelle Mars – “Frisky Connections”
- JT Silver – “Love and Latkes”
- Erin Eisenberg – “Hanukkah Kisses”
- Lavinia Klein – “Bubbe Linda’s Menorah”
- Lynne Silver – “Rededication”
Michelle Mars has an unhealthy obsession with coffee, caramel, and funny t-shirts. This single mom of two amazing, kind, and creative dragons/children has naturally purple hair and loves nothing more than talking books, kids, and living your best life. She enjoys reading romance, traveling, and writing stories that make her readers laugh, sweat, and swoon.
Author of the paranormal, sci-fi, rom-com Love Wars Series; Moving Jack, out now, and Taming Rory, coming soon.
The first book in her contemporary rom-com series The Frisky Bean, Frisky Intentions, will be out the first half of 2020 but you can catch a prequel short story named Frisky Connections in the Eight Kisses Hanukkah anthology out now.
Michelle’s truth: Humor is a turn-on!