I've always been a bit iffy when it comes to holiday novels. Which is very on-brand for me because it's how I tend to feel about holidays in general. The anticipation and build up only lasts as long as that day--or short stretch of days--and then it's over.
I mean, realistically, how many people peruse an author's backlist in June and grab the one with the adorable fairy lights and Santa hat on the front cover?
I was bound and determined to let December slip by without a mention of festivity or lights in my books. Renegades--the first book in my next series--has a sort of winter theme and even has a Christmas tree involved, so I thought it would good enough.
And then, a dear friend and author I adore, pops up in my inbox and says, "You know, Elaine, I need this..."
And in perfect Kate Hawthorne style, proceeds to ruin my grinchy holiday plans with a brilliant character who was begging to be loved and cared for this winter season.
Thus, To Touch the Light was born.
I don't regret it. When I see the sorry state that is Chanukah representation when it comes to winter holiday releases, I have to say I'm glad I contributed something. I wanted a story which didn't turn Chanukah into 'Jewish Christmas' and represented the conflict that most of us feel during the holiday--a minor celebration in the grand scheme of things, but receives so much attention being nestled somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It isn't a 'Jewish Christmas' story. It's the story of two men with the weight of the world on their shoulders, just trying to make it through the dark days of existing without family to fall back on, and without a safety net to catch them.
Mario Garcia is the head chef at a posh resort trying to balance work life with his own personal life--and maybe not feel so alone this year. He's the kitchen terror--bringing down his iron fist whenever things don't go his way. But...he does have a soft spot. The quiet dishwasher with bad vision and a heavy Russian accent that's been there almost as long as Mario has. There's more to Viktor than meets the eye--more than the clumsy man with the cart with a bad habit of apologizing to walls when he bumps into them.
But like anything, love isn't easy to come by, and it's not easy to keep. Both Viktor and Mario have enough personal hang-ups to keep themselves from reaching for the thing they know would make them happy, but maybe miracles do come true. At least this time of year.
To Touch the Light is a short novel set in the Irons and Works universe with cameos from your favorite tattoo artists and the men they love. Look for the pre-order soon, with a tentative release date of December 5th.