Monday, November 9, 2015

Santa Around the World... and Giveaway!

One thing I love about International Christian Fiction Writers is the diverse customs in our various countries. Take Santa Claus, for instance. Most Canadians think of Santa the same way our American neighbors do: a fat, jolly man who lives at the North Pole, travels around the world on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and delivers gifts to worthy children.

In my Christmas novella, Merry Kisses, Sonya Simmons is a toy store clerk disillusioned by the commercialism at Christmas. All she sees from children is the ubiquitous "give me" attitude while parents overextend their credit to buy expensive gifts. Where is the focus on Jesus' birth?

So she's not too impressed by the young man in her checkout line with a heap of toys. She assumes he's either the father of many or a doting uncle. But when Heath Collins introduces himself as Santa Claus instead, she's no more thrilled. He represents all that's wrong with Christmas, and her opinion only plummets further when she discovers he's a Christian. He should know better!

This story sent me on a journey through the various historical incarnations of Santa: Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, etc. Like Sonya, I grew up in a Santa-free household, and so did my children (mostly). How was I going to resolve Heath's delight in his volunteer position as a mall Santa and Sonya's antagonism to give them Merry Kisses in time for Christmas?

The global historical versions of Santa gave me some of the stepping stones I needed to bring this contemporary romance, the final in my Riverbend novella series, to a satisfying resolution.

Merry Kisses is available now for Kindle only, and as a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It can also be read in the Love's Gift box set, along with Christmas novellas from seven other bestselling Christian romance authors.

I'm giving away one Kindle copy of Merry Kisses to someone who comments on this blog post by Friday, November 13. Let's talk about the unique Christmas customs in your country, and how you, as a family, have chosen to participate… or not. If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.


  1. Looks like a great box set...especially because they are Christmas stories :) angelakcouch (at) Hotmail (.) com

    1. Thanks for the comment, Angela! (I was feeling lonely!) It is a terrific box set with some really great stories in it.

  2. Hi Valerie, I've enjoyed your Riverbend novellas, and I'm looking forward to reading this one :) I have a job in retail and I can identify with your character, Sonya. There are definitely pros and cons in the way Christmas has been commercialised. On Christmas Eve my family loves watching Carols by Candlelight that's televised from Melbourne, Australia. Santa visits the Carols early in the evening, but they always include carols that reflect the true meaning of Christmas.

    1. That's a lovely tradition, Narelle! Modern society in North America, at least, is in such a state of disconnect.

      I'm happy to hear you're a fan of Riverbend! Everyone is back for this final story... but it still works as a stand alone.