Discussion Forums - Love & Romance Love & Romance

Topic: Christmas anthologies - love, hate, or puzzle over them

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Christmas anthologies - love, hate, or puzzle over them
Date Posted: 11/11/2016 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,357
Back To Top

Are you a fan of them or not?

I tend to not go for the annual outpouring of Christmas anthologies (and their corresponding summer anthologies, Valentine's anthology, etc).  I get what the publishers are trying to do, using popular, well-established authors to launch works of newer or less well-known authors.  I get it.  

I occasionally like them as a "quick and easy read" to sandwich between heavier stories as you can read one story now and save the others for later.  Overall, though, I find them to be one good story, one mediocre story and the rest barely readable.  And the one work you pick up the book for, by that author you know and love, is the same story they had in the seasonal anthology two years ago, and the one 4 years before that.  

I'm in the middle of one now I picked up on a whim from my library's New Book shelf as something I didn't have to agonize over and with a guaranteed happy ending as an antidote to the emotional muddle of the election and it has really caused me to wonder, WTH?????  Explained in next post.

BTW, can someone clarify the difference between an anthology, collection, and omnibus? Because they seem to be used erratically and interchangeably. 

Date Posted: 11/11/2016 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,357
Back To Top

So, this Christmas anthology I just picked up.  The pattern for these books is usually, woman meets man of her dreams as holiday approaches, usually when thrown together at some social gathering, there is attraction at first sight, sex may or may not follow depending on rather this is a book of "light" romance or "hot" romance,  but as expected something happens that stymies the course of true love (usually once burned-twice shy syndrome, or some silly misunderstanding, or conflict in their careers) but all is resolved in time for a joyous declaration of shared love in time for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, and they live happily everafter.  And with the Christmas ones, a little bit of faith in the magic of the Christmas spirit thrown in.    

This one, though, has me stumped as a Christmas themed book.  

First, seriously liberal and casual use of profanity.  Lots of swear words tossed about and in one story a whole bunch'a f-bombs being dropped.  

Second, the sex.  One of the stories is by an author I've never heard of before.  All in all, I found she's not a bad writer but I found it odd that the book was borderline erotica.  The sex scenes were frequent, graphic and pages long (and, to be honest, better written then most).  Christmas was a distant backstory with most of the focus of anything smacking of Christmas being the decroations.  But, still, true love was realized in time for a joyous extended and blended family Christmas Eve dinner.     

I'm not a believer in relgion but I respect those who do have a true and sincere faith.  And I do observe, after a fashion, the Christmas season as a treasured time to reconnect and share time with friends and family.  But I just found it completely at odds that a book that is supposed to be about the magic of Christmas in finding love was so chock full of profanity and graphic sex.  Would this bother anyone else?



Last Edited on: 11/11/16 6:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2016 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,518
Back To Top

I do like a good Christmas anthology around the holidays.  I have a couple that I like to re-read some of the stories in.

I don't want them full of profanity and graphic sex though.  A little of each is fine but it should be the focus of a Christmas themed story.

Date Posted: 11/14/2016 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
Back To Top

I agree, I like the Christmas themed anthologies and I usually don't read all the authors within in the book. I too would find it jarring if there was too much sex and or erotica, unless that was what it aimed at. I feel there is too much of that lately....to the point of an eye-roll to two.

Date Posted: 11/16/2016 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,002
Back To Top

I gave up on anthologies several years ago because I just never find anything I like anymore.  But before I gave them up I did find a few Christmas stories that I loved and I reread them every year.  Just thought I'd share them in case anyone else would like them as much as I do.  One is a short story/novella ?? (who knows), entitled Do You Hear What I Hear by Lori Foster. Ironically this is the only thing Lori Foster wrote that I love.  She just isn't an author that does it for me.  The heroine in the story can communicate with animals.  Her twin sister is away on a belated honeymoon  and her brother-in-law asks a fellow SWAT member to keep an eye on the heroine because someone has possibly been following her.  He is attracted to her but thinks she's a"nut case". Then he hears that a donkey is missing from the local nativity scene and he knows where to look.   This story is funny and sweet.  I laugh each time I read it.  The twin sister's story in another anthology was actually pretty good too. (There is sex in this story though.)

My other yearly reread is the short story/novella ???  Make a Joyful Noise by Carla Kelly.  Just a lovely story on every level. 



Last Edited on: 11/16/16 12:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/16/2016 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,518
Back To Top

My favorite Christmas book is an old Harlequin Presents that I drag out every year to re-read.  Typical innocent heroine and broody hero that gets the totally wrong idea about her.  It's set over Christmas time.

Date Posted: 11/25/2016 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,357
Back To Top

I picked up a "new" Christmas anthology in a store yesterday that was published this year.  I liked a couple of the contributing authors but when I opened up the book to the copyright page I saw every single story in the book was written at least 10 years ago.  No doubt each story has been repeatedly printed in one of these anthologies every few years.  I'd be really ticked off if I spent $8-10 on a new book and got it home and discovered I'd already read the stories years before.  I've learned my lesson over the years and when it comes to books by popular (and prolific) authors, especially romance authors, I always check the copyright date to see if it's really a new book or just a re-release with new cover and teasers.  

Date Posted: 11/26/2016 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
Back To Top

Yep been burned a time or two myself with that very thing RJ. :-(

Date Posted: 11/26/2016 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,518
Back To Top

I've been burned too.  I always check the copyright date before buying.  If I can even find the print book to buy, almost no one in town has them anymore.

Date Posted: 12/27/2016 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
Back To Top

I like them.  Read them every year.  But with PBS there's a difference.  I used to be one of those people who would wait-impatiently-for my local B. Dalton to open when that years' stock of Christmas anthologies was due on the shelf.  Now, with PBS, they arrive in the mail, I read them and pass them along.  I can't remember the last time I kept one as a "must have".

 One that came close was "The Last Chance Christmas Ball" by the authors from "Word Wenches"(did I spell that right?) .  Came out in 2015.  

Jan