Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Midwinter Night’s Dream

When it came time to think about a Christmas story, the weather was still in the fifties—no snow—and winter seemed a long way off. Coming up with something that appealed to me was a challenge. I thought back to Christmases when I was a kid growing up in the Rockies.

Waking up in a warm house to toys and a big breakfast spread didn’t sound like a lot of conflict, and I didn’t want to make a huge tragedy out of what should be a happy holiday. What could be a better Christmas gift than finding love?

What if love literally showed up on your doorstep?

Some of the family had a log cabin in the mountains. We used to go up there for the weekend—it was a mass of aunts and uncles and cousins. The cook stove burned wood, the fireplace was the main heat source, and a generator provided a little electricity for lights and bath water. Although this family cabin had more than a single room, it was still the inspiration for the story Midwinter Night’s Dream.

Add two damaged guys and a blizzard, and voila! A Christmas story was born.

Errol is at the end of his rope—his career is going nowhere, and he doesn’t have the means to effect a change. Joe is still in love with a ghost. A blizzard throws them together to ride out the storm.


Two years ago, Joe Blake lost his secret lover, firefighter Bryce Marshall. Grieving, Joe left his job as a fireman and paramedic to become the spokesmodel for undergarment company Escalade. They lured him into the limelight and drove him deeper into the closet. Modeling doesn't provide fulfillment; Joe wants privacy and to feel useful again. A holiday at his mountain cabin outside Denver is the perfect escape. The last thing he anticipated, or wanted, was sharing his retreat with another man.

Last Christmas, actor Errol Lockhart discovered boyfriend Carson had stolen a play. Carson accused Errol and then blackballed him in the theater community. Some Christmas that was. Now Errol has to take whatever work he can to survive. Delivering a singing telegram during a blizzard isn't wise, but it pays double and rent is overdue. He's got dreams, not of a white Christmas, but of getting a shot at Hollywood. He's determined to make it, if he survives this storm.

As Joe and Errol ride out the blizzard, more than marshmallows get toasty in front of the fire. When Errol discovers Joe's identity, he's sure he's found his way in, his big break. But Joe won't sacrifice Errol to the Hollywood sharks. Unless they can forge a compromise, they're going to wake from their midwinter night's dream to lumps of coal in their stockings.


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