by Asta Idonea
To me, love can mean different things to different people, and even different things to the same person, depending on the object of their love and the situation surrounding it. The love we feel for a sibling is not the same as that we feel for a lover or partner, and it is also not akin to that which we feel towards, say, a favourite actor or book.
Where, then, to begin this post? I will tie in my discussion to the love represented in the story I am here to promote and say that sometimes to love requires you to let go. If you’ve experienced love and that relationship ends, or is impossible, it can be easy to shut away your heart and never risk offering it again. Chances are, such action will prevent future heartache, but it will also eliminate any hope of future happiness.
Through literature and other art forms, the idea of tragic love—love lost or unrequited—has also become a major part of our psyche. There’s something romantic in the concept of the pining lover, and yet, in many cases, this is more about the one doing the pining than the person he or she has lost. Is it really cherishing the memory of the dearly departed, or is it refusing to move on because you don’t want to go through the same again? The deeper you feel, the more there is too lose.
The way I see it, life is short. I can’t deny the appeal of that tragic, pining character—it touches something inside us. However, with so little time available to us, surely it is better to embrace love wherever we find it, letting go of past losses and regrets and looking to the future. We live in a world that is often full of hate and sorrow; love is one of the few things we have to counter that negativity.
For me, love is about always looking for the good in any situation and person, and embracing differences rather than letting them form a barrier. It is about bringing hope both to your own life and the lives of others. It doesn’t mean forgetting or obliterating the past, but it does mean accepting that the past is in the past, leaving you open to new possibilities.
In the story I’m sharing with you today, Richard’s past experiences have left him alone, and he’s scared of forming a new romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Blaine avoids commitment altogether. They must both let go of their past regrets and hang-ups if they want to let love and happiness into their lives.
Santa for Hire
1 December 2015
Heat Rating: 2
1 December 2015
Heat Rating: 2
Dumped by his ex on Christmas Eve two years ago, Oxford Street department store manager Richard Barrett now hates the holidays. Things go from bad to worse when the store's usual Santa is too ill to reprise his role and the firm sends cocky but handsome Blaine Ryder to take his place. The attraction between the two is clear, but Blaine is an incorrigible player who reminds Richard of his ex. His idea of a relationship is a quick roll in the hay, and his advances have Richard running for the hills. It might take some special intervention for both of them to realize they can change enough to have a chance at a holiday romance.
Audio Excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/santa-for-hire-by-asta-idonea-mm-short-story-excerpt
The awful moment had arrived. Not long ago he’d felt there was plenty of time in which to prepare, to steel himself for the agony ahead, but somehow the dreaded hour had snuck up on him. What had one day seemed far off was already here the next.
Richard Barratt took a deep breath. He tugged at his collar and straightened his tie. He brushed off the already spotless arms of his suit jacket and glanced down at the perfectly tied laces on his leather shoes. Then, unable to put it off a moment longer, he pushed open the swing door and emerged onto the salesroom floor.
Overnight, while he failed to get a wink of sleep, crews had been hard at work. The Homeware department of Langley & Giles’s Oxford Street branch had been transformed from the pristine section he managed like a well-oiled machine to a hideous winter wonderland. Christmas had been infiltrating the store for weeks. The cards had started appearing downstairs in Stationery as early as September. Wrapping paper and labels had followed in October, along with Christmas puddings in the high-class Food Hall on the lower ground floor. And now the rest, signaling six weeks of Christmas-cheer hell.
Richard couldn’t understand why it had to be his section that bore the brunt of the deluge. Surely Toys and Games would make more sense. Christmas was all about children’s presents, after all. But upper management had been firm. Toys and Games required more space at Christmas, not less, and Homeware had the best layout to accommodate the monstrosity that formed the centerpiece of their annual Yuletide displays: Santa’s Grotto.
To win an e-Book of my 2015 holiday-themed short story, Northern Lights, please comment below with the answer to the following question:
Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
To Enter into the giveaway here today what have you been doing this week that reminds you of what love really is about?