I really didn’t see another book coming out of me this year. I felt my creativity dwindle after releasing four rom coms in a year and thought it might be awhile before my creative battery was recharged.
But, sometimes it just takes a catalyst to jolt us and I certainly got a big jolt in the form of a rather tragic turn of events. I share a lot more about what inspired Merry Switchmas in the acknowledgements section of the book, so I won’t spoil it all for you here. I’ll just say this: pain and art are so intertwined. I have hard stories, time and time again, about artists, writers, sculptors, musicians, actors, comedians, you name it, who ended up in artistic, creative occupations because they had so much pain or struggles in their early lives. This comes out in their art, even in their humor, and it becomes something that so many other people can relate to and feel drawn to.
There’s a quote by Van Gogh, a famous artist, and he said that he put his soul into his art, or that his art stole his soul. And you feel it, when you look at his work. It just comes right off the page and grabs you. You feel like you are really staring at the piece of someone’s soul. I went to this exhibit where they splash his work onto giant walls, so you get this sort of overwhelming sensory experience with his work and it gets increasingly dark as he gets older. This mimics the darkness in him and the way his life just kept getting worse.
Anyway, I’m rambling. All of this to say: this book came to me at just the right time and I hope that you feel so much love and pain and beauty in between these pages and with these characters. Tate Kennedy is struggling with letting herself love others and letting herself be loved and I think a lot of us can really relate to that feeling. I know I can. And, it’s this struggle within her, to be in control of everything so that she can feel safe, that results in the reader wanting to root for her, even though she starts out pretty unlikable. As one reader said, “I’ve never rooted for a villain so hard in my life.”
Theres a lot of great tropes in this one. Microtropes, too. I’ve shared some fun visuals on my social media, too. Here are some of the main tropes in the story:
Second chance romance – absolutely.
Forced proximity – she wakes up married to her super hot, blast from the past, college ex, so yeah.
One bed – well, they’re married, but she’s really not prepared for this one.
Cinnamon roll hero – I dare you to not fall in love with Amir. He’s a good one.
Reverse grumpy/sunshine – she’s not likable at first and maybe not for awhile. But, I promise you, she’ll grow on you.
Here’s a fun visual with micro-tropes, too:
Merry Switchmas Early Reviews:
I leveraged my beta group again for this one and it was so much fun to see their reactions to the work as they read. This ability to reach my readers directly is part of why I’ve decided to start writing on Kindle Vella. Yup, that’s right. Check out my first Kindle Vella episodes here, if you’re interested.
But, back to Merry Switchmas, here are a few snippets from my favorite reviews:
I love the one about this becoming a Hallmark movie. I really think it would make for such a fantastic movie.
On that note…
Merry Switchmas: Movie Inspo
I made a fun visual where I share some popular movies with similar tropes/themes. If you like these, you’ll definitely enjoy Merry Switchmas:
Merry Switchmas Characters:
There’s a few main characters in this one, including the FMC, Taylor “Tate” Kennedy, and the MMC, Amir Anvari. He’s just the sweetest, steadiest, calmest guy and the perfect compliment to Taylor, who is definitely more fiery and all over the place.
I also think it’s so important to show representation in love stories, which is why I always gravitate toward multicultural characters. Amir is inspired by the wonderful Persian family members I have. I’ve truly fallen in love with the culture and people, so I was shocked to learn that Middle-Easterners are one of the most underrepresented groups in media, and when they are included, it’s usually with negative stereotypes. I want to be part of the change in this area. Here’s a little bit more about Amir:
I made his image using Ai! Crazy, right? I love the ability to create my own images from words. I did hear that there is something about copyright issues here and I definitely need to do some research on that and make sure I’m not participating in something that is stealing from artists or creators. If you know more about this, email me.
Taylor, in contrast, is a spicy redhead. Here’s an image I created about her:
I think a lot of readers will see parts of themselves in her and her story. I know a few of my beta readers certainly did and one even messaged me that it was hitting a little too close to home for her. I hope the way the story goes gave her the peace and happy ending she deserves, too.
Merry Switchmas: Final Thoughts
This book flowed out of me faster than any other and the result is something I’m very proud of. Even my editor said it’s her favorite one yet, so that made feel like maybe it’s not all in my head, lol.
If you’re interested in reading it, let me know what you think. Check out Merry Switchmas here.