My story in the Decadent Publishing holiday anthology, The More the Merrier, is Avalon for Christmas a lovely little ménage featuring two extremely hot guys and a girl who spend Christmas on the lovely, magical island of Catalina off the Southern California Coast.
I never actually spent Christmas there, but I spent many New Year’s Eves frolicking in the small, charming town with a group of girlfriends. We rented a house, and hung out for two or three days, enjoying the holiday atmosphere and the many bars and restaurants open to the street and ideal for celebrating an occasion where driving is less than desirable. To put it plainly, Avalon is small enough that your only problem is drinking and walking.
The gorgeous weather meant that during the day we took hikes, enjoyed the botanical gardens, visited Zane Grey’s gorgeous 1925 house, where he penned his famous Westerns, even went to movies in the incredible Art Deco theater in the Catalina Casino, but, as a bunch of young, single women on vacation, the nights were spent eating, drinking and merrymaking. It was fun!
Until the year I took a date. I’d actually been going out with this guy off and on for two years and finally consented to bring him with us. A nice guy in private and a bit of a show-off in public situations, but nothing all that bad until he found himself spending the weekend with eight women. Something happened, and he apparently was overtaken by delusions of grandeur and some sort of temporary insanity. Within twenty-four hours he had managed to get each one of my friends alone and hit on her, within thirty-six, each had rebuffed him and reported to me. How he lived to tell the tale I have no idea. In fiction, he’d never have made it back to the mainland alive, but in real life, he did, I dumped him and never saw him again, except at a distance.
I believe we all learned from that, because nobody ever tried that again. We continued to enjoy New Year’s Eve on Catalina until we all got too busy and occupied with life, most of us married and we just stopped going. But my images in the story are from those years with my friends, in a town that throws its heart into entertaining guests at Christmas. The lights in the shops and outlining the rigging of the boats in the harbor, the friendly hardworking people, the charming shops and casual dining, it’s all there and now, in my heart, so are my three lovers from Avalon for Christmas, ever under the spell of Catalina Island’s magic.
Just…if you go with a group of girlfriends, don’t take a date. The romantic atmosphere is well known to overtake nearly everyone who spends time there, and once in a while it backfires.
**I hope your holidays are joyous and everyone you love is healthy and happy. I’d love to hear about your best and worst, and one commenter will receive a copy of Avalon for Christmas and a ten dollar Amazon gift card**