Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What NOT to do on Avalon for the holidays

by Kate Richards 

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**


  1. Honestly, what do some guys think they're doing? How on earth could he think he'd have got away with that. I'm a little disappointed you let him off the island still in one piece -oooh - you didn't say he was in one piece, did you, just alive. What did you do to him apart from dump him!!!
    It does sound a fabulous place though. What a lovely thing to do with friends.

  2. For the past six years every December and in the summertime me and some really good friends of mine have been going on these trips at least twice a year in my country, we would plan,save and go to Hotels,Resorts, Clubbing, for a whole weekend or if we get the time from work, a whole week. We went camping last year to the highest mountain in my country that we have, after i came home from that camping trip i was in serious pain(I had pain in parts of my body i wasn't even aware of actively). I was so out of shape but i wanted to go. In 2009 one of my friends brought his girlfriend of a few years with us and it was a disaster because she couldn't agree with anywhere we wanted to go for the whole weekend when we stayed at that hotel and she was really possessive and mean , we decided we were going wherever we wanted to go and he could entertain her himself, she wasn't our problem. That year wasn't as good as previous years but we have since sorted out our differences and they now have a child together since this year, she as changed somewhat and we try really hard to get along with her for he swears that their eternal( to each his own i say). We went to a quint little Inn this summer and it was great. I just thought i would share my story with you for you have shared a great story with me. Catalina sounds amazing maybe one year i or we will go there.
    Happy Holidays!

  3. Great Post and Happy Holidays !!!

  4. Merry Christmas. Thank you for taking the time this Holiday Season to connect with your readers. Wonderful post.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  5. Sounds like you had a lot of fun with your girlfriends (minus the I wish me and some girlfriends could do something like that. Just get away,relax.let loose and have some fun.
    Happy Holidays

  6. I enjoyed the post; it was a great read. I would love to go away to a warm sunny place one Christmas.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  7. Hi everyone! Criss, what country are you from?
    and Barb...yeah the jerk survived, he's a very minor celebrity...has a sportsman's TV show if you can believe that, and I think he had a brief moment of thinking he was God's gift.The girls cured him. And I dumped him. LOL. But we had such good times those trips! Life moves on but we get to keep the memories!

  8. What a lovely memory, Kate - well not the loser boyfriend part - but the part about time spent with friends. I adored Avalon for Christmas. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  9. Yeah, it is lovely and we always did hokey things during the day like miniature golf and well we shopped, they had mega sales before the end of the year to save inventory tax!

  10. I'd love to spend the holidays in a foreign place with no snow. Minus the loser guy it sounds like you had fun. Thank heavens for girlfriends and their support.

    Thanks too for the awesome giveaway!

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  11. Heh. I married at eighteen so there was NO island hopping with the girls...but it sounds like a great time! Although I have to say that "summer" weather for Christmas wouldn't quite do it for me...

  12.'s probably in the 60s daytime and the 40s at night, so it's cool enough to wear cute wintery clothes...but living in L.A. I only dream of a white Christmas

  13. OMG, ALL of you let him live? That's some crazy self-restraint right there. At the very least, he would have been sleeping outside the rest of the time. But I agree, girls' weekends need to stay girls' weekends--boys screw everything up LOL

  14. Yeah...I didn't care enough to do jail time. He shouldn't have been so surprised when I wouldn't take him back.

  15. Eight women could have dumped and hidden his body easily! Y'all were too nice! Hope you and your 8 friends go back at some point for old time's sake and good old fashioned girl time!!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  16. That's a good idea, maybe we can one day!

  17. My worst holiday was when my boyfriend gave me food poisoning from the "gourmet" meal he made. Bleh

    My favorite holiday was last year because it was the first one with my puppy, Geisha. She loves the snow and the Christmas lights. It was so much fun to watch her.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  18. Puppies! They are way less trouble than boyfriends. Food poisoning, heavens!

  19. Girl's weekends are the only way I stay sane in my all male household, lol.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  20. My best and worst happened just before I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It was the first time I'd hosted Christmas with my DH. We had both of our families there, but everything seemed to turn out bad. I felt sick most of the day and cried when I ran out of potatoes. Luckily, everyone suspected I was pregnant and helped me out as much as possible. I'm hosting again this year, but no babies on the way. LOL

    Loved Avalon for Christmas! Happy Holidays!

  21. I'm starting to get nostalgic lol.
    And Jess...sure no babies?

  22. My best is every Christmas watching my boys eyes light up when they see all of the presents under the tree.
    Happy Holidays Kate!


  23. Happy holidays, do make it great, don't they?

  24. Did he actually think that he was going to get away with that? I don't think he would have made it back, at least not with me. I would have just kicked him out then & there. The pictures are beautiful & I am sure you and your friends had a great time making wonderful memories.
    My best times in life are all with my family.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  25. My best friend always has me over on Christmas day to open gifts with her family. Since I've never married or had children of my own, she generously shares her 5 kids with me. Christmas is just more fun if you get to spend it with children, so that is my favorite part of Christmas. I don't think I've ever had a bad Christmas & with luck, I never will.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  26. It really is about kids, isn't it? Watching their excitement?