Friday, November 19, 2021

A Fairy Tale, A Holiday, And Small Town Montana by Merri Maywether

This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. At the beginning of November, everyone pauses to notice the good things in their lives. They take time to be grateful. To say thank you. To be kind. 

When I visit the larger cities, I notice people holding doors and looking each other in the eye to say thank you. And that is what I cherish about the holiday season. People are more receptive to give and receive kindness. There is no questioning of motives. They just accept kindness.

In rural Montana, kindness is the norm. People will help without giving it a second thought. Here, it goes to the other extreme. If you need help and don’t ask, friends and neighbors will ask why you felt like you had to handle the situation on your own. 

So the holiday season, to the rest of the world, is what it feels like to live here all year long. Kindness is more than a virtue here. It is a way of life.

Kindness is also why Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales. 

Cinderella was a kind-hearted person, despite her mean step-sisters and step-mother. She was getting dumped on all the time. Yet, she sang and danced with the mice and birds. As a kid, I loved the fairy godmother popping in and granting a wish. My favorite part was that scene when she was given a gown, a tiara, and a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage. 

Funny thing. I'm a romance writer and Cinderella marrying the prince didn’t matter to me until I was in my twenties. 

Even funnier–now I'm wishing the magical birds and mice would befriend me and help with the chores. But I digress. 

One day inspiration struck. What would happen if I wrote a Cinderella-inspired Christmas story set in small-town Montana? 

And that was the spark for Meet Me By the Christmas Tree. 

A Hollywood star returns to his small-town roots and makes a wish for a wife beneath the magical Paradise Hills Tree. There is more to the story, but like the prince in Cinderella, he has one thing to find the lady who has captured his heart–an angel pin. 

It was a fun story to write. I acquired a gingerbread cookie habit after writing it. If you want to see the recipe or the images I used for inspiration, here is the link to the Pinterest Board I created while writing it. 

This is where I'll close this month's Sweet Romance Reads post. Before I go I have two questions. Answer one or both. What was your favorite story when you were younger? And, what is your favorite thing about the holiday season?


Meet Me by the Christmas Tree
is available at your favorite
online retailer for 99¢

Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo


Merri Maywether lives with her husband in rural Montana. You can find her in the town's only coffee house listening to three generations of Montanans share their stories. Otherwise, she's in the classroom or the school library, inspiring the next generation's writers.

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