Smutters Advent Calendar: Warming winter: what is sexy about the season?

Smutters Advent Calendar

Welcome folks to my day on the Smutters Advent Calendar! I didn’t realise I’d nabbed the Winter Solstice as my day. 😀 Come and join the fun!

My early childhood was in the tropics (Indonesia to be precise), and then I spent my teenage years and early twenties in Australia. Suffice to say, winter was either non-existent, incredibly mild, and, only in terms of Christmas, came at the wrong time of year. I grew up in a place where the heat beat down on Christmas day (Australians associate Christmas with beach and BBQs, as well as turkey, potatoes, and gravy), even as the imagery around us for the most part harked back to the European traditions which, of course, go hand in hand with darker days (requiring candles), snow strewn landscapes, and fur lined clothes. Everything you don’t need or want in an Australian or Indonesian summer!

Since moving to the UK a few years ago, aside from adjusting to snow and ice and gas-heated houses, I’ve understood and better appreciated Christmas-tide traditions. You don’t want to drink mulled wine in the summer, but it’s sure lovely when the breeze outside could cut through you. You make every attempt to keep your centre warm, or else you’ll be chilled right through.

Snowy bench
Snow around my house, 2009

What is sexy about winter? Even in the hotter climbs of the world, I’d always liked the chill of winter – not so much the state of being cold, but the chance to wrap up and feel snuggly. There was always the promise of huddling for warmth (a terrific cliche of romance writing), the idea that brushing skin to skin was somehow more intimate for all the clothes you had to shed, for sharing the blanket and needing to be close to stay warm.

Winter, for me, brings less the kind of sexy that’s about the excitement and thrill of adventure, but the opportunity for comfort and tenderness against harsh weather. There may be a new person next to you, both of you crowded in front of a fire, each wondering over your cinnamon-laced hot chocolate if you can make the first move, if the slip of a hand onto someone’s thigh will make them withdraw or smile…

Though that may not be the way for all – and in my story, Silver Bells, the sometimes-tacky, plastic decorative part of the Christmas holidays come up against the darker parts of winter…

Anyone who comments on this blog post with a response to the above question will be the draw to win a copy of my Christmas themed short story, Silver Bells, an erotic short story where office politics meet some strange, dark, magical forces.

Silver Bells cover


In ‘Silver Bells’, Alex Thorson and three fellow directors sit in the board room with their CEO, Dempsey Kincaid, for what was meant to be a simple holiday drink. When an attractive young woman in fur-lined negligee, heels and a pair of elf ears arrives at the board room door, Alex is rather pleased at the tantalising turn of the evening. However, the raunchy high spirits soon take the gathering to places that leaves Alex with questions about the exact powers of Kincaid, and just what kind of woman has been hired to entertain them…

Click on the cover image for an extract from Silver Bells.