Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Longest Night of the Year

by Jenna Jaxon

The winter solstice is upon us, the official beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year.  Of course, that means it’s also the longest night of the year.  A great set-up for romance if ever I heard one.

This solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere each year between December 20 and 23, though most often either on the 21st or 22nd.  It is the day when the Earth’s axis is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun, causing total darkness at the North Pole and total sunlight at the South Pole. 

The ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, basically a week-long toga party, began on December 17 and ran for seven days.  Many believe that the date for Christmas coincides with this festival to offset its pagan influences.

The solstice was also known as Alban Arthuan by the ancient Druids.  Their ritual for the beginning of this season, held at Stonehenge, has become very popular with both pagans and the merely curious.  The standing stones at Stonehenge are aligned with the sunlight on both winter and summer solstices, creating an eerie and spectacular effect in the morning light.

As I said earlier, the set-up for this ancient holy day is just begging to be the setting for a romance--ancient or modern.  Perhaps that project will find its way onto my list of New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, however, I celebrated both solstice and Christmas early with the December 9th release of my 1Night Stand story Almost Perfect.  And although it has nothing to do with winter celebrations, it’s an erotic romance that will heat up your chilliest nights.

Blurb for Almost Perfect

Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past.  Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware. 

Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner,  Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindles old fires.  A simple kiss leads Roger to challenges her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire. 

With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand. 

Excerpt for Almost Perfect:

“Come on, Pam. It’s only water.” He still held the tempting thing out to her. Damn. She tromped up to him, her steps thumping as loud as she could make them on the packed sand. Stopping an arm’s length from him, she peeled one hand away from her breasts and shifted her other to cover as much as possible. For once, she thanked God for a B cup. She snared the bottle, shot him a look of triumph, only to realize it remained capped. To open it she’d have to use her other hand.
Furious, she shifted her gaze from the tantalizing object to his gleeful eyes. “Would you open this for me, please?”
“Suddenly lost all your strength, have you, hon?” His eyes took on a hunger she remembered. “It’s not as if I’ve never seen your breasts before.”
“Then you don’t need to see them again, do you?” Heat rose in her cheeks. “Come on, open it. You said it was a peace offering.”
“And these are part of the peace negotiations.” He stood, arms crossed over his muscled chest, better looking than she remembered. Not fair.
“I’m bored. My date still hasn’t turned up, so I thought I’d come harass you a while. I’ll tell you what.” He reached for the Perrier and unscrewed the cap, but didn’t offer it to her. “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
“And why would I want to see yours again?” Her eyes remained on the bottle resting at his hips and watched the carbonated bubbles rising to the top.
“For old time’s sake?” His eyes flashed with mischief as he tipped the sparkling water up and started to drink. She stared, her parched lips opened in outrage. Glug, glug. He made that sound on purpose. Was he going to drink the whole damned thing?
After swallowing at least a third of the contents, he came up for air. “Ah! Hits the spot every time.” He grinned. “Still can’t take a joke? Too bad. Here.” He thrust it toward her. Grabbing with both hands, she shoved the end into her mouth so quick the glass clicked against her teeth. Greedily, she sucked in and almost choked. The exquisite, light lime-flavored water rushed into her body to hydrate the parched cells. Three more guzzles and she breathed deeply, satisfied for the moment.
She pulled the lip away and wiped her hand across her chin where she had dribbled some. Holding it out to him, she noticed his slack-jawed attention riveted straight on her chest. Which meant….
“You still look fine, Pam. Mighty fine.” Her ex-husband licked his lips, his grin reaching almost ear to ear. If there weren’t still some water left in the bottle, she’d brain him with it.
He reached down and slipped off his sandals, then untied his drawstring, all the while gawking at her breasts. With one swift movement, he shucked his pants to reveal a hard, tanned body, complete with a serious erection.
 She hadn’t seen that coming.


D'Ann said...

My friend, Superromance author, Margot Early, wrote a book with the winter solstice as a major part of it...good setting!

Brenda said...

I'm going to buy Almost Perfect. Silly me, for some reason I thought this story was going to be released after the Winter Solstice, LOL.

The Paperback Diva said...

Thanks Jenna. You're always a font of interesting info.

Anonymous said...

Love and hugs, Merry Christmas. And Happy Solstice. Congrats on Almost Perfect and a year of success. Bless you!

Lindsay said...

Interesting information about the solstice.
Mery Christmas Jenna

Jenna said...

Thank you for all your good wishes, ladies! Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years to D'Ann, Brenda, Paperback Diva, Casea, and Lindsay! Hope your solstice is mystical and magical. Have fun on the longest night of the year! :)

Anonymous said...

Jenna, Great post.

Patricia Green said...

The sun has set where I am, and it's not even five o'clock. Great article, Jenna. I love your non-fiction as much as your fiction!

Jenna said...

Thank you, Ella and Patricia. I love writing period and my first forays into it were academic papers at school. I love researching--hence my love for historicals--so when I found myself blogging near the solstice I thought what a cool idea for a post. So glad you ladies liked it. Hope your solstice and other holidays are filled with the magic of the season. :)

Jessica E. Subject said...

It was definitely a strange day today, thunderstorms on the first official day of winter? Anyhoo!

Happy Holidays and all the best with your new release! :)

Alexa said...

Love the history and the excerpt! Happy Holidays!

Jenna said...

Thank you for coming by, Jessica and Alexa. We had rain and warm temperatures here, strange for the beginning of winter in Virginia. And good luck to you too, Jessica, with Beneath the Starry Sky!

Happy Holidays to you and your families!