Three years ago, in November of 2017, I went to New York City with my daughter Lesley. We were both there for work. I was meeting with my publishing house and Lesley, who was just starting out as an agent, had some meetings with editors. It wasn’t the first time we’d gone to New York together but it certainly felt the most magical.
One evening, soon after Lesley finished her last meeting, we plotted our big shopping night. We put on flats so we could walk the many blocks to Lord&Taylor, our favorite NYC place to shop. As we walked, we chatted about how long we’d shop before finding some interesting bistro and having dinner. Then, just as we approached the department store, we saw the most amazing sight. Music was playing, bright, twinkling lights were everywhere. There was a velvet rope so people wouldn’t crowd the entrance. And then we heard a countdown. Suddenly, boom! The Christmas window displays had their big reveal. Everyone around the store clapped. Lesley and I got in line and hurried in.
After that, it’s all a blur. Every floor had its own DJ playing music and waiters offered fancy drinks. I remember gazing at all the decorated Christmas trees and the lights and smiling at the lady who brought her dachshund inside and how nobody said a word about it. But most of all, I remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine seeing a Christmas Window Reveal in any other place but New York- and that I was so glad to have someone to share that moment with.
I’ve thought a lot about that evening this year. Our beloved Lord & Taylor closed down. And, with COVID and the way things are, I don’t know when I’ll be heading back to NYC or standing in a big crowd clapping at Christmas windows. I’m just grateful for the memory.
I tried to capture a bit of that Christmas excitement in my newest book for Blackstone, Save The Last Dance. In the book, my heroine Kimber grows closer to her sisters, helps out a bunch of kids prepare to dance in the Nutcracker ballet, and spends an incredible week in New York City at Christmas. Of course, all kinds of trouble ensues and Kimber also falls in love.
I enjoyed writing Kimber’s story because I loved the person she was as well as the person she longed to be. I liked how the hero could care less that she was a famous model. But most of all, I loved that through the whole month of December, everyone was waiting for something magical to happen. Which of course, is the beautiful miracle of Christmas Day.
I hope you enjoy the book and have a few magical memories of your own to hold close during this holiday season. Shelley