I had the great pleasure to make the Holiday Shorts playlist a couple of weeks ago. For those that don’t know – Passionate Ink, a group of erotic fiction writers, publishes a yearly themed anthology to raise money for ProLiteracy, a worthy charity dedicated to eliminating adult illiteracy. I have had the privilege to contribute to Falling Hard, the 2021 Fall anthology, and Holiday Shorts, this year’s collection.
As a reader, I appreciate insights that authors provide on their writing process or backstory to their characters in newsletters and blogs. In the back of The Tsar of Love and Techno, there was a playlist that pertained to the story. I was fascinated. It added a dimension to the book that elevated the experience.
I listen to music whenever possible. It inspires me, cheers me, makes me think, cry… all the feels. Sometimes a song will lead to a story idea. I will pick a playlist to set a mood to match a scene I am trying to write. I figured I was not alone. I asked the contributing authors in Falling Hard about their music. A playlist result from that conversation. So naturally when we were all on a Zoom call, I approached the subject. The Holiday Shorts gang didn’t disappoint. Here’s the playlist.
Holiday Shorts is composed of 13 short stories all with a holiday theme:
- Ryley Banks – “O is for Ornament“ A beam of light shone through the doorway –And I stopped in my tracks, still holding the doorknob. Because on the floor facing away from me, was Austin, the hottest guy in my chemistry classes, doing goddamn shirtless push-ups. Ryley’s songs are: Ma’oz Tzur by Leslie Odom Jr (feat Nicolette Robinson), Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, Shut up and Drive by Rihanna, That’s What I Want by Lil Nas X, Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac, and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
- C. E. DeRosier
- Jena Doyle
- W.D. Drames
- Raisa Greywood – “12 Days of Kinkmas” has its own playlist .The Four Horseman cordially invite you to Christmas at Club Apocalypse. Santa and his helpers have treats for the good little subbies… and switches for the naughty ones. Join us in the dungeon for an evening of decadence where all your most debauched holiday wishes will come true. I took a selection from the playlist to include in the Holiday Short’s music.
- Sylvie Haas – Her songs are: Bad Things by Jayce Everett, You Found by The Fray, Sweet Dominique by Adam Cohen, Feel by Kate Bush
- Jordyn Kross – “Hung with Care” Her main character loves Christmas carols. She has a beautiful voice and breaks into song a few times. Here’s Jordyn’s selections: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, Silent Night by Kelly Clarkson, Reba, and Trisha Yearwood, Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Frank Sinatra, Baby It’s Cold Outside by Michael Buble and Indina Menzel, I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Bing Crosby, We Three Kings by Kirk Franklin, What Christmas Means to Me by Stevie Wonder, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Perry Como, Glittery by Kacey Musgraves, Last Christmas by Wham, My Favorite Things by Elliot Lee, December by Norah Jones, The First Noel by Carrie Underwood, Make You Mine this Season by Tegan and Sara.
- Me – Candice LaBria- My story “The Sugar Rim” features Andrew humming a song to Devon. The song is That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain
- Cindy Redding – Her songs are: Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt, I’ll be home for Christmas by Michael Buble, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thursday Raven Croft, Don’t Be Cruel by Billy Swan, All I want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms, and Rockin Round the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee.
- Maggie Sims
- Maria Tuhart listened to the Hamilton soundtrack while she wrote her story, Unexpected Christmas Gift. She found it helped her concentrate better.
- Cadence Vonn‘s “O Naughty Night” has Reed Malone, a proclaimed bachelor, who never expected to find his soulmate at thirty-seven, especially a fearless doctor who risks her life to save those she loves. Having her sign an NDA seemed to be a good way to protect his heart. That doctor is Sophia Spenser, who raised her sister after their parents’ death. Now a surgeon, she works long hours and rarely takes time off. Traveling for her sister’s wedding is complicated by a multi-car accident and winter storm. Exhausted, and wanting to be alone, she’s swept up by her sister’s new brother -in-law. Their unexpected connection lights up Christmas and turns two loners into sizzling hot lovers. Here are the songs from Cadence: Easy on Me by Adele (It hits a chord with the way Sophie might have felt), Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt (evokes a lot of emotion, Hold My Hand by Lady Gaga (Reed reaching out and helping Sophie), Bridgerton’s classic version Wrecking Ball, Heaven by Calum Scott (Awesome love song), Blowin’ Smoke by Teddy Swims, Glow by Kelly Clarkson and Chris Stapleton (great contemporary Christmas song), and Santa, Can’t You Hear Me by Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande (another great contemporary Christmas song)
- Calia Wilde‘s “Second Chance Santa.” She was the love of a lifetime. But He pushed her away. It will take a miracle to get this biker and his lady back together. Calia’s songs are: Mistress for Christmas by AC/DC, Kidnap the Sandy Claus by Korn, and Run Rudolph Run by Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Grohl, and Billy F. Gibbons.
The stories run the gamut: motorcycle club, forced proximity, alien, historical, contemporary, LGBTQ+, and so much more. And the playlist is just as wild and diverse.
Give it a listen and drop me a comment. What did you like? Any surprises? New favs?