The atmosphere of a beautiful hotel during the Christmas season always enchants me. When Amie and I began planning the White Pine Island series, we immediately agreed on Christmas as the setting for the first novellas. Since we both travel whenever the opportunity arises (these books were born on a train ride home from Chicago), we imagined gracious and lovely places infused with holiday décor. Elaborately decorated trees, twinkling lights and glowing candles, the scents of pine and cinnamon, and holiday music in the background soon came to life. We wanted the Grand Hotel’s lobby and ballroom to invoke an equal share of glamour and ease. A place where families and friends could reunite and lovers steal private moments amongst the splendor of holly and mistletoe.
In Ellen and Pete’s story, the Phillips family who own the Grand Hotel, host a Christmas Party for the year-round residents of the island. Such an event calls for a spectacular tree to preside over a fun event. The locals know a thing or two about enjoying life since they do live in a place dedicated to tourism. The hotel’s ballroom hosts special events year round, but the Christmas event stands out as the one that all of White Pine Island can enjoy.
In both stories, the couples spend plenty of time outside the hotel as well. Since we created White Pine Island to be off the coast of Georgia where the December temperatures are mild, we took the beauty of the season to the hotel’s front porch. You’ll find our characters lounging on wicker settees or relaxing in rocking chairs by the soft glow of Christmas lights as they converse on the porch. A little southern charm, a dash of holiday cheer, and couples newly in love intertwined—what could be more perfect for the holiday season!