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Location, Location

christmas_450My new novella, This Christmas, released yesterday and its special to me because the setting is the place I call home.  Now, my Forever Love Stories are set on Long Island, just like This Christmas, but the locale isn’t at the center of the story.  This time, Long Island, with its coastlines and small towns and lighthouses, plays an important role.

I love where I live, and when the three other Christmas in New York authors and I planned our series, we knew the locations were integral to the lives of our characters. Sabrina grew up on the East End of Long Island.  Not quite as far east as the famous Hamptons, but almost.  Holly Point is a small town, busy in the summer and quiet in the winter.  The locals, who are there year-round, have been there for generations. Everyone knows everyone, and sometimes that can be a problem. However, in Sabrina’s case, the town was her lifeline when she faced her biggest challenge.

Lighthouses dot the Long Island coast on the North and South Shores and the towns are doing their best to preserve this nautical heritage. These lighthouses were the lifelines for the fishermen and sailors who made their livings on the water. The fictional Holly Point light suffered the same fate as many local lighthouses, falling into disrepair and eventually going dark. It became a symbol of how Sabrina and Jake needed each other for the light to come back to their lives.  They could certainly live without each other, but their hearts would never be as full or as bright.

Montauk Point Lighthouse in Winter. Photo by Erik Anestad. Used under Creative Commons license.

This is a photo of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, a historic landmark on the eastern-most tip of Long Island.  If you grew up here, you took more than one Sunday drive to the lighthouse, and the fight to preserve it has been going on for as long as I can remember. Just like the Holly Point light, it’s important to the region and tied to to our identity. Do you have a historic landmark in your town?  Tell me about it in the comments.

To celebrate the release of This Christmas, I’ll give one commenter a beautiful lighthouse ornament.  The contest will close on Thursday, November 13th at 6PM ET.  International entries welcome.  You must be 18 to enter.