Title: Anyplace Else
Series: Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar “Bah Humbug.”
Author: Kim Fielding
Genre: Fantasy, Holidays
Length: Short (33pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3rd December 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts
Blurb: Grant Beaudoin should be thrilled to escape Minneapolis at Christmastime and grateful to lounge on a Hawaiian beach. Instead he is mired in self-pity and drowning in too much tequila. His twin is marrying the perfect man, while Grant is stuck in middle management with no love life in sight. A walk into the rain forest leads to a meeting with a doomed man who has a story about a holiday that predates Christmas. Grant comes to realize that difficult endings can lead to new beginnings—and perhaps a brighter future.
Review: This is a short and interesting Christmas short. I really do enjoy Kim Fielding’s writing and though I didn’t love this book, I still enjoyed the brief suspension of disbelief.
Grant is spending Christmas in Hawaii for the wedding of his brother. While Grant is happy enough to be there, he is jealous of the love that his brother and soon-to-be brother-in-law have. That is when Grant meets a mysterious man who apparently goes by multiple names, depending on the time of year. The man is a god who is stuck in a perpetual loop of death and rebirth.
The mythology aspect involved and with Hawaii as a setting brought to mind for me the books by AJ Llewellyn. If nothing else, I felt that this story needed to be longer – or something – because really the only thing missing for me was actually getting a proper hold on Grant’s emotions, as well as getting to know the mysterious god he meets. Also if you’re after a HEA ended in your Christmas story, you’re going to have to be satisfied with a HFN. I was really left with mixed feelings by the end of this one.
Kim Fielding chats about “Anyplace Else”
A couple of things inspired me to write this story.
One was the notion that even the most beautiful place in the world is miserable for someone who’s not happy with the direction their life has taken.
Most of this story takes place in Hawaii, a place I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times. It is paradise. Friendly people, gorgeous scenery, perfect weather, delicious foods. Really, it almost seems magical sometimes. On my last visit we went out on a catamaran, and a pod of spinner dolphins hung out with us for about 20 minutes. They were close enough to splash us. Plus my entire family got along perfectly—staying in a small space—for 10 days. A miracle!
But what if, like Grant, I’d vacationed in Hawaii during a time when my personal life was at a standstill and my work life was a grind? It might have taken some extra island enchantment to cheer me up.
My other inspiration was my musings on the solstice. That time of year is important in many religions, both ancient and modern, and rebirth is often a theme in the holidays celebrated then. Which makes sense—the year is dying, the sun making its briefest appearance of all. But then the next day begins the new year, and the sun starts to regain its ascendency over night.
So, throw together those elements—a life going nowhere, a chance for renewal, and a magical location—and that’s how you get “Anyplace Else.”
1st prize $100 DSP credits!
2nd prize $50 DSP credits!
3rd prize $25 DSP credits!
4th prize $25 DSP credits!
(Winners will be picked by a dart on 1st January 2017)
Kim Fielding’s question!
Although she’s a native of the USA, Kim has lived twice (for short periods of time) in another country. Which one is it? (Hint: That other country features in at least four of her stories.)
(Just leave a comment with the answer on this post)