One of my favorite new writers of 2018 has a new book coming out in just two short weeks! Ceillie Simkiss’s latest book, WRAPPED UP IN YOU, continues the story of Cora and Elena, the stunning young women readers met in LEARNING CURVES and caught a glimpse of in THE GHOSTS OF HALLOWEEN. Today, not only do I have a hot aesthetic to share, but the debut of the cover for Ceillie’s newest romance.
If you want to read my review of book one, LEARNING CURVES, check it out at the link here.
Published: 14 December 2018
It’s been two years since Cora and Elena of LEARNING CURVES discovered how easy it is to learn to love–but with Christmas just around the bend, they’re going to have to learn to cope when both their families descend on their household for the first time ever. With her brothers and parents underfoot and a million dishes to cook, it’s hard enough for Elena to plan her double surprise for Elena, even harder when she has to corral her wayward brothers into it–but when Cora’s own surprise plans tangle with Elena’s, it may be impossible to tie up the holiday in a neat little bow.
There’s mayhem and laughter, warmth and unexpected turns–and even if it all doesn’t go according to plan, neither Cora nor Elena care so long as they can stay wrapped up in each other.
There are so many things to ask not only Ceillie, but the lovely ladies in her books. I figured, why stop at one? Below are some of the questions that I came up with that Ceillie, Elena, and Cora took the time to answer. Hopefully the holiday theme and a peek into the future of Learning Curves stories (and more!) will prove just as interesting to you all as they did to me. 🙂
The Hermit Librarian: Jolabokaflod is the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve and spending the night reading and eating yummy treats. What book would you give each other this year?
Cora: Elena isn’t much of a reader, I think that we would tag team this tradition. I would be in charge of the books, and she would be in charge of the of the treats. Which just sounds great, honestly, right hon?
Elena: it really does. I would make some deliciously chewy gingerbread cookies for us to eat, and of course picking books for me, it’s going to be a poetry book.
Cora: Of course it is! You like poetry more than you like prose. I’m not gonna buy you books you don’t want! And if you’re nice, I’ll even read it to you.
Elena: Now that seems like the perfect night in, doesn’t it?
The Hermit Librarian: if there’s one recipe from the upcoming WRAPPED UP IN YOU that you’d want to share with your fans, which one would it be?
Elena: You know, I don’t think there are any real recipes in Wrapped Up In You. Cora does more cooking than I do, but Mama does more of it than anyone else. However, if you’re looking for holiday recipes, I highly recommend The Kitchenista’s recipes! She has a holiday cookbook that will absolutely not let you down!
The Hermit Librarian: what is one go-to accessory you like to wear that is specific to this time of year? Like a head band with antlers or a pair of earrings with bells, that sort of thing.
Cora: As y’all will remember, I hate hats. But you have to do something to keep your head warm when you have short hair. It’s just the way life is, unfortunately. I have a collection of knit ear-warmers and infinity scarves that keep me plenty warm and fashionable, no matter what outfit I wear! I don’t think I could stand wearing earrings with bells. Those would be really distracting!
The Hermit Librarian: do you put up Christmas trees? What kind of decorators are you? Classic lights and bauble strands or eclectic assortment of ornaments types?
Cora: *snort* What kind of question is that? Of course we put up Christmas trees! We don’t go quite as hard as Elena’s family, but it’s also early in our lives together. We only have one tree and it’s decorated with simple ornaments that I made in our favorite colors.
Elena: it’s also a pre-lit artificial tree, which would horrify Mama to no end to have in her own house. It got classic white lights on it that sparkle so nicely. We also have bunting and strands of baubles around the house and on the front porch. I think it’s quite pretty.
Cora: I think so, too.
The Hermit Librarian: what was it about the winter holidays that made you want to write a new story for Cora and Elena? Was there a certain element you were looking forward to writing about?
Ceillie: A Christmas story seemed perfect and necessary to wrap up Cora and Elena’s romance. It’s my favorite holiday for many of the same reasons that it is Elena’s – the food, the family, and all of the beautiful decorations. It’s also the perfect time for surprises, which WRAPPED UP IN YOU hinged on, as you’ll see when you read!
I think I most look forward to writing about Cora being a real part of Elena’s family. You see her kind of starting to get there in Learning Curves, but you also see her be totally accepted as part of the family, which I think is just beautiful. Family is a bit of a bittersweet topic for a lot of queer people, myself included, and I wanted to give Cora and Elena the family reception that I wish I’d had.
The Hermit Librarian: have you considered other holiday themed novellas or short stories for Cora and Elena?
Ceillie: It’s a possibility in the future! I want to spend some time on projects other than Learning Curves projects for a little while, but I won’t rule it out! Ghosts of Halloween kind of struck me as something I wanted to write and it came together just in time for Halloween. If there’s a holiday you’d like to see Cora and Elena celebrate, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might just come up with something for you!
The Hermit Librarian: what’s next on your agenda project wise, writing or otherwise?
Ceillie: In personal news, I’m headed for carpal tunnel surgery in the near future, so if you have some prayers, good thoughts or vibes to send someone else’s way, I’d appreciate them. And remember, if you don’t have insurance, you can get it through the marketplace through Dec. 15! It’s so important in case of emergencies like this, y’all.
As far as writing goes, I am nearly done with the first draft of a project I’ve called A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER. It’s a fantasy romance featuring two separate romances – one between a trans man knight and a lady knight, and the other between a soft male blacksmith and a nonbinary tailor. I’ve already created a cover for it and everything! I just have to finish it and then do revisions. I hope to have it out to you all in February!
I also have a witchy short story that I hope to publish sometime – for free to everyone who signs up for my newsletter! I’m a super infrequent emailer – maybe every two weeks at the most when I have new stuff to give you or share new info. There’s already a few stories up there for anyone to read with the right password!
Thank you so much, Ceillie (Elena & Cora too), for answering my questions and sharing a little bit about your lives and future projects. I’m sure we’re looking forward to WRAPPED UP IN YOU, out in just two weeks!
Available for preorder now, be sure to pick this title up now so you too can read Elena and Cora’s Christmas tale as soon as it’s available. 🙂