The Merry Month of May and Other Seasonal Novels

My novels are all set during certain holidays to reflect themes. The first novel in my Power Places series, Under the Stone Paw, starts on the Winter Solstice, when the sun begins to come back and the days slowly grow longer. I thought that was a good time for beginnings. The revelation of all the mysteries takes place on the night of February 1 into February 2, the Celtic holiday Imbolc (or Candlemas in the Christian calendar), which is the day of opening and initiation, sacred to the old goddess Brighid. You’ll have noticed this is also Groundhog’s Day in the US. In England, it’s the start of lambing season. For the Druids, it was the first day of spring.

Since this novel is set in Egypt, I probably should have used Egyptian sacred days. I saved that for a short story, “Bringing the Waters,” set on the helical rising of Sirius. This day marked the beginning of the floods, which fertilized the fields, and I celebrated it with the Hathor priestess and Horus priest doing a sacred tantric ritual to bring on the flooding of the Nile.

The second novel in the Power Places series, Beneath the Hallowed Hill, starts about a month after the first novel ends, but the big reveal happens on Beltane, or May Day. I sort of mixed up some traditions in the ending of this. The Great Hunt usually rides on Samhain, or Halloween, but I had it ride back into faery on the opposite side of the calendar, Beltane. Faery time doesn’t run the same as our world. That was my excuse. I did honor the fertilizing of the fields for Beltane, though, and two characters have some pretty spectacular sex toward the end of this novel, and both women end up pregnant. My third novel in this novel will be dealing with an impending birth, but human biology will determine the timing of this one.

The Star Family is a Christmas novel because it’s about the Moravian tradition (first Protestant Church) and their penchant for mysticism in the 18th century. We Moravians have a fabulous Christmas Eve tradition—a beautiful star, beeswax candles, special hymns, and a lovefeast, where we eat a bun and drink coffee at a service that is mostly music. Then the children run around crazy for a while when they get home because of all the caffeine. At least I did. I thought at the time I was just excited for Santa to come the next morning. I may do an Easter Sunrise novel to match this one, complete with brass bands playing at night and gathering in Old Salem to meet the dawn. Maybe not.

Do you like to read novels set during a certain time of the year? Do you set your novels at a certain time for a particular reason?

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Author: Theresa Crater

Award-winning author Theresa Crater brings ancient temples, lost civilizations and secret societies back to life in her visionary fiction. In The Star Family, a Gothic mansion holds a secret spiritual group and a 400-year-old ritual that must be completed to save the day. The shadow government search for ancient Atlantean weapons in the fabled Hall of Records in Under the Stone Paw and fight to control ancient crystals sunk beneath the sea in Beneath the Hallowed Hill. Her short stories explore ancient myth brought into the present day. The most recent include “The Judgment of Osiris” and “Bringing the Waters.” Theresa has also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches writing and British lit in Denver.

5 thoughts on “The Merry Month of May and Other Seasonal Novels”

  1. “Faery time doesn’t run the same as our world. ” Love that. I noticed that I was writing a lot of fall stories – because that’s my favorite season, I guess. I had to plot out the time line to make sure ten murders weren’t happening all in the same 60-day period.

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  2. Hmm. A book’s timing in terms of season has never been a big deal for me, but if the holiday is woven into the story, it can be really enjoyable. I love learning more about your books, Theresa! Anything to do with pagan holidays or faery gets my attention quickly, and I’m fascinated by the Moravians. I hadn’t heard of them before we “met.”

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  3. Oh, yes! I love reading books to coincide with the season, and also the settings that my travels take me to. I love learning about new traditions and celebrations. How fascinating to combine Celtic and Egyptian!

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