Behind the Scenes: Camp Christmas

Happy Holidays, friends!! Welcome to our last blog of 2013. It seems funny to say that 8403262-poinsettia-floweron “Scene 13,” a blog full of authors with debut releases in 2013. When we first heard about this group, we couldn’t wait to be a part of it and share our first YA stories with readers. Now, at the end of 2013, we’ve been fortunate enough to have two novellas and a novel out this year in our new “Camp Boyfriend” series. We’re calling the year a huge success, but even better… it’s been a lot of fun.

Camp Xmas cover 2Our new novella, Camp Christmas, released a week and a half ago. If you haven’t grabbed the FREE download at the Spencer Hill Contemporary website, we hope you’ll go snag a copy now! We had such fun writing a snowy holiday adventure for some of the Camp Juniper Point characters. We thought, just this once, it might be fun to follow the characters away from camp and see what their lives are like back home over Winter Break.

Today, we thought we’d give you some background on the setting for Camp Christmas whiteface02and share our personal ties to the geographic area where it’s set. Karen and I live near the Adirondack region where the story is set on Whiteface Mountain. The characters attend a private boarding school near the mountain and are taking a ski club trip.  It’s been awhile since I’ve skied Whiteface personally, but for several years, I’ve driven one or two of my sons to the mountain on winter weekends to ski or snowboard “the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies.”

whiteface1There is a lot to do at the mountain. I’m partial to sipping hot chocolate by a fire in the lodge, but most people prefer to hit the slopes, the slides or the terrain park for a day of adventure and fun. My sons like to scare me by texting photos from the top of the mountain, especially when the conditions are iffy. They didn’t nickname the mountain “Iceface” for nothing. The snow can turn icy at the end of the day or when the temperature shifts from warm to cold.

During Camp Christmas, the characters get into some trouble because they don’t follow Telemarker on Cloudspinthe park rules and they ski a section of the mountain that is closed to the public. My sons would never do this—truly, it’s dangerous—but plenty of people have attempted to do so on this mountain and others in the area. Conditions can change fast when snow storms roll in or the temperature takes a bit dip. Even a warming trend can be dangerous because it causes a mist off the snow and makes visibility difficult. See why I prefer the cocoa in the lodge?

Although, if I had a cute guy to ski with, I suppose I could be enticed to step out into the snow. Our characters sure had a good time.

***How do you like to spend a cold, snowy day? Chat with us on the boards today and we’ll send one random poster an I ❤ my Camp Boyfriend tee, Camp Boyfriend mini flashlight and friendship bracelets!


23 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Camp Christmas

    • I’d rather be reading too!! But I’m usually carting kids to a mountain or a skating pond. Or both– with a stop at home for dry gloves ;-). Thanks for stopping by the blog, Paula!

  1. This was a great story. I’m like you, wanting to stay inside sipping hot cocoa. I’ve only been skiing once. My daughter is now interested in trying it out, so I may get to drink in the lodge.

  2. I like to sip hot cocoa inside by the fire like you. Having lived in the south and southwest makes me a lover of heat. However, I spent many summers working at a camp and could totally imagine my camp friends talking me into something I wouldn’t normally do…

    • After all the rush of the holidays, I hope this is how I’m spending today, in fact ;-). Thank you for the New Year wishes, Ellen! Texting the Underworld is on my TBR… your books look so good!

    • LOL… I think a snow fight could be lethal in the Adirondacks this week!! We don’t have snow on the ground so much as ice. Chipping away at it to clear the driveway has been awful!! It’s pretty though… ice makes for very glittery/glisteny snow :-). Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Lea!

  3. While most people hate the cold and/or prefer to stay inside (aka my whole family), I much prefer going outside and doing all the fun things your supposed to do when it snows. It’s like a must do when it’s snows! I love to throwing snowballs at my sisters, make snow angels, build a fort. I’m like a kid when it snows LOL. I love the cold!

    • Hi Gaby! Good for you!! I think my kids have sworn off snow forts since some of them collapsed on them in the past. One of my sons had to use his Bear Grylls survival techniques to escape the avalanche affect of being buried in the snow!! But we have a pretty winter festival here in February where the town makes a HUGE ice castle on one of the frozen lakes. It’s truly amazing to see. Each year it follows a different theme– space castle, western-themed, fairy tale, etc. But it’s always pretty.

  4. Awww love the pics and the whole post.
    I haven really experience what snow is like and I’ve always wanted to make a snow angel and have a snow ball fight so that’s how I would spend a snowy day if I could. Then we would have some hot chocolate afterwards 🙂

    • Hi Gaby!! You need a snow day!! It’s something to see… even when my toes are frozen and I’m slipping and falling on icy ground, I can still see the incredible beauty that comes with a winter wonderland. It’s really incredibly pretty. We had an ice storm this past week that left a coating of ice on every twig and branch. Then, when the sun came out and hit the ice, it made sparkly prisms everywhere. Truly breathtaking!

  5. I’m all for actually going skiing. I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but I LOVE skiing! There’s nothing like getting a great workout in during the morning, coming in for a family lunch, then hitting the slopes again in the afternoon and sometimes at night (as long as the trails are open because I am not at all for breaking skiing rules!). Hot chocolate, games or movies with the family and only then curling up with a good read make for the best kind of cold weather days. 🙂

    • Hi Mary! That’s the problem… I think I have an allergy to workouts . I do like the exhilaration of being outdoors in the chilly air though! ❤ Appreciate you being a part of the blog today!

  6. Well, this is quite a hard question for me since we don’t have a winter here in our country. But IF ever we’ll experience snow here in the Philippines, I’ll probably be staying inside, curled up in my bed and reading my favorite book. 🙂 It’s a perfect book weather.

    • Hi Alyssa!! Winter is a fun season, but I will admit I don’t recommend it for long periods of time ;-). There is a real beauty in the season though, and I’ve always liked the creative renewal that seems to come with the long, dark days that slowly wake up to spring. The Philippines sound beautiful in another way though… I’d love to travel there!

  7. Gaby Paniagua, you’re the winner of the blog prize!! We will be in touch with you privately to arrange for mailing of your prize, but you can send your shipping info to us at and we’ll send off your Camp Boyfriend tee and swag!! Thank you so much to everyone for visiting with us and Happy New Year!!

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