Candy Cane for the Soul

Please welcome Sylvie Kurtz as our guest blogger today at Maine Crime Writers. Sylvie lives in neighboring New Hampshire and writes wonderful novels loaded with adventure and romance. This week, just in time for Christmas giving, she has a new book coming out.

Candy Cane for the Soul

Since moving back to the northeast, I’ve associated Maine with taking a break. When the kids were younger, we took them camping at Hermit Island or visited my aunt’s “shack” (which is anything but) on Arnold Pond. Then years later, we found a rental cottage in Phippsburg near Seawall Beach.

That week in Maine every summer feeds my soul. It’s a chance to unplug, slow down and truly be with people. It’s also an opportunity to spend hours of guilt-free reading.

It’s on Seawall Beach, while walking ankle-deep in the water in the middle of the pandemic, that I figured out that I needed a break from writing suspense. The energy was too intense for my overwrought nervous system. I thought back to all the books I’d written and how I’d felt writing each of them. There’s something about each story that drew me to write it, but the one that I most enjoyed writing was A Little Christmas Magic. I wrote it to get myself out of a funk when I was away from family at the holidays and felt alone. And it worked; it gave me a new appreciation for what I did have and allowed me to let go of what I was missing.

Wanting to avoid the constant buzz of negativity and fear during the pandemic, I turned to watching a lot of Hallmark and reading more romantic comedies. They reminded me how much fun writing could be. So, I came up with a village in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire where life revolves around family, food and festivals—three of my favorite things.

I developed a touch of agoraphobia at the height of the pandemic and threw that into Christmas by Candlelight, having Emma make fun of herself along the way. And because after a decade away from writing due to Lyme, I felt I couldn’t write anything well, I gave Meredith in Christmas in Brighton a case of perfectionism. Having characters work through their issues, helped me work through mine in a fun way. Add an explosion of Christmas merriment, and I found my way back to joy.

That’s what I hope these new stories give the reader—a break from the world’s seriousness and uncertainty; a way to hit the pause button and recharge their batteries, especially at this time of the year when everything seems stuck on fast forward.

So, this holiday season, curl up in your favorite chair, have your favorite hot drink nearby, and give yourself the gift of a chapter from your favorite author. You’ll go back to the seasonal madness feeling just a bit more grounded and peaceful.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas by Candlelight, Love in Brighton Village Book 1 – She’s duty bound to a dream–one that isn’t hers.

Christmas in Brighton, Love in Brighton Village Book 2 – Sometimes you have to get lost to find where you belong. Out today (Dec. 6th)–on sale for $0.99 for two days only.


Sylvie writes stories that celebrate family, friends and food. She believes organic dark chocolate is an essential nutrient, likes to knit with soft wool, and justifies watching movies that require a box of tissues by knitting baby blankets. She has written 23 novels. Visit for more information.


This entry was posted in Guest Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Candy Cane for the Soul

  1. susanvaughan says:

    Sylvie, so great to see you here. Thanks for an uplifting post. Wonderful how changing your writing focus helped heal you. The therapeutic value of writing never ceases to amaze me. Happy Holidays!

  2. maggierobinsonwriter says:

    I much prefer candy canes to chicken soup! Thanks for this thoughtful post. Many things to consider.

  3. kaitcarson says:

    Both books sound delicious, and the perfect antidote to this crazy Christmas season we are having in northern Maine!

  4. Kate Flora says:

    Thanks for visiting and sharing these, Sylvie. I am trying my hand at romance, too. What a change from all that darkness.

  5. These sound wonderful!

Leave a Reply