Madison Chock and Evan Bates: Sugar Moon on Ice?

I was watching the replay of the US Figure Skating Championships at San Jose, and I looked up to see my characters Ben and Allegra ice dancing! Well, okay, Ben and Allie don’t skate because, ahem, my books are set in the Philippines in 1905, when ice is hard enough to find for your calamansi juice, let alone dance around on. But still . . . these two are adorable. If I had not already written my characters Ben Potter and Allegra Alazas to fall in love, this real-life couple would have inspired it.

Sugar Moon lands in 2018. Until then let these two cuties tide you over in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Evan Bates was even elected as the U.S. Figure Skating Team Captain! Allow Evan and Madison to explain ice dancing to you with Legos. Video courtesy of Channel 5 NBC in Chicago.

Young Love in Japan

If you believe Mr. Hallock, the Japanese celebrate Christmas like Valentine’s Day. You still have to go to work, but you get to eat chocolate—and celebrate young love! As a romance author, I felt right at home.

young love japan photo by Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
Couples making a wish at Yasaka Koshin-Do in Kyoto, Japan. Sewn pouches called “good faith monkeys” have their hands and feet bound together outside a statue of the guardian warrior, Shomen Kongo. This restraint reflects the binding of a single desire in order to have the guardian grant your other wishes. On Christmas Eve, the temple was full of couples binding their desires together. It may not be your idea of a romantic date, but there are plenty of Japanese who would disagree with you.
young love japan photo by Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
A couple getting a photo in underneath Himeji Castle in the Kokoen Garden.
young love japan photo by Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
Carriages take lovers through the Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama on Christmas Day.
young love japan photo by Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
On the streets in Gion, tradition mixes with modernity. I did not want to be that person foisting my camera lens in people’s faces, but I could not help it.

A few years ago, it was reported that record numbers of Japanese are forgoing marriage for career and lifestyle. They may have chosen “happy for now” over “happily ever after,” but they are still living and loving.