Children are mercurial little creatures and I was no different. I still remember the agonising wait from 5am (when excitement would wake me up before dawn), until a respectable 7am on Christmas morning which was when we were allowed to open our first present. After that we had to wait until our grandparents arrived. Oh, the anticipation!
My Norwegian husband tells our girls, aged 11 and 7, that he has spared them all that since his culture has the present-opening taking place on Christmas Eve. So, for the sake of a whole twelve hours he can play household hero on December 24th while I prepare the following day’s meal. My sister who lives ten minutes away also married a Norwegian (my husband’s best friend, in fact) so our two families (with 4 kids between us) embrace the two traditions in both our households in the beautiful Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Australia.
We’ve only spent one Christmas in Norway and, yes, it was white! Here in Australia Christmas is usually spent in the heat beneath the gum trees so our first white Christmas was very special. My mother-in-law decorated the living room in my husband’s hometown, Hamar, with hundreds of angels while the children were sleeping, so when they awoke it was a magical moment to see their faces.
Books are always high on the ‘want’ list at Christmas, being a family of writers and readers. Happily, diversity of taste is a family strong point. Last year my 11-year-old was as ecstatic to get the whole Anne of Green Gables series as she was to unwrap The Hunger Games trilogy.
On the subject of books and Christmas, Cressida, the heroine of my last release Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma, has an increasingly busy Christmas each year as she adds to her nursery. Like her Regency counterparts 200 years ago, she has not the vocabulary or knowledge to have the conversation with her beloved husband as to how to limit their expanding family so as she retreats, physically, he reacts with confusion.
Christmas is, perhaps, the one time she can relax as the focus is not on her but the five children who are allowed to romp beneath the Christmas tree. Poor Cressida. Her journey towards self discovery begins with the shock rumour her husband has found comfort in the arms of his previous mistress leading Cressida to take on the guise of a widow in search of the truth.
This she finds in Mrs Plumb’s House of Ill repute – plus a lot more than she bargained for. During several explorations within the curtained boudoirs where love meets loneliness, Cressida’s latent sensuality is aroused as she learns some surprising things about her husband…and, unexpectedly, about a mystery surrounding a young acquaintance set to make a reluctant marriage to please her ailing mama. It is now that Cressida’s strength of character is tested as she weighs up the risks she must take to secure someone else’s happy ending. It’s a sweet erotic Regency Romance and a complete contrast to my earlier rambunctious erotic Regency, Rake’s Honour.
Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope it’s a great one!
And if you’d like to find out more about me and my books, here are some links.