• Hello and my Christmas Book

    Hello and welcome to my lovely new website and blog readers and browsers. First of all I’d like to say a big thank you to lovely Aimee at The Author Works for making all this possible at long last. I’m the world’s worst online dinosaur and she has been extremely patient, helpful and creative.

    If you just wandered into this blog by chance – and I know these things can happen when you’re looking for someone more famous or interesting – I began writing Regency novels for the Mills and Boon/Harlequin Historical in 2007 and am currently working on number 13, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about how that one is going at the moment.

    On the off chance anyone might be wondering what on earth happened to parts two and three of the Seaborne Trilogy I began with the Duchess Hunt, published June 2012, the answer is my Christmas book happened. A more determined author might have said “No, sorry, I’m too busy with my trilogy right now,” when the call came, but I couldn’t resist the chance to maroon a pair of long estranged lovers in a snowstorm, so the Seabornes had to wait impatiently while I got them out of it.

    After a bit of panicking and quite a lot of chocolate, the idea of a handsome earl and a not very humble governess, lost in a snowstorm and forced to earn her living respectively, became too appealing not to explore. Although a Regency Christmas was very different from our own, I had a great deal of fun with the traditions they could take part in and hope that comes through in the resulting book, Governess Under the Mistletoe, which is published in the UK as the second part of Candlelit Christmas Kisses by Mills and Boon this November.

    Research: there can never be too much of it, but it’s always hard to know what to put in and what to leave out. You can never seem to find out enough to be sure of yourself either, unless some primary source from the eighteenth century says, “We had steak and chips for our Christmas dinner and what did you think of that crate of cola I sent you?” you can’t put it in. Funnily enough I never did find that one! Could it be time for a “did you know that,” list do you think?

    Did you know that:-

    The Twelve Days of Christmas were set out as a time for celebration and thanks, during which nobody should be made to work, by the Council of Tours in 567AD.

    On the 8th of June 1647 Parliament passed An Ordinance for Abolishing of Festivals, banning the ‘Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Easter and Whitsuntide, and all other Festival days, commonly called Holy-days...’

    George the III’s Queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, introduced the Christmas tree to his court in the 1760s but we had to wait for Prince Albert to marry Queen Victoria and make it a universal custom in this country.

    Twelfth Night was as important as Christmas Day, and certainly a lot more rowdy, right up into Victorian times when Christmas began to take on many of its modern aspects. The rich and massive Twelfth Night Cake would contain a bean, a pea and a clove and whoever got them became King, Queen and Knave respectively for the rest of the day.

    Luckily for me, while crackers, Christmas trees, cards, tinsel, Father Christmas as we know him and many of the carols we know and love post-date the period of my book, kissing bows made mainly of holly and hung with a large bunch of mistletoe do seem to have been part of a Regency Christmas, which made it perfectly possible for an Earl to kiss a very particular governess under the mistletoe.

    As for the Seabornes, part two is out in May 2013 as The Scarred Earl and part three is written and edited, but I’ll tell you more about both of them another time.

    For now I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and if you should happen to be marooned in a snowstorm Candlelit Christmas Kisses contains two books, the first by wonderful Anne Herries, so we might be able to keep you reading until the snowploughs come and let the modern world back in!




Taking you back in time for regency romance and historic heat...


Elizabeth Beacon - The Winterley Scandal

As the daughter of wild Pamela Winterley, Eve has always lived in the shadow of scandal. Society watches her every move, waiting for Eve to prove she is just as wayard as her mother... Ever since his father's scandalous affair, Colm Hancourt has lived life on his own terms. But then he comes face-to-face with Eve, the daughter of his father's mistress! It may have begun with a kiss that set tounges wagging, but could the latest Winterley scandal be the start of something special?



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