Christmas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Hanukkah, whatever you call this special time, it is magical. Wonder is in the air and everyone feels it. Miracles can and do happen, excitement abounds, and smiles come easier than ever before. Goodness is everywhere, softening hearts, spreading gladness, and bringing love. This is why classics like A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street, remain so beloved.
These holiday films speak to the soul, reminding us why we celebrate. Itâ€™s not about how many gifts are beneath a lavishly-decorated tree, or how extravagant those presents might be. It has little to do with stockings and chimneys, candy canes, or mistletoe. What matters is how we feel.
Even the hardest hearts are touched, the most jaded souls moved by the season, especially recollections of holidays past. My most precious holiday memories are the simple joys of my childhood Christmases. Little pleasures like turning back the flap on a glittery Advent calendar, my dad driving us around to see the lights, stringing popcorn, and staying up late on Dec. 24th to open one gift from under the tree while watching Santa and his reindeer appear on the TV weathermanâ€™s radar screen. Really exciting was setting out cookies and milk for Santa before going to bed. On Christmas morning, the plate of crumbs and empty glass proved his existence.
Holiday traditions still abound at my home and many are food-related. As loved ones do not stay with us forever and this is such a special time to â€˜bring them near,â€™ a favorite tradition is making their signature recipes: my grandmotherâ€™s molasses cookies, my motherâ€™s turkey stuffing, and my German mother-in-lawâ€™s â€˜Berliner Brot,â€™ which is a bit like gingerbread. As soon as the familiar scents fill my kitchen, I am not alone. These ladies are with me again, filling my world with warmth and love.
Itâ€™s all about love, really. Thatâ€™s the true spirit of the season, and it touches us all.
However you celebrate, hereâ€™s wishing everyone a holiday full of joy, light, and many blessings!
Romance authors always fall in love with their heroes. After all, if we donâ€™t love them, how can readers? But some heroes capture our hearts more than others. They are extra-special and they stay with us long after we write â€˜the end.â€™
Bran of Barra in my Allie Mackay release, SOME LIKE IT KILTED, was such a hero. So I was thrilled to recently re-release his story. Preparing the book for its re-release gave me the opportunity to make a few tweaks and to add some fresh content. The story is now wholly my own, stands as I always envisioned it, and I believe this new edition is even better than the original.
Mindy Menlove lives in a castle that was transported stone by stone from Scotland to Pennsylvania. When her fiancÃ© dies in scandal and Mindy decides to sell the gloomy estate, her plans soon unravel. Sheâ€™s bound for the Hebrides, a place sheâ€™d hoped to avoid. And rather than escaping the past, sheâ€™d confronted by the castleâ€™s original builder, who happens to be maddeningly irresistible and seven hundred years young.
Bran of Barra was a legendary Highland chieftain. Since his demise he has enjoyed his ghostly pleasures â€“ until a feisty female from across the Atlantic claims that sheâ€™s demolished and now intends to restore his ancestral home. Itâ€™s a task she hasnâ€™t accepted willingly, and if the roguish Bran doesnâ€™t change Mindyâ€™s mind about his bonnie homeland â€“ and him â€“ neither of them will ever find any peace. But unexpected passion can be the most powerfulâ€¦
He stood across the room, one corner of his mouth lifting slightly as he turned to look at her. Still in his modern outfit of worn cords and an Aran sweater, he was the personification of everything irresistible to women who loved rugged, manly men.
And as always, his blue gaze scorched her. When he started forward, his long strides bringing him straight toward her, she felt the heat rush to her cheeks.
His appearance, just the sight of him, made the rest of the world go away. There was only him, the thundering of her heart, and her inability to focus on anything else.
He affected her that powerfully.
The slow burn in his eyes said he knew it.
â€œBran of Barra is one of the most compelling heroes Iâ€™ve read in some time. His innate sensuality sprang off the page. I wouldnâ€™t mind having him show up in my bedroom to carry me back in time to his castle.â€
~ Love Romances & More
I’m giving away a Kindle copy of Some Like it Kilted. Tell me about your holiday traditions for a chance to win.