Thanks so much for inviting me to appear on your blog, Lee. I’m very happy to be here, especially during the holiday season. It’s my favorite time of year and like many of our readers I had a very, merry Christmas with my family. Perhaps a little too merry, if you get my drift!
In my holiday-themed historical romance, His Mistletoe Bride, there’s a lot of merrymaking going on, too. Much of the book’s action takes place during the Christmas Season, which runs from Christmas Eve through to Twelfth Night on January 6. Back in the day, the final party on Twelfth Night was usually a real wing-ding, roughly comparable to the kind of blow-out we now celebrate on New Year’s Eve. If there was one thing they knew how to do in the Regency period it was party!
One of my favorite scenes in His Mistletoe Bride happens at a family get-together, when the wassail bowl first makes its appearance. Wassail, a very boozy and sometimes alarming beverage depending on the ingredients, was the high point of many a Christmas party, and family recipes were often closely guarded secrets. And I suspect that over-consumption of wassail probably led to more than one family feud!
What were the ingredients that made wassail such a potent beverage? Well, the base was usually mulled apple cider with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, sometimes topped with slices of toast. Apples and oranges could be added to the mix too. In earlier times, the base often consisted of either mulled beer or mead, and any wassail recipe could be topped off with brandy or sherry. Do we really need to wonder why folks had such a great time at Regency Christmas parties?!
What about you, readers? What’s your favorite beverage during the holidays? And do you sometimes have relatives who celebrate just a little bit too much? One person who comments will win a copy of my previous book, My Favorite Countess.
HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…
Vanessa Kelly was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Vanessa also writes contemporary romance with her husband under the name of V.K. Sykes. You can find her on the web at www.vanessakellyauthor.com or at www.vksykes.com.
***Vanessa's winner is Beautiful Disaster! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address!***