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Friday, December 28, 2012

Vanessa Kelly - It's Party Time!



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 totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your full name and mailing address!***

38 comments:

Manoj Kumar said...

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Jo's Daughter said...

I have to take some medication & so drinks with a bit of booze are off limits for me. Even during the holidays, oh well. Instead I like to drink hot cinnamon tea & sometimes add foamed milk on the top with a sprinkling of extra cinnamon. This makes it look more festive.

Stefanie said...

I like to drink a glass of white wine, simple and tasty.

Jennifer Wedmore said...

I am simple, I like beer or rum and coke. My sisters mother in law, though drinks to extremes every holiday...Well every get together to be exact! She can be very inapprioate.

flip said...

My husband makes a great eggnog, all homemade. I add brandy to mine, he adds whiskey. For the most part, everyone keeps it under control.

Robin the Book Nerd said...

My favorite winter hot drink is half coffee half hot chocolate :) My family is not really drinkers so we don't have any relatives that celebrate to much but a few of my friends can really get in the spirit.

Dianne Nedelec said...

Punch (non-alcoholic) is our favourite holiday beverage

Shannon Bereza said...

My favorite holiday drink is my moms vodka strawberry slush. It is soooo good. As for drinking in excess, I have a few relatives that partake in that but it's harmless fun.
sbereza22@gmail(dot)com

gatormom163 said...

My favorite holiday drink is very chilled White Merlot by the firepit with the family and friends

Vanessa Kelly said...

That sounds quite good, actually!

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Vanessa Kelly said...

Yum! I'll have to try that, Robin!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Gatormom, I didn't know there was a White Merlot wine!

Kim Akers said...

Just give me a nice Riesling or a sparkling Moscato and I'm a happy girl!

catslady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catslady said...

Normally I drink Cabernet Savignon but for the holidays I enjoy Kalua and coffee or Bailey's and coffee (on Christmas morning especially) or Mimosas for brunch or for a cocktail a Black Russian. Everyone behaved this year but we have had our moments lol.

Janice Hougland said...

During these cold weather months I love to drink hot buttered brandy (same batter as hot buttered rum drink, but with smooth brandy instead of rum). The glow I feel lasts into sleep... hmmm!

Pat Cochran said...


Eggnog for me! Or a nice red wine! Or hot
chocolate with lots of marshmallows! Or a
well-blended sangria! Lots of nice beverages
available for the holidays!

Pat C.

erin said...

Congrats Vanessa on the newest release! Thanks for a fun post. These drinks sound sooo good, I'm definitely going to have to try :) I love hot apple cider the way that my grandpa used to make it.

HankLover said...

Well, I've never loved eggnog, lol, but Hot Chocolate is a nice way to warm up during the Winter. :-)

lovesgamble at gmail dot com

Rhonda Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chey said...

My favourite holiday drink is eggnog.

Rhonda Fisher said...

My favorite holiday drink is milk, got to love plain ol' 2%. :-)

Maureen said...

I just like to have a couple of glasses of wine on Christmas day.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Barbara E. said...

I don't do any drinking during the holidays unless it's a nice cup of hot cocoa, or maybe hot cider. Both of those will warm me up on a cold winter's night. :D

Eli Yanti said...

Chocolate hot drink, Always love chocolate :)

*yadkny* said...

I absolutely LOVE this time of the year and I think out of my family I am the most excited to celebrate! My holiday drink of choice is always good ole fashion hot chocolate... sometimes if I want to get a little crazy though I'll a touch of hazelnut syrup and plenty of whipped cream:)

yadkny@hotmail.com

Vanessa Kelly said...

Yum, Janice!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by, Erin! Your grandpa's drink sounds great!

Vanessa Kelly said...

yadkny, that sounds wonderful!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, ladies! Y'all are making me thirsty!

Linda said...

My fav drink is chocolate milk! I can drink it anytime. My family isn't into alcoholic drinks; fruit drinks or tea is more our taste.

June M. said...

My favorite drink tends to be hot chocolate, I can't drink much due to taking blood thinners so I tend stay away from alcohol.

Linda said...

Here in Sweden we like to drink Glögg (Mulled wine) and my favorite is flavoured with cognac. Our family has dwindled these last years, so now we have a quiet celebration and noone is too .. spirited =D
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy New Year!
//Linda

Mary Preston said...

I do enjoy a glass of white wine.

Ann S. said...

My daughters came up with a twist on a screwdriver. Iced cake vodka mixed with orange juice and a splash of club soda. Really yummy and refreshing it is a taste of summer on a cold day. No one drank too much, but a good time was had by all.

Beautiful Disaster said...

We enjoy Wassail too! I had never heard of the drink until my husband and I started dating. They have it every year for the holidays and drink it warm. They however don't put any alcohol in the drink so the grand kids enjoy it too and love adding stuff to it such as fruits and marshmallows. They get creative for sure :)
Enjoy your books so much.
Happy New Years,
Lori
lorih824(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cathy P said...

I prefer eggnog or a very sweet wine.

kscathy AT yahoo DOT com