Friday, December 09, 2016

Mistletoe magic — Kandy Shepherd

For a fairly innocuous looking plant—a parasite no less!—mistletoe seems to have been imbued with mystical qualities from way back to the ancient Druids. Variously believed to be an aphrodisiac, an aid to fertility and even a protection against poison and witchcraft, mistletoe is now firmly established as a fun Christmas tradition. Stand under a bunch of mistletoe hanging in a festively decorated house and expect to be kissed! 

The custom of kissing under the mistletoe is a gift to romance writers at this time of year. It makes a perfect excuse for that all-important first kiss!

Mistletoe is a theme for my two romances out now: Greek Tycoon’s MistletoeProposal from Harlequin Romance which is book two in the charming Maid Under the Mistletoe series. Then there’s more mistletoe in my indie published novella Millionaire Under the Mistletoe.

I love writing Christmas-themed stories and I really had fun with these two very different stories.

Greek Tycoon’s Mistletoe Proposal is set in snowy London with a feisty runaway bride heroine and a gorgeous Greek billionaire hero. Lukas coerces gatecrasher Ashleigh into pretending to be his girlfriend to help get a business deal across the line. But pretend feelings start to grow into real ones. Finally the mistletoe works its magic and their attraction ignites.

Then Lukas realised she was standing right under the mistletoe she had hung from the chandelier above them. He saw an invitation to a kiss in the gleam of her blue eyes, the slight parting of her lush lips. This couldn’t wait.
He dipped his head to claim her mouth. She responded immediately and wound her arms around his neck to bring him closer, to press her body close to his. She made a little murmur of pleasure deep in her throat. With an answering groan he deepened the kiss. He wanted to hear more: whimpers of need, sighs of pleasure, moans of ecstasy from this wonderful, perfect woman. His woman.

(Their next kiss is under falling snowflakes—just as romantic as the mistletoe!)

Millionaire Under the Mistletoe is set in Sydney, Australia where the feelings between reunited former lovers Carly and Dylan are every bit as steamy as the hot summer weather that comes with Christmas down under! Carly and Dylan broke each other’s hearts four years ago but when they unexpectedly meet (thanks to a cat called Morris) the old feelings are still there. Again the mistletoe brings them together.

Carly stood under the mistletoe and thrilled to the look in Dylan’s eyes—excitement, impatience, and something fierce that made it suddenly difficult to breathe. She didn’t dare try to read anything further into it. Except to know it went beyond mere friendship.
She swallowed hard against a sudden lump of emotion in her throat and managed to choke out a few words. “So what are the rules about kissing in the house?”
“Just the usual rule about mistletoe.” His voice was husky and deep and sent shivers of awareness down her spine.
“You mean that thing you have to do when you’re standing under it?”
“Yes,” he said, his gaze intent on her face.
“I…I don’t want to break that rule.”
“Me neither,” he said, as he dipped his head to kiss her.

Do you hang mistletoe at your house? Have you ever had a romantic, fun or embarrassing kiss under the mistletoe? I’d love to hear about it! Make a comment to be in the draw for a paperback copy of Greek Tycoon’s Mistletoe Proposal or one of two e-copies of Millionaire Under the Mistletoe. Be sure to include your email address with your comment if you want to be in the draw.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season! See you here next year.

Millionaire Under the Mistletoe is just $0.99 at e-book retailers. 

Kandy Shepherd is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends.

Visit Kandy at her website

Connect with Kandy on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest


penney said...

I always hang mistletoe upI'm trying to find it this year I'm not having any luck so far I'm wondering if people don't hang it up any more? I love having the fresh ones might have to go with plastic this year. I do love it I think it's fun.
Penney penneyw(AT)

Laney4 said...

I *AM* a romantic, yet I've never hung mistletoe. Never even thought of it, perhaps because we didn't have it at my parents' home (they definitely weren't romantic, at least in public). I am trying to recall any possible kisses under the mistletoe and I VAGUELY recall kissing an old boyfriend under it in my teens, but nothing romantic, fun or embarrassing can be recalled since it was 40 years ago, LOL!
I already have Greek Tycoon's Mistletoe Proposal waiting to be read by the new year (just too busy right now), as I really really really enjoy Kandy's stories. I tend to fall in love with her heroes, providing me with many sweet dreams.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to one and all!
seytype (at) hotmail (dot) com

Kandy Shepherd said...

Penney, it's not a huge custom in Australia where I live. When I was living in England we did it more often. These days when I see it, it's usually plastic in a cute ball with ribbons. I think it's fun too. I thought it was even more fun when I was young and single a very long time ago!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Laney, thanks so much for your kind words about my stories. There's nothing that gives an author more pleasure than knowing a reader enjoys her or his stories!
I hope you enjoy Greek Tycoon's Mistletoe Proposal when you get a chance to read it. It was one of my favourites to write!
Have a wonderful Christmas!

dstoutholcomb said...

I bought some fake mistletoe to hang this year. Mine is made from felt, but it doesn't look cheesy. I have a sprig of dried mistletoe I bought a long time ago, but it looks really sad. I also have a faux kissing ball, but it's made from a nice quality plastic greenery.

Merry Christmas!

denise (from the US)

dstoutholcomb said...

I found two articles, one five years old and one recent:

Mary Preston said...

I've never seen real mistletoe, just the plastic kind. It seems kind of wrong to hang the fake kind.


Kandy Shepherd said...

Denise, those articles are interesting. Thank you for sharing! i have to say, I haven't seen the real deal in anyone's home for quite some time, just the plastic type. In fact I put up a fake mistletoe ball this morning but it's vey pretty!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Mary, I don't think there's lot of the real stuff on sale in Australia, is there. I see it growing on trees sometimes but so high up I don't know how it could be easily harvested! We decorated the tree and house this morning and fake mistletoe just had to do!

Katrina Whittaker said...

Kandy do we have Mistletoe in Australia ?? lol I will have to google. Maybe if I can find some I will carry it around and find a magical kiss :D haha.

Loved your Christmas read :D

I have to say I am a sucker for a sweet romance at christmas its like a double bonus :D love and christmas in one .

Love your reads ;D

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thank you for those lovely words, Katrina! We do have mistletoe in Australia, it grows on eucalypts as a parasite and probably is nowhere nearly as romantic as the northern hemisphere version. I've never seen it on sale in Oz, only the plastic versions.

I love Christmas stories too, that's why I love writing them! I'm so glad you've enjoyed mine.

Good luck with finding that magical kiss!