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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Merry Xmas, everyone!!!!

No, I've  not gone completely bonkers.  At least I don't think so.  And  this is the only picture I could find to fit a Regency romance that I'm writing for a Christmas release and Christmas releases are decided by September. So when you factor in editing, re-editing, etc, now is the time to write  a Xmas story.  Tentatively titled Unrepentant Duke, the hero is a completely spoiled Marquis due to become a Duke. He rejects the girl his parents have engaged him to as a child, thinking he deserves far better. His arrogance extends to his deciding he might like to marry her, get his heir from her, and then leave her in the country while he goes back to his old life.

Naturally he'd overdue for a serious setback, and Amanda is just the one to see he gets it. He has her at his country estate and she's decorating for the Xmas season.  There are no Xmas trees yet, as they came over from Germany with Victoria and Albert. No decorations really, except for candles, red ribbons, greenery and mistletoe. Oh yes, and Yule log big enough to last twelve days. The size of the fireplace that would take such a log tells you a lot about how the aristocracy lived in that period.

So here's an excerpt:

She changed to dry boots and went back out, walking to the tree with the mistletoe. To her delight, two of the tallest footmen were already scaling the tree. 

A disgruntled voice sounded in her ear. “Damned if I wouldn’t like to do that. Pardon my language, Amanda, but I feel damned stuffy just watching. That must be great sport.”

Amanda swiveled to find Jared standing beside her, his face filled with boyish longing. He called her by her given name. Well, she’d asked for that when she’d called him Jared.

“Maybe I can spot another tree with mistletoe and you can have it all to yourself.”

He turned sparkling eyes to her. “And will you cheer me on?”

She grinned. “Well, at least I won’t shake the tree so you fall off.”

Jared hooted with laughter. “I’ll accept that as an act of mercy on your part. You’d probably prefer I fall on my head.”

“Nor really. There are other places that might hurt worse.”

He stopped laughing. He placed his hands lightly on her arms, but his eyes bored into hers.

 “Amanda, if you don’t stop being so adorable I swear I’ll kiss you again. And it won’t be like the last kiss.”

She gasped, turned, and almost ran back to the house. She could feel Jared’s eyes following her the whole way.

Her cheeks were flaming with embarrassment. She was a complete idiot. She should have slapped his arrogant face instead of nearly melting into a puddle at his feet. She detested this man, so what in heaven’s name was wrong with her?

If only she didn’t have to see him so much at this blasted party. Maybe she could pretend illness and stay in her room for the rest of the visit. No, she’d only worry her family. She’d just have to stay her distance from Jared for the rest of the visit. With only four days until Xmas there was plenty to do. That was it!  Christmas, and she would decorate this gloomy mansion from the attic to the cellars. They’d evidently never known a true Christmas at this sterile manor. She intended to change all that. If only for this year there would be decorations. And the wonderful scent of pine boughs. They would be bound in sheaves with plenty of red ribbon. The distinctive smells of Xmas had always enchanted her. She’d have to talk to cook to see if platters of gingerbread cake couldn’t be placed in strategic spots.  And mulled wine! She wanted that simmering in pots not only in the kitchen but in other provocative places.

And the mistletoe! It must be tied with a red ribbon into a small swag, and hung in strategic doorways. Surely they’d have enough to make three kissing boughs.  The Yule log!  She gasped at the thought she’d almost   forgotten that.

Oh, there was so much to do. She didn’t have to worry about Jared at all. She would be far too busy."

Would love any comments. Hard to think of Xmas when you're at the beach, but I'm definitely enjoying writing this one.  Or do write me at jswriter@earthlink.net. And you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, all the usual places.

 

16 comments:

Rose Gorham said...

Sounds like a fun story!

Rose Anderson said...

It does sound fun. Thanks for the tip on when to get your holiday stories ready. :)

Sandy said...

Great excerpt, Jean. I didn't know Christmas stories needed to be started so early.

Tina Donahue said...

I love regencies. Your excerpt is awesome, Jean - this should be a real winner for you. :)

Paris said...

Great excerpt, Jean! I always seem to read more Regencies during the winter months and this one sounds like fun. Thanks for the reminder about when we need to start having them ready:)

jean hart stewart said...

I'm having more fun writing this book than any for a while. Thanks for all your nice comments ladies. I'm a little early with this one, but not that much. Time does fly by...

jean hart stewart said...

I always do things early...have already got some presents in my Xmas drawer....A little crazy here.

Judy Baker said...

Love Christmas stories. Lots of luck.

Polly McCrillis said...

Hi Jean, I'm almost finished with a contemporary holiday short story for a holiday anthology. Love writing about Christmas in the off season! Your Regency sounds great. Merry Christmas early!

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Judy. You know where I'm at Polly. I can't believe it when I look out the window and see palm trees.

Cara Marsi said...

Love the excerpt and I love Christmas stories and Regencies. This one sounds like a winner. Best of luck.

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like a great story and yes, with the timing we need to get Christmas stories done now. :)

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Jean, Great story. How do you get in the mood to write Christmas material when it's summer? I asked my friends in New Zealand how they celebrated Christmas, and they said they have the same traditions from Europe as we do (decorations, etc.)but Christmas dinner is a picnic at the beach.

jean hart stewart said...

Cara, thanks, I surely hope it's a winner, Fun to write, anyway. Melissa, are you writing one too? I'm glad they didn't have trees then, that might have been difficult o describe when I'm looking out at palm trees!

jean hart stewart said...

Ann, never thought of Xmas dinner at the beach. I'm only a few miles from the ocean, but the sand blowing on the turkey doesn't entice me.!! Thanks for commenting...

vicki batman said...

I love Christmas stories. Although I've written one, I haven't tried to sell it--yet. Good luck!

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