This and That and a Giveaway

This and That and a Giveaway

I have debated over the last couple of weeks the nature of this post. Christmas? Something else? A mix? I finally decided we have had enough Christmas (at least, I have, for my decorations are up, presents wrapped, and the anticipation is waning). Something else was not possible as my brain is filled with two novels I am writing simultaneously, which is common for me—that is until one takes dominance over the other. Therefore, I ultimately decided on a mix of the two. 

Did any of you make the Christmas pudding on Stir-Up-Sunday? I did, only this time I cut back on the size of the pudding. With my recent diagnosis of diabetes, too many fruits and too much sugar is not a good idea. However, the occasional bite or two (as long as I am disciplined, which I tend to be by nature) keeps away the cravings, while maintaining my traditions for the holiday. For those of you who know little about Stir-Up-Sunday, it is the last Sunday before Advent begins. This year, it was November 23. GoodtoKnow explains, “The dish known today as ‘Christmas pudding’ began its life as a Christmas porridge called Frumenty, made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. Like so many British dishes, it has evolved over the centuries from a simple peasant’s meal to a treasured celebration dish and has been adapted to become a sweet pudding rather than a rich meaty meal. 

“When making the cake it is traditional for every member of the family, especially children, to give the mixture a stir, and make a wish while doing so. You are also supposed to stir the mixture from East to West to honour the journey made by the Wise Men. Christmas pudding is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to symbolise Jesus and the 12 Apostles. The ingredients are: sultanas, raisins, demerara sugar, currants, glacé cherries, stout, breadcrumbs, sherry, suet, almonds, orange and lemon peel, cognac and mixed spices. It is still common for people to include small silver coins (traditionally a sixpence) in the pudding mixture. Whoever gets the serving with the coin in the middle gets to keep it and it is believed to bring them wealth in the coming year. This same practice is done with a tiny wishbone (to bring good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), or an anchor (to symbolise safe harbour). But if you are putting any coins or trinkets into your pudding, make sure they are sterilised and and definitely ensure that those eating are aware there may be something in their pudding. You can wrap them in small pieces of tin foil to make them more visible.” Read more at https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/food/stir-up-sunday-80612#cqpo114RvZWVdlRr.99

(I do not have an image of this year’s Christmas pudding, but I have included one from the internet for those who still require a visual image.)

I have also scaled back my tradition of preparing small mincemeat pies for the Twelve Days of Christmas. “Mince Pies, like Christmas Puddings, were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix as they are today. They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Sometimes they even had a ‘pastry baby Jesus’ on the top! During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made is different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); they fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw! They also looked like the ‘knot gardens’ that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best, and most expensive, pastry cooks. A custom from the Middle Ages says that if you eat a mince pie on every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (evening of the 5th January) you will have happiness for the next 12 months! On Christmas Eve, children in the UK often leave out mince pies with brandy or some similar drink for Father Christmas, and a carrot for the reindeer.” (The History of Mince Pies) This year, I have purchased 6 of the small pies, and I will eat half each of the twelve days. That way I keep my traditions and not destroy my health. LOL!

Now, to the real “meat” of this post. Five of my Christmas stories are now available for only $0.99 cents. 

 

 

Mr. Darcy’s Present: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary 

The Greatest Present He Would Ever Receive is the Gift of Her Love…

What if Mr. Darcy purchased a gift for Elizabeth Bennet to acknowledge the festive days, even though he knows he will never present it to her? What if the gift is posted to the lady by his servants and without his knowledge? What if the enclosed card was meant for another and is more suggestive than a gentleman should share with an unmarried lady? Join Darcy and Elizabeth, for a holiday romp, loaded with delightful twists and turns no one expects, but one in which our favorite couple take a very different path in thwarting George Wickham and Lydia Bennet’s elopement. Can a simple book of poetry be Darcy’s means to win Elizabeth’s love? When we care more for another than ourselves, the seeds of love have an opportunity to blossom. 

Or Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. 

 

 

 

Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel 

THE DARCYS AND THE BENNETS CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY: A PRIDE & PREJUDICE HOLIDAY SEQUEL

Darcy has invited the Bennets and the Bingleys to spend the Christmastide’s festive days at Pemberley. But as he and Elizabeth journey to their estate to join the gathered families, a blizzard blankets the English countryside. The Darcys find themselves stranded at a small inn while Pemberley is inundated with refugees seeking shelter from the storm.

Without her brother’s strong presence, Georgiana Darcy tries desperately to manage the chaos surrounding the arrival of six invited guests and eleven unscheduled visitors. But bitter feuds, old jealousies and intimate secrets quickly rise to the surface. Has Lady Catherine returned to Pemberley for forgiveness or revenge? Will the manipulative Caroline Bingley find a soul mate? Shall Kitty Bennet and Georgiana know happiness?

Written in Regency style and including Austen’s romantic entanglements and sardonic humor, Christmas at Pemberley places Jane Austen’s most beloved characters in an exciting yuletide story that speaks to the love, the family spirit and the generosity that remain as the heart of Christmas.

 

 

(NOTE! The sequel to this story, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, will re-release next month—mid January, for I finally have my rights back from Ulysses Press for all of my original Austen-inspired stories. Take the time to read this one for the first time over the holidays, or reread it if you already own Christmas at Pemberley, and be prepared for The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy after the first of the year.) 

 

A Regency Christmas Proposal: A Regency Christmas Anthology 

A Fabulous Regency Christmas anthology from Best-selling Authors. ~ Six full length novellas to keep you reading all through Christmas, each featuring a happily ever after centered around Christmas.

The Last Woman Standing by Regina Jeffers  ~ A Gypsy blessing for choosing a wife bound to rare flowers, a Marquess loath to comply with it, a companion with horticulture in her blood, lies, deception and manipulation, a blessing fulfilled in unexpected ways, an enduring love.

Twelfth Night Promise by Alanna Lucas ~ A Lord with a steadfast love, the Lady who broke his heart, six long years ago, now forced to a marriage against her will, a snowbound Christmas which brings them together again, deception unravelling as love proves stronger than lies, a second chance claimed.

A Bluestocking for a Baron by Arietta Richmond ~ A Bluestocking with unfashionable interests, a Baron with a deep investment in trade, an unscrupulous business rival, kidnapping, blackmail and rescue, love found in the face of danger.

The Earl and the Bluestocking by Janis Susan May ~ An Earl who needs a wife – but dislikes all of the women he meets, a young lady who staunchly denies any interest in fashion and frivolity, a Christmas Eve Ball, and a chance to be different – just once, a mysterious beauty who disappears, a slender clue to a lifetime love.

His Yuletide Kiss by Summer Hanford ~ A gentleman, the woman he believes he is fated to marry, her cousin, a family feud, an approval denied, secrets lies and deception, dark character revealed and true love redeemed.

Wooing the Wallflower by Emma Kaye ~ A Viscount’s daughter, a man of business, a conflict of class, a secret of art, an unsuitable affection, the threat of a marriage, a love worth fighting for.

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Lady Joy and the Earl: A Regency Christmas Romance

They have loved each other since childhood, but life has not been kind to either of them. James Highcliffe’s arranged marriage had been everything but loving, and Lady Joy’s late husband believed a woman’s spirit was meant to be broken. Therefore, convincing Lady Jocelyn Lathrop to abandon her freedom and consider marriage to him after twenty plus years apart may be more than the Earl of Hough can manage. Only the spirit of Christmas can bring these two together when secrets mean to keep them apart.

Kindle                  (Available to read on Kindle Unlimited)

 

 

 

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Letters from Home: A Regency Christmas Romance 

She is the woman whose letters to another man kept Simon alive during the war. He is the English officer her late husband claimed to be incomparable. In her, his heart whispers of finally being “home.” In him, she discovers a man who truly stirs her soul. Unfortunately for both, the lady fears no longer being invisible to the world and assuming a place at his side. Can Major Lord Simon Lanford claim Mrs. Faith Lamont as his wife or will his rise to the earldom and his family’s expectations keep them apart?
“This was both a heart-breaking and heart-warming second chance love story, made all the more satisfying by the Christmas setting.” – Calico Hearts Review

Kindle      (Available to read on Kindle Unlimited)

 

 

 

REMINDER: My annual Twelve Days of Christmas sale begins December 26 and runs through January 5. Prices are slashed on EIGHTEEN of my Austen titles and SEVENTEEN of my Regencies + a few contemporary tales. SAVE A FEW PENNIES TO FILL UP YOUR NEW eREADER!!!! 

Now, for the GIVEAWAY. I have one eBook copy of each of the three Christmas tales available for those who comment below. PLUS, I am tossing in an eBook copy of In Want of a Wife, Darcy’s Passions, Mr. Darcy’s Brides, and A Regency Summer Escape for good measure. That is SEVEN eBooks available, one each, for 7 lucky winners. Tell me your favorite Christmas traditions or just speak of the holidays and family. I would love to hear your tales. The giveaway ends at midnight EST on Friday, December 6. I will announce the winners on December 9. Good Luck!

40 Responses to This and That and a Giveaway

  1. Right now, I just keep singing “we need a little Christmas” from Auntie Mame to myself, daily, as I try to find the time, energy, and opportunity to get anything accomplished for the holidays! I finally put up the stockings tonight for a delayed St. Nick’s for the kids. It’s amazing how our holiday prep changes. I used to decorate every inch of everything the minute I considered it socially acceptable ?
    I still would if I could! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  2. I don’t celebrate Christmas on a big scale since there are only my parents and I. I try to attend Christmas Eve midnight mass (which usually starts at 11pm) and stay on for the fellowship afterwards. Occasionally my uncle would invite my family for a Christmas meal on the eve or the day itself. And my church friends would organise a party on the weekend after Christmas which I am lucky to be invited.

  3. My youngest son was born on Dec 19. He was a big baby (9+ lbs), and as such was chosen to be the poster-baby of the nursery that season. May be one of the only Jewish 2-day old babies photographed inside a red Santa stocking! Love that photo!

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Now I just have to figure ut which of your amazing books I already have in order to go 99-cent shopping for others! LOL.

    • December 19 was to be my son’s birthday, Amy. However, he came 6 weeks early and weighed 4 lbs. 8 ozs. Your son would be twice his size. I lovingly referred to him as “spaghetti legs.” LOL!

  4. Holiday Greetings to all of dear JA’s fans on AA and Regina for always being so generous with her time and talents. Our Christmas is very traditional but enjoy spending time together.

  5. Thank you for sharing this and for all the Book sales, I just bought a copy of Mr. Darcy’s Present: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Vagary.

    • I also want to thank you for the giveaway at the end. You have so many wonderful sounding books and so many are on my TBR List.

      • I love a good tale, Chelsea. At the moment, I am writing “I Shot the Sheriff,” a Tragic Characters in Classic Lit tale in which I present the Sheriff of Nottingham his own HEA. We will have other such “tragic characters” in the series including ones that are JAFF related, for example, Summer Hanford and Renata McMann are taking on Mr. Wickham, Renée Reynolds is dealing with Fanny Price and Henry Crawford, Audrey Harrison has Colonel Fitzwilliam, Ann Anderson Martines has Charlotte Lucas, and Jacqueline Goldstein has Lydia Bennet. There are other tragic figures in the series, including Lancelot, Milady and Athos from The Three Musketeers, Catherine and Heathcliff, Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxane, Frankenstein, etc. The series will release at the end of 2020.

  6. I too have the listed titles but thank you for the giveaway chances.
    We celebrate a traditional American Thanksgiving and Christmas with turkey/ham & fixings then prime rib roast, etc. for Christmas with all the family and friends that can gather together – giving thanks for the good of the past year.
    With our Japanese heritage, New Year’s Day is big – we try to maintain traditions handed down to us from our grandparents/parents and pass them to the next generation. Food plays a big part of the day – preparing or sourcing as many dishes we can for family and friends who gather with us. There isn’t one dish that stands out like your plum pudding or mince meat pie. There’s teriyaki chicken, tonkatsu pork, sushi, namasu (cucumber salad), and seafood (lots of it!) – sashimi, eel, octopus, clams, shrimp – much more food, no one goes away hungry!
    Well maybe, making mochi, Japanese sweet rice cakes on New Year’s Day would be akin to to Stir-Up-Sunday and plum pudding but no flames! Gathering together to form the cakes but not the way our grandparents/parents did – pounding steamed sweet rice with oversized mallets (visualize pounding railroad spikes) but with a machine that cooks/steams & pounds the rice for us (way easier & safer). We anticipate this activity each year making and eating them with beloved family and good friends.
    Sorry for the long post but once I got started …
    Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and even more wonderful New Year!

  7. I have all the books, so don’t put me in the giveaway. My favorite Christmas tradition is my extended family gathering each year for a party. We do a grab bag that is so much fun. The is nothing low key about this event lol. No one wants to miss it!

  8. Our Christmas tradition is secret Santa. We have to write nice things about each other weekly and on Christmas Day we give the gift.
    Want to try Christmas pudding, now I’ll really have to find a recipe.

    • I like the idea of a note for the person each day with a compliment added. Such a kind gesture…
      As to the Christmas pudding, it is hard to fix at home because it must be boiled and stored properly. It might be better to purchase one along with a jar of brandy butter. It is not too expensive to do that.

  9. I can’t believe I’ve never had Christmas pudding or mincemeat. Definitely will need to try someday. My favorite tradition is getting to choose one small present to open on Christmas Eve.

  10. My mother gave my children a tree ornament every year with their name and the year. Each year that they put them on the tree they would comment on it. It brought back so many memories. They now have them in their own homes to decorate their tree, and I am continuing the tradition with may own grandchildren. I hope that they, too, will think of me. Also, Advent calendars every year to children and grandchildren as there is a child in all of us.

  11. After all of the proofreading I’ve done for you, I can’t believe I am missing a few of these!

    My family is scattered so we don’t do much for Christmas anymore. There are still a few traditions I like tho’, such as getting a bag of nuts, some hard candy, and an apple like the bags my grandparents used to mail to us. Even if I don’t get around to getting it, I do think about them.

  12. We generally celebrate the American Christmas with presents and a nice dinner. I only have two grandsons and my son who will come in from the state of Washington for several weeks. One of my grandsons lives near me while the other lives in Indianapolis. I am trying to keep the traditions of my grandparents. Since we are of the Orthodox faith, we celebrate according to the Julian calendar and have a strict fast on January 6th of tradition Slovak food and then go to evening services. the next morning we go to church for our Christmas Liturgy. After that a Christmas dinner that consists of thing we fasted from during Advent.
    I bake tradition American goods and even a fruitcake eliminating all the things I hate! We base Christmas as a religious Holy Day of the birth of our Savior. No frills and we greet each other with this greeting, “Christ Is Born” and the response is “Glorify Him.” It is a rather sad one for us since we recently lost my youngest daughter, Michelle, the mother of my grandsons. So I am trying to make this a great Christmas for both of them!

  13. My Christmas traditions have changed over the years as my three children have grown, have families of their own, and two of them live in another state. I will have a traditional Christmas dinner in my home for my daughter and those grandchildren and great-grandchildren who can make it. Due to health issues, the traditions have been toned down to what I can reasonably handle. However, Christmas should not be about acquiring things, but the reason for the season–the birth of our Savior.

    • I understand about health issues. Thanksgiving for me consisted of a bit of turkey, salad (which I prepared) and some Brussels sprouts. I am a diabetic and too many carbs can have my sensor “exploding.” LOL! Nevertheless, I had a great time with the grandkids and was thankful to share another meal with my family and our Lord.

  14. My favorite tradition is holiday baking with my mom, best friend and my children. Love, laughter and frosting make up a fun day, tasty treats and happy memories!

  15. Thank you Ms Jeffers for sharing this.We usually cook traditional food during Christmas. This year I was thinking of changing and you just gave me an idea what to do ( I would like to eat what they might have eaten those times)
    We also had made our tradition to not open any letter nor gifts until 12am on Christmas day or after. Then we eat a feast with friends and families.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

    • Like many, when I was a young, we opened one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning. The thing was we could not choose which gift. Our parents chose them for us, which was usually socks or something else children do not care a twig about when it comes to Christmas. LOL! I have been putting more information and pics up on Ancestry over Thanksgiving. I am trying to preserve some of the family history for my grandkids and maybe their kids eventually.

  16. One of my favorite yuletide traditions is decorating the tree as a family. My mama is a December baby so we always put the tree up on her birthday. We wear santa hats, play Christmas music, and put up ornaments collected over the years – each with its own sentimental meaning and cherished memories.

    Thank you for the chance to win one of your lovely novels. 🙂

    • My youngest granddaughter is a Christmas baby, born some two weeks early on the 21st. Ironically, her father was to be a Christmas baby, but arrived six weeks early in November.

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