Friday, December 14, 2007

A Christmas Wedding Wager

A Christmas Wedding Wager is set during the Christmas season in 1846 in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Lovely Miss Emma Harrison has long turned her back on the frivolities of the Marriage Mart and dedicated herself to helping her father. But this Christmas everything changes – the unforgettable Jack Stanton is back! No longer the charity boy determined to make good, he has become one of the richest men in England. Driven to succeed and used to getting anything he wants, Jack makes it clear that he wants Emma.

And as the Yuletide festivities throw Emma into his company, she can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice seven years ago...

Because I love Christmas, it was such fun to write a Christmas book. I wanted to make sure that readers could understand what Christmas was like in the North East of England in the 1840s. Many of the places I mention in the story -- the Assembly Rooms,the Theatre Royal and the Town Moor all still exist. It was so interesting to find out about goose feasts and how Christmas carols were sung.

I was so absolutely thrilled that they chose to use a sleigh on the front cover. There is a key scene in the book which features a sleigh. The inspiration for that scene came from a green dragon sleigh that resides in Wallington hall, a country house in Northumberland where I did some of my research. After seeing it and making sure it was from the right time period I was determined to have a sleigh feature as I love the whole idea of sleighs and ice skating at Christmas time.

I am offering a copy of A Christmas Wedding Wager to a reader of this blog. Cheryl has generously agreed to pluck one winner out of the comments section. So here is a question for you: what traditional activity do you associate with Christmas?



  1. We always attend the candlelight Christmas eve service at church. I also go caroling to the nursing homes with a group from our church.

  2. I miss caroling. We haven't done that in years.

  3. I'm not sure if it's traditional or not, but I love driving around and looking at lights! We went last weekend with our two little ones and it was so much fun to see the different light displays. We all talked about the lights and which displays we liked best. I think this will be one of our ongoing traditions.

  4. Me, too, Julie! Did you go up to the edition west at 132nd and Seward? They do limo tours around that neighborhood. The houses are incredible. I saw a limo coming out of there as we left Barb's last night.

  5. Ooohh, we haven't gone through taht neighborhood yet! We're going to go again tomorrow night (it's so much quieter on Sunday nights) so we'll definitely go there.

  6. I also love driving around and looking at the lights and I enjoy watching my grandchildren when they visit Santa!

  7. We alsways sang Christmas carols around the tree at my grandfather's. Numerous relatives, all singing, some a little offkey, but all with loads of gusto, gathered around the tree with only the glow of the lights on the tree would wait for the arrival of whoever was playing Santa that year. The one I remember most was the year my giggly Aunt Elsie played Santa.

  8. Driving aroun looking at lights is fun. But on Christmas Eve we all gather at my parents house and have wassail and appetizers and open gifts.
    We used to sing xmas songs and my uncle would play the piano but since he passed away we seem to pass on it.

  9. Hey, Julie and Cheryl, you should go to Nashville(NE.) It is on the way to Ft. Calhoun on 56th street. The house is on the east side of the road. You have to watch or you'll miss it, but if you do, you'll see it from the road. They have lights on their house, barn and it their yard. They have a lights train with the wheels going around, santa on the roof with reindeers and alot more. It's a whole block long.

  10. If I'm not too late, one of our many traditions growing up was oyster stew on Christmas Eve and baby Jesus birthday cake (special coffee cake) BEFORE stockings and presents on Xmas day.
    Now its Christmas Eve candlelight service-the one time husband insists we go as a family instead of separate services; younger son even bribed older one with cigarettes to get him to go 3 yrs ago. We open presents on Xmas Eve since the "boys" are 20 & 25; no grandkids or little ones.

    I love lights too but don't like night driving so a limo sounds GREAT!

  11. I love that cover! Very romantic and the story sound so good. I would love to go to England and see all those places you mention. Not sure that's something in my future, but at least I can read about it.

    My husband and I always take one day during the holidays and drive around looking at all the lights and then have dinner somewhere. I love that.

  12. I am not sure when Cheryl is going to pull the name.
    But I am very pleased to see the comments.

    Candlelit services are great. Haydopn Old Chruch does not have electricity and they have a service up there every 6Jan. You have to wrap up warm, but it is beautiful. The church dates from around 1100, but because of the yews, and the footpaths, it has probably been a place of worship for much longer.

    I also adore caroling.

    There are more lights here in the UK than there used to be when I first moved over here. But realy nothing beats the displays in the US.When I have visited my family in the US for Christmas, I have been in such awe of the different lights and range of the displays.

    Anyway, I think until Cheryl announces the anme, the competition remains open.

  13. Great cover, Christmas isn't like that any more!
    On Christmas Eve our family with my parents and in-laws will be at our house for dinner and Christmas gifts.
    I'd love to drive around and look at lights but we don't have so many here in northern Europe. I've seen pictures of your homes and I envy you!!

  14. I seen the book when I ordered some the other day and wasn't sure, now I wished it would have ordered it.
    We go and look at the lights that is a lot of fun with my nieces and the little guy. (Jason) We usually go to my mother in laws early on Christmas Eve and then a little later we go to my Mom's for my Dad's chili I will be the one making the chili this year since he will not be with us. First one without him I think it is going to very hard to get through this one. I hope my chili turns out good because I would not want to disappoint him. I have to keep the tradition going.
    I wish you all a Happy Holiday and mostly enjoy your families because life is way to short. I enjoy all the new friends I have found on here, you guys are the ones that give me hope.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!

  15. At Christmas our family comes together and we eat together and talk (a lot). It's one of those few days that we're all together. So I realy cherish that.

  16. Mickey, I bet your chili will be awesome! This will be my first Christmas without my mom, so I know how you feel. It's bittersweet, isn't it? Enjoy your chili and your family on Christmas Eve!

  17. Julie thank you for your kind words I hope you are able to enjoy your Holiday with your family. I know there will be a lot of people out there that will doing the same thing as us that will help. Thanks to all you wonderful people

  18. What a beautiful cover! That's one of my favorite time periods.

    I have never gone caroling and everyone who knows me is grateful for that. I do like to drive around and see the Christmas lights. There's a lovely house off about 68th and Grover and the kids won't let me drive down Grover without stopping to take a look. I would love to see the houses on Seward. I'm putting that on the 'to do' list.

    Holidays can be so difficult after a death in the family. I'm so glad to hear Mickey is keeping up her 'chili' family tradition for her father.

    I'll be thinking about you Julie :)

  19. This is a great blog...I am planning a christmas wedding 2008 and I love all the ideas.