Tag Archives: Christmas romance

Wassailing With Barbara Monajem and Her New Christmas Romance


A_Lady's_Lesson_in_Seduction_by__Barbara_Monajem_-_OCT_2012_undone_(2)Welcome my talented and scintillating friend, Barbara Monajem, here to share her new Christmas romance novella, A Lady’s Lesson in Seductionand an old holiday tradition and recipe. Leave a comment on this post for the chance to win a copy of Barbara’s book. If the blog refuses to let you leave one, email it to me at bctrissel@yahoo.com and I’ll plug it in.

Now back to Barbara.

Thanks Beth. When my editor asked me for a Christmas novella, I was overjoyed, because I love old-fashioned Christmas customs, and now I would get to write about them! Of course I thought about the usual trappings of Christmas — the Yule log, evergreens, holly and its glorious red berries, and mistletoe. Christmas cakes and plum puddings. Christmas songs.  Beverages, such as wassail and lamb’s wool… Oh, there are so many lovely customs, but in a novella, there’s just not enough time to play with them all. I stuffed in whatever I had room for and saved the rest for next time.

apples_and_hollyOne of my favorite customs is wassailing – you know, Here we go a-wassailing, among the leaves so green… It’s one of the ones I didn’t have room for, but that won’t stop me from discussing it here. The word wassail comes from an old English toast meaning “be in good health.” One kind of wassailing is going door to door singing wassail songs (some of which are well-known carols) and getting rewarded with a cup of wassail and maybe a few tasty treats. This is where the leaves of green come in — boughs of greenery over the doors and as decorations within the house. In traditional wassailing, the wassailers make a procession from room to room, banging pots and pans to cleanse the house of any evil left over from the past year. (***Makes perfect sense to me)

Another kind of wassailing is singing to apple trees on Twelfth Night to ensure a good harvest. Wassailers go from orchard to orchard to wish the trees well with songs and a toast. Even the trees get to sample the cider made from their apples, to encourage them to produce plenty of fruit in the coming year. Again, there’s lots of noise, with pots, pans, and (since we’re outdoors) guns, to drive evil spirits away from the trees.

wassailHere’s a very simple recipe for a wassail drink to warm your insides on a cold winter’s night. Quantities are approximate.

1 gallon apple cider (with or without alcohol – your choice) or apple juice, 1/2 gallon pineapple juice, Juice of four oranges, 2-4 cinnamon sticks, Honey to sweeten the brew if you have a very sweet tooth, 2 more oranges, prepared according to the directions below. More cinnamon sticks, to use as straws (kids love this)

Mix the first five ingredients in a large saucepan and warm slowly over low heat until good and hot (but not boiling). Cut the top, bottom, and most of the rind off the remaining oranges, ending up with a roughly hexagonal shape. Squeeze the oranges very gently over the pot to extract some of the juice, then slice them. Just before serving, float the slices in the wassail as decoration. My sloppy slices didn’t qualify as decorative in any sense of the word, but the wassail tasted lovely. If you don’t mind a little bitterness from the rind, you might try using thin slices of orange with the rind on. It’s much tidier and prettier that way.~

The blurb of my Christmas novella, A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction:

Excerpts From An American Rose ChristmasOnce a notorious rake, Camden Folk, Marquis of Warbury, is now consumed by desire for only one woman: beautiful young widow Frances Burdett. The Yuletide festivities at his country estate present the perfect opportunity for seduction…

After her brief, unsatisfying marriage, Frances swore never to become tied to another man. Then a passionate kiss under the mistletoe reawakens longings she thought buried forever. Can she give in to the pleasures of the body with a rogue like Cam—without losing her heart?

And an excerpt:

Frances should never have agreed to go to the orchard with the Marquis of Warbury—to gather mistletoe, of all things. She sent him a fierce, furious glare. “If you must have it, I don’t enjoy kissing.”

He eyed her from behind the apple tree. “Not at all?”

“No.” She pressed her lips together.

“Come now,” he teased. “Surely you’re exaggerating.”

Her voice was low, suffused with passion. “You can’t possibly judge how that—that invasion made me feel.”

“That bad, was it?” The marquis reached up and snipped with his shears. “You’re right, I can’t judge, but the general popularity of kissing tells me you were merely unlucky.” He came around the tree, a sprig of mistletoe in his hand.

What a fool she was; in spite of bitter experience, she wanted to kiss him, wanted kissing to be wonderful. How stupid! She was much better off—much safer—as she was.

hollyHe kissed the fingertips of his gloves and blew. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Frances huffed.

He picked a berry from the mistletoe and dropped it. “We’ll make it a very light kiss,” he said, coming closer. “Short and sweet.”

She didn’t trust him; she wanted yet didn’t want—

A flurry of snow tumbled from the branches above, distracting her. He swooped in, dropped a swift, cold kiss on her lips, and drew away—but not far. “Was that too unbearable?” Another mistletoe berry fell to the snow.

“No, of course not,” she said, “but—”

“Well, then.” He took her hand and pulled her behind the tree. “If you don’t want me to invade you—accidentally, needless to say—you’ll have to keep your mouth shut.”

“You mustn’t do this—”

“Of course I must. No talking.”

She gave up, shutting both her mouth and her eyes. It was her own fault for coming to the orchard this morning, but she’d enjoyed their time together in the middle of the night so very much. It was only a kiss.

Nothing happened. She opened her eyes again. He was contemplating her mouth from under his lashes. “You have lovely lips.”

Through her teeth, she said, “Get it over with.”

Excerpts From An American Rose Christmas“I’ve never kissed a martyr before.” His lips curled in a lazy smile, and then he pressed his mouth coolly to hers and withdrew again. “It requires a more careful approach than we disgustingly hasty men are used to.” He flicked another berry off the sprig.

She couldn’t help but watch his mouth. What was he going to do, and when?

“Close your eyes, and whatever happens, keep your lips together.”

This time his mouth lingered on hers a few seconds, then pressed light kisses from one corner of her lips to the other. Kiss. “One.” Kiss. “Two.” Kiss. “Three.”

Bite.~

***Ha! I love the sound of this story, Barbara, and enjoyed wassailing with you.

Christmas Bells***Buy links:

Harlequin ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

BooksaMillion

Lovely Review for Ghostly Christmas Romance Somewhere the Bells Ring at the Wordsmith Journal–Beth Trissel


“I really enjoyed this, because it was an eclectic mix between family angst, history and a century long haunting.  It may seem implausible to some, but Beth Trissel is very adept at weaving all of these elements into a tale that will tug on your heartstrings.  I was able to release a very satisfied sigh when I reached the end of the story, and found myself longing for the fulfillment of some of my own dreams!

This is a very good story, and one I am happy to recommend!”

~Reviewed by Kim Ford

For the complete review visit: The Wordsmith Journal

***Somewhere the Bells Ring is only .99 in Kindle for December!

New Historical Romance Release! A Warrior for Christmas–Beth Trissel


AWarriorforChristmas_7288_680One unique feature of this story is that Dimity Scott is deaf from scarlet fever and the setting is colonial America. Another unusual twist, former Shawnee captive and white warrior, Corwin Whitfield, would rather return to his adopted people and the frontier than inherit a costly estate. Until he meets Dimity. Then he’s in a quandary.

After wealthy Uncle Randolph reclaims Corwin following a treaty with the Indians that requires the return of white captives, he’s given a swift course in etiquette and hustled back into the fashionable world of colonial high society—a life that holds little appeal for Corwin. Expectations that he will learn to manage and ultimately inherit the family estate and undertake the care of his uncle’s ward, Dimity Scott, clash with his restless desire to return to the frontier. Any hope that he might take the unexpectedly desirable Dimity with him dissipate when he realizes the risk for her in a hard land where every sense must be tuned to danger. And Dimity won’t allow him to sacrifice his happiness for her. Nor can she abide pity, and he isn’t the only man who finds her worth winning.

Early American Sleigh RideIf you wonder how Dimity and Corwin communicate in an age before sign language and other advances for the deaf existed, so did I. But the results are surprising and not a little bit wonderful. And then there are the charming traditions of celebrating Christmas in colonial America. A Warrior for Christmas is a story I much enjoyed researching and writing. I hope you will enjoy it too.

Christmas decorationBlurb: Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. His one aim is to run back to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity––until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Resolved to be cherished for herself, not her guardian’s purse, Dimity resigns herself to spinsterhood. Then the rugged newcomer arrives, unlike any man she’s ever known.  But can she expect love and marriage from Corwin who longs to return to the wild with dangers a deaf woman dares not share?

christmas-hollyExcerpt: “There she is,” Uncle Randolph said with the hint of a smile in his normally reluctant features. “My ward, Miss Dimity Scott. The little Quaker as I call her.”

Corwin thought it highly doubtful this staunch Anglican had taken in an actual Quaker. Looking past assorted tables, gilt-covered chairs and a gold couch, he spotted the feminine figure seated before the glowing hearth. A padded armchair the color of ripe berries hid much of her slender form. His first impression was of fair curls, like corn silk, piled on her head beneath a circle of lace; his second, that the young woman bent over her embroidery seemed oblivious of all else. One this unaware would never survive in the frontier. He’d been taught to move with the silence of a winged owl while observing all around him.

Wreath on door in Williamsburg“Why does she not look up at our coming?”

“Ah, well, that’s a matter I’ve been meaning to discuss with you.” The hesitancy in his uncle’s tone was unlike this man who knew his own mind and was swift to instruct others.

He squinted at Corwin with his good eye; the other perpetually squinted from an injury he’d received in a duel. “I trust you’ll not hold it against the poor girl as a sign of weakness, my boy. Warriors sometimes do and you’ve kept company with those savages far too long.”

lovely young blond womanIt wasn’t like his uncle to ramble, and Corwin shifted impatiently upon hearing his adopted people disparaged again.

“What are you saying, Uncle?”

He rubbed his fingers over a chin grizzled with whiskers. “Dimity cannot hear us.”

“At all?”

“Not a sound, unfortunately. Though she is able to detect the vibrations of music. Odd, that.”

Like the beating of Indian drums.~

pipetomahawklg

A Warrior for Christmas historical romance novella is available in ebook formats from the Wild Rose Press, Kindle, Nookbook, All Romance eBooks, and other online booksellers.

Hauntingly Beautiful Christmas Romance–Beth Trissel


My ghostly Christmas romance novella, Somewhere the Bells Ring, is on sale for .99 in kindle and nookbook through the end of December, so get one for yourself and your friends and relations. Everybody needs at least two. Well, maybe not that many, but you get the idea.

The ghost is intriguing, the story a compelling mystery, not horror, and Somewhere the Bells Ring is a hauntingly beautiful romance, so a perfect read for most anybody.  But don’t take my word for it.

From Fallen Angel Reviews:
“Somewhere The Bells Ring is a haunting but strangely comforting read, focusing on timeless romance rather than spooky or scary scenes. The author is extremely talented at creating vivid scenes; her intricate descriptions leave the reader with vivid images and a strong sense of time and place. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an intriguing, gripping ghost story with a focus on romance rather than terror.” Reviewed by: Stephanie E
And, she gave it five angels. Thanks Stephanie

Ghostly American Christmas Romance–Beth Trissel


Fascinated by ghosts, who me?Well, a bit, I confess.  Thus the reason they appear here and there in various of my books.  A standout ghost stars in  my vintage American Christmas Romance Somewhere the Bells Ring.

The ghosts in my stories do not always take the same form, though. Some are sensed and seen only in the character’s mind.  Or in dreams.  One is a violent poltergeist.  Some are old loves…

In Somewhere the Bells Ring, the ghost seems perfectly real and when Bailey is with him, she’s transported back from 1968 to 1918 and the end of World War One in the same old house.

This is my favorite sort of ghost.  Some of the most intriguing stories I’ve ever come across involve ghosts who appear quite solid, not at all vaporous, and give the person seeing them a glimpse of the past as though through a window in time.  And who’s to say that isn’t what’s happening?  Maybe a ripple opens up and allows a glimpse of what once was and those who lived in that time and place?

Can they see us in turn?  Maybe so.  And can there be communion with these corporeal spirits from the past?  Possibly.  That’s the premise for this story.

“When I see ghosts they look perfectly real and solid — like a living human being. They are not misty; I can’t see through them; they don’t wear sheets or bloody mummy bandages. They don’t have their heads tucked under their arms. They just look like ordinary people, in living color, and sometimes it is hard to tell who is a ghost.” ~Chris Woodyard

“I have thought that I have seen ghosts on many occasions.” Taylor Caldwell

“With true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.”   ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“I fell in love with Ms. Trissel’s characters and look forward to the next delightful story ready with Kleenex box in hand. A must read for every romance fan.”~ Robin at Romancing the Book Reviews for Somewhere the Bells Ring

Somewhere the Bells Ring is a haunting story of timeless love, and of course, it’s true.

Blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?

*An old photograph of the Virginia family home place the house in Somewhere the Bells Ring is based on.

***Somewhere the Bells Ring is available in various eBook formats from The Wild Rose PressAmazon KindleAll Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook and other online booksellers.

Writing Across Genres–Beth Trissel


Many authors wisely choose a genre and stick with it. Most historical romance authors master a specific time period, such as Regency England, and set up camp. They learn the drill and can summon appropriate dress, manners, transport…without a second thought. Not me. Like a restless spirit, I wander about. I compare it to flitting through time,  or venturing through the rooms of a very large house or old castle and discovering a different era/theme behind each door. Like these spooky castle stairs, leading who knows where or to what, or WHO, much mystery is involved in the exploration, a great part of the allure. Writing would be far easier if I’d stay put, but not as much fun.

So I write both historical, with varying time periods and settings, and light paranormal romance, generally with a time travel or ghost in the fantasy meld. If I were to choose a favorite era it would probably be colonial America, but I also love others. Research into my early American ancestors and their interaction with Native Americans (some were taken captive) inspired my historicals set in the colonial frontier, Red Bird’s SongThrough the Fire and my upcoming November release, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and a spinoff of that theme in my upcoming December release, A Warrior for Christmas. Family involvement in the American Revolution led to my writing historical romance novel Enemy of the King.

The connection I feel to the past and those who’ve gone before me is the ongoing inspiration behind all my work. I’ve done a great deal of research into family genealogy and come from well-documented English/Scots-Irish folk with a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who sailed with William the Conqueror. One line goes back to Geoffrey Chaucer. And there’s a puritan line with involvement in the Salem Witch Trials—my apologies to Susannah Martin’s descendants—but that’s another story. With my historical romance Into the Lion’s Heart, I more deeply explored my British ancestry, and The French Revolution. I don’t think our family lost any heads back then but it’s a fascinating time period and figures heavily in the story.

In my historical/paranormal romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, I ventured into the shape shifting realm with a bearwalking Shawnee warrior. Depending upon whom you consult among the Shawnee, they may not consider this to be fantasy but an actual ability some of their people possess, or used to in ages past. The Bearwalker’s Daughter also has a magical moonstone necklace which I wish I could’ve kept, but the novel sucked in that prize and won’t let me have it back. Bummer.

Scottish time travel romance Somewhere My Lass was a departure for me in that I also wove sci-fi elements into the story. My paranormals require the same research I’d do for a historical because there are other time periods to explore, and then the added contemplation involved in otherworldly elements, so they are not easy, but enjoyable in a challenging way.

The concept behind my Somewhere series, is that the story opens in present day, so far my home state of Virginia, and then transports the reader Somewhere else. Either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in Somewhere My Love and Somewhere The Bells Ring, or another place altogether, as in Somewhere My Lass. The wonderful old homes I grew up in and visited over the years are an integral part of the inspiration behind this series. In Somewhere My Lass, I used a compilation of Victorian homes for the mysterious house in historic Staunton, Virginia where the story begins. How do they go back and forth in time, you ask? Why through the ‘door to nowhere,’ of course, a portal to the past. I was acquainted with just such a door as a child.

*Royalty free castle image

Merry Christmas and A Very Special Song


I love the Christmas music by Mannheim Steamroller and their Christmas Lullaby is so beautiful….the music takes me back to Christmas’s long ago and is part of the inspiration behind my recent holiday release Somewhere the Bells Ring.  This song, and the vivid dream I had years ago that took place in the old Virginia family home, nagged at me each Christmas until I finally wrote the story.

Super Review for Somewhere the Bells Ring!


For the full review please visit their site.
“Ms. Trissel captivates her reader from the moment you start reading the first page. She has written a compelling love story that spans some fifty plus years and keeps you entertained every step of the way with the story within a story…
I fell in love with Ms. Trissel’s characters and look forward to the next delightful story ready with Kleenex box in hand. A must read for every romance fan.”
~Reviewed by Robin

Sweet Saturday Snippet from Historical Romance A Warrior for Christmas


Chapter One,

December 1764,

An estate outside Philadelphia

Blinking against wind-driven sleet, Corwin Whitfield followed the stout man through the front door of the massive stone house, far larger than he’d imagined. A dozen cabins or Indian lodges put together could fit inside and still leave ample room.  With winter lashing at their heels, Uncle Randolph had pressed both man and beast hard to reach Whitfield Place before nightfall. Icy pellets hit the door as his uncle shut the solid wooden barrier.

Better than a skin flap, Corwin supposed. He was well accustomed to the wet and cold, but a fire would feel good. His gloved fingers were numb from riding over snowy roads all day, not to mention all the previous days. Puddles spread at his boots on the flagstone floor in the entryway.

“Welcome home, Mister Whitfield.”

By the light of the small glass lamp on the stand inside the door, he saw a woman in an apron, severe skirts and gray shawl. The cap engulfed her pinched face. Inclining her head and curtsying, she said, “How was your journey, sir?”

“Wretched, Mistress Stokes.” Uncle Randolph waved a gloved hand at Corwin. “My nephew.” He swiped a paw at her. “My housekeeper,” he added by way of introduction. “Fifth cousin of my late wife’s, or some such connection.”

“Indeed.” Mistress Stokes curtsied to Corwin. “Welcome to Whitfield Place.”

He considered the etiquette drilled into him by his uncle and offered a brief nod. A bow didn’t seem required.

Uncle Randolph scowled. “Foul weather.”

She seemed unperturbed by his gruff manner. “Yes sir.”

“Bound to worsen. See to it the fires are built up.” Unbuttoning his brown caped coat, Uncle Randolph flung it onto the high-backed bench along one wall. He peeled off his gloves, tossing them and his tricorn onto the sodden heap.

Corwin did the same with his newly acquired garments. He couldn’t fault his uncle’s generosity, but the man had the temperament of an old he-bear.

Uncle Randolph ran thickened fingers over gray hair pulled back at his neck and tied with a black ribbon. “Where’s Miss Dimity keeping herself? Is she well?” Corwin detected a trace of anxiety in his tone.

The dour woman gave a nod. “Quite well, sir. She’s in the drawing room just after having her tea.”

“Good,” his uncle grunted. “Tell cook we’ll have our supper in there. Stew, pastries, and ale will serve. Don’t neglect the Madeira.”

Another curtsy and the housekeeper turned away to pad down a hall partly lit by sconces wrought of iron. His uncle frowned after her. “She’s a good body and keeps this place tidy but tends to be lax on the fires. We mustn’t risk Dimity taking ill. Delicate girl. Cold as a tomb in here.”

Corwin found Whitfield Place equally as welcoming as a grave. The chill was pervasive. A furlined wican would be warmer. He followed his uncle across the frigid entryway and through a wide double door. His relation paused just inside the spacious room and Corwin halted beside him.

“There she is,” Uncle Randolph said with the hint of a smile in his normally reluctant features. “My ward, Miss Dimity Scott. The little Quaker as I call her.”

Corwin thought it highly doubtful this staunch Anglican had taken in an actual Quaker. Looking past assorted tables, gilt-covered chairs and a gold couch, he spotted the feminine figure seated before the glowing hearth. A padded armchair the color of ripe berries hid much of her slender form. His first impression was of fair curls, like corn silk, piled on her head beneath a circle of lace; his second, that the young woman bent over her embroidery seemed oblivious of all else.

One this unaware would never survive in the frontier. He’d been taught to move with the silence of a winged owl while observing all around him. “Why does she not look up at our coming?”

“Ah, well, that’s a matter I’ve been meaning to discuss with you.” The hesitancy in his uncle’s tone was unlike this man who knew his own mind and was swift to instruct others.

He squinted at Corwin with his good eye; the other perpetually squinted from an injury he’d received in a duel. “I trust you’ll not hold it against the poor girl as a sign of weakness, my boy. Warriors sometimes do and you’ve kept company with those savages far too long.”

It wasn’t like his uncle to ramble, and Corwin shifted impatiently upon hearing his adopted people disparaged again. “What are you saying, Uncle?”

He rubbed his fingers over a chin grizzled with whiskers. “Dimity cannot hear us.”

“At all?”

“Not a sound, unfortunately. Though she is able to detect the vibrations of music. Odd, that.”

Like the beating of Indian drums. “Has she always been without hearing?”

“No. A bad bout of scarlet fever nearly took her life and left her deaf. Pox claimed her mother and war her father, my good friend, Colonel Scott. Like a daughter she is to me now.” Uncle Randolph glanced at Corwin with a peculiar expression. “I’ve made generous provision for her, though my estate will pass to you after my death.”

“Shall you never remarry?”

“No. I have ample female companionship in town. I expect Dimity will remain here with us at Whitfield Place. It is my hope that you will share in her guardianship.”

Corwin concealed how little inclination he had in that regard. As far as he was concerned, Miss Dimity Scott could inherit the entire estate. She’d have fortune enough to hire servants and live comfortably after his uncle had passed on. As for Corwin, his needs were simple: a horse, some food, arms. Freedom.

This sole surviving relative had come to claim him as a result of that infamous peace treaty. After journeying from the Indian village to Fort Pitt, where all captives were to be accounted for, then on to Whitfield Place he was sick to death of the entire business. He’d accept his uncle’s hospitality for a while and then—

The big man beckoned to him. “Come meet Dimity. She’s expecting us.”

“How can she be?”

“I sent a courier with a letter advising her of our impending arrival. She can read, just not hear.”

Corwin walked across the carpet patterned with birds and flowers. His Shawnee mother would cherish the rich hues, but it would never fit in their wican. He spotted what must be a pianoforte in the corner and wondered if Dimity played the musical instrument.

Uncle Randolph paused behind her armchair, and still she took no notice of them. A panther could seize her by the throat or an enemy fall upon her before she knew. It was well she dwelt here in safety.

Not wishing to alarm her by his sudden appearance, Corwin stopped a few yards short of the chair. A second armchair, the twin of the one occupied by her, faced the crackling fire. That must be his uncle’s usual place. Though not a snug room, the heavy drapes helped keep out the wind and Dimity was wrapped in a creamy wool shawl. A sweet perfume Corwin could only think was violets wafted lightly from her in contrast to the aroma of wood smoke. He hadn’t expected this, or his uncle’s mild manner.

The usually undemonstrative man laid a gentle hand on her shoulder and she glanced around. Granted, she had an appealing face. Her smooth complexion was free from scars, her forehead, nose, and chin well proportioned, and her mouth a soft rose. But she wasn’t a beauty. Corwin was used to women with dark eyes and hair and vibrant spirits; this one seemed colorless by comparison, her gaze too pale.

Then she smiled.

Corwin wasn’t in any way prepared for the radiance charging her blue eyes, like sunlight dancing on lake water. Her entire being seemed shot through with light. He almost staggered back as if struck, but fought to hold his ground and conceal his volatile reaction. Dimity was good, he realized, with a sudden, acute awareness of his shortcomings.

Laying her sewing on a small table beside the chair, she sprang to her feet and threw her arms around what she could encompass of Uncle Randolph. Her blond head reached midway up his chest. “Mister Whitfield, you’ve come at last!”

Her accent was strange, but she’d spoken. How was this possible?

His uncle gathered her in a hearty embrace with a great deal more affection than he’d ever shown Corwin. “Dimity remembers speech from her hearing days,” he said over his shoulder. “And mind what you say. She can read lips.”

As a keen warrior read faces. That would aid her as long as she clearly saw the speaker. In the dark, she would be lost.

Now why had Corwin just envisioned himself alone with Dimity in the dark? The old bear would have his hide.~

A Warrior for Christmas is the first story in An American Rose Christmas Anthology available in print or digital download from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and other online booksellers.

*I borrowed some British actors to illustrate my characters in the story

*The formal room is from Mt. Vernon

*** To visit other authors participating in Sweet Saturday Samples Click HERE!