Category Archives: Holiday

Some History of April Fools Day

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This blog deals with  many novels set in the Georgian and Regency period I was delighted to find that the first documented April Fool’s prank was purported to have been staged by Henry, Duke of Grenfeld , England, 1794.  His French wife, who loved frog legs for dinner, was always disappointed because Henry refused to have them served.  On April Fool’s Day Henry had 25 frogs captured from his estate ponds and placed under dome covers on the banquet table.  He told his Duchess that especially for her, frog legs would be served.  The Duchess was delighted until the domed covers were lifted and the frogs catapulted over the table.  This never happened. There is no Lord Grenfeld. Happy April Fools Day.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Deet

valentine-bookmarks-etsy

Happy Valentine’s Day

You can find these bookmarks and more as a downloadable printable at Esty.

Here is the URL.

Printable Bookmarks

 

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Review- Mistletoe & Mayhem/Anthology

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Title: Mistletoe & Mayhem(A Regency Yuletide collection book#4)

Genre: Historical romance/Holiday Anthology

Author: Virginia Brown, Ann Ferguson, Karen Fisch and Sharon Sobel

Publisher: Imajinn, Nov. 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 268

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 2

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon.com:

This Christmas, Miss Lily Jardine is getting something any girl would want – a betrothal offer. Too bad she’s falling for her soon-to-be fiancé’s brother instead . . . Merrily Mismatched by Virginia Brown

Lady Lucia Crossclyffe can’t resist the charms of Marquess of Rillington, a holiday visitor to her isolated island home. Little does she guess that he’s come there to ruin her . . . The Snow Princess by Jo Ann Ferguson

After years of being presumed dead, Major Jeremy Stanhope has come home from the war. His first order of business – to propose to Lady Rosalie Partington, the woman who’s waited for him all these years. Only Rosalie is already betrothed . . . to the traitor who left him for dead! Christmas Truce by Karen Frisch

Charles Hudson, the Earl of Westerly, has come to Windermere for Christmas with one intention – to offer for the woman whose letters have captivated him for the last year. But is the letter-writer the woman he thinks she is? Miss Montague’s Mistletoe Match by Sharon Sobel

***

As with most anthologies, this one has some very good stories and then again some that are not as good but on the whole this is a fine anthology.  All of the stories are interesting, filled with warm seasonal sentiment and result in our longed for happily ever after.  There aren’t any steamy scenes but the romance is still heart stopping.  I can recommend this anthology to all romance lovers and don’t feel it has to be read at Christmas.  These stories are just wonderful any time of the year.

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Merry Christmas At Deet’s

Here is a peek at my house today.  Soon Paul and I will open our gifts and then I will start getting dinner ready.  This year Roast Beef is on the menu.  Friends will join us for dinner.  I set the table last night so I wouldn’t have to fuss this morning.  We ate breakfast on the little table on our lanai. I hope your Christmas is very Merry!

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The greenery is from the Holly tree in our front yard. A bit different than the traditional holly bush.

merry-xmas

 

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Happy Hanukkah from Deet

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To all my Jewish followers a blessed, light filled, joyous, Hanukkah!

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Last Friday ‘Til Christmas Review- I Will by Lisa Kleypas

i-will

Title: I Will

Genre: Historical romance/Holiday/Novella

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon Impulse, Dec. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 96

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:         

Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father’s will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways.

As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn’t know any decent women, except for his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins . . .

***

This is a novella previously published in a 2001 anthology, Wishlist.wishlist

It has been reissued in this current e-book.

I did not read this in the anthology so I was looking forward to this novella.  It certainly did not disappoint me.  It is classic romance from classic Kleypas. Nobody does it better!

Andrew is rude, sarcastic and in general quite obnoxious. Caroline is trying to protect her brother from this dissolute rogue.  However Andrew makes her a proposition that she cannot refuse. She agrees to help him in return for him leaving her brother alone and covering her brother’s debts. All should be good for both parties except they never factored in their growing attraction for each other.

There is a predictable story here but there are also some very clever twists that keep us turning pages to discover the results. This was a terrific holiday read and I highly recommend it.

It looks like the real Santa has finally paid us a visit.

santa-claus-old-guy

 

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Christmas Treat from Wales-Bara Brith

My fellow blogger and good friend Carol Cork gave me this recipe for a delicious fruit bread.  She blogs at http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com  Carol resides in and blogs from Wales. This is Carol at a recent Historical Romance retreat.

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This recipe turns out a truly scrumptious holiday treat but it will be on my table throughout the year. ENJOY!

Bara Brith  (oven 350 degrees)

1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit, Your choice, (I used dried pineapple & dried cranberries because that’s what I had on hand)

1 cup hot strong tea

2 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp mixed spices (I used pumpkin pie spice)

1 ounce butter

8 Tablespoons brown sugar 

1 egg slightly beaten

1. pour the hot tea over the dried fruit and let it sit overnight.

2. Grease a 2# loaf pan and line with parchment paper or wax paper.

3. Sift flour, spices together (I added 1/4 tsp salt) then cut in butter until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in sugar, then fruit mix and egg. (at this point I added 1/3 cup chopped pecans cause I like them). Stir well.

4. spread in loaf pan flattening the top.  Bake I hour. Turn out on wire rack to cool.

Eat slices slathered with butter and enjoy.

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Holiday Novella Review- A Match Made In Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

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Title: A Match Made In Mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Anna Campbell

Publisher: Amazon Digital, Nov. 2016

Source: purchase for Kindle

Pages: 153

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

A mistletoe wish… All her life, Serena Talbot has been in love with the handsome boy next door, Sir Paul Garside. She always eagerly looks forward to Paul’s visit to her family over the Festive Season, even if he usually brings along his dark, sardonic friend Lord Hallam. This year, Serena is determined that Paul’s kiss under the mistletoe will lead to a proposal. Even if she has to enlist every ounce of Christmas magic she can get her hands on to make that happen. But the mistletoe gets it wrong! When Serena slips a sprig of mistletoe from the village kissing bough under her pillow, it’s not Paul who turns up in her dreams as the man she’s going to marry, but brooding, intense, annoying Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Still more annoying, once everyone arrives for the annual Christmas house party, she can’t stop watching Giles, and thinking about Giles. And kissing Giles, whether there’s mistletoe about or not. Now Paul wants to marry her, and Giles wants to seduce her–and Serena has a bone to pick with the old wives who came up with all this superstitious nonsense in the first place. A Christmas of confusion lies ahead! Will mistletoe magic lead the way to a happy ending?

***

You should not miss this absolutely delightful Christmas romance.  Serena is confused, Paul is ready to propose and Giles is no longer holding back his feelings for Serena. She can’t stay away from Giles and she is trying to avoid Paul. It is very obvious to us, the readers, that she should be with Giles but will she see it that way.  Anna Campbell has given us another well written, deeply romantic Christmas novella filled with sexual tension.

This one is perfect for reading by the fire, with your hot toddy (or cocoa) and just enjoying the holiday spirit.

Oh No! I think this is Bad Santa invading my blog.

santa-dangerous

 

 

 

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2 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- Mistletoe, Mischief and The Marquis by Amelia Grey

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Title: Mistletoe, Mischief and The Marquis (The Heir’s Club)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Amelia Grey

Publisher: Swerve, Nov 29 2016, Kindle

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 87

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 1

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

The Marquis of Wythebury, is expecting an ordinary Christmastide at Hurst—until he is set upon by a beautiful miss who takes him to task for not allowing his young nephews to play outside. In his mind, a five and seven year old needn’t get chilled in the snow; better to plop them in front of the fire with a book. Few people have ever been brave enough to challenge him over anything, much less the rearing of his wards. The cheeky Miss Prim has no such compunction. No matter how fetching he finds her, he can’t give in to his attraction…for she is the sister of his best friend.

Growing up the middle child of five rambunctious girls, Lillian Prim doesn’t understand why two young boys visiting Hurst don’t know how to play until she meets their dashing guardian. The Marquis of Wythebury is commanding and intensely serious-minded. To her surprise, she’s captivated by him. It’s all she can do not to give into her feminine fantasies about her kissing him. Lillian has no intention of falling in love with the Marquis, but she will create Christmastide mischief and teach the boys and the handsome Marquis how to play,

**

A playful young woman and a serious Marquis.  Lillian Prim is a fun woman who knows her own mind and will stand up for the young boys against their uncle, the marquis.  Seth, the Marquis of Wythebury, is doing his best to raise his orphan nephews Fallon and Heron and he doesn’t need any help from Miss Prim.  No matter that he is instantly besotted with her when she fires a snowball at him and scores a facial bullseye. Miss Prim has feelings for the marquis also but she knows they are incompatible he being stodgy and she not.

This is a delightful, Christmasy read and I highly recommend it.  Just sit back after the wrapping and decorating and enjoy a short quiet heartwarming romance.

I think he needs to come in for some cocoa by the fire.

sexy-santav

 

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Recent Release Review- Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

twas-the-night-before-scandal

 

Title: Twas The Night Before Scandal (Two Novellas)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/E-Reader

Author: Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

Publisher: Christi Caldwell Inc., Nov. 2016

Source: won in a contest

Pages: 168/E-Reader

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:       

“Only For Their Love” by Christi Caldwell Miss Carol Cresswall bore witness to her parents’ loveless union and is determined to avoid that same miserable fate. Her mother has altogether different plans—plans that include a match between Carol and Lord Gregory Renshaw. Despite his wealth and power, Carol has no interest in marrying a pompous man who goes out of his way to ignore her. Now, with their families coming together for the Christmastide season it’s her mother’s last-ditch effort to get them together. And Carol plans to avoid Gregory at all costs. Lord Gregory Renshaw has no intentions of falling prey to his mother’s schemes to marry him off to a proper debutante she’s picked out. Over the years, he has carefully sidestepped all endeavors to be matched with any of the grasping ladies. But a sudden Christmastide Scandal has the potential show Carol and Gregory that they’ve spent years running from the one thing they’ve always needed.

***

The more I read from Christi Caldwell the more I like.  This novella is just packed with romance, Christmas feeling and even a surly Dowager Duchess and unrelenting matchmaking mother.  It is an enemies to sweethearts trope that is well developed considering the brevity of the format of the novella. Carol and Gregory are not exactly enemies they just have avoided each other for the past four years because of their mother’s matchmaking. Having never actually been thrown together where they could develop a relationship they are quite overcome with liking each other when they do get to know each other. But, of course,  there is a serious problem that arises.

Deet’s Rating: 5-stars    Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

“A Kiss From a Rogue” by Eva Devon Bah and a hum bug: Sebatian Rutherford, the new Earl of Gray, has no desire to settle down. Ever. The only thing he dislikes more than the idea of taking over his recently inherited earldom, and all it’s responsibilities, is Christmas. So, when he agrees to an arranged marriage to the former earl’s daughter, he plans on a quick wedding and a quicker return to his adventures abroad. Surely, even a hint of Christmas cheer won’t need to be shared? But when his clever new wife, Lady Marabelle begins to thaw his heart, he finds that not only is family a joy, but Christmas may be the best season to lose one’s heart. Deck the Halls: Lady Marabelle loves Christmas. She loves everything about it. So, when she faces her first Christmas since the death of her beloved father, married to a man she’s never met, she decides to make sure that the Christmas hating new Earl must be taught the spirit of the season. But with each day toward Christmas that comes her way, she begins to find that perhaps a marriage of convenience can be a marriage of the heart and a veritable Christmas miracle.

**

Oh this is truly a yummy romance.  A handsome, adventurous, troubled man is about to marry a very astute, lovely woman whom he has never met.  They speak only a few words before they become man and wife.  Through the magic of her sweet personality she transforms this “Grinch” into a most enjoyable, loving person. All it takes is love.

Deet’s rating: 5-stars   Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

Uh huh, another shirtless elf snuck in here.

santa-elf-2

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