Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies
Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!
Less than a week to go – only SIX DAYS until Christmas!
We’re in the home stretch in our spotlights of several Christmasy releases from 2022. Most days will have more than one post, just FYI. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
CHRISTMAS PARTIES, SNOW & OTHER FOLLIES by Heidi Eljarbo
SERIES: Heartwarming Christmas #2
GENRE: Sweet Historical Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2022
When common rules of behavior in polite society come across as tedious and insurmountable, spinsterhood seems the only option…
Miss Gingifer Mitford’s parents have plans for their daughter’s future—prospects that include a certain type of husband, where to live, and how to behave. But Ginger cannot wrap her heart around these arrangements and becomes annoyingly willful. When she returns to the country and Dewdrop House for the annual cousin capers during the Christmas holidays, little does she know that this December, everything will change.
Bertran Stanton has always worked hard to prove himself worthy of his good fortune. As first in line to inherit the title and estate, Bert has lived most of his life with his uncle and benefactor Lord Conrad Stanton, the Earl of Thorndale.
But the earl is concerned that Bert has yet to choose a suitable wife and gives him until the eve of the new year to become acquainted with Lady Charlotte or be sent to London to find a wife there. Bert is in a quandary about whether he should be loyal to Uncle Conrad’s wishes or trust his inner feelings.
As the cousins gather for jolly games, caroling, and various Christmas parties, Bert cannot dismiss a notion that keeps coming back. Could it be that the love of his life has been right in front of him all this time? And more than that, is it conceivable that the headstrong but unresistingly charming Ginger will ever feel the same, or will he have to look elsewhere?
A delightful Christmas romance with wit and heart. Readers who enjoy clean and wholesome romance with a happily ever after will love this.
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We need some “hygge” every day
by Heidi Eljarbo, author of Christmas Parties, Snow & Other Follies
I’m sitting here in my home office in Moss, Norway, looking out the window. The shy warmth of sunshine crawls up the barren branches of trees and bushes outside. In a few hours, it will be dark again. Days are short this time of year.
But how cozy December is! You may have heard of the word “hygge” that has become increasingly popular in the last years. Winter is absolutely the perfect time to find and experience the coziness of “hygge” and everything warm and pleasant.
The word originated in Norway and spread to the Danish language. The last few years, the English language has embraced the word as part of its vocabulary, and many books have been written about this sought-after feeling.
While “hygge” is a noun, Norwegians often use the word “hyggelig” as an adjective. A person can be “hyggelig”, and if we enjoyed a visit with friends, we often describe it as a “hyggelig” evening.
Being Norwegian, I know all about “hygge” and how to make those cold, dark winter days snug and comfy. “Hygge” is not rich in grandeur, but it’s rather the contentment that comes from simple things. Picture yourself sitting in front of a log fire with a cup of hot chocolate, wearing knitted socks, and with a woolen blanket close by. The smell of homemade bread floats through the air, and calming music lifts your spirit. The wonderful thing is that the feeling of “hygge” is what you make it…what you are comfortable with. It can be spending time with family and friends, playing games, eating a good meal together, and sharing memories or reading. Anything that enfolds you in a cozy, comforting atmosphere.
In my Christmas novels, I want to bring the reader into this feeling of soothing contentment. It can be modest like in Fair Mountain Christmas. It’s December 1972, and journalist Juni and her terrier, Leo, retreat to her grandparents’ old cabin in the Norwegian mountains in hopes of inspiration. Memories of Juni’s childhood seep in as soon as she enters the cabin, and the trip turns into an emotionally challenging encounter. “Hygge” and nostalgia seeps into this story about new beginnings and falling in love under a blanket of stars.
This year’s Christmas novel Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies is situated in Yorkshire, England in 1894. Toward the end of the Victorian era, Christmas had become a special time centered around family and unforgettable traditions. Charles Dickens would no doubt have used the word “hygge” to describe the cozy feeling of gathering for games, good food, mulled wine, and caroling.
Here is a short excerpt from Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies. Our protagonist Ginger visits the kitchen where Gwen, the kitchen maid, is busy making chocolate. If you are anything like me, chocolate always makes the situation better.
“Would you like to help, Miss Gingifer?”
“Oh, could I? That would be marvelous.” She rose from her seat. “Just tell me what to do.”
They placed the trays on the table, and together, they spooned the chocolate into the many tin cutters and molds. Ginger had a steady hand and was pleased with herself that she spilled very little.
As they finished filling the last ones, the maid asked, “Do you believe we love the taste so much because it’s an occasional treat and not an everyday indulgence?”
Ginger licked her fingers. “Oh, I don’t think I’d ever tire of this deliciously velvet flavor…even if I had some every day. I’m certain of it.”
They carried the trays of chocolates to an empty shelf in the pantry.
“What next?” Ginger asked, hoping the kind kitchen maid wasn’t tired of her visit yet.
“Boiled sweets, miss. Would you like to stay a bit longer?” Gwen asked.
Ginger nodded. The feeling of doing something useful brought a smile to her face.
The great thing is that you can create “hygge” any day of the year. Make time for those memorable moments.
Thank you, Carrie, for inviting me here today. And Merry Christmas to everyone.
Take care, Heidi
Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don’t want to go near.
Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter.
Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical. Connect with her at her website.
Heidi Eljarbo is offering a print copy of Fair Mountain Christmas and Christmas Parties, Snow & Other Follies to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Christmas Parties, Snow & Other Follies by Heidi Eljarbo?
I would like to read CHRISTMAS PARTIES, SNOW & OTHER FOLLIES by Heidi Eljarbo because it sounds like a sweet Christmas time romance.
Sounds like a great story.
The cousin capers sounds like lots of fun. I’m always up for a Victorian Christmas story.
I really love the story.
I love Christmas stories.
New author for me.
Love Christmas books. Thank you for sharing.
I love reading Christmas stories and these two books sound delightful!