#FridayFeeling #haiku ‘A Christmas Wish’ #poem

Shades of gold and red,

Memories of Christmas past,

Hearts both smile and weep.

I’m feeling happy and excited, planning meals and family reunions, yet nostalgic as Christmas approaches.

There’s so much to look forward to, but also so many people to remember and miss.

Here’s a poem for the person I miss most ❤ every day.

A Christmas Wish

If you were here with me,

Right now,

I’d be twice as happy.

If you could hold my hand,

Once again,

I’d be twice as brave.

If I could phone you now,

One more time,

I’d hear your wise advice.

If I could hear your voice,

Once more,

I’d laugh and jump and cry.

If we could talk and plan,

Like we would,

We’d find a way ahead.

If we could sit and chat,

Today,

You’d help me see the light.

If only I could have

One Christmas wish,

I’d wish to be with you again,

Just once.

For Elsa❤

#PhotoOfMyLife Day5 #Christmas Flower and Books #TuesdayBookBlog

This is a picture of a small table in my living room. We don’t often use it as a dinner table, because we have lunch in the kitchen, which is quite large.

Right now I have a Christmas flower, or poinsettia, in the centre of the table. In Spain, where I live, it’s traditional to have at least one of these beautiful plants at home during the Christmas season, because it is said to bring good luck, but you can’t buy it yourself, it must be a present. My son bought this for me yesterday.

In fact, all the objects on the table hold sentimental value. The little crochet table mats were made by my grandmother over sixty years ago! The glass animals perched on the mats were a present from my Spanish friend, Toñi.There’s a bowl of sand I gathered from my favourite beach and some sea shells I picked up with my grandchildren during the summer holidays. The pottery paper weights were made by Gertraud, a dear friend from Germany, and the pink sand in the glass candle holder was brought from Antigua, by Anna, another dear friend from England, whose sister lives on the island. I brought the table runner from my father’s home, after he passed away, eleven years ago.

The things I own are only as valuable as the sentimental value they have for me, which can be immediate, when they’re presents, or they can become meaningful over the years for other reasons.

There are three Christmas themed paperbacks on the table, I’d like to tell you about.

I haven’t yet read the top two, although I’m planning to do so this month. The first one is The Christmas Card by Dilly Court It’s described as The perfect heartwarming romance for Christmas, rich in historical detail.

The second book is Christmas at Claridges by Karen Swan which is described as a glamorous contemporary romance.

The third book is Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, the second novel in the Eyre Hall Trilogy, which started with All Hallows at Eyre Hall which was recently completed with Midsummer at Eyre Hall.

Twelfth Night takes place during mostly in December and January 1866. One of the major plot points in the novel takes place during the festivities of 5th January, Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall is my favourite novel in the trilogy, because I had such fun writing it!

It’s a historical romance including a murder mystery, a kidnapping, a visit to Victorian London, a long sea voyage to Jamaica with pirates included, passion, love, hate, betrayal and lots of dark family secrets, some of which are uncovered, while others are resolved in book three.

Are you reading any Christmas themed novels this year?

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The rules for this Twitter Challenge: no people, no explanations and challenge one new person every day. I was challenged by @GeorgiaRoseBook check out her blog.

Today I challenge @_ElizabethHein check out her book blog.

As I already told you, I’m terrible at following rules, so not only have I told you all about the picture, I’ve also recommended some books to check out!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Are you reading any Christmas themed novels?

#WritePhoto ‘The Chess Game’ #FlashFiction #300Words

The Chess Game

“This year we’re having a different Christmas,” my grandmother said as she moved her pawn to the side, capturing mine.

“Why did you do that?” I asked.

She pushed her glasses up and raised her eyebrows. “I had to, didn’t I?”

“You could have ignored it.” I sulked.

She chuckled. “And let you capture mine?”

“Why not? I’m only nine. Most of my friends can’t even play chess.”

“You’ll never learn if I let you win all the time. Anyway, it’s only a pawn.”

She was right, but I didn’t like being little. The grown-ups were all smarter than I was, and it really annoyed me.

“Come on, Tom, it’s your turn.”

I moved my knight. “So what’s new about this Christmas?” My grandmother always came up with great ideas for games and outings.

She showed me a picture of green fields and snow-covered hills. “I’m renting a cottage right here, for the weekend.”

My jaw dropped. It was in the middle of nowhere. “Are we all going?”

She moved her queen. “Of course! It’s Christmas. There’s a real log fire and plenty of hiking trails, and board games to play in the evenings!”

My parents would never agree to staying at such an isolated place. They were always working or going out with friends.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Don’t you like the idea?”

It would be nice to spend a few days alone with my parents and grandmother. That hadn’t happened in ages. “I think it’s a great idea, Granny!” I said as I captured her pawn with my knight.

“Pay attention!” she said as she captured my knight with her queen.

I sighed hoping she’d be as good at convincing my parents to stay at the cottage as she was at playing chess.

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This piece of flash fiction was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Join in or read other entries here!

Ariel, coloured by my granddaughter, Elsa.

 

#SoCS #Streamofconsciousness #Saturday Christmas Presents #Haiku

I love this flyer, well it’s a brochure really, with the kid’s mother and grandmother, but where are the men in the family???

Christmas Presents

Flyers everywhere,

Come buy our toys on offer!

Children’s paradise.

It’s the time for toys! Parents, and in my case grandparents, spend hours searching for the perfect Christmas present in flyers and shops, asking children to write letters to Santa and promising he’ll bring the selected presents, of course.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about this pretence, although I’ve mostly played along. I’m no Scrooge!

I know from my children and grandchildren that they love the anticipation and surprise, and when they’re very little, I’d say under 5 or 6, they tend to believe in the fairy tale, and that’s sweet, but, there comes a time when they no longer believe in magic, and yet, both parents/grandparents and children keep up the pretence for a few more years, just because….they can….they both agree to play along….

I’m not sure, even today, as I wrap my grandchildren’s presents (yes, I bought them early on special offer! I have four grandchildren!), how I feel about this. I mean the idea that you ask for something, wait for the set date and get it, or not, on Santa’s whim. What about preparation, effort, and hard work rewarded? Where does that come into the equation?

Although most parents/grandparents threaten to tell Santa if the kids are naughty and don’t deserve a present, but do they do so, or even intend to do so?

Christmas presents for adults are a different story, altogether, but more about that in another post.

Stream of Consciousness rant over.

How do you feel about Christmas presents for children?

By the way, this post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly prompt, pop over to her blog and join in or read other entries. The topic for today is flyer/ad

#BookTour ‘Christmas Secrets’ #Author Interview @donnahatch

Interview with Author Donna Hatch

  1. Could you tell us something about why you wrote this novel and where the idea, or inspiration, came from.

I’ve been toying with the strangers kissing idea for a couple of years, and have had a few false starts. Finally, I brainstormed the concept with a critique partner. After trying several options, I finally landed on one that worked for me.

2- You are a bestselling author of Regency Romances. Why do you think this genre is so popular 200 years after the original romances were written?

I think there are many reasons. One reason they are popular is due to all the recent movies based on famous historical books such as all the Jane Austen films, North and South with the dreamy Richard Armitage, and many other historical novel adaptations as well as BBC series that take place in historical eras.

Another reason historical romance novels stay popular is because most people read either to relax or escape—which are kinda one in the same. We crave a reprieve from our troubles. The fantasy of vicariously living the life of the very rich, wearing beautiful gowns, having handsome heroes vie for our favor or even dueling over our honor is very appealing, and giving those stories a historical setting furthers the fantasy.

In Regency England, manners were very formal. There was a protocol to everything from how many sets a lady could dance with a gentleman in one evening (two), to what to wear while walking (a walking gown).

I love the eloquent speech used during the Regency and how they also prized wit. My job as a historical novelist is to include witty dialogue in every historical I write. I also love the manners of the Regency: gentlemen stood when a lady entered the room, removed their hats, cleaned up their language, and bowed. Yes, I do wish men still did those things today. Regency men were educated as well as athletic; they rode horses, fenced, and boxed. They were strong, noble and honorable—to the point of being self-sacrificing. And that is why I love them!

3- Have you ever thought about writing another genre, such as contemporary romance?

Not contemporary but I have written a fantasy, which is currently out of print, and I’d like to write more in the future. I also am considering writing young adult fantasy or futuristic/science fiction.

4- What are you writing at the moment?

I am working on book 5 of my Rogue Hearts series, and I’m brainstorming a new series about spies during the Napoleonic Wars.

5- What would you like readers to know about you?

I love chocolate and cute fluffy baby animals.

Here is my official bio: Best-selling author, Donna Hatch, is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish twenty historical romance titles, including the award-winning “Rogue Hearts Series.”  She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six (yes, that is 6) children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Connect with Donna here:

Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~  Goodreads ~ Twitter ~

 

Holly’s two Christmas wishes this year are to finally win her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and discovering the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that mystery kisser is the resident Christmas ghost.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~

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To view the blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit the Official Facebook Event page 

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

#SixWordSaturday Getting Ready for #Christmas Family Reunions

Christmas Tree outside the shopping centre.

Close up of the Christmas tree.

Inside the Christmas tree!

November’s a longish, coldish month.

Today, while doing my weekly food shopping, I noticed a Christmas Tree in the square outside the shopping centre, and plenty of Christmas decorations inside the shop.

I didn’t buy anything, not yet, but it reminded me about the family reunions ahead.

This year I’m looking forward to having all my children and grandchildren at home for a few special days.

Have you seen any Christmas trees yet? 

Christmas in Jane Eyre

I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you can spend some time with people you love.

Thank you for reading my posts, commenting, and liking. You are my greatest incentive.

Today, I’ve prepared a special post about Christmas celebrations and symbolism in Jane Eyre.

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Some of Jane Eyre’s happiest and saddest moments occur at Christmas.

Firstly, at Gateshead, her Aunt Reed’s prosperous household, Christmas was celebrated with elaborate dinners, parties, and presents:

‘Christmas and the New Year had been celebrated at Gateshead with the usual festive cheer; presents had been interchanged, dinners and evening parties given.’

However, Jane Eyre, was treated as an unwanted and unloved intruder by her aunt and cousins. She tells us:

‘From every enjoyment I was, of course, excluded: my share of the gaiety consisted in witnessing the daily apparelling of Eliza and Georgiana, and seeing them descend to the drawing-room, dressed out in thin muslin frocks and scarlet sashes, with hair elaborately ringletted; and afterwards, in listening to the sound of the piano or the harp played below, to the passing to and fro of the butler and footman, to the jingling of glass and china as refreshments were handed, to the broken hum of conversation as the drawing-room door opened and closed. When tired of this occupation, I would retire from the stairhead to the solitary and silent nursery.’

Christmas at Gateshead simply exaggerated her isolation and loveless existence.

No mention is made of Christmas during her miserable years at Lowood School. We can imagine that there are no pleasant or noteworthy memories attached to this time of year for the young Jane Eyre.

We next read about Christmas while Jane is at Thornfield Hall. When Rochester received guests, Mrs. Fairfax informed Jane that Lord Ingram’s daughters, Blanche and Mary, had attended seven years previously.

‘She (Blanche Ingram) came here to a Christmas ball and party Mr. Rochester gave. You should have seen the dining-room that day—how richly it was decorated, how brilliantly lit up!’

Blanche’s merry Christmas contrasts with dreary Lowood where Jane was living at that time.

The next mention of Christmas is a metaphorical allusion by Jane after her marriage was interrupted and she discovered Rochester was already married. She retired to her room once more, her world had crumbled, and her expectant summer wedding turned into a desolate wintry night:

A Christmas frost had come at midsummer; a white December storm had whirled over June; ice glazed the ripe apples, drifts crushed the blowing roses; on hayfield and cornfield lay a frozen shroud: lanes which last night blushed full of flowers, today were pathless with untrodden snow; and the woods…’

Frost, ice, and storm have taken over her hopes for happiness. She no longer has a future as the road ahead is pathless with untrodden snow. Jane is a destitute and lonely orphan once again.

Finally, it was just before the following Christmas when Jane discovered that the family who had taken her in and looked after her after she left Thornfield Hall, Mary, Diana, and St. John Rivers were in fact her cousins, and that she had inherited 20,000 pounds from her uncle, John Eyre, who had died unmarried and childless in Madeira.

‘My uncle John was your uncle John? You, Diana, and
Mary are his sister’s children, as I am his brother’s child?’
‘Undeniably.’
‘You three, then, are my cousins; half our blood on
each side flows from the same source?’
‘We are cousins; yes.’

Consequently, Jane decided she would leave her humble abode at the Parish school and live at Moor House with her cousins Mary and Diana, with whom she planned to share her inheritance.

Jane also tells St. John that she will leave her full-time employment at the Parish school after Christmas, although she promised her pupils she would visit them once a week to teach them for an hour.

Meanwhile, she is determined to spend a merry and splendid Christmas, for the first time in her life. She plans to: ‘clean down Moor House from chamber to cellar…till it glitters again,..’ She also plans to make sure the house is warm, ‘… afterwards I shall go near to ruin you in coals and peat to keep up good fires in every room;’ Finally she will make sure they have the best food to eat, ‘… and lastly, the two days preceding that on which your sisters are expected will be devoted by Hannah and me to such a beating of eggs, sorting of currants, grating of spices, compounding of Christmas cakes, chopping up of materials for mince-pies, and solemnising of other culinary rites…’ 

She also refurnished the house to its previous grandeur with ‘Dark handsome new carpets and curtains, an arrangement of some carefully selected antique ornaments in porcelain and bronze, new coverings, and mirrors, and dressing-cases, for the toilet tables, answered the end: they looked fresh without being glaring. A spare parlour and bedroom I refurnished entirely, with old mahogany and crimson upholstery.’

Jane’s first Merry Christmas was spent at glittering Moor House with her cousins, Mary and Diana. Jane tells us:

‘It was Christmas week: we took to no settled employment, but spent it in a sort of merry domestic dissipation. The air of the moors, the freedom of home, the dawn of prosperity, acted on Diana and Mary’s spirits like some life-giving elixir: they were gay from morning till noon, and from noon till night.’

Jane is still missing Rochester, and although it is ‘they’ who were ‘happy from morning till night’, she was also content because she had found a home, a family, and financial stability at last. Jane was warm and comfortable, had plenty of food, and enjoyed the company of her loving cousins. A sharp contrast to her hapless situation at the beginning of the novel.

This Christmas with her newfound family is undoubtedly Jane’s most peaceful and joyous moment in the novel.

Even if you are missing someone, as most of us are, I hope you all have a joyous and peaceful Christmas. The best is still to come.

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