Wednesday, December 7, 2022

#HistoricalFiction author Heidi Eljarbo is talking about the inspiration behind her fabulous Victorian romance, Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies – #HistoricalRomance #BookSpotlight #CoffeePotBookClub @HeidiEljarbo @cathiedunn

Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies

by Heidi Eljarbo

Book Spotlight

Publication Date: December 1st, 2022
Publisher: independently published
Pages: 149
Genre: Victorian Holiday Romance

A delightful Victorian Christmas romance with wit and heart.

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 is first in line to inherit the title and estate, but his uncle and benefactor, the Earl of Thorndale, is concerned that Bert has yet to choose a suitable wife. He gives Bert until the eve of the new year to become acquainted with Lady Charlotta or be sent to London to find a wife there. As the cousins gather for jolly games, caroling, and various Christmas parties, Bert cannot dismiss a notion that keeps coming back. He has already fallen in love. Is it conceivable that the headstrong but unresistingly charming Ginger will ever feel the same, or will he have to look elsewhere?

Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies is available on #KindleUnlimited.

   Oh, Christmas tree by Heidi Eljarbo

The Danish author of novels, plays, and heartwarming fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), described the Victorian Christmas tree as something spectacular and wonderful. Placed in a sand-filled tub, the fir tree was richly decorated with small nets of colored paper. These were filled with sweetmeats and colored candles. Golden apples and walnuts were fastened to the branches. Among the foliage were lifelike dolls, and a star adorned the top of the tree.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), another Victorian author, described the Christmas tree of his time as a sparkling table tree filled with radiant candles, dolls, sugarplums, and all sorts of small toys and trinkets. Nuts, fruits, treats, and surprises for every child were placed on the tree.

The first Christmas tree in England is credited to Queen Victoria’s grandmother. In 1800, the German-born Queen Charlotte held a Christmas party at Windsor Castle for the local children. She decorated a yew tree with candles, toys, and sweets, and every child received something to bring home.

But it was Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Albert who inspired the tradition of Christmas trees in the home. He had a beautiful tree put up at Windsor Castle in remembrance of the traditions of his childhood. Victoria and Albert had young children at the time and delighted in the “happy wonder” on the faces of their little ones.

The Christmas tree tradition we know today goes back to Germany during the sixteenth century. 
But there are some trees that have a special and symbolic meaning. The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree in London is such a tree. Every year since 1947, the Norwegian government has sent a huge Norwegian spruce as a gift to the British. This more than twenty meters tall tree is a token of how thankful the people of Norway are for the help they received from the British during the Second World War.

I love the feeling of Christmas in my home during December. I buy a fresh tree from a local farmer and decorate the branches with lights and treasured ornaments collected over many years. And the fragrance! Coming downstairs in the morning, I am met with the aroma of freshly cut wood and pine or spruce resin.

In Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies, Ginger helps decorate the tree at Dewdrop House for the annual Christmas ball.

Ginger stepped aside as a pair of male servants carried an enormous tree in through the double door from the garden and placed it in a cast iron stand. Two other footmen entered from the storage room with two large crates and set them on the floor.

Ginger helped open the boxes and carefully picked up different ornaments. The jeweled glass baubles were her favorite. These round balls were decorated with crystals, golden threads, and tassels. Some had an ivory velvet cover and ribbons, while others were made with a deep-burgundy satin and trimmed with lace.

“May I hang some of the ornaments?” she asked one of the older footmen.

Happy reading!

Heidi Eljarbo

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.

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