Thursday, December 3, 2015

#DecemberJoyathon2015: Vanessa Kelly's Favorite Things

Day 3 of the Joyathon and we're chugging along. Today, the lovely Vanessa Kelly is here today to share some of her favorite things about the holidays. We're all about jamming out to Christmas music and Vanessa has some great suggestions to add to your holiday playlist. 

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her third book, My Favorite Countess, was nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Regency Historical Romance.

Her current series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller.

Vanessa spends most of the year in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband, but she’s lucky enough to spend some of the winter near lovely Amelia Island, Florida. When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, she’s writing USA Today Bestselling contemporary romances with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

Hi Jamie & Kati! Thanks so much for asking me to celebrate the holidays with you and your readers. It’s such a fabulous time of year with so many reasons to be grateful. Here are some of the reasons why I love the holidays:

Holiday decorations: With short days and long, cold nights, winter can be pretty blah. Holiday decorations, especially Christmas lights, really brighten up what can be a dreary landscape. Hubby and I usually take several evening drives during the holiday season, just to see the lights. And we always do so on Christmas Eve. In our little town, folks really go all out on that night, even dressing up as Santa Claus and handing out candy canes. Fun!

Christmas Mass with my father: My dad is 92, so he doesn’t get out to church as much as he’d like to, especially during flu season. But he insists on going on Christmas Day, and I’m usually the one to take him. I think of those times from my childhood when my father would take the family to church services, or to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. To still be able to celebrate with him is truly special. Plus, I get to sing Christmas Carols and no one can diss me about my appalling lack of singing talent.

Holiday music: I’m not talking about those awful jingles you hear over and over again in the stores. I’m talking about the real stuff—good, old-fashioned carols sung by wonderful choirs or singers who have some chops. Some of my favorite holiday CDs: A Christmas Cornucopia by Annie Lennox, Wintersong by Sarah MacLachlan, and Now is the Caroling Season by Fred Waring. I play them constantly in December, or until my husband begs me to stop!

Champagne: I love champagne, and my family really brings it out over the holidays. Whether it’s a holiday champagne brunch or ringing in the New Year, we crack open the bubbly to celebrate.

Good cheer: Sure, people can get stressed out over the holidays, what with the shopping, the travelling, and family and friends coming to visit. And it can be a sad and lonely time of year for some, too. All the more reason to make that extra effort to be kind and cheerful during the season. You never know when someone might need that extra little boost you can give them. There are several major December holidays, and all are full of good cheer and joy. It’s a great time to remind ourselves of what really matters.

Genre: Historical
Page Count: 356 pages
Publisher/Release Date: Self Published (November 10, 2015)
A Gentleman For All Seasons

The tiny village of Hemshawe is the sort of place where nothing ever happens…until a handsome ex-soldier and his matchmaking sister let the imposing manor house at the edge of town. The friendly Londoners shake up the staid people of Hemshawe, and villagers see each other in a new and oh-so-appealing light.

Suddenly long-sparring enemies become lovers, a town festival heralds a new start for a fallen woman and a dandy, and a man who has given up on love gets a second chance with the woman he never forgot. And the matchmaker herself? She won’t rest until she finds her own happily-ever-after…

A Madness in Spring by Kate Noble
Adam Sturridge has made Belinda Leonard’s blood boil since childhood, and the feeling is mutual. But when a would-be matchmaker arrives in the village of Hemshawe, she’d determined to erase the thin line between love and hate. Now, Belinda and Adam are faced with falling for someone they’ve always considered an enemy — can they overcome old prejudices and discover how to rub each other the right way?

The Summer of Wine and Scandal by Shana Galen
When viscount’s son and dandy Peregrine Lochley is temporarily exiled from London to the country for his misdeeds, the last thing he expects is to encounter an intriguing woman. But Caroline Martin has a secret to hide, and it just might be too scandalous for even this debauched rogue.

Those Autumn Nights by Theresa Romain
Ten years ago, wealthy Eliza Greenleaf broke lowly soldier Bertram Gage’s heart—but the last decade brought changes in fortune to them both. Now that he’s made his mark on the world, a twist of fate brings the Greenleaf family under his power. Will this war-hardened officer triumph over his former lover…or will Bertie and Eliza give love a second chance?

The Season for Loving by Vanessa Kelly
Miss Georgie Gage, matchmaker extraordinaire, is resigned to life as a spinster—almost. When notoriously aloof bachelor Fergus Haddon arrives from Scotland to spend Christmas with the Gage family, Georgie thinks she’s finally found her own perfect match—if, that is, she can get the handsome Highlander to agree!

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