Guest Author: Brenda Jernigan & Giveaway!

I’m very pleased to have historical romance author Brenda Jernigan visiting the blog today.  Brenda’s books have won The Book Seller’s Best Award, the Maggie Award, and the prestigious Holt Medallion.  As Publishers Weekly said, her books are all about “romance, adventure, and magic.”

Like many wonderful authors, some of Brenda’s books have been out of print or just too darn hard to get.  Fortunately, digital and indie publishing has changed all that.  Here’s what Brenda herself has to say on the subject:

I’m Brenda Jernigan and I’ve been writing for what seems like a long time.  I sold my first book on April Fool’s day 1978.  I like that.  At least I can always remember when I first sold!

I’ve taken the last few years off from writing.  Between writing books and driving 45 minutes each way to a regular job it became too much, so I called a halt to everything and cancelled the last 2 books of my last contract.  However, now that I’ve retired it is fun to pick up the books again.  I’ve been trying to get all my old books into e-book format for everyone who has an e-reader. 

And we’re certainly glad you have, Brenda!  And the book we’re featuring today looks awesome–it’s called Christmas in Camelot.  How perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

Isn’t that a beautiful cover?  And I am so down with the idea of spending Christmas in Camelot!  This book got great reviews, including this one from Pages Magazine:

“Brenda Jernigan does what no other author has accomplished yet: create a special place of honor for you at fabled Camelot’s Christmas holiday celebration. It’s a fresh change of pace and picked number 1 in my book.”

Here’s the blurb for Christmas in Camelot:

The Greatest Gifts . . . Are always unexpected . . .

There was a king – King Arthur of Camelot

There was a knight – Sir Nicholas the Dragon

There was a wager that each swore he would win . . .

Lady Noelle has no intention of marrying just to save her family’s castle. She feels nothing for Sir Gavin, the man who will become her husband on Christmas Day. Then she spies Camelot’s newest knight, the notorious Sir Nicholas the Dragon, a champion as renowned for his prowess in the beds of Camelot’s maidens as for his skill in battle. Noelle’s heart has found the man she longs for, even as her hand is promised to another.

Christmas may never come to Camelot.

Sounds great!  To read an excerpt and to check out Brenda’s other books, visit her website.  Brenda is currently putting her backlist up in digital, which is great news for her readers!

For my readers today, Brenda is giving away a copy of Christmas in Camelot.  I always loved reading the legends of King Arthur, and I really enjoy all the various movies and TV shows that recreate the legends.  Who’s your favorite Camelot character?  Or is there any TV show or movie adaptation that you particularly liked?  Just tell us to win a copy of Brenda’s fab book!




Woot!!  My new Regency-set historical romance from Kensington Publishing is now in stores.


When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…

To celebrate the release of my new book I’ll be giving away my back list–that’s a copy of Mastering The Marquess, Sex And The Single Earl, An Invitation To Sin, and My Favorite Countess.

As you can probably tell by the title, His Mistletoe Bride is a Christmas book.  But the winter holiday season has lots of fun festivities, spanning religions and cultures.  For a chance to win one of the books on my back list, just tell me your favorite thing about the holiday season–whichever holiday you celebrate!  Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Twelfth Night, New Year’s, or the Winter Solstice – let’s hear all about it.

And for more info on His Mistletoe Bride, stop by my books page to read an excerpt and to find the buy links.

Happy Reading!!!!


Guest Author: Theresa Romain & Giveaway!

I’m so thrilled to be hosting Kensington debut author Theresa Romain.  Theresa’s Christmas-themed book, Season For Temptation, has been getting great reviews. I’m here to tell you that they’re very well deserved!  I’m going to turn the blog over to Theresa now, as she tells us about Christmas traditions during the Regency era.

It’s Not Over Till the Wassail Flows

It’s no surprise that life has changed a great deal since England’s Regency (1811-1820). For the most part, the differences between us and them are clear-cut:



Mad king? Not usually Yes
Indoor plumbing? Yes Not usually

But the social differences between our societies extend beyond lunacy and cleanliness. And this becomes very apparent during the Christmas season:



Christmas trees? Ubiquitous Fringe fad from Germans
Roasted animal eaten? Turkey or pig (or goose if very fancy) Goose (or peacock if very fancy)
Gifts given to children? Electronic and/or expensive Edible and/or cheap
Joygasm of celebration September 15-December 25 December 24-January 6

See that last line? That’s what we’re going to focus on. (Though if you want to learn more about roasted peacocks—and who doesn’t?—you can read it here.)

Regency England (1811-1820) didn’t heap a lot of trimmings onto Christmas Day itself. They put up greenery in their homes, but not until the day before Christmas. On Christmas Day, family members went to church together. Adults might exchange gifts, or they might not. They’d give a little something to children for a “Christmas box.” Probably the closest equivalent would be the way we use stockings now for those little extras.

That was that.

But then came the Twelve Days of Christmas, and that’s when the REAL fun started. Let’s travel through a few of those post-Christmas milestones:

Boxing Day (December 26)

Note to self: if leaving the house on Boxing Day in Regency England, bring along a purse full of coins. On Boxing Day, shoppers could plan on giving a tip (financial, not informational) to anyone who served them that day. Employers and landlords also gave gifts to their employees or tenants on this day—perhaps some food, or a small amount of money for Christmas boxes.

New Year’s Eve/Day (December 31/January 1)

New Year’s was sometimes celebrated with fireworks—yes, even two hundred years ago! Regency fireworks had a beautiful range of colors. Other traditions included bonfires, the placement of good-luck charms outside the house (such as a silver coin, to bring in prosperity), and the concept of “first footing.”

The “first-foot,” or “qualtagh” (you’ll be using that word all the time now), is the first person to enter a house upon the new year. A tall, dark-haired man was considered to be the luckiest sort of qualtagh. But then again, when is it not nice to have one of those around?

Twelfth Night (January 5)

The Christmas fun culminated on Twelfth Night, which historically was celebrated on January 5, the day before Epiphany. (Today, Twelfth Night and Epiphany are sometimes considered interchangeable. It just depends on when you start counting off those twelve days.)

Twelfth Night was much more riotous than the celebrations of Christmas Day. It featured masquerades, at which guests might choose their own costumes or be assigned a character. There was wassail aplenty—a hot punch featuring ale, apples, spices, and eggs (yes, eggs) (really)—and amidst all these costumes and adult beverages, everyone took down the Christmas decorations.

In my historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, my heroine, Julia, experiences the Christmas season in London for the first time. Christmas day itself is not all that heartwarming, as she has to deal with unrequited love (oops) and evil sort-of-in-laws (argh).


Twelfth Night is a new beginning, as she decides to let her hair down—or pin it up under a garish turban, as the case may be. But the best gifts come late, and most unexpectedly. A wassail-like beverage may or may not be involved.

What do you all have going on for the 12 Days of Christmas? Who will be your qualtagh? Share something fun about your post-Christmas plans, and be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of SEASON FOR TEMPTATION!

Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on.  Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. She is currently at work on the sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, which will be published in October 2012.

Theresa lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at You can also find her on Facebook,  Twitter, and Goodreads.



Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged—to a viscount, no less. Louisa’s only hesitation is living a life under the ton’s critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact…


As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride… Until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous—and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch—and a twist of fate—will solve…

Vanessa, here.  Doesn’t that sound like a great story?  Be sure to check out Theresa’s website for all the details and buy links.  And be sure to answer her question if you want the chance to win Season For Temptation for yourself!

The Story of Yukon and the Christmas Cookie

The holidays are over and it’s back to reality, right?  Just in case you’re experiencing those back to word/school/life blahs, here are some very cute pictures of Yukon the Norwegian Elkhound and his favorite Christmas present.  Food was involved.

Look! Another present for me!
What could it be?
Oh, joy of joys! Cookies!
I can barely control myself.
I'm drooling, but I can't help it.
Excuse me while I clean up.
All gone? I hate that!

Fortunately, there’s still a whole box of cookies left, but Yukon’s mom is very sensibly doling them out.  After all, Yukon doesn’t want to have to start the new year on a diet!