Happy Holidays! R@R welcome’s guest Victoria Alexandra and her fall release WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS, available at bookstores everywhere!
For me, it’s really what the holidays are all about. But what if your family isn’t quite up to snuff? And what if you’re trying to impress a prince with a perfect Christmas and an eccentric sort of family just won’t do? Well then, you do what Camille, Lady Lydingham does in What Happens at Christmas. You hire a troupe of actors to take their place.
It seems like a brilliant idea. But Camille soon discovers how wrong she is, with a little help from her first love, Grayson Elliott. She also learns a lot about herself, about forgiveness, about love and family.
While this story is not based on my own experience—I have never hired a fake family—I have always discovered the most interesting, and surprising, things about my family at the holidays. There is nothing like the pressure of the season to bring out the best and the worst in those you love. At my house, no other time of year was a better example of that than Thanksgiving.
For years, my husband and I invited friends who didn’t have family nearby to join our gathering and the small, lose knit group of mostly relatives who lived nearby. Through the years, our dinner table was the scene of any number of confessions and announcements. At our table you might hear about divorces, affairs, pregnancies—those planned and those complete surprises—unexpected weddings, futures rearranged and all sorts of other surprises. These announcements were usually subtle in nature, slipped into the conversation casually while the turkey was being served. As if, in the frenzy to get to the food, no one would notice an announcement that one of the younger family members was leaving school to commune with nature in the foothills of Peru. (Okay, I’m making that one up but it’s not that far off.) One of our friends who came every year said he wouldn’t miss Thanksgiving at our house. He never knew what was going to happen next. Someday, I’ll write a book based on those Thanksgivings.
As for Christmas, well, like any family we have the usual awkward moments. The occasional setting of the house on fire. (Never put candles near Christmas cards pinned onto ribbons. Trust me on this.) The tree acquired from a neighbors yard that was too big and crooked to stand and had to be bolted to the wall. (It looked so much smaller in the yard.) The fully decorated tree crashing to the floor. (With my husband and a houseguest saying in unison, “We didn’t do it!”) You know, the usual stuff. And oh yeah, my Christmas Eve meltdown. It’s a tradition.
Just like Camille, I keep trying to make Christmas perfect. But I have at last come to realize it’s the quirks and the imperfections that make it all so wonderful. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Everyone has at least one Christmas disaster in their past. What’s yours? 1 copy of WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS to one lucky US commenter – good luck
WINNER Announced below – thanks for blogging with us.
About the author:
Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.
Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, a son in college and a daughter working in film. Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie (named from characters in one of her books). Sam (on the left), the best dog in the world for 13 ½ years, passed away in September 2010. Louie has now taken on the position of loyal companion and is doing a fine job even though he doesn’t understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed!
Buy her book here