Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour,, presented by Tasty Book Tours, for Once Upon a Highland Christmas by Lecia Cornwall. Please leave a comment or question for Lecia to let her know you stopped by. You can enter the tour wide giveaway, where Avon is giving a $25.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You can click on the tour banner above to visit other stops on the tour. The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. Lecia will also be giving away a Signed Print copy of one of her already released books to one random commenter at this stop. Please be sure to leave a meaningful comment to be included in the giveaway.
THE (other) CHRISTMAS LIST…by Lecia Cornwall
Every year at Thanksgiving—that’s Canadian Thanksgiving in October—I start nagging my family for their Christmas lists. I can think up surprise gifts, of course, but there’s always something people want or need. I usually get lists of uninspired items, like socks, or a brown belt. Of course family complains that I’m just as bad, and all I ever include on my own list is books (Now I ask you, dear reader—can anyone ever have too many books?)Christmas is the season for lists of all kinds—lists of errands, party invitees, gifts (and all the places you’ve hidden them), shopping lists, recipes and ingredients, and lists of the hundreds of things that must be done before the big day. It takes a list just to keep track of all the lists—or Christmas magic.ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS is a story about magic, a Christmas fairy tale, in fact. It starts with a wee love spell gone wrong—or right, perhaps—that brings snow, unexpected visitors, mayhem, and merriment to Craigleith Castle just in time for Christmas in the Scottish Highlands. Fortunately, love and magic—especially at Christmas—have a way of transforming everything and everyone, even the most stubborn and duty-bound hero and heroine I’ve ever written.Alanna and Iain needed some magic in their lives, believe me! But we all need magic at Christmas, even if sometimes we have to give magic a helpful push in the right direction. This year, amid all the other lists I’m making, I thought I’d start a different kind of Christmas list—one that includes all the things I treasure about this time of year—the memories, the fun, the food, the music, and the magic. Thinking of the things that really matter (aside from new socks, books, and brown belts) slows the pace, offers time to savor and enjoy amid the chaos—and isn’t that the very best kind of Christmas magic? This is the kind of list I’ll pass on to my children to continue.So here’s my list so far, dear reader. What would you put on your list?My favorite Christmas movies:Love ActuallyIt’s A Wonderful LifeWhite ChristmasThe Santa Clause I and IIThe Bishop’s WifeMy favorite Christmas memories:1981: when my husband slipped a ring on my finger and proposed on Christmas day1991: Driving from Ottawa to Toronto with my 3-month-old son. He cried all the way, only quieted down when we played the same bad Christmas CD over and over for four hours (Something by Bing Crosby with buttered rum in the lyrics)1994: My 7-week-old daughter’s first “perfect” Christmas, complete with snow on Christmas dayAll the school Christmas concerts, pre-school Christmas parties, and caroling with the Cub Scouts (I was a Cub leader)My favorite traditions:Officially staring the Christmas season with eggnog and the first batch of homemade Christmas cookies while we watch the annual Toronto Santa Claus parade (now the kids are grown ups, we add rum to the eggnog!)Picking out the tree as a family, bringing it home and decorating it with decorations old and new.Receiving Christmas cards, and family Christmas lettersSeeing extended family for Christmas dinner, promising that this year we’ll see each other far more oftenBoxing Day (December 26)—we stay in our pajamas, read our Christmas books, eat, nap, and watch White Christmas.Ice lanterns—fill buckets with water, and leave them outside overnight. The outside of the ice freezes, but the inside doesn’t. Carefully remove the ice block from the bucket (over the sink), chop a hole in the thin ice on top and pour out the water. Set it outside in the snow with a candle inside—magic!Christmas breakfast—my family is Ukrainian, my husband’s is Scottish, and we’ve added our own traditions—Quiche (French), my homemade Ukrainian Christmas bread, Kutya (wheat cooked with honey and poppy seeds), shortbread, champagne cocktails, and my husband’s delicious fruit salad. There’s no need to eat again until Christmas dinner. If you’d like the recipe for our Christmas morning Quiche, it’s part of this year’s Avon Authors Holiday recipe ring, staring here:Scottish breakfast on New Year’s Day—the full fry-up, with Ayrshire bacon, tattie scones, black sausage, sliced sausage, eggs, tomatoes, toast and marmalade, and lots of strong tea. Now that’s a meal you have to train for over the holidays!My Favorite Christmas musicLoreena McKennitt’s To Drive The Cold Winter Away CD (In honor of all the snow in ONCE UPON A HIGHALND CHRISTMAS, here’s ‘SNOW’ from the CD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txc2ugYPJJYFrank Sinatra’s J-I-N-G-L-E BellsThe Pretenders 1000 milesElla Fitzgerald’s What Are You Doing New Year’s EveThe Nutcracker SuiteDuke Ellington’s Nutcracker SuiteRuby Murray’s The Very First Christmas of All (a favorite from my childhood. I recently found it on YouTube and it made me cry)Alabama’s Christmas In DixieI hope you start your own list, and share it with the people you love, and it grows in the years to come! Wishing you a very merry and magical Christmas, dear reader, with family, friends and joy, and a New Year that’s filled with Happily Ever Afters!I’ll be dropping by today to chat with readers, so please leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND AUTUMN. Tell me—what’s the first thing you’d put on your Christmas list?You can also drop me a line by e-mail at email@example.com or visit my website to learn more about all my books.
Once Upon a Highland Christmas
By Lecia Cornwall
Once Upon a Highland Season, Book 3
Publisher: Avon Impulse (HarperCollins Publishers)
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 384 Pages
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About the book:
Lady Alanna McNabb is bound by duty to her family, who insist she must marry a gentleman of wealth and title. When she meets the man of her dreams, she knows it's much too late, but her heart is no longer hers.
Laird Iain MacGillivray is on his way to propose to another woman when he discovers Alanna half-frozen in the snow and barely alive. She isn't his to love, yet she's everything he's ever wanted.
As Christmas comes closer, the snow thickens, and the magic grows stronger. Alanna and Iain must choose between desire and duty, love and obligation.
But it's Christmas in the Highlands, and there are bound to be a few surprises.
Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.