Mistletoe Madness with Anna Clifton
What are your plans for Christmas 2014?
This year will be surreal for me. For the first time ever we’re having Christmas lunch at our place. This means I can stay in my jammies and play with my presents all morning – or at least until my husband tells me I have to get up and help with the cooking.
Tell us about a usual Christmas in your home?
My family’s pretty huge. There are about twenty-five of us, including fourteen grandchildren. We sit around a Christmas feast with paper hats on our heads, telling each other the corny jokes from inside the crackers. There’s also a lot of noisy banter and no shortage of passionately held opinions on just about everything. It’s hilarious.
Any gift in particular that you’d love to see wrapped under the tree?
A present from my dad. We lost him a few years ago on Christmas Eve. He’s still close by though, there’s not a doubt in my mind – he adored Christmas.
What is a typical Christmas lunch and/or dinner at your house?
My mum grew up in the post-war years and it shows in her great cooking: turkey, ham, cauliflour gratin, roast potatoes, gravy, cranberry and red current jelly, pavlova, steamy puddings, custard and fruit salad. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tell us, what is the one dish that gets served every single year?
Pavlova. And I’m sorry to those of you who make a great one, but my mum’s pavlova is hands-down the best pavlova in the world – end of story.
Is there a story behind this?
I think it must come from my mum’s country women forebears, sweltering in outback heat and red dust, determined to prepare a cool, colourful, fresh dessert for Christmas lunch.
Your best Silly Season survival tip?
That’s easy. Eat and drink with abandon. Laugh so much your stomach hurts. And if possible, have a swim somewhere – anywhere – to complete the perfect Aussie Christmas and to remind your body it’s capable of doing something other than digestion!
What will you be reading this Christmas?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
What have been your big achievements in 2014?
I suppose I could mention the writing and some other stuff going on in my life but the thing is, being a mother is pivotal to everything. If at Christmas my kids are happy, surrounded by good friends and reaching out for new challenges in the New Year, 2014 will feel like a success, regardless.
What are your plans/goals for 2015?
Finish the fifth and sixth novels in my ‘Murphy’s Law’ series about a group of legal eagles and their families.
New Year’s Promises
They’ve been colleagues, allies and best friends forever, but he wants more — and he’s not above using the magic of the Christmas season to get it.
When Business Development Executive Ellie Halligan is offered the job of a lifetime in Paris, it seems her chance to live a fairytale adventure has finally arrived. Her only hurdle is convincing legal eagle Justin Murphy — her boss and friend since childhood — to wave his boss’s wand and waive her four-week resignation period so that she can start her adventure by Christmas.
But Justin proves to be a demanding fairy godmother. He’ll let her go early, but not unless she spends time with him over the festive season up until New Year.
Ellie doesn’t know what to do. Is Justin finally looking at her romantically after all these years, or are far more threatening dynamics at play? Justin has a secret, and he seems to want to pull her back into a past she’d rather forget. But delving into that old pain might be the only way to move forward — and for Justin to finally be free.
Will doing this for Justin become Ellie’s final gift of love as she loses him forever?
Keen to keep the Christmas fun going?
Come over and try your luck at cracking an AusRomToday cracker. There’s books, book packs, Amazon gift cards, and heaps of other fun Christmassy prizes to win!