Mistletoe Madness with Brenda Gayle
What are your plans for Christmas 2014?
Christmas 2014 is our turn to play host. We alternate with my husband’s family every year; as my mother-in-law put it when we got married: the “odd” years are with the “odd” family.
Tell us about a usual Christmas in your home?
Typically, for me, Christmas begins with coffee in bed. My husband (a giant kid, himself) gets up very early and he, along with my two children, prepare coffee and breakfast. When I get up, we all empty the stockings that Santa Claus kindly filled overnight. This year, my sister and her two sons will also be staying with us so there will be a lot of commotion. When my parents arrive, there is more coffee and more breakfast while the kids (actually older teenagers, now) anxiously wait for us to start opening the presents under our tree.
The afternoon is generally pretty quiet. The kids play games (board or video games if they’re indoors; tobogganing or skating if they’re outdoors—did I mention I live in Canada?), while the adults read and relax by a fire. Dinner is the big celebration with more food than our family can possible consume, resulting in a week of leftovers. The day is all about being with family and appreciating what we have.
Any gift in particular that you’d love to see wrapped under the tree?
Gerard Butler. Oops, did I say that out loud? In truth, I am so blessed there is very little I really want or need. However, if forced to choose (and to show you how truly boring my life is), I would absolutely love a Dyson vacuum. We have two Siberian Huskies and a cat, and at this time I’ve year I’ve had just about all I can stand of their shedding hair. It almost makes me wish for winter…
What is a typical Christmas lunch and/or dinner at your house?
Turkey is an absolute essential at Christmas. I’ve tried to convince my family to be adventurous and try ham or goose for a change, but they’ll have none of it. In addition, there’s usually mashed potatoes, green beans, and a squash/carrot casserole. Dessert is generally an assortment of baking my mother has provided, as well as a heated Christmas pudding with a decadent hard sauce (essentially an excuse to eat pure sugar blended with a rich cream).
Tell us, what is the one dish that gets served every single year? Is there a story behind this?
I believe I mentioned that my husband is a big kid. When we were first married (even before we had kids), he would get up at 4 am on Christmas morning, ready to celebrate. That’s way too early for me, so to keep himself occupied, he started baking cranberry scones. His scones have become so popular that even if we’re not home on Christmas, he’s expected to bake them wherever we’re staying.
Your best Silly Season survival tip?
Scotch. Preferably single malt from the Islay region.
What will you be reading this Christmas?
I am hoping to find the time to read all the other stories in The Wild Rose Press’s Twelve Brides of Christmas anthology. What I love about this series is that each of the 12 stories comes from a different imprint—contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, western, fantasy, etc. I am anxious to see how the other authors approached their task of writing a short story featuring 1) a bride, 2) Christmas, and 3) one of the “gifts” from the famous song.
What have been your big achievements in 2014?
This has been a big year for publications for me. The Forsaken Heart, the third book in my contemporary Heart’s Desire series (along with a really cool video trailer), was released as was my Christmas story, Six Geese for Monica. As the year winds down, I’m taking a bit of time to catch my breath before I delve into another project I’ve been asked to take on—writing a contemporary romance for an anthology in support of ovarian cancer research. I’m honored to have been asked to participate and excited to contribute to such a worthwhile cause.
What are your plans/goals for 2015?
My goal is to become more disciplined toward my writing. Too often I allow the priorities of others to interfere with my own. In addition to completing the story mentioned above, I have several other books outlined including one, based on a family legend, which I’ve been picking away at for years.
Six Geese for Monica
Seven years ago Monica Stevens left her home town with no intention of returning. Her inability to conceive a child not only devastated her fifteen-year marriage, it made her doubt her appeal as a woman. When her mother has to undergo surgery, she reluctantly agrees to come back and run the Mother Goose Daycare.
Luke Donovan is struggling to balance his career with his duties as a single father to six adopted children. The death of his wife has thrown the adoption of their two youngest sons into limbo. He is further stymied by a dogmatic social worker who questions whether a single parent can adequately care for so many children.
Initially brought together by the children, Monica and Luke quickly surrender to their growing passion. But when she learns about the threatened adoption, Monica wonders if Luke’s interest in her is only as a mother to his children. Is history about to repeat itself, or will a Christmas miracle finally give Monica the family she’s always dreamed of having?
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!