CHRISTMAS WITH… Madeline Ash
What are your plans for Christmas 2015?
I always try to keep it simple, but it’s easier said than done! In the lead-up, I’ll visit my grandma who lives out of town, and also celebrate with the extended family. That reduces the madness of events on the 25th – there’s always a lot of running around. My ideal Christmas would be staying put and having everyone visit me instead!
Tell us about a usual Christmas in your home?
Well, I’m hardly in my home at all on Christmas! The festivities always kick off Christmas Eve with dinner at my grandpa’s place, an event that’s been going on for longer than I’ve been alive. I’ll spend the next morning with my partner’s family, then head on to their extended family lunch. After that, we’ll head to my mum’s house for a big Christmas dinner, followed by a present exchange at the end of a long, food-filled day. It’s fun, but exhausting.
Any gift in particular that you’d love to see wrapped under the tree?
Not particularly. We do a Kris Kingle in my immediate family, so that we all only have to buy one present, and we’ve put a $50 limit on it so none of us feel tempted to go crazy. We did this a few years ago when the thought of Christmas shopping filled us all with dread! The difference has been remarkable. We put them all in a pile and not reveal who bought for whom – we all just pick one to open. Once they’re all open, we then have to guess who we think each present must be for, and lots of exchanging ensues until the Big Reveal! This makes the act of giving and guessing fun, rather than the present itself J
What is a typical Christmas lunch and/or dinner at your house?
We go for the roast approach – potatoes, pumpkin, parsnip, fresh green beans, cheesy cauliflower and broccoli, beetroot, and a nutloaf (we’re vegetarian), all smothered in gravy. Delicious!
Tell us, what is the one dish that gets served every single year? Is there a story behind this?
Fattigman. It’s an oddly shaped Norwegian sweet dough that’s deep fried then covered in icing sugar. This tradition goes back many, many generations on mother’s side and my sisters and I are keeping it alive. I remember my grandma teaching us, saying “Roll the batter nice and thin, cut it into diamonds, then make a slit here, and poke the top point through the fold. And when it swells up from frying, the point will rise up to make the fattiman’s penis.” We giggled a lot at that! We can’t go a year without it and always add ground cardamom into the icing sugar to give it that extra festive flavour.
Essentials for an Aussie Christmas…
A hot day, sunblock, and a pretty dress worn with thongs.
Your best Silly Season survival tip?
Reducing presents reduces stress (admittedly, there aren’t any young kids in my family at this stage – I know that’ll change things!)
What will you be reading this Christmas?
Ooh, I have a new Juliet Marillier on order, which I can’t wait to sink into, and Kelly Hunter has a few Christmas-themed romances out soon. I also want to do lots of cooking from Thug Kitchen, a new cookbook that’s supposed to be hilariously written. Love combining reading with cooking.
What have been your big achievements in 2015?
This year has been a biggie! I had my third book released with Destiny Romance in January, hot on the heels of my first release with Tule Publishing. Since then, I’ve had another two books out with Tule – so that makes four books published in one year – a personal record!
What are your plans/goals for 2016?
I’ve got another novella for Tule Publishing to write – it’ll make book four in the series. Then, I’m strongly considering writing a single title contemporary series aimed at the print market. We’ll see how I go!
You For Christmas
Regan Case wouldn’t know the right side of the tracks if they ran her out of town. She’s lived hard since she ran away at sixteen, but eight years later, an accident has terrified her into pulling her life together. And that means finally going home for Christmas.
Taking her return one step at a time, she ends up on the doorstep of her sister’s best friend, Felix Nickson. The man indebted to her after she jammed ten grand down his trousers in high school and enabled him to escape his own demons. Felix agrees to let her stay, but doesn’t count on the chemistry that burns hot between them.
As they get into the Christmas spirit, he watches Regan’s shadows fade away and discovers that beneath her careless attitude, she is by far the bravest woman he’s ever met. He falls for her, fast and hard, but she fears she doesn’t deserve such a good man. A black sheep cannot change her colors.
Can Felix forgive her past or would asking for his love be one too many miracles this Christmas?
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