A couple of years ago Melanie discovered a new to her author, she then proceeded to start cyber stalking her to win her latest book. When she got to meet her in person Anna squealed my cyber stalker, and a friendship was born. When we were planning this series it was no brainer we wanted Anna to participate. So without further ado we will turn it over to Anna as she tells us about Christmas Down Under. She has a Christmas surprise as well.
Christmas in Australia
Hi Heather and Book Reading Gals! Thank you for asking me to participate in your Holiday Spectacular.
Here in Australia, Christmas falls right in the middle of summer so all those wonderful scenes of Santa urging reindeer through snow and robins shivering in frost and carol singers rugged up to the nines have no relevance at all. Which doesn’t stop a million Christmas card retailers! We still get all the winter imagery for Christmas.
It’s kind of… surreal.
Christmas in Australia, or at least the coastal bit of Australia I come from, is made for the beach. Or if you haven’t got a beach handy, the pool. Or at the very least a hose in the back garden. It’s a time of long summer days and sitting in the evening with a glass of crisp white wine. Speaking of wines, there’s also the whine of mosquitoes. Summer is mosquito season here! Christmas coincides with our long summer holidays and with all the summer fruit being in season. Yum!
It’s also cricket season. Cricket is the big summer sport down here – with a bit of world-class tennis thrown in. I remember screaming fights with my father when I was a teenager because he wanted to watch the test match (test matches go on for what to a teenager is an excruciating four days of nothing happening) when I wanted to watch something else. This was back in the days of one TV families. I went to boarding school and holidays were my only chance to watch TV. The irony is I’ve become quite fond of cricket as I’ve got older.
When I grew up, most people still did the big traditional English lunch. Even though in our climate it is completely insane. We had roast turkey, roast pork, ham, roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, stuffing, beans, cauliflower in cheese sauce, gravy. Then followed it up with hot plum pudding with hot custard, cream and ice-cream. I’m surprised we didn’t all die of heart attacks – the temperature outside can approach 104 degrees F/40 degrees C and the humidity can hit 100%. As you can imagine, after lunch, everybody just collapsed like drunken elephants to sleep off the mountain of food!
These days most people do something much more climate appropriate. Seafood and salads or a barbecue on the ubiquitous beach. But I was indoctrinated early. If it’s not the sort of meal that makes you feel like you’ve eaten a ton of bricks, it’s not Christmas.
Another thing I remember fondly from those long Christmas holidays when I was a young ‘un is lying around reading book after book. Mainly romances. That’s definitely a good memory!
If you’re in Australia or New Zealand and you’re short of reading matter over the holidays, HarperCollins here have put out CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, TEMPT THE DEVIL and MY RECKLESS SURRENDER as an e-bundle called THE COURTESAN COLLECTION at a bargain price. It’s available from 13th December from all good e-book retailers. Here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Courtesan-Collection-ebook/dp/B00642XEPG
My recipe isn’t really a recipe but it’s very yummy.
Summer Fruit Salad:
Chop up fruit in season, for example, plums, peaches, cherries, mangoes, watermelon, apricots, nectarines. Mix together in a large bowl. For a touch of decadence, stir in a splash of sweet liqueur (Frangelico is nice for this). Serve alone or with cream or ice-cream. Makes a lovely breakfast dish (without the Frangelico – well, all right, add the Frangelico if you want, it’s Christmas!).
Wishing you all a very happy Holiday season and all the best for 2012!
***So how old were you when you read your first romance? Was it over a summer holiday? Do you remember what it was? I’ve got a signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION going out to one lucky commenter. Good luck. Open World Wide***