Christmas Traditions is the theme of this year’s Ellora’s Cave Blush Cotillion Christmas series. Eight stories focusing on Christmas traditions during the Regency will be released digitally, and then in print version as two anthologies.
The eight stories in the series are:
10/10/13: Twelve Days of Christmas, Barbara Miller
10/24/13: Festive Persuasion, Charlene Roberts
10/31/13: Lydia’s Christmas Charade, Saralee Etter
11/7/13: Snug in a Snowstorm, Cynthia Moore
11/14/13: Helena’s Christmas Beau, Aileen Fish
11/21/13: A Twelfth Night Tale, Susana Ellis
11/28/13: Sense of the Season, Kate Dolan
Interview With Saralee Etter
Saralee: I love to read, and always knew that writing was the only career for me. What could be better than to think up stories all day long? I day-dreamed constantly, so it seemed ideal.
Sadly, however, I couldn’t see a way to make a living writing the romantic and exciting stories that filled my head. Instead, I wrote other things: Newspaper articles, public relations releases, legal briefs.
Now I’m beginning to share the stories that I’ve been dreaming about for so long. They’re mostly light-hearted and fun. I’m an armchair time-traveler, so writing stories set during the English Regency period is the perfect way to enjoy history, romance, and delightful adventures all at once.
Susana: How long did it take you to get published?
Saralee: About 5 years from the time I began writing my first novel. As I mentioned above, I’d been writing newspaper articles and other non-fiction material, but that kind of writing is very different to writing a novel! I had to learn a whole new skill-set.
My first novelistic attempt was a sprawling historical romance/comedy/adventure/spy/mystery/ thriller I called “Death in a Powdered Wig.” The entire 128,000-word epic now lives in a three-ring binder on a shelf in the basement – where it will stay.
I wrote one other complete novel before Cerridwen Press (now Blush) published my traditional Regency romance, A Limited Engagement, in 2007. When you read Lydia’s Christmas Charade, you will meet Anthony Moore, one of the characters from that book. I liked young Anthony so much that I really wanted to tell his story, too.
Susana: What hobbies do you enjoy?
Saralee: I’m an avid reader, always with my nose in a book. I prefer to feel the weight of a book in my hand, but I also read a lot on my computer or phone (no ebook reader yet, but hope to get one soon). I enjoy making things with my hands – sewing, making beaded jewelry, and crocheting. I’m learning to knit.
Cooking is another fun activity. I love looking at recipes! There’s something so wonderful about beautiful food in lovely settings. Luckily, I live right near a family-owned you-pick vegetable farm as well as a large orchard, so I’ve got access to plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables.
Readers: What kinds of stories do you like to read? Light-hearted and happy ones, or the kind that make you weep and sigh? I know people who like both kinds.
Also, I’d love to know if you share any of these interests, or if you have other hobbies or activities that are fun to do.
About Lydia’s Christmas Charade
Dutiful, practical Lydia knew that her father, a wealthy commoner, planned to announce her engagement to a nobleman at their Christmas house party. But she didn’t expect her prospective fiancé to be in love with another woman!
Anthony wasn’t usually so reckless. But something about the unknown lady’s sweet manner and pansy brown eyes made him want to share a bit of juicy gossip with her. Everybody knew Lord Danville needed to marry an heiress to save his family from financial ruin. Nobody but Anthony would mention it to the heiress herself.
To fix the mess he’s created, Anthony must woo Lydia on his noble friend’s behalf—and Lydia will have to decide between duty and desire.