I can't believe it's December already - and that's mostly because it's summer outside! This is my first Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere and it's a trip. Even more confusing than wearing short dresses in December is the obvious infiltration of winter imagery into the very summery South African holiday season. The other weekend I went to the shops in pursuit of suitably African Christmas cards, but almost everything I saw had snow, snowmen, snow-covered evergreen trees, and people wearing scarves and gloves!
In a season that's all about tradition, sometimes life intervenes and we have to change the way we've always done things. For me, it's spending Christmas in a rural chalet enjoying summer weather instead of in my Kansas hometown. And for Beth Tate, the heroine of my holiday novella HERO'S HOMECOMING, it means abandoning her plan for a solo Christmas and driving through a blizzard to retrieve the man with whom she had a whirlwind romance - and who broke her heart when he dropped her with barely a word.
Chris is heading home for a traditional family Christmas on his
parents’ ranch in northern Kansas, and although the festivities will be
the same, this year something is very different - two months earlier he
was severely wounded in combat, and lost his eyesight as a result. When a
blizzard strands him at the regional airport he has no choice but to
contact the woman who meant everything, and whom he has to protect from
the burden of his disability at all costs.
Neither Chris nor Beth end up having the Christmas they expect, but they both get the homecoming they need. And although I'll miss the smell of real pine trees and the way Christmas lights brighten up dark winter evenings, I'm so excited to spend Christmas morning enjoying warm sunshine, the rugged beauty of the South African countryside, and if we're lucky, maybe even some monkeys!
How have your holiday traditions evolved over the years? Is there anything you're especially looking forward to this season?
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Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who
taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its
cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart
heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the
happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New
York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South
Find her on the web at rebeccacrowley.net or on Twitter at @rachelmaybe.