Wednesday, December 08, 2010
On The Tenth Day of Christmas - Lucy Gordon
Christmas plays a large part in A Mistletoe Proposal because Pippa, the heroine, was once jilted in a by-gone December and now the memory of her pain makes her draw away from the celebrations. Writing about that time of year made me remember Christmasses in my own life.
One of the best was spent in Venice. My husband comes from that magical city. It was where we met, and where we lived for a couple of years.
Think of Venice and you probably see it thronged with people; the tourist city. But by December it is far less crowded. Now the streets are quieter, there is room to stroll peacefully, and rediscover what I think of as ‘the real Venice’, the one the rest of the world seldom sees, but which the Venetians treasure.
The only thing a Venetian Christmas lacks is the presents, for these are given at Epiphany, on January 6th, which has the delightful effect of making the season last longer.
Another Christmas that comes to mind is when we’d returned to England, and went shopping for Christmas groceries in our local supermarket. My husband was in a wheelchair, having had a minor operation on his foot, and I had to wheel him around. I made a mess of it, partly because I hadn’t realised that you have to take the brake off the wheelchair first.
It was quite a journey with me pushing the wheelchair and him pushing the trolley. I lost track on the collisions. We ended up bickering, to the amusement of everyone else. I’m reliably informed that nothing on television that year equalled the entertainment we provided.
Luckily my husband is very sweet-tempered. As we approached the check-out he beamed up at me, saying, “Well, we made it. AND WE’RE STILL MARRIED!”
And years later we still are!!!!!
* * *
My Christmas book, A MISTLETOE PROPOSAL opens in an unusual way, with Pippa, the heroine, visiting the graves of her grandparents, Mark and Dee, and talking to them. In her heart they still live, their love story an inspiration.
Roscoe, the hero, a severe man with natural authority, sees only her great beauty, thinking he can use her to beguile his younger brother away from the crowd he’s with, who are leading him down dangerous paths. When he finds that he’s the one beguiled he has a problem on his hands. That just wasn’t meant to happen, and none of his business experience helps him cope.
Pippa also struggles against her growing attraction to him. Since her heart was broken she’s turned against love and romance. Although Dee is no longer there it is her haunting influence that helps Pippa find the answer.
That’s why the next book follows so closely. HIS DIAMOND BRIDE comes out in January and is the story and Dee and Mark, how they fell in love during World War II, and how their love triumphed in a marriage that lasted for sixty years and finally guided Pippa onto the right path. My greatest hope is that people will read the two books close together.
* * *
A final point. The story I told earlier about my husband illustrates what I firmly believe, that the most successful marriages often occur when people can share a joke. He and I have shared many, and it’s almost as great a bond as passion. (Almost!)
I love writing the emotional scenes that go to the heart and soul of what makes life worth living. But it’s sometimes nice to inject a touch of ironic humour. A Mistletoe Proposal contains one of my favourite examples of this.
Pippa is visiting Roscoe’s home, and while she’s there, this happens.
But then she saw something that made her stare, and gasp with delight.
“Wow!” she breathed. “How about that? I’ve never seen such a big one before. Let me look at it. Can you just – ? Yes, that’s right. Do it again – and again. Oh, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever – yes – yes – yes – ”
Her hands were clasped in sheer ecstasy, her voice full of joy, her eyes glowing with blissful satisfaction.
Lucy has generously donated His Diamond Bride to the now-getting-full-to-overflowing prize box! Today's clue is MISTLETOE - send it to me in an email to be entered! Only one entry per day please!