Friday, 21 December 2012

Krystal Brooks nipped in, with some black bun and a dram and some interesting words...


Who wouldn't want a Highland Hogmanay...






The problem with growing up in Scotland is that you become very cynical at a young age.  We all see that Christmas is not like it appears on the TV.  My mother has never brought the turkey to the table so my dad could smile lovingly at us all while he carves the bird.  My mum used to hack the poor thing into bits, dump it on cold plates and serve it up with lumpy gravy and instant mashed potatoes.
I still have the memory of my cousin clobbering my poor brother over the head with a great big toy Dukes of Hazzard car because they were fighting over whose turn it was next. I also remember my sister (at the age of about 20) spending Christmas day with her head down the toilet as she had drunk too much gin on Christmas eve.
That's not to say we didn't have good Christmases. We did.  They just were not like they are on the TV. Nor are they like the song “Christmas Alphabet.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt-GWG99m50
So I decided to create my own Scottish Cynics Christmas Alphabet. It doesn't scan with the song I'm afraid.
C is for cake.  If your Christmas fruitcake doesn't have enough alcohol in it to push you over the legal drink-driving limit with one small slice, then you're doing it wrong. (Don't eat Christmas cake and drive)
H is for holidays.  As a teacher I have been dreaming of these holidays for weeks.  Unfortunately the rest and recuperation will be spoiled by the necessity to be cheerful and festive.
R is for repeats.  That's all they show on TV over the festive season.  Repeats of old Christmas specials.  Remember to buy a decent boxed set of your favourite TV programme to see you through.
I is for ice.  It's cold out there and it's busy in A and E (you probably call it the ER). You don't want a broken limb, so watch out.
S is for shops.  They are overcrowded and everyone buys three weeks supply of groceries at the supermarket.  They seem to think a world-wide famine is on the way whereas, in reality, the shops are only closed for about 36 hours.
T is for the tree. Fake ones only ever look fake and real ones probably kill your cat.  I blame Prince Albert.  He seems to be responsible for Christmas trees, cards and questionable male piercings. Queen Victoria seems to have had a lucky escape.
M is for money. Let's be honest... you'd probably prefer someone to put a nice crisp note in a card instead of buying you that garish sweater.  Then you could go and buy a bottle of Vodka instead.
A is for Aunt Martha.  Everyone has that elderly relative who tells you that you look like your dad, asks you if you have a proper job yet and inquires into your romantic life as if it is any of their business.  Tell her you're a member of a free love commune, have joined the circus and that you found out that your real dad is the milkman. That should have her choking on her sweet sherry.
S is for skint.  A British word meaning broke (poor). That's what Christmas does to us.  But it also is for Smile.  When I see the face of my 7 year old niece, I know it will be worth it. And it means sleep.  Every year I promise that I'll just sleep through the festivities.  But come November, I'll be first in line to start organising for the big day.
But after all the fuss, we'll have about five days to regroup in time for Hogmanay.  Why not sit down with a good book.  A nice Scottish romance which will keep your temperature up (think of the lower gas bills).
Here's the blurb:
The week between Christmas and New Year is always dreary, and for Isla, single mum of two small children, it's doubly so. A toddler throwing a tantrum and an over-inquisitive four-year-old are stressing her out. The broken shopping bag spilling her groceries out in the wet street is the final straw. But handsome Mark Ferguson turns up out of the blue to help her.
The New Year may be looking up, until she finds out that Mark owns one of the biggest computing firms in the USA. Can they make a long distance relationship work and can Mark stop trying to make their relationship into a business venture?
This is a surprisingly unsmutty excerpt... but I thought you'd like it because it's Christmas :)
““Come on, girls, let’s make this snow into the best snowman ever.” They hurried outside and Isla watched from the kitchen window as Mark organised Jenna and Amber to make the different parts of the snowman from rolled snowballs. She fished into the vegetable bag and removed a decent-sized carrot for a nose and a couple of small potatoes for eyes. Hopefully they could find small stones in the garden to make the mouth.
When she opened the door to take out the vegetables, she was shocked to find Mark lying on his back as Jenna and Amber lobbed handfuls of snow at him.
“Hey, what’s going on?” she shouted as Mark bellowed with laughter.
“It’s my own fault,” he explained between chuckles. I threw snowballs at them first.” She handed Jenna the potatoes.
“Two eyes for your snowman.” Then she held the carrot up to her nose. “See, Amber? That’s the snowman’s nose. You hold that.” Amber grabbed it and looked at the snowman, clearly unconvinced. But she ambled over to watch her big sister press the potatoes into the snowman’s face, albeit a little squint.
Isla put her hand down to help Mark up and saw too late the gleam in his eye. He tightened his grip and pulled against her.  His strength and her surprise allowed him to easily pull her down on top of him and then roll over so she was lying on the wet snow.
“If we didn’t have an audience, there are lots of extremely dirty things I’d like to do to you,” he whispered in her ear. Then he planted a chaste kiss on her lips. She could tell he was about to let her up when Jenna and Amber came rushing over. Amber fell on the snow but picked herself up without a murmur and followed her sister. The children piled on top of the adults and everyone screamed as more handfuls of snow were thrown around. After a few minutes, the girls became bored and Amber wandered off to find the abandoned carrot.”
Highland Hogmanay is now available at http://pinkpetalbooks.com
You can find me at http://krystalbrookes.com
Happy Christmas.
Krystal

8 comments:

  1. I love your contemporary romances Krystal!!!! I can't wait to read this one!!!
    Angela

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  2. And Raven, I'm now following your blog!!! It looks great!

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  3. This contemporary romance sounds just the ticket! Love the Christmas acrostic!

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  4. Most realistic Christmas Alphabet ever! and the perfect excerpt, as well ;)

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  5. LOVED your alphabet song! Loved it!

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