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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CHRISTMAS BETROTHAL by Barbara Miller @rebeccajvickery @KMNbooks #regency #christmas

Let's Welcome Barbara Miller!

Karen: Barbara, why don't you tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

Barbara: Barbara Miller teaches in the Writing Popular Fiction graduate program at Seton Hill University and is Reference Librarian at Mount Pleasant, PA Public Library. She has published historical and contemporary romances, mysteries, young adult books, a storybook and a paranormal novel. Two of her plays have been performed at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.

Karen: Tell us your latest news. Do you have any current projects you're working on?

Barbara:I finished a Valentine story to get ahead of the game, then went back to a Christmas novel to be published in 2017. That story is built around carols so I get to play all my favorite music. 

Karen: What is the name of your story and what inspired you to write this tale for the Let it Snow, 2016 Holiday Romance Collection?

Barbara: Christmas Betrothal is about two people separated by war who come together to heal each other.

Karen: When you were a child, what holiday story intrigued you the most?

Barbara: Christmas Carol is a story I can read/watch in all it iterations and enjoy every time.

Karen: What do you think makes a good holiday story?

Barbara: Family and friends are more important than carols, food and decorations. Certainly more important than presents.

Karen: What is your favorite holiday movie or book?

Barbara: I have to say Prancer is my all-time favorite. If you have never seen it, you are in for a treat.

Karen: What is your favorite holiday drink or food dish?

Barbara: Egg Nog ice cream combines two favorites. Fruit cake run a close second.

Karen: What makes you interested in the genre you write?

Barbara: Christmas wasn’t the same sort of holiday in English Regency times as it is today. I want to experience the sort of Christmas they had. No presents or cards to worry about, but lots of visiting and feasting.

Captain Blase Westcott travels to Fernly, the family estate of his fellow officer, for the holidays. The two soldiers have been recovering at Westcott's estate after the terrible battle at Waterloo. Now Blase has agreed to spend Christmas at Fernly even though he suspects Lieutenant James Barnes wants to match him up with his sister.

After a successful spate of portrait work during the months after the Peace Celebrations, Christine Barnes has been invited to her uncle's estate for the holidays and knows they wish her to stay on afterwards. She loves Fernly and her uncle. She even has a soft spot for her doting aunt, but she fears staying there would prove impossible. Her cousin, Sally, has made it clear she doesn't want her there. Besides, she enjoys her independence. 

The presence of childhood acquaintance Blase Westcott during the holiday celebrations makes her think twice about her plan to travel the country painting portraits. Perhaps, she has more than one path she can choose from.

You can purchase your copy of LET IT SNOW at:
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 ~Enjoy an Excerpt from Christmas Betrothal~

Christine slid off her mare outside the stable when she saw the coach and team of four she had
passed near the road. It wasn't a coach she recognized, but the horses looked magnificent and were all being groomed. She'd do her own mare and get a better look at the animals.
"Need some help?" a soldier asked. His uniform had a captain's epaulets and he was familiar, especially his voice. She'd met so many officers in the Peninsula she struggled to recognize him.
She stared at his handsome face a moment, the dark hair and brown eyes . Realizing she hadn't answered him she found her voice. "I can manage. Is that your coach?" She was hoping when he spoke again he would jog her memory or volunteer his name.
"Blase Westcott, James's friend. Don't you remember me?" He took her gloved hand in his and she noticed a tremor in the movement. Of course, she remembered him now. She had the oddest notion that if not for the gloves he would have kissed her hand. How different he was from the schoolboy she remembered. He'd been wounded in the arm if she was any judge.
"Yes, of course, Captain Westcott. Do you remember me? Christine Barnes, itinerant relative."
"Call me Blase as you used to." He smiled, then turned and loosened the cinch on her mare's saddle one-handed while she held the reins. "Excuse the uniform. None of my old suits fit me. I hope to get civilian gear soon."
"Most men would sport the red uniform as long as they could."
"It's a time in my life I want to forget."
He laughed and she admired the way he did it.
"You don't have any reason to wander now. The war is finally over."
"I am self-supporting. But they said James would be home, so I thought to see him."
"I saw you in Spain but only at a distance. You look well."
"I like to keep up appearances." She did not protest when he started currying her mare.
"I know this breed, Andelusian."
"I brought her back from the peninsula."
"You stayed there with your father, even when he was in the field?"
"Where else would I be except with Father?"
He smiled up at her and nodded. "Where else indeed?"
"Before we go in, tell me about James. Was he badly wounded?"
Blase hesitated, then resumed brushing the mare. "No one is well wounded."
"Of course," she mumbled, biting her lip.
"He took a ball in the thigh, but he will be fine in time."
"Thank you for telling me."
A groom approached and took the mare. "We have her box ready, miss. I'll hold her feed till she's cool."
"Very good, Nate."
"Shall we go in?" Blase asked.
He held his arm out in a way she could not refuse, though she did not need anyone's help. Suddenly it hit her that James might have brought him home because of her. Was he waiting in the stable to meet her or merely overseeing the care of his horses?
It would not be the first time an eligible bachelor had been invited where she was staying with the sole purpose of marrying her so as to save her uncle the embarrassment of explaining her living alone. She would have to step lively to avoid his suit since she suspected him to be a charmer. However, did she really want to avoid marriage forever? Perhaps a flirtation at least would lift her spirits.
A few flakes of snow began to fall, standing out on his red coat. Perhaps there would be enough overnight to cover the gray landscape with a clean fresh blanket for Christmas.
At the back door they were greeted by Foster the butler and one of the footmen.
"Show the captain to his room, please," Foster said to the underling. "Miss Barnes, dinner has been put back half an hour to allow the gentlemen to change." Foster glanced at the dark-green riding suit whose tail Christine had tossed over her arm.
"They're soldiers, Foster. That was probably an unnecessary precaution."
He glared at her boots. Foster had never approved of her, so it amused her to shock him as often as possible.
"I shall be down in ten minutes," Christine said. "You may time me." She trotted up the stairs, leaving Blase to stare after her.
When she glanced back he was smiling at her again. It was a disarming smile, an understanding smile. As though he already knew her better than she knew herself. Or did she just wish that to be so?

For more information about Barbara Miller and her works, please visit her website.
or email her at scribe@fallsbend.net


  1. I love historical romances! So England in the early 1800s, before the landed gentry with servants lifestyle began to disappear? And I like your dialog. Beats the heck out of what passes for conversation today, doesn't it?

  2. Barbara,
    Thanks so much for being here today. I enjoyed your Regency story.

  3. Dialogue is really The heart of any story and the meat of Regency gatherings. Except for music, that was all they had.

  4. Dialogue is key to any story, but in Regency times it was key to social gatherings. Except for music they had no other entertainment.

  5. I have to agree Barbara, Christmas used to be more about family and friends with a little feasting on the way. In our present day, Christmas brings with it pressure to buy everyone a present including the mail person. Although I would love to get and give Christmas cards--the real kind with your own handwriting in the card, people are beginning to back away from cards except the cyber kind.
    I want to wish you all the very best and I hope you have a lovely Christmas.


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