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Guest blogger: Penelope Janu

13 December 2020

I wrote my novella The Six Rules of Christmas (published by HarperCollins) to a very tight deadline, but it was a joy to spend time with these characters from the first page to the last. Ariella is a small-town lawyer and Jack is a farrier who works in the horseracing industry. When Jack, from a close-knit family that embraces Christmas traditions, challenges Ariella to learn the rules of Christmas, sparks fly between the conservative lawyer and unconventional farrier.

I’m lucky enough to have Christmas traditions from all around the world in my family. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve because that’s how it’s done in Austria and in many parts of Europe. With lots of family crowded around the table, we share a meal (sometimes schnitzel!) in the evening, listen to carols (that’s the Mozart connection!) and open presents under the tree. Some of us drink a nightcap and go to bed, others celebrate Christmas Mass at midnight. On Christmas day, my family’s English heritage insists we pull crackers, wear silly hats (if it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth II, it’s good enough for us!) and eat turkey with cranberry sauce (I have the BEST Curtis Stone turkey and stuffing recipes if anyone would like them!). My gorgeous nephew Moussa prepares baklava and other traditional sweets, and of course we have a few Australian traditions too, like prawns on the BBQ and a swim after lunch. So many Christmas themes, irrespective of tradition or religion, are universal. In fact, there are no rules for Christmas. So …

Why is my novella called The Six Rules of Christmas? Ariella, opposed to Christmas celebrations because of a childhood tragedy, likes to play things by the book. Teaching her the traditions of Christmas, with warmth, humour and love, earns Jack a very special place in Ariella’s heart.

I hope all ARRA members have a very happy and safe Christmas season, and that 2021 brings much joy, good health and happiness.

You can find Penelope here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The Six Rules of Christmas is on special as an ebook all through December, so you can pick up a heartwarming tale of Christmas (with a very sexy hero) for only $0.99c! Find it here.

The Six Rules of Christmas

Picking up the reins of her father’s law practice, Ariella Blake has made a place for herself in small–town Warrandale. But when stand–in farrier Jack Adamson blows in for the holidays, with his good looks and infuriating evasiveness, he challenges her to embrace the rules of Christmas. Step by step, will Christmas – and Jack – get under her skin?

The Six Rules of Christmas was a novella written as part of Our Country Christmas, an anthology of five Christmas stories written by me and fellow Harlequin Mira (HarperCollins) authors. Much as I often fall in love with the heroes I create, I have a particularly soft spot for Jackson, who not only shoes racehorses, but makes Christmas ornaments as well!

One Comment
  1. Claire Louisa permalink
    13 December 2020 10:57 am

    I love this Christmas novella.

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