by Olivia Kelly
My 12 Days of Christmas post is a little different from the others because, even though my dad is Roman Catholic and we did celebrate Christmas, I’m actually Jewish.
See, Judaism is determined by the maternal line. My mother is Jewish; therefore I am Jewish. And since my dad is completely lapsed (don’t tell his mom!), it was never an issue. In fact, I was obnoxiously smug around the holidays while growing up, because I got presents for both Chanukah and Christmas. Now that I’m raising two boys who are technically Jewish, (we don’t practice anymore) but live in a predominately Christian area, with a Catholic grandpa, I kind of get why my parents wore a look of exhaustion all through December.
So many things to do, see, eat and buy. Whew!
My favorite holiday memory is of the yearly Chanukah party we used to throw at our house for our family friends from our synagogue. It was the same five families every year, all the parents were great friends. The kids were a mixed bunch, in age and interests, but when we got together for the holidays, it was like having family around. You don’t always agree or get along, but you love each other anyway.
We would cook latkes (potato pancakes) by the dozen, to eat with sour cream or apple sauce. There was chocolate gelt (coins), presents for all the kids and games to play, like Dreidel (spinning top). We would play for M&Ms, which was the only reason I played. Lol!
I try to carry on that tradition for our kids, even though we don’t have any Jewish friends in the area at the moment. In fact, Saturday night we’ll be heading to my parents’ house for latkes, Dreidel and presents. And most importantly to make some family memories of our own.
It Could Only Be You features American Harry Connelly who’s crossed the ocean to face the man who disowned his mother many, many years ago. But when he finally arrives at Danby Castle, nothing is what he thought it was, and Harry finds himself caught between his past and his future.
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Don’t forget to check out my The Lady and the Duke novella. Miss Audrey Ellis has failed to catch a wealthy, titled husband in her two London Seasons, and merely wishes to return to her quiet country life, leaving high society behind her for good. But when an unexpected encounter brings the Duke of Halford into her life, she will have to decide if she has the courage to change her prudent, unadventurous plans and reach for something more.
William Langston, the Duke of Halford, wasn’t looking for love. He came to Town to hunt down his sister’s blackmailer, hoping to head off a scandal in the making. But the Viscount Claremont is more elusive than the duke was prepared for, and leads him on a chase through society’s drawing rooms and balls. Will soon finds himself distracted from his mission by Audrey’s fresh beauty and lack of pretension, something scarce in his rarefied world.
The pair are drawn together despite their differences, but as scandal looms and rumors spread, danger is closer than ever before.