Thursday, November 29, 2012

December is (almost) here!

Every year, I look forward to December. There's something magical about the holiday season. I love all the lights and giving presents, and for a few days each year everyone becomes nice. People gain a politeness many don't carry the rest of the year, and life slows down into the pace it should have.

Sweden has long, cold, and dark winters, and we love the holidays. It's a reason to light candles and put up lights. If you drive through the country, most windows will have electric candlesticks like the one on the photo. We call it "adventsljusstake." Some people also put up stars. We don't usually decorate the houses with lights like people do here, just the windows and maybe a tree in the yard.

It's quite beautiful, especially in the countryside. Imagine driving through a snowy landscape where the only lights come from your own car. Then, you pass a few houses, and they're all lit up like this.

Besides these lights, we wait with the heavy decorating until the days right before Christmas - most people take the tree in and decorate in on December 23rd. We celebrate Christmas eve, and the traditions are very different from the US. I'm sure I'll elaborate on that in some blog in a couple of weeks, when the mood strikes me.

This year, I'm excited for December for more reasons. My Kidnapped prequel - Courage and Retribution - will be available free from the Desert Breeze Publishing website. I'm participating in Nightowl Reviews winter web hunt, I have a promotion blitz scheduled for Brand New World for December 12th, and come January, lovely Roxanne Rhoads from Bewitching Book Tours will be my publicist. Exciting times!

Here is a short sneak-peek of Courage and Retribution, telling the story of William become one of the most wanted men in the galaxy.

The wooden staircase creaked under William's feet. He squinted into the basement's complete darkness, remembered the flashlight in his hand, and made his way to a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Its light didn't reach all the way into the corners of the room, and it sent strange shadows crawling over the walls.

He kept his head bent; he was too tall to stand straight in the confined space. "It's not elegant, but should be safe enough for now."

Three dirty faces turned toward him with faith shining from their eyes, and he swallowed hard. What if he couldn't live up to their trust? No, he couldn't afford to think like that. He started down this road. There was no going back.

A female hand clutched his. It was small and cold and made him want to protect her. "Thank you. I don't know what we'd do without you."

He cupped his hands around hers. "I have to go. The congregation will be here soon. You just stay put down here, okay?"

Taking a glance around the bare room, he exhaled through his teeth. There had to be a better place to hide the family than this dank cellar, but he couldn't think of anything. "I'm sorry it's not nicer."
The woman made a dismissive gesture. "We're alive."

She was right. Their insurrection might have been a minor one, but they were still refugees from the Alliance. Having the biggest war machine of the galaxy on their heels, feeling safe even for a moment must be a luxury. "I'll bring you some food as soon as I can."

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