Release Day for the Romancing the Holidays 2 BoxSet
In the early 1990s, I ran a luxury safari lodge in Botswana’s beautiful Okavango Delta. It’s where I fell in love with a handsome Norwegian bush pilot I married after a whirlwind romance, and although my story, Okavango Angel, features an Australian girl who falls for a rugged South African game ranger, I essentially recreated my experiences of a Christmas romance in a remote island lodge, cut off by floodwaters
2. What is your favourite part of Christmas?
The different traditions that my Norwegian husband and me – (originally from Lesotho in Africa but now living in Australia) bring to Christmas are fun to recreate at Christmas for our two daughters. For my husband, it’s the nisser – the Christmas elves – and the specially prepared roast pork followed by trollcream, made from cold rice porridge mixed with whipped cream and cloudberries. (We use the cloudberry jam from Ikea). Delicious!
But it is extra work as we have the traditional Norwegian dinner and celebration on Christmas Eve, followed by our Australian/English tradition of roast turkey the following day. The kids love getting their presents the day before, though!
3. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
I’ve been hardworking with four new releases under my Beverley Eikli and Beverley Oakley names in 2017, but also, I hope, a fun mum and wife, as well as a conscientious daily walker for our gorgeous but not-very-bright Rhodesian Ridgeback called Mombo, named after the Okavango lodge where my husband and I met.
4. If you could have 6 people to Christmas dinner (living or dead) who would they be?
I would love a traditional Regency Christmas. At the dinner table, I’d assemble George III (during his non mad phase) and George IV when he was planning his construction of the Brighton Pavilion, so I could see if I could understand why they disliked each other so much. (The Hanovers were famed for having dysfunctional family relationships, particularly between father and eldest son.)
For the very same reason, I would love to also invite Princess Caroline of Brunswick, who was both George IV’s wife and his cousin, as well as their daughter, Caroline during the phase she was in love and about to marry a man who would make her briefly happy before she’d die in childbirth.
Add to that a mistress or two. (This would be George IV’s mistresses, of course, since George III was more interested in turnips and agricultural improvements than women though he was a loyal husband.) Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey,
would be my choice because I find it fascinating that, at the age of forty and already a grandmother and mother of ten children, she began the mistress of George IV who was nine years her junior.
And finally, I’d include as the sixth guest of our little gathering, her daughter-in-law, Sarah Child Villiers, Countess of Jersey, who was a leading figure in Regency society and one of the patronesses of Almack's Assembly Rooms. Why? Because I’d love to quiz her on that famous Regency haunt for which the refusal of vouchers could sound the death knell to one’s social aspirations. (And I think every avid reader of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances would love to quiz an Almack’s patroness on their criteria for admittance.)