A Warm and Spicy Christmas Break

I received an unexpected gift from my editor yesterday. Time. A whole week of it, as a matter of fact.

I've spent the past four years doing edits over Christmas. It's just the way my schedule works. I've come to accept it, like the sun rising in the east. It's what happens in December. But this year, my editor got slammed with four books at once (granted, this was partially my fault, because I had a two-week extension.) So my edits won't be coming until next week.

Great rejoicing was had by all. This unexpected gift of time means I can actually take my Christmas break. I've spent the past 36 hours aligning the world so I can shut off my computer - I mean really shut it off. No blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter. Just me and my family, celebrating Christmas with some real together time.

I have space in my head to do my goal planning now too, which is lovely. No rushing through the lists this year.

And all that said, there is one post that will come during the break, but it's being pre-scheduled. A short announcement of sorts.

I hope that you will take a few hours off this Christmas too. As my critique partner/wonder twin/sister always says: Read a Book. It's good for you.

Merry, Merry Christmas to all of you, and best wishes for a joyous New Year!!!!!!!



P.S.  A little something to warm your cockles: Hot Spiced Christmas Wine


  • 2 oranges
  • 2 (750 milliliter) bottles red wine
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle white wine
  • 1 (3 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
  1. Use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the oranges in strips, being careful to remove only the orange part, leaving the pith behind. Then, juice the oranges into a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Pour the red wine and white wine into the pot with the orange juice. Place the strips of orange zest, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and brown sugar into the pot with the wine mixture; stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Cover and heat over medium-high until heated through, but not boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and heat for an hour or longer to bring all of the flavors together. Adjust the sweetness by adding more brown sugar, as necessary. Strain and serve hot with a splash of brandy, if desired.