Dec 24

Christmas in Captivity

Season’s Greetings to all my readers, friends and colleagues.

The heroine of Conquering Passion, a Norman Countess, is forced to spend Yuletide in captivity after being kidnapped and held for ransom by Welsh rebels. Her children (Robert and Baudoin) and two servants share her imprisonment in a remote mountain fortress.

Here’s an excerpt:Conquering Passion

“At the Winter Solstice, Rhodri’s people held a ceremony to honor the sun and he explained to Robert and Baudoin this was to encourage the sun to come back someday. Despite the remoteness of the fortress, it was well supplied. It had its own large communal kitchens made of stone which were separate from the wooden structure. There were two huge fireplaces for cooking. Most of the meals were surprisingly good and food was plentiful, but at Yuletide they enjoyed a special banquet, which began with mulled cider, followed by venison and fenberry pie. When Giselle asked where they had found fenberries, she was told they grew readily in the bogs of Wales.

An oak log was burned for twelve hours using the remains of the previous year’s log to light it. Rhonwen explained that, once it had been burned, the people would keep the remnants for next year, but the ashes would be spread on the fields in the valleys below at the time of planting. This would encourage a good harvest.

The doors had been decorated with holly. The Welsh believed the evergreen with its blood red berries was a sign of fertility, and its spikes would capture evil spirits before they entered.”

Can you guess what we call fenberries today?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway. You might win a Kindle Fire HD6. Contest closes Dec. 31st.


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  1. Melissa Keir

    Merry Christmas Anna! Great excerpt! So much of our history is still utilized today!

    1. Anna Markland

      Merry Christmas, Melissa.

  2. Liette Bougie

    Merry Christmas to you, Anna. Looking forward to finally start reading those books of yours I ordered (or won).

    1. Anna Markland

      All the best to you, Liette. Thanks for your support.

  3. Sydney

    You let her have her children with her for Yuletide. As the writer, you couldn’t break your character’s heart. Very nice.
    Happy Christmas!

    1. Anna Markland

      Never thought of it that way! All the best to you.

  4. Lily Bishop

    Great blog post. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Anna Markland

      Thanks, Lily.

  5. Gemma Juliana

    Merry Christmas, Anna. I enjoyed this excerpt – it carried me right into that era. Is this from a book that is available now?

    I believe fenberries are called cranberries nowadays – is this right?

    All the best to you in 2015!

    1. Anna Markland

      Right. Fenberries are cranberries.
      Conquering Passion is still available from Amazon.

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