In the spirit of the holidays, Peggy is going to share some memories of Christmas — and what Christmas is like for the MacQuire women…
How the MacQuire Women and their families celebrate Christmas
Growing up, Christmas was not the joyous, happy time of the year for me it was for the other kids I knew. I was an only child of divorced parents who each remarried and had no other children.
I was it.
Now, you would think that it would be great to be an only kid with two sets of parents and 4 sets of grandparents, all living and with no other children around. Lots of people to shower you with presents and love, especially around the holidays.
But it wasn’t in my case.
My family tree is the textbook definition of dysfunction. Truly. Open a dictionary and find the word – my family is listed and pictured! Christmas and every other holiday was usually spent with someone crying, someone screaming, a little bloodshed, and everyone on edge.
Not a joyous time.
When I began writing romantic fiction, I knew the one thing that would be the thread sewing all my stories together would be strong, loving families. Families who love and support one another; families who stick together during the fabulous times and the crises; families who know they are nothing alone and everything with each other.
In essence, a family very much NOT like my own.
Skater’s Waltz, my debut novel, introduced the MacQuire family matriarchs Carly (MacQuire)Lennox and Serena (MacQuire) Cleary. Sisters, these two women are as close as any two people can possibly be and they have raised their children to be the same way with each other.
Christmas time with the MacQuire clans is always loud, raucous, and a food lover’s dream come true.
The family wakes up early Christmas morning, with the kids already chomping at the bit for their presents. The fire lit in the kitchen fireplace warms the huge colonial farmhouse and provides a soothing warmth, while the breakfast strata cooks in the oven.
After gifts are opened, the first course of the day begins. Serena is the cook in the family and many have told her if she ever wants to give up her painting calling, she could open her own five star restaurant. Her sons assure her it will be packed every night.
After breakfast, the family attends Mass at the local church and then spends the afternoon outdoors. No matter how cold it is, no matter the weather at all, there is ice-skating, snow shoeing and snow football to indulge in.
An early afternoon “nap” will find Serena and her husband Seamus stealing some adult alone time upstairs while the kids are all off burning up an appetite for dinner.
The rest of the MacQuire’s come to the Cleary home around 4-ish.
Once again family gifts are shared and opened with the cousins, aunts and uncles, and everyone oohs and aahs over the fabulous tree. Moira Cleary will usually be playing Christmas music on her Steinway in the background while dinner is prepared.
And what a feast it is.
Carly, Serena’s older sister will usually bring the hors d’oerves; Alaina MacQuire, the grand matriarch, will do desserts, and Serena will prepare the main course.
The table is set, the drinks are poured and the good natured, family banter abounds around the spacious table in the Cleary’s dining room. The hearth is blazing and the snow is quietly falling outside, as it should on Christmas. A heartfelt blessing from Seamus Cleary and then the eating begins.
In all, a MacQuire family Christmas is as a Christmas should be with family: love abounds; there’s enough food to fill even the pickiest of eaters; and all the children know they are cherished.
If I could have written my family growing up, it would have been the MacQuire’s, hands down!
Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home, this time, for good. With her.
For all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer comes home wanting nothing more than to rest, relax and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic.
When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole – for the first time in his life – is torn between his career and his heart.
To recover his balance, Cole leaned back into the couch, grabbed what he hoped were her upper arms, and shoved. In a heartbeat, she was lying backward along the length of the couch with him spread out on top of her.
Both were laughing and wriggling, each trying to get the upper hand.
Tiffany squealed, trying to twist her hips out from beneath him. “Let me go!”
“Not a chance. I know how your devious little mind works, and I taught you how to do this. The minute I loosen up, you’ll hip check me over the back of the couch. No, thanks.”
Tiffany burst out laughing. “You rat. That was exactly what I was going to do.”
“You know retreat and surrender are inevitable, Tiff. I outweigh you, and I’ve got the distinct advantage of your injury in my favor. Give?”
“Okay, you win.” She went limp beneath him.
The corners of his eyes narrowed as he smiled down at her. “You must be maturing,” he said. “You never used to give up so easily.”
When he removed one hand from her arm, she reached up to trace the outline of one of his eyes. Her finger moved from the outer canthus to his cheek, smoothing the skin she touched. “You didn’t have these little lines when you left.”
Cole stared down at her face.
Her finger roamed down to the corners of his mouth, outlining them, then on to the small dent in the middle of his chin. An impish grin fanned across her face.
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.
Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s. .
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
And 3 Wishes — Coming Soon!
Peggy is participating in our Holiday Giveaway Contest!
Check back often for details!
What makes the perfect holiday gift? Books, of course! Here’s where to purchase Peggy’s!
Buy links for FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-impressions-peggy-jaeger/1122560448?ean=2940151004794
Buy Links for THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je
Barnes and Noble Nook : http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7