Today it is my pleasure to welcome Laurin Wittig to my blog. She is another of the wonderful authors who helped me launch my debut novel. Her latest release, Highlander Betrayed, is one of the books in my Christmas Giveaway. Simply leave a comment here by noon EST on Friday to be entered (see the Events or Drawings pages for full details).I asked Laurin to tell me about five Christmas favorites, her favorite, song, animated television show, movie, gift from childhood and cookie. I love her responses!
I’ve always loved Christmas, the lights (“pitty lights” as my daughter used to call them when she was 3), the presents, the cold outside and cozy inside, the time with family and friends, smells of special treats cooking, and the music. I really love the music. So here are five of my Christmas favorites plus a little extra:
Favorite Christmas song: This one is hard. I did mention I love the music, right? Anything by Johnny Mathis immediately puts me in the Christmas spirit, but if I have to pick one of his it would be White Christmas. I love the whole sentiment of that one, and I love singing along with him. Of course then there are the Christmas carols – my fave there is Hark the Herald Angels Sing (also known, again by my daughter when she was 3, as the Charlie Brown song). Her favorite starting at about 2 was “Dashing Through,” aka Jingle Bells. I had to sing that song to her almost every night for a year! It’s a good thing I love Christmas music.
Favorite animated TV show: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, hands down. I used to anxiously await the airing of this one every year. I always rooted for the misfit toys, and my leaning toward romance showed early signs when I yearned for Rudolph and Clarice to get together. Oh, and the music. I LOVE Burl Ives. I had records (yes, real, pre-vinyl, break ‘em if you drop ‘em records) of his children’s songs so that probably had a strong influence on this one being my favorite, too.
Favorite movie: Okay, this one is more contemporary than the last two. I adore The Holiday with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, and Jack Black. I don’t own a lot of DVDs, but this one I do and I watch it whenever I need a feel good movie. That reminds me – I haven’t watched it this Christmas season yet!
Favorite gift from childhood: I thought this one would be hard, but it came to me right away. When I was eleven I got a boxed set of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I devoured those (and yes, this was well before the TV show). I was born a bookaholic and my parents were great enablers. I still have them!
Favorite cookie: That would be my grandmother’s “cocoons,” a southern tradition. We all loved them so much that she took to making a large tin of them just for my brother and another large tin for my parents and me that he wasn’t allowed to eat. That way the rest of us had a chance at them.
½ cup butter
2 ½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
6 Tbsps confectioner’s sugar
Mix the flour and salt together. Melt the butter and work into the flour mixture. Add vanilla and nuts. It will be quite dry and crumbly but should stick together. Roll into the shape of a cocoon and place on a cookie sheet (I line the pan with parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While still warm, roll them in the confectioner’s sugar, then let cool completely. They should look like cocoons after they are sugared.
Many thanks to Ceci for including my book, Highlander Betrayed, in her holiday contest and for letting me reminisce here with all of her readers. Merry Christmas everyone!
About Laurin Wittig
Laurin Wittig was indoctrinated into her Scottish heritage at birth when her parents chose her oddly spelled name from a plethora of Scottish family names. At ten, Laurin attended her first MacGregor clan gathering with her grandparents, and her first ceilidh (kay-lee), a Scottish party, where she danced to the bagpipes with the hereditary chieftain of the clan. At eleven, she visited Scotland for the first time and it has inhabited her imagination ever since.
Laurin writes bestselling and award-winning Scottish medieval romances and lives in southeastern Virginia. Her latest release is Highlander Betrayed, book I in the Guardians of the Targe trilogy. Highlander Avenged, Book II, will be released June 24th, 2014. For more information about all of Laurin’s books, please visit her web site, http://LaurinWittig.com.
From Amazon: Highlander Betrayed (Guardians of the Targe)
Hidden deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands lies the Highland Targe, an ancient relic guarded for centuries by clan MacAlpin. It is said the Targe can shield the heart of the Highlands from invaders and now, as part of his plan to crush the Scottish rebellion, the English king wants the Targe for himself…
Rowan MacGregor, orphaned niece to the chief of the MacAlpins and the rock her family depends upon, is worried. With the dwindling health of her aunt, the Guardian of the Targe, the protections that have kept the clan safe and prosperous are fading, and the new Guardian, one of her cousins, has yet to be chosen. Rowan wants nothing more than to see the clan protected again, but when it seems that will never happen, she despairs—even when a handsome and charming stranger comes to her aid.
Nicholas fitz Hugh is not what he seems. Half-English, half-Scottish, he turned his back on his Scottish heritage early in his life, giving his loyalty to England instead. Now he is a talented and cunning spy charged with finding and stealing the Highland Targe for his king.
But when Nicholas finds himself falling for the bonny Rowan and wanting to protect the family she holds so dear, he is forced to choose between his king’s will and his own: Will he betray his king and his mission? Or will he turn his back on the woman he has come to love?