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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Meg Bellamy

A Touch of Chanukah by Meg Bellamy

Homecoming, my contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press, concludes with a big, happy Christmas celebration for Julie and Dan. Glenys, Julie’s New York roommate, adores Christmas and goes all out to celebrate. A big part of the specialness of Christmas this year for Glenys is meeting Steve, a guy who will bring a touch of Chanukah to her holidays in the future.

Chanukah, which is also known as the Feast of Lights, is a celebration that often coincides with Christmas, as it will in 2011, lasting from December 21st to the 28th. As with Christmas and New Year, the holiday begins the evening before the day of, so people celebrating Chanukah will light the first candle after sundown December 20th. The dates vary in different years because they’re based on the Hebrew calendar, which is lunar (our standard calendar in solar). Chanukah (which can be spelled several different ways) can start as early as Thanksgiving or, as in this year, as late as very close to Christmas.

Celebrating Chanukah is pretty simple, so Glenys won’t be too challenged when she adds another step to her already hectic Christmas preparations. Every night of the eight Chanukah “eves”, she and Steve will light their special Chanukah menorah which has holders for eight candles plus a “helper” called the shamesh. On the first night, they’ll light the shamesh, which they’ll use to light the first candle. On each subsequent night, they’ll add another candle until the eighth night, when the light from the menorah is at its the brightest.

If Glenys wants to prepare special Chanukah food for Steve, she’ll make him latkes, yummy potato pancakes to be served with applesauce and/or sour cream (or she may buy frozen ones or use a mix if she’s really pressed for time). Jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot and chocolate coins are other holiday treats. As to gifts each night—Glenys and Steve will have to work that one out. Usually, though, it’s only the kids who get a gift each night, as it’s the kids who play with the dreidel, a spinning top that’s the main Chanukah toy.

Glenys loves holidays and she loves Steve. She’s up to her elbows in recipes for latkes and is currently shopping for a menorah as they prepare to celebrate their first holiday season together. They, along with Julie and Dan, join me in wishing you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful New Year.

About the Author: Along with her husband, her family and her books, language is Meg’s passion. In fact, by day she’s a mild-mannered language teacher. Currently she teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) to international students, but in her early teaching days, her main subject was French. Though her French is a bit rusty these days, she figures a trip to France would help fix that. She’s also studied Russian, Spanish and Italian. This love of language spills over into her writing craft and appreciation for books.—and travel!

Meg gets to satisfy the travel bug with trips to England—as often as possible!— to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. It’s great when Lee, her DH, also goes because driving on the left side of the road doesn’t intimidate him—talk about your basic hero type! Meg also has to travel to see her daughter, who lives in New Jersey—a mere continent away from Meg’s home in Northern California.

Being a published member of the community of writers with her contemporary romances and women’s fiction is the fulfillment of one of Meg’s most cherished dreams. Her first Meg release, Homecoming, was released this year by The Wild Rose Press.

Please leave a comment for the chance to win a download of Homecoming.


Debby said...

It is a beautiful holiday. I have friends who have allowed me to see one of the nights.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Jean P said...

Homecoming sounds like a wonderful holiday story.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Frank said...

Oh, that sounds lovely, Meg! We've made latkes before--may have to do that again this year, even though we've missed Chanukkah... Hope your celebrating was merry and memorable this year!

--flchen1, using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Jess said...

This sounds like a great story. Thanks for the giveaway!

jcross719 at yahoo dot com

shadow_kohler said...

you story sounds so good! i love it! thanks for sharing with us! happy holidays!

VampedChik said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Happy new year!