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Monday, December 17, 2012



by Vijaya Schartz

I was born and raised in France, where the holidays are even bigger than in the US (at least the way I remember them). The traditions are different and not as religious as in the US. I guess pagan customs are still strong over there. But what should I say about the food…

The French do not celebrate Thanksgiving, so they have turkey for Christmas, and they stuff it with chestnuts (boiled then sauteed in butter with caramelized onions). The first time I tasted sweet potatoes in India (the French still don’t know what they taste like), I thought they were chunks of chestnuts. Very similar in taste.

Raw oysters and seafood are also a big part of the French holiday menu. And the traditional dessert is the Christmas log, which my mother used to make herself with chocolate or coffee butter cream. She also used all kinds of liqueurs in her pastries. Yum. Zillions of calories.

I remember with fondness the holidays of my late teens and early twenties, no school, wild parties every night from Christmas Eve to the New Year. Of course it helped that my birthday fell right between the two holidays.

We did not take down the tree or the nativity scene until January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas, when we celebrated the arrival of the Magi. There is even a special “galette des rois” a fluffy pie stuffed with almond paste for that particular day. Whoever finds the hard bean (or ceramic bit) hidden in the galette becomes king or queen for a day. And he/she chooses a consort by dropping the hard bean into the chosen’s glass while they aren’t looking. The king and queen wear golden paper crowns (provided by the bakery with the galette). And not just the children wear the crown all day. Adults join in the fun, too.

Now the holidays see me hunched over the keyboard, writing the stories I love, cramming to make my publisher deadlines. But I always find time to celebrate the season. I even cooked a French Christmas meal once with my husband’s family. They were polite, but escargot and raw oysters were not their favorites. I’m sure they missed their holiday favorites. For myself, I could never understand heavenly hash. Who puts carrots in jello? Cultural differences…

My holiday offering to my readers this year is a SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION of THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE, my new medieval fantasy romantic series. This special offer is only for a limited time, and only in kindle. THREE FULL NOVELS in one download for the bargain price of $5.99. This includes:




This is what the series is all about:

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

Books One and Two are set in Scotland during the Viking invasions.

Book Three is set at the foundation of Luxembourg in 963.

Book Four is scheduled for this holiday season.

ONE LUCKY COMMENTER WILL WIN a pdf of this special edition, but they have to leave their email address to win (at and dot written in full with spaces in between help protect your email address from spiderbot spammers).


You can find my paperbacks and eBooks on AMAZON –– B&NARe – and at all the major online retailers, including the Apple Store.

Happy Holidays and Happy reading!

Vijaya Schartz

Romance with a Kick

About the Author:
Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims to also travel through time, as she writes without boundaries about the future and the far away past. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Reviewers compared her stories to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.


Lynette Endicott said...

Thanks for sharing your traditions! Always good to know. I am not much for raw oysters either, but the Christmas log and the galette sound yummy~

Morgan Mandel said...

January 6 is also when we try to take down our Christmas decorations, so some of our customs are the same!

I have no idea what a Christmas log is, though!

Morgan Mandel

Mountain Laurel said...

I have to admit that your traditions and holiday menu are quite different than ours...but I loved reading your memories! Thanks for sharing them!

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

Thanks for commenting, ladies. Yes a few French traditions made it to the US. Probably via French Canada.

The winner will be announced on December 22, at the end of the blogfest. Keep commenting on all the posts for more chances to win.

Enjoy the season.

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

And the winner is...
Mountain Laurel (or Debbi)
Your pdf copy of this special edition is following attached to an email.

Thanks all for participating.
Happy readings.