Friday, 6 December 2013

Let It Snow Books: Guest post by Kathryn Barrett + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to Kathryn Barrett, whose Entangled debut novel Temptation was not only one of my favourite reads of 2013, but was also the biggest surprise, it completely blew me away! So if you haven't read it yet, pick up a copy, you don't want to miss out on it, trust me! (Read my review to see what I'm talking about.) So please give the warmest welcome to Kathryn, read on to see what new holiday traditions she has acquired and you could even win yourself a copy of her book. at the end!

A New Holiday Tradition
by Kathryn Barrett

Source: Peter Trimming
When we moved to England we unexpectedly found ourselves with a couple of extra holidays. While we gave up Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July (obviously!), we now have Guy Fawkes Day and Boxing Day.

As Americans, we weren’t quite sure what to do with a Boxing Day. Do you eat certain foods? Toss fireworks? Shop till you drop? No, apparently the tradition for Boxing Day—in the Middle Ages, anyway—is for the lords and ladies of the manor to box up gifts, coins, and leftover food and take it to the servants and other poor people in the village.

We don’t have any servants, and I’m pretty sure my neighbors don’t want my leftover food and too-small sweaters, so we decided to do something else with our unexpected holiday. In our family, Boxing Day has become a day for a family walk. And let’s face it: after the excess of the holidays—the overflowing dining table, the pile of gaily wrapped gifts, the electronic gadgets that lose their appeal about thirty minutes after starting up—there’s nothing better for the soul than a walk in the quiet countryside.

Source: Scott Rimmer
We strap on our hiking boots, leash the dog, and head for a footpath. Here in England, there’s a vast network of walking paths woven through the countryside, cutting through pastures, woodlands, small villages, and alongside the picturesque Thames. There’s always a guarantee of right of way—not even private landowners can block access to a public footpath that cuts across their property. We tramp through pastures full of cows, sheep, and horses (we are only required to keep our dog on lead around livestock), we bisect golf courses (where we’re asked to be quiet), we nip blackberries from brambles alongside a country lane. We let our dog wade in the Thames (though our last dog was afraid of swans…they spit!).

To help with navigation, we have books with maps of circular walks, most beginning and ending at a pub (where well-behaved dogs, muddy boots, and possibly children are allowed). Directions include such instructions as “At the kissing gate, find a well-worn path through the field.” (It turns out kissing gates aren’t nearly as romantic as they sound.)

Source: Maxwell Hamilton
One Boxing Day we started our walk from the oldest pub in England, the Royal Standard, and finished with a well-earned pint. On another, we walked along the Union Canal and saw canal boats navigating through the lock. Sometimes we go to our favorite park, Black Park, for a walk through wooded paths where occasionally we come upon a film set, since it’s right next to Pinewood Studios. (And if you’ve read Temptation, you know I’m fascinated with the movie making process. Here I get to walk right alongside the place where some of the best films are made!)

Frankly, if I had to decide, I would say Boxing Day is my favorite holiday of the year. We always spend it with family, with our dog, and out on the footpaths I love so much. I don’t have to spend hours cooking, and then cleaning up (no servants, remember). There’s absolutely no commercialism to complain about, since there are no Boxing Day sales—all the shops are closed.

What could be a better holiday tradition, I ask you?

Kathryn Barrett reluctantly put aside childhood dreams of becoming an author and took a more practical approach, majoring in Business Administration in college. But after marrying an Air Force officer, she realized a career in high finance didn’t suit an itinerant lifestyle. She happily returned to her first love, writing stories that feature larger-than-life characters, family relationships, and of course, a happy ending.

Having lived all over the United States, Kathryn and her family now live in England, just outside London. She enjoys walking her dog in the Chiltern hills and exploring crumbling castles, and only occasionally reads the Financial Times.

Connect with Kathryn at her Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Laura Hayes has been acting since she was an infant, making Hollywood the only home she has ever known. But when she moves to Pennsylvania's Amish country to film her next movie, she discovers there's more to life than a pair of Jimmy Choos and a Marie Claire cover.

Intrigued by the Amish simplicity, she's soon gardening and baking plum pies—and enjoying it. And when her neighbor turns out to be the local heartthrob and a talented furniture maker, she realizes that what's missing from her life might be the love of a good man—not to mention the perfect heirloom tomato.

Jacob fights the urge to question the teachings of his Amish beliefs—despite his desire to create furniture that is beautiful as well as useful—and struggles with his longing for the sexy stranger who makes him feel truly alive for the first time. As his attraction grows, so do his doubts, until he's forced to face temptation and decide once and for all what is truly worth the fight.


Kathryn has generously offered signed Temptation bookmarks to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and tell us: What are some of your holiday traditions?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 4 January 2014!

Good Luck!

Related Posts with Thumbnails