From the desk of romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy…..
Evergreens have become a symbol of Christmas in most cultures, a symbol of everlasting life and eternity. Maybe some people haven’t ever wondered but do you think vampires celebrate the holiday? I don’t know about all vamps but mine from my Love Covenant series do.
I love how we can create our own vampire realities and each author does a little different take on our vamps. In my Love Covenant series from Evernight Publishing, my vampire Will Brennan is uber sexy but he’s also very sweet, tender, and loving. He loves his lady and bride Cara –and Christmas.
The Love Covenant series didn’t begin as a series, just a single novel about the dark, sexy vampire who drove an eighteen wheeler and the sassy mouthed Texas gal he ran across. Their kiss sparked something more and for the first time in centuries, Will Brennan broke down the barriers to let someone else into his heart. At the end of the first edits for Love Tattoo, my editor suggested there might be room for a sequel. I wasn’t sure but I thought about it and Cara started talking again (Cara tells the stories in first person). Four books later, my Irish vampire and his lovely lady have found a place in the hearts of so many readers so let’s join them for little Christmas cheer!
I longed for an old-fashioned holiday season at home with holly decking the mantelpieces and mistletoe in the hallway. I fancied a huge evergreen tree trimmed with candles, ribbons, and lace. I dreamed about scented candles, garlands wrapped around the stair posts, and packages under the tree. Most of all, though I wanted Will and me, alone beneath a moonlit night with silver stars twinkling down on us like a blessing as we drank sweet Moscato wine together.
Instead, the week before Christmas, I found myself strolling out at Brennan’s Irish Stage in beautiful if tiny Branson, Missouri decked out in a dress as green as emerald, the green of those rolling Irish hills in Will’s home country. Although it didn’t cost half what my black de la Renta did, the green dress featured a plunging neckline and a bodice covered with crystals, each one put in place by hand. The green silk chiffon skirt billowed out around my legs in a very fetching way and so I walked out to sing.
Seamus wanted me to sing Irish songs, not quite my thing, but I managed to get two learned that satisfied me so I did The Wexford Carol and then the one everyone knows, Irish or not, that Bing Crosby made famous back in Granny Riley’s day, Christmas In Killarney.
This time no one stared at me from the audience and I felt no vampires out there anywhere.
At the end of the show, Seamus insisted that I come back out and had Will join us to sing Blackbird even though it’s not a Christmas carol at all.
From stage right, his lovely Amber watched us with a smile. I didn’t know her yet but I liked her and I liked even more what I saw between her and Seamus.
So far, she didn’t have a clue that we were anything but eccentric with our nights as days schedule but if things advanced, she’d have to know the truth.
Somehow I figured Seamus wanted me to help with that and I will when the time comes.
For now, though, I’m going to sing on stage and love my Will with everything I’ve got. I’m going to celebrate the light of this season, the Christmas season in every way because it banishes the shadows away. We’ve suffered too many shadows, Will and I: so far from Sallie Hawkins to Henri and while there may be more, for now we share the light.
As the spotlight panned in on me as we finished the song, I bowed to the audience. They began to whistle and cheer but I focused on Will and Will alone. His eyes met mine, sweeter than the Moscato that we drank and a more brilliant blue than any sapphires I’d ever seen. He pointed upward and I grinned at the sprig of mistletoe that dangled from the curtain above.
“Kiss me, mo anam cara,” he said and so I did.
The audience went wilder at that and their applause echoed off the rafters. When we finished, we linked hands with Seamus and Amber. All of us bowed and together we shouted,
“Nollaig shona duit!”
Then we repeated it in English, “Merry Christmas.”
I added, with some silly whim, quoting the end of Twas A Night Before Christmas. My grasp of literature is hardly up to Will’s, after all, “And to all a good night.”
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