Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sharing the Joy: Guest post and Giveaway from author, Christy English

Please join me today in welcoming historical fiction author Christy English.

Sharing the Joy: Christmas Trees and Imagination
By Christy English

When I was a child, I would spend hours in the evening lying beneath the Christmas tree, looking up into the lights. The initial attraction was of course, the gifts. I would lie next to them, as if being close to the objects of my desire would bring Christmas Day to fruition that much sooner. I am sorry to say that it didn’t work. 

But as I continued to lie beneath the tree, with the rest of the lights in the room dim or out altogether, I found that I forgot the presents as I gazed up into the shifting colors of the tree itself. Those lights were soothing and mysterious all at the same time. I found my mind shifting from the obsession with the future, from wishing for Christmas Day itself, to an internal world, where anything might happen, where magic was real.

Even as a small child, my belief in real world magic had all but faded. But as I lay beneath that tree, listening to the silence, watching the shifting lights as they blinked in the darkness, I found a different kind of magic. A magic that to this day leads me to other worlds, to other places just beyond the door of my mind. Those places beckon me still, leading me into undiscovered countries, to uncharted seas, where I find my characters and my stories waiting.

Christy English is the author of The Queen’s Pawn and To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Please join her on her blog for more musings on magic, mystery, and the beauty of the written word. http://www.ChristyEnglish.com

Please leave a comment below to enter our give away of a signed copy of To Be Queen. Open to those who live in the US/Canada/UK.

About the Book:
Duchess at fifteen, Eleanor of Aquitaine marries the King of France. But will she find that she must pay too high a price to be queen?

Although Louis VII is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by forces in the Church. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Eleanor fights for her freedom and for the love of her life. In the arms of Henry of Normandy, Eleanor may finally find the passion she longs for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen.

Thank you to Christy for the lovely guest post!

Always in spirit....


  1. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    I agree that there is just something magical about the Christmas tree. As I sit next to it I feel so peaceful and the things of the world seem to matter so much less.

  2. When I was a child, it was my privilege to decorate the tree when my dad set it up the day after Thanksgiving. One year, my mother wanted to decorate the tree with popcorn strings and homemade cookie ornaments. The next morning, we found our poodle under the half-nude tree, sleeping off the sweets--I mean, her Christmas spirit. We had to raid the attic boxes, unwrap the glass ornaments and decorate again. That wonderful dog has been in heaven for more than 35 years.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  3. I think the Christmas tree is my favorite part of Christmas and my memories. We never went shopping on black friday, but spent the day decorating the tree and house.

    Thank you for the chance to win the book! I've heard some great things.

    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book. I think my favorite Christmas tradition is sending out Christmas cards (the real ones sent thru the P.O.). I love receiving them too, altho a lot of friends have discontinued this tradition.

    Merry Christmas to you, Christy.

    Marjorie Cullen

  5. When I was a child, I had once heard that all animal can talk on Christmas Eve. So I gathered our dog and cat and tried my hardest to stay awake until midnight so we could talk!

  6. I so loved the smell of fresh cut pine trees that we continued to have them even though I am allergic to the sap. Finally, we got a fake tree, but it isn't the same. Some years, we have used pine branches in vases with ornaments on sticks, but when the puppy can be trusted, we're reverting to real trees, cut fresh at a farm.

  7. I loved having the tree up as a kid. And I used to do the same thing - lay under the lights and get lost in the blinking colors. Unfortunately, we haven't had a tree up for several years because my "little brother" Moose (a four year old labradoodle) has a nasty habit of wrapping his mouth around an ornament and squeezing just enough for the thing to burst. He gets such a kick out of it but it's so dangerous! So, no more tree until he can kick the habit.

    Many thanks for hosting the giveaway; this one has been on my TBR list for quite some time now. : )

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Jessie Marie

  8. What a lovely story! I had forgotten how magical a Christmas tree is when you are very young. This year I have noticed how my three little boys no longer pull at the tree. Rio our youngest is four on New Years Eve and in previous years has been known to pull the whole tree down! The tree has actually become an unwitting milestone marker. Still keeping the faith with the reading challenge, hugs Sally xx

  9. I love the fruitcake! Others may claim there is only one fruitcake in the world, and it makes the rounds because nobody wants to keep it. I'm here to say, that is NOT true! I bake a few each year, and have it on good authority that I'm not the only nut who likes a good fruitcake. I'm also not alone in my admiration for Christy English's books, and would love to read To Be Queen. Sandy Frykholm

  10. I always just love looking at the tree with the gifts starting gather underneath the tree. Even when there seemed to be only a few gifts for my sister and I, there would be new ones when we got up in the morning.

    Would love to be entered into the contest, if its still going on

  11. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I just love the feeling of closeness between my family during the season. It was also my dear mother-in-law's favorite holiday, and now that she's gone (and dearly missed), we have tried to carry on some of her favorite traditions within the holiday: everyone decorating the tree together, the big family gathering and meal, and just the overall sharing in the happiness of each other's company.

    Thank you for offering the giveaway, and Merry Christmas to you all :)


Note: The Christmas Spirit is an award free blog. I appreciate the gesture, but please know that your comments and friendship are enough.