Winter Blogfest: The River Thames has frozen over! by Shereen Vedam

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win 1 Kindle copy of One Winter’s Night: A Regency Yuletide (see details in post).

The River Thames has frozen over! 
Hurry up and put on your skates!

By Shereen Vedam, a Regency Fantasy author

 

There were many places to skate in winter in England, such as rivers and ponds that froze over. The most exciting had to be London, England, when the River Thames froze to a safe ice thickness. This could happen in tidal flat areas. Frost fairs have traditionally been held in London for centuries. The very last recorded frost fair occurred in February 1812 (the weather warmed too much after that for the ice to freeze over). But when a frost fair was on, people from all walks of life came out to enjoy what was on offer on the ice. (1) 

Skating%20in%20Regency%20TimesNormal courting rituals involved little contact between men and women except for the occasional hand holding during a short portion of a dance set. Skating, therefore, offered a rare opportunity for more thrilling, perhaps even full body physical contact. After all, one might need a gentleman’s assistance while crossing that slippery ice. And if a lady needed steadying by a strong pair of arms, a bit of cuddling even, to keep her safe and upright on the ice, what chaperone would deny such necessary assistance?

And where people went, so did commerce. Vendors set up stalls and street booths to sell brandy, tobacco, meat pastries, gin-beer and fruit, as well as mouth-watering sweets like brandy balls and gingerbread.

In the countryside, especially in England’s fens area, local squires sometimes held races over frozen ponds to allow workers to compete to win loaves of fresh baked bread. This sport gave a man a chance to show off his prowess to a special woman among the spectators. Since most farmhands could not afford metal skates, they oft times strapped on animal bones to their boots in place of skates.(2)

In A Season for Giving, a Regency novella in the anthology, One Winter’s Night, Honoria, an artist in hiding, paints a skating scene similar to the one in the above paragraph. The painting enchants Christopher de Winter so much that he is determined to procure it, signed by the reclusive artist. Both these characters both have dangerous secrets, but can their mutual attraction overcome their fear of exposure?

In celebration of all things winter and Christmas, below is your chance to win a Kindle copy of One Winter’s Night (regularly priced at $2.55 on Amazon) and find out if Honoria and Christopher find their happily-ever-after ending. To enter the contest, share your favorite winter activity.

References: (1) Frost Fairs (2) Skating in the Fens

EXCERPT – The First Kiss:

A Season for Giving by Shereen Vedam,

Taken from the Christmas Regency Anthology, One Winter’s Night

Her pulse settled into a steady thumping as fear receded and logic returned. She loosened her white-knuckled grip on his strong shoulders. Though his hold was firm, it did not punish. In fact, it was almost as if his fingers caressed her. And they were so close, she could practically taste him. What would it be like to be held against him instead of the wall? To feel his lips on hers? And then she remembered the mistletoe.

Dare I? The mistletoe gave her courage. What were the chances that, of all the places he could have held her, it would be below a kissing bough? If that was not a Christmas miracle, she did not know what was. Anticipation overrode her qualms and she leaned forward and boldly kissed his firm lips.

He responded instantly, consuming her in a delicious dance of desire. Her blood soared, flowing faster than when he had first taken hold of her. In fact, she was no longer held against the wall, but pulled tight against him and slowly, exquisitely, lowered, inch by tormenting inch. Every part of her that brushed a part of him relished that moment of intense, intimate, togetherness. If this is what a Christmas mistletoe kiss is like, I want more.

One%20Winter's%20Night4 Regency Christmas novellas by 4 authors
A SEASON FOR GIVING is by Shereen Vedam
After one unsuccessful season, Miss Honoria Gilbert knows just what she wants in a husband. And she’s finally found him. But Christopher de Wynter isn’t your typical English gentleman. He’s living a double life, doing undercover work for the crown, and has no intention of letting anyone get too close. But then again, he’s never been up against the power of a young lady’s Christmas wish . . .

About the Author:Once upon a time, Shereen read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love, and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily ever after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

Comments

  1. I think skating on the frozen Thames would be really fun and I love the illustration of the young couple skating. Thanks, and Happy Holidays, everyone!

  2. kim amundsen says:

    Cool a novella.

  3. I really enjoy Regency Christmas stories. Frost fairs sound like so much fun. My favorite winter activity is probably to enjoy the Holiday treats since I can’t skate or ski.

  4. ice skating

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Cross country skiing

  6. Karen Simpson says:

    My favorite activity in the winter is sledding.

  7. Ginger Pollard says:

    I live at the beach, so not many winter activities. We get snow occasionally. Love watching it fall!

  8. Ginger Pollard says:

    Watching the snow fall

  9. Heather Doyle says:

    Sitting outside with a blazing fire and a glass of JD whiskey

  10. Drinking tons of hot chocolate 🙂

  11. Pat Viglione says:

    Snuggling up on my sofa with a romance novel and a hot cup of tea! Historicals are awesome!

  12. Connie Fischer says:

    Since I live in beautiful southwest Florida, my favorite winter activity is enjoying the beaches, the pool, the gorgeous flowers and perfect weather. I’m just not a cold weather person. I want year-round winter. Having stated that, I do love to read about winter, the snow and the cold. I would be thrilled to read and review your book. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

    • What a captivating picture you paint of winter in the south, Connie. And reading about winter is way better than being in the heart of it – I speak as someone who lived in -40 deg Celsius wind-chill factor winter weather in Winnipeg, MB for 5 years 🙂 Loved the city, but was happy to leave that bone-chilling cold behind and move to the tropical rain forest north of the US, in the west coast of Canada.

      • Connie Fischer says:

        Good for you! I spent enough years living in Virginia with the type of damp cold that seeps into the bones. Add to that six years of living in Paris with some super cold winters, I was ready to leave all that behind me.

        I should have proof-read my first comment better too. I meant to say that I want year-round SUMMER!! 🙂

  13. A must read!

  14. I think skating outdoors like that would be much more fun than skating in an arena. Particularly with a strong, handsome man to catch you as you fell.

  15. Vicki Goodwin says:

    The except was great. I know this will be a great book to read. I love regency romances in the winter! Ice skating is so sweet , but to see it is such a great opportunity, I never realized.

  16. Hi Vicki, thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. And another Regency fan, yay!

  17. I enjoyed reading the blog, Shereen and have to tell you that I love the cover of that book. It’s whimsical and eye-catching. Hope you had a great Christmas and all the very best in 2016.
    Mimi

  18. Glad you could drop by, Mimi! I love the cover too. Thanks and I wish you all the best for 2016.

  19. Congratulations to Vicki Goodwin, she’s now the proud owner of a copy of One Winter’s Night! The prize should be in her email.

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