Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Hisorical Christmas Eve with Sabrina Jeffries and Giveaway

An Excerpt from Sabrina Jeffries’ ‘Twas the Night After Christmas Part 2

Raised amidst the rubber plantations in Thailand with missionary parents, Sabrina Jeffries likes to say she rode to her bestselling success on the back of an elephant. In truth, Jeffries has earned numerous placements on the New York Times and USA Today lists with Regency historicals that readers savor for her trademark sexy blend of witty dialogue and enterprising characters. It’s no accident she has been dubbed “The Queen of the Sexy Regency Romance.”

About that plantation business—living in the boonies of Thailand afforded Sabrina endless hours to read Jane Austen novels and other classics voraciously. Not surprisingly, back in the States, she went on to earn a doctorate in English literature from Tulane University—and a craving for Cajun food.

While Sabrina is at ease with refined academia types, she enjoys using her literary skills to pen novels of romantic fiction. She sold her first book in 1991 and has 33 published novels to her credit. Whenever she struggles with a plot point, she shuts off the computer and tackles a jigsaw puzzle, and before long, bingo! Problem solved. Another stress-reliever for the inventive author: creating her popular Will and Jane’s Excellent Adventure comics. Displaying Sabrina’s fine-tuned sense of humor, the comics feature a William Shakespeare caricature figure and a Jane Austen action figure.

Caffeine addict, Third Culture Kid, chocoholic, and popular novelist with more than six million books in print, Jeffries defies labels. Her biting humor and simultaneous warmth endear her to her 10,000 Facebook fans, Pinterest followers and loyal Goddess blog readers. At home in front of a crowd—any crowd (no really, just hand over the microphone and get ready for some fun)—Jeffries is a sought-after speaker, as evidenced by her 2010 gig as emcee for the National Romance Writers of America’s 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.

While Sabrina treks through remote locales in the name of research and rubs elbows in the big cities with other industry professionals, she says her favorite destination is home. She lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her two best guys—husband, Rene, and adult son, Nick, who has inspired her to actively champion the cause of autistic children.

Places to find Sabrina: 
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

An Excerpt from Sabrina Jeffries’ ‘Twas the Night After Christmas Part 2
(head over to Not Another Romance Blog for Part 1)

When they turned startled looks on him, he forced the frown from his face. Not for the world would he let them know how their talk of Christmas trees stabbed him through with sharp memories. “Candles on a tree are dangerous.”

“Not if the tree is green,” his mother put in. “And it will only stay up for a day or two.” She busied herself with sopping up gravy with her bread. “No point in keeping it up until Twelfth Night if you’re not even going to be here for Christmas.”

If she thought her unsubtle hints that he should stay would work on him, she was mad.

“True,” he said firmly. “Then it will be fine for so short a period.”

“Good,” his mother said with a hint of belligerence. “Because I think a tree would make the holiday truly lovely.”

Casting him a shuttered glance, Mrs. Stuart sipped some wine. “I agree. It sounds like a perfectly charming custom.”

“And an expensive one, given its short duration.” Which was probably the point. He faced his mother. “How much will this cost me, anyway? You’ll need baubles and candles for your precious tree, not to mention—”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Pierce. I have all that already. The baubles, as you call them, are the same ones I store in the attic every year.”

That caught him entirely off guard. He’d expected her to disguise a request for funds by saying it was for her precious tree. “You want nothing purchased for this tree?” he persisted, ignoring Mrs. Stuart’s smug smile.

“Certainly not. The point is to perpetuate the traditions of one’s family. My glass ornaments come from your grandmother, and the other decorations are fruit and nuts, all of which can be found here on the estate, even the candles.” She brightened. “Oh, and paper cutouts! We must do those. Don’t you remember, Pierce? We used to cut tiny little angels—”

“I remember,” he said bitterly. “Trust me, I remember only too well.” When the two women lapsed into an awkward silence, he added, “But in case you haven’t noticed, Mother, I’ve grown too big for angels. Devils are more my style.”

“Ah, but I don’t think devils are a good idea for a Christmas tree,” Mrs. Stuart put in, as if to draw his fire.

He turned toward her with a challenging glance. “And why is that?”

She didn’t waver. “Well, for one thing, pitchforks are exceedingly difficult to cut out.”

He blinked, then gave a rueful laugh. Damn the woman, but she made it hard to stay annoyed. And when she stared at him with a silent plea in her eyes, he relented for the moment.

Relaxing back against his chair, he took a sip of wine. “You’d feel differently if you’d ever tried cutting out a tiny halo, Mrs. Stuart. Or stars, for that matter.

Mine always ended up round, which goes against every rule of star artistry.” He leaned close to say in a confiding tone, “Apparently, they’re expected to have points.”

“Are they?” she said brightly. “Then clearly I shall have to stick to moons. Those are allowed to be round.”

“Ah, but would you put a moon on a Christmas tree?” he asked. “The three wise men following the moon doesn’t have quite the same effect.”

“And it’s not in the Bible besides,” she said, clearly struggling not to smile.

“I wouldn’t know,” he drawled. “That’s not a book I’m terribly familiar with.”

“A fact that you regularly demonstrate to the world,” his mother said archly.

He stiffened. He’d almost managed to forget she was there. “Yes. I do.” He stared her down. “Every chance I get.”

He was on the verge of pointing out that if she’d wanted some say in his behavior, she should have stayed to see him grow up, when Mrs. Stuart broke in. “In any case, since his lordship won’t be here to join us in decorating the tree, I will be eager to assist you, my lady.”

“That would be lovely,” Mother said.

“And then perhaps his lordship could come back for a day or two to see it when it’s all done,” Mrs. Stuart said in that managing voice females sometimes used. The one that didn’t work on him.

“As I said before, that’s impossible.”

His mother looked crestfallen. “You used to enjoy the season.”

It was on the tip of his tongue to point out that she’d put an end to all that by making holidays synonymous with being unwanted. But he wouldn’t give her the satisfaction,.

“Do whatever you wish with your tree,” he muttered, now thoroughly annoyed again. He drenched a chunk of beef in gravy and devoured it. “Just leave me out of it. My days of relishing such mundane pleasures are long past.”

“That’s a pity,” Mother said. “Mundane pleasures are about the only kind we have here in the country.”

With a meaningful glance at Mrs. Stuart, he waited for his mother to ask for some new toy to keep them amused, or perhaps a costly trip to Italy, where she could indulge her love of expensive things to her heart’s content.

Then she went on, “But we do enjoy them.” She smiled at Mrs. Stuart. “We sing and play and act charades and have our own sort of fun. Camilla is very good at reading aloud—very dramatic.”

He was still stunned by his mother’s prosaic idea of “fun” when the door opened and a footman came in bearing some confection.

“And we have an excellent cook,” Mrs. Stuart said cheerily as her portion was placed before her. “There’s nothing mundane about that pleasure.” She took a bite and her face lit up. “Her almond blancmange is sheer heaven.”

He arched one eyebrow. “I take it that you share Mother’s love of sweets.”

“I do, indeed,” Mrs. Stuart said, dabbing a bit of custard from the corner of her mouth. “Dessert was rare at the orphanage, I’m afraid, and now that I can have it whenever I please, I never seem to tire of it.”

He’d forgotten that she was raised an orphan. For a moment, he flashed on a little girl coveting every pastry she saw in the London bakeries, and his chest tightened inexplicably at the thought of her having something so simple routinely denied to her.

“Don’t you like sweets yourself, my lord?” she asked, jerking him from his dark thoughts.

“He never did,” Mother answered. “Pierce was a most unusual child—he would rather have fruit and cheese for dessert.” She cast Pierce a tentative smile. “That’s why I had Cook prepare some of that, too.”

And with a little flourish, the footman placed a plate of apple slices and a selection of cheeses before him.

Mrs. Stuart’s earlier words clamored in his brain: If her feelings are as false as you seem to think, why does she have a chest full of your school drawings and papers?

Why does she read to me your childhood letters, pointing out your witty turns of phrase and clever observations? Why does she keep a miniature of you by her bed?

He could feel himself weakening, feel the barricades crumbling a little, and it sparked his temper. Damn it, she could not just whisk away years of neglect with a plate of fruit and cheese and a few remarks about his childhood! He’d had as much of this as he could stand.

He forced a nonchalant smile to his lips. “I’ve grown up now, Mother. What I like best for dessert these days is a good cigar.” He rose. “And since that’s the case, I’ll step outside to indulge in one now that the meal is done.” He bowed stiffly in her direction. “Good night.”

Then he leveled a hard gaze on Mrs. Stuart. “Au revoir, madam.”

She blushed at his oblique reminder that her evening with him wasn’t yet at an end, but she managed a smile. “Au revoir, my lord.”

He strode out of the dining room, relieved that he was done. Mrs. Stuart had made better use of his bargain with her than he’d expected. She and his mother had obviously decided to plague him at dinner with talk of Christmas trees and prettied-up tales of his childhood until he turned to putty in their hands.

Well, he wasn’t without defenses of his own. If Mrs. Stuart intended to make him uncomfortable at dinner, then he would damned well return the favor. Since he couldn’t seduce her, he’d have to consider other options. Cards wouldn’t serve his purpose, and so far she’d proved herself adept at parrying his barbs in conversation. As for reading to him . . .

His eyes narrowed. She had a penchant for reading aloud dramatically, didn’t she? Good. Then he would give her something damned interesting to read.

Dear Sir,

. . . I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once.

Mrs. Camilla Stuart

Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls “Mother.”

But two surprises await him at Montcliff. His mother is perfectly healthy, nowhere near a deathbed, as her meddling lady’s companion led him to believe. The second is Camilla Stuart herself, a lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce. Though she alone is reason enough to prolong his stay, he is soon faced with other tantalizing riddles: What secrets lie in his mother’s past to explain his childhood abandonment? Why is the captivating Mrs. Stuart so determined to mend the breach between mother and son? Meanwhile,

Camilla herself is caught up in love’s complications since the arrival of the irresistible earl. As his bold flirtation and suggestive whispers draw her dangerously close, can anything protect her vulnerable heart? If they are destined to share real happiness, there must be honesty between them—yet telling him the truth about her own life may shatter that chance.

None of them can predict the startling revelations to come. Or the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers haunted by their respective pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember—and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Check out the Hellions of Halstead Hall series:
Click for more info.

Want to win some goodies from Sabrina? Check out whats up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:

To Enter:
  • Leave a meaningful comment or question for Sabrina.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter
  • International Shipping Available

**Don't forget to head over to Not Another Romance Blog to check out part one of Sabrina's excerpt.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. the books look really intresting. i'd love to win them

  2. I love all your books! You have such an amazing talent! Can't wait to read this newest book!

  3. Twas the Night After Christmas looks to be a very interesting read. I haven't read the first excerpt yet, but I get the gist of the story line. His mother's companion lied her ass off to get him to come home for Christmas... Something I am very familiar with, even though my holidays are much different.

    I am sure my DIL would love this author's works, so I am entering in the hopes of winning her a great book to enjoy while my son is out working 3 jobs to keep her in the style her parent's did. LOL

  4. Sounds fantastic! thanks for a fun post!

  5. I loved those excerpts, it sounds like a good Xmas story.

  6. Your book "Twas the Night After Christmas" is a holiday warmer and a beautiful story of forgiveness. I just loved it! Its great for a Christmas gift too.Can't wait to read By love unveiled. I love your books Sabrina, keep writing those beautiful romances for us. You are truly one of my favorite authors. Thanks for you giveaway!

  7. I am so adding this to my book wishlist!

  8. I have always been a huge fan of Sabrina's books and I'm very much looking forward to reading Twas the Night After Christmas. Very best wishes this Christmas and may the new year be a wonderful one

    Christine S
    cms72023 at gmail dot com

  9. I LOVE historical romance! I don't think I've ever read an historical romance Christmas story though. What fun! Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity!


  10. Twas the Night After Christmas was a fantastic read. I received that for my birthday! :) I enjoyed it very much. What a fantastic giveaway you have going!


    1. Hope you had a great birthday, and I'm glad my book added to the fun!

  11. I love the Historical romances and I'm looking forward to reading Twas the night after Christmas!

  12. Some how I missed the release date of this book. Can't imagine how I let that happen! At least it's a quick fix to download to my Kindle!
    I always wonder where inspiration for characters comes from. There never sends to be short supply in any of Miss Jerfferies books of characters that are deep and multi layered. I love diving in to her books because of that!
    Thank you for choosing her as your first author for the holiday give away!

    1. Thanks, Jess, for the kind words about my characters. I wish *I* knew where they came from. :-) I think there's a dark labyrinth somewhere in my brain where they're all hanging out.

  13. Thank you for the next part of the excerpt!!!
    Wow Sabrina, I didn't know you were raised in Thailand? Do you ever think of writing a novel based in Thailand or some such since you have been there as a child?

    1. My first book written as Deborah Martin was set in 19th century Siam (it's out of print now). So I've been there, done that, LOL!

  14. Thanks for the great post and excerpt. Is there a genre that you'd like to write but haven't?


    1. Not really. I love what I do! And I did have three contemporary paranormal romantic suspense novels published under the name Deborah Nicholas, so since that includes three other genres, there's not much I haven't tried!

  15. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I absolutely adore Historical romance books. They are the only genre that I read. Thanks for such a great contest.

  18. I love reading historical romances. Great post and excerpt.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    olga_sergejeva (at)

  19. Just found out about the Will and Jane’s Excellent Adventure comics and love the use of action figures.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

    1. Glad you enjoy the comic! All the action figures mark me as a complete geek, I fear. :-)

  20. I really enjoyed both excerpts. Sabrina is very lucky to have experienced all she has when she was young. I bet she was the envy of her friends. Snakes do not creep me out, and I have a healthy respect for them. I think it would be exciting to see pythons. I grew up reading historicals, and loving all those beautiful old mansions. They seem so very romantic. And thinking about the rubber tree plantation, I have that song in my head now. What makes that ant think he can move that rubber tree plant? :)

    1. I like snakes, too! Well, not the poisonous ones. But I always wanted a pet snake. Sadly, Hubby does not particularly like that idea, LOL.

  21. I love Christmas romances, and I am hooked by the excerpt!

  22. "The Truth About Lord Stoneville" was the first historical romance I ever read and since then it has been full steam ahead! I've never looked back. Although I have not read ALL Ms. Jeffries books I'm working on it!!

    Please enter me. Thank you.


  23. Sounds like a great book and looking forward to it!

  24. I loved the excerpt. I need to add this book to my TBR list!

  25. Hi Sabrina! What an interesting life you must have led with your parents being missionaries and your growing up amidst rubber plantations in Thailand. Thailand is one of the places I would love to visit. My husband with stationed there for a while after Viet Nam and loved it.

    I loved your books about the Sharpe siblings and am looking forward to reading TWAS THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS. I also look forward to reading SNOWY NIGHT WITH A STRANGER. Thanks so much for a chance to win.

    1. What base was your husband stationed at? We lived for a while near Utapao AFB.

    2. Hi, Sabrina! He was stationed at Ubon in the northeast part of the country.

  26. I really enjoy historical romances and 'twas the Night After Christmas was wonderful. I love this time of year with all the Christmas romances available.


  27. Can I just tell you.. I LOVE meeting other bloggers named Dani.. My name is Dani and in real life I know not a single Dani-Danielle but in my blogging life I know so many.

  28. enjoyed the excerpt (I just love having old ornaments & such on the tree that bring back happy memories & a sense of tradition) & look forward to reading the book. :)

  29. Sabrina I can't wait to read your latest book I just git it at the library. Thanks for the great post and a fabulous giveaway.

  30. I've read so many of your your books. I've loved the Hellion of Halstead Hall series and the Lords trilogy. But now, since I read the 2 excerpts of this book, I have to finish it so I can see how the heroine gets herself out of the tangle she's creating!

    1. This character appears in the Hellions series (he's Virginia's cousin and Celia's suitor), so you might also like it for that reason!

  31. I couldn't put Pierce's book down. I just loved it.

  32. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the excerpts thank you. I always love reading your books.

  33. Your life and the experiences you've had are treasures to be cherished. Than k you for sharing all of it with us. :)

  34. I remember getting Snowy Night with a Stranger when it came out, but can't find my copy now. Thank you for the excerpt for your new book, and the giveaway.

  35. Thanks for the 2 excerpts. Looking forward to reading this. I enjoyed Snowy Night With A Stranger. But I had borrowed it form the Library when it came out..Good luck everyone. :)
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  36. i love sabrina jeffries book !!
    thx u for the giveaway :)

  37. I already have Snowy Night with a Stranger and it was all worth it! I love it! But the festive holiday blocks would look good on my office table. :>

  38. The book sounds great, i wanna read this book!! I read several Sabrina books and i like it. Looking forward to have this one :)
    Thanks for giveaway.

  39. I definitely purchasing this book now. The second excerpt was a lock in, along with the book blurb. I wonder if this book ties in with another series?

  40. I always enjoyed Sabrina's books and would love to read this one.

  41. hi sabrina! i really love your heroines, they're strong women and not afraid to fight for their wishes.

  42. Thank yopu a lot for answering my question at the other posts, i will try to find your books next time i go the library

  43. Hi Sabrina,

    Love reading your book and this book sounds great :)

  44. Another Christmas theme, i love the Christmas theme and really want to read this one

  45. Very excited, love christmas themed books and it's just perfect for the holidays! thank you for the giveaway, enjoy your holidays!

  46. Love Sabrina's books and this looks like another winner! Thanks for sharing and the giveaway chance!

  47. Hi Sabrina! I'm a big fan of yours & hv about a dozen of your bks so far. Would love to add to that #!

  48. I adored the Hellions of Halstead Hall!

  49. I can't wait to read 'twas the night! thanks!!

  50. I love this series. If I win I will share books with friends to get them hooked too!

  51. What a great excerpt! Thank you so much for sharing it. Thanks also for the great giveaway@

  52. I love your books Sabrina! Can't wait to read this book.

  53. It looks like a wonderful story.

  54. Looovee your books your such an amazing author

  55. This sounds so good. Looks like my Christmas list just keeps getting longer and longer!

    Thanks so much!

  56. thanks for giving everyone a chance to win.

  57. Okay, I've read both excerpts and I'm definitely hooked, reel me in! ha ha Thanks again!
    smoofrog @gmail dot com

  58. I have not read any of your books but I have put you on my Christmas list. So if Santa is willing I am able.

  59. ooh PICK ME!!
    I've had a horrendous year!
    hospital - CHF - quit smoking - LOW sodium diet
    I MISS KETCHUP!!! ok even more than cigarettes!
    My dog died
    Happy Holidays

  60. Would LOVE to win & read!
    PICK ME!!