Today my guest is LJ Harris.
Don’t forget to check out the giveaways. You could win a signed copy of one of LJ’s books and it will be sent anywhere in the world!
I love Christmas and always look forward to it. What’s your favourite holiday of the year and what makes it so special?
Christmas most definitely for me as well. It’s the one time of the year my work shuts down, and it’s also the only time my mum comes to visit. I also keep the tradition my dad started of making the family Christmas pudding.
Enjoy the visit with your mum! Do you and your family/friends have any special holiday traditions?
We always have my mum come visit. I travel to the coast and pick her up and we have a lovely road trip back home. We have also invited a friend of my sons who has no family of his own this past year, and hope this will become another wonderful tradition.
What’s the worst present (Christmas or otherwise) you’ve ever received?
Not so much the worst, but the most sweet and memorable and unique! I was around 14 years old, and we were spending Christmas with my cousins. One of them decided to buy me a bar of Camay soap (with the price tag still on lol). So adorable.
What’s the best gift (Christmas or otherwise) you’ve ever received?
A bottle of Dom Perignon that my son bought me the first Christmas he was actually earning a wage. I’d told him the story about how when it was my best friend’s 18th birthday, we all went to Sydney’s Hilton Hotel, and ate a celebratory dinner at the San Francisco Grill. Her dad was quite well off, and he not only shouted dinner, but kept us plied with Dom all night. He remembered and bought me the champagne. I still haven’t opened it yet.
What a lovely story. Your son sounds wonderful. What’s your biggest gift giving success?
The smoker I gave hubs a few years back. He now does the best American BBQ ever!
If you could be granted one special gift for the world for the holiday season, what would it be?
Time. It’s one thing you can’t buy, but something I value more than anything with a busy work and family as well as writerly life.
Christmas carols. Yes or no?
No for the singing of them, yes to listening to them (what’s not to love about Bing singing White Christmas?). Yes, I can carry a tune but am so shy I won’t sing in front of anyone. The only time I did I threw up afterward. Lol.
So we can’t expect to see you at karaoke soon? 🙂
Do you watch Christmas movies? If so, what’s your favourite all time holiday movie?
I have fond memories as a child of watching The Little Drummer Boy.
I love reading stories set in the holiday season and I especially like seeing stories set all over the world. I love seeing how others celebrate and I love reading about guys getting their special holiday happy ever afters. Do you read holiday romances? If so, do you have a favourite you’d like to recommend to your readers?
Yes, I do. My favourite series has been Max Vos’ A Christmas Memory series. (He’s just done a cover reveal for the third book and it’s on my auto-buy list).
What inspired your current holiday story?
I don’t have one being published this season, but am considering reworking an old Christmas story I wrote some time ago for next year, time permitting. Its current title is All I Want for Christmas.
Tell us a little about the main characters in your holiday story.
One is a shy introvert whose mother knits him rainbow jumpers, the other a postal worker who catches his eye.
Tell us a little about the favourite book you released this year?
The Haunting of Angus Macgregor. I began writing it because of the characters in my WIP fell silent, and had fun bringing the characters of Angus and Daniel (as well as a few others) to life. It was originally going to be a short story with not much plot (I was setting myself a challenge for a possible anthology submission to see if I could write nothing but sex, but soon realised I couldn’t do it…lol), but as I got into the story, I expanded it to what it is now.
Share a favourite holiday photo.
Not a fan of sharing pics of myself, but this is one I don’t mind, I guess. Ugh. Lol. My lovely son made me the Midori cocktail I am holding. Since I lost Dad in 2013, he’s also helped me make the traditional Christmas pudding that Dad and I used to make together. (see pic below)
Share a favourite holiday recipe.
Dad’s Christmas Pudding (makes a generous sized pudding or a few average sized ones) I usually make these around a month from Christmas:
1 bottle of rum
500g each of raisins, currents and sultanas
125g of mixed peel
4 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice (or to taste)
2 cups castor sugar
500g butter, softened
Soak fruit in rum overnight or longer (I tend to use the whole bottle to ensure all fruit is soaked, stirring occasionally).
Cream butter and sugar, and add eggs and flour alternately along with remaining dry ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon. Add drained fruit. Add mixture to a standard sized pudding cloth (the ones I buy are 90cm x 90cm calico).
I suggest having someone help with the next part. After tearing off 6 narrow strips from the cloth, moisten the larger piece and place in a large bowl with the edges hanging evenly over the sides before pouring in the pudding mixture. Gather the cloth together and tie off securely with 2 strips leaving a bit of space at the top for expansion, then place in a large soup pot half filled with hot water. Using the remaining 4 strips (2 each tied together or as needed depending on the size of the pot) tie it to the pot handles so it is suspended and won’t burn at the bottom, adding more water if needed. Cover with a lid as best you can and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 6 hours. After allowing the water to cool, drain. I leave the pudding hanging inside the empty pot until it cools and no longer drips, then hang somewhere warm and dry. On the day, simmer for 1 hour and serve with custard, cream, and/or ice-cream.
Do you have a favourite YouTube clips of a holiday song you want to share?
Bing and David Bowie – The Little Drummer Boy
I love this one too. So great seeing them together. It’s a popular one, with a couple of people choosing it as a favourite.
The end of the year is often a time for making New Year’s Resolutions. Do you have any you’d be willing to share? After all, they do say you’re more likely to achieve a goal if you share it 🙂
To lose 20-25kgs. I’ve already begun my weight loss journey with diet and exercise. For a variety of health reasons, I MUST lose this weight, especially if I want to be around long enough to become a grandmother.
Best of luck! What does 2017 hold for you on the writing front? What can your readers expect to see from you?
Release of His Personal Assistant along with its sequel, Elixxir. I’m very much looking forward to sharing these novel-length stories with readers.
There are many people who aren’t as fortunate as me and this time of year is always a time where I reflect on how lucky I am. It’s a time for giving back and I do so by supporting my favourite charity (Twenty10 who provide support for LGBT youth) financially and with their Christmas Hamper drive. Is there a favourite charity or not-for-profit organization you’d like to call out and raise the awareness of?
At work, we’ve always done a hamper drive, and this year it is to aid adults and families who use the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and who may not have much with them when using the service. As I have lost several family members to cancer and Type 1 Diabetes is also part of my daily life, I donate to causes and fundraisers which support finding a cure for these diseases at all times of the year, as well as any charities to do with sick or disadvantaged children and young people.
Check out one of LJ’s books…
Angus Macgregor has endured a lot in life. Mother passing when he was a small child, he also nursed an ill father to his last breath. But when he loses his one remaining relative, an uncle he’s never met, his existence is turned on its head forever. Bequeathed Clan Gregor Castle in the Scottish Highlands, Angus leaves Australia behind to take on the family business. It’s there he finds more waiting for him than he ever dreamed possible.
Daniel Ramsey is a man with secrets, none more dangerous than the fact that he can see what others can’t. When he meets one particularly handsome Australian, the attraction is immediate. Hesitant to let down his guard, his hand is forced when a former guest of the castle comes calling and attempts to stake a claim on the very man Daniel wants.
LJ is giving away One signed copy of The Haunting of Angus Macgregor, sent anywhere in the world.
To enter just comment on this post and a winner will be randomly chosen after 14th December.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter. The winners will be drawn at the end of the blog tour.
1st prize: $20 Amazon GC, 2nd Prize: $15 Amazon GC (courtesy of Meg Bawden), $10 ARe GC (courtesy of Beany Sparks), and 4th Prize is a bundle of 4 ebooks (1 back list title from Renae Kaye, Penny Brandon’s “His Heart’s Desire”, LJ Harris’ “The Haunting of Angus MacGregor”, and a backlist title from N.J. Nielsen)
About the author
L. J. HARRIS is a mother, wife, an introvert and author. Her family is her life, her soul, and the very reason she gets out of bed every day. Coming a close second is her writing.
She discovered a passion for putting pen to paper in her later years, jotting down poems in birthday cards for family members.
It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, she’s been unable to switch off the urge to share her stories.
L.J. Harris discovered that as much as experiencing pain, loss and betrayal can be devastating, capturing the feelings of anguish and loss that some of her characters have had to endure without firsthand knowledge would have proved difficult.
L.J. has been previously published and has shared several online stories and looks forward to continuing to share her work.
L. J. Harris can be found at: