Guest Post and Giveaway with Thea Harrison

BP: I would like to welcome Thea Harrison back to The Bookpushers! She has an Elder Races novella True Colorsreleased from Samhain Publishing earlier this week so we asked is she would like to do a guest post. Ms Harrison graciously agreed and also said that she would sponsor a giveaway. Thank you Ms Harrison! Please take a look at what she has to say and follow the instructions to be entered. The giveaway will be closed on the 23d and we will announce the winner of an eARC of True Colorson the 24th. Good luck!
True Colors

Holiday Traditions
As my Elder Races novella True Colors is released by Samhain Publishing this week, I thought it would be fun to do a blog posting on holiday traditions, both those I have enjoyed in real life and those I built into the Elder Races universe for the story.

In real life, when my daughter and I lived in England, we celebrated Christmas with friends we had made. There we were introduced to all sorts of wonderful things, like Christmas pudding, which was something I had read about in stories but had never actually tasted—it was far different than what I had expected! Here’s a recipe at Saveur: Christmas Pudding. We also enjoyed Christmas crackers, which are a kind of party favor and Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

When my daughter was young, I also adopted what my English friend chose to do with her child, and I wrapped small presents to stuff into a stocking that I put at the foot of my daughter’s bed. When she woke up at five in the morning, crazed with excitement, she knew she could open the stocking presents right away, while the bigger, “real” presents were to be opened when everybody was present. This strategy was, I thought, a very clever way to gain another hour or two of sleep—and it worked! When we moved back to the States, we kept that tradition. To this day we still prepare stockings for each other.

Moving into the fictitious work of the Elder Races, I wanted to create a holiday tradition, but of course Christmas wouldn’t do, so I built a holiday around the winter solstice. So many holidays are based on religious traditions, and I brought that into the Elder Races world as well. The Elder Races have seven gods that they call the seven Primal Powers, and they consider these gods to be the linchpins of the universe.

There is Taliesin, the god of the Dance. Then there is Azrael, the god of Death; Inanna, the goddess of Love; Nadir, the goddess of the depths or the Oracle; Will, the god of the Gift; Camael, the goddess of the Hearth; and Hyperion, the god of Law.

These gods have faces, or personas. For instance, Azrael has green eyes, Taliesin is both male and female and Inanna is a golden woman, but those personas are masks for the real Powers upon which the universe is based. When the Elder Races celebrate their holiday tradition, the seven days before the winter solstice is a time of parties and get-togethers. On the night of winter solstice itself, they hold a Masque of the Gods, which can be anything from a splendid masquerade ball to a small house party. Usually a masque of any size holds a parade of the seven gods, the roles played by volunteers—or paid actors at the really lush celebrations—who wear traditional costumes and masks that identify which god they represent.
This is the holiday season in which True Colors begins.

What holiday traditions do you observe? Which one is your favorite? Comment for a chance to win an e-copy of True Colors!

Comments

  1. JenM says

    I’m not religious, so I don’t observe any of the holiday traditions, other than going to parties that I’m invited to. I try to keep it quiet that I don’t celebrate anything, and I do appreciate how much other people enjoy this time of year and all the pretty decorations and general zaniness, I just don’t do it myself.
    jen(at)delux(dot)com

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  2. says

    Hi again,

    Thanks so much for having me today! I’m really happy to be sharing the holiday season with you!

    Good luck with the giveaway, everybody!
    Warm regards,
    Thea

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  3. Irene Jackson says

    I live in England so I hope this giveaway is international pretty please :) We have the stockings hung up but that didn’t stop our eldest finding his new bike at 05:30 one year aaargh! And a terrible thing to admit but we all hate christmas pudding so every year we have chocolate sponge pudding and chocolate custard on christmas day instead.

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  4. says

    We don’t really have too many traditions for Christmas, but we tend to open gifts on Christmas Eve–more time to eat on Christmas Day, ya know. :D

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  5. says

    My husband and I agreed that Christmas would always be special and celebrated with excellent gifts. No going all bag humbug as we got older or saying Christmas is only for children. Even if money is tight, we always celebrate, just as much as our 8 year old!

    hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

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  6. Barbara Elness says

    My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas at my sister’s house, and that night piling in the car to drive around town looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations, then coming home for some pumpkin pie, yum! I love hanging lights up every year as well. I don’t go crazy because I’m not into climbing tall ladders (I don’t even own one), but I put them up everywhere I can reach with a stepladder – which is around the front porch and porch posts and on all the bushes.

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  7. says

    One of my favorite traditions is the pickle. We have a tiny green pickle ornament that my mom always hid on the tree, the first person to find it on Christmas Eve got a present. It was always small, a holiday cup or notepad or something, but it was wonderful to search with my sisters!
    Thanks for hosting –
    bevsharp@desch.org

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  8. donnas says

    I go with my mom to church at midnight. Then on Christmas day we all get together and open gifts and eat and relax.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  9. Victoria Zumbrum says

    My husband’s mom’s side of the family all get together for Christmas. I don’t like a lot of people so I prefer just the family getting together. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  10. Carla S. says

    We always open gifts on Christmas eve . The gifts are not the main thing though-it’s the getting together with our loved ones. Happy holidays to all.

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  11. Susan W. says

    I love Christmas carols. So much so that I sing them to my dogs while I’m getting their food dishes ready. LOL!

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  12. MJB says

    My family isn’t big on holidays, so the only one we do (except for more tradition observances, like Passover or Yom Kippur – any other folks out there of the tribe?) is Chanukah..I’ve said this on other blogs, so I apologize if some of you have heard this before, but just for clarification…Chanukah is NOT the Jewish Christmas! :)

    For one of the 8 nights, we have potato latkes (pancakes) and jelly donuts. Why jelly and not custard (my preference) is a mystery for the ages.

    I hope everyone has some Happy Holidays however you celebrate it!
    MJB
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

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  13. Patsy Hagen says

    We observe the whole Christmas thing…except for Carolling and that’s only because we have such horrendous singing voices! We decorate the tree, the front of the house and the living room. We exchange presents on Christmas morning(that is my favorite part of Christmas!), then eat a huge meal at around two in the afternoon. That night, we take all the decorations down and put them away for the next year.

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  14. Alaina says

    i love decorating the tree!!!! we have some gorgeous ornaments.. my fav part is the memories!

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  15. miki says

    We put a tree and decorate it ^^
    but i think i prefer the exchange of gifts as it show how much we thought of each other

    isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. says

    I love decorating the christmas tree with my mom and my dad puts the lights on the tree. We usually have a beautiful christmas tree.
    usignolc(at)yahooDOTcom

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  17. Kai W. says

    The holiday tradition that we always observe is cooking the holiday dinner. Yes, I do get up early in the morning to start food preparation. Of course the turkey and rib-eye roast are always seasoned and prep ahead of time. Yes, I do make everything from scratch and it is an all-day work. But when my family, cousins, aunts, uncle, nieces and nephews are here, this holiday tradition is worth it.

    Of course, I could have bought all the food pre-prepare but it doesn’t feel like the Holidays if I don’t do it myself.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the giveaway contest.

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  18. Anne says

    About 15 years ago, my mom got tired of us not celebrating Christmas for the right reasons (we were all about the presents and food) so no more. We still had 2 big meals on the 24th and 25th, but after they retired and move to a warm climate that ended too. None of us have kids, so none of us really do anything for the holiday.

    It’s much more calm and peaceful. (None of us has kids.)

    acm05atjuno.com

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  19. Pamk says

    putting up a tree, baking cookies, santa clause coming are all traditions we follow. I’d love to wint his book.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

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  20. Mathu says

    Spending time with the family and friends, christmas pj’s and of course the huge xmas feast at the end.

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  21. Jessica C. says

    I just started baking cookies with my son this year. He’s at an age now where he can help me in the kitchen.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

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  22. Shelley Bagby says

    We go to church on Christmas Eve. My children all in their early 20’s spend the night and I put out their presents. They get up the next morning to presents and stuffed stockings . They all still get candy, socks, and new pj’s every year. I guess you never get too old. I just finished reading Dragon Bound and loved it! I want to read more of Thea’s books. Thanks!

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