Has everyone finished their holiday shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Is everyone sick of the Christmas spirit yet? I hope not, because my Christmas-set “Harlequin Historicals Undone” e-story is out today!

The Maid’s Lover is connected to The Winter Queen, though not really a sequel–more a parallel story. We see Rosamund’s friend, Anne Percy, and her suitor Lord Langley, who we met in TWQ. Anne was a bit, shall we say, tempermental whenever they met, and now we find out why. There’s more Christmas feasting, dancing, decorating, fashion–and lots of nookie in the snow. And hidden in dark corridors. And tied to canopied beds. (It is an “Undone,” after all!).

(Find it here, on eHarlequin!)

I loved getting to revisit the Elizabethan Court with this story, and getting to see what was going on with this fiery couple! I also loved getting to drag out my favorite Christmas CDs a little early (since I had to write this story even before Halloween, and was not at all in the winter spirit, so I needed a little help). Being a “pantser” writer, I don’t usually get to utilize my deep love of office supplies in making storyboards or plot trees or anything like that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need preparatory help when it comes to starting a book. I spend an inordinate amount of time doing things like looking up photos of actors and actresses that might resemble the characters, and coming up with soundtracks for the story. Some might say that is just wasting time not actually writing, but I say it is Absolutely Essential. 🙂

For this story I listened to a lot of Renaissance Christmas CDs, such as: Lionheart’s Tydings Trew, Baltimore Consort’s Bright Day Star; The Baroque Christmas Album; Noels and Carols From the Olde World; and Elizabeth’s Music. For aesthetics, I watched a lot of The Virgin Queen and The Other Boleyn Girl (even though I actually hated this movie, I thought Anne Percy looked a lot like Natalie Portman in that green dress…).

I will give a free download of The Maid’s Lover to a commenter on today’s post!!! (Plus I still have my Laurel McKee contest on my website, until December 16–go ahead and enter both, it’s Contest Tuesday!)

What are some of your favorite Renaissance-set movies (I love the old Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet, Dangerous Beauty, Shakespeare in Love, etc)? Any favorite Christmas CDs or carols? (And how gorgeous is that purple velvet dress??? I am seriously lusting for it!)