Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Aussie Christmas........with author Vonnie Hughes

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!  Returning once again to the Christmas memory theme, I'm happy that Vonnie Hughes is joinging us on the bloggy today.  An author of regency and romantic suspense and fellow Musan from Musa Publishing, Vonnie is also one of my treasured Wenches of Words.  She shares her holiday memories with us from a land she calls Downunder.  Try reading it with your fake Aussie accent....a la Crocodile Dundee.  I did, and totally cracked myself up!

Christmas holidays in the Vonnie Hughes

We won’t be spending our holidays in the snow. No Christmassy swirls of the cold, pretty white stuff that makes for perfect chocolate box covers. Nope. Our Christmas Downunder will be marked by barbecues (bbq’s), swimming in the lukewarm sea and games of cricket that segue into desultory sitting about in deckchairs snoozing, with the dogs lying in the shade and the kids, worn out after their early morning call, all packed together in heaps in the spare bedrooms.

Any particular Christmas holiday come to mind? Well, there was the one during my childhood when we went camping out as usual. Dad’s technique was to pack the car, get in and drive as far as possible. Then we’d pitch the family sized tent, spend a couple of nights in that place and then move on, doing the whole thing over again. As we got older, my brother and I got less of a charge from it. It became an obligation.

But sometimes the weather goes haywire. The year Mum got sick was a December of pouring rain and high winds. And there we were, huddling in our heavy-duty tent, waiting for the weather to soothe so we could cross on the car ferry from the North Island to the South Island of New Zealand. The ferry didn’t run in wild weather for obvious reasons so we had to wait it out. The rain got so heavy the sides of the thick canvas tent became clammy. Mum began to cough. And she coughed. Her cold turned into pleurisy. Still we were stuck. The people next to us in the camping-ground had the ultimate equipment, an immense caravan that had heaters and hot water and God knows what. Never seen such equipment. And those people were wonderful. They tucked Mum into one of their beds and gave her a few slugs of whisky. Then they called a doctor who sloshed through the rain squalls and administered antibiotics. Two days later all was well. Out came the sun, and Mum recovered. I often wonder what happened to those kind people who took us under their wing.

Strangely, I still love camping.

And even though we live in the searing heat of Australia now, I write Regencies where Christmases are in winter. But I also write dark suspense novels set Downunder so I have the best of both worlds!

Here are links to a couple of my books:  

This one is for LETHAL REFUGE, a New Zealand-set gritty romantic suspense. It is my personal favorite, since the heroine is tough and not necessarily sweet and pretty. Hell’s she’s had to be tough, and sweet and pretty don’t cut it when you’re running for your life:

And here is a link to CAPTIVE, my latest Regency novella from Musa Publishing:


As always, buy her books and let her know how much you love them!  Connect with her here:

Regency and Romantic Suspense Writer


  1. Thank goodness for kind people, Vonnie. As for camping, I've never been. Well other than the backyard as a kid. Shocking, I know.

  2. Great post Vonnie! I love the idea of camping for Christmas. We could use a little Australian heat here in Chicago!

    1. OOoh. Chicago in December. We flew through there (United Airlines) about ten years ago and we were worried the connecting flight wouldn't take off because of the freezing conditions and snow on the ground. We were lucky. Last flight out before they shut down for a few hours. A tad chilly!

  3. First - really jealous of your warm Christmas, but being Canadian, I'd miss a white Christmas for sure! Your story was wonderful, a true Christmas miracle that could have went bad. Great story, Vonnie.

  4. LOL Vonnie. Makes me glad my dad wasn't a camper. I've done the white Christmas thing and much prefer the warmer climes of the southwest myself. Who needs snow and a brightly lit pine when a light sweater works while ooing and ahhhing over a saguaro strung with lights. ;-)

    A merry Christmas to you and yours.

  5. Thanks for having us Samantha!

    1. You are very welcome, Vonnie (and company). It was all my pleasure, indeed!