Merry Christmas! Today's excerpt will take us back to Christmas in the Tudor days. Happy holidays to all, and best wishes for the coming year.

Under These Restless Skies will be released on February 20. You can check out the book's blog here, including more excerpts and information on the Tudor historical characters in the story, and the legend of the selkies on which the story is based.

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When Henry was in a good mood, he was warm, gregarious, and generous. The Christmas festivities that year were joyous as a result, and Will was happy Emma’s first Christmas should be so magical.
Yule Log
The palace was decorated with holly, ivy, and mistletoe and lit by thousands of candles. On Christmas Eve, no meat, eggs, or cheese could be eaten, and Emma giggled through dinner, seeing the whole court adopt her meatless diet, which fortunately, the court had ascribed to her piety. They wouldn’t have thought her so pious if they’d seen her indignation that night when Will told her they were supposed to eschew marital relations. That said, if one obeyed the Church calendar of holy days, sexual activity was forbidden roughly half the year, not including a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Will had a lot to confess.
On Christmas Day, there were three solemn masses, and then the court threw itself into celebration. The feast was opulent even by the court’s standards. Roasted boar’s head and Christmas Pie were two of the central dishes. The latter was a massive pie made of a turkey, stuffed with a goose, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with a partridge, stuffed with a pigeon. The king’s skilled carver could cut a slice containing meat from every bird.

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