December 2019 Newsletter

What’s New?

After handing off the final version of Masque of Honor to my copyeditor, I breathed a deep sigh of relief, (one of those sighs that comes from your soul), and was able to finally let my brain rest from stories told with words and focus on stories told through color and design.  It was a good time to transition to focusing on decking the halls of Selma for the holiday season and the events that we’d be hosting between now and the new year. 

December started with a full house for the Sneak Peek Masque of Honor Holiday Reading. I was delighted to meet so many of you, and thrilled that you are as excited as I am about Masque. Thanks again for entering the contest, and being gracious guests. (And to those of you sitting in the front row, Leda apologizes profoundly for her gastrointestinal faux pas…she was almost TOO relaxed for the room.

Selma’s Trees

If you weren’t able to join us for our Sneak Peek of Masque of Honor Reading or our fundraiser for the Loudoun Museum, head on over to my webpage to see Selma’s Christmas Trees. A big thank you to Marty Shoup and Luke Greer for capturing them beautifully.

12th Night at Selma

I love a good party. And as exhausting as the prep can be, I am fortunate enough to live in a home that seems to be happiest when its full of fun and laughter. The bookend to our holiday festivities last year was our Twelfth Night Party, inspired by my research on Masque of Honor. 

Traditionally, it is called the Feast of the Epiphany, as it marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Those of Christian faith, know Epiphany as the day that the Three Wise Men brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Read More.

history of 12th night at selma

Nothing says Merry Christmas at Selma in a more delicious way than a heaping helping of our Christmas Sausage Gravy and Biscuits on Christmas morning.  A Southern tradition dating back to the Revolutionary War, its true origins are most likely Appalachia, where it was often called sawmill gravy, a cheap and calorie-rich meal for sawmill workers lifting heavy logs all day long. We’re not doing any log lifting at Selma on Christmas morning, but this is a delicious part of our “loafing around in pjs” day. 

best of historical fiction

Sharon’s Dining Etiquette Guide

After we moved into Selma it occurred to me that to have a dining room of that scale would require a certain protocol when planning to serve a meal there.  This was not a place for your trusty disposable Chinet. Sometimes it is easier to write down what is in your mind toward making setting the table part of the process of entertaining, and to that end, take a look at what I wrote for Selma.  Maybe it will take some of the guesswork out of setting your table if you’re planning on a sit down meal this holiday season. Download it here.

19th century historical fiction books

Sharon’s Book Club

Snuggle up by the fire, light a candle, grab a blanket and get ready to get spooky. During the 19th century, it became traditional for publishers of newspapers and magazines to print ghost stories during the Christmas season for precisely that reason: snuggling by the fire. This is a collection of those tales. 

For more of my book club selections, check out my website.


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