While the actual prohibition, passed by Scotland’s Parliament in 1640, didn’t last long, the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, discouraged Yule celebrations beginning as early as 1583 and this continued into the 1950s. Many Scots worked over Christmas and celebrated the Winter Solstice at the New Year, which celebration came to be known as Hogmanay.
|Hogmanay fireballs in Stonehaven|
It was not until 1958 that Christmas Day became a public holiday in Scotland; Boxing Day followed in 1974.
In A Secret Scottish Christmas, my new Christmas Regency romance, Aileen Stephen and her brother and his wife play host to a gaggle of Londoners bent on celebrating Christmastide. And then they go to Stonehaven for Hogmanay.
Spies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!
Twin brothers Nash and Robbie Powell of Powell & Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long frowned upon by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.
Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?
Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!
Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns they are spies?