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Sandy Blair | See You Under The Mistletoe

The King's Mistress
Sandy Blair



Barnes & Noble

The long way home could be the shortest road to ruin.

August 2011
On Sale: July 26, 2011
Featuring: Geneen Armstrong; Britt MacKinnon
199 pages
ISBN: 1609285832
EAN: 9781609285838
Kindle: B0057WU6TQ
Add to Wish List

Also by Sandy Blair:
The King's Mistress, August 2011
A Highlander for Christmas, October 2007
A Thief in a Kilt, November 2006
How to Marry A Duke, February 2005

This bushy evergreen with white berries has been a part of our collective imagination since the time of the Druids, who believed it held aphrodisiac and healing properties. If found growing on a sacred oak, they would collect it with great ceremony then utilize it during their Winter Solstice celebrations, which included the sacrifice of cattle, feasts (thank you, cow) drink and rowdiness.

The Romans believed mistletoe was the product of lightening, a gift from the gods, since it suddenly appeared out of nowhere. In the frozen north, Norse lore holds that the goddess Frigga so loved her son Baldur that she extracted a promise from all the vegetation and inanimate objects around him that they would never harm Baldur, but she forgot to ask the mistletoe. The prankster god Loki discovered this and poisoned Baldur. But not to worry, Baldur was soon resurrected from the dead.  

Meanwhile the Anglo-Saxons had also noted this bushy green on their slumbering apple trees and the thrush seen on them before the growth appeared. Practical, agrarian folk, they put two and two together and call it mistletoe, mistle meaning dung, and tan meaning twig. Thus calling it "dung on twigs."  (Sort of takes the romance out of it, huh?)

But fear not, the romantic Celts are on the move, their swords and Druid lore in hand. Time passes and these romantic, music-loving warriors sing of fairies and love. More time passes and now they're Christian...who hang the plentiful mistletoe and ivy all over their homes as they celebrate the Winter Solstice, which their 2d century pope doesn't think right. So he worries and one night dreams Christmas must be on December 25th, the period of pagan Winter Solstice celebrations.

But old habits die hard in the face of hardship and the mistletoe is pretty and plentiful. Add a bit here and there and even the poorest can decorate their homes like the rich. Better yet, everyone knows mistletoe translates to "all heal," and brings luck since it's the habitat of tree fairies, (whom you do not want to tick off.)

Hence the tradition goes on and the berry-loaded mistletoe continues to be hung in doorways at Christmas. Soon randy lads who find comely lasses beneath the bushy green boughs can remove a berry and steal a kiss without repercussions. Sadly, when the berries are gone, so too are the free kisses.

So, go hang your mistletoe, knowing you're not only making your home a feast for the eyes and promoting love, but you're also providing warm shelter for the tree fairies, who in turn will protect your home from innumerable malicious spirits.

In the spirit of this Holiday Season, two lucky readers who comment on my blog will be randomly selected to receive an e-book copy of my new release, THE KING'S MISTRESS




70 comments posted.

Re: Sandy Blair | See You Under The Mistletoe

cool - thank you for sharing this - we learn something new every day!
(Felicia Ciaudelli 5:26am December 17, 2011)

I love your books and cannot wait to read this one.
(Debra Guyette 7:45am December 17, 2011)

Hi Felicia,
Thanks for coming by and Happy Holidays.

Hi Debra.
Thanks ever so much for the kinds words. I hope you enjoy
this new tale as much, which will also be available in
paperback in June 2012.
(Sandy Blair 8:38am December 17, 2011)

Can't wait to read this book!! There are not enough hours in the day to get all the reading done that I want too!! Thank you Sandy!
(Kathleen Jones 9:10am December 17, 2011)

I am gonna put this on my wish list. Cant wait to read it.
(Tammy January 10:12am December 17, 2011)

The only thing I could remember was Mistletoe is actually a parasite so thanks for all the info about Mistletoe. Sounds like a great story and one I plan to read.
Merry Christmas to all..
(Brenda Hill 10:54am December 17, 2011)

I love the holiday traditions that are still being
used from ancient times, from the garland on
the tree to the 12 days/yule log. Thanks for
another tidbit of information I must share on the
(Carla Carlson 10:56am December 17, 2011)

Do the amount of berries change from year to year like acorns and other wild life
foods according to temperatures in the region and how bad the winter will be? I
watch this phenomenon each year rather than read the almanac.
(Sandra Spilecki 11:37am December 17, 2011)

I knew some of this... thanks for sharing... I love learning new tidbits! Happy Holidays!
(Colleen Conklin 12:52pm December 17, 2011)

I had never heard that mistletoe was considered an
aphrodisiac. No wonder we kiss under it! I'll have to make
sure I have plenty of it around this year! ;-)
(Marissa Culp 1:27pm December 17, 2011)

Thank you for giving me deeper insight on the mistletoe. It has quite a rich history :)
(Na S 1:31pm December 17, 2011)

(Linda Bass 2:02pm December 17, 2011)

It was an interesting post and I did not know that you needed a berry for a kiss.
(Maureen Emmons 2:13pm December 17, 2011)

(Christina DeAngelis 4:10pm December 17, 2011)

Your information about mistletoe is fascinating. Live and learn! Also, I think I will enjoy reading THE KING'S MISTRESS. The Scottish seem to have such a colorful history.
(Anna Speed 4:12pm December 17, 2011)

I love the way the ancient traditions melded with the Christian beliefs. May we all share some "free kisses" this Christmas season! The King's Mistress looks very interesting,I surely love a Scottish man (especially the highlanders!) I will have to pick it up on one of my shopping trips.
(Kris Bowers 4:29pm December 17, 2011)

That's interesting... Will pass it on to my family during our gathering for x'mas... Love your books btw...
(May Pau 4:42pm December 17, 2011)

Wow this book sounds great Very intriguing and i love a Scottish man!
(Tammy Yenalavitch 4:50pm December 17, 2011)

I love the tradition of mistletoe and other remembrances of holidays from years gone by. Positioning an unsuspecting person under mistletoe is kindof funny to watch both the nudging and the outcome. Love the amount of historical information on your website and of course the Scottish brogue and unique clothing.
(Alyson Widen 5:03pm December 17, 2011)

Hi All,
Kathleen: Thanks for dropping in. I hear you about not
having enough hours in the day. Today started with my
checking this site, was followed by a panicked call from my
daughter regarding Christmas cookies for the school teachers
and could I make them, followed by a hair cut etc. Crazy

Hi Tammy,
Thanks for dropping in on such a busy day.

Hi Brenda, I hope you enjoy the book. (Let me know.)

Hi Carla, I love tradition as well. I'd love to have a home
big enough to have a fireplace large enough to burn a 12 day
log. :)....Providing I had help to clean it.

Hi Sandra, I wouldn't be the least surprised if weather did
alter berry counts. Droughts in particular.

Hi Marissa,
LOL Make loads of kissing balls

Maureen, Yup, one berry per kiss. (I wonder how many lads
"forgot" to remove their berry so they could come back time
and again. :)

Hi Anna, I hope you enjoy the story.

Hi Kris, I also love the blend of myth and religion in our

Hi May, Thank you very much!

I Tammy, So pleased you dropped by. I love them as well.
Married one in fact. :)
(Sandy Blair 5:13pm December 17, 2011)

Love learning new info about old things. The beginning of traditions is fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
(Sylissa Franklin 6:03pm December 17, 2011)

Thanks for the info. Who knew it was dung on a twig. My mother hung mistletoe in our house every year at Christmas.
(Maude Allen 6:27pm December 17, 2011)

I enjoyed reading your posting today, and always find it a good day when I can learn something new. I'm disappointed that the contest is for an e-copy of your book only. I wish that it would have been "winner's choice." I don't own an e-reader, and know I won't be receiving one for Christmas. Your books have intrigued me, and your latest is no exception. The cover is striking - I think the artist outdid himself!! Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 6:42pm December 17, 2011)

Love that mistletoe!!
(Marjorie Carmony 6:58pm December 17, 2011)

Just a note to Peggy Roberson -- you can download several e-reader applications to desktops & laptops - I pads, notebooks etc...
I am very interested in the blend you presented -- now we all know we've been thrilled to be kissing under 'dung on a twig'!!
(Cate Sparks 7:01pm December 17, 2011)

We use mistletoe,just like everyone else ,to get kisses.
What a great tradition.
(Deb Pelletier 7:36pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Sylissa,
I do as well and thanks for dropping by.
(Sandy Blair 7:37pm December 17, 2011)

Haven't seen real mistletoe in years. We used to collect it out of trees when we were growing up. Your books sounds really good, can't wait to read it.
(Gail Hurt 7:37pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Maude,
We have some hanging as I write this. :)
(Sandy Blair 7:38pm December 17, 2011)

THE KING'S MISTRESS , it really sounds like a good book to read. Hope to win. Have a Merry Christmas
(Debbie Ellis 7:40pm December 17, 2011)

I never knew that about mistletoe. Very interesting! I've got to share this with my friends now.
(Darlene Stewart 7:40pm December 17, 2011)

Thank you for exploring all the lore of mistletoe! I enjoyed it.
(Deborah Rosen 7:43pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Peggy,
Thanks for the kind word about the cover. (I'm thrilled with
it.)If it's of help, The King's Mistress will be release in
paperback in June, available through B&N, Amazon and
independent booksellers. (Just ask the bookseller if you
don't see it on shelves.) Too be truthful, as much as I love
my Kindle, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands
on the "hard" copy. :) Should you win, I'll hold a copy for
you. Just remind me.
(Sandy Blair 7:45pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Deb. Thanks for dropping by and yes, kisses are always
(Sandy Blair 7:47pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Deborah,
Thanks for dropping by (I love this spelling of your name. One
of my favorite authors is Deborah Smith, author of Sweet Hush
and The Stone Flower garden.)
(Sandy Blair 7:50pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Gail,
I hope you have a chance to read this tale. It's set against
actual events in 1285 Scotland. Actually came out of my
researching Scotland's Medieval kings, specifically Alexander
III and the mystery surrounding his death. Great fun!
(Sandy Blair 7:52pm December 17, 2011)

Sandy, I loved reading your blog post. I want so badly to
read THE KING'S MISTRESS! Huge fan of your books & the
synopsis of this book sounds wonderful!
(Kay Martinez 7:55pm December 17, 2011)

Scot's in Kilts AND Mistletoe...Sweet dreams tonight. The life you Authors breathe into us, your readers.
(Debra Forrester 8:07pm December 17, 2011)

I loved your info on mistletoe. As a child, we used to go out and gather it by shooting it out of the tree to hang in my grandmother's house. I love anything Scottish as my ancesters are definitely from there. I'm still trying to figure out how they got to the U.S. Tonight, I shall dream of mistletoe and Scottish kings!
(Renee Brown 8:21pm December 17, 2011)

(Silvana Moscato 8:28pm December 17, 2011)

What interesting facts about misteltoe! I knew Loki used it as poison but not the
other stuff! I can honestly say I have never seen any in real life.
Your book sounds so good, hope it is a big hit!
(Lexi Hansen 8:46pm December 17, 2011)

very interesting facts about misteltoe. Would love to win your book. Love the cover. Happy Holidays !
(Amy Milne 9:02pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Kay,
Thanks. I hope you enjoy it!
(Sandy Blair 9:38pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Debra,
Sweet dreams! And may all your wishes for the New Year come
(Sandy Blair 9:39pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Renee,
You "shot" it out of the trees? Wow! Sweet dreams.
(Sandy Blair 9:40pm December 17, 2011)

LOL, Silvanna.
(Sandy Blair 9:42pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Lexi,
Thanks for dropping by. Mistletoe can be found from Maine to
TX on deciduous trees. It's nearly impossible to see when the
trees are fully leafed out but easy to spot in winter.
(Sandy Blair 9:46pm December 17, 2011)

Hi Amy,
Thanks and wishing you Happy Holidays as well.
(Sandy Blair 9:48pm December 17, 2011)

Thanks for the interesting facts about mistletoe. Its always interesting to learn about where some of our traditions come from. Your book also sounds great. Would love to win it. Happy Holidays.
(Carol Woodruff 9:56pm December 17, 2011)

That's a great information about the mistletoe. I love your books.

Merry Christmas.
(Kai Wong 10:08pm December 17, 2011)

I remember being in high school and loving the idea of being kissed under the mistletoe by one of my crushes. Unfortunately, boys never got into the spirit.
(MaryAnne Banks 10:49pm December 17, 2011)

I never knew anything about mistletoe and I don't know that I've ever seen any..Thanks for the post.
(Patti Paonessa 11:44pm December 17, 2011)

Sadly, I can't ever remember being kissed under the mistletoe. Maybe this year I will get lucky!
(Lisa Kendall 12:27pm December 18, 2011)

Hi Carol,
Thanks for leaving a comment and goof luck in the contest.
(Sandy Blair 9:17am December 18, 2011)

Merry Christmas, Kia!

Hi MaryAnne,
LOL. I suspect the boys were far more shy than we, at the
same age, imagine.
(Sandy Blair 9:20am December 18, 2011)

Hi Patty,
You're welcome.
(Sandy Blair 9:21am December 18, 2011)

Hi Lisa,
Oh no. I say it's about time you put some in your hair, preferably decorated with a bright red bow and go for it! :)
(Sandy Blair 9:25am December 18, 2011)

Hi Sandy!

I love your books. Thanks so much for this blog! I really learned a lot from and enjoyed reading it. Good luck in the giveaway everyone!
(Cathy Phillips 10:49am December 18, 2011)

I just heard on the news that due to the drought in Texas there is a mistletoe shortage!!
(Sue Farrell 11:50am December 18, 2011)

Hi Cathy,
Thanks for posting and the much appreciated kind words about
my books. Happy Holidays!
(Sandy Blair 1:56pm December 18, 2011)

Hi Sue,
Oh no!! But not surprising given y'all had month upon month
of over 100F temps and no rain. Thanks for dropping by!
Wishing you and yours the Happiest of Holidays.
(Sandy Blair 1:58pm December 18, 2011)

I just bought some mistletoe today. I would love to win a copy
of the book.
(Jennifer Denning 5:21pm December 18, 2011)

Thanks for the mistletoe info - love your books!
(Mary Chin 6:00pm December 18, 2011)

I am a bit late, but I did want to thank you for your informative ost. I was familiar with the traditions from the Celts on, but not the a=earlier ones. I have enjoyed your books.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a great 2012.
(Patricia Barraclough 8:06pm December 18, 2011)

Good for you, Jennifer! May you and yours exchange many a
(Sandy Blair 6:39am December 19, 2011)

Hi Mary, Thanks for the kind words about my work. Happy
(Sandy Blair 6:40am December 19, 2011)

Hi Patricia,
Wishing you and yours the same, and thank you. I've had a
great deal of fun writing the tales.
(Sandy Blair 6:42am December 19, 2011)

How interesting! I love mistletoe
(Tara Smith 8:17pm December 19, 2011)

Great post!
Merry Christmas!
(Cheryl McEwen 2:41pm December 21, 2011)

Sandy, You have such a refreshing and entertaining style of writing. I can't wait to read the King's Mistress on my Christmas Kindle. Happy New Year to you and your family.
(Beth Pitts 5:01pm December 27, 2011)

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