Meet Bette Browne!
Bette Browne is the author of Exposed, The Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology, Dirty Martini, among others listed below.
To get to know Bette Browne a little better, the author agreed to write a guest post about Christmas in Australia. It’s a fascinating window into how much we differ and yet are so much alike. Look for that below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.
Bette Browne is wife to an extremely understanding husband and mother to two very tolerant children. In her mind they are the most accepting family in the world, allowing her the freedom to indulge her passion for fiction, whether it is reading or writing it.
She enjoys traditional male/female romances, but male/male is her passion. In her mind nothing is more erotic than two (or more) beautiful men finding love together.
For Bette, the fight for tolerance in all its guises is an important one, and hopefully her contribution, even if it is only in the form of the occasional love story, is one she will continue to happily find the time for.
Contact/Follow Bette Browne at:
Website (Blog): http://bettebrowne.blogspot.com.au
✍Bette Browne Books:
This story was originally included in the SECOND CHANCES Anthology released in August 2012 and has been individually released to celebrate BDP’s anniversary.
Daniel Fletcher knocks back his third vodka of the night after running into his ex out with the same lover he had found him with in their bed two months before. He’d ended their relationship that night but coming face to face with them still together makes the pain of the breakup still very real.
Nathan Smith has seen more men than he count drowning their sorrows in a bottle at his bar. He understands – he’s been there himself. One night a handsome brunette with sad blue eyes makes Nate want to assure him that everything will be okay. The connection he feels from a fleeting touch, as he walks the man out of the bar, shakes and stirs him in ways that he never expected.
What starts out as a means to forget might just be what they both need.
Bared (Exposed Sequel)
Genres: contemporary fiction, M/M romance
Contests and Giveaways:
1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Bette Browne) is an eBook copy of the winner’s choice of Dirty Martini, or even the anthology Second Chances (Dirty Martini is in it) . Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find the Hunt “word or phrase” in bold green .
Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.
******************Author Guest Blog********************
Christmas Down Under by Bette Browne
Christmas and summer, and why as an Australian the blend of the two is so incredibly important to me . . .
As you read this, you will most likely be trying to forget Christmas (or whichever holiday you might celebrate at this time of year). I know I do in the immediate days and weeks following it, happy to pack it away in neat boxes until next year. But as I write it is still looming in the very near future, barrelling down upon me so quickly that I feel if I blink I might miss it. As much as I love the holiday season, it makes me sweat big fat drops of perspiration (literally as well as figuratively—it is summer here right now after all) and causes my blood pressure to soar—but I really do love it, and all the crazy joy associated with it.
So why would I write about a holiday that will be well and truly over by the time anyone reads my words? Because if the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words team want to showcase the differences between Australia (and New Zealand) and much of the rest of the world, i.e. the Northern Hemisphere, then Christmas in summer is one of them as far as I am concerned.
Picture this, it’s Christmas Eve, those nearest and dearest to you are done with work for the day, excited that they’re about to have a few days off, and have converged on your house this year, Eskys in tow (that’s a cooler, btw) loaded with icy cold beers and bottles of wine, and maybe a kilo or two of fresh trawler-caught prawns. The kids—nieces, nephews, friends, whoever—already dressed in their swimsuits, have towels slung over their shoulders, but not for long. As soon as they get the okay from their parents, those towels are re-slung over the pool fence, or straight onto the ground, and the splashing begins—they won’t get out until you drag them out later that evening with threats that Santa won’t come if they are not in bed and asleep by midnight (although it will actually be 10 p.m.—sanity does prevail!). Of course, after all that activity sleep will come easy, and their pool-red eyes will close fast. Thank you! The adults enjoy the balmy evening sitting under the twinkling fairy lights strung around, occasionally slapping away a mosquito as twilight descends (Where are those mosquito coils again?), discussing in quiet tones how many presents are still left to be wrapped after the kids are asleep and what’s on the menu at their house tomorrow. That conversation might move to whether Uncle Jim (or Tom or Fred or . . .) will be joining the festivities this year, and how many beers he’ll drink before he becomes argumentative and wants to fight.
It’s still 30°C at nine p.m., and the forecast for tomorrow says it will be another hot one, maybe even reaching 42°C. As a few of you wander the neighbourhood, glass of wine in hand, to look at the Christmas lights on the houses, you all discuss how to beat the heat on the most-loved-day-of-the-year. Envy abounds that you have a pool, but it will be too hot to be in it if the temperature reaches that high. What will actually happen is that you’ll huddle away inside until late in the afternoon, leaving Uncle Jim snoring on the couch, and you’ll all pile in the car to go to the beach to enjoy both a swim and the cool sea breeze that will break the heat, and calm everyone’s escalating (by then) nerves. And then you’ll mosey on home, tired and sated, able to now utilise the pool and the outside entertaining area and graze on leftovers and finally relax.
It’s Christmas Day. Everyone in your house is still asleep, for how long you have no idea, but you’re awake, so you’re going to make the most of the slightly cooler morning and get a start on things. You drink your first cup of coffee looking at the flashing lights on the Christmas tree, happy that wrapping any extra presents is not something that needs to be done this morning—you were organised this year. Then you go to the kitchen.
Everyone’s awake now. Presents have been opened, and the kids are enjoying the spoils of the day. It’s nice to have a moment to enjoy that—it’s maybe your favourite part of the whole silly season, even as they get older. But there is only so much time you can sit and relax.
The temperature is rising, and as you move around the kitchen and perspiration begins to cover your body, it is finally time to turn on the air-conditioner. It would be miserable today without it; besides, you need to try and fight the heat of the oven cooking the turkey and roasted vegetables you just can’t do without. That’s certainly a tradition you have never been able to let go of. Many have, because really who would cook a roast dinner during the hottest part of the year, choosing instead to feast on the magnificent seafood so plentiful in this part of the world. But you love it, Christmas just isn’t the same without it, and you have the air-conditioning to help stave the heat.
Again you look at the clock (such a shame that even a day like today can’t run without one) and notice the guests will be arriving soon. Time to go and change into the lovely soft summer dress you decided on for the occasion.
Lunch is served. Well not really, it’s later than that. It’s been just too hot to eat—and you’ve been nibbling all morning. But you look at your beautiful table, proud of your achievement. The lovely place settings, the bon bons, the lovely centrepiece, and the food, so much food—turkey, potatoes, gravy, ham, pork, vegetables, some seafood, salads, and more . . .
As I read back over what I’ve just written, I wonder whether Christmas in Australia is actually any different at all to anywhere else in the world. Yes, the weather is hot, excruciatingly so at times, and that is a big difference, but in so many ways it’s the same: being overwhelmingly busy, threats that Santa won’t come if the kids aren’t asleep, the gifts, the food, Uncle Jim (and his drinking problem) . . .
I am fortunate enough to have experienced a Northern Christmas, and don’t get me wrong, I loved every moment of it, and would love to do it again one day, but would I trade? No. There was no riding of new Christmas bikes on the driveway, or beach swims at the end of the day, or even that leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood to view the Christmas lights. It just wasn’t he same. It didn’t herald the beginning of my children having their long summer break, or mark the end of yet another school year, or the precede the Boxing Day sales (similar to Black Friday in the USA).
I suppose what it boils down to is that Christmas, or anything else for that matter, is what you know along with memories forged over a lifetime. It’s what you have grown up with that makes something special, as well as the people you are able to spend it with.
Maybe one of the wonderful Down Under authors being showcased needs to write an appropriate Aussie/NZ Christmas tale. Now where is my notepad . . .?
Happy “belated” holidays!
[STRW Note: No, there are no misspellings, that’s the difference between US English and Down Under English (with differences still between NZ and AUS.}]