Fifty-three years! Yes, today is our fifty-third wedding anniversary—a perfect Christmas wedding it was with my attendants in long, red velvet dresses, the church garlanded in pine boughs and trees filled with white doves.
Forty-one years later, in best like-mother-like-daughter style, our daughter had a fairytale Christmastide wedding in Wakefield Cathedral in Yorkshire, England. Bridesmaids, who wore long pink dresses, came from distant America and Peru, guests came from London, Oxford, and the monastery where the bride and groom were studying theology.
Little wonder, then, that Felicity and Antony, hero and heroine in my Monastery Murders series, chose Christmastide for their wedding as well. After all, our daughter Elizabeth’s experiences in her real-life monastery provided the background for Felicity’s more harrowing adventures.
An All-Consuming Fire is set in a monastery based closely on the Community of the Resurrection where Elizabeth and Lee studied so in drawing the scenes through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany I was able to relive that wonderful December I spent with Elizabeth planning her Christmastide wedding. Of course, fiction, as it must, takes over and Felicity has to evade the murderer stalking the Yorkshire moors and resist murdering her pushy mother who is trying to turn the whole event into a royal wedding before her dreams can come true.
I promise—although the scenes are dawn as accurately as I can make them— I only pushed a little bit for the augmented reception Cynthia envisioned—which Elizabeth resisted just as staunchly as Felicity did. And she was right.
Whatever your favorite Christmas memories and plans for this year, I wish you great joy and blessings.