Kindle Contest Day 12 – Kate Johnson

Please welcome Kate!

1. What is your favorite thing about the colder weather?

I look really cute in a bobble hat.

Seriously, I love winter clothes. Knitted hats and multicoloured scarves and cute little leather gloves, and autumnal colours suit me a lot better than summery ones. I’m very pale and currently a redhead (I spent the summer being brunette and was blonde before that) so all those warm browns and reds and greens suit me much better than the bright shades you get in summer.

Plus, it’s really nice not to have to slather on factor 50.

2. What kind of books do you like to curl up with on a cold day?

I like anything that makes me laugh. To that end, I do read a lot of chick lit and its cousins in other genres—paranormal mostly, but there are some hilarious historical authors out there too. Plus I read a lot of non-romance. I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan, and I like other offbeat, hard-to-categorise authors like Jasper Fforde.

3. What is your favorite holiday food?

Honestly? All of it! I have a huge sweet tooth as well as savoury. January is the month to diet. I don’t eat meat, so no Christmas turkey, but all the trimmings are a meal in themselves. Plus we have a chocolate/coffee/cream dessert instead of Christmas pudding that’s to die for (a few years ago we all confessed that we don’t really love Christmas pudding that much, and since Christmas Day is my brother’s birthday, we asked him what he’d prefer. He didn’t even have to think about it!).

And of course there’s nothing like mulled wine or cider to cheer you up. One of my mum’s friends is Finnish and she makes mulled wine with her own infused vodka. It’s delicious—but it gets you drunk really quickly!

4. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

You know what, I have loads. Christmas Eve I go out for lunch and to the cinema with my best friend. We swap gifts, and it’s like the start of Christmas for me. Then on Christmas Day we go down to the pub before lunch. It’s really nice to see everyone, lots of friends from the village call in and since it’s the aforementioned brother’s birthday, everyone buys us drinks!

5. Be honest, how much do you decorate for the holidays?

Not hugely. But I love wrapping presents. I know a lot of people don’t, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I put on some music or maybe a film, settle down at the big coffee table with my bag of paper and ribbons, and get creative. They’re part of the decorations in our house. I used to put them on display in the sitting room, under the tree or on a table, but for the last three years we’ve had baby animals in the house (a pair of kittens, then the next year a puppy, then since one of the first pair of cats was killed by a car, another pair of kittens again last year) who, shall we say, like to help me with decorating. Since the puppy turned out to be a Demon Puppy who chews everything, we keep decorations mostly out of her way—in the hallway, or high up. I put fairy lights everywhere, and a small tree in a downstairs window, where you can see it right down the street. This year I might put some of the solar lights from the back garden out front, but that’s probably it for outside decorations. I am British, you know.

Scavenger Hunt Question:

Which TV vampire did Kate name her white cat after?

The answer can be found on Kate’s website or blog.

Click here to submit your answer.



Filed under Books and Authors, Contest!, Samhain Publishing

33 responses to “Kindle Contest Day 12 – Kate Johnson

  1. Phyllis

    Hurrah for Terry Pratchett! I may have mentioned that I’m a classics kind of girl, but I make an exception for him. My tradition is that I read one of his books every time I get sick. Cheers me up when I don’t feel good. 🙂

  2. Deb Diez

    A couple years ago, a couple from the UK introduced me to Mulled Wine and minced meat pies. I have to say those during the holidays makes the holidays. And since moving to Upstate NY, the apples are outragous. Mulled cider has gone on the list only for it’s addictive powers. Thanks for coming to talk to us.

  3. Wow! Her present wrapping ritual sounds super fun. It’s making me want to go wrap some presents right now!
    Go her for being vegetarian! Yay!

  4. Sherry

    I love to look at people’s decorations but I’m not much for decorating my self started putting up my Christmas tree earlier but quit to get on the computer I don’t have the patience to do it. I can never get everything to look right. I’m the same way about wrapping gifts I hate it I just want to do as fast as I can and get it over with.

  5. Hi Kate! You are a new to me author and it was fun getting to know a little about you. You have a great sense of humor from just reading your blog! I like wrapping too, it does go by so much faster when you have a movie on and the bed is just covered in presend and wrapping.


  6. Maggie Johnson

    I don’t mind winter all that much as I get to wear my sweaters but hat to be bundled up.I don’t I read a lot of non-romance. I love books that make me laugh out loud.Love Paranormal its my favorite genre.No turkey,so true that all the trimmings could be a meal in its self.I love to wrap pressies which is why i have been helping my sister for years cause she doesn’t like

  7. Hi Kate,
    Sounds like you have some great holiday traditions. I don’t really enjoy wrapping presents like you do, but I agree, putting on holiday music or a holiday movie definitely makes it a lot better. Hope you have a great holiday! What movie will you be seeing this year?

  8. Hi Kate,

    Bobble hats, huh. Remember those hats in the old days that were really long, the tails doubled as scarfs?

  9. Thanks guys!

    Phyllis, I read TP when I’m feeling down, too. A total fantasy AND it’s funny. Cheers me up no end!

    Deb, I was astonished and heartbroken to discover mince pies aren’t common in the US. They’re so absolutely delicious! And as for mulled wine,,,ooh it’s dangerous. I went to a German market in London the other day, and every other stall was selling ‘gluhwein’. I had to sample several varieties…you know, just to warm myself up. Ahem.

    Audrey, I’ve been vegetarian (or pescatarian: I eat fish) for over twenty years. Luckily, my family have all been vegetarian at some point, so there’s no problem with Christmas meals at home. Going out can be tricky, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be: people are more accepting of vegetarianism and they don’t think it’s as weird in an adult as they did when I was six!

    Booklover, I don’t tend to watch Christmas movies (although I confess I watched Love, Actually last night which I suppose qualifies), but put on whatever I fancy. And I have a marked aversion to Christmas music–you know, all the novelty singles and jingly bells. Perhaps because shops start playing them in November! But I do like proper carols, I have some on CD, and on Christmas Eve we always try to watch (or at least record!) Carols From Kings, ( which is always amazing.

  10. Feeling kinda silly, but what is a bobble hat?! 🙂

    When I lived in England for a time I got the impression that a lot of people don’t like Christmas pudding. Hehe Sort of like fruitcakes here in the US. I had it once, just to try it, but it was so rich I felt sick. LOL

    Happy Holidays!

  11. Tamara

    Hi Kate, I had to giggle a little when I read that first paragraph. In the last twelve months, I’ve been a deep brunette, lighter brunette, redhead and two shades of blonde. And I too love to read funny books.

    It’s wonderful to get a little taste of Christmas outside of the US. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hey Kate,
    You sound just like me…I love all the warm winter accessories I get to have fun with…
    I adored the picture of Spike…what a cutie!
    The dessert for Christmas sounds oh so yummy!

    Happy Reading

  13. Lesa

    I’ve always enjoyed wrapping presents and making traditions out of perhaps non-traditional events. My family has embraced pizza for our Christmas Eve celebrations for years. What started as a quick dinner on a hectic holiday has evolved into a tradition we look forward to all year.

  14. Crystal B.

    I love Kate’s holiday tradition. Sounds like a lot of fun.

  15. Amanda, a bobble hat is a woolly hat with a pom-pom type bobble on top (I also have a fake fur one with a rabbit’s tail type fluffy bobble on it). See:

    I think Christmas pudding is one of those things we’re all supposed to like more than we do! I do like the excuse to eat custard, though. When I was little my mum used to hide a coin in each portion, and a silver charm in mine. I was always amazed that the charm ended up in my bowl, every time!

    Tamara, I change my hair colour reasonably often. Sometimes to something sensible, like brunette, and sometimes something…less sensible, like pink. Then I go back to blonde, and the cost of that puts me off dying it again for a while!

    Anna, Spike thanks you for the compliment! He actually doesn’t photograph well–always scowling at the camera–he’s incredibly beautiful in real life. His official title is Gorgeous Boy (this caused me a moral dilemma when I got a second male cat: I call him Sweet Boy instead, and he doesn’t seem to mind).

    And yes, that dessert is incredibly delicious!

  16. Christine

    I’m a vegetarian as well and people are always asking me what I eat at big dinners like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. It always blows me away. There’s so much more to eat at these meals than the main course. I’m quite partial to potatoes, rolls and of course apple pie, but we always have some healthy veggies too.

  17. Didn’t know you were a wrapping goddess! And no shoes for the holidays? The only things I love about winter: 1st snow, fireplaces, FURRY BOOTS!!!!

    You will have to introduce me to the English sweets we don’t get over here next summer too 🙂

  18. Judith Hulley

    We are not a great lover of Christmas Pud either so I make Mince Pies and serve those warm with coffee for desert.
    My mince is, at this moment, in an air tight container in the kitchen absorbing all the Brandy. Hubby says by 11 pm each night he can hear it singing there is sooooo much Brandy in it!

  19. Jennifer M

    My favorite author for funny paranormals is Christopher Moore. If you haven’t read any of his stuff, you’ve got to give it a try. Just the titles alone – Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, etc. can give you a pretty good idea of how funny they are. My personal favorite is called A Dirty Job – it was so funny that I couldn’t stop laughing, even when I was reading it on public transit on my way to work.

  20. Jessica

    I love to curl up with a good paranormal book too. The more vamps and weres the better.

  21. jennifer mathis

    i hate wrapping present cause they never turn out looking like the beautiful ones you see on tv oh wait maybe its me lol

  22. Tia

    The fashions are about one of the few good things to do with winter. Any excuse for new clothes can’t be wrong.

  23. Fedora

    Kate, I have to agree with you–Terry Pratchett is a hoot!! And I do love books that can make me laugh, or at least smile 🙂 Dave Barry’s fiction is hilarious, too; I’ve laughed aloud while reading it and didn’t really want to try to explain to my children exactly what was so funny (his language isn’t ultra clean ;)) And I enjoy the wrapping routine, too–maybe in part because it means that I’m done shopping! 🙂 Hope your holidays are warm and joyful!

  24. Amy S.

    I do like wrapping presents. I love to see the kids’ eyes when they open them.

  25. chey

    Your chocolate/coffee/cream dessert and mulled wine or cider sounds fantastic!

  26. Tracey D (bl0226)

    I have heard a lot about mulled wine but have never tasted it. I’m curious about it and will need to do some research. I would like to make it, if I can.

    Tracey D

  27. Oh Sybir, I have shoes for everything! But when it’s cold, icy, slippery, wet leaves on the ground… well, there’s a lot to be said for thick socks and a cleated sole! However, I do have a selection of fab shoes for Christmas parties…and then there are sacrifices for Christmas day…

    Judith, I’ve never made my own mincemeat. I have dosed shop-bought stuff with brandy though!

    Jennifer, I’ll definitely check out Christopher Moore. I pick up so many great recommendations from just mentioning Terry Pratchett! Fedora, I’ll look up Dave Barry too.

    Amy: I love watching people open presents. There’s a lot of pleasure to be found in finding someone a gift they really enjoy.

    Chey and Tracey: try mulled wine! Google for a recipe: there are lots out there. I put mine on my blog, but you might like to try something sweeter:

  28. Cathy M

    Hi Kate, happy holidays. Your coffee/chocolate cream dessert sounds great to me. Do you make it yourself?

  29. Estella

    I like the wrapping of gifts much better than the shopping for them.

  30. Joder

    My favorite winter item is a big furry purple scarf my friend knitted. I wear it everywhere, even in the house when I get cold.

  31. Tameka Green

    Me and my family do that too we go to the houses that really spend the time to do elaborate decoration and take picutre in front of the house.

  32. Marie t r

    I love winter clothes too especially scarves, I think I have too many. I’ve been trying to read Terry Pratchet for the longest time since my friend keeps raving about it.

  33. april strength

    i completely understand having to decorate out of the reach of thepet i have 8 cats & 1 dog who all love to chase garlin eat tinsel and chase x-mas ornament anywhere so decorating is mustly me chasing them try to get back whatever ornament or decoration they stole from me 🙂