The Greatest New Year Ever

Greatest Lover Ever, the (revised)The Greatest Lover Ever is coming out on 31 December, so I thought it was appropriate to ask you all how you celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Yes, I know we haven’t had Christmas yet, but we can all continue to stress about that later. Let’s talk party time now!

I remember the first New Year’s Eve I actually stayed up until midnight. Both my parents are only children so I’ve never had cousins. However my mother was always close to her own cousins and they and their children stayed with us one year, having driven all the way up to Brisbane from Sydney. My second cousins’ father was Swiss and their dog only spoke French, so instead of telling her to sit, you had to say “assis!” I thought this was terribly exotic. Monique, Piers and Pascal were terrific fun.

We stayed up all night, drank champagne (a moderate amount) hopped in and out of the pool, then ran up the hill to watch the fireworks that exploded over the city at midnight.

At university, it was all about finding the best party to go to on New Year’s. I have to say, this is when I began to grow a tad disenchanted with the whole concept. There was always such a big build-up to the night and I can’t recall too many that lived up to expectation. There was one particularly miserable evening when I was trapped at an open air rock concert in the pouring rain. The concert featured a bunch of mediocre bands and one band my friends and I really wanted to see, which of course played at the end.

Fast forward a few years and I began having quieter but more enjoyable gatherings at friends’ houses. For some reason, the men developed a tradition whereby they were obliged to run stark naked to the nearest body of water and jump in when the clock struck midnight. One year, that body of water happened to be the Brisbane River, which is not a river you want to be jumping into at all, much less naked. A short time later, someone spotted sharks in the vicinity.  That could have been ugly! 

Penfolds Grange Hermitage no vintageI tried Grange Hermitage for the first time on New Year’s Eve in 2000. It also happened to be the night after my now husband proposed to me, so it was a special time. I have to say, I am not qualified to distinguish a glass of Grange from another very good shiraz that doesn’t cost $400 a bottle or more, but it was an experience. Needless to say, no one got inappropriately naked that night. We were growing more civilized…

Now, the family is usually at the beach for New Year’s. We might order takeaway from somewhere nearby or have a barbecue on the deck overlooking the ocean and toast the new year with champagne. We often ask family or friends up, but often as not, we’re in bed asleep when the countdown to midnight begins.

This year, I’ll be counting down until THE GREATEST LOVER EVER is released rather than counting in the new year. I hope that when you’re thinking of celebrating 2014 you think of Beckenham and Georgie and raise a glass to them!

 BanditBootySo what about you? Does the way you celebrate the new year now differ from when you were in your teens and twenties? Do you have a special celebratory meal or drink? (Yes, I’m always interested in the food angle!) And the big one–have you been inappropriately naked on New Year’s Eve? Come on, you can tell Aunty Christina! Although nothing X-rated please. We’re a family blog!

One lucky reader will win an advance copy of THE GREATEST LOVER EVER, with which to ring in the new year! 

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  • infinitieh says:

    No, never naked. alas.

    • infinitieh says:

      Two memorable New Year Eves:
      1. Spending it with my family at a bar/lounge (complete with bar girls who would dance with you for a price and maybe go home with you, too, for a price) in Taiwan (I think it was Taiwan) while a Malaysian band sang (they didn’t speak English). I couldn’t stand cognac after that.
      2. A flood which took out a neighbor’s garage but thankfully didn’t flood anyone’s house.

    • Congrats on getting our (naked all the time) rooster today, Infinitieh!

    • Wow, those two are a study in contrasts! I think I might prefer the flood that nearly missed me 🙂

      Thanks for playing, Infinitieh 🙂

      • infinitieh says:

        Thanks. I hope the rooster doesn’t mind the cold snap here in California….

        By the way, congrats on such a HAWT Paul Marron cover! Yowza!

  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the upcoming release, Christina. I remember how exciting it was when my parents let me stay up on New Year’s Eve. Now we usually just stay home or at a relative’s house and watch the ball drop on TV if we don’t have a party to go to. We just have champagne, no special food and no one gets naked.

  • J St George says:

    Congrats on the new release, Christina. Wow, that is one hot cover.

    Yes, my New Year’s celebrations have changed somewhat from my twenties. Ah, those were the days!!!

    Had a fabulous New Year in Edinburgh with a pile of friends one year. Fun being kissed at midnight by cute Scottish men under an explosion of fireworks.

    The arrival of the small people has curtailed festivities for the past few years. But as you know, I love to dance so hope to be doing that at midnight this year!

    • I do indeed know your love of dancing, JSG. Hope you get to trip the light fantastic this New Year’s!

      Thanks for the congrats. It is a hot cover, all right!

      Must say, the Edinburgh NYE sounds like just the ticket. I know a certain historical author who will be jealous!

  • Barb says:

    Hi Christina

    I am so looking forward to reading the Greatest Lover Ever… Congratulations.

    I am afraid DH and I have a very quiet new year these days. We see the fireworks in Sydney Harbour and then off to bed. In our younger days the neighbours used to get together for a BBQ and see the New Year in

  • Helen says:


    I have to say I have been lucky enough to read this fantastic story and you are all going to love Beckenham and Georgie’s journey to a HEA he is such a wonderful hero so controlled when he really wants Georgie loved it 🙂

    As for New Years Eve when I was young we used to go to parties and drink a fair bit then the kids came along and as Barb has said we often got together but then I started working in the club industry and for the better part of the last 20 years I have either worked new years eve night or been rostered at 6-00 am new years day and this year I am working both days again but during the day so I usually watch the 9-00pm fireworks on TV and I am in bed before midnight sad isn’t it LOL maybe oneday I will actually be on the horbour for the fireworks 🙂

    Huge congrats on the release of this book Christina it truly is awesome 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Helen, you’re such a sweetheart! Thank you for being so kind about THE GREATEST LOVER EVER. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it.

      I think it would be amazing to be on the harbour for the fireworks. Poor you having to work both days! But then again, I guiltily admit, sometimes I’d like to have an excuse to go to bed early on NYE!

  • Anita H. says:

    I’ve always been a low-key celebrator – just me and my closest friends/family is how I want to ring in the new year!! No special meals or drinks, just whatever is available or made with love 🙂 And no, never inappropriately naked!!

    Congrats on the new release, Christina! Looking forward to reading it 🙂

    • Thanks Anita! I think low key celebrations are definitely the way to go.

      Still can’t believe no one here has an inappropriately naked story. Come on, people! It doesn’t have to be about you 🙂

  • SecretNinja says:

    When I was younger, I always went to big parties and spent New Years with my friends. Now I prefer smaller gatherings with the important people, especially my family. But I’ve never been wild enough to be inappropriately naked… there a way to be appropriately naked??? lol

    Nevermind, we’ll just move along, eh? Congratulations on the release, Christina!! This one is definitely on my TBR list!!!
    Ada 🙂

    • Well, Ada, I was just trying to head off any description of bedroom shenanigans at the pass but no one wants to admit to nekkidness of any sort, so I didn’t need to worry about that 🙂

      As you said, moving right along…

      I so much prefer smaller gatherings. If I go to a party, I’d rather not go to one on NYE — I think there’s something about the mandatory staying until midnight thing that makes me rebellious! LOL Thanks for commenting!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Hi, Christina! Congrats on the upcoming release of The Greatest Lover Ever and the Top Pick review from RT Magazine! I adore this couple and their journey to love. TGLE should be on everyone’s must-buy list!

    Nope, no inappropriate nakedness here. I grew up in Michigan where the temperature is usually below zero (F) on New Year’s Eve. Believe me, nobody wants to get naked when it’s that cold! My family did spend a few New Year’s Eves in south Florida during my teens (Miami and Key West) where, I have no doubt, nakedness occurred but, alas, not where I could view it. Probably a good thing. lol

    Nowadays, NYE is usually a family event with members of all ages, good food, football on the TV and at least one person snoring by Midnight. (sometimes me) 😉

  • Thank you so much for the congrats, PJ. I’m delighted you enjoyed Beckenham’s story.

    LOL on the freezing nakedness! I tend to forget you’re all in the middle of winter when it’s New Year’s over there.

    I’m definitely with you on the snoring by midnight! Sounds like a lot of fun with all the family, though. Have a great one this year!

  • Maureen says:

    Congratulations Christina on your upcoming release! Nowadays I am usually asleep when the new year arrives but when I was younger or even when my kids were younger I did enjoy ringing in the new year. My favorites were when my kids were young and we would let them try to stay up. We would have a fire in the fireplace and make snacks and they would usually asleep on the floor.

  • Mozette says:

    BanditBootySo what about you? Does the way you celebrate the new year now differ from when you were in your teens and twenties?

    Let’s see…. in my 20’s I used to party at the Hotel Brunswick at Brunswick Heads with my friends who lived not far from the place. It was great, fun and most excellent, dude! (sorry, yeah, I was around when ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ hit the screens).
    Then, my brother came down the coast – my older brother – and he bitched and complained that I followed him around constantly, that everywhere he turned, I was there… well, Brunswick Heads is a very small fishing village… so well, yeah, you’re bound to run into everyone you’re camping with at some point during the day. When the tickets for NYE went on sale for $10 that week, he bought a few and then I went and bought one for my self a few hours later… I was prevented from going by my folks. I felt as though I was back in high school again. I wasn’t even reimbursed my moola… instead, I went to bed at 10:30pm because I was bored outa my skull aged 25 years old made to hang out with all the parents when the rest of the young ones were let out to play until god knows when…. I’ve never forgotten that.

    Do you have a special celebratory meal or drink?

    yeah, I always drink lemon, lime and bitters – it must be made traditionally and not from a can or ready-made… otherwise I won’t touch it. And I will order the seafood platter because I’m vegetarian and will eat seafood and prawns and exotic fish.

    (Yes, I’m always interested in the food angle!) And the big one–have you been inappropriately naked on New Year’s Eve? Come on, you can tell Aunty Christina! Although nothing X-rated please. We’re a family blog!

    Inappropriately nude? Um… well, I was out at Roma in Central Queensland once with my boyfriend when I woke in his bed (yes I was nude under the covers) to snickers and giggles and snorts… and there were two fully-grown drunk guys next to the bed I’ve never laid eyes on before taking in my boobs! I quickly covered up and elbowed Dan in the back telling him some of his ‘friends’ were oggling me! He got up, dragged them out into the front yard, told them off and gave them both a black eye for staring at something that was only for his eyes and hands and anything else he wanted to do with me… I was so proud my man would do that. 🙂

    • LOL, Yay Mozette had an inappropriately naked story! You’ve done me proud, ma’am. Thank you!

      • Mozette says:


        I haven’t streaked anywhere and it was the only one I remember from my 20’s… and Dan was wonderful for doing that.

        I’m so happy you gals found it amusing, I found it weird and horrible to find two weird people staring at me while I slept. I would rather the man I love staring at me while I slept instead.

  • Connie Fischer says:

    Ever since I was little, I’ve always been one of those people that goes to bed early and gets up early. So, I’ve never really enjoyed staying up for New Year’s Eve even though I have many times. I prefer to stay home with close family and neighbors as it can be dangerous on the roads. I guess I sound like an old fuddy-duddy but I’m happy to celebrate at home!

    Happy New Year!

  • may says:

    I used to go out at night and party. Now I want to stay home in my pjs and drink hot chocolate!

  • Shannon says:

    My favorite memory of New Year’s Eve was the night before my wedding on New Year’s Day. My soon-to-be husband wanted to kiss me at midnight. My soon to be mother-in-law was pushing him out the door, saying it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride on the day of the wedding. Needless to say, it was a kiss to remember. Perhaps it was bad luck, but we had a number of good years before we went out separate ways.

    I’m getting to be an early to bed person. I can’t stay up for Monday Night Football or the presidential debates, so it’s pretty hard to get excited about staying up to watch freezing people in Times Square. Of course, there is watching Barry Manilow singing “It’s just another New Year’s Eve and New York, New York.

  • Sandyg265 says:

    When I was a teen it was a big deal to stay up until midnight. Now we don’t always bother.

  • Susan Sey says:

    Hey, News Years! I love New Years. This past year was the first year that my big girl stayed up until midnight. Her night owl daddy stayed up with her. The little girl & I (the family early birds) were snoring happily away by eleven.

    What we usually like to do is something we call “French New Year” in which we set the clocks ahead by five hours (or whatever the time difference is between here & France) then celebrate when France does. That way we can home & in bed & happily asleep by midnight when all the drunk people are driving around the snowy roads.

    Plus it gives us an excuse to eat fancy food, drink French champagne & do double cheek kisses at “midnight.”

  • Lois M. says:

    Except for one year, I’ve always slept through that midnight when I was young and not so young. The one time I willing stayed up was for 2000. If I was ever up any other time it was unwillingly with neighbors having a firework or two go off. 🙂


    • Lois, I admire you sticking to your guns on the NY issue. I remember wondering if all the lights would go out and we’d be plunged into the dark ages when we hit 2000. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Congratulations on your imminent release, Christine! Can’t wait for this one.

    New Years when I grew up wasn’t special as we were still playing with our Christmas gifts! But after we married, Boyd and I made a tradition of inviting couples over to celebrate with us.

    This is when we did our spring cleaning LOL because with 7 children, or even 1 or 2 or 3, etc., a certain amount of spring cleaning (New Years cleaning?) has to be done. Nothing like having company to make you spruce up the house.

    We also bought one new (but clearly inexpensive since we only had one salary back in those days) addition to our furnishings — a lamp, a small piece of furniture. We waited for the after-Christmas sales, and it was lots of fun hunting for something.

    We played couples games, had finger foods and shouted the New Year in. None of our friends drank, so we toasted with soda and had great fun! Good times!

    Now we’re lucky to make it until midnight LOL.

    • Jo, did any of those couples games involve getting inappropriately naked? No? Aw, what a shame. Just teasing!

      I love the idea of buying one new thing for the house. Don’t know how you did it with 7 children. You’re an amazing pair!

  • Deb says:

    If my husband and I can stay awake past midnight, we’re good. 🙂 My husband does not like to drive anywhere on NYE, so we are usually at home. My daughter had fun at a friend’s house last year which included drinking sparkling grape juice and banging pots and pans outside at midnight. I was never a partier in my teens or twenties, so never went out and partied on New Year’s Eve, or any other night for that matter.

    • Deb, there is definitely something to be said for not having to drive on NYE. You can’t get a cab for love nor money here on NYE so unless you are traveling somewhere you can get a train, it’s better to stay home.

  • Hey Christina! I’m counting down the days until the Greatest Lover Ever comes out, too!

    So, my most memorable New Year’s huh? It would be the year we didn’t have any patients until just a few minutes before midnight….

    The door suddenly flew open and in rushed a man with his wife in a wheel chair. He’s screaming, “She’s having the baby!”

    They were dressed to the nines! Tuxedo for him, long flowing sequin gown for her. AND yes, she was very pregnant and in labor.

    We managed to get her out of the dress, into the bed and examined. Yep. There was the baby’s head. No doc in the house. A minute after midnight I delivered them a curly black-haired baby boy.

    Of all the babies I’ve caught, that was the only one on New Year’s Eve. Or rather New Year’s Day!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Congrats on the new release, Christina! Another one to add to my growing wish list!

    No inappropriate nakedness here, either, but we have had a few memorable New Years. Once when I was single a bunch of my girlfriends and I planned a New Year’s Eve potluck. Unfortunately we had an ice storm that night so only 3 of us showed up! All we had to eat was shrimp cocktail and dessert and we were starving! Everything was closed, even all the pizza joints, so we ended up making a run to the closest gas station/convenience store and grabbing some microwave dinners.

    Hubby and I were married on Christmas Eve, so we had our honeymoon at First Night in Boston. It was so fun and brilliant running all over the city to see all the sights and performances! And the fireworks over the harbor were spectacular! Some friends were supposed to meet us there to have a drink at midnight from the magnum of champagne someone gave us for a wedding present, but of course it was impossible to find anyone among the millions of people milling around, so DH and I had a drink by ourselves and left the magnum on the table in our room overnight. Right over the heating vent. It lasted until we got downstairs to check out the following morning, then exploded all over the lobby! We got out of there so fast we still have the room key.

    • Haha! EC what great NYE stories. Love the exploding champagne. And how crummy to have microwave dinners on NYE. But I always think those nights make the best memories, don’t you?

  • bn100 says:

    Not really; no special meal or drink

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Forgot to mention that since I discovered I loved to bake in college, we have had the tradition of Greek New Year’s Bread, first living with my parents and now with my family. This is a yummy, citrusy bread adorned with the numerals of the coming year in almonds on the top, and with a silver coin baked in. Whoever gets the coin has special good luck for the coming year. The bread makes for a great New Year’s breakfast, too! It’s especially good toasted with honey butter.

  • Christina, so excited to read THE GREATEST LOVER EVER! I absolutely adored London’s Last True Scoundrel – still find myself snickering about scenes in that occasionally. Oh, New Year’s Eve – I have to say I’m the Grinch. Means very little to me! Oh, and man, back in the days when I used to make an effort, the parties were generally AWFUL! And if you went out, you couldn’t get a cab for love nor money. Altogether much better to go to bed early! Grinch. Grinch. Grinch.

  • catslady says:

    When younger we went to some parties or just get together with friends or the two of us sometimes went to dinner and a movie. For a some years my husband was in charge of the parties at our American Legion which was always nice. I would say lately and for quite a few years we get together with a group of relatives and friends and some years it varies as to who can make it but we go to at least one movie (some go to 3 or even 4) and have a nice dinner. Sometimes we go to someone’s house to cheer on the new year but that depends on the time of the movies lol. We all look forward to it every year. Then I usually cook a nice meal for my immediate family the next day.

  • Mary Chen says:

    I am so excited to read THE GREATEST LOVER EVER! ^_^

    I’ve not had any truly memorable experiences on New Years, just eating dinner with family or reading. lol Haven’t been to a wild party either! My life is so staid…

  • Madame, I’m counting the minutes–not the days–until I can get my hands on THE GREATEST LOVER EVER!! The book, I mean. (Getting my hands on the Man would make this New Year’s beyond memorable. Ha!)

    We usually spend New Year’s at home or with close friends. But either way, we always put together a fabulous meal with lots of excellent champagne and wine. I’ve always considered New Year’s a special day personally where I try and reflect on the past year and on goals and plans for the future. So, start it with champagne and it can’t go wrong. 🙂

    • LOL thanks so much, Kate. You’re a honey. Hope you enjoy Beckenham (the book, I mean! I’m keeping the man to myself 😉 )

      Your NYE sounds like my kind of night. And I so agree that the first of the year is a prime time for reflection and setting new goals and challenges. I’m going to have a huge change coming up this year so I’m gearing up for a big 2014!

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    The book (and cover) sounds great. That’ll be a nice New Year’s Eve treat.

    We usually have quiet, family times where we stay up to watch the ball (or apple, or whatever it is that year LOL) fall on TV.

  • Becke Turner says:

    Congratulations on your new release. Hot cover.

    I have never been a night owl as a teen or a geezer so for me it’s hard to make it to the bewitching hour. I kiss my dh and wish him a happy new year. As always thankful to get another happy year.

  • I cannot wait to get my hands on your latest book, Christina! I loved London’s Last True Scoundrel !

    These days my New Year’s Eves are fairly staid. Our little town’s claim to fame is one of the largest asteroids ever to hit earth landed where our city is founded. At midnight they have a “Meteor Drop” (a rather large disco ball of lights) from the top of town hall. There are spectacular fireworks over the river and I can see those from my back porch. I have a toast with sparkling grape juice and a kiss from Frodo the Horrible and then it is off to bed as I usually have to work New Year’s Day.

    One of my favorite New Year’s Eves DID involve gratuitous nekkidness! I attended a New Year’s Eve masked ball in Vienna with a group of my fellow opera singers. It was absolutely amazing, like something out of a fairy tale and we had a wonderful time. BUT !! At the stroke of midnight after the kisses, the guys stripped out of their tuxedos and ran down to the Wien River and jumped in! Vienna in January is NOT WARM !! We were mortified and the men nearly froze their jingle bells off! Worse! The baritone caught a cold and we had to have his understudy sing a couple of performances while he recovered. What is it with guys and nekkid swimming for New Year’s??

  • Amy Conley says:

    I have NEVER gone out on New Years Eve. All I ever remember doing is watcvhing Dick Clark and the ball dropping. On New Years Eve 1980 I went into labor but waited til the ball dropped to go to the hospital. My daughter was.born at 6:48 New Years Day and was the first girl born in our city. After she started school she would always have a slumber party for her birthday with her regular group of girlfriends. So.I was basically babysitting for everyone else who wanted to go out.
    Also my bday is Jan 2nd, so by not going out New Years Eve I am promised a nice dinner out.

    • Amy I am relieved to hear you make up for the NYE babysitting by having a lovely birthday dinner. Happy birthday in advance!

      • Amy Conley says:

        Thanks Christina. I must admit if I lived someplace warm for NYE I would have had years of nekkid swimming. I love summer and hot weather and having a bday so close to the holidays no one really wants to celebrate. My best friend’s bday is July 7th and I keep telling her I am not going to celebrate til her bday.

  • Christina –

    What a delight to read your blog post. I’ve spent all day in a seminar taught by a tax attorney. It’s like listening to a robot!

    My dh and I like to go out dancing on New Year’s Eve. We love to dance but it’s hard to find venues – except on New Years. If we do stay home – we celebrate with a glass of M&R Asti Spumonte at midnight – kiss – then go back to sleep 🙂

    • Love the idea of you tripping the light fantastic, Donna. The traditional midnight kiss is lovely too.

      Poor you on the robotic tax attorney. Clearly you Ned to read a romance now to cleanse your palate.

  • Robin Greene says:

    Before my father became ill and passed away, we had a New Year’s Eve party every year that was also My parent’s Anniversary Party. They were married on January 2nd. After my mom passed away in 1996, we had the party catered in by a neighborhood Chinese restaurant.

  • Cassondra says:

    Christina, what a wonderful release date!

    And that’s MUCH more fun to look forward to than anything else I’ve heard of on New Year’s Eve!

    I can’t wait for this book. I love everything you write, and your characters stay alive in my heart for weeks after I read one of your books. How exciting to have this released on a holiday like this.

    I have NOT been inappropriately naked on New Year’s Eve, and I’m sorry to say that I’m like you, and usually fast asleep when the new year turns. I’d chalk it up to age, but the truth is I never have made much of the whole New Year’s Eve thing. Perhaps I haven’t been invited to the right parties. That’s probably it.

    Just a few more weeks and we’ll have Beckenham’s story!

    • You’re so lovely to say all those kind things about my books, Cassondra. I really tried to love New Year’s and I’ve had some good times but they’ve been sort of accidental rather than planned and anticipated. I’ll definitely be going to sleep this year!

  • Barbara Elness says:

    The way I celebrate the new year now differs from when I was in my teens and twenties because then I wanted to party, now I just stay home where it’s safe from drunk drivers, etc. I don’t have a special meal, and I don’t drink, so it’s just another evening to me. And no, I have never been inappropriately naked on New Year’s Eve. Now appropriately naked, that’s a different story. 😀

  • flchen1 says:

    Always been a boring New Year’s celebrant 😉 There may have been occasional nakedness, but not since the kids, to my knowledge 😀

    • Well it’s interesting that we have so many party animals when it comes to book launches in the lair but not many of us can be bothered with New Year’s! Fedora, once children come along, inappropriate nakedness doesn’t really feature, does it? Sigh.