A Visit From Saint Nicholas


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…

This much-loved seasonal rhyme is the basis for much of the ‘folklore’ surrounding good old Santa Claus, but what is especially intriguing is that it was first published anonymously in 1823 and ever since then, the authorship has been somewhat questionable.

I always felt that it was such a generous gift – to write a magical poem such as this and never claim the glory for it.  Who would have the generosity of spirit to do that?  Well, in 1837 the poem was attributed to the American poet, Clement Clarke Moore (they just don’t name ’em like that these days!) and in 1844 he included the poem in an anthology, cementing his authorship of the poem.  Apparently, an acquaintance of his had sent the poem to the Troy Sentinel, as it was something he had written for his children and did not consider it to be anything more than a frivolity.  Which is a convincing argument – I remember reading that the composer Camille Saint-Saens was reluctant to publish his ‘Carnival of the Animals’ as it would detract from his more serious work.  Equally, this is probably his most popular work, so you never know, do you?!

Anyway, getting back to The Night Before Christmas, a professor of English in New York by the name of Donald Foster has challenged the authorship and believes that it was written by Henry Livingston Jr., a New York poet with Dutch and Scottish roots.  Having analysed the text, he was convinced that the phraseology and the optimistic approach was much more consistent with Livingston’s style than Moore’s.  But the real argument (in my opinion) is Livingston’s Dutch heritage.  The references to Saint Nicholas are very closely related to the Dutch ‘Sinteklaes’ tradition, with the reindeer names originally printed as ‘Dunder and Blixem’, Dutch for thunder and lightening.

Despite the fact that Livingston’s children also claimed that he had read them the poem before its publication, he never claimed authorship himself.  Maybe it’s just the fact that I always root for the underdog, but for whatever reason, my money is on Livingston.  Maybe it was his gift to the world at Christmas and he didn’t require any recognition.  Either way, it is the most magical Christmas poem ever written and you can enjoy it in full here.

And if you’re looking for a book to lose yourself in over the holidays, why not get a copy of The Heirloom or The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris…  There’s no controversy over the authorship either!


Go on, sure it’s Christmas!

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon - Copy

It’s my Christmas Kindle Countdown Deal – a special week where you can buy a copy of my novel The Cross of Santiago for just $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon.







To celebrate, I am running a little Christmas giveaway, so if you want to get your hands on a beautifully hand-designed, totally unique tote bag by Aveline Craft & Design, then get your skates on!  But hang on, what’s all this got to do with The Cross Of Santiago?  Well, I’m glad you asked… The 100% Irish made bag features a quirky heart-shaped map of Galway (my home town, where the novel is set) and is in fact designed by yours truly.

So all you have to do is follow the Giveaway Link and with a few clicks of the mouse, you’ll be in a draw to get this truly unique merchandise – maybe not by Christmas, but definitely by New Year 🙂

Aveline Tote Bag


Enter the competition on Facebook or Twitter








The Cross Of Santiago is the perfect Christmas read, so why not download your copy during the Kindle Countdown Deal.

A mysterious heirloom, whose provenance lies in the Spanish Armada, holds the secret to a past life. The only trouble is, Amanda Morrison doesn’t believe in reincarnation and cannot explain how this heirloom has been bequeathed to her. But all of her beliefs are challenged when the search into her family’s past reveals more than she bargained for, and a Spanish yachtsman arrives to test her resolve.
An epic story full of historical intrigue and parallel lives, The Cross Of Santiago is a book for anyone who believes in the transcendent power of love.

Happy Friday 13th

I can’t say that I’m having more bad luck than usual today, but I have noticed that it’s started to snow on my blog, so I’ll have to watch my step 😉

For anyone who is weeping silently on the last day of my blog tour – cheer up!  I’ve extended the tour by another week, hurray!!  So that means The Cross Of Santiago is still available to buy on Kindle for the ridiculously good value price of £1.88 or $2.99, depending how you look at it and you can still enter the giveaway to win free copies of my book.

Check out my reviews page here to see all the lovely feedback I’ve received from this weeks’ reviewers here.  It’s great to hear readers’ opinions, so if you wish to write a review, please let me know and I’ll post it on my site.  Alternatively, if you or someone you know enjoys historical fiction with a touch of adventure, romance and good humour thrown in, this is the winter read for you!

~The Cross Of Santiago Blog Tour – PART TWO~

December 18th –
Dreamer *Review

December 19th –

December 20th –
Crossroad Reviews *Review