12 Rogues: Heidi Kneale

The 12 Rogues of Christmas: Warm Regency Romance Novellas to celebrate the season Anthology will give you marriages of convenience, dukes with secrets, sly rebellious debutantes, reunited lovers, friends to lovers and mistaken identity. All your favourite regency romance tropes are here in this delightful, limited-edition collection full of sigh-worthy, satisfying happy-ever-afters.
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Twelve Drummers Coming To Dinner – Heidi Wessman Kneale
Maude’s peace and quiet is broken with the return to Damerel Hall of a war hero and the rat-a-tat-tat of noisy drummers.

What inspired your story Twelve Drummers Coming To Dinner in the 12 Rogues of Christmas: Warm Regency Romance Novellas to celebrate the season anthology?
I chose the Twelve Drummers Drumming theme, so I had to figure out how I could twist that into a title. Originally, it was “Twelve Drummers Coming”, but as my story is categorised “Sweet”, that didn’t quite fit. 😉 We changed it to “Twelve Drummers Coming to Dinner”.
In Regency England, Christmas was all about the feast. Here we were in the middle of the coldest winters England could remember, and how gray and miserable and dark it was. What better to brighten the darkest days of the year, than a merry Christmas Feast? Of course, with twelve military drummers suddenly showing up on Milton Damerel’s doorstep, the family is left scurrying to ensure there’s plenty of food to eat.

What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
When I was growing up, I lived in a part of the world where it snowed. I loved snow during Christmas! (The rest of the year, not so much.) Also, anything to do with candy canes, pistachios, egg nog, mint chocolate, gingerbread… Can you tell I think with my stomach? I love the spiced flavours associated with Christmas.

What is a fun fact you discovered while researching your story?
The colour of drummers’ uniforms. To differentiate them from regular soldiers, drummers’ uniforms were inverse of their Battalion. So, if a Battalion was red with white facing, their drummers would wear white with red facing. This was soon changed after Waterloo, as drummers were key communicators in battle. If the enemy could quickly and easily identify the drummers, they’d eliminate those drummers as soon as they could to disrupt communications. Bad idea.
Drummers were considered lucky charms. Drummer boys were often touted as mascots and given good treatment. Even older drummers were held in some regard.
In “Twelve Drummers Coming to Dinner”, our hero Drum Major Anthony Stapledon is considered highly lucky, not only by his Battalion, but also by the Duke of Wellington. Alas, this puts him in a bit of a predicament from which he must extricate himself. When Anthony manages to get leave to go home for Christmas, the rest of his Battalion fear that he may have deserted them for good, taking all his good luck with him.

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Twitter: @heidikneale
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