USA Today bestselling author Josie Riviera writes contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances Learn more about her and her books at her website.
Does it snow in Portugal during the holiday season?
Feliz Natal means Merry Christmas in Portuguese!
I had such fun writing A Portuguese Christmas, my sweet romance contemporary novella. And, in turn, I learned a great deal about Portugal and the country’s lack of snow during the holiday season.
The story is set in December. Krystal Walters, the heroine, is an American professional surfer and is competing in Portugal during the holidays in a world-class surfing event. She misses the snow and envisions returning to her home in wintry Rhode Island to celebrate Christmas with her father.
However, the average temperature in Portugal in December/January boasts a high of 59 degrees, with temperatures dipping to a low 46 degrees. So, snow is very rare, especially in the cities, such as Lisbon.
Through my research, I also learned that Portugal’s climate is diverse. The river Tejo runs through Lisbon, and any regions south are warm and dry, and reportedly it’s only snowed there once in twenty years.
Any regions north of the river are rainy and cold in winter.
Adolfo, the hero, is an olive farmer. In the book’s first cover, he didn’t look like a man who farms. Those of you who’ve heard me praise my wonderful cover artist know I trust her judgment. However, in addition to a hero who didn’t fit my vision, the cover also included snow. There’s no snow in Portugal!
Do you like snow during the holiday season, or do you prefer warm, sunny weather?
In honor of Adolfo, here's an olive recipe from one of my readers.
Olive Cheese Ball
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
5 ounce jar pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and minced
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and margarine until well blended. Mix in the green olives and garlic powder. Shape into a ball, and roll in chopped walnuts, if desired, to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, but preferably overnight. Serve with an assortment of crackers.
A Portuguese Christmas
Love can come softly, like holiday snow. Or sweep you away like a riptide.
The moment world-class surfer Krystal disappears under a mountain of seawater, Adolfo’s single-minded focus shifts from running his Portuguese olive farm to keeping the sun-kissed American spitfire safe. But first he’ll have to convince her that spending Feliz Natal with him isn’t the end of the world. Because she’s become the center of his.