One Enchanted Evening…

 

MOONLIGHT 1.jpg

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘me-time -moments’ unwinding at the weekend or as part of the mid-week Michaelmas melee.  You will make many marvellous fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Worlds collide when two strangers meet at Waterloo station. It’s a moment they’ll never forget. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson. 

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw… 

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist. 

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

Enjoy Mrs W’s Festive 5* Review of Moonlight on The Thames written by Lauren Westwood and published by the heavenly choir of angels at Aria 2018. Purchase your own copy here:  

Amazon: goo.gl/oUbgYf
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2LX8DY9
Ibooks: Moonlight on the Thames
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2LUeoG9 

From the very beginning of this story I was riding along on a wonderful wave, the melodic rise and fall lifted me along every word, on every page. I was hooked from the very first page. The lines of the song ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ became a haunting refrain in my head as the writer wound the story of Dimitri and Nicola around my heart.

Some enchanted evening

You may see a stranger,

you may see a stranger

Across a crowded room

And somehow you know,

You know even then

That somewhere you’ll see her

Again, and again.

The strains of this story are poignant and touching and elevate us the reader way above the trivial tinsel time and bauble bling of many a Christmas past, to a higher level, no a deeper level, where all that really matters becomes crystal clear. Hidden hearts are revealed, personal and difficult pasts presented, and Christmas becomes a time for the setting of new traditions, for the wiping of the slate, for the miracle of Christmas to be set to a song of hope.

This is an in-depth, yet instantly readable, tale of a moment in time where the paths of two lives cross and become woven together in the age-old tradition of star-crossed lovers.  Our author gently takes us by the hand, leads us down a romantic rabbit hole and heads right to the core of what it means to be human. The not so merry and the not so bright are brought out into the light and Christmas is stripped back to its most real self. The soundtrack to the two lives of our heroes is totally remastered. They are accosted by the unplugged acoustic versions of themselves, the acapella truth of the human spirit and the natural rhythms of their souls.  If anyone is facing the ordeal of getting through a dark time of year, then this story will help raise you up, lift your chin, and give you shelter in the storm.

In this tale, many glimpse the hand of hope and happiness, a ‘life shimmering with possibilities like moonlight on water’. This magical story will have you feeling like you have been swept away into a fairy-tale, a balletic performance of ‘The Nutcracker’, whisked away on the winds of a dream, just like Dorothy’s journey to Oz or Lucy’s trip into Narnia. It finally drops you back onto your feet at the end of the stanza, the music and lyrics of this beautifully told tale finally cease and you will be left uplifted and encouraged. You may even feel full of a new-found joyful resolve to make your own clean start, to clear out and declutter the closets of your own life and to make room for the new; ‘to finally live the life that you want, and that you deserve.’

What a wonderful way to draw this year to a close and to look ahead with as full a heart as we can muster, to the new year that beckons us onward.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, sharing a pretty gingerbread biscuit from ‘The Braided Loaf Bakery,’ here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Have you every been to a Christmas market?

The sights and sounds of the stalls of a Christmas market are something of a special senses overload, aren’t they? Even a simple shed, once strewn with fairy lights, some garlands and some Christmas music just exudes excitement and makes us all feel like we have stepped straight in to Santa’s workshop. I do love immersing myself and treating myself to this experience at this time of year. I no longer venture onto the ice rink, but I do love watching people swathed in coats, hats and scarves wobbling about and clutching on to each other as they trip the ice fantastic.

Does your employer have Christmas Traditions?

Are you allowed to decorate your office or work space? Do you all have a Christmas jumper day or a Secret Santa draw? A Christmas meal in the canteen? These nods to community life are often very enjoyable and can brighten up a time when most are waiting to take a break from work. Adding a note of whimsy and finding the fun can really help cast a spell of laughter and joy into someone’s day. It is great to put smiles on faces.  

What Christmas supplies, decorations or food do you delegate?

Some of us are able to bake up a storm at Christmas time, but others of us are too busy or not ‘Bake Off Blessed’ and we delegate this activity to Mr Kipling, M&S or Messrs Sainsbury’s/Tesco and Co. I really do like making a Christmas cake and decorating it with my daughter, but I would love a special bakery to come in and shoulder some of the strain too. What a lovely thing it is when those gathering all bring a plate or a contribution and how wonderful even to take the family out to eat. We did this one year, when my twins were babies -it was exciting as it was a change to the norm, and it meant that we didn’t have to worry about cooking and looking after two weeny ones. 

Sometimes it is great to give a family member a rest and swap the hostess responsibilities with one another. I think Christmas is best when kept simple and there is a lot of pressure to be magazine picture perfect. At the end of the day a good meal with loved ones is a simple pleasure enough to warm the heart. I remember a Christmas when I was living in Spain on my year abroad – popping home for Christmas time showed us just how precious it was to be together. This year many of our brood are returning from University, and I just can’t wait to be together.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: Lauren Westwood:

Lauren Westwood 2044-(crop).jpg

Lauren Westwood writes romantic women’s fiction and is also an award-winning children’s writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three daughters.

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks;
twitter: @lwestwoodwriter;
web: www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com;
instagram: @lwestwoodwriter;
Goodreads: Lauren Westwood;
Playlist (music plays a big part in the book): http://www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com/playlist

Lauren Westwood really wants you to feel the spirit of Christmas and is offering this wonderful GIVEAWAY

Win 2 x Signed copies of Moonlight On The Thames (UK Only)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494171/?

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then the writer reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time the author will delete the data.  The author is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Moonlight on the Thames.png

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this uplifting tale of a life- changing Christmas, I’m off to get my hands on another book to hygge fuel our days and bring us some added comfort and joy. Onward!

Advertisements

That’s The Spirit!

 

TCS_cover_final.jpg

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘me-time -moments’ unwinding at the weekend or as part of the mid-week melee.  You will make many marvellous fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.

Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.

Eighty- two-year-old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her?

Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.

Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?

Enjoy Mrs W’s Festive 5* Festive Review of The Christmas Spirit written by Susan Buchanan.  Purchase your own copy here: http://amzn.to/1gcpTrc  

This readable and seriously friendly book sets out to spread Christmas cheer to those far and near who are lucky enough to be reading it. From the very first page I was hooked by the delightful Natalie. We are clearly told that our heroine is out to help just 4 lucky people, but I sensed that somewhere along the line, she and the author intended to sprinkle me with some Christmas comfort and Joy too.   Not only was I being charmed by the good nature of our host of Christmas present, but I also happened to be reading the story on December 1st – the very day that Natalie herself claimed her good work was scheduled to begin.

Natalie possesses a gift that many more of us could do with developing a healthier dose of – the awareness to feel other people’s happiness or the lack there of. It is clear that our author knows the best way to help yourself feel good is to help someone else and she has imprinted this message on Natalie’s heart, indeed if she were a stick of candy cane rock – it would be printed right through her middle from top to tail. It was with real glee that I sat back and waited for her to work her magic.

Rebecca, Meredith, Stanley and Jacob tug at your heartstrings, their stories realistic and poignant, true to life and touchingly told. Their histories are so carefully drawn that they hold up a fairy-tale type mirror to our world, to remind us that there are many such muses in our own midst; many such people that we could be passing in the street on a daily basis. The fact that Natalie stops to notice makes her for me of a modern-day Mary Poppins. I for one would be very happy to have a spoonful of her ‘Sugar and Spice’ café helpings every day. She is an absolute treasure to spend time with – like finding the best land at the Top of the Faraway Tree – the way she embraces the spirit of the season is infectious – in the very best of ways.

Every time I dipped into this story I didn’t want to leave, and I avidly read it through very quickly as Natalie took me on a journey through the most magical side of Christmas. Our tireless heroine is the gift that keeps on giving and when the bittersweet ending of the story finally appears one can’t help but give her three cheers: one for creating so much happiness, one for restoring the Christmas spirit and one for being just such a jolly good egg. It’s the sort of book that hones your humanity and strengthens your resolve to do good. It revives your faith in the future and puts a definite spring in your step as you pick your way through the season of goodwill to all mankind.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, sharing a hot chocolate and a cheeky Christmas cupcake with Natalie, here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Have you ever been to an older generations’ Christmas party?

When I was younger, I used to take my recorder and my school friends and play for older people at our local home for elderly residents. (I feel a bit sorry that they were a bit of a captive audience, but I will say that I wasn’t a bad player at all and I did earn quite a few ABRSM grades on the instrument). I really enjoyed talking with a different generation and interacting with people that I wouldn’t normally meet up with en masse. From the smiles and the conversations that I remember, they enjoyed it too. It’s something that I don’t do any more, but I do feel strongly that we as a society need to incorporate and include the older generations. This little story has given me food for thought in this area. (I promise that whatever I do I’ll leave my recorder behind though!)

Do you know anyone that you would class as making ‘busyness’ their business of the day?

In reading Meredith’s story, I was reminded of the episode of ‘Friends’ where Phoebe is taken seriously ill but is still seriously addicted to her Blackberry. She has to be prized away from the manic making machine, as she just can’t stop juggling all of her work. She just can’t stop. I know that we all have big demands on our time and that there are never ending to-do lists in all our lives – but stopping is important and so is slowing down. My kids are growing up now and have stepped into their young adult lives – I found a song by Nicole Nordemann called ‘slow down’ moved me to tears. It is all about the passage of time and how our little ones don’t stay little for long in the big scheme of things – so we have to live in the now and take time to enjoy the little things, they really are the big things after all. This story reminded me of what a mentor of mine mindfully recalls– ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ and we really are living now what one day we will look back on and call ‘The good old days.’

What is your favourite Christmas time cake?

I truly loved hearing about and visualising all of Natalie’s Christmas cake concoctions. Her recipes from around the world got my tastebuds watering. Personally, I love the smell of a fruit cake baking in the oven and its aroma wafting around the walls of my home. But I have to say I also have a soft spot for a chocolate yule log, dusted in icing sugar and of course a buttery mince pie with cream always hits the seasonal sweet spot.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Susan Buchanan:

 

TCS - twitterpic.jpg

Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband and their two children. She is the author of four novels: Return of the Christmas Spirit, The Christmas Spirit, The Dating Game, and Sign of the Times. She is currently working on books five and six: The Proposal and Just One Day.

Susan is also a proof-reader, editor and translator, and when not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, loves reading, the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!

Susan loves spreading The Christmas Spirit so much that she is offering a glittering GIVEAWAY*. (open internationally.)

SOTT_cover_72dpi.jpg  tdg_300dpi.jpg

 Giveaway – Win e-copies of Sign of the Times and The Dating Game (Open Internationally)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494170/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then the author reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time the author will delete the data. The author is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.             

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author

Twitter – susan_buchanan

Blog – Sooz’s journal – http://www.susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk

 

The Christmas Spirit (1).png

 

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this scintillating and spooky surprise, I’m off to get my hands on another book to hygge fuel our days and bring us some comfort and joy to cuddle up with. Onward!

Miracle Me-Time Moments

 

Christmas miracles for amazon and websites etc.jpg

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘merry mistletoe me-time -moments’ unwinding this weekend or as part of the mid-week Michaelmas melee.  You will make plenty of festive fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Now enjoy Mrs W’s Festive 5* Review of Christmas Miracles At The Little Log Cabin written by Helen J. Rolfe and published 6th December 2018: You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY 

It’s not often that you sit down with a story and it manages to meet the need you didn’t know that you had for sugar and spice and all things nice. This lovely tale told with a gentle touch and a perfectly penned panache really did find the x that marks the spot. Firstly, I am a sucker for any story that helps its reader to redefine their true selves and get back in touch with their inner hearts’ desires. Our heart-warming heroine Holly has made some choices to locate herself just where she needs to be right now in her life, and lo and behold she lands herself (quite literally as it turns out) slap bang in the path of true love’s ways. Holly is seeking her true passion and following it with all her heart. I love that love itself comes and taps you on the shoulder just when you least expect it, and that all started when Holly met her brilliant friends at the Inglenook Inn. What a difference 12 months has made for Holly. She is really living in the ‘now’ and realising that this is such a gift to herself, that’s why it’s called the present after all.

Holly is embracing a writing career as a freelancer, something I aspire myself to do, and I loved the gentle nudges to ‘guard your writing time’ that her friends have mellowed into a mantra for her. It’s a festive gift to us all to remember to guard what matters most to us – especially as the hectic festive hullabaloo envelopes us and to hold it before us beyond to the new slate of the new year that beckons.

But this story is not all silent, solemn soul-searching, no, there is some raucous reflecting too, time out to take turns to be silly and to find the fun, to lighten up. I love the posse of snowmen and extra helpings of Christmas canapes that this story is sprinkled with, the slipping in the ice and slush and the snow angels on the cold and frosted floor. With this story you get to venture out amongst the beautiful Christmas trees and look up in awe and wonder at the clear blanket of stars above and feel your freshly frozen breath, all without leaving the comfort of your own cosy nook.

The author uses the sensations of this season to breath new life into those who feel ‘past their expiration date,’ she gently eases us up and out of any rut we may be stuck in and convinces us through the clever compassionate conjuring of her characters that there might just be light at the end of our tunnels and that somewhere, somehow, the universe will flex its muscles and ‘lever us out of the place we are in.’

A great Christmas story should leave you with a few ‘ahh moments’ to yourself, when you might just shed a little tear or two and touchingly take a breath and take stock. As the end of the year approaches and the landscape seems to pause before leaping into the spring and regrowth, it’s nice to take a step back ourselves and to realise ‘I might not be where I want to be – but I’m on my way….and that’s more than ok. Who knows dear reader, this book might just be your own little Christmas Miracle.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, imagining ourselves chatting away with a Christmas Mince Pie whilst twirling some ribbon around a pretty present or two, here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Yes I know that we all know that line from that song! But in the story Holly and her friends enjoy putting a snowman or two together. Do you have happy memories of building that lovely snowy friend who lingers long after all the snow has melted. Did you rush inside and steal the stash of vegetables intended for the Sunday roast? And your Mum’s best scarf and hat? Isn’t it great that there are just a raft of fun activities that seem to come into their own during the festive season. Which sort are you looking forward to?

Have you ever stayed in a log cabin?

I know that this is a question that we have mulled over before, but after reading ‘Miracle at The Log Cabin’ I want to go and stay in one even more. I’ve decided that it needs to have all mod-cons thought -especially a wood-burner and gorgeously plump bedspreads and quilts. It would be lovely to feel like part of a fairy-tale or ‘Heidi’ and I imagine that it would feel so different to my ordinary life that it would be thrilling. 

Have you ever visited a Christmas Tree Farm?

Taylor Swift grew up on just such a farm and I can’t really imagine anything more magical. Mitch shows us the amount of planning and nurturing, pruning and perusing that goes on, not to mention all that hefty lugging and chopping of wood. It would be amazing though wouldn’t it – like living in Narnia and of course it would feel like you were having Christmas all year around.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Helen J. Rolfe:

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4).jpg

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

http://www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this perfectly pitched yuletide yarn, I’m off to get my hands on another read to hygge-fuel our days and keep us company over these darker evenings. Onward!

 

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

 

Him With The Beard by Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘me-time -moments’ unwinding this weekend or as part of the mid-week melee.  You will make many marvellous fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.

Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets.

Christmas is at risk!  And there’s only one person who can save it.

Enjoy Mrs W’s Festive 4* Review of Him With The Beard written by Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen and published by the Christmas elves at PMPstories 2018: Purchase your own copy here:                                                                                              Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pernille-Meldgaard-Pedersen/e/B07HXLPDSJ/  Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/him-with-the-beard                                                iTunes UK – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9788797086216    

‘You better not sigh, you better not pout’ so the song goes and who amongst us has not looked over our shoulder at our behaviour as the festive yuletide train pulls into town, hoping that although ‘he’ knows if we’ve ‘been bad or good,’ ‘he’ might just overlook our mishaps and misdemeanours in the spirit of all things Christmas.

This happy-go -lucky story has a bittersweet ring to it – haven’t we all wanted to prolong childhood fantasies for as long as possible? Don’t we all feel a frissant of hope at the thought of fairies living at the bottom of the garden?

However, sorrowfully, this story gently and poignantly prods us to accept that unlike Peter Pan we do all have to eventually grow up, but it poses the question, do we have to give up all our childish ways? Who says that we do? After-all keeping the thrill and anticipation of Christmas magic alive is part of the joy of the season. My favourite night of the whole year is and always was Christmas Eve. I revel in the memories of every ‘night before Christmas’ every December 24th and the heartfelt surety I had as a child that Father Christmas really was dropping by has thankfully, never left me. I still can’t sleep!

I could really identify with the warmth and affection that Stella holds in her heart for Father Christmas. Stella’s unwillingness to shed the hope of childhood beliefs and her protective grip on Santa’s hand is moving and totally relatable. The ultimate solace that she finds in the sentiments of the season is a wonderful way for all of us to keep the dream alive and aglow in our hearts and homes this Christmas time.

They often say that to help yourself help someone else, the special hopes and dreams that we pin on him with the beard rather do elevate him to saintly status in the world. We may never know just how much good he brings and taking a leaf out of his book seems a great place to kick off this coming month of merriment. Long may children have a Santa to visit and a stocking to hang. Just like Stella, this world ‘needs Santa to be real.’ and in my heart and soul he still is something very special and my hope is that he always will be. We can be Santa to our loved ones and even if we are not wearing his shiny black boots or his soft read suit, we too can spread a little Christmas cheer. Just like Stella, ‘I know he will always come to visit’ if love has made its home there in our hearts.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, imagining ourselves snuggled up in a cosy corner of Santa’s Grotto with a cheeky chocolat chaud, here are a few of the points we could mull over together whilst listening to the hordes of happy Santa seekers awaiting the great man himself.

Who or what is your favourite symbol of the season?

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas time and he is definitely the reason for the season for many. And yet also in our house growing up there were special cute little characters who cropped up at this time of year next to the crib. My brother always had the snowmen adornments and accessories, he always trimmed the tree with anything relating to these cheeky chappies, it became a tradition of our own. Whereas I always had first dibs on any Santa shaped trinket. My fascination and feelings of ownership of him last until this very day. I still cherish those baubles and figurines that I have and it’s a given that I have to check out any Santa decoration I come across each year, to see if I have found another to add to my collection. I just love the glow of his red suit and the happiness he brings me is ridiculously real.

Is it the season to be jolly?

My word or mantra for Christmas this year is ‘Merry and Bright’, its a reminder for me that I want to lighten the load of my loved ones and give them a happy and relaxed focus for the few days of festivities. It also takes the pressure off me that I don’t have to be picture perfect in my presentation of our family Christmas- in fact – keeping it light and sticking a smile on my face is present enough. But for some people this is a tricky time of year, and for many, many reasons it can be a difficult and sad time or simply an over hyped anti-climax. I shall be donating to our local food bank as I do every year. It’s a Christmas tradition of ours that I love. At this important yet often over indulgent time, I want to reach out to others and share the good times with them.

Christmas – it’s a wrap!

Have you picked a design or emblem or theme for your wrapping paper this year? Every Christmas I like to pick a visual symbol to be depicted in our Christmas Crackers or on the kitchen tablecloth or in the table decorations. We usually have a colour theme alongside it too. Picking the Christmas wrapping paper is such a fun thing that my husband and I make a date of it. I love to choose matching ribbons and bows, and I agonise over it for hours. Last year I experimented with material ribbons rather than paper ones and I really enjoyed it. Pernille’s story has a Danish feel so maybe I will go for red, white and light beige as a colour scheme for presents? It’s good to keep things simple – but in reality, I’m more likely to agree with Stella and go for lashings of glitter instead! You can NEVER have too much glitter.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen

thumbnail (1)

Pernille was born in 1988, coincidentally, the year that I left school.  I am so glad to hear that she loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music. I am still stirred by the sounds of the 80s. What classics that decade can lay claim to.

Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures. She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.

Luckily for us she loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves and thus this story was born.

From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent and luckily for us she has saved the world more than a few times already. She’s also a professional daydreamer.

She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile. Now that sounds like hygge happiness to me. Pernille’s Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

twitter: https://twitter.com/Pernille56

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PernilleMeldgaardPedersenAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pernillemeldgaardpedersen/

website: https://pernillemeldgaardpedersenuk.blogspot.com/

Pernille loves Christmas so much and she is proving her own loyalty to Him with the beard by offering and organising this gorgeous gift of a GIVEAWAY:

thumbnail (3)

“Win A Cosy Christmas Pack – with One Jim Shore Santa Claus Ornament, Santa Claus Marshmallows, A Chocolate Advent Calendar, A Pretty Christmas Storage Box and finally, A Signed Copy of my book Him with The Beard.” Open internationally.

link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2ed2358c3/

thumbnail

 

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this stocking filler surprise of a Christmas read, I’m off to get my hands on another book to hygge-fuel our days and keep us company over the darker evenings. Onward!

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

 

 

51sSowDzdjL._SY346_

 

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘me-time -moments’ unwinding this weekend or as part of the mid-week melee.  You will make many marvellous fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindness at the Comfort Food Café.

This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

Enjoy Mrs W’s 5* Review of A Gift From The Comfort Food Café written by Debbie Johnson and published by the Christmas elves at Harper Collins 2018: Purchase your own copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gift-Comfort-Food-Caf%C3%A9-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B07BYZCXGH/ref=la_B00HPYTB2M_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540490897&sr=1-1 

Where to begin dear reader – I love this series so much, and I have to add this ‘episode’ of Comfort Food Café love to my Christmas selection box of cosy reads. Reading any book by Debbie Johnson makes it truly the most wonderful time of the year – and this book is the golden shiny star on top of the tree. The clue is in the title – this is the perfect gift to spoil yourself or a loved one with this Christmas. I was lucky enough to be reading it on my birthday and it was the perfect pick-me up pressie on my special day, even if Winter is still whistling down the wind somewhere a little further off yet.  This book is the treat you can read between meals without ruining your appetite for the festive season ahead. It is full of seasonal good cheer and the author makes sure that no one misses out on their chance to receive a hefty dose of goodwill to all men.

There are definitely those who feature on Santa’s naughty and nice lists in the story and what I love the most is how we get to spend time with one of the more enigmatic members of the Budbury scene, someone who up until now has preferred to stay literally behind the scenes of this compelling series.

Our heroine Katie has a lot on her plate, yet her compass is set to true North and her heart is all out to make sure her darling little one Saul has the best that Christmas has to offer. Katie doesn’t only have to run the gauntlet of the shopping mall, she also has to do a fair bit of battle with the ghosts of her own Christmases past as well as face her own fears and hopes for the future. However, this Christmas will hopefully be a gift for her too, that’s why it’s called Christmas ‘Present’ after all.

Despite all of the obstacles in her own path, Katie never fails to focus on others, she is full of the type of Christmas spirit that I am sure lasts all year round. If anyone deserves good tidings it is Katie. She constantly scans the horizon of life in order to secure happier season’s greetings for her little Christmas toddler elf and the community that she has begun to blend with. The colours of her life are gradually melting in with the colourful hues of the comfort food cafe crowd.

I loved catching up with the news of all my favourite residents and I was not disappointed to learn that through the ups and the downs of life they still all pull together to make life count. I was delighted to get to know the newcomers that had floated in on the summer sunshine too – Auburn and her ‘toot sweets’ reminded me of my trips to the pharmacy as a child – we always managed to wheedle a whistle-pop lolly from our parents.

This is a sure-fire winter-wonder of a read that will leave you feeling that wrongs have been righted and you have been inadvertently wrapped up in the warm reverie of this lovely lot. It’s such a nice feeling to be engulfed with at this time of year, like a personally delivered Cherie hug, and it is sure to leave you more determined than ever to make some magical memories of your own in the coming months.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, imagining ourselves snuggled up in a cosy corner of Cherie’s Comfort Food Café with something tempting that she somehow knows we won’t be able to resist, here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Do you have a favourite Christmas Coffee Shop?

There is nothing quite like it is there? Stepping out of the chill into the inviting warmth of a café, if it has steamed up windows and piped Christmas music too, so much the better. I think that taking the weight off and sitting amidst a circle of shopping bags sprawling around your feet is a thrilling moment of peace and goodwill. It is so lovely to relax into a comfy chair and enjoy a warm drink and to just draw breath. I truly wish I could visit the comfort food café for real. I shall definitely imagine I am there next time I visit my favourite cosy coffee shop this Christmas shopping spree.

Do you make your own Christmas decorations?

I love the descriptions of the café with its own array of mad mobiles and carefully curated accessories that crowd the walls. I have enjoyed making many a Christmas decoration in the past. When I was a university student living in Spain with my husband as part of my degree we received a wonderful bumper edition of PRIMA magazine from my Mum. It contained patterns for giant snowflake mobiles to hang from the ceiling. With very little money and a heart hankering for home, my husband and I whiled away the hours crafting our own concoctions. They looked brilliant and I have never forgotten them. One year I even made a wreath out of dough, with holly berries and leaves – I was so proud of it, I painted it and everything. It lasted a fair few years and I was gutted when it finally dried out and disintegrated.

Do you know someone who could do with a helping hand this Christmas?

I was really moved by the way that the Comfort Food Café community spirit wrapped its arms around those in need in Budbury. There are always those of us who feel shut out in the cold at this time of year and I like the way that the story realigned our thoughts and values and reminded us that the greatest gift we can give is kindness. It’s the small gestures that can sometimes mean the most – even a smile can make someone’s day, a kind word can bring someone back from the brink of loneliness. Every year I try to get a gift to someone who may not be expecting many. I used to make donations of treats to our local children’s home and for the last few years I have made sure to leave some goodies in the collection box at our local supermarket. As someone who once received treats like this I know how much they mean to the families that get given them. I am definitely going to reach out to someone else and share with them some of the love that I am showered with every day. This story gifted me with a grateful heart – perhaps that really is the best gift of all.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Debbie Johnson.

Debbie Johnson is an award-winning author who lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework.

She writes feel-good emotional women’s fiction and has sold more than 750,000 books worldwide. She is published in the USA, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey and the Ukraine. Her best-sellers include the Comfort Food Cafe series, Cold Feet at Christmas and the A-Z of Everything.

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

www.debbiejohnsonauthor.com

www.facebook.com/debbiejohnsonauthor

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this super-seasonal stocking filler of a story, I’m off to get my hands on another read to keep us company over the darker evenings and to hygge fuel our days. Onward!

I’ve Been Charmed – I’m Sure!

 

A LITTLE CHRISTMAS CHARM_FRONT2_RGB150dpi.jpg

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘merry mistletoe me-time -moments’ unwinding this weekend or as part of the mid-week Michaelmas melee.  You will make plenty of festive fictional friends who will linger longer in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?

Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

Now enjoy Mrs W’s 5* Review of A Little Christmas Charm written by Kathryn Freeman and published by the Christmas elves at Choc-Lit 2018: You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Christmas-Charm-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B07GNL7VN8  

This is the most fantastic festive feast of a story that you will want to gobble up in one sitting if at all possible. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Owen and Gabby. There are not many stories where you find yourself rooting for the hero right from the off, but I was cheering and willing Owen on. Like a male Bridget Jones in the making, Owen takes a few steps forward and a few more back on more than one occasion. It was quite funny to find myself wanting to have an argument or two with him at times, and I knew just how involved I had become in the story when I wanted to bash the pair of our romantic leads’ heads together. It’s clear from the start that they have the ‘wow’ factor.

This story has you laughing at the hilarity of the lead up to Christmas that we can all relate to– you know – in that way that if you didn’t laugh, sometimes you would just cry. They say that life is stranger than fiction, that if you wrote down what happened people just wouldn’t believe it! Well Owen in particular finds himself in some right old scrapes that have you holding your sides with laughter and shouting at the pantomime villains on display. Sometimes the universe seems to be conspiring against you and poor Gabby and Owen have more than their fair share of banana skins to slip on and custard pies to the face! But ultimately this heart-warming tale reassures you that the universe does indeed have your back, and that all things can come together for the good of those who at least are trying to do the right thing. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if you are Santa’s naughty or nice list- being human means that we all fall somewhere between the two.

This modern-day couple are so believable that you will find yourself wanting to be invited round for a mince pie and a glass of wine, just so that you can hang out with them for a bit longer. It’s great to read about someone else’s ups and downs – the path to true love never did run smooth and life is complicated enough in the real world that it’s great to peek into someone else’s love life and be buoyed up by the idea that its not all plain sailing for others either.

The supporting cast sometimes bring a tear to the eye and sometimes have you rolling in the aisles with laughter –  I was so glad to know that I wasn’t the only one to roller skate down the hallway at Christmas or struggle to get the tree out of the car (let alone out of the carpet for the rest of the year), and when there is a character with my name the writer always has me sitting up and listening – (did you know, apparently our name is our favourite word?)

All in all, this is a brilliant read that has you so gripped from start to finish that you may be cooking Christmas lunch with one hand and reading this with the other. You should definitely put it on your Christmas list. It’s that brilliant gift that keeps on giving with every layer that you unwrap and every page that you turn. It’s a satisfying story full of light and love, it’s a lucky Christmas Charm, that stokes the fires of the heart and leaves you with a warm glow, a feeling that family are for life, not just for Christmas.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, imagining ourselves chatting away with a Christmas Mince Pie whilst twirling some tinsel around the tree, here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Have you ever had a Christmas in the sun?

Many people fly away to sunnier climes at Christmas. Whether it is to visit family or escape from them, not everyone’s Christmas is snowflakes and strange jumpers. I have never had a Christmas abroad, but people who have say a Christmas dinner down under is an experience to be had, that it feels familiar and different all at the same time. I am not sure if I would ever want to try this for myself – The Holiday complete with the cute little cottage has more allure for me than the mansion in the sun – but never say never, I guess. It’s who you are with that makes Christmas feel like Christmas after all.

Have you ever been to an office party?

They are notorious, and their reputation often goes before them, but love ‘em or hate ‘em office parties are the norm for many people. You have to go, and you may even want to go, but sometimes it feels more like work than play and sometimes people have more than just the music to face when the clock strikes midnight and they feel more like the pumpkin than the princess. I really felt for Gabby and Owen with the whole ‘worrying about working together’ thing. Luckily my husband and I met when we were young and so didn’t have the same dilemma, and we have sworn that we would never work together, as having something different to talk about at the end of the day is more fun for us – but I have been to lots of his office parties in the past. They were all great fun – even when I was pregnant with twins who were due a few weeks later. There is nothing quite like that vast venue swathed in decorations and swamped with other companies enjoying Christmas catering on a grand scale.

Does your car really reveal as much about you as they say it does?

Santa is nothing without his sleigh of course and Inspector Morse was famous for his Jaguar just as Del Boy was for his Reliant Robin and in the story both Owen and Gabby are really attached to their cars. My friend used to be too, even jokingly telling us once that she would never have more than one child as she didn’t want to give up her sports car and it didn’t happen to have a back seat.

I’ve always gone for practicality – like having a car with a big enough boot for bags of sports kit back when my big kids were little – and affordability – like having a tiny nippy car now it’s just me and my school unicorn pootling along to my classroom of a morning. I loved the conversations and computations that Gabby has about cars and character in the book, they gave us a valuable insight into her and got me wondering if the inferences she was apt to draw were universally agreed. It was also brilliant to luxuriate in the #cargoals of whizzing about in a sporty little number and muse upon how low down the priorities a luxury car has to come when life gets in the way. Another friend of mine once told me that she joined the police so that she could enjoy the thrill of a car chase and I know that she never lost her love for it, not in all her long years of service, not even when she became the chief inspector herself! But Gabby and Owen would approve of my colour of choice – it’s red of course!

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Kathryn Freeman.

5707-2.jpg

A former pharmacist, Kathryn is now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), she says ‘any romance is all in my head.’ But then again, his unstinting support of her career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

To add to the spirit of Christmas that really is all around in her books, Kathryn has a goody gumdrops offer – a little competition for you all!

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (Open Internationally)

A LITTLE CHRISTMAS FAITH_FRONT_150dpi.jpg

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then the Kathryn will reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Kathryn and her team will delete the data.  Kathryn is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Go for it and Good Luck: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494161/? 

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

 

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this sizzling Christmas-stocking of a story, I’m off to get my hands on another read to hygge-fuel our days and keep us company over these darker evenings. Onward!

 

A Little Christmas Charm Full Tour Banner (1).jpg

A Box of Delights

 

download (1)

My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your ‘mistletoe me-time -moments’ unwinding this weekend or as part of the mid-week melee.  You will make marvellous fictional friends who will linger long in your company well after the book has finished.

The all-important blurb:

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time.  But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child.  But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself.  But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

Enjoy Mrs W’s 5* Review of The Mother Of All Christmases written by Milly ‘Mistletoe’ Johnson and published by the Christmas elves at Santa’s very own Simon and Schuster 2018: Purchase your own copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mother-All-Christmases-Milly-Johnson/dp/1471161900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540830103&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mother+of+all+christmases

So here it is, Merry Christmas, Milly Johnson style. Milly is one of my favourite authors. I have read so many of her books and loved each and every one and this book is the gift that keeps on giving. So many of my old favourites are referenced in this yuletide yarn, that it really does feel like you have been invited to the best Christmas annual shindig with a chance to catch up with old friends as well as make plenty of new ones. There are lots of reasons to believe that tis indeed the season to be jolly and It is a real treat to revisit Winterworld – the setting for my favourite Milly from my ‘year of reading seasonally’ A Winter’s Flame.

This story had me turning the pages as quickly as I could. From the very first line I was hooked, and I sped through the story as quickly as a Christmas elf desperately seeking Santa’s special gold star for effort. Milly writes movingly and although my kids, like hers, are all grown up and making their way into their adult lives, my heart was melted back to those early days of pregnancy and the kaleidoscope of feelings and emotions that a mother-in-the-making goes through.

There are hilarious moments and jokes that have you groaning at the seams, but here are also plenty of poignant pauses too. Many of the characters demonstrate what it is to be a parent – and prove the point that it takes a village to raise a child. From as far away as sitting pretty on Spanish soil or peering out from a different moment in time to give a different perspective; whether biologically related or tied tighter together by a different bond other than bloodline – there are plenty of chances to reflect on what parental love really is and what it really takes to raise a happy child. The story reminds us that we have more in common than separates us and that not everything has to ‘ding dong merrily on high’ for Christmas spirit to work its magic.

The ribbon that ties this whole story together is a generosity of spirit. The star at the top of this tree shines a light on the many ways that we can reach out and help others, by sharing a smile, sparing a thought and planning some not so random acts of kindness that have the power to light the darkest night. I am so proud of Milly for ringing out those bells tonight to remind us through the bond of this winter season that we are all connected and that community matters matter most when it comes to bringing peace on earth.

Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:

If you and I dear reader were sitting down today, imagining ourselves wittering away in a Christmassy corner of Winterworld here are a few of the points we could mull over together.

Have you ever travelled on one of those child-crammed runaway trains?

We used to travel on a train like the one described in Winterworld whilst at the beach in Weymouth. Whilst Christmas shopping this year one came across me in a shopping mall and we quickly squished ourselves out of the way before we came a cropper. They are a sight for sore eyes and make young ones and their families hoot with delight. It is such a simple concept, yet the pure fun and excitement to be had in travelling this way is obvious to see. The best thing about Christmas is allowing our inner child some time to escape. I haven’t any little ones anymore, so I may just have to indulge myself and hop on board.

Have you ever had to embrace a period of extreme change?

Having a baby introduces some serious changes to the body and brings with it a whole new world of experiences for a new Mum. I remember when we found out we were expecting twins. We had had a scare and were not sure if all was well. Finally, after many long and meaningful minutes of silence in the hospital clinic, I plucked up courage and just asked the sonographer to tell me straight if the baby was ok. In response she turned the screen around to show us and I will never forget her words or my husband’s face – THEY are fine, she said. The screen showed two little pictures of black and white grainy images and I thought I was looking at a split screen. Then the penny dropped, and my husband shot across the room out of his chair to stare at the screens – his jaw almost on the floor. The whole ride home we kept thinking of the changes this made to our plans and preparations – we’ll need 2 of this, and  2 of that was all we could say and we couldn’t wipe the wonder from our minds or the growing grins from our faces. What a wonderful blessing we received. We felt truly lucky but our whole lives had a make-over from that day forth.

Have you ever had the privilege of playing a positive part in the life of a child?

I love this quote: ‘A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.’ This story from Milly Johnson reminds us that all adults were once children and that each child will become an adult. It gently re-creates in us a sense of stewardship towards the little acorns in our lives, to see to it that they too may become strong oaks one day. The best things in life are free and we can freely and generously give them – especially to the children that we meet. The story packs up the perfect present and encourages us to be more patient, demonstrate our devotion and to simply share more of our true selves. We may not immediately see the impact but if we can help nurture the roots of a child then we can influence their journey and hopefully give them wings to fly.

Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: About Milly Johnson.

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of over 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015. She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is a wonderful and generous person, totally devoted to her sons, her family and her community.

I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading as much as I do. You can do the same here:

http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk.

Twitter @millyjohnson

Facebook: Book Page of Milly Johnson

Milly also has a monthly newsletter http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.

So, dear reader, whilst you enjoy this Christmas Cracker of a story, I’m off to get my hands on another read to hygge fuel our days and keep us company over the darker evenings. Onward!