Tag Archives: Christmas

Tales Q&A With Ben Miller

Today I am super excited to be celebrating a little bit of Christmas with the amazing Ben Miller!

The Night I Met Father Christmas is perfect for all ages who would like to melt their hearts this Christmas and will leave you feeling all warm and cosy inside!

Today I am very lucky to have been able to put some questions to Ben Miller all about his wonderful book and about his Christmas traditions!

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About The Book

Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one thing he doesn’t know …  how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas?

That all changes when, one Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas and hears his incredible story.   

So begins an enchanting fairy-tale into a magical snowy landscape, where Torvil, a mean-spirited and miserly elf, is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This might not have been the story Jackson was expecting but, as Father Christmas tells him, no good story ever is… 

Get ready for a Christmas classic in the making from actor and comedian Ben Miller with beautiful illustrations throughout from emerging talent Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, that will remind everyone of the true spirit of Christmas and prove once and for all that Father Christmas really does exist! 

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Q&A With Ben Miller

Hi Ben!  Just wanted to start off by saying I am a huge fan and cannot wait to read The Night I Met Father Christmas!

Lets jump on Santa’s sleigh with the first question!

Can you tell us a little about The Night I Met Father Christmas? 

It’s the story of a boy who waits up to meet Father Christmas, then helps him deliver the presents. As they go, Father Christmas tells him the story of how he became Father Christmas.

The book is illustrated by the talented Daniela. What were your thoughts when you first saw the illustrations accompanying your words and do you have a favourite? 

I do! The last one, of Father Christmas climbing down the chimney for the first time. Daniella gave the original to me as a gift! When I first saw them I couldn’t believe how magical they looked, and how scary!

If you could choose one character from the book to invite round for Christmas dinner, who would it be? 

It would have to be Rudolph the talking reindeer. He’s great company.

What would you like your readers to take away from reading The Night I Met Father Christmas? 

That inside every one of us is the child we once were!

What does Christmas mean to you? 

It means magic, and presents, and family. And Father Christmas! 

Thank you so much for answering all of my Questions Ben and for featuring on my blog today.  It’s a huge honour!  Happy Christmas!

Thanks Michelle!

You can buy a copy of The Night I Met Father Christmas here or from your local bookshop!

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About Ben Miller


Ben Miller is an actor, director, and comedian, best known for writing and starring in The Armstrong and Miller Show and his role as Rowan Atkinson’s sidekick, Bough, in Johnny English Strikes Back.  Other recent big screen roles include What We Did On Our Holiday with Billy Connolly, and the much-loved Paddington 2 with, well, Paddington. On television, he is best known for the crime comedy drama Death In Paradise which has been a big hit worldwide.

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Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

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A huge thank you to Ben for answering all to Katherine at Simon & Schuster for asking me to host and be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read The Night I Met Father Christmas?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part and illustration?  What are you favourite Christmas traditions?  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet/Facebook me using @chelleytoy

Spotlight – Christmas At Woolworths by Elaine Everest


Today I am over the moon to be shining the spotlight on a new gorgeous Christmassy historical adult fiction book, Christmas At Woolworths by Elaine Everest.

Christmas At Woolworths was released on the 2nd November published by Pan Macmillan and is set to get you in the Christmas mood.

So today I am shining the spotlight on this fab book and fab author in a spotlight post….


About The Book

Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . . 

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

You can buy a copy of this book here or from your local bookshop

Or why not add it to your Goodreads shelf here


About Elaine Everest

Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can been sitting in the naughty corner.

You can find out more about Elaine on her Facebook page – here

Or why not follow Elaine on twitter – @elaineeverest


Blog Tour

You can follow or catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read any of Christmas At Woolworths?  Did you enjoy?  What did you love about it?  What books do you like reading in the run up to Christmas?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – The Best Yuletide Audiobooks


Today is my stop on the brilliant #YaXmasTour organised by the lovely @ChouettBlog and I thought I would tie this in with brilliant post that the lovely people at Midas PR asked if I would host.

With Christmas getaways, shoppers and commuter traffic, the festive period is one busiest times of the year. Last year alone over 14 million drove home for Christmas and with journeys on some roads taking almost three times longer than normal, festive entertainment is a travel essential.

With this in mind, the editors at Audible have compiled a list of the ultimate Yuletide audiobooks to keep the festive spirit alive in a traffic jam, in flight, or after you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped.

I love a good audiobook!


Hear Hear For Some Christmas Cheer

A Christmas Carol: An Audible Original Drama

Author: Charles Dickens

 Narrated by: Various cast

You can buy this audio book here

This title will be free to download until January 2017

Jenna Coleman, Miriam Margolyes, Derek Jacobi, Brendan Coyle and Roger Allam are amongst the celebrity voices coming together this Christmas in a brand new multi-cast dramatization of Charles Dickens’ ghostly Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol.

The festive tale has been released as a free gift to members.

A Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig

 Narrated by: Stephen Fry

You can buy this audio book here

You are about to listen to the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this audiobook is full of impossible things. Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin….

 The idea for the series came when Matt Haig’s son asked what Father Christmas was like as a boy. A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an 11-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig

 Narrated by: Carey Mulligan

You can buy this audio book here

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end? When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas. But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeers dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

Midnight Gang

Author: David Williams

 Narrated by: David Walliams, Peter Serafinowicz, Morwenna Banks, Nitin Ganatra, Ellen Thomas

You can buy this audio book here

Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for…the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning….

 The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heart-warming and, of course, funny story of five children on a hospital ward and on a quest for adventure. It is a story of friendship and magic – and of making dreams come true.

 Listeners are set to be utterly spellbound by this heartfelt story that will bring magic to everyone’s Christmas.

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days

Author: Jeanette Winterson

 Narrated by: Jeanette Winterson, Imogen Church

You can buy this audio book here

New York Times best-selling author Jeanette Winterson brings together 12 brilliantly imaginative, funny and bold Christmas tales. For the 12 Days of Christmas – a time of celebration, sharing, and giving – she offers these 12 plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories.

 From trees with mysterious powers to a tinsel baby that talks, philosophical fairies to flying dogs, a haunted house and a disappearing train, Winterson’s innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas. Perfect for listening to by the fire with loved ones or while traveling home for the holidays. Enjoy the season of peace and goodwill, mystery, and a little bit of magic courtesy of one of our most fearless and accomplished writers.

A Christmas Feast and other stories

Author: Katie Fforde

 Narrated by: Jilly Bond, Rita Sharma

You can buy this audio book here

A delicious Christmas feast of short stories from the Sunday Times number one best-selling author of A French Affair and The Perfect Match.

 Add some extra sparkle to your Christmas by joining Katie Fforde for a perfect romantic Christmas feast of short stories. Collected together for the first time and including one brand-new story. Make your Christmas wishes come true….

The Night Before Christmas

Author: Clement C. Moore

 Narrated by: Jeff Bridges

You can buy this audio book here

Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges’ iconic voice brings the beloved holiday classic story “The Night Before Christmas” to life.

 Celebrate the holiday season with the only audiobook of “The Night Before Christmas”, read by Jeff Bridges. No other narrator brings Santa and these merry scenes to life quite like Mr. Bridges – it’s an instant Christmas classic! Create a new family tradition as you add this audiobook to your holiday activities leading up to December 25th.

Letters from Father Christmas

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

 Narrated by: Derek Jacobi

You can buy this audio book here

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply?

 Every year, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien would write to Father Christmas, and the letters they received told wonderful stories of his adventures at the North Pole.

 These humorous tales are brought to life by Derek Jacobi as Father Christmas, John Moffatt as Polar Bear, and Christian Rodska as Ilbereth the Elf, complete with specially composed music.


A huge thank you to Leanne at Midas PR for asking me to feature this post and again to @ChouettBlog for having me as part of #YaXmasTour.

**Please note that I was not sponsored by Audible to do this post – I was asked by Midas PR if I would like to feature to share some Christmas joy.  I was not provided with any audio books in exchange for this post**

What is your favourite Christmas read?  Have you listened to any of the above books on audio book?  Which one is your favourite?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

 

Spotlight – A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn


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It’s that time of year again where I search for all the fab Christmas reads to read throughout December in the lead up to Christmas.

When I was asked to be on the blog tour for this Christmas adult fiction contemporary romance I instantly fell in love with it’s gorgeous cover and have added it to my Christmas TBR.

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas was released on the 7th November 2016 published in e book by Canelo and is set to put anyone in the Christmas spirit.

So today for my stop on the tour I thought I would spotlight this book and it’s wonderful author….

*does a snow angel*


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Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas? 

You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here


About Darcie Boleyn

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Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

You can find out more about Darcie on her website – www.darcieboleyn.wordpress.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @darcieboleyn

Or on Facebook here or Instagram here


Blog Tour

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You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

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Monday 7th November

Ali the Dragon Slayer

Lozza’s Book Corner

 Tuesday 8th November

Rachel’s Random Reads

Celeste Loves Books

 Wednesday 9th November

Snuggling on the Sofa

Chris Philippou

 Thursday 10th November

Serendipity Reviews

Fiction Fascination

 Friday 11th November

Sparkly Word

Book Lover Worm Blog

 Saturday 12th November

Big Book Little Book

Love in a Time of Feminism

 Sunday 13th November

Laura Bambrey Books

Fabulous Book Fiend

 

manhattan-christmas-side-banner-5Monday 14th November

Tales of Yesterday

Whispering Stories

 Tuesday 15th November

The Writing Garnet

Rae Reads

 Wednesday 16th November

Hello Chick Lit

Grass Monster

 Thursday 17th November

My Chestnut Reading Tree

Blooming Fiction

 Friday 18th November

Jess Hearts Books

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 Saturday 19th November

YA Yeah Yeah

Han’s Book Reviews

 Sunday 20th November

Aimee Cooper’s Book Blog

Have Books, Will Read


A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas?  What did you think?  What would you do in Manhattan at Christmas?  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

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Spotlight – #WinterCarrollReadAlong


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So with those frosty mornings and cold evenings approaching and Christmas just around the corner the lovely Luna from lunaslittlelibrary.wordpress.com and myself thought what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to read a couple of wintery reads to get our tinsel in a twist and our Christmas lights glowing bright.

So the  #WinterCarrollReadalong was born!

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From the 1st – 10th December 2015 we will be reading both Frost Hollow Hall and The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll and invite you to join in using the hash tag #WinterCarrollReadalong on twitter!

Share your thoughts and feelings with us whilst reading these two fab books and we also have a little giveaway to enter if you join in!

There are no rules as to which order these books are read in, you can read them both at the same time if you want.

Just use the hashtag and all participants* are eligible to win a Snow Sister inspired necklace hand-crafted by the lovely Luna herself……and it’s beautiful!

emmacarrollnecklace Details of the Giveaway are below and will be for UK entrants only.

Above all enjoy the #WinterCarrollReadalong – we can’t wait!


About The Books

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Ever since her sister, Agnes, died, Pearl has a tradition every time it snows. She makes a person out of snow. A snow sister. It makes Christmas feel a little less lonely.
On Christmas Eve, her father receives a letter about a long-lost relative’s will. Is their luck about to change? In anticipation of a better Christmas, Pearl goes to beg credit at Mr Noble’s grocery to get ingredients for a Christmas pudding. But she is refused, and chased down the street where she is hit by a hansom cab. The snow is falling so hard that they can’t take her home. She’ll have to stay at Flintfield Manor overnight, in a haunted room… Will Pearl make it home for Christmas?

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The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.

Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.
Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.
Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .


About Emma Carroll

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When I’m not writing books, I work part-time as an English teacher at a secondary school in Devon. It means I’m never far from books or words or writing, which is perfect!

As a child, I wrote stories about ponies and pop stars, though not together. Nowadays it’s called fan-fiction; back then it was just weird.

After school, I worked as a reporter on a local newspaper. From there I went to university to study English Literature. After backpacking around the Middle East, South America, Australia, I did a PGCE in English and became a teacher.

Many years later, I bought myself a lovely big notebook and some new pens. I enrolled on the MA Writing For Young People at Bath Spa University, and got writing again. ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ was started on the MA course. It is my first novel, and took two years and many cups of tea to write.
I live in the Somerset hills with my husband and two Jack Russell terriers.

Check out Emma’s website – https://emmacarrollauthor.wordpress.com/

Follow Emma on Twitter @Emmac2603

Check out a fab guest post by Emma about fairies here

And also a fab guest post Emma did for National Transplant week here

Or an extract from Strange Star here or a Guest Review of Strange Star by Perdita Cargill


Giveaway

All participants* of the #WinterCarrollReadalong are eligible to win a Snow Sister inspired necklace hand-crafted by Luna.

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*UK Only

All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Also if you post a review of either of the books (or both) by the 15th December 2015 you will get an extra entry into the draw!

It’s a tight turnaround but we want to make sure the winner gets the necklace in time for Christmas to make it extra magical!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!


So feel free to join us and share your thoughts and feelings, enter the giveaway and don’t forget to use the hash tag #WinterCarrollReadalong on twitter so we can see them!

Happy Christmas!

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Tales Post – Christmas and December Reads


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It’s December the 1st already?!  Where has the year gone?  Still so much Christmas shopping to be done!  I thought I would take 5 minutes to share with you the Christmas books I will be (trying) to read over December and the Christmas period and are guaranteed to put me in the Christmas spirit.  I may be being a teeny weeny bit ambitious here as I have some review books to also read in December, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.  Plus I have two weeks off from work over Christmas so I’m sure I can fit in many a Christmas read over this time.  As always reviews will follow.  Also there is a special Christmas Tree feature towards the bottom on the page.


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An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – brings all the magic of holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

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A beautiful story about the magic of childhood Christmas memories, the strength of family and falling in love when you least expect it. Fans of Carole Matthews, Susan Wiggs and Scarlett Bailey – and anyone who loves the sound of Christmas songs and the sparkle of decorations on the tree – will adore this festive holiday treat! Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they? Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life. As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing, the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree! The only problem could be her boss… single-dad, Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving, elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

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A collection of joyful festive stories that will keep you warm during the cold winter months

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Check out my review here

Or my Q&A with one of the authors from the book Matt de la Pena here

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Brenna’s not dreaming of a white Christmas… As a professional skier she’s already had too many to count!

Brenna’s more concerned about finally spending the season with the man she’s loved as long as she can remember – her best friend Tyler.

Single dad Tyler is determined to make sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. He can’t afford to be distracted by Brenna moving into his family’s snow-capped ski resort. Especially as that mistletoe magic has him looking at Brenna in a whole new light.

Until a surprise kiss means the relationship Brenna’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it.

Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

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‘The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house.’ On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea – but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.

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The first short story in the fun & flirty #LoveLondon series from exciting new chick lit author Nikki Moore!

There’s nothing Holly Winterlake loves more than Christmas and skating, so working as an Ice Marshall at London’s Somerset House is a dream come true.

Noel Summerford hates the festive season and is a disaster on the ice, so taking his godson to Somerset House is his idea of the nightmare before Christmas!

Things are bound to get interesting when these two collide…

With a forty foot Christmas tree, an assortment of well meaning friends and relatives, and a mad chocolate Labrador, will this festive season be one to remember … or forget?


In our house we now have our Christmas tree (s) up (3 trees this year!) and all of our decorations.  The Christmas tree is in the window sparkling in all of its glory and my son, Corey, couldn’t be more proud.

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However since seeing wonderful author Robin Stevens Christmas tree and decorations the hunt is definitely on for the best ever Christmas Bauble!  Check out Robin’s tree and decorations which are super cool!  I’m definitely on the look out for some of these!

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Also please don’t forget Jim from YA Yeah Yeah ‘s #indieadvent !  Join in the conversation using the hashtag and look out for daily guest posts on Jim’s blog from fabulous bloggers celebrating independent bookshops this Christmas.

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Have a wonderful Christmas guys!

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