Sunday, 17 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with ... Rhoda Baxter



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Rhoda Baxter



Hello Rhoda




Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.



I’m Rhoda. I’m an author. I write romantic comedy with a hint of cynicism. I firmly believes that clever is the new sexy, so I like to write about nice guy heroes and women who love them. I especially like it when they make me laugh.


What is your favourite Christmas memory?

Most of my childhood Christmasses were in Sri Lanka. My family are Buddhist, but we didn’t like a good holiday to go to waste, so we did Christmas… a bit. one of my Dad’s friends worked up in the hill country, where there are pine trees, so every year, he’d drive down with a couple of real trees in the back of his enormous car and we’d get one of them. The smell of pine trees still reminds me of hot Colombo evenings, when we dusted off the baubles and decorated the tree whilst trying not to trip over the dog, who wanted to sniff the tree every three minutes.


What is your favourite Christmas food?

Oooh, tricky question. There are so many things. Hmm. Stollen. It’s probably Stollen. Every year I buy some and bring it home. Every year the following conversation happens.
Me: I’ve got Stollen.
Husband: Did you pay for it?
Me: It’s Stollen. Not stolen.
The kids: Sigh (Every year. They have this conversation every year. Geez).


What is your favourite Christmas song?

I Want An Alien For Christmas by Fountains of Wayne. Because it was in the charts the year my husband and I met. Failing that, I love Let It Snow.


What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why



I love Lego, but my kids don’t, so all the Lego in the house is mine. My favourites are the Lego Stormtroopers. Last year, I had a Lego Friends advent calendar and my daughter decided to build the tiny sets each day. We spent a fun afternoon setting up little Christmas scenes for my Lego Stormtroopers. This photo always makes me smile because it such a lovely afternoon and because the Stormtroopers look like they’re having a ton of fun too!


You can find Rhoda on all of these….

Twitter: @rhodabaxter

My latest book is Snowed In - it’s a Christmas novella



Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Catherine Kullmann Christmas Christmassy

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with Anna Osborne



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Anna Osborne



Hello Anna


Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.



I’m a lifetime reading addict but more recently, an author!!



What is your favourite Christmas memory?

Seeing a bulky pillow case at the end of my bed and knowing that Father Christmas had been….



What is your favourite Christmas food?

Pizza. Or is it curry? No, it’s pizza! My favourite Christmas ever was a couple of years ago, just me, my husband, 2 kids and 2 rescue puppies. We all chose our favourite type of pizza, then ate it in front of the fire on our laps on paper plates – which we threw on the fire afterwards. No washing up – result!!



What is your favourite Christmas song?

Sinead O’Connor singing Silent Night… or as I’m being indecisive, David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy. Both bring tears to my eyes every time.



What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why

One of my (now) husband sitting on the floor with his arms round me because he’d just asked me to marry him…! My Dad took the photo because he was forewarned…I had NO idea!



You can find Anna on all of these...




@HomeOsborne

www.goosewingpublications.com




Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Rhoda Baxter Christmas Christmassy

Friday, 15 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with Emma Poulloura



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Emma Poulloura




Hello Emma

Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.

Hello!!! For those of you that don’t know my name is Emma  and I love reading. You may have previously known me as Chicklit vs Fantasy. My favourite genres if you hadn’t already guessed are Chicklit and Fantasy, I also love the sub genre paranormal and I read a lot of YA fantasy.
I’m 27 but still pretending I’m 23. I live with my boyfriend and our Frenchie Basil. I have 5 brothers and growing up being the only girl taught me a lot about the other sex and exactly how to get them to see things your way. I’m a chocoholic and a bit of foodie. I love to eat but only enjoy cooking when I have a lot of time. I’ve always been a girly girl who loves make up and nails but I’m not the best at either lol. I’ve been a book blogger (http://starcrossedreviews.co.uk) for 3 years now and it’s hands down the best decision I ever made.



What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I grew up with a lot of brothers and on christmas morning we would come downstairs and we would have our own little Santa sacks filled with presents. Looking back it was such a lovely time….until the inevitable sibling fight broke out lol



What is your favourite Christmas food?

All of it?? haha I know a lot of people will disagree with this but I LOVE christmas cake with the fruit cake and the icing and the marzipan. oh the marzipan.



What is your favourite Christmas song?

When I was younger I always played Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas and Stay another day by E17 (not that the song itself is christmassy, it's one of those ones that are always on at that time of year). Now I think I’m more of a Pogue’s Fairytale of New York person.



What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why



ok so I have two. One is me and my boyfriend and our Frenchie from last christmas day. It was our first christmas with our dog and it was such a lovely day. The second is a picture I was given more recently of my parents on their wedding day.




You can find Emma at all of these…

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/starcrossed89/


Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Anna Osborne Christmas Christmassy

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with Jules Wake



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Jules Wake




Hello Jules 


Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.



I’m an author and I’ve had six books published with a further four coming out next year. I’ve written two Christmas books, both of which include elements of family Christmas traditions. Every family has its own little traditions and rituals but none are more prevalent than those at Christmas, so in my Christmas books I do try to focus on those, sometimes stealing from my own family memories.


What is your favourite Christmas memory?

My daughter coming down to discover that Rudolph had polished off most of his carrot and that Santa had demolished his mince pie.  Her sheer delight that Santa had been has always stuck with me.  It was one of our first family traditions leaving a carrot and mince pie in the fire place of our dining room.


What is your favourite Christmas food?

Oooh I’m a sucker for Christmas Cake and no one else in my family is that keen, so I usually end up with one to myself, but I’m very fussy about the icing. It has to be royal icing, which is what my much-loved grandmother always put on her cakes. She was a great baker and her cake was always had little silver balls on it and little robins, snowmen and plastic fir trees.

Every year I plan to make a cake and then always run out of time. A friend of mine is running a Christmas cake decorating course and I am seriously thinking about going on it.



What is your favourite Christmas song?

Oh, it has to be Wizard’s I wish it could be Christmas, as soon as I hear that, I remember Top of the Pops and Christmas of my teens when the highlight was the Christmas disco.  But I am also rather partial to The Holly and the Ivy. In our local town there’s always a town carol service in one of the car parks on Christmas Eve and they always play that carol, which always makes me cry for some reason.


What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why

My granny who lived in Yorkshire, came to spend Christmas with us a couple of times before she died and I have a lovely picture of her sitting in our lounge surrounded by people who loved her. She was one of those people who everyone liked. She always thought the best of everyone, was always enthused by everything and always had a kind word to say, even about people who didn’t deserve it.


You can find Jules at all of these…

@juleswake – Twitter
https://www.facebook.com/juleswake.co.uk/


Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Emma Poulloura Christmas Christmassy

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with... Lynne Milford



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Lynne Milford





Hello Lynne


Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.



I’m an author and a blogger, although the first is a very new addition. My debut crime novel A Deadly Rejection was self-published in October and it was a really special moment for me. I’ve been working on the book for so long that it was great to see it out there.
I also blog on writing at Tales from the Writing Desk.


What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I’ve lived away from home for a long time and I would often be driving home on or around Christmas Eve. The song ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ was always very apt. So I’d be hurtling up the A1 desperately trying to get home as quickly as I could. In my home town the Rotary club collects money for charity with a Santa float, driving it round the streets past all the houses. One year I was pulling into the estate where my parents live when I spotted the Santa sleigh coming along the road. I just managed to get parked up outside the house before he came round the corner. My mam and dad got such a shock when I rushed in shouting ‘Santa’s here’. I think they thought I’d gone mad. He’s a big memory from when I was a child, so making it just in time to see him was great. Plus it was snowing!



What is your favourite Christmas food?

Mince pies, without a doubt, are the best bit of Christmas eating. I have a rule that I’m not allowed any until after 1st December though, because then it starts to feel like Christmas. I also love a turkey dinner so I try to have as many of them as possible. This year I think I’m on for five, including Christmas Day, which is probably a record!



What is your favourite Christmas song?

Last Christmas by Wham. As soon as I’ve heard that, then I know Christmas is on its way. I love the video as well. In terms of Christmas carols, I love Silent Night. It really demonstrates the real meaning of Christmas and provides an oasis of calm within the crazy Christmas preparations.



What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why



It’s not a picture of people in reindeer jumpers sadly. It’s a sculpture of the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland. I took this while I was out for a walk with my dad in Hetton Park, in my home town of Hetton-le-Hole near Durham. It’s clearly a bitterly cold day, but the light is just right for the picture. I’m not much of a photographer, but I’m very proud of how good it looks.


You can find Lynne at all these places…


@lmmilford






Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Jules Wake
 Christmas Christmassy

Monday, 11 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with ... Val Portelli (Voinks)



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Val Portelli (Voinks)


Hello Val



Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.


I’ve always been a reader, and loved writing, but only became a ‘proper’ author when a freak accident left me bed-bound and going stir-crazy. To save my sanity I wrote my first book, it was published and I was hooked. A Facebook author page followed at the insistence of my niece, then my second book was published. Another niece helped me set up my blog, and I found the confidence to self-publish my third book. In between working on several other novels, I also write and post weekly short stories on every imaginable subject, often inspired by social media.


What is your favourite Christmas memory?




There are so many as I love Christmas, even if I’m a bit Bah Humbug when advertising starts before I get back from my summer holiday. All it takes to change my mood is to dig out the Christmas box of decorations, most as old as the hills. The singing Santa who doesn’t sing any more now takes his place on the blow-up Rudolph’s back as they ride across the front-room window. The knitted Christmas tree I bought in La Gomera belongs at the foot of the bannisters, the red Santa boots, and the red and green stockings accompany you in decreasing sizes as you mount the stairs. It takes ages to put up the rest as each evokes memories from when they first became part of the tradition. Throw them away? You must be kidding.


What is your favourite Christmas food?


Turkey, stuffing, dates and figs, Christmas pudding, mince pies, satsumas, I love them all. I’ll even eat spouts although they’re not my favourite. Does sherry count? I’d never think of having it at any other time of the year, but somehow it seems appropriate. My Mother was never a drinker, but one Christmas was worrying over the lunch being ready on time. She accepted a sherry, I topped it up when she wasn’t looking, then found my sister was doing the same. Lunch was late but she stopped worrying, even if she was a bit giggly.


What is your favourite Christmas song?

I love the traditional old Carols. O little town of Bethlehem, In the bleak midwinter, Silent Night, White Christmas, Little drummer boy and many others all have their place. It starts to feel like Christmas the first time I hear ‘A spaceman came travelling’ but it’s not really Christmas until Noddy Holder shouts ‘It’s Christmas!’
Now I’m giving my age away.


What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why



Most of my favourite old photos are still sitting in boxes waiting to be transferred to my computer, but this one (courtesy of Pixabay) always sums up the spirit of Christmas to me. (It’s also my way of trying to get on Santa’s good girl list.)


Thank you for inviting me Pauline, it’s been lovely reviving Christmas memories.
I’d like to wish you and all your readers a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. May Santa be good to you, and fulfil all your dreams



You can find Val at all of these...


Spirit of Technology







ABC Destiny





Changes

Trailer







Facebook author page



Blog





Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Lynne Milford Christmas Christmassy

A Diamond Tale that has a Little Sparkle!



Today, 11th December, I am joining this fabulous Christmas Blog, Diamond Tales, and like all the stories in this Festive Feast, it mentions diamonds! My wonderful character, Doreen Wilkinson, from Sometimes It Happens… tells a heart-warming story about life before winning the lottery, so if you want to know how diamonds feature in this short story than please pop along and say hello to a lovely lady, Doreen.




You can also discover more beautiful Diamond Tales from these wonderful authors…



3rd December                Richard Tearle Diamonds

4th December    Helen Hollick  When ex-lovershave their uses

5th December     Antoine Vanner  Britannia’sDiamonds

6th December     Nicky Galliers  Diamond Windows

7th December     Denise Barnes  The Lost Diamond

8th December     Elizabeth Jane Corbett A Soul Above Diamonds

9th December     Lucienne Boyce Murder In Silks

10th December   Julia Brannan The Curious Case of the Disappearing Diamond

11th December    Pauline Barclay Sometimes It Happens

12th December    Annie Whitehead   Hearts, Home and a Precious Stone

13th December    Inge H. Borg  Edward, Con Extraordinaire

14th December    J.G. Harlond The Empress Emerald

15th December    Charlene Newcomb Diamonds in the Desert

16th December     Susan Grossey  A Suitable  Gift

17th December     Alison  Morton Three Thousand Years to Saturnalia

18th December      Nancy Jardine   Illicit Familial Diamonds

19th December      Elizabeth St John The Stolen Diamonds

20th December      Barbara Gaskell Denvil Discovering the Diamond

21st December       Anna Belfrage   Diamonds in the Mud

22nd December       Cryssa Bazos    The Diamonds of Sint-Nicholaas

23rd December        Diamonds … In Sound & Song
  

Wishing you a diamond run up to the festive season!
Hugs
Pauline x

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Let's Get Christmassy with... Vivien Brown



We’re getting festive here with some special peeps and today we get Christmassy with Vivien Brown


Hello Vivien


Please tell us a little about you and if you are a reader, Blogger or author.



I am primarily an author although I am an avid reader too, particularly of women’s fiction in its broadest sense – anything from romance to sagas to psychological thrillers with female protagonists. I have been writing short stories for women’s magazines for around twenty years (under another name). In fact, the first I ever sold was a Christmas story to Woman’s Weekly, about a family feud that gets resolved on Christmas morning, with the help of a department store Santa! These days I still write occasional short stories but prefer to concentrate on novels. My debut ‘Lily Alone’, a domestic drama about a very young child left alone at home, was published by Harper Impulse in October. Away from writing, I love cryptic crosswords, boyband concerts, horseracing, TV soaps and quiz shows.


What is your favourite Christmas memory?



I think waking up, as a small child, to feel that fat present-stuffed pillow case against my feet on Christmas morning, is very hard to beat. Still believing in Santa, still feeling the magic and wonder of Christmas Day, climbing out of bed while it was still dark and not noticing or caring that the bedroom was really chilly, with the windows all iced up on the inside! And then my sister and I lugging our pillow cases into our parents’ room and opening everything all over the bed. In those days, presents were not expensive, not technology-based, and didn’t get picked from the Argos catalogue or online. There was always a tangerine at the bottom, and usually a book or an annual from whatever TV show or character was popular at the time, although I could never abide Rupert - and still can’t! I like to try keeping the old traditions going as much as possible although, for my little granddaughter Penny, the pillow case has  been upgraded to a giant knitted stocking these days - seen here laid out on Christmas Eve, ready for Santa’s arrival.


What is your favourite Christmas food?



My absolute favourite food is chocolate, but I eat that all year round so I don’t suppose it really counts as a Christmas food, even though there is even more of it about at this time of year. This picture is from a day I spent learning how to temper chocolate and make my own truffles at the Chocolate Hotel in Bournemouth. But I would have to say my fave seasonal food is the humble mince pie, which I rarely have at any other time but Christmas, but I do like my own home-made ones so much more than shop-bought. I love rolling out the pastry, adding big dollops of mincemeat and finishing off with a Christmas shape on top – I have pastry cutters in the shape of a bell, heart, star and Christmas tree, as well as random rabbits, butterflies, doves, etc. I like to sprinkle them liberally with caster sugar while they are still warm – and that’s the best time to eat them too!


What is your favourite Christmas song?



I enjoy a rousing chorus or two of Jingle Bells, but when it comes to songs that really relate to the nativity story, I am a sucker for the sentimentality of Little Donkey, especially when hearing it sung by tiny school children at school carol concerts. I helped my daughter to knit all the people and animals for a nativity scene a couple of years ago and we were shocked that the pattern did not include a donkey. To us, he is a very important part of story, so we made up our own pattern for him to make sure the scene was complete.


What is your favourite Christmas photo? Please tell us why



I love my cats and still miss those who are no longer with us. They are just as much a part of the family as the humans are, and I like to make sure they get something special to eat at Christmas, and a new squeaky or flashing toy to try to distract them from pulling baubles off the tree. This picture is of my old cat Buster who never minded being dressed up in his special Christmas Day collar, which in reality was my daughter’s red hair scrunchie!


You can find Vivien at all these places …






Please come back tomorrow to find out what makes Val Portelli Christmas Christmassy