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It Must Have Been The Mistletoe By Judy Astley

It Must Have Been The Mistletoe‘It Must Have Been The Mistletoe’ is the latest book by Judy Astley.

Thea’s parents decide to host a big family Christmas in a house by the sea… even though they are, in fact, about to split up. Thea herself is newly single – her sister and brother are both settled, with children, homes and a future. But Thea’s boyfriend has ditched her in favour of his pedigree dogs, and Thea can’t decide whether or not she minds. There will be copious food and drink, holly and mistletoe, lots of bracing walks and a wintry barbecue on the beach. If it seems an odd way to celebrate the final break-up of a marriage and the Moving On to new partners, no- one is saying so. But then no-one had anticipated that the new partners might actually turn up to complicate the sleeping arrangements. As Cornwall experiences the biggest snowstorm in living memory, the festive atmosphere comes under some strain. Will Thea manage to find some happiness for herself? Will the mistletoe work its magic on them all?

I was once a big fan of Judy’s books but life and time got in the way and I lost track with her novels so, ‘It Must Have Been The Mistletoe’ is the first book that I’ve read by her in a while.

I will be honest, when I initially started this book, I found it a bit slow to get into but once the family had gone off on their Cornwall adventure, I thought the pace sped up and I began to enjoy the festive story.

The story is seen from the perspective of the family members as they deal with the sudden news that this will be their last family Christmas together as their parents, Anna and Mike intend to divorce. This announcement has taken Thea, her sister Emily and brother Jimi completely off guard as their parents seem as close as ever and they are both quite amicable about the news.

The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Thea, the youngest daughter of the family as she deals with her first Christmas as a single lady and becoming affectionately known as the ‘maiden aunt’, when her fiancée broke up with her and was more focused on his pet poodle than the relationship. It is also seen from Anna’s perspective, the mother who wants their last family Christmas together to be perfect and her daughter Emily, a constant worrier who is looking for the worst to happen.

Bemused by how her life has turned out, Thea uses the break to reflect on her life, enjoy the family time and the new company from Sean, who owns cottage that Thea’s family have rented with his partner Paul. A handsome surfer who befriends Thea and becomes her escape when family life gets a bit chaotic, sweet with a kind heart and a friendly cat called Woody, Sean is a welcome distraction in Thea’s life.

Cleverly written and packed within the confines of the cottage, there is a host of interesting people and situations that makes the story quite captivating in parts, from the busy run-up to christmas, unexpected guests and a heavy snowfall, this book had me entertained throughout.

A warmhearted story about the importance of family and moving on, ‘It Must Have a Been The Mistletoe’ is a magical Christmas tale.

You can buy It Must Have Been the Mistletoe from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Handwritten Girl Takes Part In It Must Have Been The Mistletoe Book Tour

I am excited to be part of the book tour for the release of Judy Astley’s new book, ‘It Must Have Been The Mistletoe’. Check out Handwritten Girl on Wednesday 12th November to read an interview with the author.

''It Must Have Been The Mistletoe Book Tour

Carole Matthews Reveals New Christmas Book – The Christmas Party

The Christmas PartyI just finished Carole Matthews’ latest book ‘A Place To Call Home’a couple of months ago and she has already revealed the cover to her Christmas book, ‘The Christmas Party’

The story of ‘The Christmas Party’ is –

Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself . . .

A festive and intriguing festive book with a twist and with a beautifully illustrated cover, ‘The Christmas Party’ sounds like another literary treat from the ‘Sunday Times; bestselling author.

You can pre-order The Christmas Party from Amazonand will be available to buy from good booshops from 23rd October 2014.

Calling Mrs Christmas By Carole Matthews

Calling Mrs Christmas‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ is the latest Christmas book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Carole Matthews.

Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She’s soon in huge demand and Cassie’s business ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ is born.

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie’s help and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner, Jim to handle the rest of her clients. When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn’t go but suddenly Cassie herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life.

I loved ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ I thought it was the perfect festive story, packed with loveable characters and filled with the season of goodwill, it was hard to come away from this book without being filled with warmth.

Cassie, the lead character of the story, was a wonderfully warm character who initially set up ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ to help her out with her unemployment rut, but soon discovered a love for the season and enjoyed making others happy.

Throughout her time with her new busy business, Cassie meets an array of characters, in the form of her customers, from the sweet and lonely Mrs Ledbury, to sexy businessman Carter Randall and his two adorable children Eve and Max. Whilst working alongside Carter, Cassie gets a taste of the finer things in life and does wonder if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.

Even though the book is primarily seen through the eyes of Cassie, there are chapters where life is seen from Jim’s perspective. Jim works as an warden in a young defender’s institute, a gentle and kind man, he forms a special relationship with two teenage boys, Kieran and Andrew. Jim looks out for the young boys, providing not only a father figure but a shoulder when things get particularly tough for the two sensitive souls whilst supporting Cassie with her demanding job. I thought Jim was gentleman of a character and almost envied Cassie’s fortunate at finding him.

A warmhearted and wittily written story from the very start, ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’ tells the importance of family, helping those less well off at this special time of the year and is most definitely Carole Matthews at her very finest.

You can buy Calling Mrs Christmas on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Scarlett Bailey’s New Book – Just For Christmas

Just For ChristmasIt’s lovely to reveal that one of my favourite authors, Scarlett Bailey has another Christmas book lined up for 2013 called ‘Just For Christmas’ and it sounds like another wonderful seasonal treat.

The story of ‘Just For Christmas’ is –

Her best friend’s wedding…

When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another girl, all she wants is to be alone – and as far away from Edinburgh as possible.

Moving to a Cornish cottage, which comes complete with the world’s scruffiest dog, Alex finds that her new neighbours are determined to involve her in their madcap Christmas festivities.

Then she meets her sexy neighbour Ruan – and somehow Alex doesn’t want to be alone this Christmas after all.

But having lost one fiancé, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again…

With a beautifully and sweetly illustrated cover, this book sounds like the perfect companion to a glass of mulled wine.

You can pre-order Just For Christmas from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th November 2013.