Christmas Book Flood: Romantic Fiction for Christmas #reading #romancenovels #christmasnovels #christmasromance #writing @bethcmoran @Heidi_Swain @MaggieChriste33 @SueMoorcroft @PhillipaAshley @SarahMorgan_

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Bookmas!

I must admit the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (Christmas Book Flood) is one that really appeals to me. This is the tradition where Icelanders give and receive books on Christmas Eve and then spend what’s left of the day and into the night reading their book gifts. In the absence of that tradition here in Scotland, I treat myself to some – ok lots of – Christmas-themed romantic novels in time for the start of my own flood of Christmas reading from early December onwards.

Below (in no particular order) are the six wonderful books I’ve read so far. They’re all lovely and I thought it would be good to share the book love. The first five are set in the UK and the sixth one is set in Australia.

Let it Snow by Beth Moran

A Christmas Celebration by Heidi Swain

A White Christmas on Winter Street by Sue Moorcroft

The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley

Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Christmas in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen

Your Christmas Reading

Are you drawn to festive themed reads at this time of year? Do you re-read a classic like A Christmas Carol for example? Do you go all in and get submerged in a festive book flood or is it just a nod in the general direction? Please do share your December reading tendencies and good reads in the comments below.

My Writing in 2022

Published this year

This year saw the publication of my latest novel, Baby Steps. It’s been my most successful book so far and is available as a paperback and as an ebook. It’s a standalone contemporary romance but is linked with the Skye series. You can find out more about it on the Books page here on the website or click HERE where you’ll also find a link to buy it.

Currently Writing

The work-in-progress is, you guessed it, another contemporary romance. It has the working title of Happiness Cottage and the plan is for it to be the first of a series set in the Scottish Borders. I’m loving it so far and I’m enjoying getting to know Aidan and Lori the two main characters. Aidan’s a moody, broody Scottish farmer and Lori’s a feisty, upbeat Australian visitor. Safe to say the sparks are flying! Updates and extracts will be available in my newsletter …

Sign up for my newsletter

Go HERE to sign up for occasional emails that will always include news of my writing and life. You will also get exclusive access to occasional bonus scenes from my books, previews of the work-in-progress, along with writing challenges for you to take part in, and a chance to take part in giveaway contests. The content of these emails is much more focussed on my writing than the blog.

AND, as a thank you from me if you do sign up, you will also get the chance to download a FREE BOOK – a collection of my romantic short stories.

Merry December To You All!

Whether you celebrate the festive season or not and regardless of whether it’s winter or summer where you are, thank you for being here. Have a good end-of-year and all the best for 2023 to all my readers.

Book Review: Stella’s Christmas Wish by Kate Blackadder

Genre: Romantic Fiction

Regular readers of the blog will possibly remember I recently reviewed two previous books by Kate Blackadder. I so enjoyed those two books that when I saw there was another novel available by this author I knew I had to read it.

But even although I was fairly sure I’d enjoy a book by Kate Blackadder, I did have two reservations.

One was, as I’ve said in other posts on my reading preferences, I tend to prefer the main characters in the romance novels I read to be of the more mature variety. This book’s two main protagonists were in their twenties.

And secondly, I don’t usually like Christmas themed books as I often find them to be just too twee and tinselly.

However both reservations proved to be groundless. This book was a lovely read.

The story’s main characters Stella and Ross are young, but they are also engaging and far from naive. Their relationship has faltered and ended, but it wasn’t because either of them wanted that to happen. External circumstances, misunderstanding and a lack of communication have led to their parting. And, after more than a year apart, it is further external circumstances which will force them to confront the feelings they still have for each other.

Both Stella and Ross have problems. They’ve both suffered loss and Stella’s back story is particularly tragic. Therefore they both have depth and nuance. They’re realistic and credible. They’re also likeable. The reader empathises with them and roots for them.

There is also a strong supporting cast. There’s Ross’s grandfather and his mother. There’s Stella’s absent sister and her London colleagues. The author paints them with a light but assured touch and they all bring something to the story. But most especially there’s Stella’s grandmother and her house guest who bring further depth and colour to the narrative.

The portrayal of the setting which is partly in Edinburgh, but mainly in the Scottish Border town of Melrose, also adds to the overall quality of the novel.

The realistic and sympathetic characters, the vivid setting, and the thwarted romance all pull the reader in. And that engagement is maintained by an economic writing style that, in turn, leads to a brisk and satisfying pace. The plot comes to its resolution at Christmas but the suggestion that it’s all down to a wish made upon a decorative Christmas tree star isn’t overdone.

Indeed the Christmas whole element is subject to such a light authorial touch that it only adds to the romance.

All-in-all this is a romantic, feel good, Christmas read. So go on and indulge yourself. It’s Christmas!

Type of read: Got to be on the sofa, by the log fire and the Christmas tree, with mince pies and a glass of fizz within easy reach.

Back Cover Blurb:

Six days before Christmas, Stella must rush home to Scotland when her grandmother is taken to hospital. As she reconnects with her past, old flames are rekindled, and as Christmas fast approaches, Stella begins to wonder if her most heartfelt wish can come true?

Uprooted from her life in London and back in her childhood home of the Scottish borders, Stella is soon faced with relationships which have lain dormant for years. New opportunities present themselves, but will Stella dare to take them…

Stella’s Christmas Wish is published by Black & White Publishing and is available as an ebook.