Friday, 13 December 2013

Just for Christmas- Scarlett Bailey *Review, author guest post and giveaway!*

I am absolutely delighted that Scarlett Bailey agreed to write a small guest piece for the Advent-ures in Fiction event, especially as I have been a huge fan of all Scarlett's books to date.  Just for Christmas was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year (no pressure there then, Scarlett!) and I adore the warm characters and quick quips that are part of the author's style. 

You can see my review and Scarlett's piece below, plus there is the opportunity to win a signed copy of Just For Christmas.

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 fiancée, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again...
Just for Christmas has the perfect winter cover.  I am a bit of a magpie and anything that glitters grabs my attention and makes me go 'oooooooh!', so the twinkly cover appealed to me from the get-go. 
I'm also a sucker for books about animals, and Alex, the protagonist in Just for Christmas finds herself lumbered with a mad, scruffy dog called Buoy.  I warmed to both characters immediately, they were both vibrant, full of personality and desperately in need of love.  Infact the characters are the biggest success in this story.  I felt like I knew them all, from Ruan, the slightly aloof boatman to Lucy, the barmaid with a hidden past, and I cared for them too.
Village life in Cornwall was also beautifully portrayed.  Images of warm, bustling pubs where everyone knows everyone else, a strong community spirit and the importance of festive traditions being upheld made me want to be resident in Poldore myself. 
There were elements of the plot that moved unrealistically fast, but I really didn't mind that at all-sometimes life does move crazily fast and situations change overnight, and even if they didn't I wouldn't care because one of the great benefits of fiction is that anything goes!
If you have enjoyed Scarlett Bailey's other books, or are a fan of Amy Silver, Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes, I am sure you'll love this heart-warming story.  As well as Christmas fun and froth it touches on the importance of  family, friendship, acceptance and community-something we all need more of at Christmas.
Just for Christmas is out now, published by ebury.

With kind thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this in return for an honest review.

If you would like to enter to win a signed copy of Just for Christmas, please enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scarlett very kindly offered to write a short piece about what Christmas means to her...

I love Christmas so much. But there was a time when I didn't love it at all. Obviously when I was a little girl it was all about the excitement, closing my eyes and waiting for Santa, determined to stay awake and finally catch him in the act, although it never worked out that way. (Any one who's read my short novel 'Santa Maybe' will know that Santa is far to clever to get caught out) But then when I was about twelve my parents split up, and I took it really hard, especially at Christmas. Once when there had been a table, crowded with family, and lots of parties to go to, and trips up and down the country to visit relatives, now there was just me, my mum and my brother. And Christmas became a sort of sad and disjointed time for me, when all I could think about was what was missing, and I thought that I would never recapture that magic that I had once believed in so much. 

Then, many years later I found it again, sort of by accident. It was on the day I realised that the magic isn't about the perfect family sitting around a table, and its not about who isn't there. Its about the people who are there with you, and the people that matter. Its about the family that you have made for yourself. So one Christmas a few years ago, I looked around at the people who mean a lot to me, and who I mean a lot to, and I thought there are no gaps at my table anymore. I still have my mum and my brother, but now I have a wonderful husband, incredible children and amazing friends. And when I look at the bright and shining eyes of my children on Christmas Eve I know that the magic is still there, its still real and I believe. 

Scarlett Bailey has loved writing stories since childhood, before writing her first two novels The Night Before Christmas and 'Married by Christmas' she worked as a waitress, cinema usherette and bookseller. Passionate about old movies, Scarlett loves nothing more than spending a wet Sunday afternoon watching her favourite films back-to-back with large quantities of chocolate. Currently she lives in Hertfordshire with her dog and very large collection of beautiful shoes.
Her latest novel 'Just For Christmas' was published by Ebury in November 2013.

twitter @scarlettbailey 


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  2. I love Christmas stories and this sounds just my type of read. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  3. I would like to win "Just for Christmas" because I love to read Christmas stories!