Title: All I Want for Christmas

Author: Claudia Carroll

Pages: 21 Pages

The Blurb

Dreams come true on Christmas day … don’t they?

It’s three days until Lucy and Andrew’s perfect winter wedding. Over Christmas dinner the two families will meet for the first time.
What could possibly go wrong?!

Jo has planned her first Christmas as a married woman with military precision. But it seems her new husband Dave has gone missing …

Strict vegans Dawn and Kirk slave away over a unique Christmas feast, but Dawn’s mum doesn’t like mung beans. And she certainly doesn’t like Kirk …

Will these couples survive the Christmas madness and get the day they dreamed of?

The Review

What a disappointing short story!

All I Want for Christmas focuses on the lives of three couples and the problems that face modern love. So far so good, right? However, the stories are never fully developed. We have no idea what happens to these characters; if I am honest we don’t really have time enough to fall in love with them either. Yet, we are left with a very ambiguous ending that destroys any possible Christmas cheer.

I don’t really know what else to say about All I Want for Christmas. I am just very disappointed.

All I Want for Christmas by Claudia Carroll is available now.

Follow Claudia Carroll (@carrollclaudia) on Twitter.

Snowflakes on Silver CoveThe Blurb

Come and spend a picture perfect romantic Christmas at White Cliff Bay

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay. You won’t want to leave! Christmas at Lilac Cottage is also out now.

The Review

Last week on LisaTalksAbout I reviewed Holly Martin’s Christmas at Lilac Cottage and was blown away; I haven’t stopped recommending it since. This week I picked up the next book in the series Snowflakes on Silver Cove and I was convinced that I wasn’t going to love it as much as I loved Christmas at Lilac Cottage. Boy, was I wrong. If anything, I loved Snowflakes on Silver Cove more.

The story focuses on the friendship between Libby and George, neighbours by chance but friends by mutual respect and affection. Libby isn’t one to settle down in one place. She lives a rather nomadic existence. Travelling to come up with new locations for the romance novels that she writes; however, George is a bit of a home bird and because he has been desperately in love with Libby since she moved in, he is hoping that this will be the time that she settles down and puts down some roots.

Libby is one of those lovely, selfless characters who you can’t help but love and George is just so gorgeously hapless and this book did have me screaming “kiss him/her you fool” because you genuinely yearn for them to fall in love. This has got to be Holly Martin’s superpower. She makes you ache for her protagonists.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is a joyous read filled with mixed messages and almost Shakespearean misunderstanding. It is funny, heart-warming and a perfect antidote for anyone who is not yet feeling in the Christmas spirit.

In all honesty, I think I have found one of my new favourite authors.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin is available now.

Follow Holly Martin (@hollymartin00) on Twitter.

Christmas at Lilac CottageThe Blurb

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realise there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down.

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year. Snowflakes on Silver Cove coming very soon.

The Review

Hello, my name is Lisa and I am a card carrying brand new member of the Holly Martin Fanclub.

Ok, I don’t think such a thing exists but if it did then I would be there with Christmas bells on. I have just finished Christmas at Lilac Cottage and I can honestly say that it was one of the warmest, richest and funniest stories that I have read this year.

I was really happy to find an author whose book I connected with so quickly; even though I have never read a book by Holly Martin before, I do have a growing backlog of books that does include many of her titles. Hurray for me and my future reading!

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a story about Penny, she is in her late twenties, single and if she is really honest, she is a little bit lonely. She hasn’t had a relationship in years; all her friends are married and having babies but Penny keeps telling herself that she likes things this way; that she is happy.

Enter Henry and his sixteen year old daughter, Daisy. They have rented the annexe to Penny’s home and whilst Penny is just hoping for some company and friendship she gets a whole lot more.

What is truly lovely about Christmas at Lilac Cottage is the sheer unpretentiousness of the writing. Holly Martin shows you just how quickly love happens, just how magical romance can be and she makes you fall completely for her characters. This book is chock full of glee and happiness and joy. It is exactly what a Christmas book should be and a whole lot more. What is even more exciting is that now that I have finished Christmas at Lilac Cottage I can dive right into the second book in the White Cliff Bay SeriesSnowflakes On Silver Cove – Huzzah!

In all seriousness, if you only buy one Christmas book this winter – make it Christmas at Lilac Cottage.

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin is available now.

Follow Holly Martin (@hollymartin00) on Twitter.

A Christmas Horror StoryThe Blurb

On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house…

Forget the jolly old man in his red, big-buttoned suit. Because another creature is up on the roof preparing for his annual visit to little children everywhere.

With a belt of knives round his waist, a writhing bag on his back and a Santa-sized appetite, he’s a little…different to the St Nick you might be expecting.

And you can leave out all the carrots and mince pies you like…but it’s you he’s after.

A horrid Christmas to all and a terrible night.

Every white Christmas has a dark side. Don’t miss A Christmas Horror Story, the gruesomely festive new story from Sebastian Gregory.

The Review

Having read quite a few Christmas books over the past few weeks I will admit I was feeling a bit of a seasonal overload so it was refreshing to read a Christmas story with a difference.

Sebastian Gregory’s creepy Christmas tale features a family of three children who have faced the horror of losing a parent and now they have to battle evil on Christmas Eve when the Kinderfasser comes to try and eat their bones.

I swear this is a Christmas story!

A Christmas Horror Story is truly creepy and blends folklore with just honest to goodness sinister and spine-chilling story telling.

This is definitely a book that will break up the saccharine nature of the candy cane coated overload of Christmas books.

A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory is available now.

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe KissesThe Blurb

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas…and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take a chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

The Review

Meet Abbey. A wannabe interior decorator that has too much on her plate to pursue her dream; she has a young son, a mother on crutches and a granddad suffering with Parkinson ’s disease. However, when an opportunity to redecorate a massive mansion presents itself, Abbey can’t turn down the job. Little does she know that this job will change her life forever.

In a well known rags-to-riches Cinderella type tale, Jenny Hale whisks you into a frenzy with her wonderful new Christmas story. Hale executes the character of Abbey so perfectly that you instantly feel empathetic towards her and her situation. Strangely, you do not feel sorry for her because you feel that she (yes, Abbey, the fictional character) would not like that. Essentially, what Hale manages to do with her characters is make them so lifelike that you start to believe that they are real.

The story is a lovely tale to read and the burgeoning love story between Abbey and Nick is brilliant to watch develop. Frustratingly, whilst romance blossoms all through the book we have an ending that leaves us wanting more. Hopefully Jenny Hale will grace us with maybe stories of other characters in the novel that will allow us to return to Abbey and Nick and let us know how things are getting on for them. I’d like that.

This is a book that ticks all the right boxes for a Christmas story. It has love, festive cheer and gives you a good dose of the warm and fuzzies.

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale.

Follow Jenny Hale (@jhaleauthor) on Twitter.