The tree is up and decorated, Christmas lights have taken over my house and the Christmas novels and mugs have come out.
As my favourite time of year approaches, I, like everyone else am Christmas shopping. I want to continue my tradition of doing a ‘book lovers’ gift guide (a writing themed one will come later in the week.)
If you’re still looking for a gift for the bookworm in your life, I hope the suggestions below may prove to be the perfect present.
First of all, for anyone you know (or for yourself as it is Christmas gift buying law that you should buy a present for yourself,) that is a fan of Twilight. It’s been ten years since the first film was released and to mark this occasion, a 11 DVD box set has been released (or 6 discs if you prefer Bluray.)
The Twilight Complete Collection 10th Anniversary Special edition includes the four movies and their bonus content. It also includes an additional three hours of bonus content including ‘Twilight Tour: Ten years on’ which is a tour around the filming locations with a cast member. As well as this, there are cast interviews, a red carpet feature and a talk with Stephanie Meyer.
It is the perfect Christmas present for any Twilight fan.
(The Twilight Complete Collection 10th Anniversary Special edition is out now on DVD and Bluray.)
I had a chance to briefly visit the British Library recently. Having never been before, I absolutely fell in love with the building. Having a look at their shop online, they have many things that would make perfect gifts for readers.
One thing I did pick up on my visit was The Christmas Card Crime. It is a collection of stories that explores the darker side of the festive season (I love this cover too.)
Other products include homeware and stationery. Letters To My Future Self caught my eye. This is a great idea and would make a lovely stocking filler.by
A few minutes of courage might change your life…
Emotionally, Tara Porter finds the festive period a challenge. Christmas Day is a reminder of the family she lost, and New Year’s Eve holds bitter memories of the biggest mistake of her life: marrying Garth Tewkesbury. Shunning invitations to celebrate, she seeks refuge in her flat with only her giant house bunny, Hercules, for company.
Professionally, though, it’s the best time of year. Tara’s thriving café, The Chocolate Pot, is always packed. With the café hosting a wedding and engagement party, it’s shaping up to be the café’s best Christmas ever.
When former nemesis, Jed Ferguson, threatens the future of The Chocolate Pot, Tara prepares for a fight. The café is everything to her and she’s not going to let anyone or anything jeopardise that.
Tara badly misjudged ex-husband Garth and, since then, has refused to let anyone in. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. But has she misjudged Jed too? Is it possible that he’s not the arrogant, deceitful man from whom she bought the café 14 years earlier? Can she find the courage to find out for sure?
Tara runs a successful café and has done for the last fourteen years. However, she lives quite an isolated existence preferring to spend time alone with her house bunny, Hercules rather than socialising. She also has a complicated history surrounding her family and secrets she has preferred to keep hidden from people, even those she would call her friends.
These past events have caused her to be guarded but can she find the courage she needs to move on?
First… oh my, this book cover. I am totally in love. Immediately, before I’ve even started to read, I am in this Yorkshire town surrounded by snow and Christmas. With my husband being from Yorkshire, it brings back some lovely memories.
Tara is a wonderfully complex main character but she felt very real to me. I found her extremely relatable.by
I’m glad I found you this Christmas – an uplifting sweet romance set against the magical backdrop of Christmas.
Maggie Coates is frustrated. Her longterm boyfriend, Dirk, recently moved to London to take a job she fears puts him out of her league. Despite the assurances of her best friend Renee, Maggie is convinced Dirk is slowly drifting away. All Maggie wants is to get married and settle down, but maybe Dirk has other ideas.
Convinced by Renee to make one last throw of the dice, Maggie books a romantic holiday for two in the quaint Scottish village of Hollydell. But will Dirk show up?
And if he doesn’t, what if there is a perfect man waiting for her among the Christmas magic of Hollydell’s snow-laden streets? What if Henry, the humble reindeer farmer with the kind smile, turns out to be the man of Maggie’s dreams?
I’m glad I found you this Christmas is a glowing sweet romance which will leave you feeling warm inside and buzzing with Christmas spirit.
I am very pleased to welcome the blog tour for the first Christmas novel by CP Ward. He has shared an extract from I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas today. Enjoy.
***** start of extract*****
In this excerpt, Maggie has just arrived in Hollydell.
The tall pines, some hung with strings of Christmas lights, were a polite distance back from the road to allay any fears of wolves or bears, just in case she wasn’t still in Scotland after all, but during her little doze the train had somehow flown all the way to Switzerland or Canada and deposited her somewhere with lots of extra dangers to worry about. The road curved through the trees, refusing to let her see too far ahead, but while there were no signs of cars, someone had at least cleared a line through the snow on the pavement to allow the wheels of her little bag to move freely. She was glad now that she had brought her new boots and jacket, because among the trees the temperature was a couple of degrees cooler than out in the open.
She was starting to wonder if the curving road wasn’t some sort of elaborate joke, winding back to the train station where Andrew would be waiting to take her back to Inverness with a mocking grin on his face, when it suddenly opened out, revealing the village up ahead.by
Hi Emily. Thank you for joining me today. Can you tell me a little about your novel, Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row (I love this title) and what inspired it?
It’s lovely to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
I’m so pleased you love the title. The wonderful members of my Facebook group helped me choose it. There were three options and this was the most popular.
The idea of Bells and Bows came to me as I was staring at one of the churches I can see from my office. The bells were ringing because it was a Sunday morning. I love listening to church bells, so my mind was drifting as it so often does. Juliet Bell and Harrison Bow popped up in front of me and introduced themselves. I loved the fact that their names had a Christmas ring to them (excuse the pun) and because they both had siblings, Bells and Bows was born.
I firmly believe in love at first sight. I also believe a person can love another their whole life, even if they’re not actually together. I can tell you many true stories relating to both!
Anyway, because I adore Christmas, and because of their names, I decided to put all those things together and see where it went. Both main families in this book need to learn to discuss issues and to open up about their feelings.
They believe in ‘a stiff upper lip’ and tend not to talk to one another about anything meaningful. This Christmas, that’s all about to change.
One of the secondary characters is based on a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us, and he is the cause of a few misunderstandings in the novel.
From planning to edit, what’s your writing process like and how has it changed since the first book?
I don’t plan. I never have. I get an idea and I sit down and write whatever comes into my head, or whatever appears in front of me.
I often say that the story unfolds before my eyes and I simply type what I’m seeing. I write a very quick first draft and make notes about the characters, settings etc. along the way.
Then I leave it for a few days or so, do any research that’s necessary, and then write the second draft. I write as many drafts as it takes before I feel happy with the book. After that, it goes to my editor.
Any changes or suggestions she has, are discussed and if I need to rewrite anything, I do.
Which Christmas tradition is your favourite?
That’s a difficult question because I love them all. Preparing the Christmas cake and all having a stir of the mixture and making a wish is one I’ve loved all my life. Opening one present on Christmas Eve, is another.
Finding a Yule log, bringing it home and burning it is one I can’t do at the moment because I no longer have a real fire. I miss that.
I need to move home before next year. I want a real fire again. Buying about two hundred more Christmas cards than I’ll ever need – and then doing exactly the same every year. (I’ve got boxes and boxes of cards…but I’ve already bought more this year!) Hanging wreaths on the doors, front and back.
Putting up the Christmas decorations in November. Going to a carol concert. Christmas crackers. Making mulled wine and eggnog.
Not together in the same pot, obviously. Hohoho! Setting the Christmas pud alight. Baking mince pies. Playing Christmas songs from October onwards. Yes, honestly. Ask my friends. It drives them nuts.
Ooh nuts! Spending hours trying to crack a brazil nut open and nearly losing an eye, or breaking several ornaments in the process. That’s a tradition not to be missed! Sorry. You only wanted one thing, didn’t you?by
It is Christmas time, and the school has been getting ready to perform their Nativity play.
With lines learnt and songs to be sung, it is time for the dress rehearsal. The teacher knows there might be a few problems to sort out, but at least they will know what to improve on or change along the way.
The Christmas Play Rehearsal is a picture book that focuses on a class of primary School children as they prepare for their Christmas Nativity play.
This book brought back so many memories of the Nativity plays I took part in when I was in first school. (I love this time of year. I was an angel.)
Sue has captured the process perfectly – how the prep and build up can be challenging but just as much fun as the main event.
This story is so much fun and I think it is a perfect book to share with your child whether they are currently taking part in a nativity or not.
It’s also good for little ones too I think as the illustrations are very colourful and beautiful. They capture the fun element perfectly.by
It’s London in the mid-noughties before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.
Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At twenty-eight she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.
Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness. Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.
One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.
First thing I want to mention is the amazing cover on this novel. At first glance, it seems simple and beautiful but there are so many layers to it. Look at it long enough and you’ll see what I mean.
One? primarily follows Penelope and Zara as they navigate themselves through 90’s London joined by a few people along the way.
The characters have unique voices. All have their own personal goals, triumphs and struggles. They are all developed well as is the plot. I was desperate to know what would become of them all.
I could identify so much with these two ladies especially. I found myself moving to London in my early twenties having never been away from home before so Zara’s feeling seemed partially familiar. The overwhelming feeling of being alone in a big city.by
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Caro has spent most of her adult life trying to escape her childhood and her step mother.
When a death brings her back to the house that holds so many unhappy memories, she begrudgingly comes back.
The welcome she gets from most of the village isn’t warm. There is something that every one is holding back. Things at the house are even stranger.
Cuckoo is the kind of thriller I love! I devoured it quickly wanting to know what happens.
The pace and style of writing is great. There is a gothic theme to it. The atmosphere that is created is wonderful.
I ended up second guessing myself a lot. I thought I had it sussed but then something would happen and I’d quickly settle on something else. It wouldn’t be long until that changed again. It seriously kept my interest all the way through.
At the beginning, I knew something wasn’t right. I couldn’t figure out if it was the house, the village and its inhabitants, the house or the nature of the death of her step mother. Nothing is as it seems.by
Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive.
As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years.
But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times?
Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.
The cover of this novel is so beautiful and I love the title.
Engella has been running from the hunters for so long, she’s started to lose track of time.
She knows she can’t hide forever. Just when she thinks she’s been caught, she gets help from an unexpected source.
This is the first book in the Chronicles of Engella Rhys series. As it is the first one, there is a lot of scene setting as well as world and character building. However, I didn’t feel like this slowed the pace of the plot down. From the beginning, I was obsessed with reading this novel.
Engella is many things. She’s mysterious, fierce, vulnerable and strong. There is more to her than we see I am sure. All of the characters seem strong actually.
I very much got immersed into this world of time travel, sci-fi and mystery.by
You hate school. Your family is beyond annoying. Your only friend comes from a different planet, and she’s about to leave.
What’s a girl to do?
Fed up with life on Earth, Esme stows away on the spaceship taking Stella back to Planet Kratos.
So begins Esme’s adventure into a world beyond the stars. A world of strange creatures, thrilling journeys, heroic rescues and instant fame.
Oh, and school. Lots of school.
Along the way she discovers that friends may be greener on the other side, but they still can’t be trusted.
Millions and billions of light years away from Earth, she sets in motion a plan to escape. Unfortunately for her, they aren’t about to let their prize exhibit leave anytime soon…
Esme doesn’t feel like she belongs either at home with her family or at school. Her only friend, Stella comes from another planet and she is about to leave.
So Esme finds herself stowing away on a spaceship back to Stella’s home planet and is not quite prepared for what awaits her.
This book is a series of letters from the main character to her mother back on earth (they have some brilliant sign offs.)
This book is marketed for the younger reader. I am in my thirties and I loved it. I feel as though it is a story for all ages.by
I can’t believe we’re on the last book club for 2018.
If course, it has to be a Christmas themed book.
As it’s December, I’ve chosen Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
For people who know your Christmas movies, this is the book Christmas With The Kranks is based on.
This is one of my favourite films and I have been meaning to read this for a while.
Anyone can take part in our book club and from the comfort of your sofa.
As normal, I’ve posted a question below to get things going.
About Skipping Christmas…
Imagine a year without Christmas.
No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether.
Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.
Hello Pernille, thank you so much for joining me on Novel Kicks today. Your book is called Him With The Beard. Can you tell me a little about it?
Hi Laura, I´m so glad you would have me!
In Him With The Beard, we follow a little family whose life is turned upside down when the daughter Mille stops believing in Santa. We read the story from the mother´s, Stella, perspective.
It’s a sweet Christmas story about family, Santa Claus and the big question whether it’s possible to find a way back to the joy of Christmas when you discover that Santa isn’t who you thought.
What is your writing process like from planning to editing?
I always begin with a vague idea, often a funny scene, and work with the idea in my head for some while, before I begin writing it down on paper. I love the process of getting all the small pieces in the puzzle to fit.
And then I begin writing, writing, writing and writing. I´m one of those unwise people that edit and write at the same time, but I just know when something doesn’t work, and I would rather change it when I know what I can do differently than forgetting it and try to change it later.
From then on it’s off to beta readers and the editor and I do changes based on what they find. I´m not perfect, so I love getting feedback that can help me get my story better across to readers.
Is there a certain place you like to write and are there certain things you need like coffee/tea/music/silence?
I´m pretty easy to please. I just need my computer to write 🙂
I always write late at night or very early in the morning when it’s quiet. I´m also pretty tired at this point so it’s like writing drunk which can be a good thing because then my inner critic has gone to bed. Ha!
What elements do you feel need to be present in a novel?
I really like when a book has humour and a twinkle in the eye because I feel like the book becomes your friend and you share all these inside jokes that no one else understands (Even if the author wrote them like that).
I often wonder what kind of relationship other readers have with my favourite books, and now also what my book will give people.
What’s your favourite word and why?
I love this question! And I don´t know!
I´m such kind of person that often stops up to repeat a word because it sounds funny or delicious in the way it leave my lips.
I´m a Dane so the word “Hygge” is a word I use at least ten times a day. At least!
English words I like is: Dazzle, giggle or the hilarious Flabbergasted. I feel like I have to do the flabbergasted face to say this word!
Is there a fictional character you’d like to meet? What would you both do?
I´m thinking I would have a lovely day with Lily from Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon. Just walking around in an Australian conservation park, and say hello to kangaroos, wombats and koalas (NO SPIDERS PLEASE) and then have lunch in the shade of a big eucalyptus tree. If I’m lucky I might even get the chance to say hello to Lily´s sexy husband Ben.
Hi Julie. Thank you so much for joining me today. Your new novel is called A Village Affair. Can you tell me about it and what inspired it?
Hi, and thank you so much for having me on your blog today. It’s much appreciated.
As writers, we’re always advised to write about what we know and “AVillage Affair”began its life under the guise of ‘Not in My backyard’ influenced, very much, by a real-life fight in my village where acres of fields and greenbelt land were in danger of having hundreds, if not thousands, of houses built upon them. As the main focus of the plot moved and centred upon the village school, the novel took on the handle “Little Acorns” and many of the school incidents are based on real happenings in the primary schools I have taught in over the years. Eventually Aria came up with the title “A Village Affair”which I love and which, I think, encompasses the different strands of the book.
What’s your writing process like (idea, research etc.) How do you approach editing?
At the start of a new idea/novel I sit at my desk with a brand-new exercise book. I like my novels to be very much character-based and so I come up with characters’ names, write what they look like and actually give them a family tree. This is important as I’m mainly writing about the characters in one town and one village and so I have to make sure they’re not too related to each other, especially if they’re going to end up together!! With “Holly Close Farm”,as nearly half of it is set during WW2, I did a huge amount of research about the WAAFs and Bomber Command. I really enjoyed this bit and it was quite hard work leaving the reading to actually write. I love editing. I must be the only writer who enjoys this bit. I love going back over what I’ve written, tweaking and adding and crossing out. In my early days as a writer I would write one chapter and then edit it to death the next day because I was so proud that I’d actually written another chapter. Now, with deadlines, I tend to just write and edit at the end. Editing means I’ve finished, which is always wonderful.
What’s your typical writing day like? Do you have a place to write? Cup of coffee? Write in silence?
I’m a lark: I’m much better writing at 6am than later in the day. I had the most beautiful writing room at one end of the house but my husband is now working from home and has commandeered it for his office. I’m in a cupboard – not literally, but it feels like it after the lovely office with views down the valley. I actually quite like my cupboard: it’s jampacked with books, piles of papers, computer and, usually, the dog. I write, plan for school if I’m teaching a couple of days and do some private tuition in there. It does tend to get a bit cosy. One day, I’ll have my office back!
I need silence, tons of coffee (morning) and Earl Grey tea (afternoon).
So, basically, if it’s a writing day, I’ll get up early, have a mug of hot water and lemon (my mum always did and I’ve done this for the past 30 years) answer emails, decide whether it’s a swim or a run, shower, have breakfast and read the paper about eleven and then really get stuck in. If I can write 2-3000 words a day I’m more than happy.
What’s the most challenging thing with writing a novel?
The start of any new novel. By the end of a novel I love my characters so much I can’t bear to leave them and start again. I feel very disloyal to my old friends and it takes a while to love the new ones.
How do you pick names for your characters?
Probably with names I wanted to call my own children but for which my husband didn’t share the same enthusiasm. So India, Clementine, Kit, Theadora and Fin were born! My daughter, Georgia, is really cross I didn’t stick to my guns and call her Theadora – shortened to Teddy – that Harriet names one of her twins.
In my “Work in Progress“(Book 7 and desperate for inspiration for an actual title) it’s been easy to come up with names because I have Patrick, the father – a bit of a lothario – who is a Cambridge educated Classics professor and gives all his four daughters names from Greek literature. I’ve ended up with Isolde, Pandora, Juno and Lexia.
What elements make up a good novel?
When I read, I want a thumping good story. I want to know what happens next. I want to want to go to bed read to know what’s going to happen. I do like humour in a novel. It doesn’t have to be overtly laugh out loud. I think Liane Moriarty and Kate Atkinson are both superb writers, not only at weaving good stories but at having the ability to include some quite subtle humour. I aspire to both these wonderful novelists!!by
Charlie hates the holidays, and this year is shaping up to be her worst yuletide ever.
Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her flat is out of bounds after a gas leak, and her mother has gone to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her fifth husband.
Finding herself single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie hesitantly agrees to dust off her wellies and spend the festive season in Devon, looking after Cosy Canine Cottages, her cousin Jez’s dog-care centre.
However, her plans for a quiet rural Christmas with only the four-legged friends for company are dashed as soon as she meets Malcolm the deaf Great Dane, Hugo, his gorgeous (but engaged) owner, and Cal, the undeniably attractive but unbearably haughty and patronising local vet.
I am very happy to be kicking off the blog tour for Not Just For Christmas, the new novel by Natalie Cox which is due to be released in paperback on 29th November by Orion.
Not Just For Christmas focuses on Charlie. Having just become single, she then has to move out of her flat when it gets damaged in a gas leak. Her mother is in Melbourne, her father in Russia, Charlie has no choice but to go and spend Christmas in Devon with her cousin, Jez. She soon finds herself alone though running Cosy Canine Cottages.
The setting for this novel drew me in to begin with. I love to visit Devon and this brought back memories of lovely holidays I have spent there and the friendliness of the residents.by
Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.
But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?
This book is part of the Christmas Wishes series but it is also perfect as a standalone.
Gabby is used to being disappointed and let down so she has built up a few walls around her. Instead of celebrating the season, she goes as far away as she can from the festivity. I empathise with her.
Gabby is an interesting character. She has a confidence to her but she’s also vulnerable when you dig deep enough. I wanted it to work out. Whether it’s with Owen or not, I am not going to tell. I actually warmed to Gabby a lot quicker than I did to Owen. I could tell that there were reasons she was so guarded and the more you get to know what happened to her, the more I just wanted to reach in and give her a hug.by
It’s Friday and we have a treat today. A lovely big hello to Nicola Avery and the blog tour for her new novel, Within The Silence.
Jon Stone is a revered psychiatrist, doting husband, loving father. But he has many secrets.
Maddy Stone, Jon’s daughter, has her own secrets. But she can’t tell anyone.
Zara, Maddy’s stepsister and best friend, faces a race against time. Can she unearth the family’s dark secrets before a tragic history repeats itself?
Two girls: one living and lost, the other scarred and silent, must join forces to prevent the unspeakable…
I have reviewed the book below but first, Nicola has shared an extract.
***** start of extract*****
‘You’ve been swimming already!’ Pippa scolded.
‘Less of the attitude, missy,’ said Zara, unwrapping her towel just enough to envelop her wriggling, laughing sister.
‘Can we go swimming now?’ Pippa asked, her smiling face lifted towards her sister’s.
‘You can come in with me in a minute,’ answered Zara, acknowledging Jon’s presence on the pool terrace.
‘Morning, Zara,’ Jon said, moving towards her and kissing her on the cheek. ‘Did you sleep well? And where’s Gareth?’
Zara smiled. ‘Last time I looked he was flat on his back, catching flies and snoring loudly.’
‘Some of us don’t have such luck, do we?’ said Jon, pointedly looking at Pippa, who bounced off across the grass towards the pathway leading down to the beach.
‘Have you seen Maddy?’ called Pippa, looking out at the Phoenix.
‘No, I haven’t seen her yet,’ replied Zara, watching Pippa’s shoulders drop in disappointment. ‘Are you sure she’s not still asleep?’
‘Nope,’ said Pippa, returning to the patio. ‘Her bed’s made up, so she must be down on the beach or on her boat. Can I go down and get her? We’re going out to the secret beach today, and she’ll need a good breakfast. And I want to check if my stuff’s already on board.’
Zara laughed as she attempted to hold onto her excited sister. ‘Wait a moment, sweetie, you can’t go down in your PJs.’
‘Oh!’ Pippa exclaimed, laughing as she peeled off her favourite Frozen pyjamas and tossed them under the table before running to get her tiny red swimsuit which was hanging by the showers. ‘I forgot. Nearly ready,’ she shouted, wriggling into the tight costume.
‘Here, let me help you,’ Jon offered, moving towards her.
‘No thank you, Daddy. I can do it myself,’ she answered.
Zara smiled at her sister’s feisty independence – and the fact that her bathing costume straps were all twisted around one armpit. Quickly readjusting the tiny costume, Zara grinned. ‘Why don’t we leave Maddy for a bit? She could be sleeping on the beach; you know how she loves the early mornings down there. She’ll come up when she’s ready.’
‘But it’s late. We’ve got lots to do today. She told me. And I need to make sure she hasn’t forgotten our plans.’
Zara dropped to one knee, pulling Pippa towards her and kissing her on the nose. ‘It’s still early, especially after a party. I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten.’
Pippa moved away from Zara, standing perfectly still as she stared longingly out to sea. Then, turning back towards her sister, she tried again.
‘Please come with me, Zara. I can’t go down there on my own. You know Daddy’s rules …’ Pippa tilted her head in her father’s direction, then gave Zara one of her lopsided grins.by