Thank you, Laura, for inviting me onto your lovely blog – especially at this wonderful time of year.
I’m feeling extremely festive, which is a bit strange, given the state of affairs in the world at the moment. It’s been a horrible year all round, hasn’t it? I’ve hardly been out of the house, and I’m roughly twice the size I was last year, which is saying something, believe me.
The one good thing about 2020 for me, personally, has been the arrival of my newest grandchild. Little Freddie is a joy and a blessing and has been possibly the only redeeming thing about this entire year.
So you’d think I’d want to cancel Christmas entirely, especially since I won’t be seeing any of my children or my grandchildren, and the husband is working on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, and Boxing Day (although at least he’s working from home so it’s not too bad).
But strangely, I’m really getting into the Christmas spirit. Maybe it’s because, not being able to visit people, or go shopping, or to the cinema or pub, I’m not so busy, and a lot of the things that used to take up so much time and cause me stress are not an issue. I’ve got time to relax and enjoy the festivities, and to appreciate how lucky I am, and how much I have to be thankful for.
So yes, I’m looking forward to Christmas, and the week leading up to the big day will be lovely because I’ve decided it will! I’m finishing work on Wednesday, but I’ve already started my Christmas countdown by watching lots of Christmas films and reading Christmas books.
Christmas and books are linked forever in my mind, because when I was little, I always got books as presents. Dolls and bikes and records (records! Showing my age there…) were brilliant, but I always looked forward to the annual gift of three Enid Blyton books and an annual or two. Christmas just wouldn’t have been Christmas to me if I didn’t get books, and I was very lucky, because my parents read a lot, too, and there were always books around the house, and frequent trips to the library during the year, so they never let me down when it came to my Christmas books.
I don’t remember Christmas stories being so much of a thing back then, though. And I don’t really remember Christmas books being the big deal they are now, even a decade ago.
Nowadays, of course, the charts are packed with festive reads, and I’m not complaining. I love them! The only problem I have is finding the time to read them all. I will admit that my Kindle is absolutely stuffed with Christmas novels that I just haven’t got around to reading yet, but it never stops me buying more. I just can’t resist a festive cover and a good blurb!
The first Christmas book I read this year was You Make it Feel Like Christmas by Louise Marley, and I absolutely loved it. I should say, though, that I haven’t read nearly as many as I should. Maybe it’s because I’ve been too busy writing them!
I’ve got eight Christmas books out at the moment, with another two planned for next year. I know! Told you I love them…
You can find all my Christmas books (and the rest of my books) on my page here.
In the meantime, here – in no particular order – are my favourite Christmas reads. Please bear in mind that there are hundreds that I haven’t got around to yet! And I haven’t included Louise’s because I’ve already mentioned it, and that gave me an extra space! (Haha, I know, I cheated a bit there.)
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. For me, it’s unbeatable. I absolutely love it, and I read it every year.
- Deck the Halls by Emily Harvale. Such a fun story about love and family and a crumbling stately home.
- One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot. I absolutely adored this festive trip to New York. Highly recommended!
- A Country Christmas by Veronica Henry. Previously published as Honeycote. I love Veronica Henry’s books, and this is one of my favourites.
- A Christmas Kiss by Eliza J Scott. The fourth in the Life on the Moors series, but the first I read, and I was instantly transported to one of my favourite locations. Lots of snow, a gorgeous Labrador, and a sizzling romance!
- A Christmas Secret by Anne Perry. Something a bit different – a Victorian Christmas mystery. I read it years ago, and I still remember how much I enjoyed it.
- A Song for St Nicholas by Jo Bartlett. Jo’s written quite a few Christmas stories, but this one is possibly my favourite. A return to the beautiful coastal village of St Nicholas Bay, and the story of a Christmas choir.
- Starry Skies Over the Chocolate Pot Cafe by Jessica Redland. A poignant, yet still festive novel. A return to Whitsborough Bay, where we meet Tara and her giant house rabbit, Hercules. What more could you want?
- Christmas Kisses at Hollywell Hill by Jackie Ladbury. A fun, lively read that will make you very hungry indeed! No one describes food better than Jackie Ladbury!
- The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. Not exactly a feelgood story, but it’s a magical and humbling read. I remember reading it when I was a little girl and sobbing my heart out. It is extremely sad, but it’s also quite beautiful.
There are so many of my favourites that I’ve had to leave out. I could go on for pages, but I don’t think Emma would be very impressed with me if I did.
Are you getting any books for Christmas? I’ve put some on my wish list, so we’ll just have to see if Father Christmas thinks I’ve behaved myself this year.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and that you find the time to enjoy some festive reads of your own. Happy reading!
Sharon’s latest book, Christmas with Cary, is out now. You can buy it here.
You never forget your first love.
Molly’s spent every Christmas she can remember surrounded by her family. But this year is different. This year, Molly’s all alone in a strange town. She’s left her family behind, and she’s not sure where she can call home any longer.
All Molly has with her are a few clothes in a suitcase, and a collection of her old friend’s Cary Grant films. Except, there’s one more thing she’s brought along – the whole reason for her Christmas visit.
In her possession is a small, crumpled piece of paper, and on it is written the address of the love of her life.
Molly and Cary have had many chances over the years, but somehow life kept getting in the way and they always ended up apart once more. Yet Molly has never forgotten the first man she gave her heart to, and now she has one last chance to win him back.
But will Cary welcome her home, or will he tell her what she dreads to hear – that they’ve had their chance, and it’s all too late. That’s if she can even find him…
A cosy, festive story about hope, forgiveness, and never giving up on love – however long it takes.
Sharon Booth writes uplifting women’s fiction – love, laughter, and happy ever after. Happy endings are guaranteed for her main characters, though she likes to make them work for it.
Sharon is a member of the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and an Authorpreneur member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.
She loves Yorkshire Tea, Doctor Who, and Cary Grant movies – not necessarily in that order.
Sharon grew up in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and the Yorkshire coast and countryside feature strongly in her novels.
Her stories are set in pretty villages and quirky market towns, by the sea or in the countryside, and feature lots of humour, romance and friendship. If you love gorgeous, kind heroes, and heroines who have far more important things on their minds than buying shoes, you’ll love her books.
Sharon now has a readers’ group on Facebook where readers of her books are very welcome to chat to her and to each other! To find out more visit her website at https://www.sharonboothwriter.com where you can also subscribe to her newsletter and find out more about her novels.