We’ve all got those pesky hard-to-buy-for people on our Christmas lists, but it turns out the best people to buy for are fictional! In this latest blog post four of our fabulous authors positively spoil their characters with presents…
I’d buy Halley, from A Winter Beneath the Stars, a new suitcase, one that looks different from everybody else’s! But then, if she had that, she may never have gone on the journey of a lifetime! So maybe just a new travel journal, to write down all her new adventures!
I would buy a Christmas pudding costume for Dot, my lead character Annie’s six-month-old daughter in More Than a Feeling, because one of the best things about babies is that you can dress them up in ridiculous-slash-adorable costumes. Plus it would give Annie something to put on Instagram – and she really needs new material after that social media mortification in chapter 37…
As those who’ve read The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Villagewill know, Peggy desperately needs a new swimming costume. I’d dearly love to buy her one for Christmas, but after her debacle with the “Miraclesuit”, I’m apprehensive. We all know that choosing swimwear is tricky at the best of times and after her marathon shopping trip with Angie, I’m not sure I’d get Peggy anywhere near a changing room. I think I’ll play it safe and treat her to a day out at Cadbury World instead.
Can you believe that it is December already? Here at Bookends HQ, we are MORE than ready for all the joys that the Christmas season brings – including the food! Next up in our Bookends Christmas author series, we’ve asked, what is your go-to Christmas dish?
My friends and I always have a girls’ night in on Christmas Eve, where we eat one baked Camembert each. Then we feel so ill afterwards that we can’t sleep when we get home, and spend actual Christmas day sleep-deprived, sweaty, groaning and messaging one another: “We’ve got to stop doing this each year. One cheese between three is enough.” But it’s sort of an unbreakable ritual now.
Nigella’s Christmas book introduced me to an Italian liqueur called Tuaca, which she winningly describes as panettone in a glass. A splash of this mixed with Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment to Christmas brunch: it’s like the beverage equivalent of ‘Good King Wenceslas’
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Some people are truly gifted when it comes to shopping for presents. I am not. My solution is to throw money at the problem so that while the gift may be unsuitable and disliked, it will at least be expensive so I can’t be accused of being ungenerous. My mother is always a challenge because whatever good ideas I might have had were all used up years ago.
Hmmm, I think maybe my Mum. She always says she doesn’t want anything! And I always want to get her something she’d really enjoy. Usually I buy her books which I know she’ll enjoy, especially armchair travel ones.
My husband is always tricky to buy for, especially since he stopped wearing ties to work and shaved off his beard (who knew fancy beard products were a thing?). It’s the one time of the year when I wish he wasn’t such a “low maintenance man”. When I ask for ideas (we’re fairly pragmatic in our family), he reminds me that he already has more books on famous explorers than he has time to read, owns a shirt for every day of the week and the less said about that kite-surfing lesson I bought him one Christmas the better. This year I’ve decided to give my husband a voucher for dinner for two at our favourite restaurant. That way, hopefully I get to enjoy it too.
Black Friday has been and gone, and we’re in full swing curating our Christmas list. In this latest blog post, authors Erin Kelly, Holly Bourne, Jill Mansell and Beth Good tell us what book is top of their list!
The New York Times Book of the Dead, please. There’s nothing I love more than a good obituary and this is a selection of the very best. Over the years I’ve probably stolen more tiny character ideas from obituaries than from any other source. (Sorry if that’s a bit weird and unfestive. I’m a big fan of wandering around cemeteries reading the stories on gravestones too!) Happy Christmas!
Past Tense, Lee Child’s latest thriller featuring Jack Reacher, easily one of the sexiest fictional heroes around. Of course, Jack would never get tied down, so I can read and daydream without worrying about the reality!
The sweltering Australian Christmas takes some getting used to. I’m often homesick for England at this time of the year, and especially nostalgic for my gran’s homemade Christmas puddings (complete with traditional tooth-crumbling sixpence). My rudimentary skills in the kitchen could never match my grandmother’s so I don’t even try. Each year I buy a beautiful brandy and Macadamia nut pudding from a charity that raises money for a school in Uganda. I can pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, which leaves plenty of time to swim and sip chilled champagne, my new Christmas day traditions.
I love Christmas food and my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I make a delicious cashew nut loaf and my mother-in-law makes great veggie sausage rolls. My mum’s Christmas pudding with my aunt’s brandy butter… I could go on!
Oh my lord pigs in blankets. I’m obsessed with them. It was a testing Christmas the first year I wasn’t living with my parents and realised that nobody could stop me from buying twelve packets and eating them all whilst watching Miranda. I also love advent calendars (obviously) and think we should have them for every day of the year. I once wanted to be grown up and sophisticated (always a terrible idea) and insisted on buying a picture calendar (urgh). I aggressively cursed my smug past self for the following 24 days.
Guys there’s no denying it, we’re feeling festive. We’re ready to wallow in tinsel and mull everything in sight, so we’ve asked some of our fabulous authors to give us a sneak peek into how they spend their Christmas. First up we’ve got Jill Mansell, Karen Cole, Daniela Sacerdoti and Beth Good telling us all about those hard-to-buy-for relatives on their Christmas list!
Oh, my other half of course. Nightmare! After 32 years together, I’m forbidden from buying him any more bright stripy shirts. Because apparently 748 of them is enough. He’s so unhelpful too – he just tells me not to worry about what to get him because there’s nothing he needs. Anyone who says that needs to be slung into a police cell until they can come up with a more constructive answer.
Nobody really! I love buying gifts and I don’t usually run short of ideas. If I’m stuck I enjoy making up themed boxes, like a Night In box with things like pjs, nail polish, a book and some chocolate, or a Traveller’s box with a journal and a passport holder, a Winter Holidays box with gloves, a mug and hand cream…and more chocolate! I like being inventive and I like spoiling my friends and family.
Probably my elderly father, who’s not in the best of health. He shouldn’t have the presents he used to love best – brazil nuts in dark chocolate and a bottle of cognac, for instance! – but is rarely impressed by anything cosy and practical, like a scarf or slippers.
For some fabulous reads to add to your Christmas list, check out what our lovely authors have to offer: