Books make super Christmas presents so I thought I’d gather together a selection of gorgeous Christmas books that would make perfect stocking fillers. And for day four we’re going over to the USA for the delightful One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot.
Will this Christmas romance be just for the holidays?
A fun, festive romantic comedy to curl up with this winter. If you love Josie Silver’s One Day in December, you’ll love Mandy Baggot’s heart-warming festive romance.
Lara Weeks is heading to New York with best friend Susie for the Christmas trip of a lifetime.
A festive break in the snowy Big Apple visiting the tourist hotspots, not to mention the shopping, seems like the perfect way for Lara to get over her ex-boyfriend. Or maybe make him so jealous he begs for a second chance.
Enlisting the help of gorgeous actor, Seth Hunt, doesn’t quite go to plan, but there’s something about him that has Lara wishing for a different kind of happy ever after…
BUY IT NOW https://amzn.to/2T4mLn4
It sounds a really festive story, Mandy. Can you tell us how you went about planning the book?
One New York Christmas is the second festive novel I have written about the City That Never Sleeps and with each book I try and learn more about this fascinating place. Obviously, visitors are drawn to the Empire State and the Statue of Liberty and, at Christmas time in particular, they come for the glowing lights and amazing ornamental displays all over the city. Writing a festive book I try to capture all the hallmarks I think readers will want from Christmas in NYC – shopping at Macy’s, a show on Broadway, ice skating, seasonal markets – but I also want to explore the less well-known areas, the people of the city, the enormous diversity.
My heroine, Lara is not only seeing New York for the first time when she arrives from the UK, she’s seeing the world for the first time. Lara has never never set a foot off England before and this gave me a fantastic opportunity to really explore how someone completely fresh to travel would cope completely out of her comfort zone in the hustle and bustle and craziness that is NYC. And Lara isn’t your usual type of heroine. Unlike her best friend, Susie, she isn’t there for the cut-price designer jeans or the lure of Tiffany’s jewels, she’s there to soak up the ambience, the real New York, the one she has only explored through Google Maps… Lara is more excited to try the international cuisine on offer from every corner of the globe than she is to snap a pic with a selfie stick from Brooklyn Bridge. For her this visit is a huge turning point in her life and as much as she is afraid of being away from her cosy village of Appleshaw, she is equally exhilarated about being in the thick of this buzzing metropolis with every part of the world waiting around each corner.
Researching the locations for this book made me hungry, thirsty and desperate to drink in everything NYC for myself. I looked up musical bars, divine dining, street food trucks, Greenwich Village, West Village, apartments on Airbnb, parks and homeless shelters.
Homelessness is a theme running throughout the book, but I was determined to make the characters at the shelter very real and not stereotypes. Homelessness is a big problem all over the world and New York is absolutely no different. However, I hope I have portrayed Earl, Felice and Mad Maggie well and make readers fall in love with their different personalities, because all three of them were amazing characters to write. I would have loved to explore their backstories a little more, but I only get 100,000 words to make everything happen!
There really is so much to New York there wasn’t enough pages to get everything I wanted into this book… I guess I’d better write more set here!
I’m sure your thousands of readers would love that, Mandy! Can you tell us a bit about how you celebrate Christmas. What is your favourite Christmas memory?
Every Christmas is special if you’re lucky enough to spend it with your family and friends. I don’t have one favourite memory, they are all pretty perfect.
I totally agree. When do put up your Christmas tree? Do you prefer a real or artificial one?
Artificial. We invested in a new tree a couple of years ago and it takes ages to fit all the sections together. My husband and children usually do that bit and I come along and help with the baubles and tinsel. We like to put it up at the beginning of December… never before that!
How do you spend Christmas Day?
We usually spend it with family, taking it in turns to host. Last year we went to my parents-in-law but this year we are having Christmas Day at home and my 89-year-old nan is coming for turkey and the trimmings. It will be a big lunch followed by the Queen’s Speech, then chocolates and a nap, followed by cheese and pickles and Strictly Christmas Special!
It sounds perfect! What present are you hoping to receive this year?
I never have any present ideas. I’m usually too busy organising gifts for others rather than thinking about my wish list!
Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us, Mandy. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.
Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer represented by Tanera Simons of The Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency.
The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian.
Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.
You can find out more about Mandy here:-
When Saffy’s sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of getting home to run her usual ‘singles Christmas lunch’, Saffy knew she would have to abandon her plans for wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall to save the day. But family parties are so not her thing and both her sister Hannah and sexy single dad Logan seems certain she’ll never manage. Can she prove them wrong? Now available in print and as an ebook: