Today we’re dropping by at the gorgeous The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street by Emma Davies. Isn’t the cover heavenly? Let’s find out a bit about the book then Emma is going to tell us what Christmas means to her.
Thirty-two-year-old Daisy Turner has worked at Buchanan’s Family Jewellers since the day she finally escaped her troubled home. With a unique talent for matching the perfect piece of jewellery to any romantic milestone, she painstakingly polishes each stunning creation every morning and safely locks them away each night, longing for the day she’ll have a love story to call her own…
But everything changes one day in December when the owner announces she is retiring. She will leave the shop to whichever of her three sons creates the perfect piece of Christmas jewellery for Daisy.
In danger of losing the job that once saved her, Daisy is catapulted out of her comfort zone as each of the brothers sweeps her off her feet to find out what her heart truly desires. Between ice-skating, starlight shopping and cosy candle-lit dinners, it’s only handsome and guarded youngest brother Kit who really seems to be listening. Because Daisy has a secret. Every night, when the shop closes, she lays out her tools in neat rows and creates sparkling designs of her own…
As Christmas Day approaches, Daisy’s growing feelings for Kit fill her with a confidence she never knew she had. But as the brothers present their elaborate gemstone masterpieces, she’s in for the shock of her life… Was Kit using her to get ahead in the competition all along? Or has he truly worked out the one thing she has always longed for?
They say all good things come in small packages, but the best things don’t need wrapping at all…
Now over to Emma
Twelve books for Christmas, I can’t think of anything nicer! Thank you so much for letting me take part in your blog tour, Karen.
Well, of course this year will be The Best Christmas Ever! because if it’s not I will be letting Good Housekeeping, Country Living, and Homes and Gardens down, not to mention my family and indeed the nation. So no pressure then…
With this in mind I have booked the most gorgeous log cabin in remote Scotland. It’s decorated with red and gold folk art decorations, the floors are covered with thick fur rugs and there’s an open fire you could stand up in. There’ll be an eight foot tree hung with beautiful glass icicles and I’ve ordered a mountain of gourmet food. There’s pretty much guaranteed snow I’m told so we’ll go tobogganing on Christmas Eve….
Erm, hang on, hang on, who am I kidding? My own Christmas is not like this at all… So actually what I’ll be doing is staying at home, just me, my husband, and our three children, but I absolutely love it. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and I really wouldn’t want it any other way, because like many families it’s the seasonal traditions we’ve built up that make it so special for us.
So we always watch Miracle on 34th Street (we believe!) and Love Actually, I always make my cheese sables (posh cheese biscuits that are to die for), and brandy butter (although no one ever eats it) and we all agree the run up to Christmas is by far the best bit. I love buying presents for people, plotting and planning, and hopefully scoring a few surprises, decorating the tree with the kids, shrieking with laughter over Pictionary, and being teased by my children who constantly ask me if I’ve brought the turkey yet… it starts in October, I’m not joking!
BUT, and it’s a very big but, I am a total sucker for a Christmas story, and if it includes all the elements of my own fantasy Christmas above then so much the better. Reading is such an important part of my life, but much more so at Christmas because it was childhood Christmases where my own bookaholic tendencies were born. I always received books as presents and they were, and still are, the best gift anyone could ever buy me. There’s just something very special about Christmas books. I absolutely adore writing them and this year was no exception. I really wanted to write a modern day fairy tale, but at the same time include a deeper message about the spirit of Christmas and the giving of gifts. It’s so easy to become caught up in the very commercial aspect of it all, but sometimes the simplest things can become the most treasured.
Many moons ago I used to make my own cards and one of my favourites was a design for a Christmas card. On it, in elegant script adorned with a single tiny gold star was a list of a few of my favourite Christmassy things; walks in pale wintry sunshine, After Eight Mints, Watching A miracle on 34th Street and I finished it with the phrase I wish for many things this Christmas but above all I wish you the joy of hope.
Because Hope is a joy and such an important thing to have in your life, particularly around Christmas when one year draws to a close and another is almost upon us. By our nature we tend to review the time passed and that yet to come, but how often in our busy lives do we actually stop and think about this? We’re usually so caught up in the stress of providing a ‘perfect’ Christmas and all that this entails that we often overlook that little piece of us that can so easily become worn out and jaded. That little spark within us which keeps us going, and which needs feeding just like any fire.
So hope is a sentiment that’s always important to me when writing my Christmas books – the glimmer of hope, the happy ending, because life isn’t always kind, or perfect, but if you have hope it can take you anywhere…
So I do wish you all a perfect, stress free, happy, healthy Christmas, but above all I wish you the joy of hope.
I shall leave you with the recipe for my cheese biscuits. Give them a go, they’re dead easy to make and soooo tasty! Maybe they’ll become a part of your Christmas traditions too.
6oz / 175g butter, cut into smallish chunks
6oz / 175g plain flour
6oz / 175g of good strong cheddar cheese, grated
A small bag of salted peanuts, crushed (although if you’re like me, you’ll use a big bag and eat the rest!)
A beaten egg.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and then add the grated cheese to the mix. Work together into a ball. (You won’t need any extra liquid as the cheese does this for you).
Flour the work surface well, and then roll out the pastry into an large oblong, about half a centimetre thick. Trim the edges and then cut the oblong into several smaller strips, about 10cm wide. Brush each strip with the beaten egg and then scatter the crushed peanuts onto the top, pressing them down lightly. Repeat with any scraps / leftovers.
Now cut each strip into squares, and then each square into two triangles. Place the triangles onto a baking tray and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes at 200°C until light golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Resist the temptation to shove them all on your mouth all at once.
Those biscuits sound delicious, Emma. I’m not much of a cook but I might just be tempted to give this recipe a try!
After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a fifty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.
After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life.
Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her).
Meg and her mother go to Cornwall to escape Christmas and get over their heartbreak. Will Christmas work it’s magic on them and are both marriages really over?
Single all the Way is available as an ebook or in print: