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Christmas Party kicking off with James Hartley


Before I welcome James to the hot seat (can’t wait to read his story) here’s a competition reminder.

Can you name these delightful people. You’ve read their books but… there will be a prize (more than one, part of it will be edible, probably chocolate 😆) 👍🏻 To enter click here



Christmas Story by James Hartley

I almost met Father Christmas once.
It was about ten years ago, before my wife and I had children, when we were visiting my brother-in-law in Finland. We took one of the most luxurious overnight trains I´ve ever been on – our cabin even had a shower – from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, which was just inside the Arctic Circle. Suddenly the maps on the walls in the museums were drawn as if looking down at the earth from above instead of from somewhere in line with the equator: we were in Sami land.

A bus with chained wheels took us further north, squealing and skidding up to Father Christmas´ Post Office which was festooned with signposts pointing out distances south. We posted the letters we´d promised to send and wandered out into the pines and softly falling snow for a look about. After a while we saw a wooden building nestling beneath the high trees and, seemingly alone, approached the big oak door slowly.

I was first.

Peeping in I could see a large empty room, wooden floorboards, and a roaring fire at the far end. In front of the fire was a very big man in a red and white uniform, facing away from me, picking something up from a sack at his feet. Instead of going in and speaking to him, I backed down the steps and shook my head. My wife, sneaking up after me, peered through the crack in the door but also got the shivers.

We crunched back through the snow to the Post Office and bus stop without once looking back.

Link to short story here

The Author


James was born on the Wirral, England, in 1973 on a rainy Thursday. He shares his birthday with Bono, Sid Vicious and two even nastier pieces of work, John Wilkes Booth and Mark David Chapman.

His mother was a hairdresser with her own business and his father worked in a local refinery which pours filth into the sky over the Mersey to this day. They married young and James was their first child. He has two younger brothers and a still-expanding family in the area. As an Everton fan he suffered years of Liverpool success throughout the seventies and was thrilled when his father took a job in Singapore and the family moved lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Asia.

He spent five fine years growing up in the city state before returning to the rain, storms, comprehensive schools and desolate beauty of the Scottish east coast. Later years took he and his family to baking hot Muscat, in Oman, and a Syria that has since been bombed off the surface of the planet.

For more about James here’s the link to his Amazon page

Later today I have a surprise guest popping in for afternoon as it’s book launch day for the delightful Darcie Boleyn and she’s going to tell us about her book inspiration – more later.

Tomorrow it’s Sue Moorscroft’s turn to join the party  have you read her latest yet? It’s one of my top 10 books of 2016 

Finally a little reminder. Have you caught up with Sarah Morgan’s latest?

I was in WH Smith and I was delighted to see it right up there sharing the limelight. I read and reviewed this recently and this will be in my top 10 reads for 2016 along with Sue’s. Here’s the Link






About me


I’m a book lover first, falling into writing by accident. I love all books and read cross genre with usually 2-3 book on the go at any one time getting through about 300 a year. Being a NetGalley reviewer is essential to my wallet! I’m working on my sixth novel.

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Hello and Welcome, hope you enjoy Jenny

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