Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Blog Party Extra, Linn B Halton

Last day tomorrow 

This wonderful prize is heading out to JOBW’s competition winner, Rachel Gilbey. A huge thank you to the writers for their kind donations. 

And to all the writers that have taken the time at this the busiest time for a writer to participate, a great big THANK YOU XXX

Linn B Halton, has managed to write something for me. You might remember I reviewed her delightful book ‘A little Sugar, a lot of love’ couple of weeks ago? 

Over to you Linn… 

The fact that Christmas-inspired stories are so popular reinforces my belief that no matter what age we are, we all like to ‘get in the mood’ and feel a little bit of that Christmas magic!

But what about the times when you are going through those trials life keeps throwing in the way? The ones you can’t dodge, or resolve – when your heart is heavy, or it takes all of your energy to keep everything together? And what if you still have to make Christmas happen for the ones you love?
Relax, stay calm – what you need is to grab as many little escapes as you can to de-clutter that mind, take a break from the stress and get in the mood.

Here are my top 5 tips:

1. Light those Christmas candles – whether you are a pine cone, mulled wine, cinnamon stick, or vanilla lover – choose a scent that makes you feel nostalgic. Not sure they do an eggnog one, but you never know!

2. Background music is very important. Even if you don’t think you like those Christmas oldies, you will find yourself mumbling along at some point.

3. Curl up with a Christmas read and indulge yourself. Get away from those problems and let the characters take you on a journey. This is about making time for YOU. If chocolates and wine are involved, that’s a bonus!
4. Treat yourself to a pamper bubble bath and face pack. Take your candles and music with you and laze back. If you don’t have a lock on the bathroom door then hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign.
5. Spend some time with kids – if you don’t have any of your own, then invite over those nieces, nephews, godchildren, or babysitting for some grateful parent! Sit and make paper chains, or get out the glue and the glitter. I guarantee it will lift your spirits to be reminded of how exciting Christmas is to a child.
The recipe is easy and it’s all about ambience and making a little time for YOU. What lifts the spirits is often something as simple as a smell you connect with happier times, or listening to some of those age-old Christmas songs!
Your problems may not dissolve as fast as the bubbles in the Christmas fizz, but happiness is infectious and that’s precious! It’s not the expensive presents that make it a memorable time, but the small things people do for each other and the quality of the time they spend together.


Linn x

Thank you Linn

Released 25 Oct 2016: A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

Released Oct 2016 in paperback: A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

Amazon UK Top 100 Nov 2015: A Cottage in the Country

About Linn

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. 

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press. Book links Here
About me

Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland a very long time ago. She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a 2016 RONA judge. She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her scribblings!

She lives in Guernsey and, in her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Party: Day Six Michele Brouder


The penultimate day of the party and today it’s Michele Brouder’s turn who’s delightful Christmas read was published yesterday. Things are a little different in the Brouder household as thy combine both Irish and American traditions.

So Michele what do you get up to in Limerick at Christmas time? I’ve experienced many Dublin ones but… 

Hey, Jenny, thanks for having me here!

I love Christmas time, plain and simple.

Growing up, Christmas was big in our house. There were 5 of us and we were pretty well-trained not to ask for anything when we went into a store with our parents during the year. However, at Christmas, my mother went all out. I remember back in the ‘70’s she had a Christmas club account at the bank and she diligently put away for Christmas. My father’s forte was exterior illumination and decoration ala Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation. There was a lot of baking going on, the tree lights were on all the time and there was always Christmas music playing in the background. I loved the anticipation of the big day as well as that period from Christmas morning until New Year’s when the gifts are still new, the holiday treats are still in abundance and the tree is still lit up and there was that content, happy feeling that permeated that week.

But the most enjoyment I’ve had has been as a mother, especially when my boys were young and they were all about Santa Claus. Their innocence was both blissful and magical. Nobody loved Christmas more than my older son, Daniel. There was a Christmas where he didn’t speak for 2 days as he was so overwhelmed. Even in some lean years, I can always count on him to sit back and declare: “This was the best Christmas ever!” My husband has reigned in my exuberance a bit and I hold off until December 1st before I decorate or play Christmas music. On December 8th, the 4 of us go in search of our Christmas tree. When the boys were little, I let them hang ornaments and decorations and it was funny because everything on the walls was knee-high and all the ornaments were in a cluster at the bottom of the tree. We baked Christmas cookies together every year and I tried not to wince at the 2 inches of icing or the pile of sprinkles on each cookie. One year I had little silver balls and I looked over to see that my son had put the whole container on one cookie. About 57.

My husband and I have combined my American traditions with his Irish ones to create special memories for our boys. I love Christmas in Ireland as everything shuts down for the week and there is a lot of visiting back and forth. But I miss snow on Christmas. In Ireland, they do Christmas cakes instead of cookies and I can always count on my sister-in-law to bake us one. Christmas Eve was big in my family so we do a dinner and then head off to Mass. We do a turkey and a ham on Christmas day. Mike cooks the ham the way his mother used to. It’s nice to have all those leftovers during the week.

Christmas is about tradition and memories and most of all, the birth of Jesus. It’s the best birthday party I’ve ever been to. So, it was a no brainer for me to write a Christmas novel. In fact, it gave me an excuse to listen to Christmas music in months other than December, much to my husband’s chagrin. I enjoyed the experience so much, that I’m planning on writing another Christmas novel

THANK YOU Michele, you can find A Whyte Christmas here

About the author


Michele Brouder is the author of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver, the first installment in The Soul Saver series. Her second book, a holiday romance entitled A Whyte Christmas is currently available for pre-order until November 11, 2016. She contributes to the blog at Book in a Week, named by Writer’s Digest as one of the top 101 websites for writers.

She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line at Sign up for her newsletter at her website and receive a free follow up short story to Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver.

Originally from western NY, Michele has lived in the southwest of Ireland since 2006 except for a 2 year period when she and her family lived in Florida. She lives with her husband, two boys and a black lab named Rover. The beach is her go to place: any beach, any weather, any time.

I’m hoping to sneak in another Christmassy post later but HUSH – writer at work trying to meet my very nice deadline of ‘if you can, yes please.’ A hint, her book’s in the above photo. To check out what the readers think of these lovely reads and  where you’ll find Amazon links etc click HERE