Have you ever just wanted to curl up in a ball in front of the fire and while away a few hours in another world ?? Well this book is the perfect accompaniment to that fireside dream …. A book jam packed with short stories set in Christmases of yesteryear ….. extracts of the authors new books , Christmas memories of the authors own childhood Christmases and ending on a fine quarry of favourite Christmas recipes ….
I have never been a fan of short stories and I’m a bit greedy and always want more , always want the story to last but in all honesty these stories were perfect ! They were long enough to be meaningful but short enough that I didn’t forget to make breakfast, dinner and tea ….
Here the authors tell you what their story is about in their own words …
Can you tell us a little bit about the short story in Christmas Fireside Stories?
The heroine, Kate, is one of the brave and gutsy characters I mentioned earlier and she is fighting to keep herself and her two children out of the workhouse after her husband died.
I decided that I’d like to write something set in the Victorian era, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s a time which our Christmases still seem to look back to, in terms of the traditional style of it. After all, Prince Albert is credited with introducing the Christmas tree from Germany. Also, I love trains and railways and the idea of steam engines and a group of people on a little branch line caught in the snow seemed very promising. Dear old Thomas the dutiful station master who finds women scary seemed to start talking to me in a clear voice right from the beginning…
Here, I have to admit that short stories weren’t my forte. I am the girl that used to get into trouble at school for writing a novel when just a composition was called for. I cannot stop writing when I start. So, this was a new discipline for me. I was greatly helped by my lovely editor, Louise Buckley. She suggested that I based my story on the characters of my latest book, Proud of You. And so, I tackled it as if I was writing a new chapter of the book. The three friends, Alice, the posh and very rich girl, Lil, the northern lass, who is a nurse, and Gillian, the East-Ender, who is a Land Girl, come together at Christmas. Alice, who was once a patient in the Military Hospital where Lil works, visits and is inspired to try to give the wounded officers a great Boxing day. There are emotion-clouding moments, and relationships coming to new Plato’s, heart-warming moments and heart-rending ones, as together, they try to mend ‘A Wounded Christmas’.
My story Christmas at Briar Farm is based loosely on my childhood growing up on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. I wrote it through the little girls (Carol’s ) eyes as I think Christmas is all about children. It tells the story of a Yorkshire Farm at Christmas and the celebrations that involve all the family.
It must have been terrible to get one of those telegrams during the war, but it must have been doubly difficult if you were the bearer of that bad news. John is only seventeen and not only suffering the pangs of unrequited love, but he has to deliver a telegram to the girl of his dreams. What else would be in a telegram but bad news…
Several of my books have WW1 as the background and it seemed appropriate this year especially to write about the Christmas Truce of 1914.
A perfect stocking filler for the discerning reader ….