What a busy, exciting week I’ve had! I’ve released two Christmas books and started a Masters in Creative Writing. Well, when I say started, I’ve popped into my tutor group forum to say “hello” and have read some guidance information, but I’ll start studying in earnest next week.
My first Christmas book, Charlee and the Chocolate Shop, was released on Monday and Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was released on Thursday. Both books see a return to the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay and Castle Street, which is the setting of my very first novel, Searching for Steven.
Charlee and the Chocolate Shop is the result of an idea I’ve been developing for a while but Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes came out of nowhere. In Charlee, I happened to mention another business on the street in passing – Carly’s Cupcakes – and, when I was editing the book, suddenly an idea for a story based around the owner popped into my head. I wasn’t planning to launch two Christmas books, but I simply had to tell Carly’s story. Thankfully, Carly was one of those rare books that wrote itself, so I was able to squeeze it in. I really wish that happened all the time.
I have to thank a couple of my fellow Write Romantics, Jo and Sharon, who were absolute stars and beta-read both of the novels for me very quickly. What stars they are!
If you love Christmas, the coast, chocolate and cake, you might love these …
Charlee and the Chocolate Shop is a heart-warming tale of family and friendship.
Master chocolatier, Charlee Chambers, has plenty to be excited about as Christmas approaches. She’s moved in with her boyfriend, Darren, and she’s about to open a chocolate shop, following in her late granddad’s footsteps. If only Darren would show more interest in helping her refurbish Charlee’s Chocolates ready for a December opening.
When water starts pouring through the shop ceiling, and Darren can’t be contacted to help, emergency plumber Matt comes to the rescue. From that moment on, Matt does more to support Charlee in achieving her dreams than Darren ever has, and she finds herself drawn to him. But Matt’s engaged and Charlee loves Darren … doesn’t she? And Darren loves her … or at least, she thinks he does, but he’s been behaving a little strangely recently.
Then Charlee discovers that Darren has a secret. But so does Matt. And so, it seems, does the woman who abandoned her at birth …
If you’d like to see some of the inspiration behind this book, please visit the Pinterest board for Charlee and the Chocolate Shop here.
Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes is a cosy heartwarming tale of friendship, family, putting the past behind, and embracing the future.
It’s Christmas in Whitsborough Bay. With fairy lights connecting the shops and cafés on either side of the cobbles, Castle Street seems magical. And in such a magical place, surely Christmas wishes can come true.
Carly Travis, owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, has two Christmas wishes this year. Her first is for her younger sister, Bethany, to focus on the positives in her life, including her Christmas wedding, instead of writing herself off as a failure. Bethany’s attempts at cake-decorating aren’t going to win any awards, but she’s certainly great with customers. Carly’s second wish is for her best friend, Liam, to come home for Christmas.
When Liam calls to say he’s been granted leave from the army, Carly makes a third Christmas wish. It’s the one she’s made every year since she was a teenager and, if she’s really brave, could this be the year when it finally comes true?
With Liam coming home, the shop having its best year yet, and a wedding to look forward to, it’s shaping up to be the best Christmas ever for Carly. But for Bethany, things are starting to unravel …
If you’d like to see some of the visual inspiration behind this book, please visit the Pinterest board for Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes here.