The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas and the Writer

Okay, so the UK has come to a practical standstill because of the snowfall and plunging temperatures (-9 C today), and what have I been doing for the last two hours? Writing, of course! I must admit it most likely is not the best stuff I have ever written having being sat on the sofa with my dog's head in my lap and my daughters and husband watching 'How to Train Your Dragon' on TV - but hey, writing is writing!

I am as ready as I can be for Christmas and because of the snow, i'm thinking what hasn't arrived (one present for a friend) isn't coming, and what we haven't got in (most likely enough white wine!), then there's not a lot I can do about it and I really do not care when I look out the window. Brrrr!!!!

What are you plans over Christmas? Do you plan to write? Rest? I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, let me leave you with an excerpt from my January release, 'Getting It Right This Time' - enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to cast your vote on my poll - i need this information asap!

Kate pushed open the door on the salon and cursed the jingling bell announcing her arrival. No doubt Jo was ready to kill her. She took three steps inside when Jo shot out the back room, lunged forward with the panache of an Olympic gymnast and grabbed Kate’s upper arms.
“He came back!” she cried.
“What? Who?” Kate stared at her, completely bewildered by the look of pure ecstasy on her assistant’s face.
“Sexy Mark Johnston.”
A rush of heat surged over Kate’s body--only to be replaced with ice-cold perspiration bursting onto her upper lip. “What? Why?”
Jo squealed and clapped her hands together. “He brought you something.”
Kate’s echo died on her lips when Jo dragged her over to the payment counter. “Look!”
Pale pink ribbons were tied around the handles of the biscuit-colored picnic basket and a wide pink and white gingham ribbon circled its center. Both of the dual lids were ajar, one revealing a dozen pink carnations, the other a bottle of white wine so chilled the perspiration slid in occasional rivulets down its neck.
“Why would he do this?” Kate whispered, taking another step closer as a smile tugged at her lips.
She smoothed her hand over the surface of one of the handles and inhaled the aroma of freshly baked bread seeping from inside. Her stolen Weightwatcher lunch groaned inside her stomach.
“Open it. Open it,” Jo said, bouncing from one foot to the other.
“Oh, for goodness sake,” Kate huffed, yet dismally failing to curb her stupidly insistent grin.
Sighing theatrically, she lifted one of the lids and her breath caught. He’d bought her favorite granary bread, along with delicate slices of Parma ham and a thick wedge of creamy brie. Tears stung at her eyes, and she swallowed the ball of emotion in her throat.
“Oh, Mark.” She said the words on an exhalation as she carefully lifted a crisp white napkin to reveal two of the most delectable mini strawberry and fresh cream tarts she’d ever seen. Her absolute weakness.
She slowly closed the lid and re-arranged her expression into what she hoped was careless nonchalance before turning around. “When did he leave?”
“About ten minutes ago,” Jo said breathlessly. “Can you believe this? Isn’t it lovely?”
“What did he say?”
Her assistant frowned. “Aren’t you happy? Don’t you think it’s romantic?”
“Jo, focus. What did he say?”
Her blue eyes clouded, clearly displaying her disproval of Kate’s seemingly unappreciative response to such a thoughtful gesture. Kate smiled inwardly, knowing full well she’d be the topic of conversation between Jo and her friends at the wine bar later. Finally averting her gaze, Jo feigned interest in the bottles of lotion lining the shelves behind the counter.
“He said he was sorry he’d missed you and put that basket on the counter and then asked if he could borrow a pen and some paper.”
Kate stared at her turned back. “What for?”
She swiveled round. “To write you a note. The guy is obviously love-struck and you’re standing there as though he looks like Shrek after a mud-bath.”

Merry Christmas to you all,


Rachel xx


  1. Hi Rachel, I have seen Heathrow Airport on the news and the icy roads. Merry Christmas.

  2. You know, I can almost put up with our 30 degrees Celsius weather here in Cape Town when I think of how cold it REALLY is up in your neck of the woods.

    This festive season I'm working, which is a blessing in disguise as I'm going to be using my quiet time at the office to catch up with my editing and writing.

    I will, however, be taking the first week of January off to hang out at home with the husband. We'll probably spend most of our time gardening, but I have another author friend I'm planning on bringing over to have a write-in.

    Thank you for the excerpt. I just loved that last line especially!

  3. Hi, Rachel. I keep seeing all the news about snow bringing England to a standstill. it's a pity about not having enough wine. Guess you'll just have to break out the hard stuff.

    Stay warm and dry, and enjoy the Christmas season.

    Love your excerpt, too. Can't wait to read Getting it Right.

  4. Hello Rachel. I heard about your hard winter on the news too. We are having an exceptionally cold start to the season here in the Shenandoah Valley as well. Skaters have been on our pond for the past two weeks. Glad you are getting some writing done. I'm trying to do the same. Easily distracted. :)

  5. Great to talk to you from across the water, ladies! It is freezing compared to what we are used to and even the kids are not enjoying it like they were less than two weeks ago. They are not happy we are not jumping in the car and going here, there and everywhere. I am such a nervous driver in the snow, that I feel a danger to everyone else!

    The writing is sporadic but at least I'm getting some words down that I didn't expect to do over the holidays - happy holidays to you all, keep warm.


    (And absolutely, Keena, the drink will always flow! LOL!)