Winter Wonderland or Sunshine Paradise? Which would you choose?
Like lots of people I love Christmas. I love the music, the spicy aroma of mulled wine, the twinkling fairy lights on the Christmas tree and the home-made snowflake decorations. But most of all I love the food and like many people I have my favourite recipes that I bake every year - a chocolate log smothered in chocolate buttercream, flaky pastry mince pies (without the candied peel - yuk!), not to mention my Grandma’s special recipe Christmas pudding.
Readers of my novels cannot fail to have noticed that my love of baking has spilled over into my writing and that was no exception with Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes - book one in my Camille Carter series. The story follows Millie, an all-round buttercream princess, who gets caught up in the snow and becomes stranded at a culinary school in the English Lake District. The village is Christmas card-perfect, but Millie hates the snow and the cold. She plots her escape and ends up locking spatulas with hunky estate manager Fergus McKenzie when he is forced to rescue her. It’s a story of love and friendship and of reaching for the buttercream and edible glitter when life gets tough.
In order to fill in the time until she can catch a train back to civilisation, Millie rustles up a batch of Christmas Cake Muffins - a lighter alternative to the traditional Christmas cake. Of course, I had to triple-test the recipe before the cupcakes made their debut in the story. Delicious!
Here’s a photo. What do you think?
However, whilst I do love Christmas, I have to confess that I’m no fan of the weather in December. I’m a summer baby (my birthday is in July) which may be the reason why I prefer the sunshine; why I crave the golden sandy beaches, a warm sea fringed with palm trees and if there’s a Pina Colada going so much the better. Skiing is not something that will ever feature on my personal bucket list either.
In Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes, Millie loathes the freezing temperatures too. She loves her strappy tops, her Capri pants and sparkly sandals and that’s all she has in her suitcase when she arrives at Craiglea Manor. She is mortified when she is forced to wear a borrowed woolly jumper and an old wax jacket, complete with the aroma of dead ferret, and which make her look like her great-aunt Margery.
So, which would you choose?
Winter wonderland or sun-drenched shores? Let me know in the comments below.
When all-round buttercream princess, Millie Carter, becomes stranded at Craiglea Manor Cookery School, she believes her chance of enjoying a merry festive season is over.
The village of Aisford is Christmas-card perfect, but Millie hates it - she hates the snow, her freezing fingertips, and being forced to look like her Aunt Marjory in a mud-splattered wax jacket and wellies instead of her beloved shorts and sparkly sandals.
She plots her escape but ends up locking spatulas with the estate manager, Fergus McKenzie, who is forced to rescue her before she succumbs to a severe dose of hypothermia. Things start to improve with the arrival of handsome Sam Morgan, fresh from the beaches and rum shacks of the Caribbean.
Can Millie accept her fate? And will Aisford sprinkle some of its seasonal magic on her troubles?
Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a festive story of love and friendship and reaching for the buttercream icing and edible glitter when life gets tough.
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Lindsey Paley is a Yorkshire girl and author of contemporary romance novels with page-turning plotlines and satisfying endings. When not scribbling away in her peppermint and cream writer's retreat (shed) she loves baking cakes, enjoying a spot of afternoon tea with friends and taking long walks in the countryside. Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is the first book in the Camille Carter series set in the beautiful Lake District and the Caribbean. The latest in the series is April Showers and Wedding Flowers and is out now.