Saturday 12 December 2015

Callie's Christmas Countdown
Julie Ryan

Callie is an event planner, organising weddings and corporate parties. What she'd really love however, is to organise the perfect Christmas. How difficult can it be after all? She simply needs to get her divorced parents talking to each other, sort out a Christmas Eve wedding for the daughter of a millionaire and wait for her hunky, rich boyfriend to propose. What could possibly go wrong?

EXTRACT - Callie's Christmas Countdown

Now I was in a complete panic. I wasn’t supposed to be seeing Nathan today. He was working, or so I thought, and couldn’t get any time off. So why the hell was he here unannounced? I must look a right mess with my bedhead, no make up on and oh my God, I was still in my PJs and slippers. Well, I wasn’t expecting anyone to see me and horror of horrors they weren’t the sexy type that I wore for him, these were Winnie the Pooh ones.  I know that they are hardly the image you want to give out but I’ve always had a thing about Pooh – my childhood hero. These PJs were like a comfort blanket. Most definitely not high up the glamour stakes. In fact, the only other fashion item less flattering would be a furry onesie with sheep on it. Before you ask, I do happen to own that particular garment as well!
I really didn’t want Nathan to see me looking like this so I guessed that if I hurried I could just about make it to the shower before he got up the stairs and then he could make himself a coffee while I got dressed. Too late, before I’d finished opening the door, Nathan was outside and was looking at me askance.
“Give me too ticks and I’ll be ready. You could put the kettle on if you like.”
I’ve never seen anyone move so fast. It was as if he wanted to get the picture of his sexy sophisticated girlfriend looking like she’d got bottom place in a fancy dress competition well and truly out of his mind.
“Dress up,” he said, “We’re going for lunch at Antonio’s.”
Now if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to get me poshed up, it’s Antonio’s. It’s quite exclusive and you have to book weeks in advance as a rule. Nathan must have called in a few favours, which meant that this was a special lunch. My heart was fluttering wildly. We hadn’t been going out that long and I was so thrilled when he’d first asked me out; I couldn’t believe my luck. He was always spoiling me, buying me clothes and perfume. I was so lucky. It helped of course that Nathan was loaded—or rather his family was. I hadn’t met them yet. He kept saying that he wanted it all to be perfect when we met at the family pile. In some ways we were just right for each other. We both planned things carefully and I loved that about him. He didn’t mock like other people did. He really understood.

About the Author

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and two cats, a rescue cat and a dippy cat with half a tail.  She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.
She is the author of the Greek Island Mystery series, Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophecy, each of which can be read as a standalone. She considers Greece to be her spiritual home and visits as often as she can.

Twitter  @julieryan18

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