The Christmas Promise
I have an extract from another Christmas book for you on the blog today. I really need to get my act together and start on my seasonal books! This is another gorgeous cover. Enjoy....
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.
Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.
So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…
Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
Sam glanced curiously at Ava. ‘What don’t you like about Christmas?’
She shrugged. ‘Most things. Except, I agree that the parties can be good.’
A small frown quirked Sam’s brow. ‘What about when you were a child? Did you at least like it then?’
Ava was assailed with a rush of memories of putting up the Christmas trees at Gran’s house, a stately real one in the sitting room and a wonky little silver one in the kitchen. Ava had loved the kitchen tree best, twinkling multi-coloured lights at them as they baked mouth-watering mince pies and gingerbread Santas that smelled of Christmas. Ava’s heart clenched to remember Gran’s red apron with jolly robins on and her grey curls bobbing energetically as she rolled out pastry, laughing because she always managed to sprinkle flour over every surface in the room.
When it was all cleared up and the baking rested on cooling racks, present wrapping at the big kitchen table in a joyful muddle of paper, foil ribbon and sticky tape would take over, while carols played on Radio 4.
On Christmas morning, after present opening, they’d
make dinner together, lighting a fire in the dining room grate to make it a special occasion.
Sometimes one of her parents made it to Gran’s for Christmas dinner, Ava and Gran scheduling the meal to fit in with a shift if necessary. Or else it would be just Ava and Gran pulling crackers and wearing paper hats that were too big, munching succulent turkey and Yorkshire puddings with tiny sausages baked into them.
Ava shook her thoughts back to the present, realising that Sam was waiting for a reply. ‘Yes, when I was very young. But Gran was the one who made Christmas happen in my family and she died when I was thirteen.’ Gran had smilingly seen to the everyday care of Ava while her parents pursued their careers and her loss had left a gaping hole in Ava’s teenaged soul. She avoided Izz’s gaze, not wanting to see reflected there the painful knowledge that Gran had died at Christmas, making Ava feel like hurling the gaily lit Christmas trees to the floor and jumping on them.
‘That must have been hard.’ Sam’s gaze was sympathetic. ‘Didn’t your parents take over?’
‘Not exactly.’ It was no new thing to be regarded with curiosity for not enjoying what everyone else in the country looked forward to all year and Ava had a well-honed explanation. ‘Mum was a doctor, Dad a senior police officer. Mum patched up the drunks in A and E and Dad dealt with the drunks who ended up in the cells. They don’t really believe in Christmas and think it’s a phoney exercise in commercialism. They always volunteered to work so those who valued the season could have time off.’
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