Having thoroughly enjoyed Catherine Ferguson’s Four Weddings and a Fiasco, my review of which you can read here, I am thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin today and I have a lovely extract for you to read.
Published by Avon Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, on 2nd October 2017, Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin is available for purchase through the links here.
Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin
When Poppy’s boyfriend Harrison proposes the week before Christmas and gives her twelve days to decide, she doesn’t know what to do. With the festive season in full swing, it’s make or break time for the couple and the clock is ticking…
Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend Erin is desperate for the pair of them to fulfil their dream of setting up a dinner party catering company – and when an opportunity arises at a luxury log fire cabin, the girls take their chance to impress. But they hadn’t bargained on the owner of the cabin being quite so attractive – or having quite such a sexy voice.
As the twelve days tick on, will Poppy realise that Harrison is the one for her? Or will it be love in the lodge when the new year comes?
Lose yourself this Christmas in the new novel from the brilliant Catherine Ferguson, perfect for cosying up with by the fire.
An Extract From Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin
‘Hello, Jed Turner?’
‘Er, hi!’ It’s definitely him. I’d recognise those deep, velvety tones anywhere. ‘I hope you don’t mind me phoning. I – um – just wanted to let you know that I can’t stay at yours for Christmas, even though it sounds lovely what with the hot tub and the log fire and everything.’
There’s a brief pause.
‘Shit, sorry,’ he says. ‘You’re obviously not Clemmy.’
‘No, ’fraid not. I’m Poppy. You got the wrong woman.’
‘Ah, well.’ He gives a throaty chuckle. ‘That sounds like the story of my life right there.’
I laugh. ‘It’s like that, is it?’
‘Sadly, Poppy, it is. But things can only get better.’ He doesn’t seem sad. In fact, he sounds quite cheerful about it.
‘Very true,’ I agree, thinking of Clemmy, who he’d seemed pretty keen on.
Clemmy is such a pretty name.
‘So, Poppy, I’m really glad you phoned me.’
‘It was no problem at all.’
‘If I hadn’t discovered the mistake, my carefully laid plans for a merry Christmas would have gone right up in smoke. I must have hit a wrong digit. Did I get the area code right, at least? Are you in Surrey?’
‘I am. I live in Angelford?’
‘Ah, yes. In that case you’re very close to my uncle’s holiday home. Which is where we’ll be for Christmas. Lovely area.’
‘Yes, I suppose it is. It’s just when you live in a place, you quite often don’t appreciate its beauty as much as other folk.’
‘That’s true. Do you think that also applies to people living within spitting distance of the Eiffel Tower? Or over the road from the Grand Canal in Venice?’
‘Over the water, you mean.’
He laughs at my very feeble joke. ‘You’ve got an exceptional café in Angelford, if I remember rightly. Best chocolate-fudge brownies in the world. Am I right or am I right?’
‘You’re right. We do. Although, can I suggest you try the raspberry-cream-and-white-chocolate cheesecakes next time?’
‘I’ll make sure I do that.’ I can hear the smile in his voice. ‘Then we can compare notes.’
‘You won’t regret it. I tried to make them myself but nothing tops their version.’
‘Are you a good cook, then?’
‘Er, not bad, I suppose. The kitchen’s my favourite room in the house.’
‘Yes? What sort of things do you make?’
I smile, wondering if he’s just being polite. But I don’t think he is. He sounds genuinely interested.
‘Everything, but Italian food is my speciality.’
‘Can you make pasta from scratch? And tiramisu?’
I can. Actually, I’m making tiramisu for a special dinner party,’ I say, deciding on the spot that this is what I’ll make for Mrs Morelli’s dessert.
‘My mouth’s watering. This sounds like it’s far more than just a hobby, if you don’t mind me saying. Are you a chef?’
His question stops me in my tracks. I’m not a chef. But if Erin has her way, I’ll certainly be cooking for a living. The pints of prosecco I’ve drunk make me bold. I take a deep breath. ‘Actually, I’m a caterer, specialising in Italian food. I do private dinner parties.’
My heart gives an odd little thump. Just saying those words makes me feel like a different person. More confident and self-assured, somehow.
‘Sounds amazing. Are you working tonight?’
‘Er, no, not tonight.’ Suddenly I feel like a fraud. I’m very glad Jed Turner can’t see the burning heat creeping into my face. ‘My – um – next engagement is on Saturday.’ Why am I trying to impress a man I don’t even know?
‘Looking forward to it?’
‘Yes! At least, I think so.’
He laughs. ‘You don’t sound sure.’
‘I’m just a bit nervous, that’s all,’ I confess. ‘The woman I’m cooking for was born in Italy.’
‘Ah, so there’s that extra pressure to deliver genuine Italian flavours,’ he murmurs, hitting the nail right on the head.
‘Well, you sound very passionate when you talk about cooking and that’s a great sign. I’m sure you’ll impress on Saturday.’
‘Thank you.’ My face flushes even redder with pleasure.
‘I’ll keep your number,’ he chuckles. ‘Just in case I ever have an Italian-food emergency. I live over the border in West Sussex, but an emergency is an emergency.’
About Catherine Ferguson
Catherine Ferguson burst onto the writing scene at the age of nine, anonymously penning a weekly magazine for her five-year-old brother (mysteriously titled the ‘Willy’ comic) and fooling him completely by posting it through the letterbox every Thursday.
Catherine’s continuing love of writing saw her study English at Dundee University and spend her twenties writing for various teenage magazines including Jackie and Blue Jeans and meeting pop stars. She worked as Fiction Editor at Patches magazine (little sister to Jackie) before getting serious and becoming a sub-editor on the Dundee Courier & Advertiser. Moving south in her thirties, she set up Surrey Organics, delivering fresh organic produce to people’s homes – and this experience provided the inspiration for her first attempt at writing a full-length novel.
Catherine lives with her son in Northumberland.
You can follow Catherine on Twitter.
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