It’s an absolute joy to be part of the launch celebrations for Heidi Swain’s Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, as she’s one of the friendliest authors I’ve met. I haven’t caught up with Heidi in person since a lovely blogger evening that you can read about here, so I’m thrilled to welcome her back to the blog today.
Before you read Heidi’s super guest post today, you might like to see what happened when we ‘stayed in’ together to discuss Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square here, and to read my review of Heidi’s Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market here.
Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland will be published tomorrow, 1st November 2018 by Simon and Schuster and is available through these links.
Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland
After calling off her engagement, Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, wants nothing more than to return to her no-strings fun-loving self, avoiding any chance of future heartbreak. Little does she know, Wynbridge’s latest arrival is about to throw her plan entirely off course . . .
Moving into Wynthorpe Hall to escape the town’s gossip, Hayley finds herself immersed in the eccentric Connelly family’s festive activities as they plan to host their first ever Winter Wonderland. But Hayley isn’t the only new resident at the hall. Gabe, a friend of the Connelly’s son Jamie, has also taken up residence, moving into Gatekeeper’s Cottage, and he quickly makes an impression on Wynbridge’s reformed good-girl…
What Christmas Means To Me…
A Guest Post by Heidi Swain
Merry Christmas Linda, and thank you so much for inviting me tell you all about what Christmas means to me on this leg of the Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls blog tour. I thought long and hard before writing this post and I have to admit I’m still a little concerned that I won’t be able to cover everything in just a few hundred words!
I know not everyone is a festive fan, but for me, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year – cliché intended.
Christmas, in my head, begins long before I hang my much loved and somewhat worn around the edges Matthew Rice advent calendar up in the kitchen. I guess it’s around mid-October, as the leaves begin to turn and the morning air turns crisp, that my thoughts first flicker to all things festive. The shops of course will have already been stocked with confectionery and cards for weeks by then, but I will be avoiding the supermarket and the city for as long as I can. Not because I have an aversion to present buying (far from it), but rather that I want to soak up the atmosphere in a more measured way.
Planning eats, events, parties and reading Christmas books can all happen from early autumn but the big guns – carols, Slade, late night shopping and mince pies – are all jam packed rather than dragged out. When December the first dawns that’s when I’ll be batch baking, wrapping and tuning into Classic FM because in Heidi Swain world the perfect Christmas is all down to pacing. Start too early and by mid-November you can’t face another tin of Quality Street, leave it too late and you turn into a screaming banshee gripped by the tinsel- toting panic and buying all manner of tat.
I like to be fully locked and loaded by the twenty first as the winter Solstice is a big deal in our house. As the wheel of the year turns that’s when I’ll really start to wind down, feeling ever so slightly smug that I can just sit back and enjoy the frost enhanced ride. I can never understand how folk can get in such a muddle in the run up to Christmas. It’s been happening on the same day for quite a while now and year on year our lives are becoming busier so don’t pull down the blinkers of denial and kid yourself it isn’t coming. Rather, embrace the season, write those lists, put those orders in and be prepared.
(Photo courtesy of Fay Esme)
Christmas has always meant a lot to me and now, with a festive title hitting the shelves in the winter as well as the summer, it means even more. Popping out to the supermarkets on publication day for those much loved #shelfies with Elton blasting out in the background and the scent of cinnamon wafting down the aisles from the in-store bakery is the best present ever.
May I take this opportunity to send you all lots of love and wish you a very merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy the celebrations every bit as much as I do and that Christmas means as much to you as it does to me!
Thanks so much Heidi. Have a wonderful publication day tomorrow and I look forward to reading Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland and catching up with you in person very soon! Merry Christmas!
About Heidi Swain
Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five novels: The Cherry Tree Cafe, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage and most recently, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two teenage children.