It’s a year to the day that I stayed in with lovely Fiona Ford to chat all about Christmas at Liberty’s in a post you can read here. Prior to that post, when The Spark Girl was released, Fiona provided a wonderful piece on why she is attracted to the past as a writer. You’ll find that post here. It gives me enormous pleasure today to welcome Fiona back to tell us all about her perfect Christmas as we celebrate her latest book, A Christmas Wedding.
Published by Penguin imprint Arrow on 12th November 2020, A Christmas Wedding is available for purchase through the links here.
A Christmas Wedding
London, 1943: Dot Hanson has never forgotten the thrill of seeing the beautiful Christmas displays at Liberty’s department store as a young girl.
Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would one day work there, or that she would fall in love with the store’s manager, her childhood sweetheart Edwin Button.
But in spite of the life Dot has built for herself, and the tight-knit community around her, she lives in the shadow of a terrible secret. And as the bombs continue to fall across Britain there is more heartache still to come.
All Dot wants is a family of her own with the man she loves by her side.
Will her dreams come true in time for Christmas?
My Perfect Christmas
A Guest Post by Fiona Ford
Usually I say my perfect Christmas is a day off. And by that I mean a proper day off, where I see and speak to nobody and have the entire day to myself doing exactly what I want. Every year at about this time, I say to my husband, ‘I don’t want a present. All I want is a day where I sit on my backside, stuff myself silly with my favourite food and watch endless reruns of Only Fools and Horses.’ Naturally he never listens, and so on Christmas morning I usually open presents containing some lovely pyjamas which I fantasise about clambering into immediately but never do. And then I get on with the franticness of the day, juggling food, family and social obligation – all thoughts of Del Boy and Rodney firmly out the window.
It won’t surprise you to know that I’ve never had that fantasy Christmas, but this year, with things the way they are it looks like as if I might. And guess what, I really don’t want it. This year, I don’t want quiet and a rest. I want all the noisiness, mess, and exhaustion the day can bring. For a start, I’d have all of my wonderful friends around for dinner. We’d drink several glasses of fizz and put the world to rights (it’s possible given the events of 2020 that nothing else would get done, but this is fantasy).
Then there’s my family. I would love to have all of them at the dining table, even the ones I can’t stand (you know who you are). I’d like to argue with my mother about just how crispy the perfect Christmas spud should be and then play cribbage with my dad, who loves the game but never, ever finds anyone to play with him. I’d watch my nieces scream with excitement as they unwrap their gifts (they’re too old for Santa now and fully understand that Bank of Family pays for their haul) then, after lunch, I’d sit down with my now deceased grandfather and listen to him tell me stories of the war that would no doubt inspire yet another saga. After that, I’d share a glass of sherry with my grandmother that died a year before I was born and spend some time actually getting to know her. Before the day was out, I would also share a moment with my husband that wasn’t harried or frantic, but calm and loving as we give thanks for the gifts of family and friends around us. Because really, if there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us all, it’s that at Christmas time, and in fact at any time, it’s family, friends and love that really matter. And so this Christmas, as I finally get my festive fantasy wish and sit on my backside, watching those Only Fools and Horse’s reruns, I’ll no doubt be thinking that next Christmas, I will be very careful about what I wish for.
Wise words indeed Fiona. I think this Christmas more than ever we need to celebrate those we love and those we’ve lost.
About Fiona Ford
As a child, Fiona’s mother used to joke that wherever there was a book, Fiona wouldn’t be far behind. With a passion for reading from practically the moment she was born, it was inevitable Fiona would become a writer. Sure enough after studying English Literature at university, Fiona became a local and national journalist before making her move to books where she began ghost writing fiction for celebrities (too famous to name, of course). One day, some bright spark suggested she write her own stories rather than those of celebs and suddenly an idea was born.
Now, Fiona’s passion for writing currently sees her penning the World War 2 Liberty Girls series for Arrow. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction for Aria under the name Abby Williams.
She lives in Berkshire with her husband, two cats and has an unhealthy attitude towards exercise and chocolate – believing one must surely cancel out the other.
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