Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Christmas in London - release day review & giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Since she was a young girl baking in the kitchen with her mother, Louisa has wanted to own her own restaurant that specializes in delicate pastries and unusual desserts. Beyond experience, that requires a commercial-sized sink full of cash.  Thus, twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side are the norm for Louisa, especially the week before Christmas. Louisa is just finishing up the trays of treats for the morning’s Christmas special (cinnamon rolls) when Noah dashes in for a shelf full of ─pause─ cinnamons rolls.

Noah is working his way through law school as a cooking show assistant.  Making problems ─poof!─ disappear is what he’s paid to do.  That includes dashing out in the rain when the show burns the cinnamon rolls they were supposed to film that day.  Or finding a substitute host ─“Please, Louisa! Pleeeease be our host!”─ for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s in London when the cooking show host has an allergic reaction to the secret ingredient (nutmeg) that was in Louisa’s prize-winning cinnamon rolls.

Of course Louisa must do it! After all, this predicament is (sort of) her fault.  And think of the publicity! So Louisa is off to London.  But will this trip prove delicious or disastrous?
The show’s producer, Kate, a graduate of St. Andrew’s in Scotland, is no stranger to London’s corner of the world. And it’s a small world after all when, on her first night in London, she runs into her college best friend, Trevor, while she’s dining at Claridge’s.

Both Kate and Trevor are currently unattached, and their secret attraction for one another still hovers under the surface. But their college years were fraught with misunderstandings and youthful heartaches. More than one heart was broken at graduation.  Although it’s now ten years later, the obstacles Kate and Trevor experienced in college are still there, and they appear to be just as insurmountable today as they were ten years ago. Even the sugar plum fairies see the dilemmas disturbing their dreams. Isn’t that indication enough to let the past be the past?

Anita Hughes’ novel, Christmas in London, is set in a magnificent city in which to be during the Christmas season. Hughes’ lovely descriptions of London sparkle with Christmas traditions and holiday cheer so magical that I both felt like I was there at Christmas but also dreamt of experiencing it all live and in person. Buckingham Palace, The Nutcracker at Covent Garden, the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Harrods, just a few ‘musts’ to whet your site-seeing appetite and get you dreaming.  And that’s not even talking food!  Ah, the sweet treats the author describes will have your mouth watering and your fingers googling recipes.

Are you thinking, “Is Christmas in London a travel book?”  No, that’s just a bonus. Anita Hughes’ novel focuses on one week in the lives of two young women, Louisa and Kate. It’s a week filled with fun, fabulous food, and fairy tales. It’s a week marked with mistakes, mishaps, and misunderstandings. We glimpse visions of the future and visit haunts of the past. It’s a week that changes lives.

Should you wait for the holidays for Christmas in London. No need! Pour yourself a relaxing cup of hot tea, help yourself to a flaky, raspberry scone, and enjoy.  It is, after all, tea time somewhere!

Purchase the book at:

About the author:
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named "One of Australia's Next Best Writers." (She still has the newspaper clipping.)

She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program.

She lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets.

Connect with the author at:

One lucky winner a print copy of
Christmas in London by Anita Hughes

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