Guest blog by Samantha Tonge, author of Mistletoe Mansion
Mistletoe Mansion is set during the last couple of weeks in December, when wannabe celebrity and aspiring cupcake magnate, Kimmy, finds herself housesitting a supposedly haunted mansion. This house is situated in a beautiful cul-de-sac, has magnificent gardens and is in Harpenden, an upmarket village in Hertfordshire. Snow only adds to the scenic location and adds a pinch more romance to the story. But how? What is it about snow that makes our hearts flutter, along with the snowflakes?
Firstly, there is no denying that visually, snow is appealing. Whilst the suburban, leafy setting in Mistletoe Mansion is already pleasing to the romantic’s eye, snow makes it seem even more magical, as if something special – like finding true love! – could really happen. Snow turns even the most industrial, built-up landscapes into pictures of beauty. So fresh and pristine, half-an-hour’s snowfall transforms any grimy grey street into a parade of white, covering litter and mud and adding that unrealistic fairytale quality to the most unsightly of scenes.
Secondly, its coldness encourages the pursuit of cosy warmth. After an afternoon out in the snow, how perfect for a couple to snuggle up, with mugs of hot chocolate – or aromatic mulled wine – in front of a fire. Icy weather promotes closeness and hugs! Like at the end of Bridget Jones when Bridget finally finds Mark Darcy out in the snowy street and he holds her close, inside his long duffle coat. Whereas sticky, humid weather and perspiration has quite the opposite effect!
Also, snow makes us feel nostalgic and sparks warm, happy feelings inside, associated with the excitement of a childhood Xmas – an excitement similar to that of falling in love. We picture Santa on a snow-topped chimney and reindeer sleighs dodging snowflakes. The white stuff makes us recall the tingling in our stomach as we spy presents under the tree and watch family members cook the turkey dinner or pull crackers. It’s a reassuring, secure feeling for most of us, that makes us feel magically optimistic – just for a few seconds, before we work out how we are going to get the car started amongst the sludge, or find a much-needed but lost pair of gloves!
Of course, there are other aspects of Mistletoe Mansion that I hope readers will find romantic – for a start, athletic handyman Luke, with his bedroom hair and jaunty attitude! But I feel the time of year the book is set in definitely adds to the amorous atmosphere.
And as I’m lucky enough to work from home, I always keep my fingers crossed for a really white Christmas as I’ve no worries about train cancellations or traffic snarl-ups on the way to the office. So here’s to a romantic, icy cold festive season. If nothing else, it’s a chance to savour some Christmas themed cakes, like the ones Kimmy bakes. Mmm, anyone for chocolate log or Stollen?
Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.
When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.
So, newly single – and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…
Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined…?
Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Its fun standalone sequel is From Paris with Love. Mistletoe Mansion stars a new set of characters and is for fans of cupcakes and Christmas!
Doubting abbey Blog: http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/