Friday, 20 November 2015

Mistletoe & Mayhem - Catherine Ferguson

About the book...
Lola Plumpton can’t believe her luck.

Christmas is coming and her gorgeous boyfriend, Nathan has offered up his swanky apartment to host the Plumpton family’s festive celebrations. It looks set to be a Christmas to remember. And it is – but for all the wrong reasons.

As the 25th December draws closer, Lola unexpectedly finds herself missing some key components:

1. A job (but who needs one of those anyway, when you’ve got the ultimate family Christmas to prepare for?)
2. Money (no job equals no money, it turns out.)
3. A boyfriend (yup, Nathan the hunk has said adios to Lola – and in the *most* embarrassing way possible…)
4. Somewhere to host her fabulous family Christmas (because of course, no Nathan means no des res apartment.)

Lola’s at a loss about what to do. But one way or another, she’s going to make this the happiest Christmas her family’s ever had…

About the author...
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’s first novel HUMBUG AND HEARTSTRINGS is very loosely based on Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL and is a clever, modern tale about the price of friendship, the cost of enmity, and the value of love. She lives with her son in Northumberland.

So Avon are having a Craft Off - Bloggers vs Avon Staff to promote Catherine Ferguson's latest book Mistletoe & Mayhem. Today it's my turn on the blog tour to go head to head with Helena Sheffield from Avon - may the best woman win ;D

So my challenge was fruity Christmas - how hard can it be? TRUST ME VERY!!
This is a simple yet effective way to make some lovely decorations for your Christmas Tree 

Step1: Get some oranges
Step 2: Thinly slice and blot with kitchen paper to remove excess juice
Step 3: Lay on top of a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and cook on a low heat for hours 
and hours and hours - don't keep opening the oven and prodding them like I did. 
I thought they'd never dry out and in fact they took approx 3hrs! ;D
Step 4: Once dry, remove from oven (these could have done with a tiny bit longer)
Step 5: Put in bowl, gather ribbon, scissors & a cocktail stick to push the ribbon through the orange 
Step 6: ta da!! Lovely decs ready for the tree.

So thank you Avon for letting me part of this fun challenge now to see whose 
have turned out the best.  Helena how did you do? #AvonCraftOff

For those of you who may want to try this at home the Avon instructions are below.

The Mistletoe & Mayhem Craft-Off

My thoughts...
I bought an ecopy of this book for the bargain price of 99p from Amazon and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I was so wrapped up between turning the pages, baking oranges and planning my own family christmas the hours just slipped away.  Long distance meal planning and christmas shopping lists are all go here.  I go a bit giddy where christmas is concerned and love everything to do with it.

Mistletoe & Mayhem has really got me in the mood for christmas and I'm thankful that no matter how chaotic my life can seem at the minute, Lola's is much worse.  Unlike Lola I have a job I love, I've saved some pennies to pay for Christmas food and presents.  Have a husband and daughter that muck in with the chores and the cooking and I live in a house big enough to host whoever may end up on my doorstep christmas morning.  And, best of all I have my beautiful fruity decorations ready for my tree - they're just in the airing cupboard, finishing the drying process now ;D

So, Mistletoe & Mayhem is as you would guess set during the lead up to Christmas.  Lola is our lead character and has it all, all except a house big enough to host her family for Christmas that is. Then Nathan, her boyfriend comes to the rescue galloping in on his white charger by offering his 'des res' and everything looks like it'll turn out alright.  But, it's not long before everything is turned on its head. Lola finds herself dumped, therefore also has nowhere to host christmas. She also finds herself jobless, therefore no money to pay for it either.

Thank goodness for her flat mate and the new friendships she makes with her new neighbours.  This is a light hearted read as you would expect that had me smiling and laughing - with Lola I hasten to add, not at her - well not too often anyway.  The first hobby that springs to mind when thinking of someone that couldn't sing would not be to join a choir - but that's what Lola did - hilarious!

This is such a fun read, it will definitely have you smiling but, like many books it is multi faceted.  It's not all frivolity and laughter, there are some deeper storylines that go some way to explaining peoples behaviours and lessons are taught and learnt.  Christmas shouldn't be about spending lots of money and being stressed to death.  It's about friends and family supporting each other, coming together to spend quality time having fun.  Lola is taught by her gorgeous flatmate, who is just so lovely that you don't have to spend lots of money on food, decorations and gifts - you can make things cheaply just like the orange decorations I made in the article above and the pleasure gained from knowing you've made something yourself is tenfold what it would be had you just picked up something from the shops.

On top of that, this book is peppered with recipes and ideas for a homemade christmas, Rocky Road - YES PLEASE!  Chocolate Vodka anyone - HELL YES!!  Don't miss out get your copy of this edible read now and take the stress out of Christmas.

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