Friday, 18 October 2019

The Christmas Calendar Girls - Samantha Tonge

About the book… 
This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood...

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She's going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the mysterious school caretaker, offers his assistance, Fern's heart can't help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit's the first man to touch her heart since she lost her husband, but his past is holding him back.
In this town, Kit's not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Chummy is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina's perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.
Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?

This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It's about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

Buy Links: 

About the author…
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women's fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association romantic comedy award

Contact Links: 
Twitter: @SamTongeWriter

Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

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My thoughts…
Awwww what an absolute delight this book was.  It was my first festive read of the year and the premise had me hooked from the moment Victoria at Aria Fiction first told me about it. 'A living Calendar" OMG I so want to organise one!!

What's not to love about the Christmas Calendar Girls.  It has it all,  it truly is a magical, read that had me totally hooked.  It pulled at my heart strings and certainly gave me food for thought. It made me question what is important in life, when is it better to give rather than receive, to find acceptance within ourselves, to accept it's sometimes ok to follow your heart rather than your head. To look beyond the obvious, things aren't always what they seem at face value.  It was desperately sad in places but counter-balanced with hope, fun and happiness in others.  It's about love, friendship, solidarity and support - it's about friends, family and a community coming together to support and help each other.  It's about picking your battles, knowing when to fight for what's right or when to acquiesce.  It's what would appear at first glance to be a light, easy read and turns out to be anything but - it has depth, the characters and setting providing solid foundations for the story to unfold. It revolves around three friends, their friendship, their families and their community.   They come together to support a fund raising event  to save a vital public service, the local food bank.  

The story sees 'The Living Calendar' brought to life and I was giddy with excitement  muttering to myself what an amazing idea it was and wondering when and how I could replicate it. It really was brilliant, I loved every aspect of it and dare you not to be touched by this incredible read.  

I highly recommend this Christmas Read, it's definitely one readers will be sorry to have missed.  Huge thanks for allowing me to be part of the blog tour all at Aria Fiction.

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