Books & Spoons Author Guest Post for HOLIDAY WITH THE MYSTERY ITALIAN by Ellie Darkins
Winning the ultimate prize
Since the accident that paralyzed him, Italian tycoon Mauro Evans vowed to embrace life.
So when he stars in a dating show for charity, picking prickly journalist Amber Harris as the winner to take on holiday is a challenge he can't resist!
In Amber's experience, relationships equal pain, so she's determined to ignore her attraction to charismatic Mauro.
But his bravery and strength threaten to tear down her defenses, giving her a new Christmas dreamringing in the New Year with wedding bells!
STAY TUNED FOR A BOOKS & SPOONS REVIEW DECEMBER 7TH
Christmas for me is all about one thing: sitting round the table as a family.
There are lots of things that we don’t seem to care about for a family Christmas – even the date on the calendar. For a few years now we’ve alternated between having Christmas day on the 25th and 26th December, so we kids can spend alternating years with partners’ families. But whichever day we all get together there are some things that you don’t mess with.
It’s not that the food is exactly the same. We’ve experimented over the years… like the time that we decided to have goose instead of turkey, but my dad got a bit enthusiastic with sharpening the carving knife and almost took a finger off. The fried parma and mozzarellas that my sister had made as a starter congealed on the table while we debated whether he needed stitches or not. Or there was the year that my mum decided that the potatoes should all be scored like little hedgehogs to make them extra crispy, which equated to about three years (and twenty-four bottles of sparkly) of prep time in the kitchen. Some things do remain constant though – like always leaving one dish forgotten in the oven, or the unfortunate after-effects of my mum’s stuffing (known forevermore as farty stuffing).
Christmas with my family is an extendable, as well as moveable, feast. We like to welcome (indoctrinate?) others into our traditions too. One memorable year my BFF joined us, bewildered and concussed from a car accident the night before, after my dad and I made a midnight dash to A&E to collect her. And the Tanzanian exchange student who decided that red wine was probably Halal on Christmas day, and had a large glass with his breakfast. The unforgettable years when my mum’s sister and her family joined us, we numbered more than twenty around the table, and had to add a couple of sides of beef to the usual giant turkey to feed the masses.
It’s not what we eat, it’s the way that we eat it. From the prosecco and pinnies over party dresses in the kitchen while we’re cooking, to the silly hats and after dinner ‘entertainment’ as the meal stretches into the fifth hour (one year there were numbered whistles in the crackers, play them in the right order to get a tune; another year, my sister tried to turn us into a gospel choir). Even when squabbling teenagers outnumbered adults, we could guarantee it was the one day of the year when we would put aside egos and quarrels and enjoy what we all know we’re so lucky to have – a big, hungry, generous, bonkers family.
Ellie Darkins writes heart-warming stories about falling in love, finding your soul mate and fighting hard to make real relationships work. The HEA is guaranteed, but nothing else along the way is. Expect to see surprise babies, breath-taking settings and alpha heroes by the bucketload. Plus steamy kisses, heaps of sensual tension, and fireworks just audible from behind a closed bedroom door.
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