Joining me today to chat about her Christmas book is author Daisy James. I’ve read quite a few of Daisy’s books and they are such lovely, feel-good reads. I’ve met Daisy on a few occasions too and can tell you she is as lovely as her books! Let’s find out more about Daisy and her Christmas favourites.
First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hi everyone, a huge thank you to Joanne for inviting me to be part of her Festive Spotlight blog.
I’m Daisy James, and I write feel-good romantic comedies set in beautiful locations, sometimes with a twist of a mystery to solve. I’ve written twenty-two books to date – I can’t believe it! – and my latest series – Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel is set on the sun-drench island of Corfu. It follows the story of Abbie Coleman, a celebrity florist who swaps the grey drizzly streets of London for the blue skies and golden beaches of Greece. It’s filled with fun and friendship, but also deals with issues of loss and grief and finding the courage to take a leap of faith to move on and embrace a new life.
In a nutshell, what is your Christmas book about?
My Christmas book is the third in the Hummingbird Hotel series – Snowflakes at the Hummingbird Hotel. It follows Abbie as she gets to grips with running the quirky boutique hotel, and welcoming a new set of guests to a “creativity” retreat. This time she’s playing host to a group from the Gigleton & Oakham Amateur Theatrical Society who are rehearsing for their annual pantomime, and of course, nothing goes smoothly for Abbie because beneath the surface there are unresolved issues between the guests over the acting roles they’ve been assigned. In order to prevent the retreat from descending into disaster, Abbie finds herself donning her metaphorical deerstalker to discover who is intent on transforming the production of Cinderella into a comedy of errors.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
This is the third book in the Hummingbird Hotel series and it’s set around Christmas. When doing the research for the story, I was surprised, and delighted, to find that Corfu does actually experience snowfall. In January 2019, the whole of Corfu Town was subjected to several inches of snow which was a huge shock to the residents, I’m sure. The buildings looked so pretty with a blanket of snowflakes swirling around them, but also a little strange.
How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?
Like most people, Christmas last year was a quiet, low-key affair with just my family for Christmas lunch. My extended family live in North Wales, so we didn’t get to see them at all over the holidays, so I’m really hoping that this year we’ll get to spend some time together to exchange presents and enjoy a festive meal before the Big Day. For the first time in a while, we had a real Christmas tree last year and the smell of pine needles was lovely, so I think we’ll do that again this year, and we always decorate it together and hang a mixture of ornaments that include home-made baubles brought home from school projects, as well as trinkets we’ve acquired whilst on family holidays. They’re be lots of foodie treats, and last year I had a gorgeous Frankincense & Myrrh candle that really helped me get into the Christmas spirit whilst writing my Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency book. I also hope that we’ll get to go to the local pantomime which is a family tradition that I love!
What’s your favourite Christmas film?
I love Christmas movies. It’s so hard to pick a favourite. Is it okay to pick two? I love Elf; I watch it every year curled up on the sofa, under a fleece, with a mug of hot chocolate – with those little marshmallows – and a handy tin of Quality Street. I also love The Holiday, too. I went to see it at the cinema with my best friend when it first came out and it’s been a tradition to get together every year & repeat the fun afternoon we had with a hot toddy & a slice of Christmas cake.
And a favourite Christmas song?
Again, I like lots of Christmas songs, but my favourite just has to be Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea.
Do you have a favourite Christmas book?
Gosh, there’s so many I can’t possibly choose! But a couple of years ago, my Christmas stocking contained The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse by Charlie Mackesy and it was just so beautiful. I know it’s not a Christmas book, but it reminds me so much of that Christmas.
What Christmas book are you looking forward to reading this year?
I’ve got a few on my Kindle ready for the end of October when I usually start turning my mind to all-things Christmassy. I’m looking forward to reading the new Holly Martin book, Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake, Sophie Kinsella’s new one, The Party Crasher, and Cathy Bramley’s The Merry Christmas Project.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Facebook – Daisy James
Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks https://twitter.com/daisyjamesbooks
And finally, what’s the best Christmas present you ever received?
Around ten years ago, my family surprised me with the best Christmas present ever – a trip to Disney! It was utterly amazing & I still regularly get out the photograph albums and look through them, enjoying all the memories the images throw up, the laughter, the sparkles, the decorations, the rides, the characters dressed in their Christmas finery, the ever-present aroma of cinnamon. Yes, that has to be the best present ever.
Thank you Daisy. That was certainly a wonderful Christmas present!
You can order Daisy’s latest book here: Snowflakes at the Hummingbird Hotel
From the back of the book
Welcome to the Hummingbird Hotel!
When Corfu’s newest hotelier Abbie Coleman is asked to host a fun-filled creativity retreat for a group of am-dram enthusiasts rehearsing for that year’s pantomime, she pulls out all the stops. With pottery classes, painting sessions, wreath-making and flower-arranging – along with a few meditation sessions from the hotel’s resident fitness guru – she’s hoping that this time her guests’ planned production of Cinderella will not descend into a comedy of errors.
But this is the Hummingbird Hotel, and the words ‘plain-sailing’ and ‘hassle-free’ do not feature in the script. So when a lovingly painted Christmas wreath acquires a few unusually shaped floral additions, and a prized Greek vase is moulded into something a little more risqué, Abbie must once again partner-up with local winery and vineyard owner, the movie-star-handsome Nikos Angelopoulos, to unmask the culprit and ensure the story of the hotel has a happy ending.
Can she turn turmoil into tranquillity? Or will her time on Corfu be over before its begun?