Monday, 10 December 2018

Blog Blitz Post including an extract: The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.

Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.

Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her?

Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.

Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?

 (Natalie has just arrived in Loch Lomond)
Natalie closed the door behind her and surveyed her new living quarters. The darkness had made it difficult to notice much about the garden outside and the driving rain had made her keen to get inside as quickly as possible. She found herself in a small hallway, with a deep pile carpet, mocha in colour. She couldn’t wait to slip off her boots and luxuriate in the feel of the pile between her toes. Her feet ached from the journey; it was rather a long way.
An antique mirror, was it real? she wondered, hung from a hook in the hallway, which was dimly lit by a fake gas lamp. Off the hall were five doors. The first turned out to be a cupboard, also home to the boiler. The second led her into a country kitchen, complete with French dresser and pine table and chairs, with an Aga taking centre stage; well-equipped and quite spacious, considering it was a one bedroom cottage. Natalie exited the kitchen and tried the next door - her bedroom for the next month. A double bed, a large wardrobe and two bedside cabinets made up the room, nothing special, but comfortable enough. On the other side of the hall, the first door she tried led into the bathroom.
Oh, what a treat! A tiled wet room.
For a cottage, it was modern; a rare mix of old meets new.
The last door led her into a large living room with a bay window overlooking the front garden. She hadn’t been aware of how far up the hill the driver had come, but now she could see, even in the dark, the splendid views over Loch Lomond. Lights twinkled in the distance; she assumed they were from moored boats, or a boathouse perhaps.
The living room welcomed her with a coal fire. Lovely. It required extra effort, but was definitely worth it. Natalie planned on cosy nights in after work, although she did expect to be working long hours, relaxing in front of the fire with a good book, or cooking on the Aga. Bliss. The corner sofa wasn’t to her taste, but was new and clearly from the period when corner sofas were back in fashion recently. Heavy curtains hung over the bay window, keeping out the cold.
Yes, this’ll do nicely.
She returned to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Aw, the lady who had leased her the house and the bakery had put a few goodies in for her first night. How sweet, and much appreciated. Natalie realised she was worn out from the journey, and checked out the cupboards to see about pots and pans. Two bottles of red wine greeted her when she opened the first door and she made a mental note to thank the landlady; just what she needed to go with her first meal and help her unpack. Tomorrow would be a long day and a new start.

Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband and their two children. She is the author of four novels: Return of the Christmas Spirit, The Christmas Spirit, The Dating Game, and Sign of the Times. She is currently working on books five and six: The Proposal and Just One Day.

Susan is also a proofreader, editor and translator, and when not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, loves reading, the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!

Twitter – susan_buchanan
Blog – Sooz’s journal –

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