It’s a real pleasure today to welcome Katey Lovell as my guest on Being Anne. Katey is a beautiful writer. I thoroughly enjoyed her lovely Meet Cute series of shorts, and wrote about them a couple of times – here and here – and Katey wrote a wonderful personal post here about the series and her hopes for the future. And now Katey’s third full-length novel is out in the world – Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown was published in paperback by HarperImpulse on 30th November – and I’m so thrilled for her!
This Christmas she’ll give her heart to someone special…
As Christmas approaches Joe Smith knows he should be celebrating with friends and family, making the most of the season. But for Joe, Christmas only holds painful memories. Ones he can feel crushing his heart, a reminder of a time he can never forget.
Clara O’Connell loves Christmas. For her it is the most magical time of the year. And she’s determined to make Joe love it too! She knows he’s hurting, but maybe she can help to ease his pain. Her plan: One special gift every day to remind Joe just how loved he is.
But the clock is ticking. Will the Christmas magic wear off at midnight or will Clara’s Christmas countdown be the perfect gift to heal Joe’s broken heart? And in doing so, maybe she will get a gift in return…Joe’s love for Christmas and forever…?
Here’s Katey with a gorgeous Christmassy post…
My new novel, Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown, is based around the eponymous friends adventures in Advent. Both of them are in need of a bit of extra TLC this festive season, and the plot centres around Clara gifting Joe traditionally Christmassy presents and Joe taking Clara on a series of ‘non-dates’ with a wintery twist.
With this in mind I thought I’d share some of the places Joe and Clara go in case anyone is looking for ideas for dreamy December dates.
Go and see The Nutcracker
The ultimate Christmas ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. A treat for the eyes and ears, even if dance isn’t your usual thing.
Stroll around the Christmas Markets
You don’t need to go to the continent for top quality Christmas markets as they’re popping up in cities all over the UK. Birmingham, Lincoln, Sheffield and Manchester (where Joe takes Clara) are just some places you can go for your own hot chocolate, stollen and lebkuchen.
Follow an advent window walk
Many churches and communities organise advent windows, where a new display is put up for each day in the run-up to Christmas in the windows of shops, schools, community buildings and houses. If you have one locally they’re a lovely way to view not just the windows but also the Christmas trees and lights in your area.
Watch a nativity service
As a preschool assistant the annual nativity service is always a lovely way to welcome the festive season. Many churches also have their own nativity services (not just for children!), often on Christmas Eve.
Take to the Ice
This is actually my idea of a nightmare date (and nervous Clara’s too) but there’s no denying that ice skating offers the potential for plenty of hand-holding!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
And a Merry Christmas to you too Katey!
Katey Lovell is the author of three rom-com novels published by HarperImpulse. Her Christmas novel Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown is out now in both ebook and paperback.