Publication: 3rd October 2019 – Aria
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 new man in town, 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 breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.
In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara 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.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Christmas Calendar Girls, the new festive novel by Samantha Tonge. A huge thank you to Victoria Joss and Aria for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.
The protagonist of the novel is Fern. A freelance journalist with a young daughter, she moved to Chesterwood three years earlier after the premature death of her husband. Although part of her is still grieving, she thinks it is time to move on, especially as her friendship with Kit seems to become something more. However, Fern has other things to worry about besides her love life. The local food bank is about to be closed because the rent is too high. To try and save the place that is so important for many people around the area, Fern organize a living calendar event around town to raise money. Also, she is worried about her two best friends. Perfect wife and mother Cara who has always everything under control has become very forgetful and distracted while Davina is worried about her children’s strange behaviour. Will Fern be able to make it to Christmas without much drama? (Don’t count on it!)
October is the month of Christmas reads and I lost count of how many Christmas books I have read so far, but I enjoyed each one of them including The Christmas Calendar Girls. The author created a protagonist that feels authentic and relatable from the very beginning. You can feel her pain as she remembers her husband, but you also cheer her on as she tries to build a new life without him. She is compassionate and caring, working hard to help the homeless of the village. She is always ready to help others and, in the meantime, she has a job to do and a daughter to raise.
I loved the community feeling and the Christmas atmosphere that together make a fantastic Christmas novel. An enjoyable and uplifting novel about friendship, family, love, loss, and new beginnings, The Christmas Calendar Girls is one not to miss this Christmas season!
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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
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