Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holly's First Noel by Faye Robertson (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Good morning everyone, now we have a post perfect for the upcoming holidays from New Zealand author, Faye Robertson! Faye is here to talk about her holiday novella, Holly's First Noel and there is also a giveaway at the end, enjoy!

Holly’s First Noel

I live in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand, and Christmas here is very different to that of the northern hemisphere. For a start—it’s hot! Because of the summer weather, we don’t usually have a traditional roast dinner—we save that for a midwinter celebration, which actually seems more Christmassy than Christmas, if you see what I mean. Instead, we tend to have a fancy barbecue, and often spend the day around the pool.

I wrote about Christmas in the southern hemisphere for my book (written under the name Serenity Woods) called White-Hot Christmas. However, there’s nothing like a real white Christmas, and I decided I also wanted to write a more traditional Christmassy story, and came up with Holly’s First Noel.

True to form, though, in the end I strayed quite far from the idea of a conventional Christmas, and although it’s set in Scotland on the shore of Loch Ness and it does snow, Holly and Noel actually travel there to escape the festive season. Noel’s wife died three years ago, and Holly’s boyfriend has dumped her. They have no decorations, no roast dinner, and no family get-together around the dining table.

However, they discover that even though there are no customary paper hats or tinsel—and their festive dinner consists of beans on toast—magic and romance is waiting for them out in the snow. They discover that the magic of Christmas isn’t in the food and the decorations—it’s what’s in your heart that counts, and love can turn any day into a celebration.

Music teacher Holly Jones is in a festive predicament. Her boyfriend just dumped her the week before Christmas, so why is she only depressed he made off with the mince pies? When the charming science teacher next door overhears the dreaded call and suggests she accompany him on his Scottish holiday retreat, she accepts, eager to spend a quiet week rediscovering herself. Noel Coward’s wife died on Christmas Eve three years ago. To bury the memories of that day, he spends the holidays getting drunk and watching action movies—which makes him perfect company for a fellow teacher in need of solitude. Except, instead of wallowing in his grief, Noel finds himself comforted by Holly’s presence, fascinated by her mind, and after one innocent kiss, on fire for her touch. As the snow piles up outside, the temperature inside soars, while together, they discover the human heart’s amazing capacity to heal…and love.
Enjoy Holly’s First Noel, a $2.99 Entangled Ever After!

About Faye:
Faye Robertson lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes fun, flirty, and sexy contemporary romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and hunky but approachable heroes. She’s won several romance writing competitions and is a member of the Romance Writers of New Zealand. She would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies. She also writes romance under the name Serenity Woods.

You can find Faye at her website, on Twitter or connect on Facebook!
Get your copy of Holly’s First Noel at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books On Board | Amazon UK


Holly stared at him. Surely she’d heard wrong. “What?” she asked stupidly. Why did he always make her feel as if he was head of Mensa and she was the forerunner for the role of village idiot?
Noel finished off his coffee and pushed his cup away. “It’s a big house. There are four bedrooms and two living rooms. It’s in the middle of beautiful countryside and it’s guaranteed to snow.”
She blinked at him. It didn’t make sense. He wanted to get away for Christmas—why would he ask her to go with him? Unless… Jeez. She had just talked about stockings and liking lots of sex. What guy wouldn’t get ideas after that sort of conversation?
“It’s not a come on,” he said as if he’d read her mind. “You don’t have to speak to me at all if you don’t want. You can spend the whole weekend in your room, or come and watch DVDs with me and get drunk. I don’t mind. You look like you need a break, that’s all.” He frowned at her smile. “It’s not a proposal or anything.”
She smiled. “You’re very sweet.”
“I’m really not. I’ll be inebriated most of the time. I’ll probably be obnoxious and insult you and fall into a coma on the sofa.” He picked up his glasses and put them on as she laughed. “Anyway, the offer’s there. We’d better get back now. Are you all right to take period six?”
She stood, surprised as he retrieved her coat, and held it up for her to slip her arms into. “Yes, I’ll be fine thanks. Wow, you really are an old-fashioned gentleman, aren’t you?”
“It’s the way I was brought up.” He held out his arm. “Allow me to escort you back to school, Miss Jones.”
Laughing, she said, “If we’re going to spend Christmas together, you’re going to have to stop calling me that.”
He looked surprised as he opened the door and popped his umbrella, gesturing for her to go out first. “You’re coming to Scotland with me?”
She placed her hand in the crook of his arm as she ducked out of the insistent rain. “Might as well. We can have a ‘Who’s going to be most miserable on Christmas Day’ competition.”
“I’ll win,” he said. “I win every year.”
“I’m sure I can give you a run for your money.”
“Well, I can drink more than you can.”
“Hah! Don’t bet on it. I’ve been known to drink copious amounts of Chardonnay at certain times of the month.”
He snorted. “Malt whisky’s what you need, girl. That’ll put hairs on your chest.”
“My breasts are perfectly nice hairless, thank you very much.”
His lips curved. “Well thank you for filling my head with that image just as I go into a lesson on voltage and electrical currents.”
“It’s the last day of term,” she said. “Put a DVD on for God’s sake like everyone else.”
He glanced down at her. His glasses had misted up as they came out into the cold air, so he looked over the top of them at her. Why did that give her the shivers? “Holly, I’ll say it one last time and then I won’t say it again. I didn’t ask you to Scotland for any other reason than that I thought you could do with somewhere quiet to go.”
“Shucks,” she said. “And there’s me hoping it was for the sex.”

576 words

As I mentioned above, Faye and Entangled Ever After is kindly giving away one digital copy of Holly's First Noel to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and then fill out the rafflecopter below with your name and email address! Extra entries are available but not required. =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. It seems an interesting book so I'd love a chance to read it :)
    Plus I'm a fan of holiday stories and I loved the snippet.

    - Flavia

  2. Sounds like an interesting book and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I love hearing about other country holiday traditions . . . and while I think it's hot here in the South, I guess it isn't nearly the same as it basically being the summer. That blows my mind.

    This book is so up my alley. I just got myself a copy, so I don't want to enter the contest. Just wanted to give a quick shout out :-)

  4. Ok, I am definitely sold on this book! Love anything that is set in Scotland! Thank you so much for the giveaway! Merry Christmas everyone and God bless!

  5. GREAT giveaway...Happy Holidays!

  6. Hi everyone :) Sorry for the delay - Just got up in New Zealand! I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas, wherever you are. It should be lovely and warm here, but we're having a particularly stubborn bout of rain. Hopefully it'll pass before the big day! Thanks for commenting, and thanks for buying the book, Rachel H! I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Thanks for the great giveaway, this sounds like a great read

    Here is my tweet, rafflecopter wouldn't let me post the link. Don't know if this new rafflecopter likes me, I've had lots of problems with it :)!/joleneallcock/status/147116626918121472

  8. The excerpt had me LMAO - so I'm stalking you already via blog, Twitter, and Facebook, Faye! If I'm not lucky enough to win the book, it's on my list to buy right away ;-)
    Anything that makes me laugh out loud is a winner!
    Happy Holidays!

    Gena Robertson

  9. Thank you for the giveaway! This book sounds like a great holiday read! Happy Holidays! :)

  10. Enjoyed the posting about Christmas in New Zealand- not much different from my Christmas' growing up in California (maybe not quite as hot).

    The excerpt was great- It definitely has me wanting to read the rest of the book.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  11. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I can't wait to read this book.

  12. Thanks for a great post and excerpt! Sounds fantastic!

    Happy Holidays!


  13. Thanks everyone! And I don't mind being stalked at all, Gena! LOL! Ooh, and California, Sophia? How wonderful. It's probably not quite as hot here, but more humid, I would think. It's called "the winterless north", and we have maybe 1 or 2 frosts a year, and it never snows. Quite different to Scotland!

  14. This book sounds like it'll be good, thank you for the chance to win =D


  15. I love holiday reads and this books sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.



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