Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Thanks so much Elaine for hosting me on your blog today!
Hi! I’m Kiley Dunbar and I’m here to tell you about my family’s Christmas traditions and how my year round obsession with all things Christmassy fed into my festive romantic comedy, Christmas at Frozen Falls (Hera Books, 2019).
Christmas for me begins with the January sales, which we all know begin as early as Boxing Day these days. Boxing Day for the Dunbars is a sacred day of pyjama wearing and leftover turkey eating, but come the 27th of December I can be found rifling through the wrapping paper rolls and the posh Christmas crackers at M&S searching for a 50% off sticker! Then it’s off to W.H. Smith’s for their fanciest advent calendars for the kids. Then I have the problem of storing my bargains for the rest of the year and it all gets shoved on top of the wardrobe for eleven months.
I’m the sort who can’t resist gift hoarding all year round too, I pick up treats for the kids then forget what I’ve squirrelled away come December.
As I write this it’s the 6th of November and yesterday I dug out all the Christmas jumpers from the back of the wardrobe to wash and freshen up. Can I get away with wearing one round town yet, I wonder?
December brings lots of celebrations. It’s our wedding anniversary (nineteen years!) and then my birthday just after Christmas, so we really go to town with decorations, bubbly drinks and over-eating all month long.
I like to book our Christmas adventures really early in the year too, so that we have something festive to get excited about in the build up to the big day. This year we’re off to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Park for a day of train rides, fake snow showers (though, you never know, we might get the real thing this year!) and trying to navigate wide eyed kids through the gift shop. And we’ll get up close and personal with the Big Guy himself in his grotto before a starlit fireworks display. I can’t wait, and neither can our two babies; Iris, and the festively named, Robin.
We always spend Christmas day at home, just the five of us (including Amos, my literary support hound), and it’s always so cosy and relaxed. First there’s presents (none of this waiting until after lunch business for us). By eight AM there’s wrapping paper everywhere and two very excited, noisy children playing happily. Then Mr Dunbar and I tuck in to salmon and cream cheese bagels and a big pot of tea. Nobody bothers dressing up as we’re not going anywhere, the turkey’s in the oven, and I’ve probably already popped the Christmas bubbly by ten-thirty.
We take the whole afternoon to eat lunch, letting the kids play between courses, and then its kids’ films, the Strictly special, and Quality Street cuddled up under blankets with the tree lights twinkling. Laid back, joyful festive perfection!
Each year I buy one or two special new decorations for the tree, and last year (December 2018) I picked up a few extra special ones on our trip to Saariselkä in Lapland. Imagine meeting the real Santa in his arctic home and waking up to five foot snowdrifts and hot chocolates on Christmas Eve! Well that’s exactly what we did and the kids still talk about it all the time. Highlights were our husky sled ride through a twilit winter wonderland forest, watching my son grinning on a skidoo ride, and seeing the kids’ faces when Father Christmas produced their letters sent all the way from England weeks before. These are treasured memories I will never, ever forget.
I channelled my memories of Saariselkä into Christmas at Frozen Falls and readers have really enjoyed the sense of being whisked off on a festive break with my heartbroken heroine, Sylvie Magnussen. At first she’s unconvinced that a trip to Lapland is what she needs to help her get over being dumped by her husband-to-be earlier that year, but once she realises there’s a chance of being reunited with her sexy, blond, Finnish ex-boyfriend from long ago Lapland suddenly holds a lot more appeal.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my love of Christmas and if you fancy reading the most Christmassy romance novel of all time, you’d be hard pressed to find one more festive than Christmas at Frozen Falls! I even have Stellan dressed in a luxurious red velvet Santa suit handing Sylvie a husky pup to cuddle! And there’s ice bars serving chilled champagne, aurora hunting, a very sexy date in a traditional sauna, and plenty Christmas kisses in the snow.
Thank you to everyone for all of their support in buying and reviewing my first festive novel. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. I’ll see you in 2020 when I’m back with two new titles for Hera Books, and yes, one of them is very, very Christmassy!
Buy links for Christmas at Frozen Falls :
The Works (paperback) https://www.theworks.co.uk/p/modern-romance/christmas-at-frozen-falls/9781788636636
Definitely my pleasure to have you on my blog today – thank you so much for your post, Kiley. I enjoyed learning about your family’s Christmas traditions and maybe I need to add visiting Lapland to my to do list – but it does look very cold!
I loved escaping to Lapland in Kiley’s fantastic festive read, Christmas at Frozen Falls. I actually posted my review of it back in September but thought I’d share that, information about the book and about Kiley again . . . . so here they are:
Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancé dumps you a week before your wedding…
Sylvie’s best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie’s mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got away.
When they meet, Stellan’s still gorgeous – and her heart is warmed when he shows her the romantic delights of Lapland (as well as some adorable Husky puppies). But when she returns to England, can she really leave Stellan behind? Or will she find that her heart belongs in the frozen North?
Curl up with the perfect cosy read this winter. Fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews will adore this feel good, heart-warming romcom.
What a lovely, festive read this proved to be – one to read whatever the season when you’re looking for a heartwarming romance. It doesn’t have a very romantic start as Sylvie Magnusson should be going off on honeymoon over the Christmas period but her fiancé called off the wedding just a week before he was due to put the ring on her finger. Initially she’d decided to make the most of their holiday plans but then can’t face the honeymoon suite.
Instead, her best friend Nari manages to use her contacts to enable them to visit Lapland to see the Northern Lights. This rekindles fond memories of her time in University when Stellan Virtanen was visiting and became her boyfriend, first love and the one that ran away. They’re visiting his homeland and staying in his resort. The chemistry is still there between them but why did he leave last time? Can she trust a man again? What will happen when she goes home again? Will love find a way to give them their HEA this time?
This is a delightful second chance romance, complete with some adorable Husky puppies, snowy adventures and hot romances. It is a lovely story to escape into, with great characters, fantastic frozen scenery, amazing sights and light, and a couple of romances to melt even a frozen heart. I really enjoyed reading it and have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who likes escaping into contemporary, second chance romances.
I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it – and throughly enjoying doing so! I’ll definitely be looking out for more books by this author in future.
Author Bio –
Kiley Dunbar is the author of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.
JOAN HESSAYON AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVELISTS CONTENDER 2019
Kiley is Scottish and lives in England with her husband, two kids and Amos the Bedlington Terrier. She writes around her work at a University in the North of England where she lectures in English Literature and creative writing. She is proud to be a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a graduate of their New Writers’ Scheme.
One Summer’s Night is Kiley’s first novel (published by Hera Books) and is on sale now!
Don’t forget there’s also a fabulous audiobook narrated by Eilidh Beaton.
Christmas at Frozen Falls, Kiley’s dreamy festive romcom set in Lapland is on pre-order now: amzn.to/2ZlURGa Out 4th September 2019.
You can find Kiley on Twitter @KileyDunbar
and on the ‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook.
Social Media Links –
Huge thanks to Kiley Dunbar for her guest post today!