Thursday, 30 October 2014

Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin

What They Say:

You are invited to the wedding of the year!
Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams - in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... 
Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

What I Say:

I would like to thank Tay at Chicksthatread and Rebecca Raisin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for fair on honest review.

We are back in the sleepy town of Ashford just in time for Lily and Damons wedding but as you can see things the best laid plans do always work that way.

I've struggled for weeks about what to write in my review because I really don't want to give too much away, so let me just say there are tears of happiness, tears of sadness, accidents and misunderstandings but all this wouldn't do this really wonderful sweet book justice.

As in previous reviews, I love Lily and Damon but the stand out character for me is always CeeCee.  We get to meet some new characters, both Lily and Damons parents.  Becca who is going to be working in Missy's salon, and the hot and broody Clay from Bec's next book, even a Jo gets a mention, excited to say the least is an understatement.  This book has everything you could want from a Christmas read, I cried (Christina Perry's Thousand Years), I laughed at certain parts or the story with CeeCee and then we have a lovely wedding.

I've become quite good friends with Bec over the space of the last Twelve months and I am sorry this is the last of Lily and Damons story (I keep nagging her to write more), what I would say to anyone is read this series of books you won't be disappointed. 

The other thing I have seen is other bloggers have commented that the blurb gives away too much and have taken away stars for this, it's abit harsh as Bec didn't write the blurb and I don't think it does giveaway too much Ashford rocks!

Guest Post from Rebecca Raisin
Thanks for inviting me here today, Jo!

When I wrote the first Gingerbread Café book Christmas at the Gingerbread Café I had no idea it would turn into a trilogy! An idea flashed through my mind at midnight; the opening scene of Lil stuffing turkeys and blubbering, andCeeCee walking in and in her no-nonsense southern way, telling Lil how it really is! So I hastily made some notes and began writing the next day. The story poured out of me, and I could often ‘hear’ CeeCee talking to me which was really weird! I spend a lot of time polishing it, and expanding in the hope I could submit it somewhere, though it was edging towards October at that time and I thought I may have well and truly missed the Christmas story cut off point.

A friend told me Carina UK had put a call out for Christmas stories and would read and review within a day! Usually wait times for submissions is months, so I immediately went through it once more and then sent it off!

Two days later I had an email from my lovely editor, that just said something along the lines of we’d like to call you, please tell us when you’re free. NOW? I’M FREE NOW! I vaguely remember that was on a Friday, so I actually didn’t speak to her until the Tuesday, with the time differences and the weekend and all things considered. That was the slowest three days of my life! I hoped they wanted the story, but all sorts of things crossed my mind. And they did. They originally offered me a two book contract!

So then came the idea for a second Gingerbread Café book. And not by me! I had lots of people query when the follow-up was coming out. And I was like….erokay! I would LOVE to!
Kate Beedan was the first person to ask, and the idea took off from there.

I was beyond excited to get back to the girls from the café and the residents of the small town of Ashford. My editor and I discussed the plan for the coming books (by this time I’d signed further contracts) and we mapped out exactly whatwould come next. Knowing it would become a trilogy was wonderful, as I could include snippets for later use. And develop the characters and add new ones.

Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café was born! I must have put on about five kilos writing about a chocolate festival, and watching YouTube videos about how to temper chocolate!

I added a character called Sarah who owned The Bookshop on the Corner. Of course, I couldn’t wait to write about a dusty second-hand bookshop, full of wondrous finds if only you’d stay awhile to look. I loved writing about the quirky Sarah, and the hot hero Ridge!
Sarah was desperate for the book boyfriend to come to life, and preferred books over people most of the time…except precious time with her girlfriends who planned all manner of things to drag Sarah from behind the covers of her romance novels!

So while this wasn’t a Gingerbread Café story, it was still set in the same town, with Lil and CeeCee from the cafe featuring heavily as Sarah’s great friends. I loved writing The Bookshop on the Corner!

Then came the third and final Gingerbread Café book,Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café which has just been released. I don’t mind admitting I shed quite a few tears writing this! There’s some highly emotional scenes, and also I was saying goodbye to the girls who’d become so lifelike to me, that I frequently dropped them into conversations as though they were real! Once the drafts and numerous roundsof edits were done I really felt as if I was losing my best friends. What’s made the whole experience even more special is the amount of messages I’ve received from people who feel the same. They want another Gingerbread Café book! So only time will tell… but I do think I’ve left Lil and CeeCee in a good place, they’ve come full circle, and I’m happy with their story ending there. (Loudly sobbing into my hands!).

However! I am not finished with Ashford, Connecticut, where all the stories are situated! And it seems they are not finished with me!

My next project is called Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm, featuring Clay, a broody, gorgeous guy, who isn’t your normal hero. He’s broken, and lost, and needs love but doesn’t know it! And of course, being set in Ashford, he’s bound to run into some of the characters from the other books!

There’s plans afoot for some exciting instalments next year and as soon as I can spill my secrets I’ll be back to share them with you!

Thanks so much for having me here today, Jo! And I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!

Thanks for such a fab guest post Bec, love you x

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About The Author
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

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