What They Say:
New York. A restaurant near Park Avenue. It’s early evening, and dusk is falling. So is the snow. Jude and Carrieare only killing time while they wait for their flight to London. They don’t know yet that their life will never be the same.
When rock star Jude gets stranded in New York with his family on Christmas Eve, he has no idea that he is setting in motion a chain of events that will turn their Christmas into the most magical one yet…
No good deed goes unpunished, or so it seems to Jude and Carrie on the morning of the twenty-fourth of December. The previous day, they gave up their London-bound flights to someone in crisis. And now, a spectacular whiteout is grounding all planes, and Jude, Carrie, and baby Maya are stuck far from home.
Tired, hungry, and just a little panicked, Jude loads his family into a cab and returns to their hotel. But there’s no room at the inn, and not even a platinum credit card will make a difference. Snow is falling heavily, and the family is facing a very bleaknight indeed.
How do you celebrate Christmas with no place to stay, no food, and no presents? Join Jude, Carrie, Maya and a cast of colourful characters in this fairy tale story of Yuletide in New York.
What I Say
I would like to thank author Nicky Wells for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Jude and Carrie are in the queue at the airport ready to go home from New York, Jude has been touring the US with his band but they just want to get home, up ahead there is a commotion as a passenger is desperate to get home to his pregnant wife. Jude offers up his ticket and they are transferred to a flight the following day.
Here Jude and Carrie begin a wonderful adventure and meet some wonderful characters.
I love this, it has everything you could wish in a Christmas story. Jude and Carrie are really lovely characters, along with baby Maya. Ray, the off duty cop with his battered old police car and resourcefulness that helps Jude and Carrie in their hour of need. Ray's wife Bella and their extended family.
The story is really well written, the way Nicky tells us of the love Jude and Cassie share is really lovely. The pace of the book never slows and had me glued.
I don't want to give too much away but it has everything from visiting a children's hospital on Christmas Eve, a church service and a wedding. (Plus a hot rock star in Jude), what more could I need for a Christmas story? (Of course there is the snow that causes all the havoc in the first place). Can't wait to read your next book Nicky.
An Interview with Nicky Wells
Welcome to Comet Babe’s Books!
Hi Jo! Thank you for having me back here today—I’m so thrilled to visit Comet Babe! J
Can you please tell us about Fairy Tale in New York?
Fairy Tale in New York is a really feel-good modern-day fairy tale featuring a rock star and his young family stuck in the Big Apple on Christmas Eve. They were meant to go home to London, of course, but they agreed to let someone else have their flight the day before, and now a spectacular white-out has grounded all panes. Jude, Carrie, and Maya have literally nowhere to go, no food, and—obviously—no presents. The novella sprinkles a little bit of fairy dust over these three people… okay, a lot, and shows how sometimes, life can turn out all right if you just trust in fate.
I love the cover can you tell us who designed it?
Thank you so much! That makes me so happy. I’m pretty in love with it too, even though, or perhaps because, *coughs, embarrassed* I designed it myself. Here’s the thing. When I grew up, I had three major dream careers. One, being a writer (check!). Two, being a rock star (un-check! My singing abilities are sadly not quite up to the task, although I do sing a lot, and very loudly most of the time!). And three, being an artist-slash-designer. I even applied to Art College at one point!
So with publishing books, I’ve found an outlet for my visual creative side as well as the narrator side. Honestly, I had such fun making this book cover, and it’s not the first one I’ve designed, either. I use Photoshop to design book covers, I buy suitable photos from online photo retailers, I took a training course, and I have a very good mentor indeed. So I’d like to think that I’m approaching cover design in a professional capacity, even if the professional behind it is… me. And yes, I am available for cover design if other authors are interested, but that’s just by the by.
Why did you decide to write a Christmas book? Is it something you have always wanted to do?
Jo, I luuuuuuurve Christmas. It’s my most favourite time of year. It’s partly because I adore snuggling up at home on the sofa with the fire going, candles ablaze, fairy lights twinkling, a nice hot chocolate with marshmallows in hand (or maybe a glass of mulled wine or three) while the rain (preferably snow) is lashing against the window. My idea of bliss! And partly I guess it’s because my birthday is in December, so that time of year has always been special to me.
Last year (in 2013), I was suddenly consumed with the idea of producing a book that would combine Christmas, romance, and rock stars… and out came Spirits of Christmas. I enjoyed the writing experience so much, I decided to make it a regular feature in the publishing calendar of Nicky Wells, author. I have to confess that I wrote the first draft of Fairy Tale in New York in March of this year because the idea popped into my head and simply couldn’t wait!
What do you like most/least about Christmas?
Christmas favourites: The lights, the baking, the mulled wine, singing carols, reading festive stories with the kids, and going out in the snow if there is any.
Christmas pet-hates: Chocolate oranges on sale from August; excessive commercialism on the present front (everything has to be always bigger, better and more beautiful than the year before, urgh); and feeling like a stuffed turkey after consuming way too much Christmas dinner. (On that subject, I might as well confess that I don’t like turkey. We have chicken instead, but with all the trimmings of course!)
Have you any plans for Christmas?
I’ll be spending Christmas here in Lincoln with my family, and I can’t wait to bake/chill/build snowmen. (Please let it snow this year!)
Have you been to New York?
Sadly not! However, I have spent a lot of time in the States, mostly in Washington, D.C., so I’m not entirely unfamiliar with life ‘stateside.’ Moreover, I had some fabulous help in researching this novella from the awesome Meredith Schorr, a fellow author and New York native. She helped me get the geography right and test-read the final result for local colour and authenticity. Last but not least, I owe a debt of gratitude to Google Streetview, which enabled me to take a virtual walk down Park Avenue and all the other places that I send Jude, Carrie and Maya. Really! Honestly. If you haven’t tried Streetview, I highly recommend it. It’s a phenomenal research tool!
Can you tell us about your planning process for a book?
I’m an obsessive compulsive planner. Do you really want to know? Okay, I’ll try to keep it short.
First comes the idea, the nugget, the ‘active ingredient.’ Once that’s in my head, I sit down and map out a very rough plot progression on a single sheet of A4 paper (that’s about letter size, for any North American readers). This generates the broad story arc, and whenI’m satisfied with that, I get planning in earnest. The story arc gets transferred to a very long piece of paper indeed, usually about two metres in length (that would be the length of my dining room table), and I start expanding on scenes, jot down bullet points, make research notes, write questions to self, plot character motivation and development, and so on. This involves rather a lot of coloured post-it notes!
From there, I write page-long ‘crib sheets’ for each stage in the story arc. Typically a ‘stage’ will turn into five to six chapters, and the crib sheets hold all the information I want, plus notes, prompts and questions for myself to bear in mind whilst I write. When those are complete, I typically have a fifteen to twenty page ‘outline’ for the novel (slightly less for a novella), and it’s from there that I write.
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Hmmmm…. You mean, apart from sneaking into one or several world leader’s offices and making suggestive notes in top secret files to bring about world peace and prosperity at last?
Well. I’d probably hang out with Jon Bon Jovi all day. Or maybe Joey Tempest. Just imagine the possibilities… rehearsal, sound check, a massive concert, the freshening up afterwards, the after-party… In fact, could I use my invisibility to find my way in, but then dip in and out of invisibility at opportune moments? Would be a shame to miss out on all the actual fun… LOL!
Could you describe your idea of the perfect day?
Oooooh a long, lazy lie-in with breakfast in bed, followed by a few hours of writing, followed by a lovely long walk on the beach with the whole family, followed by a romantic dinner for two and an early (possibly romantic) night.
What's the best/worst thing about social media?
To me, the best thing about social media is the opportunities they provide for connecting with readers, bloggers and, of course, friends and family.
The worst thing is that social media can be a bit of a time-suck. You know, once you’re on, it’s really hard to jump off and get on with writing and things. Haw haw! It’s addictive.
Non book questions
Favourite holiday place? ~ Seaside. Any seaside. Any weather.
Favourite food? ~ Lobster. Pizza. Prawns. Potato Dauphinois.
What kind of music do you listen to? ~ Well, I love rock music, as you know. But I also listen to chart music, classical, blues… pretty much anything except reggae, house, and grunge.
Favourite film? ~ Pretty Woman, hands down. Oh wait, that line was, ‘no hands, no hands!’
Favourite Chocolate? ~ Lindt. Or Milka. Milk, not dark. White is a possibility.
Favourite drink? ~ A nice, chilled Pinot Grigio.
Thank you for answering my questions!
Thank you for hosting me~you rock! XX
Thanks for your great answers!