Mandy Baggot: Shop online to avoid those pushy present snatchers!
Bonnie Trachtenberg: Shop online to save time and gas money!
Janice Horton: Prepare as much food as you can in the weeks before Christmas – and freeze it.
Patricia Sands: Start your shopping early! Make your list in advance and take it slowly rather than the last-minute panic!
Caroline James: Delegate, delegate, delegate-to make sure you are dazzling on the day!
Kit Domino: Don’t use Christmas to try out a new recipe on your guests and family.
As editor of our Recipe Feature, and wearing her chef’s hat, Caroline James has three top tips:
• Prep veg in advance: If the fridge is full, leave veg outside in containers of cold water with weighted lid until needed
• Get your butcher to do the work for you – have the turkey boned and rolled and save bones for gravy/soup stock
• An alternative to cranberry sauce – substitute seasonal pomegranates for cranberries when making this sauce
My own top tip is a KISS – Keep It Simple and Spend less – get the family together and agree you will all give one meaningful, and wanted, present each.
Whatever you do, we hope you have a wonderful time!
This LLm Newsletter is packed full of goodies and we aim to see out 2013 in style! Our writers have been reporting back from Corfu and Lanzarote – we’ve been to the cinema rewatching JFK with the Film Fatales – and Caroline James interviewed Downton Abbey’s food stylist, Lisa Heathcote. But first, we’ve grabbed author Scarlett Bailey for a quick chat and I talked to Kim The Bookworm Nash after she received her LLm Diamond Award. We’ve been giving out free books as BestChickLit hijacks our Twitter account and did you know we’ve won an award??? It’s been a fun-filled month!
I caught up with Scarlett Bailey on a cold and frosty morning -
we met at Starbucks and ordered two Eggnog Lattes. The interview lasted as long as our Lattes, so I had to talk fast!
What do you find most fulfilling as an author?
It’s knowing that I’ve given my readers a few happy hours of reading. There is absolutely nothing better than hearing from people who’ve read my books and enjoyed them, whether they’ve laughed, cried or got a bit of a crush on one of my heroes. That for me is always the end goal.
What do you find most frustrating?
For me that’s the lack of hours in the day! I would like days to be at least twice as long and then I could get twice as much done, play with my children and even spend time with my husband! My trouble is, like many writers, I have more ideas that I have time to write.
And what’s the latest book?
When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another girl, all she wants is to be alone – and as far away from Edinburgh as possible.
Moving to a Cornish cottage, which comes complete with the world’s scruffiest dog, Alex finds that her new neighbours are determined to involve her in their madcap Christmas festivities.
Then she meets her sexy neighbour Ruan – and somehow Alex doesn’t want to be alone this Christmas after all. But having lost one fiancé, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again…
About the Author:
Scarlett Bailey has loved writing stories since childhood, before becoming a novelist she worked as a waitress, cinema usherette and bookseller.
Passionate about old movies, Scarlett loves nothing more than spending a wet Sunday afternoon watching her favourite films back-to-back with large quantities of chocolate. Currently she lives in Hertfordshire with her dog and very large collection of beautiful shoes.
She is the author of A Night Before Christmas and Married by Christmas.
We finished our Lattes and hugged … in a vision of pink and black Scarlett disappeared, leaving me hastily writing up my notes …
When I interviewed Kim The Bookworm Nash after receiving an LLm Lifestyle Reviewer Diamond Award, we ended up talking about The Lovegrove Hermit …
It was going to be a talk about her wonderful reviews and her involvement with the publishing industry. Kim not only runs a very successful book review blog, but she also offers author services and is a holiday feature writer for the LLm emagazine. This lady is multi-talented, but I also discovered that she was instrumental in helping one author in a very special way!
“A while ago, I received a phone call from a lovely lady called Rosemary Craddock who told me that she was an author whose typewriter had broken and she asked whether I would be able to type up a manuscript for a book that she had written called The Lovegrove Hermit.
She called me one evening saying that she’d had a letter from Robert Hale Ltd asking for an electronic copy and she was most concerned because she had no idea what this meant and what to do about it.
I told her not to worry, that it could be sorted within a few minutes, so I emailed a copy of the word document to the publishers and had the absolute pleasure of ringing up Rosemary after I had received an email back from Gillian Jackson, offering a publishing contract.
October 31, 2013 was publication day for The Lovegrove Hermit and I was so delighted to be able to play a part in this wonderful story. Check it out on Amazon.”
A very special story from a VERY special lady, a round of applause please for the amazing Kim Nash!
What else has been happening?
As usual LLm has had a virtual ‘basket-full’ of articles and features to help you while away those kicking-back moments, so draw up your chair and grab a hot drink ….
Foodie Caroline James interviews Downton Abbey foodstylist Lisa Heathcote
Melanie Robertson-King launches the Consequences Collection
New season reading on Janice Horton’s The Bookshelf
Mandy Baggot’s love affair with Corfu
The Write Path – news from the book world
A jaunt around Dublin for the final episode in Stephanie Keyes’ series: The Star Catcher
Forbidden – but what if we choose NOT to listen?
The Festival of Romance – celebrating THAT award (see below)!
Kim Nash’s Travel feature – Lanzarote
Bookshelf Reviews – Nikki Bywater’s Diamond Award
Helping your child build those skills
The Film Fatales rewatching Oliver Stone’s JFK
Website hijack – what do you do when you’ve been hacked?
Meet Junior in the FURage series – feline fun!
Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with Janice Horton
And here is the Festival of Romance 2013 Innovation in Romantic Fiction Industry Award that I collected on 9th November, 2013. This is one for the team of writers, book reviewers and YOU, our fabulous readers!
LLm is all about celebrating the positive things in life
Some of our team are authors, some are experts in other industries, some are professional book review bloggers – all are highly motivated individuals. As our magazine has grown we have all learnt new things by sharing information and resources, but we have also come to appreciate our own individual talents and skills in a slightly different way.
Our festive message is simple – life is about sharing and caring! If someone has helped you on life’s journey, then pay it forward. If you have a passion, then enthuse others. Life is too short to waste a moment and I think the holiday season is that time of the year to sit back and check that life is taking you where you want to go. Sometimes we let one day simply follow another and before we know it, a whole year has passed us by yet again. So our Christmas present to you is a prompt to take five minutes to think about what really makes you happy. Makes sure that in 2014 you spend more time doing the things that make you feel positive and good about your life – and you don’t need to wait until January 1st to make up an action plan!
We are passionate about books because it’s a form of escapism … who doesn’t want to take themselves away for a few hours and peek inside someone else’s life? Whether you are looking for drama, romance, fantasy, humour … winter is a wonderful time to cosy up and indulge!
That’s why we love giving away books! Charlotte from BestChickLit.com (click to find out more about how to join in) has been hijacking the @loveahappyend Twitter account AGAIN! Twice! She’s been giving away free ebooks and here are the lucky winners in the #BCLTwitterTakeOver competitions:
Hijack no. 2: Gina D; Natalie Trice; Louise Wilkes; Kelly Rufus;Jane; Marina Stevkovska;Tracy Rollings; Jo Hurst; @arrrgggghhhhhh; @KafeCastro
Hijack no. 3: @jaustenrulesok; @EmilysBookshelf; @DamienWGreen; @JanetEmson; @destinylover09; Cometbabe; @murielwright2; @journeywbooks; @RachelBustin; @misszong; @GinaD12; @dawnlcrooks
If you are a winner and haven’t claimed your prize yet, email us at:
I’ll leave you with a pictorial round-up of November 2013 on LLm – in the next newsletter we’ll be announcing a competition to be a guest writer on LLm for the day AND telling you all about our January 2014 bumper Issue no. 3. free downloadable emagazine!
Season greetings from all of the LLm team!