Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas Day 11: Festive Fun Q&A with Christina Courtenay plus giveaway

Today's Countdown to Christmas guest is the lovely Christina Courtenay who has completed the festive fun Q&A.  Christina has very generously offered a signed copy of her latest book The Gilded Fan as a giveaway prize for one lucky reader. 

What’s your earliest or favourite Christmas memory? 
A favourite memory – baking Christmas gingerbread cookies with my mother, grandmother and other relatives in a little bakery owned by my great-grandfather. He let us use it once a year for an enormous baking session and it was great fun with its huge oven, sacks of interesting ingredients and slippery, flour-covered floors. All the kids loved it there!

What are you looking forward to most this Christmas? 
Relaxing with my family and hopefully lots of reading

Do you have any family traditions that you always follow? 
Not opening any presents until after Christmas dinner – keeps the excitement going for longer!

Do you do the whole traditional Christmas dinner or have alternative? 
Because I’m half Swedish, we usually do two Christmas dinners – a traditional Swedish smorgasbord on Christmas Eve and an English turkey dinner on Christmas Day. That way we get the best of both!

What’s your favourite Christmas song or carol? 
In English it’s ‘Silent Night’ but I have lots of favourite Swedish ones that I remember from childhood.

What film do you hope to curl up and watch on Christmas afternoon? 
We usually watch National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ starring Chevy Chase, but if I got to choose something else I’d probably watch ‘Thor’ or ‘Avengers Assemble’ for the umpteenth time.

Which singer/band would you like to turn up carol singing at your door? 
Joe Elliott and Def Leppard or Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars

If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I’d love to be in Sweden, but only if I could have my family with me – my husband, two daughters and three dogs.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Now a few quickfire questions to close.

Tree: real or artificial? Real – I love the smell (reminds me of Sweden)

Fairy Lights: White or Multi-Coloured? White, but must be twinkling ones

Drink: Mulled Wine or Bucks Fizz? Don’t like either – prefer Coke

Food: Mince Pies or Xmas Pud? Don’t like those either – prefer Eton Mess, Trifle or anything with chocolate

Games: Monolopy, Trivial Pursuit or something else? Trivial Pursuit

You can connect with Christina via:  

Facebook: Christina Courtenay
Twitter: @PiaCCourtenay

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It's 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn't trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can't keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive ...

Does this book sound like something you'd like to read this winter?  If so, enter via the Rafflecopter form below - open Internationally.  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I also enjoy both worlds - a Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner with turkey and an Australian Christmas Day lunch with crayfish and prawns by the pool for the Australian side.

    1. I had no idea Norwegians ate turkey too! In Sweden they have ham instead. I like the sound of crayfish and prawns though :-)

  2. Two Christmas dinners- now that sounds marvellous! I hope you enjoy them both :)

    1. Thank you, I'm sure I will - probably a bit too much :-)

  3. I haven't read any books by CC .... yet ....but have been looking at them from afar .....

    1. Thanks, Diane, that sounds like a good start :-D

  4. Thanks for the giveaway Sharon, heard great comments about this book. Would deffinitely want to check it out. XX

  5. Great interview =) Thank you for the giveaway ;) x

  6. This book looks wonderful.....Will keep an eye out for it!

  7. Always interesting to read about other people's Christmas traditions. My American husband had never acquired a taste for English Christmas pudding.

    1. I'm with him - really don't like it either! But my English mother-in-law introduced me to trifle, now there's a delicious dessert!

  8. THE GILDED FAN sounds wonderful.

    It would have been fun in the bakery.

    1. Thanks, Mary - yes, we did have some good times!

  9. Thank you very much, I would really like to read this book. Merry Christmas to you Sharon and Christina xx

    1. Many thanks, Sarah Lizziee - Happy Christmas to you too! xx