Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Countdown to Christmas Day 4: My Favourite Christmas Book(s) by Sue Moorcroft
As an extra treat for today I have an additional Countdown to Christmas feature for you, a guest post by Sue Moorcroft talking about her favourite Christmas book(s).
I’ve adopted a deliberately liberal interpretation of the phrase ‘favourite Christmas book(s)’. I’m not choosing books that are set over Christmas – but books that I’m likely to read during that period.
I usually take some time between Christmas and New Year to see friends and relatives and entertain. But I also make certain I get two or three days to veg out in front of the fire and read. Chocolate and whisky is usually to hand, because you have to make an effort to join in the festivities, don’t you?
As Christmas is traditionally a time of indulgence, I read my favourite authors. This year, I have saved for the occasion The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay. Christina is my friend and gave me the book, signed. I’ve enjoyed everything else of hers that I’ve read so I’m looking forward to wallowing in historical detail, a sharply drawn heroine and a fanciable hero.
To interpret the title of this post still more liberally, I’m now going to talk about favourite authors, because my indulgent patch prompts me to select one or two from my complete collection of books written by Nevil Shute and my extensive library of Georgette Heyer.
What is it about these books that has kept me revisiting them since I first met them in my teens?
For Nevil Shute I think it’s partly a connection with my dad, who died when I was in my early twenties (not quite so recent as I’d like to pretend). He introduced me to Nevil Shute via the epic love story that is A Town Like Alice and, between us, we collected and read everything Nevil Shute had published. Some of my copies were the spoils of school prize day and have things like ‘Fourth year commercial economics prize’ printed inside. Nevil Shute’s characters were very much men and women of their time but their love affairs, set against backdrops of war, change, adventure and even timeslip, never fail to grip me. Pastoral is another favourite. The vision of a World War II pilot circling his damaged plane over the airfield while his ‘girl’ works in the radio transmission room below brings a lump to my throat every time I read it.
Georgette Heyer introduced me to the Regency world, at least her vision of it. I love her dialogue. She must be a princess of sparky banter between hero and heroine. The first I read, The Toll Gate, remains a favourite – perhaps because I like tall men and the hero is a bit of a giant – but I don’t think I’ve ever read a Georgette Heyer book that I didn’t like. She moves from alpha heroes to beta, from mature heroines to those barely out of the schoolroom, and I love them all.
And someone’s bound to give me an Amazon voucher, so I’ll be loading my Kindle with Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard and Pamela Clare - just in case I get any post-Christmas blues.
I hope that you get a few hours to indulge your reading passions, too.
Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Her latest book, Is this Love? was nominated for the Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. She received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She’s vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies, published by Harlequin.
Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor.