Thursday, 13 November 2014

Guest Post: Bring Me Sunshine by Samantha Tonge

Today it's my stop on the Mistletoe Mansion blog tour and welcome Samantha Tonge back to the blog with a guest post.

Without giving too much away, Eric Morecambe features briefly in Mistletoe Mansion. The younger ones amongst you might not know he was half of the famous UK comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise, which was massive in the seventies and eighties and their signature tune was called “Bring Me Sunshine”. Well-known for their hilarious comedy sketches, they’d also invite the celebrities of the day onto their programme to take part, which was thrilling for the audience who, back then, saw little of stars as their real selves. (Eek, showing my age now when I mention the fact that we had only three television channels back then and no remote controls!)

So how is he connected to Mistletoe Mansion? Well, the story is set in Harpenden, a small village in Hertfordshire, where he lived and where I grew up. As a small girl, I met the comedian one day, whilst I was walking over a pedestrian crossing with my mum. He was a regular feature in the village and would talk freely to locals - now and again even slipping the word Harpenden into his funny sketches on television. Always bouncy. Always smiling. Always jolly. It’s no surprise that his memory inspires the main character of Mistletoe Mansion, young celebrity wannabe and aspiring cupcake magnate Kimmy, when she decides to enter the Harpenden Christmas Market Cake Competition – now I won’t say more than that! 

And, thinking about it, his type of humour has always inspired me, as it’s inoffensive, slightly farcical and has a feel-good quality. Also I’d like to think that the great man and many of my characters all have one thing in common: they can laugh at themselves and try, where possible, not to take life too seriously.

Of course this isn’t always possible – in Mistletoe Mansion Kimmy is thrown out the home she shared with her boyfriend and ends up staying in a house which has a history of scary night-time happenings. Plus she is turmoil trying to decide whether to follow her dream of becoming a cupcake maker or put down roots with a more sensible job. But Kimmy always puts on a brave face and tries to make the best out of a difficult situation. Plus, by the end of the book, earthy handyman Luke has helped her come to a very important decision.

So, if you decide to purchase this feel-good Christmas read, I hope it brings a bit of sunshine into your life. And do enjoy the festive season. That’s the great thing about an e-book – you can read it with one hand, leaving the other free for a glass of mulled wine or mince pie! 

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Its fun standalone sequel is From Paris with Love. Mistletoe Mansion stars a new set of characters and is for fans of cupcakes and Christmas!

Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.

So, newly single - and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined…?

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Samantha and Carina UK are running a fantastic competition to win a Bae Boutique party dress, see below for details as to how to enter.

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