Monday, 23 October 2017

#Review & #QandA with Miranda Dickinson @wurdsmyth #ChristmasInStIves #TeamSparkly

I'm delighted to be sharing my review of Christmas in St Ives by Miranda Dickinson. Thank you to the publisher for my ARC. 

Miranda also kindly took part in a little Q&A too. 

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Heartbroken Cerrie Austin is doing her best to hold it together in the run up to Christmas. Not easy when her cheating ex works in the same school and everyone’s eyes are on her. The last thing she needs is a new teacher meddling in her beloved nativity play, even if he is charming, handsome and a talented musician. The Christmas performance is her pride and joy, and she won’t be undermined.
Seren McArthur has recently returned to her Cornish hometown and is enjoying being close to her family and her oldest friends again. St Ives is at its most magical at Christmas, with fairy lights and tinsel in every shop window, tempting locals and holidaymakers alike as they pick up gifts. But an exciting opportunity is just around the corner: will she stay or will she go?
Meanwhile, the St Ives Christmas celebrations are in crisis: plans for a giant lantern parade through the starlit streets have ground to a halt. As the snow starts to fall, can Cerrie, Seren and their friends Kieran and Aggie rally around in time to save the big day?

Buy Link

Amazon UK


Q&A with Miranda Dickinson

Before we start I just want to say a big thank you for taking part in the Q&A. 

So let's go…

1 – What three words best describe your personality?

Fun, sparkly, friendly

2 - Is there a book you wish you could have written?

Oh, so many! I wish I could have written The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen because it’s so creative and joyfully out-of-the-box. I’m inspired by authors who refuse to be boxed and write from the heart.

3 – What was the last book you read?

Dark Pines by Will Dean. It’s a fantastically creepy, claustrophobic thriller set in Sweden with a brilliant protagonist.

4 – If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

Only three?! Okay…
Pride & Prejudice – because it’s a classic and I re-read it every year.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – because I love it and it’s HUGE, so would keep me occupied for weeks.
The Truth by Sir Terry Pratchett – because I love his crazy words and wouldn’t feel alone with them around.

5 - Do you have any strange writing habits?

I write best really late at night, so I often do my best work between 2am and 4am (watching very strange TV programmes that are on at that time), even though in the morning I can rarely remember what I’ve written so am surprised when I read it back! Other than that, I always have to have a blanket over my knees when I’m writing at home, a different scented candle for each new book I write and music with me wherever I write. I make a playlist for each new book I write and listen to it on repeat through all the stages of writing, from first draft to line edit, copyedit to the final read-through of the page proofs.

6 – Is there a specific place where you write?

I write in local café’s and coffee shops on weekday mornings while my daughter Flo is at nursery, then sneak bits through the day on Post-Its if Flo naps or while she plays, then on my sofa at night when she’s in bed. I finally have a tiny office where I write when my husband Bob is looking after Flo, so that tends to be on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

7 – Do you share any personality traits with the characters you have created?

Oh, probably loads! I think it’s true that you write yourself into your book characters, both the main characters and supporting cast. I think I’m a bit of a magpie, so I steal bits of my personality and those of my friends and family to put in the books. I suppose I’m most like Rosie Duncan from my first book, Fairytale of New York and also I’ll Take New York, purely because she was the first main character I wrote so has the most of my personality traits. I’m a wedding singer like Romily Parker in It Started With a Kiss and her band, The Pinstripes, are based on my band, The Peppermints, so I wrote all my friends into that novel. (Also Uncle Dudley and Auntie Mags are my lovely Dad-in-law and Mum-in-law, so I put everyone I love into that book!)

8 - Can you choose three words to describe your new book Christmas in St Ives?

Romantic, festive, warm

9 – Are you working on anything now?

I’m thinking about what book I’d like to write next. With my next full-length novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, not coming out until 14th June next year, I have a bit of time to dream up new ideas, which makes a nice change for me. I have several writing projects on the go, including a couple in different genres, so I’m enjoying just writing without a deadline for the time being.

Quick fire questions - Which do you prefer?

Paperback or eBook?

Always paperback. Just because I can hug it (hugging a Kindle isn’t the same) and chuck it in my bag without wondering if it’s charged or not. I like eBooks for travelling, but my heart belongs to paper and ink!

Classic novel or Contemporary?

Both. I’m trying to read some classics in between the contemporary so at the moment I’m reading The Tennant of Wildfell Hall in between the thrillers and rom-coms!

Cinema or Theatre?

That’s a tough choice! I adore the theatre (I studied Drama at university and wanted to be an actor) but I can get to the cinema more often, so probably cinema for now.

Crisps or Chocolate?


Tea or Coffee?

It varies! Coffee in the day, decaf tea at night.

Night out or Day out?

Having a three-year-old means days out are more fun at the moment!

Thank you again to Miranda for taking the time to answer the Q&A xx


First of all I have to mention the lovely cover because if the cover doesn't get you into the festive spirit then the story certainly will. I loved this bunch of characters especially Cerrie who when we meet her has to unfortunately still work with her ex. You can feel how uncomfortable she is and my heart did go out to her especially facing the scrutiny from her colleagues even if they mean well. 

The writing is as ever warm and witty which is to be expected from Miranda Dickinson. Even though it is a novella I still felt that connection to the characters and in no time at all felt as if I was on my way to getting to know them. As well as my interest well and truly peaked for reading Somewhere Beyond the Sea. I really appreciated hearing the story from the different perspectives making the story even more rounded. Christmas in St Ives didn't feel rushed at all giving me chance to experience the story at a lovely pace but also involving the reader in this set of characters lives. There are some laughs along the way especially to do with the nativity play. Christmas in St Ives has a gorgeous heart warming feel to it, making it a perfect festive read!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Pan Macmillan and Miranda Dickinson for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment