Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams Blog Tour

It may only be the middle of November but if you are anything like me then you will have been thinking about Christmas for a while. I'll admit to watching my first festive film of the year way back in September. Now the other way to inject yourself with some of xmas spirit is to read something with at least a hint of that magical time of year and T.A. Williams latest novel Dreaming of Christmas does just that.

It’s the dream Christmas: snow, mountains… and, er, an ex-boyfriend. But can Zoe still find love in the Alps?

Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it's been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all expenses paid skiing holiday with old university friends.

The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime he’s done rather well for himself. As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it'll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others...

Prepare yourself for a the perfect Christmas getaway ...

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Review

The book begins with Zoe being dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, on Christmas Eve no less, what a way to put a downer on what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

Fast forward a year and Zoe along with some of her former university flat mates are invited on a skiing holiday by another of her old university friends. It's the perfect setting, luxury ski resort, a snowy back-drop and even better it's all paid for. 

But with the good comes the bad because unfortunately for Zoe her ex, Grant will also be there and there's the potential that he may bring along the woman he left her for!

I've not had the pleasure of reading the rest of the 'Dreaming of' series but after reading Dream of Christmas I will definitely be adding them to my to be read list.

What T.A. Williams manages to do with his words is really grab your attention. The descriptions of the characters, the scenery and everything in between are truly captivating and it's such a heart-warming tale, perfect for a season where we ought to be jolly.

It's one of those books where you want to put the candles on, get out your cosiest blanket and have a good glass of wine whilst being transported to wherever the book takes you.

Told from a third person perspective, as we follow Zoe over the festive period, there are ups and downs, plenty of laughs and not forgetting the supporting cast who each have their own story to tell too.

As Zoe tries to mend her broken heart, old friendships will strengthen and new loves will blossom but the question I'll leave you with is will Zoe end up back in the arms of her ex of is there someone better out there for her, maybe closer than she thinks?

Dreaming of Christmas will have you wishing for your own festive romance and if my review wasn't enough to wet your whistle, take a look at this excerpt below:

Excerpt

As she sat at a table outside by the river that evening, waiting for Juliet to appear, Zoë sipped her Prosecco and turned the conundrum of Billy’s invitation round and round in her head. On the one hand, the idea of seeing her ex again was challenging, but at the same time, the thought of a week in a luxury hotel on the ski slopes had considerable appeal. She was still no nearer a conclusion when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked up and smiled.
‘Jules, hi. Wow, you look great.’
‘From the surprise in your voice, I assume I looked like crap last time you saw me.’ Juliet was smiling back at her.
Zoë jumped to her feet and they hugged warmly.
‘Not crap, but weary. Mind you, only a few days after Grant’s bombshell, I don’t suppose I looked too brilliant.’ She waved Juliet into a seat. ‘I got a bottle of Prosecco. Will that do?’
‘It’ll do perfectly. You know me so well, Zo.’
They both sat down, and Zoë removed the bottle from the cooler and filled their glasses, secretly rather proud that she managed to do it without mishap. She had a bit of a reputation for spilling stuff. As she set the bottle back in the cooler, she looked across at Juliet and raised her glass.
‘Cheers, Jules, and I’m delighted to hear your new job’s working out.’
‘It’s a breath of fresh air after the relentless pressure of A & E. Most of the patients I see these days are anaesthetised, and none of them are roaring drunk. But you’re looking a good deal better too, Zo. It’s been a tough year for you, but it looks as though you’re getting over it now.’
Zoë made no reply as she pushed Juliet’s glass across the table to her. This was mainly because she didn’t really know what state she was in or what to say about it. Instead, they talked about their lives over the months since they had last met, and Zoë gradually let herself be persuaded into agreeing that things were maybe looking up – a bit. After a while, Juliet turned the conversation round to Billy’s invitation.
‘So, what about Christmas? I presume you’ve had time to think things through.’
Zoë nodded. ‘I’ve certainly done a lot of thinking, but I’m not much closer to making a decision.’
‘But you haven’t definitely dismissed the idea – that’s good. Listen, I’ve been thinking too, and here’s the way I see it. Grant behaved like a total arse last Christmas and he broke your heart, but there’s no need for him to screw up your whole life. He left and that’s that. You need to move on and show him you have a life without him. You need something to dream about. Start dreaming of Christmas – next Christmas, not last Christmas. This offer of an all-expenses-paid holiday is exactly what you need. After all, you love skiing, don’t you?’
Zoë nodded. She and Grant had taken a year out after university to run a chalet in the French Alps, and both of them had emerged as keen and proficient skiers as a result. Or, to be precise, she had emerged a skier and he a snowboarder.
‘I know, Jules, but it’s the thought of seeing him again…’
‘You’re not going to tell me you still have feelings for him? Not after what he did to you.’
‘No… Oh, I don’t know. I loved him dearly. I really thought he was The One. I suppose there’s a part of me somewhere that still thinks of him like that.’
‘Like the poor little dog that’s been whipped but still comes back to its master?’
‘When you put it like that, I know it sounds lame, but I just don’t know how I feel. Besides, he’ll no doubt turn up with his new woman, and I’m quite sure I don’t want to have anything to do with her.’
They talked on and on as the sun dropped lower in the sky, turning the waters of the Thames blood red. Gradually, prompted by Juliet, Zoë began to come round to believing that her friend was right. It took a couple of hours, but eventually, she managed to make up her mind.
‘You’re right, Jules.’ She took a deep breath. ‘Why should I turn down the chance of a week’s skiing in the lap of luxury just because my ex is going to be there? Enough time’s passed. I need to put Grant behind me and move on, don’t I? I think I can manage to be civil for a week, and if he can’t, then we just won’t speak.’
She eyed the now empty wine bottle and wondered to what extent it had contributed to this decision. Would she regret it in the morning?
‘Great.’ Juliet sounded relieved. ‘And don’t forget, I’m going to be there on my own as well, so we can stick together. So that’s a yes, then?’
Zoë took a deep breath. ‘All right, yes, Jules, I’m up for it. It’ll be good to see Billy and the others after so long. I’ll email my acceptance as soon as I get home tonight.’
‘Terrific. I’ll do the same.’ Juliet held out her glass and clinked it against Zoë’s again. ‘Cheers! Here’s to a week – more than a week – in the lap of luxury. By the way, you realise this means we’re going to need something smart for the Christmas Eve ball?’
‘Cheers, Jules, and thanks for bullying me into it. And yes, I suppose I’d better think about going dress shopping. I’ve hardly bought a thing this year. Why don’t you and I meet up in town when the pre-Christmas sales start, and go shopping together?’
‘Great idea. I wonder if the others will all dress up.’
‘I’m sure they will – especially Imogen.’
‘Have you heard anything from her? I haven’t heard a word since uni.’
‘Not a sausage. Mind you, we did have a fairly major falling-out right before we all left, didn’t we?’
Imogen had not been the easiest of people to share a house with. Apart from her obsessive occupation of the bathroom and her ability to drain all the hot water in the house at one sitting, the main problem had been that she was a fully committed social climber – one of those people who are never satisfied with their lot. Allegedly from a very well-heeled family – although nobody had ever seen or heard from them – she had managed to get on everybody’s nerves. Even normally pacific Juliet had come close to emptying the remains of a can of stale beer over her head after one of her more outrageous utterances.
‘I think I heard somewhere that she’d got married a few years back, but I’m not sure.’
‘Well, maybe this means we’ll get to see the husband. I bet he’s filthy rich. Mind you, I suppose she might decide not to come.’
‘And miss an all-expenses-paid holiday in a luxury hotel?’
Zoë nodded to herself. The other thing about Imogen had been her allergy to spending money. Juliet was right. If it was free, Imogen would be up for it.
‘Ah well, we’ll see. It’s been almost ten years. Maybe she’s mellowed.’
‘You think?’
Juliet didn’t sound too convinced, but after a pause, she smiled across at Zoë.
‘Mandy and Martin’s little girl must be, what, five now? It’s still funny to think of them with a child. And it’ll be fun to meet up with Lorna again. Her bedpost must have so many notches in it by now, it’s probably about to collapse under the strain.’
Zoë giggled at the thought. Certainly Lorna’s bed at number 23 had been well used, and they had all grown very familiar – and fed up – with the grunts and groans emanating from there on a regular basis. Zoë had lost count of the number of men she had seen emerging from Lorna’s bedroom in the grey light of dawn, looking as if they had just done ten rounds with a prizefighter.
‘I wonder if she’s got herself a serious partner now, or if she’s still playing the field.’
‘No doubt we’ll get to hear all about it. I did hear that she’s got a new job – sounds like a big step up – so maybe she’s like you and losing herself in her work. Anyway, Zo, I can’t wait. So for the next few months, we can both start dreaming of Christmas. Next Christmas, remember, not last. Right?’
‘Right.’
Under the table, Zoë’s fingers were firmly crossed.


Keep following the rest of the blog tour for more reviews, excerpts and interviews.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh, I do love a Christmas read! This does look good, thanks for sharing about it x

    ReplyDelete

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