Hi lovelies – today’s Festive Guest Post is from Alison Sherlock!
Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age. A chance meeting with a literary agent set her on the road to publication with her first book, The Desperate Bride’s Diet Club, which reached No1 in the Italian kindle chart. To fund her dream, Alison became a cleaner, the experience of which she used for her second novel, The Desperate Wife’s Survival Plan. Her third novel is the ebook Over The Rainbow. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and her golden retriever.
Welcome Alison! What do you love about Christmas?
I think it’s the total assault on the senses. Yes, perhaps the ‘sound’ can get a little too much in the middle of a packed shop when there is definitely a lack of goodwill in the air! But I love the music at this time of year. I took my Mum to see The Nutcracker ballet years ago at Covent Garden and that album is the one I always play when I’m decorating the tree.
For smell, you can’t beat the aroma of cloves and oranges. Plus the scent of the enormous real tree that we squeeze into the corner of the lounge and hope it doesn’t fall over in the middle of the night! Then there’s the smell of the Christmas cake baking for hours on end… yum!
Everywhere outside seems to sparkle with lights so that even the most boring, suburban streets like ours can be transformed. My husband and I love walking the dog to our local park when night is just falling. Everyone’s Christmas trees are twinkling away in people’s front windows and it just looks so cosy and snug inside.
Favourite Thing at Christmas?
For me, it’s that moment in time, late in the afternoon on Christmas Day. The big meal has been cooked and enjoyed. Nothing in the kitchen needs peeling, washing, baking, grilling, frying or freezing. The presents have been ripped open – months of planning and wrapping gone in an instant! Harry the dog is chewing on a brand new squeaky toy. Everyone’s paper hats are slightly askew. The kettle’s on. There’s a board game going on somewhere nearby. And there’s a film on the tv for the little ones in front of which everyone else is having a doze.
It’s at that time that I look around at my family and mentally hug them close to me. There are some much-loved ones missing from the picture – which is why I can’t listen to Judy Garland’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas without breaking into silent sobs. (It’s that bit about the fates allowing us all to be together year after year. Gets me every time.)
So I allow myself a brief moment to cherish the time we spend together. Then it’s normally time to start making up a few turkey sandwiches…
Favourite Christmas Treats?
My Christmas ice-cream!
I love making ice-cream at home. I think that’s why I wanted to give my heroine Charley, in The Desperate Wife’s Survival Plan, the gift of making ice-cream. It’s so satisfying!
And so easy – honest! It doesn’t require any expensive equipment, just a freezer and a plastic box with a lid.
During the rest of the year, I like to make lots of different flavours but this is so Christmassy that it’s definitely become a tradition.
Christmas Ice-Cream Recipe:
25g dried cranberries
25g dried mango slices – chopped
25g dried apricots – chopped
25g raisins – chopped
600ml double cream
½ tsp ground cinnamon
65g light muscovado sugar
75g amaretto biscuits
1. Stir the brandy into the all the dried fruit and leave to soak.
2. Meanwhile, beat the cream, ground cinnamon and 15g of the sugar in a bowl until thickened. Transfer to a rigid, plastic container and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours until almost set.
3. Break up the biscuits (I normally pop them in a bag and then bash them with a rolling pin).
4. When the ice-cream is almost set, stir in the fruit and biscuit pieces so they are evenly distributed.
A huge thankyou to the lovely Alison for today’s Q&A answers, plus the recipe! I’ll definitely need to give that a try!
Alison is very kindly giving away a copy of her book The Desperate Wife’s Survival Plan to ONE lucky winner! Want to know more about her book? Read on for the blurb!
From riches to rags…
Charley Summers doesn’t have a care in the world. She lives in the lap of luxury, supported by her rich husband and surrounded by a loyal group of friends.
Until the business goes bust and her world collapses. Before long the bailiffs have taken everything, and as if things weren’t bad enough, she catches her husband with another woman. Suddenly, Charley needs a job, any job, so she can start repaying some of the money her husband squandered.
But with nowhere to live and no recognisable skills, how on earth is she to do that?
Charley needs a survival plan fast!
Where to find Alison:
Make sure you’re keeping up with the other posts in Festive-Blog-Athon by heading over to Abbey’s blog: here!
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