Blog Review Tour | The Christmas Holiday

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Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in Scotland, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement. 

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks traveling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…


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Maxine Morrey - bio pic b&wAuthor bio: Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, aswell as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.





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My Review

Do you believe in second chances??

Oh my!  What a sweet read this was.  It really did pull at my heart-strings, making me cry at times.  This is the first book by Maxine Morrey that I have read and I can honestly say it did not disappoint me.

In this story Mia Walker is a London journalist writing the wedding section of a magazine, gets called into her boss’s office to write a piece or his daughter’s upcoming wedding.  If she does this piece she could become the next travel section author, a dream job she has been waiting for.  The only catch is the photographer they picked is none other than Hunter Scott, National Geographic’s own and her ex-fiance’.

Hunter is less than thrilled to be working with Mia and tries to get her thrown off the assignment to no avail.  Mia just hangs in there, proving that she can do the job at any costs.  The tensions run high and many arguments fly between the two, causing it to become difficult to handle.  Can Mia hang in there and complete the task?  Or will she give up her dream job to get away from Hunter and his anger?

This book was such and emotional read for me.  I cried several times.  The story between Mia and Hunter is so intense.  The feelings they have bottled up come out so forcefully and all at once things come crashing down between them.  It is a situation of people saying things in the heat of the moment and sometimes instantly wishing they could take it back, just to take away the hurt you see in the other person’s eye.  Hunter really puts that hurt in Mia’s eyes a lot during the story.

Mia is such a stubborn individual.  She hasn’t exactly had an easy life and that has caused her to be one that looks out for herself.  She really has a heart of gold and cares deeply for those around her.  She really does try hard, but she has a hard time letting people do for her.

Hunter is scarred in many ways.  He has been through and seen some things that have hurt him.  He is so angry and against love.  He has never truly healed from the pain Mia has caused him all those years ago.  He never really let go of that anger and he really let that influence his actions against Mia.

The other characters in the book Liv and Sandeeg are so sweet and adorable.  You can feel their love for one another in the way the author describes them and the things they do for one another.  They are also very sweet and caring individuals and you can not help but fall in love instantly with them.

If you are looking for a sweet romantic read that reaches your heart.  Then this is the book for you.  You will be hooked from the beginning and feel as if you are in the story feeling all they feel.  A Hallmark movie in the making.  This is a cozy romantic read.  Perfect for curling up in your favorite chair, with a glass of wine.  I highly recommend, not only this book but the author as well.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.

*ARC provided by Neverland Book Tours, Netgalley and Maxine Morrey

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Q&A FROM Bookish Jottings


  • Thank you so much for joining me here at Bookish Jottings, Maxine. Could you please tell me something about yourself and the books you write?

It’s a pleasure, Julie. Thanks very much for inviting me on the blog.

So – about me? Well, I live down on the south coast of England and basically spend most of my days thinking up, and talking to imaginary people!

  • What drew you to writing contemporary women’s fiction?

I’ve written various non fiction over the years but when it came to writing novels, women’s fiction was the genre that came the most natural to me. I read fairly widely but I’m not into the really dark, gritty stuff or horror because it doesn’t relax me, which is primarily what I want a book to do when I read it. I think that just sort of translated into my writing.

  • What do you enjoy most about writing in this genre?

I think it’s relatable, and – hopefully – gives people a little giggle. Because a happy ever after is compulsory for me, people know that things are going to turn out well. In a dark world that to me is important. People often comment about romantic novels being ‘predictable’ – but I don’t think that’s a criticism. We know who’s going to end up with whom. We’d be disappointed if they didn’t! But it’s how they get there that is the interesting bit.

  • What’s your latest book, The Christmas Holiday, about?

Mia is a wedding reporter, but she’s desperate to move into writing travel. When her boss gives her an opportunity to prove herself, it’s all looking perfect! But then she finds out that accompanying them on the assignment is award winning (and incredibly gorgeous) photographer, Hunter Scott….who just happens to be Mia’s ex-fiancé. And from their first meeting, it’s clear he still hasn’t forgiven her for handing his ring back five years ago…

  • What inspired this book?

I’d written two previous Christmas books, both set in London so I really wanted this one to be a little different. I’d overheard a conversation a few years ago about an ex boyfriend going off to follow an amazing career opportunity and had stored it away in a dusty corner of my brain. More recently, I’d seen an article about a writer being hired to document a couple’s wedding day. I began thinking about the possibility of extending that documentation and maybe covering the whole run up to the wedding. But then what if that run up was something out of the ordinary, like an adrenaline packed holiday? Remembering the snippet of overheard conversation, it all came together and the characters of Mia and Hunter walked into my head, ready for action!

  • Who is your favourite character in The Christmas Holiday?

Ooh tricky! It’s hard to choose between Mia and Hunter. Mia always steps up to every challenge, even if it’s not always for the right reasons, which I admire her for. But Hunter ended up having quite an interesting back story which I think gave him some depth and something more to explore.

  • What is your favourite Yuletide tradition?

To be honest, I don’t have a lot of traditions. I’m a little more ‘go with the flow’. But I do like the tree up in early December – basically because it’s pretty! And I’m also terribly British in that I have to get the Christmas edition of the Radio Times and systematically go through it with a highlighter! Of course, whether I actually remember to watch half the things is another matter…

  • What do you like the most about Christmas? And what do you like least?

I like having a couple of days where you’re allowed to hunker down and snuggle up with food and telly and books and not feel guilty. It’s really just expected.

The thing I like least is how unbelievably commercial it all is, with expectations becoming higher and higher and people feeling pressured to spend far more than is necessary.

  • What do you want for Christmas?

Peace and quiet and time to just relax.

  • What are you working on now?

I have a couple of things I’m playing with at the moment, so I’m just seeing what happens and which ideas float to the surface…

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Q&A FROM Life with Arielle Joy


Thanks so much for having me on the blog, and thanks for some fun questions!

  • What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?

I’d probably have to say my pair of very well used cowboy-style boots. They’re years old now and were bought after a long time on crutches following a complicated ankle break. I needed something I could wear that I could still hide all the strapping under, and they fit the bill perfectly. They’re still so comfy and I tend to pair them with everything from jeans to summer dresses (especially with the way the weather’s been this summer!).

  • What are the things you can’t live without in your make up bag?

I don’t always wear make up – it really depends on my mood, time constraints and where I’m going. I think I’m still on the search for that perfect foundation but some days I do think a little bit of coverage can give a girl a boost. Add to that a flash of mascara and a red lip (Maybelline 547) and I’m a little more ready to face the world.

  • What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?

Too much! I need to have a bit of a clear out – there seems to be an accumulation of old receipts and suchlike. Handbags are a bit of a balancing act, I find. Having found they get heavy, I switched to a smaller one which naturally limits what you can carry – but then you can’t get a book/kindle in, which obviously isn’t ideal. But generally, it’s the usual like a purse, lippy (obvs), mini hairbrush, asthma inhaler, nail file (I don’t even have long nails and still manage to smash them!), and hand sanitiser. And because I was fed up of the car keys disappearing into the depths, I now have a completely disproportionate keyring which means I can find them right away! Result!

  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Reading, obviously. I have so many books on my TBR pile. I’ll impose a moratorium and then see another book I like…It’s a challenge! Apart from that, I enjoy podcasts and sewing. We’ve recently had a change around and I’m now able to get little bits of sewing done at a time and close the door on the mess which has resulted in me getting more done which I’m thrilled about. I’m the world’s slowest sewer but I’ve recently managed a new make up bag and a top, so I’m quite pleased. I also enjoy tea and cake so when I’m not doing those things or housework (bleugh!), I try and get out for a walk or do something up the gym so that I can continue to enjoy them! 

  • A few of your favorites…

Animal                        Elephant

Season                        Spring

Movie                          Eek – a few! But Love Actually and Dan In Real Life probably win

Author                         Jane Austen

Scent                           Eternity Moment – Calvin Klein

Color                           Blue

Food                            I eat most things! But having to pick just one, I’d probably go                                              Italian.

Word                           Puddle

Book                           Persuasion – Jane Austen

Holiday                       Any holiday would be nice! But India and Italy are top choices

Dogs or cats?               Dogs

Red or white wine?     Champagne!

Coffee or tea?              Tea – coffee gives me the shakes!

Apple or PC?              PC

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The Christmas Holiday Weekend Blitz Giveaway!


Signed copy of The Christmas Project

The Christmas Holiday notebook

Galaxy chocolate bar

Chocolate penguins and snowballs

Elephant keyring


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