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Monday, 4 December 2017

'His problem started when Marjorie Williams left her industrial strength knickers and bra in his car.' Great opening! #mustread #christmasbooks #womensfiction @JanRuthAuthor

Away for Christmas

A Christmas Novella

Jan Ruth

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated. 

Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

Bookmuse Magazine: "If you’re a writer you will laugh, despair and sympathise with Jonathan Jones, and the trials and tribulations he faces as he battles to become a published author. And if you’re a reader, you’ll be captivated by the excellent story-telling that weaves Jonathan’s complicated life into a page turning drama. A real feel good novella, perfect to curl up with on a stormy winter’s afternoon..."

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Jojo Moyes, Jill Mansell, Erica James.

Ideal accompaniments: Hot chocolate with marshmallows and a plate of shortbread.

An excerpt from...

Away for Christmas



His problem started when flame-haired Marjorie Williams left her industrial strength knickers and bra in his car.

If his boss, Amanda, had taken a moment to consider the other items in the bag the whole situation would have been crystal clear… sort of. There was a metal hook thing, a hairnet, and a bag of week-old carrots. Hardly the stuff of sexual intrigue. All he’d done was offer Marjorie a lift to the stables when her car had refused to start after the staff conference. Why on earth did everyone in the office think it their business to jump to the wrong conclusion at every turn? Seriously, they were into the realms of dangerous fantasy on all counts because there was nothing in the least erotic about Marjorie Williams’ horse-shaped rear. The company secretary might affectionately be known as Red Rum, but at sixty-two she was twenty years his senior and recently bereaved, so any speculation was not only infantile but extremely distasteful.

      Of course, some of the ribbing in the accountancy office was down to the fact that he was writing a novel, although no matter how many times he reiterated that he was not writing erotica – or basing characters on anyone he knew – they all seemed to prefer to believe their own blinkered view of the process. His colleagues asked what it was about on a regular basis, usually while they were peering over his shoulder and rustling a packet of crisps. Trevor Hughes butted-in on a more than regular basis. ‘Any sex in it?’

      ‘Yes, but it’s probably too subtle for you to appreciate.’

      Loud laughter and whistles.

      ‘What’s it about, then?’

      ‘A man,’ he said, through gritted teeth. ‘He goes on a killing spree in an accountant’s office in a Welsh seaside town.’

      ‘Alright, alright!’ Hughes slid onto the front of Jonathan’s desk. ‘When’s it coming out? Be sure to let us know so we can get you to sign our free copies.’

      He never rose to their comments, knowing full well they were designed to pour scorn over his years of work. Some of his workmates were even suspicious of his motives. Maybe they thought he’d suffer an instant personality transplant if his book was a success and they wouldn’t know how to handle him. On the other hand, the reactions of his friends and relations were almost as difficult to fathom, ranging from indifference to abject disbelief. Some of them felt compelled to defend their reading choices even before they knew what his book was about, in case he asked them to read it. Of course, Jonathan’s book fell short before they’d even clapped eyes on it.

      Except for Catherine. His partner understood the blood, sweat and tears of the thing because she lived through it on a daily basis.