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Blog Tour: The Mistletoe Mixtape: The ‘Top 5’ Features from Jennifer Broham

I know we are in the middle of the scariest month of the year, but today I am taking part in a blog tour that is celebrating the joy of Christmas! I know, I know! For some, it can never be too early for Christmas! I am sharing a ‘Top 5 Features’ of The Mistletoe Mixtape written by Jennifer Broham. This one is available NOW and comprises 12 short stories to get you in that Christmas spirit! One song at a time!

There is also a giveaway going on for those of you lucky enough to be in The UK and Ireland!

Book Description:

Snuggle up for the holidays with 12 very different tales of love that will have you dancing under the mistletoe!

The Mistletoe Mixtape, the second anthology from The Christmas Collective, is a diverse and inclusive mix of stories, with more swoon-worthy characters, second chances and happy endings.

Amongst these twelve Christmas music inspired stories you will discover long lost love, festive fantasy, LGBTQ+ love stories, witty one liners and holiday romances. There really is a story to capture every reader’s festive spirit. So grab yourself a hot chocolate, pop on your favourite festive tunes and immerse yourself in the magic of The Mistletoe Mixtape.

Buy The Mistletoe Mixtape here!

Last month, I (Jennifer Broham) re-watched High Fidelity after many years. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about a music-obsessed record shop owner who uses ‘Top 5’ lists to make sense of his life. After watching the film and thinking about the launch of The Mistletoe Mixtape, I thought it would be fun to write my own ‘Top 5’ to share with you. So here it goes, the ‘My Top 5 Features of The Mistletoe Mixtape’.

  1. The Festive Romance: Not many people can put their hand on their heart and say they’ve fallen in love twelve times in 2022, but this year, I can! The Christmas Collective authors have spent the last year developing plots and characters that have made me laugh, cry, and fall head-over-heels with each turn of the page. I have mostly worked on editing within the group, so I’ve read every story several times, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to know that now you’ll get the chance to experience true love, twelve times over too!
  2. The Settings: I don’t know about you, but while I love to travel, I’m a home-bird at Christmas. Luckily, the stories in The Mistletoe Mixtape span the globe, so we can enjoy visits to South Korea, Ireland, Wales, England and the USA. In Hayley-Jenifer Brennan’s story, Under The Mistletoe, her lead character suffers with home-sickness as she faces Christmas in South Korea, so far away from her Irish family. This resonated so strongly with me, having experienced this myself when I lived over there for three years. While the story brings back many happy memories of the wonderful country and culture, it also makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live closer to family again now … especially at Christmas! I love the fact that I can experience Hayley-Jenifer’s setting while sitting by my own Christmas tree, on my own snuggly sofa, with my own favourite mug of hot chocolate.
  3. The Diversity: I absolutely love this aspect of the book. It’s almost inevitable when I look at the diversity shared within The Christmas Collective itself. We are such a mix, and The Mistletoe Mixtape reflects this. In fact, possibly the only aspect of our diversity that isn’t reflected in any of the stories, is the fact that two of our authors are twin sisters! Within the pages, there are LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ stories, there are romantic leads in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, there are sweet love stories, contemporary romcoms, stories with a twist of magic, and even a Christmas-themed fantasy. Christmas is all about celebration and coming together, and I truly hope this comes across in the diversity of the book.
  4. The Playlist: This one has got to be in my Top 5. Every story in The Mistletoe Mixtape has the title of a Christmas song, and each plot is inspired by the lyrics. With classics like White Christmas, Santa Baby and A Winter’s Tale, I can’t wait to read the book with the playlist on in the background. I’ve already made the playlist – it’s ready and waiting – but I’m saving it for December 1st! I’m wondering if any of you will be able to pick out the scenes directly inspired from lyrics as you read. Some are easy to spot, but others are woven through more subtly. In fact, it would make a fun quiz for a reading group!
  5. Being part of your Christmas: I know that sounds corny, but the loveliest thing about being part of a Christmas anthology is knowing that our stories are going to weave into the real-life Christmases of our readers. Christmas is such a wonderful but hectic time for many of us, so finding time to read can be tricky, but short stories are so easy to dip into. I like to imagine there’ll be readers out there snatching moments to read our twelve stories over the twelve days of Christmas.

So, there it is, my High Fidelity inspired ‘Top 5’. Writing this has been so much fun, I’ve got a feeling I might have started something … What next? ‘Top 5 Christmas Foods’, ‘Top 5 Christmas Films’, ‘Top 5 Christmas Games’. It will all be inspiration for future Christmas stories!

But for now, I hope you enjoy The Mistletoe Mixtape and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

The Christmas Collective is a group of twelve romance authors who came together when shortlisted for a festive romance competition. Together they have created two Christmas Romance anthologies, More Than Mistletoe (2021) and The Mistletoe Mixtape (2022).

The Christmas Collective authors are spread far and wide, across the UK, Ireland, Spain and South Korea, however, one thing connects them despite the distance: a love of romance and Christmas.

Twitter @ChristmasCo2022
Instagram @ChristmasCO22

**Giveaway to win a paperback copy for The UK and Ireland!**

Rafflecopter Givaway!

*Terms and Conditions –UK and Ireland entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.





Blog Tour: Circles of Deceit: On the Incongruity of being a Novelist By Paul CW Beatty

Today as a part of the blog tour for Circles of Deceit by Paul CW Beatty. He will be sharing about On the Incongruity of being a Novelist.

Book Description:

Murder, conspiracy, radicalism, poverty, riot, violence, capitalism, technology: everything is up for grabs in the early part of Victoria’s reign.

Radical politicians, constitutional activists and trade unionists are being professionally assassinated. When Josiah Ainscough of the Stockport Police thwarts an attempt on the life of the Chartist leader, Feargus O’Connor, he receives public praise, but earns the enmity of the assassin, who vows to kill him.

‘Circles of Deceit’, the second of Paul CW Beatty’s Constable Josiah Ainscough’s historical murder mysteries, gives a superb and electric picture of what it was to live in 1840s England. The novel is set in one of the most turbulent political periods in British history, 1842-1843, when liberties and constitutional change were at the top of the political agenda, pursued using methods fair or foul.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

On the Incongruity of being a Novelist

‘You’ve written a book? How on earth did you manage that?’ people often ask me. It is at least an honest reaction to me saying I am an author.

Far better than ‘Oh really. I’ve always wanted to do that,’ which really means, I’ve never wanted do anything of the sort and you’re boring.’

Or the glassy eyed reaction after I’ve said, ‘I write historical murder stories set in Victorian England — 1840’s to be precise.’

The fact is, that where could any author start to answer such open-ended questions? There are so many bits of information that add up to compelling someone to write a book, like my current novel, Circles of Deceit. I’ll get back to that.

If I begin at the beginning, then I suppose my greatest influence was my father. I couldn’t get to sleep easily when I was a child, a problem that persisted until I was nearly eleven. My father would read aloud to me from suitable children’s books or books that told the stories of Greece and Rome, and later from encyclopaedias, until finally he would read from the latest serious library book he was studying for his postal courses.

The effects were twofold. In the case of the storybooks and books of myth, I learned to love the unfolding of a story, as well as appreciating the sound of words in my ears. Dad’s endeavours also made me realise that reading books was the access point to learning, and the possibility of a better job than my parents, or in fact anyone else in my family, had ever had. Maybe, just maybe, a job that would mean going to university.

Years after, I got a degree in Physics from University College London. I became a Medical Engineer in the NHS and worked in medical research. A steady job, well yes and no. For those of you who watched Big Bang Theory, engineers are not in England inferior to science graduates. In fact, they aren’t in American universities either — damn it I’ve been invited to lecture at the Harvard Medical School!

Yes, I know, what’s this got to do with writing books. Writing books, book chapters and scientifical papers are all important parts of being a scientist. But that’s not the same as writing a novel. In science what you write is about discovering the truth. It’s about experiment, hypothesis and new ways of approaching problems. In that way scientific writing shares narrative with writing fiction. But stories are imaginative narratives.

If an author chooses to write historical fiction, there are issues of research similar to science, to make sure that the plot and setting are historically accurate or at least plausible. The discipline of science research, when looking at what other scientists say, is just as relevant when it comes to conclusions about how historians interpret past events.

I never lost my childhood appreciation of story but ten years or so ago, I took a degree in Creative Writing. Hence Circles of Deceit the second in an intended series of a Victorian crime stories stretching from 1841 to 1851, from the period of political unrest and a shaky start to Victoria’s reign, to the great Exhibition and the cementing the security of Great Britain as the world’s dominant manufacturing power as well as the security of the Victorian regal dynasty.

Circles of Deceit is set in one of the most tumultuous upheavals of that time, where poverty and hunger in the working classes motivated a series of strikes in different industries, which became one united General Strike. The conflict between the established government spilled over into a conflict between those with power and wealth, and those without access to a proper democratic parliament, the Chartist movement. My characters, I hope, reflect what happen to different people in that period. Read and enjoy.

About the Author:

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd. 

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

Contact Paul CW Beatty: