Today, I’ve got a wonderful guest post by Kiltie Jackson, author of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle. There’s also a giveaway; the rafflecopter’s at the bottom of the post.
Mince Pies and Movies
by Kiltie Jackson
Sukie McClaren, the leading lady in my novel A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle, is over the moon when she is sent to Salzburg on a business trip. The reason for this being, that she has a very deep love for the film ‘The Sound of Music’. She has fond memories of her childhood Christmas’s being spent sitting on the sofa with her mum, eating either mince pies or working their way through a tin of sweets, while the movie played out in front of them.
This got me to thinking about my own Christmas movies and mince pie traditions. We’ll start with the mince pies. Mr Mogs and I are still working on finding the perfect mince pie. We believe the best thus far can be found in a certain German supermarket which begins with ‘L’. We like a deep-filled pie with a nice, slightly sweet, soft shortcrust base. The mince-meat inside should not be too sharp but we don’t mind too sweet. We do, however, have different ‘favourite’ mince-pies. Mr Mogs loves those with the iced topping. I do like these but they give me a terrible headache afterwards so I usually avoid them. My personal favourite are the pies with a short-cake topping. Oh my… but they are to die for! These can sometimes be ruined though if there is too much short-cake topping as this makes them very dry. To ensure fairness, Moggy Towers usually buys in a selection of all three varieties.
So now we have the mince pies sorted, we can move on to our little Christmas movie traditions.
Without fail, every year for the last twelve years, the first Christmas movie we watch is ‘Love Actually’ and it is always viewed in the last week of November. The reason for this is that the movie itself begins five weeks before Christmas. This will be the same night when we indulge in our first mince pie of the season. Given how much Mr Mogs and I like a mince pie, restraining ourselves for this long is quite an achievement.
Now ‘Love Actually’… What a film! It is superb! The way the stories all fold in and out of each other is so clever and the cast is superb. Last year, I confess, it was watched with a lump in the throat whenever the wonderful Alan Rickman came on the screen, although this did not detract from the overall enjoyment. As a starter for ten, there can be no better.
From here on in, we simply choose the next film on the pile. Yes, we have a bookshelf dedicated to our Christmas movies. Some are more ‘must-see’ than others – for example ‘The Holiday’ with Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. The sight of the English countryside swathed in deep, crispy white snow (it could only be a movie!) and the cute little cottage in the middle of nowhere is so saccharin sweet, it gives you a toothache. But the joyful happy ending, surrounded by Christmas trees and decorations, makes it a perfect festive movie.
Next up would be Fred Clause with Vince Vaughn. Some people gave this a rough time when it came out but we love it. Yes it’s a bit silly but, as a family film with the kids, it’s a cracker.
Another one, just for the ladies this time, is Bridget Jones’s Diary. How could it not be? Hugh Grant AND Colin Firth on the one bit of celluloid – they are a Christmas present all on their own!
We also, of course, have to keep in mind those offerings of earlier years. ‘White Christmas’ with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye is the perfect bit of cheese to finish off your Sunday dinner. ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Alistair Sim is another. We usually end up watching about three different versions of this film, four if Mr Mogs sneaks in The Muppets when I am out of the room!
There are a few others which see us through the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve – The Polar Express, The Santa Clause, Santa Clause the Movie, Home Alone, A Miracle on 34th Street (the Dickie Attenborough remake) to name just a few. I’m also partial to a bit of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Well… all that sweetness gets a bit nauseating.
To finish however, there are our two Christmas Eve movies. Like ‘Love Actually’ these are set in stone. All movies in between are flexible but these are our bookends which never change.
We begin Christmas Eve with ‘Elf’. This film is so funny, so clever and much adored. Will Ferrell is the perfect casting as the innocent man who was brought up by the elves in the North Pole and doesn’t know he is really a human being. When he finds out, he has to travel to New York to find his birth-father and that is when the adventure really begins. If you have never seen this movie, then you must try to do so. If you have seen it… then I don’t need to say anything more.
Our last Christmas movie of the season is one that is probably watched in many homes on this special night. It is of course ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. The only version permitted at Moggy Towers is the old black and white one. It’s a film that brings all the magic of family, love and seasonal cheer together perfectly. And is there any better angel to see you into Christmas Day than Clarence Odbody? I don’t think so!
So that is the seasonal viewing here at Moggy Towers but I will let you in on a little secret. When Mr Mogs heads out to his chosen football match on Boxing Day, yours truly grabs a tin of sweets, rounds up some moggies and we all sit on the sofa together and watch ‘The Sound of Music’…A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson
Published by WickedKilt Publishing on September 26, 2017
Genres: Christmas Romance
Purchase at Bookshop.org
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Who is Sukie McClaren?
A Christmas-loving Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman?
She is all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip three weeks before Christmas, she thinks all her dreams have come true. As she packs her suitcase, the only things on her mind are Christmas markets, lots of snow and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock star doesn’t even get a look in.
Pete Wallace is a reclusive, reluctant, rock-star and the world’s Number One, best-selling, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s now preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares.
He can’t wait for it to be over.
When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and, for the first time in six years, Christmas feels special again.
Eduardo di Santo however, whose kid sister suffered life-changing injuries at a Pete Wallace concert, is all set on getting revenge. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete's demise.
Will Pete and Sukie’s new friendship die before it has a chance to flourish?