Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Carina UK (Harlequin) November 12,2013
Number of pages: 52
Word Count: 17, 750
Cover Artist: Carina UK
Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.
But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!
I LOVE Gingerbread. I mean gingerbread anything: Cake, cookies, coffee cake, cookie crust, houses. You get it Gingerbread is my thing. So, the title of this book immediately threw me into a nostalgic taste memory experience. I would love to have some right now. But I am on a diet and can’t eat wheat so I will have to settle for things that make me think of the comfort of Gingerbread and dream of Christmas past.
Rebecca Raisin is here to tell us what she did to get into the holiday spirit. Right now, as inundated as we are with the holidays and with 10 inches of snow on the ground, I can’t imagine needing any help. But, writing about CHristmas at a not-too-Christmassy time of year requires measures be taken. Please welcome the author of Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe, Rebecca Raisin as she tells us how she did it!
by Rebecca Raisin
It wasn’t the festive season when I wrote Christmas at the Gingerbread Café, so to help make myself a little more merry, the first thing I did was listen to carols. There’s nothing more uplifting than cheery songs like Jingle Bells, and Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, so that taken care of, I moved on to the more emotive Christmas tunes.
In the opening scene of the novella, Lil is stuffing turkeys and listening to Amazing Grace. That song really touches her, and by the time CeeCee wanders in, Lil’s a blubbering mess. I chose Amazing Grace because it’s such a beautiful song, and I think most people can connect to feeling the same kind of emotion when they think of the lyrics.
And for Lil, as soon as she hears it, she sings and cries simultaneously, as the song brings to mind a range of memories for her. Her hands are occupied and she can’t wipe her tears or compose herself when CeeCee walks in, and sums up instantly what Lil’s thinking.
CeeCee has a unique ability to tell it like it is, and is a sounding board for Lil with all her woes. You can count on Cee to lighten the mood, and dole out some no-nonsense advice. Here’s a snippet of whatCeeCee says to Lil when she walks in on the Amazing Grace blubber-fest.
“Jesus Mother o’ Mary, ain’t no customers comin’ in here with this kinda carry-on! It’s been two years since that damn fool left you. When you gonna move on, my sweet cherry blossom?”
Lil tries to explain how she’s feeling, but Cee finds it hard to take her seriously with her hands shoved up the turkey’s behind. She’s verging on hysteria when she fires back with this:
“It’s just…” She looks at me, and wipes her weeping eyes. “You look a sight. Your hand shoved so far up the rear of that turkey, like you looking for the meaning of life, your boohooing, this sad old music. Golly.”
Instantly the scene is changed and we begin to see how important CeeCee is to Lil. And how their friendship is much more than one of just employer/employee.
Music is a feature throughout the novella, like a backdrop, as it tends to be in real life. At the Gingerbread Café, music plays all day, including an album of gospel carols, sung by friends o
f CeeCee’s. Lil tries to hold in her emotions each time she hears the heartwarming music, but it eventually bubbles out of her, she’s got a good heart, and music just gets to her.
The Christmas Carols play a pivotal part in the story. It’s a time when the town comes together, all petty animosities are cast aside, town folk congregate at the town hall, to celebrate. There’s a sleigh out front, with a fiberglass Rudolph, whose nose the kids in town kiss for luck.
I’ve compiled a list of the songs I’ve mentioned throughout the novella, and some that I can just imagine Lil, and CeeCee singing along to. Take a listen, and if you aren’t feeling Christmassy, I promise you will be after you hear these tracks. I hope you enjoy listening to them, and it would make a nice accompaniment in the background as you read the book. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Amazon UK http://ow.ly/qvis0
Rebecca, Thanks for sharing your inspirations with us. You went above and beyond, but you had me at “Gingerbread!” And thanks to you and Bewitching for putting this giveaway on :
Offered, administered and fulfilled by Bewitching Book Tours. This form is offered as a reader convenience and its inclusion herein doesn’t place responsibility for, or constitute endorsement for the giveaway on this blog or its owner.
Rules on Form or contact Bewitching Book Tours for More INformation.
5 eBook copies of Christmas at the Gingerbread Café