Drape that tinsel and pour yourself a giant glass of mulled wine because today we celebrate the release of my first Christmas-themed story, Santa and the Saddler. Rah!
I’ve been wanting to write a Christmas tale for ages and this year I finally had the time, and I’m so damn proud of it I’m strutting around like a puffed-up turkey. This novella is cute, sweet and guaranteed to make you feel gooey.
And it’s not just me saying this. Here’s some of what Talking Books Blog had to say:
I’m a complete fan of the heartfelt small town rural romance reads, and Santa And The Saddler didn’t disappoint. From start to finish, the story held its own. An exceptional, feel good, warm-hearted read not to be missed. 5 Stars
Pretty chuffed about that, let me tell you.
For those of you who pre-ordered ebook copies of Danny and Beth’s lovely romance, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your ebooks should be loading onto your e-readers and apps now (unless you’re outside of our Aussie time-zone, in which case they should load after midnight your time).
I hope you enjoy this lovely tale of a man in a Santa suit and the saddler he falls madly for, and feel the same Christmas magic that they do.
Now, as has become tradition on release day on this blog, here are some secret things about Santa and the Saddler. Have fun!
7 SECRET THINGS ABOUT SANTA AND THE SADDLER
1/. Santa and the Saddler had a few theme songs. Being a Christmas story there had to be seasonal songs involved, and not just carols. These are young modern people, after all. With Beth being mostly brought up in England her tastes lean to British bands, where the Christmas #1 hit is a longstanding tradition (think the movie Love, Actually and you’ll see what I mean). So the first theme song is Slade’s brilliant Merry Christmas Everybody, which is still enormously popular and sells a motza each year, while the second is totally out-there band The Darkness and Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End).
But the main theme song comes courtesy of Australian band Thirsty Merc and their hit Someday, Someday, about a bloke trying to keep his long distance relationship alive. Love this song. LOVE IT!
2/. Danny makes agricultural windmills for a living. I’ve wanted to write a character like this ever since I read an article in The Weekend Australian about the dearth of windmill engineers in the country and the many advantages of windmills over other pumping systems. It’s a sexy job I reckon, but I am a bit weird like that.
3/. O’Brien’s Saddlery, where much of the action takes place, is a very (VERY!) loose amalgam of the two saddleries I used to haunt as a horse-mad girl growing up in Mount Gambier. Unlike in Santa and the Saddler, I’m sure nothing untoward ever happened in their rear workshops, and if it did, I don’t want to know about it. My memories of these places are innocent and I’d like them to stay that way!
4/. Although the book is set during an Australian Christmas, which means summer as well as cricket season, there’s mention that Danny plays Australian rules football for Mount Pitt. For those of you who’ve read Rocking Horse Hill, you’ll recognise Mount Pitt as arch rivals of the Gerrinton Giants, who Josh from Rocking Horse Hill plays for, as does Harry from Summer and the Groomsman.
5/. The whole idea for the story came from the title. I was desperate to write a Christmas themed tale but had no clue where to start, so I began brainstorming titles to see if that helped. As I wanted to keep the same title rhythm as others I’d come up with (Summer and the Groomsman – out now, Eddie and the Show Queen – coming sometime in the future), and I needed something country as well as Christmassy, Santa and the Saddler worked perfectly. Once I had that, the rest was easy.
You can read more about how I came to write this book in Ticking Clocks and Horsey Stock.
6/. Santa and the Saddler is one of the quickest stories I’ve written, probably because it’s one of the most joyous. I just loved writing about Beth and Danny falling in love. It was so damn sweet and cute!
7/. Danny has an older brother with whom he indulges in endless games of one-upmanship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick, who’s single, ends up with his own story one day (with Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy for a title?). Maybe if I get organised enough he could be the star of next year’s Christmas novella? Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed these seven secret things and wish you even more fun with Danny and Beth and all the other characters in Santa and the Saddler. If you’d like to read an excerpt, check out the book page on this website or download a sample from your favourite ebook retailer.
Or you can simply go ahead and purchase the ebook of Santa and the Saddler right now from:
Paperback copies of Santa and the Saddler will be available in coming weeks. As I’ve done previously, I’ll be offering readers the chance to purchase personally signed copies direct from me. Details will be in my next newsletter. Subscribe here to keep up to date with this and other news.
Right. I’m off to double check my bottle of celebratory fizz is in the fridge and cold for later, eat indulgent things and generally flop around feeling wonderful that this story has finally hit shelves.
PS: There is no Teaser Tuesday today due to Santa and the Saddler’s release but it’ll be back with bells on next week.