Sparkling Like Snow by Katharine E. Smith
Christmas is coming, and the goose is not the only thing feeling a little heavier than it used to be.
Alongside the countdown to the festivities, and one of the busiest times of the year, Alice is now well into her second pregnancy, and ticking off the days until she can finally stop work for a little while, and prepare to welcome her baby into the world.
While two-year-old Ben is dreaming of a white Christmas, Alice is floored by the news from her midwife that she is not as well as she might be. Her nerves are set further on edge by a trip to a hidden cove with Lizzie, where she learns the story of a young woman whose baby was lost at sea, and whose ghost is now said to haunt the sands. With some unsettling dreams, and strange goings-on at home and at work, Alice begins to fear for her health and her sanity. Is she being targeted by some unseen force, or might she actually be losing her mind?
Using Sam’s rational nature to help keep calm, Alice resolves to make this a Christmas to remember. This much is guaranteed, but possibly not in quite the ways she’d imagined.
Book Eight of the Coming Back to Cornwall series, Sparkling Like Snow is a Christmas cracker of a book that will have you longing for a crackling fire and a glass of mulled wine, whatever the time of year.
Targeted Age Group:: All
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is the eighth book in my Coming Back to Cornwall series, which was originally intended to be a trilogy. I've been thrilled by how many people seem to enjoy the books and have already been asked more than once to write book nine 🙂
I was not sure I would write an eighth book but I had a flash of inspiration to write something festive and I loved writing it, even though it felt wrong thinking about Christmas during the summer months.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I honestly don't know exactly where they come from. I'd say Alice, the protagonist, and her best friend Julie are heavily influenced by me and my friends, as are their love interests. I suppose there are elements of family members and also people I have worked with hidden in many of my characters, but I am a keen observer of people and really interested in what makes them tick, so I think my characters grow from this.
The owl calls again, and I stop. I look to the sky, but all is dark. No cloud is willing to relent and allow a glimpse of the moon or stars. Turning back, I feel proud at the sight of this beautiful place that Julie and I have helped to create here. Even though most of the rooms are empty, it looks warm, and welcoming. I reach for my phone to take another picture, then hear a rustling from the woods behind me. Meg is instantly alert, her hackles up, standing as tall as her long, lean legs will let her. My skin prickles. I turn, to see a fox, standing still and as shocked as we are, and staring straight at us.
“Leave, Meg,” I say gently, carefully reaching for her collar. Then, “You can go now,” I say to the fox, and it stays looking for just one more moment before it is on its way, leaping and bouncing through the snow, its brush tail straight out behind it.
Meg strains at her collar, but I’m not really sure she’d know what to do if I let her go. “Shhh,” I say. “Shhh, Meg.” As the fox disappears back between the trees, she relaxes, but I hold onto her for a little while longer as we start to make our way back to the house. I realise I’m shaking a little, from the shock, and it just goes to show that I’m still living on my nerves a bit. It also goes to show that I’m being ridiculous. I feel honoured to have seen the fox and, as the fear I’d felt slips away, it is replaced by elation. As we near the Mowhay, however, Meg’s ears prick again, and I stop in my tracks.
I can hear what Meg’s heard. Footsteps.
She takes creeping, tentative steps towards the noise. I don’t know what to do. My heart is thudding. I quietly call her to me, and start to move more quickly towards the houses. But Meg doesn’t come. What should I do?
Then Meg is running, leaping through the snow in her haste.
In the dark silence, I want to call for Julie, but I don’t want to scare the kids, or alert anyone to my presence.
The name springs to mind as Meg begins barking, and I am frozen to the spot, with no idea what to do.
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