I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for the latest book by one of my favourite authors, the lovely Isabella May. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar sees us heading back to Glastonbury with old friends, and is a book I was desperate to get my hands on from the very second it was announced! Many thanks to Isabella for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
River and Alice miss Somerset. Christmas isn’t Christmas without family and friends, even when you live in quaint Cornwall.
When River’s Aunt Sheba dies unexpectedly, leaving him her ancient VW campervan, nostalgia nudges him and Alice back to Glastonbury – and the surrounding villages – to rediscover their roots whilst serving the most decadent hot chocolate and delectable gingerbread from their renovated ‘bar on wheels’.
A bar on wheels complete with a fold-up stage to host local talent competitions rivaling anything Simon Cowell could dream up, even if he’d gorged on a truckle of Cheddar cheese!
As the villagers sip their cocoa and ice their gingerbread houses amidst the festive backdrop of song, dance, and slightly more unconventional talents, River and Alice find themselves in an unexpected race against time:
Zara, their chocolate supplier is leaving Glastonbury on the twelfth day of Christmas, keen to put a string of disastrous relationships behind her to make a fresh start.
Bruno, their gregarious and gorgeous baking supplier is secretly smitten with Zara – ticking every box on her New Year’s wish list.
If only they can get them together for one experimental kiss under the mistletoe…
They’ve even enlisted their customers’ help in their mission to wrap this budding romance up in all the jingle bells and whistles. How hard can it be?
So, ho, ho VERY tricky, as it turns out…
When I was choosing my next read recently, I was feeling decidedly not okay and in need of something to lift my spirits. Remembering I had the new Isabella May cheered me up almost instantly – her books always feel like a big hug anyway, and one about hot chocolate and Christmas, featuring one of my favourite former rock stars was just what the doctor ordered. River’s thoughts on the correct way to apply cream and jam to a scone had me chuckling to myself just a few sentences in to the book (he’s doing it wrong, by the way), and I knew this book would have me feeling better in no time. It was wonderful being back with River and Alice, meeting up with friends old and new, friends who I laughed with and even shed a tear or two with.
In Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar, Isabella May has captured my ideal Christmas, full of warmth, love, and the magic that can be created when communities come together. I could practically smell the hot chocolate and gingerbread as I was reading. I adore the attention to the smaller details that Isabella adds to her books – a prime example here, and I am potentially showing my age here, is the fact that Alice’s ponies all had My Little Pony names. I absolutely loved this, largely because the name’s Alice had chosen almost perfectly matched my own My Little Pony collection as a child.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar is a read in one sitting kind of book, as long as that sitting involves a cosy blanket, an enormous mug of hot chocolate and a pile of sweet treats. Move over The Cake Fairies, I do believe I have a new favourite Isabella May book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. She grew up on Glastonbury’s ley lines and loves to feature her quirky English hometown in her stories.
After a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at UWE, Bristol (and a year working abroad in Bordeaux and Stuttgart), Isabella bagged an extremely jammy and fascinating job in children’s publishing… selling foreign rights for novelty, board, pop-up and non-fiction books all over the world; in every language from Icelandic to Korean, Bahasa Indonesian to Papiamento!
All of which has fuelled her curiosity and love of international food and travel – both feature extensively in her cross-genre novels, fused with a dollop of romcom, and a sprinkle of magical realism.
Isabella is also a Level 4 Pranic Healer and a stillbirth mum.
Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for more about River and Alice’s adventures.