The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey ** Excerpt, Review and Giveaway**

I am delighted to introduce Maxine Morrey's latest book, The Christmas Holiday and to have an extract to share with you. There's also a super Giveaway to enter with the chance to win a signed copy of The Christmas Project, a Christmas Holiday notebook and other seasonal treats. You can find details on how to enter at the end of this post. (Sorry, UK only). 

Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in Scotland, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement. 
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks traveling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

Now read on...
‘Right. Introductions. Scott, this is Mia Walker, the journo I told you about. Mia, meet Hunter Scott.’
Clearly Hunter had kept our previous connection to himself as Jeremy wouldn’t have hesitated to have brought that up in our earlier chat. Taking my cue from Hunter, we shook hands like the strangers we were apparently pretending to be.
‘I feel I ought to let you know  that I did actually request another journo to do this with me. No offence. I’ve worked with her before. We know each other’s ways.’
‘I see,’ I said, doing my best to keep my verbal footing, ‘Well, I guess that’s understandable. But I’m perfectly capable of handling this assignment just as well, if not better, so you don’t need to worry on that front.’
Hunter gave me a look, his brow furrowing momentarily. From the corner of my eye, I saw my boss rub his hand across his face, hiding his grin.
I stepped back and retook my seat, at the same time realising my nails were digging so hard into my palms they were about to draw blood. I concentrated on relaxing them. Good to know my ex had already tried to get me bumped from a job for my own boss. It would appear that time didn’t heal all wounds after all. Although it certainly looked like Hunter Scott was doing pretty well on every other front. His career was stellar, he looked broader, a little more tanned and, if the celebrity media was to be believed, had clearly been getting a lot more action than I had in the past five years. His comment to me, and his general manner, indicated he was also tougher, a little harsher than I remembered. Perhaps we really were strangers. The Hunter I knew would never have tried to tank someone’s career out of spite. I guess people change. And yes, I knew I’d probably had a certain amount to do with that change, but Hunter had always had his own mind. Our break-up certainly hadn’t been pretty but I found it hard to believe it was the sole cause for such a distinctive change in him. Or was it just that, somewhere deep inside, I didn’t want to shoulder that blame alone?
‘Sorry?’ I said, pulling myself back to the moment.
My boss frowned at me. ‘Are you sure you’re not sick, Mia?’
I took a sip of the water I was still holding and gave him my most professional smile.
‘Definitely not. I’m perfectly fine.’
Hunter turned his back on us to gaze out of the window, taking in the view upstream towards the rest of London.
Jeremy gave me a look, tilted his head towards our guest and then back at me. I shrugged. I wasn’t about to let on that we had… history. If Jeremy thought there was more to it than Hunter just being a little arrogant, then there was every chance he would pull me from the job. The job was his priority and I totally understood that. If he thought my past with Hunter might cause any ripples, I knew he’d seriously reconsider whether I was the right person for the job. But I knew I was. This was my chance. And I wasn’t about to give that up for anyone. I’d worked for this and I was sure as hell not going to let Hunter Scott take it away from me.

My Thoughts

This is a great book to start off some Christmas reading as it is light on Christmassy motifs and follows a pre- wedding trip around the world in the run-up to Christmas- the mince pies and twinkling stars only appear towards the end.  It lives up to its billing as a rom-com with plenty of genuine humour. You feel for Mia as she is given her big break as a journalist to get into travel writing, only to find that her ex is also going along on the trip. They are there to document the holiday for the engaged couple and as the extract above indicates, he is out to get her taken off the assignment. Will the spark between them overcome their past? You have to read the book to find out!

    As escapist reading The Christmas Holiday certainly fits the bill. The exotic locations which are visited are vividly evoked and the perfect backdrop for the different activities which have been planned. The relationship between Mia and her ex-fiance is captured well and their dialogue beautifully dealt with, reflecting their familiarity and self-awareness. You gradually find out more about both their backgrounds and why they parted and you find yourself rooting for them. 

In short: a warm, feel-good seasonal read. 

About the Author

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens - perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but 'normal' work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, aswell as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK's 'Write Christmas' competition with her romantic comedy, 'Winter's Fairytale'.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.
You can follow Maxine here: Twitter   |   Instagram  |  Facebook 
   |  Website

Book links: Goodreads   |  Amazon UK

Thanks to Maxine Morrey and her publishers, HQ Digital and Jenny at Neverland Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.

Giveaway (UK only)

1 winner
Signed copy of The Christmas Project
The Christmas Holiday notebook
Galaxy chocolate bar
Chocolate penguins and snowballs
Elephant keyring 
To enter, follow the link below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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