Category Archives: Book blog

**Christmas With Orenda books** featuring Kjell Ola Dahl @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks #Giveaway

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I’m hoping you’ve got five minutes to sit down with a caramel nut latte (my very favourite drink) make sure it’s got plenty of cream on though, heaven in a mug! and a mince pie of course,  because today I’m thrilled to have Kjell Ola Dahl drop by the book review café to tell us all about his Christmas 🎄 So without further ado sit back and relax and enjoy……

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

In Norway, Father Christmas usually comes to visit on Christmas Eve. In my childhood he visited my family only once. I was four years old and we were celebrating Christmas dinner in my grandmother’s house and suddenly there was a knock on the door. In came the man with the white beard himself. He was wearing a long grey frock and big black boots. On his back he was carrying a big sack filled with gifts. I was a natural sceptic, like I always have been. I doubted he was the real thing. But I could not spot any sign of a mask, and I couldn’t see any person missing from the table. Father Christmas gave me a teddy bear, a soft toy that became one of my best friends of all time. I never did work out who had dressed up as Father Christmas. Nobody ever told me. I ended up believing it was the real one that came that night – and in the years to come I waited for him to revisit. He never did.

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

I will be at home with my family. I live with my wife on a small farm by Lake Mjosa in Norway. On Christmas Eve our three children will come to visit and stay with us for a few days. My sister-in-law will come for the holidays, and my mother too. If the children will bring partners we will be thirteen at the dinner table, which has never happened (up to now). And late in the evening one of us will sneak out and dress up as Father Christmas. Lots of fun.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

My wife and I do all the clichés, walk in the farm’s forest to find a Christmas tree. We erect it in the living room and decorate it. We love traditions like that. Some of our guests go to church on Christmas Eve, to attend religious service. I seldom do that, but I always go to light candles on the family grave. We have the same dish for dinner every Christmas: lamb rib (which I have salted, and smoked and cured myself … if you live on a farm, you have to do it right!). The meat is served with potatoes and a puree made of vegetables. And we drink beer and Aquavit – my son brings the beer. His hobby is brewing beer. The local Aquavit is called Gammel Oppland. The dinner lasts a long time, so do all the other traditions. I’ll be in bed early in the morning on Christmas day. 

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What was your best ever Christmas present?

When I was twelve, my father gave me a typewriter. That one is hard to match.

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

There is no worst present, but some boring presents, given just to give something – which is the problem in a culture of giving presents no matter what. I appreciate gifts that mean something to the giver.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

The one that comes with the coffee. Single malt whisky. Islay. 

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

There are lots of things to hope for – for example, that Trump is not re-elected. In a longer perspective I believe the most important issue today is the climate crisis. I hope more politicians will realise this and take action. 

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

May your fire be warm, may your glass be filled up, may you clear enough space for books and may you have time to read them all. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

About Kjell Ola Dahl

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One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers (Oslo Detectives series) featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo. Follow Kjell Ola on Twitter @ko_

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Kjell Ola Dahl for taking time out of his busy schedule to write this post.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

 

**Christmas with Orenda Books** featuring Steph Broadribb @OrendaBooks @crimethrillgirl #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Yes it’s time for another Christmas post and today it’s Steph Broadribb’s turn in the Christmas seat. I really hope you are enjoying reading these posts as there are plenty more to come.

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I’ve got two – the first is helping my Dad, brother and sister decorating the tree (with the cat pulling the baubles down as soon as they were in position). The second is putting tinsel around my pony’s bridle and around my riding hat, and going riding with my Mum on a frosty and sunny Christmas morning.
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Where will you be spending Christmas?

With my family – it’s a veggie Christmas this year (I’m veggie) although I think Red, my dog, will be having chicken!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Putting by the fireplace on Christmas eve a Christmas sherry for Santa, a carrot for Rudolph, and a piece of cheese for Santa mouse.
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What was your best ever Christmas present?

I’m not sure they count as the best ever, but ever since I was a teenager I’d get the latest Lee Child/Michael Crichton/John Grisham thriller in hard back for Christmas – that was always pretty special.

What was your worse ever Christmas present?

I can’t remember!

Favourite Christmas tipple?

Champagne!
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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

A relaxing and fun time with family and friends.

Have you got a Christmas message you want to share with readers and bloggers?

Wishing everyone a super happy Christmas filled with love, laughter and loads of books! And a fabulous New Year.

About Steph Broadribb

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Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers.

She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, was a finalist in the ITW Awards, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. The sequels, Deep Blue Trouble and Deep Dirty Truth soon followed suit. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland, was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Follow Steph on Twitter @CrimeThrillGirl and on Facebook facebook.com/CrimeThrillerGirl or visit her website: crimerthrillergirl.com

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Steph Broadribb for writing this post

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

**Christmas with Orenda Books ** featuring David F. Ross @OrendaBooks @dfr10 #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Christmas is fast approaching I hope things aren’t to frantic for you all, and your finding plenty of time to read. I must admit I struggle this time of year, trying to fit everything in I don’t get the time to read as much as I would like too. Anyway I have another Orenda post to share with you all, and this one’s from David F. Ross, I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did.

What is your favourite Christmas memory? 

I’m not the greatest Christmas aficionado, it must be said.

“It’s the middle of the afternoon and the curtains are closed. Like a state of mourning is being observed. It’s raining heavily. The village roads are deserted. Everyone is probably indoors complaining about The Queen interrupting their day but watching her do it regardless. The loud, aggression of EastEnders being replicated in homes where too much alcohol’s been taken too early; too much borrowed money has evaporated on disappointing food and disregarded presents. I have no sympathy for those in such situations. I haven’t had a Christmas present since I was fifteen. It matters little to me. It’s a false conceit. I’ve always disliked Christmas. People trying too hard to conceal the people they really are, and invariably failing.”

This is an extract from my new book. I’m not as miserable as the passage might make me seem but I do think there is a social and financial pressure on lots of struggling parents at this time of year and I have a few vivid memories of the strain that causes.

Funnier times include the year my dad had gotten hold of a duck from someone at his work. He carried it home on the train. It wouldn’t fit in the oven. I remember him trying – and failing – to cut the head off it using a pair of scissors. 

When my own kids were younger, I cut white footprints out of paper and placed them from the front door along the hall to where we’d stacked their presents. Kids are so gullible around the festive season. 

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

I’ll be spending Christmas at home in Kilmarnock. I’m the type of person who prefers it to be a day – actually a consecutive run of days – where I don’t have to leave the house. One of the benefits of getting older is that our family comes to ours and while that requires a level of domestic co-ordination that usually falls heavily on the shoulders of Elaine, my wife, I regularly remind her that it’s a price worth paying. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Not really. Other than trying to kick all the ‘hanger-on’ relatives out by 8pm so that I can slob about the house in whatever leisure wear someone has given me as a present. I start looking at my watch regularly about 7.30pm … turning the heating off an hour earlier … hurrying folks along with their drinks … turning off ‘Strictly’ and putting on LPs by The Fall or The Birthday Party … etc etc. 

That combination usually does the trick.

What was your best ever Christmas present?

Two things jump out from my childhood. The first one was Raving Bonkers, a boxing game that I thought was brilliant. I still do. I wish I had kept it. 

The other was the Subbuteo stand and floodlights. I already had an impressive collection of accessories from the dugouts and touchline fencing but the much-envied stadium, complete with politely seated supporters and the battery-operated lights were brilliant. It was only one stand and the empty seats outnumbered the static punters by around 20 to1, but at the time it felt like the Nou Camp.

Nowadays, I often get given tickets to see people like Paul Weller or Elvis Costello or Burt Bacharach in concert. These are great presents, don’t get me wrong, but we’re all at an age where a doubt lingers that we’ll all still be alive by the time the gig comes around.

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What was your worst ever Christmas present?

There aren’t too many that jump out to be honest. I suspect people close to me generally know me well. I did get a CD once – Coldplay, if memory serves – which I took back. 

“Anything wrong with it?” asked the young assistant. “Yeah. It’s fucking rubbish!”

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I don’t really differentiate between Christmas and other times of the year, so always a decent Malbec and/or Jack Daniels and Coke.

When I was about ten, I found a bottle of Advocaat in my granda’s back cupboard. I was mesmerised by its colour. And I loved the taste. A bit too much, I think. Nipping upstairs regularly to neck this thick bright yellow nectar. If I hadn’t got caught – and walloped for it – life could’ve turned out very differently.

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Beyond a relative-free post-8pm evening … that Brexit falls flat on it’s arse; that it finally dawns on the celebrity campmates that if they just kill Ant & Dec at the beginning, and eat them, they won’t have to do any of those ridiculous trials … and that Bob Dylan plays ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ properly when we go and see him play the Beacon Theatre in New York in December. 

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Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

May the road rise up to meet you all in 2020.

Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Love and Peace. David X

About David F. Ross

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David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.

Books by Orenda Books

My thanks to David F. Ross for writing this post, and taking part in this feature.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

**Christmas with Orenda Books** featuring Antti Tuomainen @OrendaBooks @antti_tuomainen #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome Antti Tuomainen to the book review café. I still have lots of these posts to share with you all and I do hope you are enjoying reading them, I know I am. Read on to learn more about a ‘Antti Tuomainen christmas’

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I look back fondly on my childhood Christmases. I thought it was wonderful to have so many days of meeting all the relatives, even the distant ones. I’m not sure if all the adults agreed. Anyway, one Christmas that stands out is the Christmas my wife and I spent in New York a few years ago. Wonderful, magical time. Christmas carols in Washington Square, a Christmas church on lower Broadway, the quiet city on Christmas morning. We loved it. (And spent the New Year there too!)

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

At my brother’s. A family gathering with great Finnish traditional Christmas foods: all kinds of raw fish, vegetable casseroles, forest mushrooms, ham, etc. I’m really looking forward to eating until I’m pried away from the table.

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Do you have any Christmas traditions?

My wife and I enjoy the Christmas time. We always buy a tree and decorate that. 

What was your best ever Christmas present?

My mom always bought me books. She gave me so many important ones. Nowadays, my wife always gives me something I actually need. I don’t how she does that. 

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What was your worst ever Christmas present?

I really can’t remember any really bad ones. But when you’re thirteen and get an awkward sweater, it feels like Santa Claus doesn’t exist. (He does exist, of course.)  

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I’ll have some non-alcohol glögi, please.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Vacation. Living room couch. Marmalade. Winter walk with the wife.

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Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Thank you so much for a truly remarkable year. Little Siberia got such a fantastic start and launch with the incredible blog tour that we had and I’m so happy so many old and new readers have found it and the earlier books too, including The Man Who Died. Merry Christmas, see you soon! 

About Antti Tuomainen

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Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award.

Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. The recently published Palm Beach, Finlandhas been a massive critical success, with Marcel Berlins of The Times calling him ‘the funniest writer in Europe’, and making it one of his books of the year.

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Antti Tuomainen for writing this post, and taking part in this feature.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

**Christmas with Orenda Books** featuring Doug Johnstone @OrendaBooks @doug_johnstone #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Today I’m thrilled to share another Christmas with Orenda Books post, and it’s from one of my favourite authors Doug Johnstone. I will be really sad when these posts come to an end as I love reading them, I hope you do too, and don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway at the bottom of this post.

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I think my favourite Christmas memories are all of watching my two kids come downstairs and open their presents from Santa. There was a wee spell for a few years where they were old enough to know what was happening, but still young enough that they were totally into the whole thing, and seeing them buzzing first thing in the morning was always really special.

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

Well, me and the family wake up and open presents at home in Edinburgh on Christmas morning. Then we head either to my parents’ house or my in-laws’, depending which year it is. This year we’re heading up to Dundee to my parents’ house, and my sister will be there, along with my brother and his family. It’s all very relaxed, we get on pretty well and never really stress. We usually share the cooking too, which helps. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Not really, we’re not a family who’s big into traditions, to be honest, apart from the fact that we go and visit my family and my wife’s family on alternative years. The one thing I’ve noticed is that we very rarely have turkey for Christmas dinner, no one really seems that bothered, so we’ve had everything from steak to venison to duck to game pie. 

What was your best ever Christmas present?

Definitely my first ever drum kit, which I got when I was about nine or ten. I was drumming for years before that, and had a snare drum and cymbal, but a full drum kit absolutely blew me away. That set me on a path as a drummer for the rest of my life, and I’m still doing it now. 

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What was your worst ever Christmas present?

Not a present, but I do have one terrible Christmas memory. When I was about eight years old, our pet dog was hit by a car on Christmas morning while my dad had him out for a walk, and he died later that day. That was one miserable Christmas, let me tell you.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I’ll drink pretty much anything at Christmas time, to be honest, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? A cheeky bit of fizz to start, wine with the meal, beers later, throw in some gin and tonics, fortified wines, end on the whisky. If I was to pick a particular festival tipple that I really like that I don’t drink at other times, it would be port. With a nice bit of smelly cheese. 

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

I don’t need or want anything in terms of gifts, to be honest. All I really want is for my family to be happy and relaxed, and for a little bit of peace and quiet. It’s been an incredibly busy year for me, with one thing and another, so just some time to recharge the batteries would be perfect.

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Just a massive thank you! I’m sure all writers say this, but we wouldn’t be anything without readers, and the blogging community is an absolutely amazing scene, a real godsend and source of encouragement at all times. Thank you, and I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and get plenty of books under the tree!

About Doug Johnstone

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Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions, and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com.

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Doug Johnstone for writing this post and taking part in this feature.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

**Christmas with Orenda Books** featuring Lilja Sigurdardóttir @OrendaBooks @lilja1972 #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Today it’s time to share another Christmas with Orenda Books, and I’m thrilled that author Lilja Sigurdardottir shares her memories of an Icelanders Christmas with us. Don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway at the bottom of this post.

What is your favourite Christmas memory? 

 When I was little our Christmas tradition was that after eating a festive dinner on the 24th and opening the presents, witch were mostly books, everyone went to bed with a box of chocolates or some cookies and the new books and read into the night. The morning after, on Christmas day, my dad usually made us a big breakfast and it was the only meal of the year when we were allowed to read at the table. It is a lovely memory of our family, sitting by a candle-lit table, full of nice food, in silence, reading.

 Where will you be spending Christmas? 

 This year my partner and I decided to spend Christmas in the sun on Gran Canaria. The whole family is going and we hope we will all return to the Icelandic arctic darkness refreshed and full of sunny vitamin D. I plan to read a lot and relax in the warm outdoors there. Maybe even write a little.

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Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Icelanders have so many traditions around food at Christmas time and this probably dates back to viking times where extravaganza in food and drink was the custom to celebrate the midwinter solstice. One non-food related tradition my family keeps is giving books as Christmas gifts. That is the traditional gift here and the reason all books are first published in hardback.
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What was your best ever Christmas present?

Wuthering heights by Emily Bronté. I was 13 and I really loved the book. It opened up a whole world of English literature for me. The same Christmas I also got a short story collection by Pearl S Buck and The portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. You might notice those are old books but that is because many years our economy didn’t allow for new books so my parent’s bought second hand books. Sometimes they even gave us something from their own shelves. I liked that. I still love opening a book and seeing where my mum or dad has marked the book with their name and I have put mine underneath in a childish hand.

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

The painted bird by Jerzy Kosinsky. A magnificent book but I still haven´t recovered.

 Favourite Christmas tipple?

I am Icelandic so I don´t know what a tipple is. The online dictionary reads: “Tipple (plural tipples). An area near the entrance of mines which is used to load and unload coal.” … I don´t think I have a favourite of those….?

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Wuthering heights by Emily Bronté. I was 13 and I really loved the book. It opened up a whole world of English literature for me. The same Christmas I also got a short story collection by Pearl S Buck and The portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. You might notice those are old books but that is because many years our economy didn’t allow for new books so my parent’s bought second hand books. Sometimes they even gave us something from their own shelves. I liked that. I still love opening a book and seeing where my mum or dad has marked the book with their name and I have put mine underneath in a childish hand.

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

The painted bird by Jerzy Kosinsky. A magnificent book but I still haven´t recovered.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I am Icelandic so I don´t know what a tipple is. The online dictionary reads: “Tipple (plural tipples). An area near the entrance of mines which is used to load and unload coal.” … I don´t think I have a favourite of those….?

About Lilja Sigurdardottir

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Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in the Reykjavik Noir series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap was published in 2018, and a Book of the Year in Guardian.

The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja lives in Reykjavík with her partner. Follow Lilja on Twitter @lilja1972and on her website liljawriter.com

Books published by Orenda Books

My thanks to Lilja Sigurdardóttir for writing this post and taking part in this feature.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄

 

**Christmas with Orenda Books** featuring Karen Sullivan @OrendaBooks #Giveaway #BookBundle

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Today I’m over the moon to share a brand new feature Christmas with Orenda Books. Over the coming month I will be sharing interviews, a fabulous giveaway for one lucky reader, short stories, and Christmas memories of many of the fabulous authors who make up Orenda Books.
One lucky reader will win 18 of the finest books published  by Orenda books, (all books included in the photo below) hopefully in time for Christmas, details on how to enter can be found further down the post.
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Today I thought it fitting to start this feature with Karen Sullivan the founder of Orenda Books, Karen has to be one of the most amazing publishers in the book world, she’s also one of the kindest and most supportive ladies I have the pleasure to know. Without Karen’s help this feature would have never taken off. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I have. So without further ado here’s a post about ‘a  Karen Sullivan Christmas’…..

What is your favourite Christmas memory? 

When I was a child, we used to travel from our home in the Maritimes (Canada … Halifax to be exact) back to Toronto, and stay at my grandparents’ gorgeous big house (it had a bar, a laundry chute, a ‘pool room’ – basically a wet room with changing rooms leading out to the swimming pool, cedar cupboards housing my grandmothers’ furs and things like old typewriters, a little compartment with a door on either side for the milk delivery … HEAVEN).
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My three aunts were always there, with husbands or boyfriends, and my grandfather would don a Santa hat and hand out the presents. Christmas music would be playing and there would be eggnog and delicious snacks. So many gifts and stockings … it sometimes took all day to open them. We were awestruck!

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

With my three sons and partner in London … at Casa Orenda. The rest of my family is in Canada but we don’t have warm enough clothing to go there for the holidays and the prospect of dragging presents back and forth isn’t exciting. We see them in the summer instead. It’s nice having my boys around … it’s always full of laughter!

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

We always leave brandy and a mince pie for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph, and have jam-packed stockings that I cross stitched when my youngest was a baby. We open them and then have Eggs Benedict for breakfast before moving onto the presents. We alway decorate our tree together, and my middle, tallest son, Luke, has the honour of putting on the star! The decorations are a total mishmash of baubles and other things picked up on travels around the world, and some made by the kids. We have ham and turkey in the evening and then flake out to read!

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What was your best ever Christmas present?

When I was a child, I got a Velvet doll that I had been coveting … you pushed a button on her tummy and her hair grew. I’ll never forget this … mainly because I discovered it under the bed in my aunt’s room on Christmas Eve and played it with all night before replacing it! My favourite presents were ALWAYS box sets of books, though. Books are/were expensive in Canada and I mainly used this library. This was so special! And when I was a little girl, my mum used to sew us all new Christmas PJs … mine was always a flannel nightie. She still gives me one every Christmas (not handmade) and it remains a highlight.

 

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad present, but I remember being about five or six and DESPERATE for a pair of white go-go boots, like a girl in my class, Kirsten Nugent, had. They did not materialise and I was devastated.

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Favourite Christmas tipple?

Just wine …

 

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Nothing in particular … maybe my new nightie?
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Karen’s cross stitched stockings made by her own fair hand.

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Take a break and enjoy all the wonderful books. We would be NOTHING without you and we so appreciate. Find a bit of peace!

About karen Sullivan

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Karen with author Thomas Enger

Orenda Books was founded by publisher Karen Sullivan in late 2014 to specialise in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, about half in translation. The company has fast made a name for itself, being shortlisted for the IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer Award, shortlisting for and winning a clutch of awards, including CWA Daggers, Authors’ Club First Novel Award, the Petrona Award, the Glass Key and the Dead Good Reads Awards. Karen was also named as a Bookseller Rising Star for 2016.

My thanks to Karen for taking time out of her hectic schedule to take part in this feature and for the use of her personal photos, and also for the fabulous giveaway.

Giveaway

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The giveaway includes all the books featured in the above photo, 18 fabulous books in total. The competition is open to UK residents only. Competition will close on midnight on the 19th December and please note the prize will be sent directly from the publishers (hopefully in time for Christmas) and you must be following my blog.

To enter click on the link and good luck Orenda Books Christmas bundle 📚🎁🎄