It’s time to crack out the Christmas films…if you haven’t already. It’s almost impossible to go through the festive season without catching a glimpse of one of the many onscreen classics. The films that run every year and it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until you have watched them whilst munching on those chocolates you swear you weren’t going to open until the big day. But, it isn’t just the films. It’s the Christmas specials. As a resident of the UK there are a few programmes that I have to watch every year, it isn’t quite the same with out them.
In general though, I am not big TV watcher…my hands start to get itchy for my kindle whenever I get a chance to sit still for 5 minutes. So, I thought I would pair all the Christmas TV I love, whether it be film of TV with a book. The book won’t necessarily be a seasonal read, but it will share characteristics with its onscreen partner.
The Doctor Who Special + Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. I love it. It has everything I love in a TV programme. Characters that I fall in love with, be they the latest iteration of the Doctor or his companions, all of whom are strong and resourceful. I love how Doctor Who portrays such strong female characters. It also has a sci fi element with imaginative story lines that have provoked me into laughter and tears on more than one occasion. It can also surprise you with hidden depth and even some darkness…which isn’t usual for a TV programme supposedly for children. Now, we can all sit and laugh at the somewhat dodgy CGI – it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without it – but it’s a well written programme with a long history of excellence and imagination. As you can tell I adore it.
So every year I look forward to the Doctor Who special, what new alien disaster will befall London this time? Well I can find out on BBC One on New Years day!
But, what book would I say mirrors my beloved Doctor Who? The first book that popped into my head was Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson. What brought it to mind was Criminy Stain, the hero of the book. It was Criminy’s street smarts and resourcefulness that put me in mind of the Doctor. No matter where he was, he seemed to know what to do and has a trick up his sleeve to ensure he remains on top. Very Doctor like qualities. There is also a darkness to him despite his flamboyance that also brought the Doctor to mind. Can he travel through time and space? No. Can he somehow summon a woman from another dimension yes.
by Delilah S. Dawson
Released: March 27th 2012
Series: Blud #1
Published by Pocket Books
When nurse Tish Everett forced open the pesky but lovely locket she found at an estate sale, she had no idea she was answering the call of Criminy Stain, from the far off land of Sang. He’d cast a spell for her, but when she’s transported right to him, she’s not so sure she’s ready to be under the spell of another man. (It didn’t go so well last time with controlling, abusive, domineering Jeff.) If only Criminy wasn’t so deliciously rakish….
Half the inhabitants of Sang are Pinkies—human—and the other half are Bludmen, who in Tish’s world would be called vampires. But they don’t mess with any of the bat/coffin/no sunlight nonsense. They’re rather like you and me, just more fabulous, long living, and mostly indestructible. (They're also very good kissers.) But when the evil Mayor of Manchester (formerly Bludchester) redoubles his efforts to rid Sang of the Bludmen once and for all, stealing Tish’s locket in hopes of traveling back to her world himself for reinforcements, Criminy and Tish must battle ghosts, sea monsters, wayward submarines, a secret cabal, and thundering Bludmares to get the locket back and allow Tish to return home…but has she found love with Criminy? Could she stay in Sang forever?
Miracle on 34th Street + Until Jax by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Which one do you prefer? The 1947 version or the 1994. Personally I will watch either one and sometimes even both. For me this story embodies all the good things about Christmas. Being generous and kind, the importance of family and friends and a tiny touch of magic and wonder. Every time I watch it, I get all those good feels and I know I am ready to kick of Christmas with a ridiculously big smile on my face.
So, when I was thinking of a good book equivalent for Miracle on 34th Street I had a few options pop up: Golden Trail by Kristen Ashley as the matchmaking by the adorable teen couple was slightly reminiscent of Kris Kringle and Susan Walker’s attempt to play matchmaker. Then there was Worth it All by Claudia Connor who is an independent single mother who is resistant to let a man enter her life, much like Mrs Walker. But, the book I settled on was Until Jax by Aurora Rose Reynolds. It’s such a cute story, featuring a single mother, a sexy alpha male and a really cute little girl. It’s not an exact replication of the Miracle on 34th Street plot, in fact it’s completely different. However, I get the same warm fuzzies after reading Until Jax that I do after watching Miracle on 34th Street.
by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Released: September 29th 2015
Series: Until Him #1
Published by Self Published
This is a STANDALONE and a spin-off of the New York Times best-selling Until Series
Ellie Anthony isn’t looking for love. She isn’t even looking for a man, but when Jax Mayson insists on keeping her and her daughter safe, she’s left with no choice but to trust him. Now she just hopes she doesn’t get hurt when she falls hard for a guy who’s known for breaking hearts.
Jax Mayson knows that Ellie is his BOOM the moment he sees her. When he finds out she has a daughter, he realizes he wants a family, and he will do whatever is necessary to keep both of his girls safe, even if that means facing the demons from his past.
18 and over due to sexual content
An Agatha Christie Murder Mystery + The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
It isn’t Christmas until I am snuggled with my mountain of chocolate and watching a bit of murder. For the last few years there have been some excellent Agatha Christie adaptions on the BBC over Christmas and New Year. And Then There Were None a few years ago is a particular stand out for me and not only because Aidan Turner is beautifully topless in one memorable scene. It was suspenseful, full of surprises (for those, like me, who haven’t read the book) and had some difficult and heartbreaking scenes. Needless to say I was riveted. In 2017 the BBC released Ordeal by Innocence another adaption of her work which had me and my family guessing all the way through. And even if you’ve read the book you may be in for a surprise as, from what I understand, it isn’t completely faithful to the book. This year, the BBC are adapting The ABC Murders and I can’t wait to watch it.
There’s always the easy option here, you could read an Agatha Christie novel. This is something that I have been meaning to do for years, as although I enjoy the adaptions, I have never read one of her books. Maybe 2019 will be my year! But, I want to recommend a book that I have actually read and although I love a number of mystery novels, Amanda Quick’s book The Girl Who Knew Too Much sprung to mind. This has a lot to do with the time in which it is set: the 1940s. Also, from what I have watched an Agatha Christie novel is normally set in a small area, for example all the suspects are in the same house and it’s a case of narrowing them down. In The Girl Who Knew Too Much it is set in a hotel in a small town and so has that same “enclosed” feel where everyone is a suspect. It’s a great romantic mystery and the beginning of the Burning Cove series. Although each book in the series can be read as a standalone, so you can go wild and start with any of the books released in this series, my personal favourite is The Other Lady Vanishes.
P.S. For any fellow Doctor Who fans, have you seen the episode that features Agatha Christie? LOVED IT!
by Amanda Quick
Released: May 9th 2017
Series: Burning Cove #1
Published by Berkley Books
When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…
The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.
Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…
With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…
What are you planning to watch this Christmas?
Day 6 Prize Pack
SIGNED copy of BULLET PROOF by Avery Flynn
MY (NOT SO) PERFECT LIFE by Sophie Kinsella
CHASING DOWN A DREAM by Beverly Jenkins
WAIT FOR DARK by Kay Hooper
MIDNIGHT WOLF by Jennifer Ashley
SO THIS IS LOVE by Barbara Freethy
DEJA NEW by MaryJanice Davidson
THE PARIS SECRET by Karen Swan
WILD KISSES by Skye Jordan
GUARDIAN’S MATE by Jennifer Ashley
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?