thoughts and things

Tag: christmas

Why I love Christmas and don’t care it’s November 

Christmas isn’t just for Christmas….. I used to be one of those people. Thinking it was too soon. (I’ve always loved playing christmas music in my car by mid-November though). However I’ve had a change of heart. I love christmas. I love the run up […]

One Wish In Manhatten by Mandy Baggot Book Review

As Bookouture Christmas comes into an end, I have a great review to leave you with. This is a lovely, romantic story which is just the Christmas tonic I needed. This a great book if you want a piece of escapism set in the magical […]

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson #BookoutureXmas



First of all let me say Welcome to Bookouture Xmas! 

I was thrilled to be able to read an advance copy of Bella’s Christmas  Bake Off from Bookouture via Netgalley as part of the #BookoutureXmas event. Check back each day until 27th October when I will be revealing more book reviews, interviews and guest posts from all the Bookouture Christmassy authors, with added Christmas magic! Check out some of the other blogs taking part and catch them all on twitter: 


Back to Bella’s Christmas Bake Off: This is such a lovely, heartwarming story that is just perfect for Christmas! 


Here’s the Blurb:

Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER.

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. 

But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 


The Review

When Amy’s husband leaves her just before Christmas, she feels like her world has ended. She packs up the Christmas Tree and all the trimmings. Watching her old school friend, Bella, on the television, now a famous celebrity baker, she reminisces about their friendship and what led to them to end their friendship 10 years ago. As Amy watches Bella’s show, she starts to realise the recipes are all her Mothers! Amy then sets the wheels in motion to finally meet with Bella and discuss the events of 10 years ago, with many hilarious events along the way!

I genuinely laughed out loud reading Bella’s Christmas Bake Off. It was a lovely, relaxing read, and one that really cheered me up. It has the perfect recipe of laughter, happiness and a little romance thrown in. It really gave me a Christmassy feel, and I would’ve loved a slice of Christmas Cake to eat along with it!

I liked the fact the book was about friendship, and that even when you haven’t seen a friend for a long time, even years, as soon as you meet them again, it’s like you pick up where you left off! I have so many friends I am not able to see regularly, and I definitely know it’s so easy to get back into the friendship again even after a long time apart. Christmas is a time when we  can meet up with old friends, and traditionally a time when we may try and put the past behind us.

The book talks about all different recipes for christmas, and baking with family at Christmas time. It reminded me that I used to love watching my Mum bake the Christmas cake, and all the exciting Christmas biscuits and mince pies I used to help with. I felt like getting in the kitchen and starting to make one myself.

The book has a few surprises within it, and the plot flowed nicely. I could definitely empathise with Amy, even though her character is a little older than me. The situation that Amy finds herself in, and the issues she faces, I think we can all associate with. Oh, and Cake. We can all empathise with Cake! 

I loved having a glimpse into the life of a TV star and how TV shows are made, we get a behind the scenes look at Bella’s Bake Off and it’s a real eye opener! Makes you wonder what they really get up to on The Great British Bake Off and other shows!

I absolutely loved this book, it is a fab Christmas read and I highly recommend it. I give Bella’s Christmas Bake Off 5 Stars.

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson is published by Bookouture and is released TODAY! Available on Amazon

The Author


Sue Watson

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write. After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, Sue signed with Bookouture and has gone on to write four fabulous books.

Check back tomorrow for a fabulous Christmas recipe by Bella Herself! 

My Week

Well, I know what you’re thinking. I missed last week! Doh! I was all a bit caught up in my birthday, work, and also a poorly girl, so apologies if anyone out there actually missed my little post. Anyway, back on form today. And yes, […]

Money and Christmas: Memories and Resolutions

My parents were never very good with money, and throughout my life they have been in some serious debt. An overdraft was something that was normal, my dad having a wallet full of credit cards was normal. I knew from an early age that they […]

Top 10 Alternative Christmas Songs

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again! I LOVE Christmas, as you may be able to tell. It evokes such good memories for me. It’s a time of happiness, cheer, a little bit of alcohol and a lot of fun and laughter!

I’ve decided to put together my Top 10 Christmas Tunes, because I think it’s always nice to find new and different Christmas music, as well as the usual tunes. And, it’s always great to put a Christmas playlist together!

Let me know your top ten, or any favourites you have. I just love finding new tracks to add to my rather huge and slightly embarrassing Christmas music collection.

So without further ado…..

1. The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot

My Nan used to make us listen to this, I think to make us feel grateful for everything we had, and all the family and presents we have especially at Christmas. This song still has the ability to make me cry on cue, but I couldn’t not have this on my Christmas top ten.

2. Must be Santa, Bob Dylan

The craziest combination I’ve experienced – Bob Dylan, and a chirpy Christmas tune? You betcha. It’s so catchy you’ll be singing it till summer.

3. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy – bing Crosby and David Bowie

This is a lovely song and I like the video too. David Bowie is one of my favourite singers, and with bing on here, you can’t go wrong. Very Christmassy.

4. All I Want For Christmas Is New Years Day – Hurts

I love this song. Full of that feeling you get when you want a new year to start, because the last year has been so crap. This resonated a lot with me when it first came out.

5. A Snowflake Fell and It Felt Like A Kiss – Glasvagas

I think this song is so pretty. I can just imagine the snow falling around me. Lovely.

6. 2000 Miles – Pretenders

I think this song can be overlooked – I really like the song, and the words, it feels like Christmas when I hear it

7. Driving Home for Christmas – Chris area

Ah I love this song, you need this song in your life if you drive anywhere at Christmas. It is a slightly more commercial song, but I love it.

8. Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas

Oh, this song is a nod to all the consumerism of Christmas…ironic that it became rather associated with it all, isn’t it? I love this song.

9. Christmas was better in the 80s – Futureheads

I have to agree with them, really. Or early nineties…

10. Ronnettes – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

To finish my list, a song I love with it’s Motown vibe. It reminds me of a happy memory of my nan getting the words wrong and singing “Daddy” instead….

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. It is such a special time for me. For me, Christmas means fun, festivity and most of all,family. My Nan loved Christmas. She was a big kid at heart, and she used to get so excited about it. Her house was decorated, […]

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