Sunday, 29 November 2015

Guest Post - Christmas with Becca by Rebecca Pugh - #CarinaChristmas

As my finale to #CarinaChristmas I am delighted to welcome to Rachel's Random Reads, Rebecca Pugh, Carina author and also fellow book blogger, and all around lovely lady. As you read this post, I think you may be able to get a feel for what Rebecca is like when she gets enthusiastic about something so enjoy.

It’s no secret that I'm a complete Christmas fanatic. I'm sure that I'm already doing everyone’s head in with my Christmas talk, festive emojis and, quite frankly, childish excitement, but in our house and with a family like mine, it’s impossible for me not to get completely wrapped up within the magic that Christmas time brings.

I'm the eldest of seven children, five girls and two boys, so as you can imagine, whether I want to be excited or not, I don’t really have a choice in the matter. As soon as I step through the door on Christmas Eve, I'm completely swept up in the simmering excitement that’s practically fizzing over from the others. It’s everywhere you turn. From the Christmas tracks playing in the kitchen as Mum prepares the veg, turkey and Victorian trifle, to the Christmas movies playing non-stop in the lounge which is where you’ll usually find my siblings. There’s no escaping it, but to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want to escape it anyway.

Christmas Eve is usually spent with me talking Mum’s ear-off in the kitchen as she tries to focus on what she’s doing. I can’t help it. The kids will flutter about, in and out of the rooms, bouncy with excitement until they’re sent off to bed. Do they go straight to sleep? Of course they don’t. My youngest sister will go up and down the stairs about 57395739 times before she even gets remotely tired, which is difficult for Mum, my step-dad and me because we need to bring the presents out of their secret hiding place and into the lounge, without being seen! In the end, we’re all up past midnight, moving back and forth as we separate the gifts into different piles around the lounge. I love these moments. They’re always special to me. I love the feeling of the wrapping paper in my hands as I place each present down. I love imagining the kids’ faces when they wake up in the morning and see what Santa left them. Am I a silly fool? Probably, but it’s Christmas and, when all is said and done, there’ll come a time, one day in the future, where each of us will have grown up and those special moments will be but memories as we try to recreate the same magic for our own children. Anyway, moving swiftly on before I start blubbering… We head off to bed, parting with, “See you on Christmas morning!” I know. So cheesy.

Because I'm a complete idiot, I'm the first one awake on Christmas morning. I set an alarm, mainly because I do not want to miss a single second. I don’t know about you, but when I wake up, there’s something magical in the air on Christmas day. I don’t even have to get out of bed and it’s there, urging the excitement to rise and rise until I can’t take it anymore. I'm up and out, flicking the kettle on for a nice cup of coffee. I made a terrible mistake last year and woke up so early that I was left sitting around for hours before anybody else rose. I’ll usually settle myself down in the lounge while I wait. I’ll look at the presents, get excited all over again and will everyone to wake up through mind-power before I explode. I always know when my youngest sister is up because above me, I’ll hear little footsteps. The rest will surely follow. And down the stairs they’ll come, one by one, smallest first, bouncing into the lounge like they've got springs attached to their feet.

There’s a rule though. Not a single present is to be unwrapped until Mum and step-dad are awake. So we wait. Shivering with excitement, half-asleep, I’ll usually make us all a hot drink, and the kid’s will examine their presents with sleepy-eyes, desperate to tear off the paper. Once Mum and step-dad arrive, it’s bin-bags a-plenty and a little cheer as the throwing of paper commences. With all of us gathered around, it’s fair to say that the lounge carpet disappears pretty quickly as the kids fling their wrapping paper left, right and centre. I’ll open my presents too, grinning because I just LOVE IT, ALL OF IT! Once we’re all finished, Christmas Day dinner is kick-started. The kids will begin to take a closer look at their gifts, now that the frenzy of opening them is over. Toys will come out of boxes. There’ll be a mad dash of needing batteries, untwisting those little wires so that the dolls can break free from their boxes.

The rest of the day, until it’s time for Christmas dinner, rolls along. The scent of Turkey and stuffing fills the air and the Christmas songs are playing in the kitchen once more as Mum adds the finishing touches to the plates. We’ll all sit down together, usually having to pull a few spare chairs from the garden to the table to make space for everyone. Mum’s friends, who would usually spend Christmas Day alone, are invited for dinner too, which is just one of the millions of reasons why I love her. We dig in, savouring the taste because it only comes around once a year, doesn't it? Dinner is followed by Mum’s signature trifle, and after that, it’s lazing around the lounge as if we’re stuffed turkeys ourselves.

I won’t lie, it’s not perfect. The kids will, at some point and without a doubt, end up squabbling over something. Someone will knock a drink over at the table or lose a piece of Lego amid the kerfuffle that’s essential to finishing a Star Wars structure. But it’s fun, and the chaos is ours, and things just wouldn't be the same without it.

So my lovely fellow book lovers & authors, I wish you a very merry Christmas, filled with joy, laughter, books and of course, lots and lots of delicious food! However you’re spending yours, I hope you have fun and create a bundle of special memories that you’ll look back on one day with the fondest of smiles.

Becca xxx

About Rebecca Pugh

Rebecca Pugh grew up in the green county of Shropshire, with a mind full of fairy-tales and happy endings. Enchanted by true love and Disney Princesses, she decided that no matter what life threw her way, she’d continue to see the world through a child’s eyes. Through the pages of countless books, her adoration of reading blossomed, and it didn't take long for her to fall under the spell of hundreds of authors’ words. 

Now, Rebecca’s own story has taken a fairy-tale like turn, and at 22, her dream has come true. With her faithful companions: Bonnie the dog, her partner, and her gigantic family by her side, Rebecca is ready to share her stories with readers who enjoy falling in love and losing themselves within beautiful, fictional worlds.

Rebecca Pugh is the author of women’s fiction and romance, her all-time favourite genres. After all, who doesn't enjoy a good swoon? 

Return to Bluebell Hill, Rebecca’s debut novel, was published 18th June 2015 by Carina UK. Her second novel, A Home in Sunset Bay, follows in February 2016.

Links for Return to Bluebell Hill - Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Link to pre-order A Home in Sunset Bay - Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Link to Becca’s Books -

Thank you to Becca for that insight into your Christmas Day. I can only hope that one day I am lucky enough to experience a Christmas like that. 

Thank you to everyone authors, bloggers, readers for supporting my Carina Christmas event. I really hope you have enjoyed reading everything, as much as I enjoyed putting it together, and perhaps have a few new ideas for books you would like to read, or authors to try.  Merry Christmas!

For more #CarinaChristmas click here

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