Thursday, 13 October 2016

Guest Post - Caroline Roberts talks about her new release The Cosy Christmas Teashop

Hi Rachel,

Thank you so much for hosting me on your fabulous Rachel’s Random Reads! Today is rather special as there is only one day to go to the publication of The Cosy Christmas Teashop (e-book available on the 14th October) - so it’s feeling rather like Christmas Eve to me.

I’m really excited about this book release. I loved writing Ellie and Joe’s story in The Cosy Teashop in the Castle, and it’s been lovely to revisit them and Claverham Castle for this sequel. I loved the setting so much and could just picture it being even more magical in the Winter time, and it has been great to meet up again with the characters from the original book; it felt like going to visit old friends. In the Cosy Christmas book, Ellie and Joe have now been married three years, and have new trials and tribulations to face, as well as lots of fun, love and laughter. I won’t say too much about the plot, I’ll let you find out the storyline for yourselves, but it should make you laugh, smile and occasionally bring a tear to your eye.

Being set in the quaint Castle Teashop, as well as there being some fabulous wedding events featured too, there was lots of room for festive cakes and bakes in this book. I had a ball thinking up mouth-watering ideas, from rainbow-layered Wedding cakes to mint-choc brownies, gingerbread stars, mince pies, crumbly shortbread, Christmas cakes, crunchy-chewy meringues, homemade fudge for the Christmas Craft Fayre, and much more. There are also two recipes for readers to find at the back of the book: Ellie’s Snowy Christmas Cupcakes, and Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble (one of my winter favourites, it’s so warming and homely) which both feature in the storyline too.

Here’s an extra recipe for you to try out:

Ellie’s Mini Chocolate-chip Shortbreads:  Makes 12

(Ideal to bag up as Christmas gifts, or to share over a cup of coffee or mugs of warming hot chocolate)

Oven Gas 3 or 170C

150g plain flour
100g butter
50g caster sugar 
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
50g chocolate chips (dark ones are lovely in this!)

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla essence.
Using a fork gradually stir in flour and a pinch of salt, then add the chocolate chips, and mix to a firm dough with your fingertips.
Roll out (between two sheets of cling film helps!)to a rectangle approx 1cm deep and cut into 4cm squares. Transfer squares to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Place on baking tray for 17-20 mins and cook until a pale straw colour. 
Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container (unless they’ve all been eaten!). Delicious!

Thanks for having me here,

Caroline x

You are very welcome Caroline. I really am looking forward to reading The Cosy Christmas Teashop and those short bread look delicious. I hope you have a wonderful publication day tomorrow.

About Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts lives in the beautiful Northumberland countryside with her husband. The sandy beaches, castles and rolling hills around her inspire her writing. She enjoys writing about relationships; stories of love, loss, friends and family - stories to make you laugh, smile and sometimes shed a tear or two. A slice of cake, glass of bubbly, and a cup of tea, would make her day – preferably served with friends! She believes in striving for your dreams, which led her to a publishing deal with Harper Collins (yippee!) after many years of writing. The Cosy Christmas Teashop is her third novel.

If you’d like to find out more about Caroline, visit her on Twitter, Facebook and her blog – she’d love to hear from you!

Twitter  @_caroroberts

Amazon link for The Cosy Christmas Teashop
Amazon link for The Cosy Teashop in the Castle
From sleigh bells to wedding bells . . .

After a rocky start, Ellie Hall baked her way into everyone’s hearts at Claverham Castle – even the miserly Lord Henry was won over – and the run-down teashop regained its old sparkle.

Now Ellie has upgraded cupcakes for fairytale masterpieces as the proud caterer for an ever-growing list of weddings at the castle. The teashop team love baking to the tune of happy ever afters, but can they pull together when a certain bridezilla pushes them all to boiling point?

Christmas is just around the corner, and a last minute booking threatens to snow the team under. Ellie and her hunky hubby Joe have their own Christmas dreams to chase, but they’re determined to pull through and give this special couple the winter wonderland wedding they deserve.

Will Christmas at the Cosy Teashop be a showstopper to remember?

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