Whoop, whoop, it’s Cover Reveal Day! My next novel, AN ISLAND CHRISTMAS, will be out 28 November. Another baby about to be launched into the world …
Needless to say, I love the new cover! Jessica Bell, my long-time designer, has done a great job once again. I feel this cover really conveys the story of this book well, giving the reader (I hope) a sense of the Islands in the middle of winter.
Why The Åland Islands?
Why am I writing a series set on these quirky little Islands?
Let me explain…
The Åland Islands lie in the waters between Finland and Sweden. Although a self-governing region of Finland, the Islands remain exclusively Swedish-speaking.
The quirkiness of the islanders is often attributed to their rich history. Due to its strategic location, there have been many wars and would-be invaders. Swedes, Russians, French, and even the English have fought on these shores.
A small seafaring nation, the Islands have a culture of their own, forged over years through hardship and perseverance. The people living on these rocky outcrops and on the main island around the Capital, Mariehamn, have a deep sense of independence and identity. Today, if you ask an islander whether he feels Swedish or Finnish, the reply will always be, ‘Neither. I’m an Ålänning.’
A Part-time Islander
Although not born in Åland, I’ve spent many happy holidays on the Islands. In articles in the local paper, Ålandstidningen, they call me either a ‘Summer Islander’ or a ‘Part-time Islander’. I’m happy and honored by both of these titles because I truly feel at home in Åland. This is why I’ve wanted to write a book set there for many years now.
It wasn’t until I began thinking about a woman, Alicia, originally from Åland, but now living in London, who decides to return home after the tragic loss of her teenage son, that the stars seemed aligned and a story emerged. The Island Affair is that story.
The idea for An Island Christmas came from the many seasonal holidays I’ve spent on the Islands. I felt that the snow with the cold and stark beauty of the frozen seas make for a stunning backdrop to Alicia’s struggle to keep her family together.
A New Character
I also wanted to bring in other, new characters to the story, so my imagination provided Brit with her disastrous love life. This is a woman who knows what she wants, is ambitious, but often goes for the wrong type of man. She hates being bored or alone, so she surrounds herself with lots of people. That’s why she’s chosen to work on cruise liners. You are never alone on a ship, she thinks until her heart is broken by a fellow shipmate.
Although they were best friends at school, Alicia and Brit have lost touch over the years. Now, when they have both returned to the Islands, it seems the perfect time to reconnect…
On the Nordic Åland Islands, the festive season is snowy and chilly—yet breathtakingly beautiful.
It’s time for Alicia to enjoy her first Christmas back on her beloved Islands with her family. There’ll be traditional dancing around the tree and sipping mulled wine in front of a cozy fire. But when Alicia’s estranged husband, Liam, springs an unwelcome and devastating surprise, he threatens her new peaceful existence. To top it all, her ex-lover Patrick refuses to take ‘No’ for an answer and threatens to disturb the family celebration… Will Alicia find enough goodwill amongst her nearest and dearest to create the idyllic Island Christmas she’s always dreamt of?
Meanwhile, Brit, Alicia’s best friend, returns to the Islands to lick her wounds after a particularly bloody break-up with an Italian chef. When she meets her new boss, the Captain of a Baltic cruise liner, sparks fly. Brit can’t help but fall quickly in love with Jukka, but when she discovers his murky past, she fears her heart is about to be broken yet again. Are the rumors about Jukka true, or just typical small island gossip?
Journey to beautiful Scandinavia and join the quirky community of the Åland Islands for a Nordic Christmas you’ll never forget!
An Island Christmas will be out on 28 November, just when we all are beginning to look forward to the seasonal festivities!
The pre-order page will be live soon–sign up to my mailing list to find out when the book is up on Amazon, iBooks and Kobo. Just tap here or the image below for news and offer from me, and receive a FREE Nordic prequel story to the ‘Love on the Island’ -series, THE DAY WE MET!