Here's what it's all about: How could everything suddenly have gone so wrong for MiaMaxwell? She’s published her own foodie book, travelled around the world blogging her new recipes and has the perfect boyfriend in rugged, countryman Tom.
But since being spotted with her ex-boyfriend Paul, Tom has refused to even speak to her let alone see her for Christmas as planned. The warm, spiced wine of the German Christmas markets is little consolation for the hole in her heart.
Will Mia's Christmas turn out to be sugar and spice and all things nice – or a deflated soufflé of loneliness and regret?
However you guys, you lucky things, get this extract straight from the book right now! The best part about this as well is that it's only 99p and perfect for reading with a festive drink during a break in your holiday shopping! Happy reading!
This isn’t how it was meant to be, thought Mia, looking up at the snow falling all around her from the dark sky. Tom should be standing next to me right now, and why isn’t he? Mia sighed. It had only been a few weeks since things had appeared to dissolve with Tom, but to Mia, it felt like forever. At that moment, Lizzie broke into her thoughts, exclaiming at how romantic the snow was and gave Mia a big excited hug. In spite of herself, Mia felt momentarily happy for the first time in a few weeks. Urged to by Lizzie, she breathed in; delighting in the snow on her tongue, just like when she was a little girl. What a lot has changed in a year! thought Mia wryly to herself — before turning her attention back to pushing her way through the crowded Christmas market in Cologne. She tried not to think of Tom. Lizzie was just ahead of her, making her way to the front of the queue for mulled wine. The bare trees were filled with lanterns and sparkling paper stars, fairy lights glistened and swayed in the breeze, and if it wasn’t for the distant hum of traffic, Mia would have imagined she had been transported back in time to some medieval village, Christmas circa 1450.
Mia couldn’t stop staring at the bright lights and breathing in the warm spicy smells coming from the tents serving hot, spiced wine. People were packed into the market, making it difficult to take in all the sights and sounds and smells and foods. Gradually the magic of being on holiday in the build-up to Christmas was working, and Mia was beginning to relax and forget about her troubles with Tom. Lizzie had been right; a trip away was just what she needed to take her mind off things. Mia smiled gratefully at Lizzie’s back, marvelling at how her friend was always right and always knew the best thing for her — even when she had been determined to lie on her bed and cry her eyes out at the dream that had turned so sour.
Mia tried to shake herself free of the negative spiral that seemed to overtake her constantly in the last few weeks. She concentrated on looking up at the brightly lit Ferris wheel that stood over the Christmas market, sedate and glittering in the cold night air. She made herself watch as it slowly turned. She let the jingly Christmas music that was blaring out of the brightly lit stalls sooth her as she concentrated on breathing — calmly and slowly. She tried not to cry and waited for Lizzie to show up with the next colourful mug of dark red, spicy mulled wine.
Mia mused, still cradling her cup of mulled wine to warm her fingers; I was so relaxed with him. How things just happened and seemed right — even when everything around us was not right at all. How comfortable we felt with each other. Gone were the days when I tried not to finish everything on my plate for fear of disapproval from Paul or another exacting past boyfriend. With Tom, I could wolf down half a plate of fish and chips and still kiss him. But more than that, I felt just happy to be with him and to be me — not playing a version of myself, not trying to balance what I got out of being with him with the downsides of how he may have made me feel. Happy to just be, be with him and be me. So how did it all go so wrong?
Emma Hamilton is the pen name for a food-loving journalist and writer. Once a staff producer and then freelance reporter for the BBC, CBC, and Deutsche Welle, she has also written for a number of magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian,BBC Magazines, The Mail on Sunday, Four Four Two and Italy Magazine. She has worked on a number of series and documentaries, including one about food and culture around the world. Emma spent six years reporting from Italy and has made radio programmes in many countries including Lebanon, Ethiopia, the USA, France, Germany, Russia, and Cameroon. When she’s not cooking, reading about food or eating it, she splits her time between presenting, producing and writing. She loves yoga, running, gardening and spending time with her husband, friends and family at home.
Christmas Cravings is published on 20th November, price £0.99in eBook.
Greedily Yours Episode 1-8 are also all now available, price £1.49 each.