Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Book Spotlight - The Gift Of Christmas Yet To Come by Jo Bartlett

The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come

School-teacher Kate Harris is about to turn thirty-four and suddenly the tick-tock of her biological clock is almost deafening. Facing another Christmas without a longed for child in her life, it’s time to take action.
With the support of her oldest friends, in the close-knit small town of St Nicholas Bay, she decides to go it alone. But in a town where Christmas is big business all year round, it turns out Santa Claus isn’t the only one with mysterious powers.
Should Kate listen to a voice from beyond the grave telling her to slow down and wait for her real fate to be revealed, or follow her heart and find the missing piece of her family in a way she’d never imagined?

Read an extract....

I was never the sort of person who believed in fortune tellers, fate mapping out my life or messages from beyond the grave. At least not until I encountered a woman who changed all that.
Contrary to popular belief, and the confession above, teachers are normal human beings. Most of them, anyway. There are a couple of my colleagues I wouldn’t like to vouch for. But, in the main, we’re pretty average, with the same hopes and fears as other people—and a phobia of school inspectors, of course.
Back when I was in high school, and the seeds of all this were sown, I was convinced that teachers came from a different planet, or were plugged into the mains at night with the rest of the equipment, only switched on when the caretaker came to open up in the mornings. They were so serious and straight-laced, always worrying about homework, or whether I’d signed up for any activities that might look good on my university application. They didn’t have real lives, real problems, and I was certainly never going to be one.
I can still remember the shock, aged fifteen, when I’d snuck into a nightclub with fake ID and enough hairspray to weld a car roof on and I’d seen the head of history—dancing. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Not because I liked him, he was ancient after all—he must have been all of thirty at the time—or because he was a particularly bad dancer; in fact, he looked more or less like everyone else. That was the shock, I suppose, the reason I was so transfixed. He wasn’t beamed up to the mother ship when the final school bell rang, or plugged in with the rest of the robots; he was out, with friends—real, non-teacher types—laughing and looking for all the world like he knew how to have fun.
Despite this one exception, the rest of the staff steadfastly upheld my belief that they only existed between the hours of nine and three-thirty, and were dedicated to sucking as much fun out of my life during those six and a half hours as possible. Miss Bone, who taught Latin, was among the worst of them. She singled out three of us from my class for extra tuition; not because we had potential, or because we were falling behind but, as it had seemed back then, simply to torture us. If you’d told me she was going to change the course of my life, I’d have laughed until my face hurt. Only Miss Bone had a secret—one we wouldn’t truly discover until much later, when we’d finally left the confines of St Nicholas Bay High—and she’d chosen us for a reason.

About The Author:
Jo has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, but had only ever published non-fiction until a brush with cancer gave her the impetus to focus on her dream of seeing a novel in print. She lives with her husband, children and four dogs, so far down in the South East corner of England that they’re very nearly French.

Jo's first novella, The Gift of Christmas Yet to Come, published by Fabrian Books, was released in November 2014 and is the first in the St Nicholas Bay series. This will be followed by her debut full-length novel, Among A Thousand Stars in 2015, published by So Vain Books in e-book and paperback, making some of those daydreams a reality.

As a founder member of the Write Romantics, Jo regularly blogs with the other nine members of the group about love, life and writing. The Write Romantics released their debut anthology, Winter Tales in November 2014, in aid of The Teenage Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis trusts.
Twitter: @Jay_B_Writer / @writeromantics
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