Dec 12, 2015

Christmas Countdown: Interview with Maxine Morrey & Giveaway!

About Maxine

Maxine Morrey, author of Winter’s Fairytale. Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first she won a handful of book tokens - perfect for a young bookworm! As years went by, she continued to write, but ‚normal’ work often got in the way. Finally, she really decided to go for it, and wrote. Really wrote. And after a while she had a bunch of articles, and a non fiction book to her name. But her real love is writing novels and the magical escapism it affords – for both writer and reader. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through as the publishers succumbed to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities. In August 2015, she won Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition. Her first romantic comedy from HarperCollins (Carina UK), ‚Winter’s Fairytale’, was released in November. Maxine lives in Sussex, England with her husband and when not wrangling with words, can be found adding to her To Be Read pile, sewing, walking and wondering when they are going to invent a robot for ironing.


What’s your best Christmas memory?

In 2007, we were living in the US and my parents came over for a few weeks around Christmas. It was so lovely to have them there! We had some fab times exploring the area, and visiting a couple of theme parks. On Christmas Day, we had a traditional turkey with all the trimmings – and even managed to track down some sprouts for my Dad! Not quite so traditional was the fact that we had to have the local news on as there was a hurricane tracking right for us so we were keeping a watchful eye!

What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

The Christmas Mystery – Jostein Gaarder

This is such a lovely Christmas read that I discovered many years ago, quite by accident. It’s a real anecdote to all the commercialisation that surround the season now. Although it features the traditional Christian story, it’s so much more than that and is more about adventure and discovery and human emotion than it is religion.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Not exactly a traditional Christmas read, I know. What I love about reading this book around Christmas is the whole idea of being cosy and warm inside whilst in my head I’m with Jane, tramping on the freezing, windswept moors of Yorkshire.

Book 3

I’m saving this space! For my third choice, I’m going to have to save a spot! There’s been a whole raft of lovely Christmas books released over the last couple of months and I now have a huge pile just waiting to be read! I know that once I’ve read these I’m going to end up with a lot more favourites.

If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

I think I would choose my grandfather. He was killed in an RTA whilst waiting to be sent home from Germany a few months after the war had finished. We’ve never had much information on him but everything we have found suggests he was a lovely, and funny man. I have so many questions! So the chance to spend time with him would be wonderful.

What are your thoughts about Santa?

I’m a little old to believe in Father Christmas these days! But I love the concept of him and I really think that children should be encouraged to believe in him for as long as is humanly possible! They grow up far too fast these days so anything that can be done to keep hold of their sense of wonder and belief in magic should really be encouraged.

What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

My best gift would probably have to be one from quire a few years ago now that my lovely husband bought me as a total surprise, and that’s my Magimix. I was so amazed when I opened it as they’re not cheap and I never thought I’d have one! I know they say that kitchen appliances aren’t necessarily the best present a man can give his partner but I can honestly say he wasn’t in trouble at all! Ha ha! I thought it was beautiful and still use the heck out of it! It’s a real workhorse and I love it. He’d even gone to the trouble of getting it sent to my parents so that there was no risk of me seeing it delivered so it was a total surprise!

I really can’t think of any gifts I’d classify as ‘worst’ – I tend to think that it’s very nice that someone went to the effort of thinking about me at all!

Your favourite Christmas song?

‘Baby Please Come Home’ by Michael BublĂ©. Lovely and Christmassy and great to bop around to in the kitchen.

Your favourite Christmas movie?

Ooh, I’m kind of torn here between ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Elf’. I love all the intricacies of ‘Love Actually’ and how the stories intertwine with each other. It covers a whole range of emotions and shows that Christmas isn’t always just this ‘perfect’ thing – when you throw people in the mix, things generally get messy, because people aren’t perfect. But then ‘Elf’, with a 6’4” Will Ferrell dressed up is just sweet and funny and daft – the revolving door scene cracks me up every time! I think he’s quite underestimated as an actor – he conveys the emotions in that film from joy to sadness, so well.

Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

Precious Gifts by Danielle Steele – My mum is a huge fan so she’ll love this.

Big Sam, My Autobiography by Sam Allardyce – My Mum in Law is a massive football fan and Big Sam was the manager at her team for quite a while so I think she’ll enjoy getting all the gossip from the man himself.

Make Me by Lee Child – Dad really enjoys the Jack Reacher series so this will give him something to dive into on Christmas Day.

Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

My favourite bit is probably the first night the decorations are up, when the lights are low and the tree is twinkling and it just starts feeling really festive.

My least favourite part is the over commercialisation of it all. The stress that people can sometimes feel under to put on the ‘perfect’ Christmas and get the ‘right’ presents can take away from the simple joy of being together.

I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

I love all the little bits, the nibbles! Christmas Day tea and Boxing Day is generally just bits and bobs like turkey sandwiches, salad, ham & cheese puffs, cheese and biscuits – and of course, cake! All the things like that are my absolute favourite!


One very lucky reader of our blogs will receive a fantastic prize:

Amazon USA Amazon UK

A digital copy of Winter's Fairytale will be for the winner of this giveaway, good luck!


  1. all.the nibbled as well. Is America very different to UK for Christmas?

  2. all.the nibbled as well. Is America very different to UK for Christmas?

  3. Favourite Christmas treat is Mince pie and brandy sauce

  4. My favourite part is also when the decorations first go up. They're just so beautiful.

  5. Nice interview and my favorite thing is family together.

  6. My favorite Christmas memory: Two days before Christmas, we heard a knock on the front door. When mom went to answer it, no one was there, but she found a package on the doormat. She brought it inside so we could all open it together. It had a label on it that read, "From the Christmas Angel.” Inside the package were new dresses for all four girls and a new dress shirt and pants for my brother. There was even a dress for my mom. Everyone screamed with joy and ran off to try on our Christmas Angel gifts.

  7. My most fave part of Christmas is all the fairy lights everywhere, my least fave is having to cook Christmas Dinner xx

  8. I love giving books as Christmas gifts too. I will have to check out the books listed.

  9. The Christmas gift your husband have send very thoughtful! Hope I win!

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