Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Home for the Holidays – by Ellen Faith + CHARACTER INTERVIEW & EXCERPT

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Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

When Lexi and Ryan make the decision to venture home for the Christmas holidays, neither of them can wait to catch up with their families. What the pair don’t anticipate is the series of life changing events their families have been going through while they’ve been continuing with their American adventure, including a newly nudist father.

As they try to weather the storm, they discover that being back in the UK is creating more questions than answers for them as a couple and their American dream is beginning to fade. Fast.

*This novel can be read as a follow on from The Story of Us or as a standalone*

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the author in exchange of an honest review*

First of all, I’d like to talk about this gorgeous cover, it’s perfect for the story and it’s so festive and sweet.

Now, let’s come to the story. We are back with Lexi and Ryan, yay! I loved the two of them as a couple, as well as individuals and I was exciting to see their story continue.

The first few scenes were the perfect introduction to the story, them being an adorable couple, enjoying being engaged and just being special and unique.

It’s time for some holidays, so Lexi and Ryan decide to go home to see their families. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?!

Rosie and Jason are back again as well. Lexi and Ryan didn’t book into a hotel, so they are living with them. Rosie is pregnant and she is really bitchy at times. She is still a super friend and I’m so glad Lexi has her.

In London lexi gets to meet Ryan’s parents and his sister Romily. His parents are divorced and his father has got a new girlfriend, with some very interesting believes. Well, it was very funny reading these scenes. Ryan sees himself taken back to his past, he’s different and Lexi is a bit confused about it.

Then of course they also got to meet up with Lexi’s parents. Lexi’s mum got really excited, getting out old photo albums.

Both Lexi and Ryan enjoy being back in England and they see themselves question where their home is. Is it San Francisco or England?
The thing I liked about this that they wanted to decided together, talked to each other and had each other’s back. Their love was described in so many details and with small scenes and gestures, well done Ellen.

It was fun reading about the wedding venues and when they found the one, oh my… I loved it!

This is the perfect, sweet and festive read! So funny, bubbly, heart-warming, sweet, vivid and much more. The storyline is great and the characters are just wonderful. I loved seeing all of them interact and the writing conveyed that in a brilliant way!!!


My possible cast:

Lexi: Maggie Lawson

Ryan: James Roday

Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England where she spends most of her time baking, eating, baking, and eating. Occasionally she does leave the house to go to the cinema or do some food shopping though.
After spending years with an overactive imagination, she decided to put all the magic in her head to some good use and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel.
She loves to travel, her favourite destinations so far have all been in America, hence the love of all things, and all people, American. The food rocks pretty hard too, she ate until her jeans begged her to stop whilst she was there. True fact.
Aside from day dreaming and eating, Ellen is a sucker for a lolcat, penguins and monkeys - she has never claimed to be normal.

Home For The Holidays on AMAZON UK

Here is the book trailer: 


1.     Hi Lexi, I’m happy to welcome you on my blog. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi Simona! Thank you so much for having me, and can I just say what a pretty blog you have too. I love it. Well, my name is Alexandra Jones, Lexi for short and I currently live in San Francisco with my fiancé, Ryan, and my calico kitty, Mr Beefy. I’m really lucky to work with Ryan for his record label and get to interview all of the up and coming artists which is pretty cool. Am I allowed to say cool past a certain age? Oh God, I think I’m turning into my mother.

2.     You moved to San Francisco, what do you like about the city?

Oh San Francisco is, to me, the most amazing city in the world. I love the eclectic mix of people you find there, from the millionaires up Russian Hill to the hippy heaven of Haight Ashbury. Mission is full some amazing graffiti murals and Castro has the yearly gay parades. And of course there’s the iconic Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge. I can’t put into words what makes it so special, whether it’s the people or the fact no two neighbourhoods are the same but that’s the best word to describe it. Special.

3.     I heard you’re engaged, congratulations. Tell us more about your fiancé Ryan.

I tend to get a bit gushy when I tell people about Ryan. He’s honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. He was a tough nut to crack at first and can seem a bit abrupt, but that’s just because he tends to be wary of people until he gets to know them. He has a heart of gold though and the most amazing eyes. And smile. And bum. Okay, I’ll stop now. Promise.

4.     What do you love about him?

Apart from his eyes, smile and bum? I love that no matter how bad a day I’ve had, no matter what mood I’m in or if I’m ready to burst into tears, I can come home to Ryan and he makes me feel calm, like nothing has happened. I feel so grounded and safe when I’m with him, he’s the ying to my yang.

5.     You’re going home to England for the holidays, are you excited?

I am SO excited! My best friend, Rosie, is due to have her baby girl while we’re over there and I’m going to be meeting my future in-laws for the first time. Ryan has told me so much about them that, although I’m nervous, I’m really excited.

6.     Do you miss England?

I do, I really do. Especially my family and friends, who are pretty much family. But I love San Francisco, I feel like this is where I belong at the moment. I’m a firm believer that home is where the heart is and I lost my heart to San Francisco the moment I stepped off of the plane. There may come a day when we return back to England but right now, I think we’re settled here.

7.     Who are the most important people in your life (next to Ryan of course)?

My parents, Rosie and Jason. Rosie and Jason are like my brother and sister, we grew up together and have never gone longer than a week without seeing each other. It was a huge adjustment when I moved away.

8.     Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d like to think that Ryan and I would be settled down with children. Maybe 2 but I’d be happy with 1 healthy one. I think I’d like to still be living in San Francisco, it would be a great place to raise children.

9.     What does Christmas mean to you?

Family, food and fun. Nothing gets me into the festive spirit more than drinking some mulled wine whilst playing a silly board games.

10.  How would you describe yourself in three words?

Loyal, caring, happy.

11.  What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I remember one year, Rosie’s parents let her sleep over at mine Christmas Day night. My dad had lost the television remote, something he does a lot, so we took ourselves off to bed, stayed up way past our bedtime watching old musicals, making ourselves sick on chocolate and showing each other what we’d got that day. It was the first of many Christmas sleepovers and I miss those days a lot.

12.  Do you have a special Christmas tradition?

Not anymore, which is a shame. I used to go to midnight mass with my grandma but then as I got older, our local church stopped doing the service because not enough people attended. A mass at teatime just isn’t the same as midnight mass over Christmas. Maybe I can start some new traditions with Ryan though.

13.  What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I have two that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember: Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody and Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.

14.  What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Elf, definitely

15.  Your favourite Christmas books?

I actually love A Christmas Carol. It’s an absolute classic and being able to curl up in a comfy chair with a mug of hot chocolate and a paperback copy of it just makes me feel so festive.


By the time we've fought our way through every item on the list, I am exhausted. It's nearly two in the morning and we have to face the queues at the till yet. Ryan seems completely relaxed now that we have the coffee machine, reduced by 65% if you please, and if I'm being honest, looks like he's had a full nights sleep. Men are so lucky.
I'm just about to choose a line that looks like it has the most alert checkout assistant when something shiny catches my eye. I squint to make sure I'm seeing it right, catching Ryan's attention as I start muttering to myself. It can't be real. They have to have been dumped there as some kind of trick, like a Punk’d special, Black Friday edition.
"What have you seen?" He sighs.
"Shoes." I just about manage to croak out. These particular shoes have been on my wish list for the last four months, ever since I saw them in Vogue. Rosie said she'd try and get me a pair but she hasn't mentioned it since, which probably means she hasn't been able to do it and feels bad.
I walk slowly across to the abandoned shoes resting on top of some leopard print fleecy blankets in a daze.
Just as I'm within touching distance, a blonde flash of hair appears in front of me, swiping my beloveds out of my reach.
"Noooooo!" I wail. Nobody flinches. I'm not surprised after the things I've witnessed tonight.
"Sorry but you snooze you lose. Sucks for you." She grins smugly and turns to walk away as I grab her arm. I don't know what comes over me, I really don't. I think they must pump something into the air vents to up the crazy in here because I do something I'm not proud of at all.
I wrestle her into the stand full of the fleecy blankets, much to her surprise, and manage to grab a shoe from her vice like grip. One shoe is no good without the other after all.
"Oh you did not just do that?!" Blondey picks herself up remarkably well considering, and launches herself at me, knocking me straight into the gathering audience as the shoe clatters across the gleaming white tiles. We both look at each other and lunge for the shoe at the same time. She grabs my ponytail to hold me back and I curse myself for not listening to Ryan's advice, that a topknot was the safest style for this trip.
Speaking of Ryan, I manage a quick glance in his direction to see him looking both horrified and amused at the same time, arms folded across his chest as he shakes his head.
As we both get our grubby little mitts onto the shoe, we give each other the death stare. She has the heel and I have the toe. This could all go terribly wrong if one of us pulls the shoe too hard.
"Let. It. Go!" She snarls through gritted teeth.
"You let go!" I shout in response. I feel like I'm at school again, fighting for my chocolate bar at lunch time that the bullies always tried to take from me. I have always been a fierce protector of chocolate.
The struggle carries on for a good ten minutes, neither of us relenting, my heart pounding against my chest.
Finally, we have a breakthrough.
"Oh fine! You have them you crazy British freak." Blondey throws the other shoe at me, aiming for my head, which is a little bit uncalled for, and huffs off in the other direction. Not before swearing at me though. Lovely.
A round of applause breaks out as I get to my feet, my knees creaking as I stand making me wince.
"Thank you, I'll be here all night," I laugh taking a bow, trying to hide the embarrassment.
I make my way back to Ryan who has moved down considerably in the queue now and clearly lost interest when we were just staring at each other in the great mind war of the designer shoe.
"Happy?" He laughs as I pop them into one of the overflowing baskets.
"Very." I beam. I’m ecstatic if I'm being honest and want to shout from the rooftops about my new shoes, but Ryan's a man and doesn't really get my obsession.
As he looks down at the shoes of the Gods, he frowns.
"These shoes aren't your size."
"What?!" Crap. I never even thought to look at the size. I quickly grab one of the shoes and my heart sinks.
Ah fudge.

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