Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.
Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…
When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.
It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.
There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?
I can’t believe it’s 23 December already, and time for my final Christmassy Q&A of the year! I have really had so much fun with these, and am so grateful to everyone who took the time to answer my questions, or read them here on the blog. Tonight I’m talking to Belinda Missen, author of Christmas romance One Week ’til Christmas.
Hi Belinda! Thanks so much for joining me on my blog to chat about Christmas today! Christmas romance novels are pretty much my favourite thing to read, and I know you have one out called One Week ‘til Christmas. Can you please tell us a little bit about the book, and what inspired you to write it?
One Week ’til Christmas was a fun little thing that began as a fanfiction years ago. It was a 2000 word thing, and something I enjoyed writing. It was boppy and funny and … it just felt like something. From there, I turned it into a screenplay. Obviously a screenplay is a little longer than a short story, so it expanded on the story a bit more. When I had the opportunity to write something feel-good and Christmassy for HQ, I decided to dig this old number out, throw in a new storyline (actually give it one, I guess), and see what a few more years experience in writing would do – and OWTC was the final product.
Do you like to read seasonal books, and do you have a favourite Christmas story or book?
Oh, this is easy. I love Christmas stories. I remember as a kid absolutely fizzy at seeing the Burl Ives claymation films on TV each Christmas. As for Christmas novels, One Day In December is the only book I’ve read more than once – and the audiobook just makes the story pop. Thanks for reminding me – I’m going to have to get it out for another listen.
Is there a particular book you’d love to find under your Christmas tree this year?
Not gonna lie – I’d love to see an autographed copy of Paul McCartney’s The Lyrics under the tree, but that’s a bit of wishful thinking. But in the realm of ‘Things that are possible’, I’ve been reading a lot of political, historical, biographical non-fiction, so I’d be cool with something along those lines under the tree.
Do you have a favourite book you’ve read this year then you’ll be recommending (or giving as a Christmas present!) to everyone you know?
There have been so many great reads this year. Actually, I decided this year that I’d keep a folder on my hard drive with cover images in it, all of my reads for the year, so let me go dig that up and I’ll get you a list …
Barack Obama – A Promised Land
Caled Azumah Nelson – Open Water
Mhairi McFarlane – Last Night
Eddie Jaku – The Happiest Man on Earth
Jenna Louise Skinner – The Book Boyfriend.
I’d wrap them all up in a little hamper with some coffee and chocolate and send them out as gifts.
Can you share a favourite Christmas tradition or recipe?
My husband and I have accidentally created our own tradition. Christmas Eve now sees us with the Melbourne Carols by Candlelight playing on the TV, a few drinks in hand, while we make mince pies. We use the uber fancy royal kitchen recipe, which can be found here.
The only change I make is using Jamie Oliver’s sweet pastry for the bases/lids. They’re very popular with family and friends, and make a great Christmas morning breakfast
Finally, are you working on something new and can you tell us anything about it?
At the moment, I’m taking a wee break from writing. I’ve been dealing with some mental health issues that kind of culminated not long after One Week til Christmas became a thing. I’m awaiting a formal diagnosis for ADHD, but my GP and I both agree I have it, along with a little dose of OCD. So, I’ve been spending a bit of time trying to relax, not do everything at once, and filling my creative well with a lot of reading. It’s been an absolutely glorious time. Not without its challenges, but I’m really grateful to have the access to the help I need. I hope others do, too.
Thanks so much to Belinda for taking the time to chat with me! If you missed any of my Christmas Q&As you can check them all out here.
About the author
Belinda Missen is a closet romantic who met her husband after being introduced by a friend two states away. Just don’t buy her flowers: they die.
They both now reside in country Victoria, surrounded by Lego, holiday photos, cat fur and half-finished pizza. She was once told that it didn’t count but, in 2016, she won the Courthouse Youth Arts Over 26+ award for her piece: Obsession. It totally counts.
Diagnosed with ADHD in 2020, Belinda is striving to normalise her diagnosis and mental health conversations within everyday life utilizing the Please Let Me Sleep approach. This means you’ll probably find her online at odd times of the night.
Belinda holds a Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing and is currently studying a BA Communication (Creative Writing).