Day 1: Ros Clarke


Welcome to the first ever 24 Days of Guest Posts and Giveaways!

The time has come and so have the 24 amazing authors participating in this event. I wouldn't have been able to put this all together without their generosity. I am able to give this season to all of you because of their hard work and willingness to share. Here's to more years of this to come!

Let's get this party started with the incomparable Ros Clarke, who has volunteered to kick off this event with a guest post about her earliest Christmas memory. But before we read her magnificent post, let's get to know Ros a little better.

Author Bio:

Ros is a writer, a student, a church worker, a crafter, a blogger, a twitterer, a lazy gardener, and an appalling housekeeper. She lives in a sixteenth century shed in England and is very glad that it has twenty-first century plumbing. She is interested in almost everything except cricket and football (US and UK) and mostly she likes happy endings in fiction and in real life.

Ros has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, never dreaming that other people would be interested in reading them. A few years ago, she discovered a writing forum on the internet, and has never looked back. Her head—and her hard drive—are full of ideas for fresh, fun, contemporary romances that she hopes you’ll love as much as she does.

Website Link(s):
Twitter handle: @ros_clarke

Please make sure to visit her website and follow her on twitter!

My first Christmas memory involves a doll in a spinning teacup. Let's see what Ros's earliest memory is. Take it away Ros.


I grew up in a huge Victorian farmhouse – just the kind that you imagine in traditional English Christmas scenes. We grew our own Christmas trees and went out each year to choose which one to cut, drag back into the house and decorate. They were tall trees, and we had to lean out from the staircase to fix baubles on the highest branches. For weeks beforehand, the house would smell of Christmas – scents that I now know are cinnamon and cloves, bay leaves and brandy. My mother ran a choir who rehearsed in our house every Wednesday night, filling the house with sounds of carols and Christmas songs. It really was magical. Especially the occasional year when it snowed and we could take out our sledges and make lopsided snowmen.

But my earliest Christmas memory isn’t about any of those things.

When I was very young, I shared a bedroom with my brother. He’s only just a year older than me, but when you’re five and six, that one year matters a lot. We’d been sent up to bed on Christmas Eve as normal, after putting out the traditional mince pie and sherry for Father Christmas. (I remember being shocked when I learned that in the US poor Santa only gets milk and cookies!) But I was far too excited to sleep.

Our windows were old and the curtains didn’t quite cover them. So I lay in bed, looking through the gap in the curtains, watching for Father Christmas. Of course we had hung our stockings at the ends of our beds, hoping for all sorts of wonderful things. There was a fireplace which we never used, but which was very handy for Santa.

I have no idea how long I waited, and I expect at some point I fell asleep. When I woke, it was dark, but there was just enough moonlight coming through the curtains to see the silhouette of large man standing at the end of my bed, quietly putting wrapped presents into my stocking. I held my breath. I didn’t want Santa to get delayed chatting to me when he had so much to do that night. And I really didn’t want my brother to wake up and get to see Santa as well. That was just for me.

The filled stocking was laid on the end of my bed, too heavy and full to be hung up again. Then he did the same with my brother’s stocking. He gathered up his empty sack and I glanced over at the fireplace.

He put his hand on the doorknob. I frowned. Hadn’t he come down the chimney?

In our old house, it was impossible to walk through the corridors without floorboards creaking. I knew those sounds perfectly so that I could even tell which member of my family was approaching.

I recognized Santa’s footsteps.

And when I pulled the stocking towards me, I recognised the scent that always hung around my father’s sweaters. (He was a farmer. You can guess what kind of scent that was).

As I snuggled back into my warm bed in our freezing house, I was very happy indeed. Because I knew who Father Christmas was. And my older brother didn’t. That was the best Christmas present I could have had.


A close encounter of the Christmas kind! What a wonderful story, Ros. Thank you for kicking off our 24 Days of Guest Posts and Giveaways with your discovery of Santa's true identity.

You can see from her post her talent for writing, which is why I would like to introduce to all of you Ros's novel. It's a great read for the season. Check out All I Want For Christmas.

Book Blurb:

Last night, Anna Gardner was the life of the office Christmas party—right up until she threw herself at gorgeous advertising executive playboy, Hugh Munro. Again. Last year, Hugh let her pretend their passionate kiss never happened, but this year he’s determined to make Anna admit she wants him as much as he wants her.

Except, Hugh doesn’t know the office party is the only night of the year his friend lets her hair down. That every hour she’s away from the office is spent caring for her sickly mother. That her mother’s condition, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, is hereditary.

When Hugh finds out what she’s been hiding, he’s forced to do some serious soul-searching. It’s not fair to Anna or her mother for him to get involved casually, but casual relationships are all he knows. Can he prove to himself—and to Anna—that she’s all he wants for Christmas?

Read an excerpt here:

Grab your copy now from:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Books on Board
B&N (Nook)


Now on to the GIVEAWAY portion of this post. *confetti*

Ros is giving away:

An ebook copy of All I Want For Christmas and a handmade (by Ros!) Christmas papercut (and she is happy to send it internationally).

Here's a picture of the papercut:

Aren't these great prizes?

Enter now for a chance to win them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is open until Dec. 6, 2012
If you want to share this giveaway on your blog or website, here is the link.
What a wonderful start to the 24 Days!
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.
Spread the word!


  1. Great story, Ros! And a wonderful kick-off to the 24 Days of Guest Posts and Giveaways! Thanks, ladies.

  2. Wow, that paper cut is beautiful! Great story Ros, I would have loved to have had something like that over my brothers :)

  3. Wah! Wish I could get a copy of your book and read! Great start for the Christmas giveaways!

  4. Sounds like a great story to read during the holidays! Love this giveaway!

  5. Your book sounds fantastic! I'm a sucker for good Halliday books hehehe.
    My Christmas list has many things on it but the main theme is books, I'm truly a book addict! :)

  6. Great Christmas memory thanks or sharing enjoyed it :-)

  7. I want to be able to get pregnant and have a baby. That is my Christmas wish and what I want the most.

  8. this sounds like a fun read! the paper cut is awesome!

  9. oh--what i would want most for christmas is to be able to help someone else anonymously!

  10. This year I just want everyone to be healthy and get along in my family. That would be the best gift ever! This looks like a fun story. :)

  11. Awesome start to the hop. It's going to be a fab 24 days! woot!!

  12. great story :) And gorgeous paper cutout!

  13. I hope to get a new camera lens...and some books :)

  14. Hi :)

    Sounds like a great book! Loved reading Ros' christmas memory...

    What do I want?

    To have all my family around me and to be happy :)

  15. Oh, that is the sweetest story. And you can bet Santa's gonna get a glass of sherry this year in this U.S. house. ;)

  16. That papercut is pretty!

    I really want an kindle for Christmas. Only because I've been getting a lot of ebook requests lately and I can only sit in this chair for so long before my butt goes numb, lol.

  17. What a lovely story Ros! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! And the book sounds fantastic :)

  18. I want most this year to figure out what the next step in my life is going to be. I want to be close to all my family and watch my niece and nephew open their gifts from Santa Christmas morning. :) I look forward to sharing Christmas with everyone.

  19. What I want most for christmas this year is some good luck. it's been a rough year

  20. What a wonderful story. So magical!

    This year for Christmas, I'm most looking forward to spending time with my family, not only my kids, but my parents, aunt, grandomther, siblings and their families.

  21. Giftcards for books or clothes would be great!

  22. I look forward in reading this but most especially, to have a holiday with the whole family :D

  23. A great start for the event! And the story is amazingly magical :)

  24. A shopping spree for clothes for myself! :)

  25. I just want Christmas to be stress-free!! I want to enjoy this special day with my family without any worry or squabbling :)


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