So delighted to be hosting my great pal, the gorgeous goddess from Glasgow, Susan Buchanan, on my blog again. I interviewed her about a year ago, and adored her even more than after I’d finished her THE DATING GAME. Read that interview HERE and you’ll see what I mean!
To celebrate her new release, THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, I asked her to tell you guys Five Fun Facts about her… So here they are. Enjoy! And please buy her new book. I did! I’m not finished yet, but I’m getting evermore charmed by the page. A great holiday read! Now I’ll stop my blabbing. Here’s Sooz!
As many know I love to travel, but I haven’t really shared where I’ve been. So, let’s just say I’ve posted on Facebook at 6am ‘Baku rocks’, as I had just returned from pretty much an all-nighter in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was out with my 70 year old rep (I worked in Sales) and God knows where we were. I could never have found my way home again! I did, however, bump into lots of Scottish people involved in the oil industry over there and we partied! I remember doing the conga at one point in a pub. Not sure why!
I’ve also been on safari in Kenya, which was amazing, but I haven’t done the Masai Mara yet. I’m torn between doing the balloon ride over it, as I don’t want the balloon to drop and me be eaten by lions. It’s not a good way to go, I hear.
I’ve been to a lot of the US, but I have to say one of the places which struck me most was Beale St in Memphis, where lots of the music clubs are. I was there on a Saturday and wandered up to this area in a park where loads of people were milling around. Random onlookers would take it in turns to sing and the whole crowd was behind them – it was amazing.
When I am in the car, bored sometimes, I try to work out how many countries I’ve been to. I think last month I got it to 50, I had forgotten three before. Well, if you will go to Honduras, just to play Scrabble, it does tend to slip your mind!
I am very accident prone, but have never actually broken any bones, although I’ve torn ligaments countless times and have a weakness in my right ankle. In fact, when my met my other half, Tony, at New Year in the Scottish Highlands, I was on crutches! I have a scar on my left shin where I fell off a climbing frame, shaped like an igloo. I was hanging upside down from it at the time, when I was eleven. I also have a scar on my left thigh where a girl bit me when we were fighting – I think I was twelve.
I am terrified of rats – they freak me out – it’s something about the tails. Also not keen on snakes. I’ve heard too many stories, although I did have a python wrapped around my shoulders when on holiday in India, in an attempt to get me over my fear. It was one of my least comfortable experiences ever.
I have no pain threshold – I am a total wimp, or so I thought. I was dreading childbirth, as the female members of my family kept saying ‘you’ll be a nightmare’, but you know what? I was fine. Yes, it was bloomin’ painful and long, but I wasn’t the person screaming so loud, her other half could hear her down the corridor. That was my kid sister’s friend!
I love quiz shows and board games. Baby Antonia’s head snaps around whenever she hears the theme tune to certain quiz shows and I’m sure it’s because when she was in the womb and for the first few months of night feeds, I had the quiz shows on. She will quite happily sit through them. I am hoping the knowledge rubs off on her!
Connect with Sooz!
About The Christmas Spirit!
Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.
Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.
Eighty-two-year-old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her?
Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.
Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?
The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and cafe in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?
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Start reading The Christmas Spirit now!
Well, my D-Day anyway, thought Natalie.
Every year on this day, December 1st, her raison d’être and her job, as such, began. It only lasted a month, but her personal deadline was always twenty-four days. The other week was just to ensure there was no unfinished business.
Natalie hoped Christmas 2013 would be a good one for everyone. If she had anything to do with it, as in the past, those she chose would have a Christmas to remember.
This year she would be working in the small town of Winstanton about twenty miles north of Glasgow; more of a village really, with its carefully tended lawns, idyllic cottages and splendid views over Loch Lomond.
Each year Natalie had to choose a different country. This was her first visit to Scotland. She hoped she would get used to the Scottish accent and that her own would go unnoticed. Speaking several languages came in handy, but it was even better to blend in like a local.
Although Natalie’s job actively only lasted one month per year, her preparation lasted ten months. Well, she did get some holidays. Ten months in which to research, narrow down and shortlist her candidates. It was no easy task, as although a small town, Winstanton still had fifteen thousand residents and Natalie could only choose four. Now, she couldn’t possibly check them all out, could she? No. Natalie had a gift which helped her. She could feel other people’s happiness. The downside was, she could also feel their unhappiness. Marvellous, eh?
Natalie readjusted her handbag on her shoulder and grabbed hold of the handle of her carry-on case, dragging it along the deserted platform of Winstanton train station. She had picked up the keys to her new one-bedroom cottage earlier that day in Glasgow. Now all she had to do was make her way there. There wasn’t a taxi in sight; not surprising, since she was the only person who had got off at the station. Fortunately there was a phone box, an old style red one – how quaint. Even luckier, it hadn’t been vandalised and it had a Yellow Pages in it, which hadn’t been ripped to shreds. Natalie had never got around to getting a mobile phone. There was no reception where she lived most of the year, so there seemed little point. Taking out a piece of paper from her purse, she dialled the first taxi number she’d come across in her research of the area; she was nothing if not prepared. In her job she had to be. She was looking forward to her new role. Her job was always a job within a job; a little difficult to explain, but it was kind of like a secondment.
The taxi arrived soon after. Natalie could imagine there wasn’t much doing for a taxi driver on a Sunday night. A cheery old man, probably in his sixties, greeted her. ‘Miss Hope?’
‘The very same.’
‘Let me help you with your case.’
‘Thanks,’ said Natalie, when he swung it with some effort into the boot.
‘What have you got in there, bricks?’
Natalie laughed and said, ‘Wouldn’t you like to know!’
He looked as if he would indeed like to know, but was too polite to push it further.
They arrived at Rose Cottage within ten minutes.
‘Five pounds eighty, hen.’
‘Worth every penny,’ Natalie pronounced. She handed him seven pounds and told him to keep the change.
‘Do you want me to wait until you see if anyone’s home?’ asked the driver, eyeing the darkened cottage.
‘No, it’s OK, thanks, although that’s kind of you to be so thoughtful. I have a key.’
‘No problem. Have a nice night.’
‘You too. Hope it’s a busy one for you.’
The driver’s expression conveyed that was unlikely to be the case.
She noticed he didn’t leave until she was safely inside the cottage and she’d switched on the hall light. Nice soul, obviously a happy man. He wouldn’t be needing her help.
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