I'm here today with Jill Piscitello discussing her latest Christmas novella, Tinsel and Tea Cakes. I was lucky to be given a chance to read this enchanting book and offer a review which you can read here:
5 stars! Tinsel and Tea Cakes by Jill Piscitello was a fun, delightful, and well-written story about Scarlett, a down on her luck hairdresser with a broken heart. When Scarlett’s stepmother asks her to be a plus one at a Victorian-era wedding, she runs into Wes, another blast from her past…and one she couldn’t easily forget. She’d just assume pretend like he didn’t exist, but he works at the venue. And when the hotel’s hairdresser takes a nasty spill, Scarlett steps in at the request of Wes’ mother—the owner. Can their short-lived flame be reignited or will past pain and misunderstandings keep them apart?
Jill was also kind enough to supply a short excerpt and a blurb in case my review didn't cause you to click "buy" just yet...
Blurb: Hairstylist Scarlett Kerrigan lost her job and her apartment. To alleviate a touch of self-pity, she succumbs to her stepmom’s pressure to attend a wedding in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Unfortunately, she runs into the vacation fling who promised the moon but disappeared without an explanation. Months have passed, but she is not ready to forgive and forget.
After a chaotic year, executive Wes Harley settles into his family's event venue, The Timeless Manor. His carefully structured world is shaken to its core when Scarlett arrives for the Victorian Christmas wedding weekend. The feelings he never quite erased flood to the surface.
When secrets are revealed, will a magical chateau and a sprinkle of tinsel be enough to charm Scarlett?
Excerpt: Lights flashed in the side view mirror. Another car parked behind them, but snow blocked all visibility through the back window. Boots crunching through snow announced the hulking figure before he appeared at the door. A scarf and hat covered most of the stranger’s face, and only a pair of emerald-green eyes peered in.
Scarlett inched down the window a crack. The possibility of this person being a deranged lunatic couldn’t be overlooked.
“Scarlett?” The man stepped back and tugged down the scarf.
She knew that face and opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find a word. This day just kept getting better. Those eyes should have been the first clue, but never in her wildest dreams did she expect to see him again. The blur of memories racing through her mind dropped a throat-constricting concoction of confusion, hurt, and vile hope on her chest. “Wes.”
“What are you doing here? Aren’t you a little far from home?” A line formed between his eyebrows.
Clarice leaned forward to get a better glimpse of their potential knight in shining armor.
“More than a little.” Coherent thoughts took shape in the form of questions and accusations. Every fiber in her being burned at the thought of asking him for help, but alternative options were few and far between. Who knew how long before roadside assistance arrived? Fine, maybe he’d get her out of this mess, but making small talk didn’t need to factor into the exchange.
Let's hear from Jill on how this delectable little story came to be...
1. How did you come up with the idea for Tinsel and Tea Cakes?
I love historical fiction and thought it would be fun to blend Victorian touches with the present day. I also wanted to take the concept of themed events to an extra level. There’s something magical about Christmas weddings, and the guests at The Timeless Manor are given an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of the past. Ghosting is a fairly new phrase, and I wondered what a person would do if given a second chance with someone who’d cut off all contact without reason or warning. What valid apology would be worth forgiveness? A few well-kept secrets make that decision more difficult.
2. Scarlett’s stepmother, Clarice was a hoot! Was she modeled after someone you know?
Clarice is entirely fictional. But I always loved how nothing could keep my grandmother from owning her opinions and speaking her mind. I wanted Clarice to possess similar qualities. Everyone needs someone in their life who they can count on to tell them the truth regardless of how well those words may be received.
3. Wes and Scarlett both have some incredible personality traits. What are your favorite things about them?
I love Scarlett’s willingness to take chances. Despite a history of poor choices and setbacks, she will only allow herself to wallow in regret for a finite period of time. Wes hasn’t quite learned the art of open communication. But he is a family man to his core.
4. Will there be a sequel?
Yes, another romance for The Timeless Manor is in the works. The next story will focus on a staff member, but readers can look forward to updates on current characters as well.
5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m a little bit of both. When I first begin writing, a flood of characters and events hit the page. Once I have settled on the plot, those notes become a working outline.
Author Bio: Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.
Buy Tinsel and Tea Cakes here: