Release Day: Laughing All the Way on the Jingle Bells Express
Christmas 2020, having been cancelled at the very last minute, was hugely disappointing for most of us. Families were unable to spend the festive holiday together, and so many plans were wrecked as the country went into lockdown, for what turned out to be almost six months. Because of that, I wanted my 2021 Christmas book to be light, amusing, and a lot of fun.
Originally, I’d intended to write the sequel to Izzy’s Christmas Star for this Christmas, but the idea for Laughing All the Way popped into my head unannounced one Spring day. So Izzy’s sequel will be in 2022 instead. As a teenager I was a big Agatha Christie fan, and one of my favourite books of hers was And Then There Were None which is loosely based on an old nursery rhyme. Agatha’s book tells of a ‘perfect crime’ – ten people invited to a house party on a desolate island and all ten are found murdered with no way on or off the island. Well obviously, being Christmas, I couldn’t go around bumping off my characters – I was writing a romcom after all. But I did like the idea of an invitation to something, somewhere, and so the idea started to grow ...
I’ve been fascinated for some time by the amount of people in all walks of life, who are constantly on their phones – wherever they may be. How they don’t tumble off station platforms, trains, buses and even out of cars, I have no idea. People don’t appear to have conversations any more – well obviously they do on Zoom, Teams, FaceTime and all kinds of social media – but actually face to face in the same room. Even people in restaurants are constantly peering at their phones, taking photos of their food and themselves, rather than actually enjoying each other’s company (And yes, I do it myself sometimes too).
Laughing All the Way is a story about a group of twenty and thirty-somethings who receive an invitation to go on a festive train ride the week before Christmas. If you received such an invitation – would you go? This is their story, and I hope you do laugh all the way through it. And I promise nobody gets murdered.
About the Book:
If you received a mysterious invitation for a fun-filled festive train ride the week before Christmas, would you go?
When teacher Dee Nicholls receives her invitation, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Surely it’s some kind of joke to get her out of bed early on a weekend? Perhaps a clever festive marketing ploy?
But as the Christmas countdown begins, it becomes clear that Dee isn’t the only “Jingle Bells Express” invitee. There are other people out there who have received the same invitation: Tom the intern, Rachel the aspiring writer, Dylan the musician and his dog Muttley – and they’re not the only ones!
Could the unusual festive journey they eventually take together show them all the true meaning of Christmas, and also that happiness is sometimes right in front of you – if you just take the time to look?
Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/3qPAnpL
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lIGskL
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3csVZ2L
About the Author:
Berni Stevens lives in a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, son and black cat. She trained in graphic design and has worked as a book cover designer for more than twenty years.
Books and art remain her passion, and her love of the paranormal began when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, aged fourteen. She is now on both the committee and the book panel of the Dracula Society, a society for fans of gothic literature and film.
Berni writes contemporary and fantasy romance.