Let's take a look at my review:
Cold Feet by: Jay Northcote
reviewed by: Becky
Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.
Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.
As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.
This is a holiday story that you will fall in love with right away, I love that Jay Northcote's books, holiday or otherwise, have such well developed characters and lovely flow! Sam and Ryan are so delightful with their tip toeing around each other and mixed signals! I love how they end up spending Christmas in the most unexpected of ways! Get this book, and you will be so glad you did! Thank you Jay, for giving us a wonderful Holiday book we will pull out and enjoy again and again!
COLD FEET BUY LINKS:
NOW FOR THE INTERVIEW AND AUTHOR BIO! CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO CHECK THIS OUT!
Today we are chatting with Jay Northcote about her lovely new Christmas story, Cold Feet: So come on in, grab a chair, and enjoy the interview!
1. We are here to talk about your Christmas story Cold Feet, which is being released today. Is Christmas your favorite Holiday, and if so, why?
I think it is, mainly because it’s the one where I’m guaranteed to see all my family together—although not actually on Christmas Day, but on Boxing Day (that’s the 26th – I gather you don’t have that in America?). I have a large family and it’s rare that we are all under one roof at any other time of year, so that makes our Boxing Day gathering pretty special.
Bec-I have heard of Boxing Day, but sadly we don't have it in America, it sounds like a lovely way to spend the holiday!
2. I was delighted with this book by the way, the dynamic between Sam and Ryan, is wonderful. Do you find it hard to create that dynamic, or is it pretty easy?
Thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I suppose I would say that the characterisation and relationship is usually the part of writing that I find relatively easy. I think that’s one of my strengths as a writer, the characters come alive for me as I write and they usually feel very real to me. It’s good to know when that works for my readers too. Most of my stories tend to be very character/relationship focused for this reason, because I get very bogged down when I try to write stories that are more plot heavy. I like keeping the focus on the relationship first and foremost.
Bec- Well let me tell you that the method you use really does work! The characters pop, and that always makes for a wonderful story!
3. Ok Jay, this one may be a little personal, but not too much I hope! What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
That’s a tough question! But I think my answer is a relatively new tradition that has evolved over that past few years. I can’t remember how it started but I think alcohol was involved… but every year on Boxing Day, one of my sisters sets her camera up on a tripod with a timer so we can get a family photo of all of us together. One year, we somehow ended up doing two photos—a sensible one, and a silly one with everyone wearing fancy dress (crazy hats, wigs, fake moustaches, tutus etc). Now we do this every year, and the fancy dress version gets sillier and sillier each time
This made me smile, what a great way to bring family together! I am sure those photos are something to see! I am afraid if my family did that they wouldn't be fit for viewing, haha ;)
4.I love that one of the messages I get from this book is it is not what you have for the Holidays, but who you are with that counts! Was that one of the messages you were trying to convey, or did it just happen that way?
I think it just happened that way. Christmas has never been about the gift exchanging for me. It’s always about the company, so I suppose it’s inevitable that came through in my story.
Bec- As the Holidays should be about reconnecting with family, and spending quality time together. Yes it comes across in this story nicely!
5. How does writing a Christmas story differ from writing a traditional one? Is it harder or easier?
I don’t think there’s much difference really, in that you have your idea and you run with it. The only difference for me was trying to make sure that I got enough Christmassy things in Cold Feet. I had fun using tropes like mistletoe, and sneaking in the occasional robin to make sure that it felt like a Christmas story rather than just a winter one. Then the climax of the story happens at New Year, which always seems like a fitting time to end a holiday story—with the characters looking forward to a future together.
Bec- It is a beautiful story and I can't wait for everyone to read it, I know they will feel the same as I do!
6. Do you have a certain thing you have to do when you’re writing? Like a writing tradition?
Not really--unless you count tearing my hair out and banging my head repeatedly on the desk. Just kidding, that’s only on the bad days! Mostly I just get my arse into gear, set a timer, and write in thirty minute sprints until I’m done for the day (on a bad day I do fifteen minutes instead). I set myself daily/weekly word count goals when I’m drafting a new story to try and keep myself on track. I also write with other people (via gchat or FB sprint groups) because that helps encourage me, and makes me feel less isolated. I’m a people person so I work better with company. Annabelle Jacobs is my main writing partner. I would never get anything finished if it wasn’t for her!
Bec- I have heard of the Sprint chats, and it seems like a really good way to keep each other motivated and set on the goal of finishing the story! These indeed sound like very effective writing methods, if not traditions!
7. We hope that you plan to write more Christmas stories, I know it is early, but is that something you think may be in the cards for next year?
I hope so. I have a few other vague ideas for things that might work, but I expect it will depend on timing next year and whether I’ve completed other projects in time.
In case you missed it, I wrote a short freebie holiday story last year called Coming Home. You can grab it on Amazon here, but if it’s not free in your Amazon region (it varies because they haven’t price matched it everywhere) it’s definitely free on All Romance Ebooks.
Bec- Oh my goodness, yep we missed that one, but grabbing it now for sure, thanks for sharing! It has been really fun chatting Jay! Thanks so much for stopping by and promoting this lovely Christmas story! We hope to have you back real soon!
WASN'T THAT FUN? NOW FOR THE AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS! :)
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
AND YOU THOUGHT WE WERE DONE! NOT! HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM COLD FEET FOR YOU TO ENJOY!!!
Afterwards, Sam denied he’d started it.
He’d been aiming for the tree behind Ryan, not at Ryan himself, he insisted. But whatever its intended target, Sam’s snowball hit Ryan perfectly on the back of his neck, exploding on impact and sending powdery snow down the gap between beanie and jacket.
After that, mayhem ensued. Snowballs flying as they ran and ducked, laughing and trash-talking each other. They were in a small copse with a few trees and bushes for cover, but as soon as one of them ventured out in search of a new patch of snow to make missiles with, the other would take the opportunity to release a fresh barrage of snowballs.
Finally, frustrated by Sam’s surprisingly good aim, Ryan reverted to his rugby skills and tackled Sam, knocking him full length into the snow with an “Oomph!” Of course, Ryan went down too. But by then he was too wet and cold to care.
They were on a slope, and the impact caused them to roll together, over and over until Ryan wondered if they were going to turn into a giant snowball like characters in a cartoon. But they finally came to rest, panting and laughing as the slope levelled out.
Sam ended up pinned beneath Ryan, laughing out loud. He’d lost his hat at some point in their tumble, and his hair was in his eyes. Snow crystals had caught in it, glinting in the sunlight. His smile was wide and infectious, and Ryan laughed too, dazzled for a moment. Then Sam’s gaze drifted over Ryan’s shoulder and focused on something above them.
“Is that mistletoe?” he asked.
Ryan pushed himself up and offered a hand to Sam to help him back onto his feet. Then he tilted his head back to squint at the spherical tangle of leaves in the bare branches of the tree above them. “I think so.”
Ryan met Sam’s eyes again, then realised he was still holding his hand. They each had gloves on, and Ryan wished they didn’t. He wanted to feel Sam’s skin. They stared at each other for a moment, and Sam licked his lips. They were pink, a little chapped from the cold, and Ryan’s gaze locked onto them. His heart surged, and panicky heat flooded him.
YAY! I KNOW YOUR RUNNING OFF TO GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW, THANKS FOR COMING EVERYONE! THANKS JAY, FOR MAKING US PART OF RELEASE WEEK!!