My Favourite Christmas Read This Year is ‘Belle, Book and Christmas Candle’ by Sharon Booth.

I liked everything about this book, it is a Christmas read because of the setting, the festival of ‘yule’ and the anniversary of a legend. Sky St Clair finds herself in a situation where she has no choice but to return home, moving in with her two sisters in a house and (fictional I think but totally believable) town in Yorkshire that thrives off myths and legends about witchcraft. The characters were so real, their names their suggestion of mystery. Who is this bloke Sky meets on the train? Who does this cat belong to that seems to have made itself at home in the family shop? Why won’t her sister blow out that candle? I wanted to know, but then I didn’t want it to end!

When I was a little girl, I remember a family day out to the village of Pendle in Lancashire (home of the Pendle witch trials). There was a shop, with two women dressed in witch costumes outside (a sales promotion).  One of them asked me my name, and when I answered ‘Samantha’ I was met with ‘Ooh a witches’ name!’ Well, that was it then, any children’s book that had a witch theme became an instant hit with me. When I was a little older but still a child, the started showing re-runs of TV show Bewitched I was told that my older sister chose my name maybe that’s where she got the idea from?

I know I’m not the only person who is drawn to witchcraft stories, plus this book is set during Christmas time. Perfect!

I have read other Christmas books this year, more by Sharon Booth, Laura Barnard, Lacey London and Jan Ruth. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble finding a Christmas read, there are plenty of them but I just wanted to share my favourite,

Happy reading, Samantha xx

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