I have loved every one of Vicki Beeby’s books set in World War 2. She is definitely one of my favourite writers, so I’m pleased to welcome her back to the blog to talk about her love of writing Christmas books.
A Wrens’ Wartime Christmas published by Canelo is available now and I have included my review of this great read at the end of the blog post. Over to Vicki …
Thank you so much to Morton for inviting me on to your blog to talk about Christmas books. What is it about the festive season that inspires so many stories? I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but I can explain why I love writing about Christmas.
Light and dark
When I’m putting my characters through the mill, it’s good to be able to write about Christmas preparations for some light relief. My first Christmas book, Christmas with the Ops Room Girls, is set during the Blitz and covers the aftermath of the Coventry bombing as well as a story arc involving a evacuee who is being badly treated. Including the WAAF pantomime and a carol singing scene in the story prevented it from getting too dark. As one of my characters says in my latest Christmas book, A Wrens’ Wartime Christmas: ‘With so much tragedy in the world, we need to remind ourselves that Christmas is about bringing light into the darkness.’
Being a history buff, I love sharing snippets about how Christmas was celebrated in the past. I particularly enjoy finding out about how ingenious some people were at stretching their rations during the war and making decorations when paper was in short supply. In A Wrens’ Wartime Christmas, Mary and her friends make a Christmas tree out of driftwood and they crochet stars from string as decorations. I had a lot of fun writing those scenes!
A time for family
Friendship and found family are themes that run through all my books. I love writing about groups of people forming close friendships who would never have met had it not been for the war. In my Wrens series, Iris, Mary and Sally are befriended by a middle-aged couple who have a croft near the signal station where they work, and their bonds strengthen as the series progresses until the group act very much like a family.
With the holiday season being a time for families, writing a Christmas book can really add an extra dimension to the found-family theme, and it was a sheer joy to go to town on it in A Wrens’ Wartime Christmas. I took tremendous satisfaction in showing how the group pull together to be a family for each other when they are all missing their own families and grieving those they have lost. I even made myself cry in a few places!
Of course, as well as writing Christmas books, I also love reading them. I have a stack of Christmas books lined up on my kindle, and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
About Vicki Beeby
Vicki Beeby writes historical fiction about the friendships and loves of service women brought together by the Second World War.
Her first job was as a civil engineer on a sewage treatment project, so things could only improve from there. Since then, she has worked as a maths teacher and education consultant before turning freelance to give herself more time to write.
In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and travelling to far-off places by train. She lives in Shropshire in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves.
To keep in touch with Vicki you can use the following links:-
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VickiBeebyAuthor
About A Wren’s Wartime Christmas
After her fiancé died in the sinking of the Royal Oak, Mary finds herself stationed in Orkney, still battling her grief. With Iris and Sally by her side, she is gradually overcoming her loss and is surprised to be helped by the irascible Joe.
Joe is a signalman aboard the Kelpie and his cheeky Morse code signals to Mary while she’s on shift bring her cheer and exasperation in equal measure. With Christmas round the corner, Mary is opening herself back up to the festive spirit – and to love.
But the Germans keep slipping through Scapa Flow’s defences, somehow without triggering any of the Navy’s alarms. Could someone on land be guiding them? If so, can Mary, Iris and Sally figure out who and stop them before more lives are lost?
A wonderfully heartwarming and gripping saga, perfect for readers of Johanna Bell, Kate Thompson and Daisy Styles.
Morton’s Review of A Wren’s Wartime Christmas
Five Stars Plus
I loved being back on Orkney with the characters, Mary, Iris and Sally, who we first met in A New Start for the Wrens. I was reading this at a time when I needed to be absorbed by a story and this book was a sheer tonic whisking me away to Orkney. With just the right mix of mystery, intrigue and romance. I could imagine myself on the headland near the Wrens’ signalling station, smell the air and see the sea and the heather covered land. Orkney is now most definitely on my “to be visited” list.
I even sat and read this book in the middle of the day, which is unheard of for me. Can’t wait for the next episode to find out what happens to my favourite characters. Sheer tonic.
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Summer at Lucerne Lodge published as an eBook, paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here
Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook Books, Google Play and Choc Lit for other options.
Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook Books, Google Play and at Choc Lit for other options.
Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.
The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc Lit, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.
The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.
That’s so true, about Christmas adding a lighter note to an otherwise dark subject such as the war! I enjoyed the Op Room Girls series, but haven’t read the Wrens yet. On to my wish list they go 🙂
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I’m really enjoying the Wrens series 😀