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Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson, Author

Our Review

This is a lovely tender story with lots of heartfelt moments and an equal measure of funny moments. 
Jen has been left heartbroken at the age of forty when instead of proposing to her, her boyfriend dumps her. 
Her half sister Jody suggests that she doesn't hang around moping but instead joins her and her friends in Switzerland to work over Christmas. 
Jen doesn't fancy it but convinces herself to go as the alternative looks bleak. 
Once there she meets hunky ski instructor Jon who always seems to turn up at her most embarrassing moments. 
There were many laugh out loud moments throughout the book which I thoroughly enjoyed but the story went much deeper too as it explored the relationships that Jen had with various characters. The main one being with her half sister Jody who had come along when Jen was only twelve. Jen had resented her for her whole life and had felt rejected by her father because he had a new family now as her mother often told her. So it was lovely watching their relationship blossom into a strong friendship as well as sisterly love. 
I also loved the relationship that jen managed to build with Ella, Jon's 12 year old daughter as she could empathise completely with her situation. 
I also loved the setting in Switzerland which was really Christmassy. 
A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas read. 
Thanks to Bookouture for the ARC which I have reviewed voluntarily. 

Please see below for Sue's Favourite Things. 

My Favourite Things by Sue Watson

Food Savoury and sweet

Savoury has to be fish and chips, I LOVE it and tell myself the fish is good for me and the chips are one of my five a day! As for sweet things it has to be cake – probably lemon cake, I love the tartness of lemon with the rich sweetness of sponge.


Cocktails, my best friend Lesley makes the most AMAZING daiquiris with fresh lime juice and Cuban rum. I make one with gin and raspberry liqueur and there is nothing quite like sitting in the garden on a summer’s evening putting the world to rights with a glass or two or three… okay four or five.

I love all the Bridget Jones films. I think the writing is brilliant, relevant and funny and Renee is fabulous – the book sparked a generation of authors like me and Helen Fielding is still my queen!


I have many author friends who write brilliant books and some of my favourites are Renita D’Silva, Caroline Mitchell and Angela Marsden - I also love Louise Candlish and Tamar Cohen. These writers are working in a completely different genre to me and with the exception of Renita are all thriller writers. I don’t read books in my own genre for several reasons, mainly because I don’t want to be influenced and write something too similar and also because they will be better than me and may put me off writing ever again!


Apologies, I’m going to be really cheeky here and choose one of my own characters. I love Laura from Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams because I can relate to her so much and so many readers have contacted me saying the same. She is middle-aged, overweight, working full time with little money, but big dreams – and when I wrote Laura I went through every painful and wonderful moment with her.


Happy by Pharrell Williams. As soon as I hear those opening chords I just wanna dance – and for a couch potato that is GOOD!

Holiday destination

I love the west coast of America and have an ongoing love affair with Santorini (where much of Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is set). But this summer we went to Sorrento and I am now in love with the place – the food, the wine and the people were just wonderful, and the sights unforgettable. Our hotel balcony looked out onto the city and we ate breakfast there every morning - it felt like heaven. There will definitely be an Italian influence in at least one of my future books.


My cat Harry. My husband says Harry is the animal version of me, he likes to lie in the sunshine, be waited on, has a deep passion for food and will do anything for a snack! I’m not sure I quite agree with that rather unflattering comparison, but I do think we’re soul mates – and he loves my books.


I have so many favourite people it’s hard to choose, but I will have to squeeze two in here – my husband Nick and my daughter Eve. They are the funniest people I know and even when we fall out we end up laughing – usually at each other!

Place to write

My kitchen. I have a desk in the corner of the room, I am near the kettle, the fridge and don’t miss anything that’s going on. I couldn’t bear to be locked away in an office and miss all the gossip – mind you I am easily distracted and if I could be locked in a room I would probably write at least one more book a year because I would be concentrating on work rather than poking my nose in the fridge and everyone else’s business.


It’s got to be Christmas. If you’ve read any of my books you will probably guess that the thing I love most about Christmas - well life - is food, especially cake. As a woman who doesn’t just struggle, but mud-wrestles her weight throughout the year, I welcome the festive season with gusto because I believe that throughout December it’s ok to eat anything. At this time of year all calories are erased by those two magic words ‘it’s Christmas,’ and this can start anytime from about September onwards and gives me permission to consume anything and everything that’s vaguely festive.

Inspirational quote

Always bite off more than you can chew. Then chew hard.

Thing in the whole world

After my family and friends my favourite thing in the whole world is my books. I was forty when I decided to give up a career in TV to write ‘that novel,’ and I don’t think anyone really believed I’d ever be published, least of all me. I’m about to write my ninth book and have plenty more queuing up in my head mostly about women like me who make a decision to take a risk and change their lives.
Click here to buy the book

Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes.' It was then Sue realised she couldn't stop writing and produced more books. To date she has written 8 books; 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake,' 'Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake,' 'Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams,' 'Bella's Christmas Bake Off,' 'We'll Always have Paris,' and 'The Christmas Cake Cafe,' due for release in October 2016.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where she bakes (and eats) lots of cake. She spends much of her time making big decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Peanut Butter ice cream (or both?) while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA,' and procrastinating over her latest novel.

For more info visit Sue's website;

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter
Thanks so much for joining us Sue x
Book Angel x

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