Sunday 9 December 2018

The Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson @millyjohnson @ed_pr @simonschusteruk @simonschusterpr #MotherOfAllChristmases

Eve Glace - co-owner of the theme park Winterworld - is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them … 

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable. 

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Perfectly Imperfect Woman; a gorgeous read full of love, life, laughter - and crackers! 

The Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson was published in paperback by Simon & Schuster on 15 November 2018.  I loved this book! It's such a heartwarming read, my review was recently published in the Daily Express - here's the full version:

The ‘Christmas Pudding Club’ is run by a new young GP in a small town near Barnsley, in Yorkshire. The members are all expecting a baby around Christmas time and the club is place for them to share their experiences and find some friendship.
Milly Johnson’s characters are always a joy to get to know and her three leads; Eve,  Annie and Palma are gloriously created; each one very individual, but when brought together they make a fabulous trio.
Eve and her French husband Jacques own the Christmas themed park Winterworld, her due day of 25 December couldn’t be more perfect. However the multitude of distractions at Winterworld are growing daily and taking away some of the sparkle from the imminent birth.
Annie and Joe own a luxury Christmas cracker factory and whilst they are incredibly happy and still very much in love, Annie’s  menopausal symptoms had drawn a thick line under their hopes of having a family.  Their shock and joy when they discover that they are going to be parents after all is so wonderfully written and very emotional.
Palma just wants to get off the run-down council estate that she lives on. She wants more for herself, she wants to get away from the undesirables that surround her. Becoming a surrogate mother seems like a pretty simple way to earn £5000. When she finally falls pregnant, she’s horrified to discover that the couple have split up, and it looks like Palma is going to be left holding the baby.
With her trademark gritty Nothern wit and humour, Milly Johnson once again makes her readers laugh out loud during one page before breaking into sobs by the next chapter. Whilst this is a light hearted, positive story, this clever author also touches on some more serious issues, with some completely heart breaking scenes.

As part of the Blog Tour, I'm delighted to share an exclusive extract from the book here on Random Things today.

Chapter 1

‘Crackers, that’s what this business is,’ cackled Gill Johnson.
A joke she had made every week since she had joined them; a joke she never tired of and which the others still laughed at because it had gone beyond corny to be reborn as ‘kitsch’.
The owners of The Crackers Yard, Joe and Annie Pandoro, groaned every time it was said, but they’d miss it when they didn’t hear it anymore. Gill was counting down the days to
her retirement, when she would be leaving them to live in sunny Spain.
‘Oh shut up and get stuffing,’ snapped Iris Caswell, the eldest of the workforce at eighty- five. She made a selection of ‘oof ’ and ‘eeh’ sounds whenever she rose from a chair, and
every joint she possessed creaked like an old ship, but if the rest of her were as fit and nimble as her fingers, she’d have been running the Grand National every April.
‘I’ve forgotten what I was saying,’ said Annie, eyebrows dipped in deliberation.
‘How the menopause is robbing you of your memory,’ Iris reminded her, tying a ribbon into an expert bow around the end of a cracker. ‘You just got on with it in our day. You didn’t go broadcasting you were sweating like a fat lad in a cake shop. You mopped your brow and carried on pegging out the washing.’
‘Someone was on the telly saying women should wear badges with the letter M on them to highlight to the known universe that you were going through the change.’ Gill’s wry burst of laughter made it plain what she thought of that idea. ‘What next? “I” badges for incontinence so you don’t have to wait in toilet queues?’
‘I’d have one of those,’ said Iris. ‘These days, when my bladder shouts, “Jump”, I have to shout back, “How high?”’
‘Well I’m not wearing a badge,’ decided Annie, packing all the crackers her ladies had completed into a box. ‘Even if I did, it would need to be P for perimenopausal.’
Her husband Joe poked his head out of his office. He was a man who loved to banter with women, but sometimes he felt the need to exit certain conversations and go and make some
tea. Women’s talk often terrified him and he was incredibly grateful to have been born a man.
‘What on earth is perimenopausal?’ he asked.
‘It’s when you’re so worried you’re menopausal, you have to open up a bottle of Babycham,’ chuckled Gill, queen of the terrible jokes. Joe’s head disappeared back into the sanctuary
of his office, not understanding the punchline at all. Some things didn’t translate properly into his native Italian.

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts - but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly's website is
She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page  
She also has a monthly newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.

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