I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed creating a performing arts college for A Christmas Gift. Acting Instrumental is a rock school, kind of ‘Kids from Fame’ yet it fits exactly into the current British educational scene. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to join a vocational college like this when I was a teen - but, oh, I wish I had had the talent and the opportunity! I play the piano to a modest(ly bad) standard and I love to dance.
Georgine is the events director of student productions, and I’m pretty sure that if I had got to a performing arts college that’s the kind of job I would have ended up with - nurturing the talent of others and stopping the various artistic directors from hating each other (too much). Nevertheless, it would be fantastic to get involved in a Christmas show, where props glitter and students shine. It’s against this background that I set the story of Georgine and Joe and, like every Christmas tale, behind the tinsel lurk human conflicts and joys.
Georgine tries valiantly to help her American dad, Randall, who suffers from ill health, and is supported by Grandma Patty in North Georgia. I ended up with a really soft spot for Grandma Patty, I can tell you. When sister Blair turns up on Georgine’s doorstep looking for somewhere to stay and willing to share living costs it seems like a way of improving the financial situation Georgine’s ex-boyfriend dumped on her. But it’s a small house and Blair is used to a big one …
Joe, well Joe’s an enigma, a man haunted by his past yet succeeding in his career beyond his wildest dreams. Does he still want the trappings of success, though? Taking time out at Acting Instrumental as a volunteer feels like a great way to take stock, to work with the stars of tomorrow instead of the tarnished and spoiled ones of today. Asked to act as Georgine’s assistant, he immediately recognises her from his youth.
But she doesn’t recognise him.
It’s the Christmas that changes everything for Georgine - the Christmas when she thinks she’s found love, her past, her present and her future. And then she thinks she hasn’t.
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated for several other awards, including a RoNA.
Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared all over the world.