Fiction Sneak Peek: December 21, 2019 issue

sneak peek

Unbelieveable! There’s another 17 sparkling stories to take a sneak peek at this week, beginning with . . .

“Festive Flowers” by Laura Tapper is set in a florist’s, where the language of flowers is sometimes easier to get to grips with than real conversation. Oh, and Laura is our Writer of the Week, too.

What could be worse than being “Snowbound” at the airport? Turns out it’s not so bad, in Suzi Barton’s story, illustrated by Martin Baines.

You can’t beat a traditional Pamela Kavanagh period romance at this time of year, and “Dressing The Tree” is full of . . . well, lovely traditions. Illustration: Gerard Fay.

A 50-year-old mystery is at the heart of “The Missing Angel” by Sharon Haston, illustrated by Ruth Blair.

“A Time For Family” by Keith Havers is about what it says — though, typically, things aren’t going to plan. Illustrated by Martin Baines.

A career change is on the cards in “Working In A Winter Wonderland” by Jane Ayres, while cake and competition are on the menu in “Taking The Cake” by Vanda Inman.

We’ve an unusual interpretation of the Christmas story in “Night Watch in Bethlehem” by Annie Harris. Lovely.

Phew . . . keep going, there’s more even more to this sneak peek!

I love the illustration for “Off To Holly Cottage” by Jacqui Cooper, where Carolann and David have planned the perfect getaway.

A good old-fashioned yarn comes next. “A Yuletide Mystery” by Val Bonsall, starring Charles Maine and the trusty Adeline, our Victorian ghost hunters. Illustrated by Ruth Blair

It’s Elsie’s dream to own “The Doll In The Window”, by Lynda Franklin. Set in the 1800s, this story is illustrated by our own Manon Gandiolle.

An idyllic snowy scene of the sort we never see these days illustrates “Home For The Holidays” by Eirin Thompson.

It’ll be our turn next week for “Secret Santa”, just like Richard Bonsall’s story featuring Jethro, local Gnothrielli policeman. What’s his latest case? Illustration: Martin Baines.

“Sing A Different Song” by Eithne Cullen was her first acceptance by us. You’ll love it!

In “Tell It On The Mountain” by Rebecca Holmes, Annabel’s wondering how she let herself be talked into a Christmas Day hike.

“The Reason For The Season” by Elizabeth Mackay is a wee reminder of what Christmas is all about (illustration: Helen Welsh), and we finish with “Goodwill To All” by Val Bonsall, set in the 1960s and illustrated by Andre Leonard.


In “Hold The Front Page” by Eirin Thompson, it’s Christmas party time. Of course!

And it’s an eventful Christmas morning in “Riverside”, our exclusive soap by Glenda Young. What’s going on there?


We’ve another four instalments to get your teeth into.

There’s two of “The Girl From County Clare”, Tony Redcliffe’s quite excellent 19th-century drama, illustrated by Mandy Dixon.

There’s the final instalment of “A Fairy-tale Christmas”, our panto drama by Jan Snook — oh yes it is! — illustrated by Ruth Blair.

And we even have a brand new story starting, “Jinty’s Farm”, a family drama by “Friend” favourite Kate Blackadder, illustrated by Andre Leonard.

Jeez, that’s a lot!

Next issue goes on sale December 31. Note it’s a Tuesday — for one week only! Sneak peek coming soon.

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Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.