Guest Post by Emily Murdoch #AChristmasSurprise Blog Tour


Hello everyone.

Today is an extra special Stories of Chantel DaCosta book post. Today I am super excited to be participating in a Writerly Yours Bloggers Club book blog tour. This blog tour  is part of our #WYChristmasReadathon and as a group we all read A Christmas Surprise by Emily Murdoch.

Welcome to day two of the #AChristmasSurprise blog tour. Yesterday, Lorna at The Writing Greyhound reviewed A Christmas Surprise, be sure to check out Lorna’s thoughts on this fun holiday romance from the Regency era.


Every year for thirty years Lord Robert, the Viscount of Marchwood, throws a Christmas Ball. But this year the Marchwood Christmas Ball holds extra importance.

His daughter, Lady Audrey, has just turned eighteen, and it is time for her to be introduced into society.

It is Audrey’s first, best, and potentially only chance of securing a husband. Especially seeing as there are rumours that the Marchwood money is running dry.

But headstrong Lady Audrey is not sure she wants a husband. Ever since her mother died she has been left to her own devices.

Though she is very close to her father, it was often the servants she turned to for companionship, particularly Thomas, who, five years older than her, was always the person she depended on for conversation.

She is not ready to leave everything she knows, and the thought of abandoning her father breaks her heart. She is determined that only someone truly special will take her away from her home.

But with the ball centred around a masquerade theme, everyone is in disguise. And a handsome stranger threatens to steal Audrey’s heart.

Could he hold the key to her heart? And when she unmasks him will it be a good, or bad, Christmas Surprise? ‘A Christmas Surprise’ is a festive regency romance novella.


Meet The Author

2Emily Murdoch is a medieval historian and writer. She has authored a medieval series and a regency novella series, and is currently working on several new projects. To stay updated on her writing and upcoming books, follow her blog and on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.



Today Emily will be guest posting on My Jamaican Vignettes and sharing the inspiration behind her Christmas themed regency romance novella.

The inspiration for A Christmas Surprise

It all started with an email. My publishers were hoping to ask a few of their authors to write little novellas for the Christmas season that they could promote together, and they wanted me to take part. Of course I was flattered, but I was also delighted because I had had an idea for a Christmas story for a while, and just couldn’t justify writing it – until now.

I accepted, and I immediately threw myself into Lady Audrey’s world. She is a character who I had attempted to use in one of my medieval books, Captives: Kingdoms Rule Hearts, but she was far too modern to be able to be believable in 11th century England! I realised that the Regency era was perfect for her, a time when women were starting to lay their own claims to the world without reference to their fathers, brothers, husbands, or sons. This was Lady Audrey’s time to shine, but exactly how I wasn’t sure.

It was then that I had a bit of a Disney fest, and I realised that the story of Cinderella would be perfect – as long as I completely turned it on its head. What if it was the lady, and not the gentleman, who had to find a spouse at the ball? What if instead of a crown to gain, it was a financial living to lose? What if the charming gentleman was masked and never to be seen again?

I wrote A Christmas Surprise in just over a week. To be completely honest, I think it wrote itself. The more that I tried to slow down and take it easy, the more the narrative rushed ahead of me, showing me with each scene where I had to go, where Lady Audrey had to go, without me consciously showing her the way. It was kind of crazy, actually, because I had never had that happen with any book!

Before I knew it, it was over. I had fallen so in love with the Regency era and with Lady Audrey and her friends that I knew I had to stay there a little while longer, and so the Brodie family (mentioned in passing in A Christmas Surprise) became the focus for A Valentine Secret. A passing reference to a friend called Victoria in A Valentine Secret became the heroine in A June Wedding, and a secondary character there became the central character in A Harvest Passion.

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places, and I don’t honestly know whether I would have had the courage to move out of my comfort zone and write something totally different like this if my publisher hadn’t sent that single email. Who knows what they’ll encourage me to do next!

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog tour stop on Priya’s Lit Blog.



2 thoughts on “Guest Post by Emily Murdoch #AChristmasSurprise Blog Tour

  1. Priya Prithviraj says:

    This essay gave an interesting insight into the novella. I hadn’t realised the Cinderella twist though I did think that the story would have had a different turn had the power positions been swapped. And Emily Murdoch is right – inspiration can come from the strangest of places.

    Thank you very much for your active participation in the readalong and the blog tour, Chantel. And I’m so glad Emily wrote a piece for your blog that you’re sure to enjoy. 🙂


    • Chantel DaCosta says:

      Thanks Priya. And I totally agree with your point about the Cinderella inspiration, I did not make the link. I enjoy the #WYBclub activities and the chance to connect with authors and read new books and collaboration with other book lovers. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

Let's chat

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s