All Hayley Barker Wants For Christmas Is...



5 people you'd want to spend Christmas with: 
I know this isn't very original but I have to choose my family: my two boys and my husband, plus my mum and dad. My boys both still believe which makes everything about Christmas magical. My oldest son is nine though and already becoming quite sceptical, so I'm very aware that it won't be long until sprinkling the reindeer food on the lawn, hanging out the stocking above the fireplace and leaving out the snack for Santa and Rudolph stops being quite so special.
My mum is an amazing cook and does the best Christmas dinner in the world, ever. Even when my parents come to us, she still roasts the turkey and makes the gravy which is a big help-- especially as I've somehow ended up agreeing to cook for sixteen people this year Grin


4 Books you want under your tree this Christmas: 
Oh my days; it's so difficult  to narrow this down to four, but here goes. 

Little Deaths, by Emma Flint,  I did an event with Emma earlier this year and listening to her talk  was fascinating. Her story is based on an unsolved murder case from the 1960s and the main character-- a beautiful and desirable woman accused of murdering her two children---sounds so complex and intriguing. 

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle. I heard Moira speaking at Deptcon in Dublin and I've wanted to read this ever since. This book all about secrets sounds like nothing else I've  ever read.

Truly Madly Awkward, by Beth Garrod. Beth's first novel, Super Awkward, was so much fun to read. This sequel is about the same character, Bella Fisher, and everything I've read about it suggests that's it's just as hilarious as the first.

The Fallen Children, by David Owen. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book, not least from you, Zoe, and I am desperate to read it!

 (Now, I just need to make sure my husband reads this blogpost!)

3 Christmas foods: 
Homemade sausage rolls. These are so easy to make, especially if you cheat with the pastry, and so much nicer than any shop bought version could ever be. 

Delia Smith chocolate torte: This recipe is full of cream, liquid glucose, rum and chocolate. It's a  heart attack on a plate but, hey, it's Christmas!

Is it cheating to choose a whole cheese board for my third option?  Maybe, but the best part of Christmas dinner has to be when the cheese and biscuits comes out. Cheddar, Stilton, brie, water biscuits plus some grapes to make it seem a tiny bit virtuous. Yum.

2 Christmas films you couldn't live without:
I am going to go for any of the three Nativity films. I've really enjoyed watching these with my children over the last few years. They make us all laugh so much and really get us  in the mood for Christmas.

1 Christmas song: 
I choose Last Christmas, by Wham. I grew up listening to George Michael and I was so sad last year when he died.There's an online campaign to get this to Christmas number one and I really hope it happens; it would be such a lovely tribute to him.


Hayley Barker is the author of Show Stopper, a YA dystopian thriller set in a deadly circus. You can follow Hayley on Twitter @HayleyABarker and Instagram, @hayleybarks The sequel to Show Stopper is due for release next Summer.

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