Friday, October 16, 2020

BLOG TOUR!! The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes

When 19 year old Theodora Quirke heads to work on Christmas Eve, the last person she expects to find outside of her flat is St Nicholas of Myra - the Saint people think is Santa Claus (much to St Nick’s disgust). Given he is in full Santa suit and professing to be nearly 2000 years old, Theo is wary, but St nick insists he is there to save her - although he isn’t sure how or why.

St Nick does know that Theo is grieving however, so he shows her four scenes from her life that give her hope, but he’s also had cryptic messages from the Christmas Higher Powers that lead him to begin Theo’s training as the first ever female Christmas Anagel - a role Theo is not sure she is cut out for.

The training is soon derailed by St Nick’s evil brother, filled with jealousy and spite over his brothers popularity and, with confidence dented, and saddened by society’s spiralling levels of expectation and greed, St Nick begins to falter.

Theo does everything she can to defeat the evil brother, and to lift St Nick’s spirits but as the deadline for Christmas miracles draws close, she realises she must complete them herself - but is she up to the job? 

The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for Theodora, I hope this makes you want to grab this book. 

I devoured this book over around 3 days, and its got me feeling all Christmassy. The first thing I want to say about it, is it got me googling St Nicholas of Myra. I didn’t know anything about him, I’d heard my children mention the Hungarian Santa in primary school, where they would take a slipper in to school and leave it overnight, it find it filled with sweets the next day. But I enjoyed researching and finding out a bit more of St Nicholas of Myra, and how the story of him evolved into what we know now as Santa Claus.

This book is hilarious, and I mean the laugh out loud at a few points kind of funny. It’s very sweary in just the right way, which to me made the story so different from what I was expecting. I didn’t think of St Nick as Santa at all throughout the story, which I thought I would have. I liked him, St Nick, in all his naked slobby glory. A grumpy old man with a good heart inside. 

Theodora, or Theo as she likes to be known, has had a rough life. She was adopted as a baby and didn’t know anything about her mother or why she gave her up, and has just gone through a recent tragedy. I liked her too, and I found myself crying for her a couple of times throughout the book. She just needed some guidance and a friend, and I think she finds both in St Nick. 

But we don’t just meet Theo, the story also follows Dottie who is the founder of Spitfire Saint Nicholas Umbrella Collective. These are people who have got together online to talk about their experiences with Saint Nick, and the miracles he has done for them. But it takes a bit of a turn and someone gets involved a little too much. Dottie is recently bereaved and SSNUC has helped her through a huge change in her life.

With a lot of laughs, a little heartbreak, some villainous behaviour, and some plotting and scheming, The Unwraping of Theodora Quirke was a brilliant story of love and friendship, and a lot of Christmas spirit. I’m now even more excited for Christmas, and St Nicholas Day on December 6th. Thank you Caroline, for spreading the Christmas cheer a little early this year, in a time that it’s really needed.

Plus.... dinosaurs (If you know, you know) 

Thank you to Caroline Smailes and Red Door Books for an advanced proof copy of this book.

Please check out the rest of the tour:

The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke is to now in paperback!!

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