Darcie Boleyn

Heartwarming Romance

Darcie’s Christmas Playlist #countdowntoChristmas

There’s nothing quite like a good Christmas song to get me feeling festive! Here are some of the ones I listened to while writing Christmas at Conwenna Cove and that I enjoy every year.


  1. Maria Carey – All I want for Christmas is You


  1. Frank Sinatra – White Christmas

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  1. Wham – Last Christmas


  1. Whitney Houston – The Christmas Song 


  1. Michael Buble – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


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  1. Brenda Lee – Rockin Around the Christmas Tree 


  1. John Williams – Somewhere in My Memory – Home Alone Soundtrack

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  1. Bon Jovi – Please Come Home for Christmas


  1. Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas



  1. Elvis Presley – I’ll Be Home For Christmas


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What are your favourite Christmas songs?

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2018!

Love, Darcie XXX





Darcie’s Top 5 Christmas Activities in Cornwall #Cornwall #Christmas



My Conwenna Cove series is set in Cornwall and when I was researching festive activities in Cornwall, I came across lots of lovely Christmas events. So, if I was heading off to Cornwall this year for Christmas, here are the top five places I would choose to visit.

  1. Attend the magical lantern and light procession winding through the streets of Truro, with bands, dancers and entertainment. This event in November marks the start of the Christmas celebrations in Truro.


  1. See the Christmas lights in Padstow where even the harbour is lit up and The Padstow Carolers song traditional Christmas hymns. This would be a great way to start a Cornish Christmas.


  1. Visit the Exhibition Halls at the Royal Cornwall Events Centre, Wadebridge for The Cornish Winter Fair. It’s a great placed to begin Christmas shopping with a variety of Cornish food and drink suppliers in attendance. There are also craft stalls selling beautiful locally made gifts.



  1. Experience Christmas the Cornish way with fireside tales, traditional dancing, mulled wine, mince pies, carol singing and crafts in the castle keep at Pendennis Castle.


  1. Enjoy a day at The Piazza, Truro, at the Victorian Christmas Fayre. Housed in a heated marquee, stall-holders wear Victorian costumes and sell their unique wares. There’s a Food Hall and an Arts, Crafts and Gifts Hall.



What do you like to do at Christmas and what places do you like to visit?

Have a magical Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018!

Love, Darcie XXX

Darcie’s Warming Festive Mulled Wine #recipe #Christmas #winterwarmer


Darcie’s Mulled Wine

This is a firm family favourite – adults only, of course!


2 bottles of red wine

2oz/60g brown sugar

2 oranges – 1 sliced and 1 left whole

1 lemon sliced

8 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

60ml/2floz of sloe gin or Cointreau



Stud one of the oranges with the cloves.

Put the wine, sugar, spices and fruit – including the clove studded orange – into a large saucepan and heat gently. Do not boil.

Taste then add more sugar if required.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sloe gin or Cointreau.

Strain carefully into heatproof glasses.

Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon.





Darcie’s Top Five Festive Movies


No Christmas would be complete without movies. There’s nothing better than curling up on the sofa with my family and a festive film.

Here are my top five festive movies:

#1 has to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Growing up I watched this movie with my Dad every year and every time he would belly laugh until the tears rolled down his cheeks. It has such good memories for me and these days I watch it with my husband and children.


#2 is Home Alone – This movie is a classic. I loved it as a child and my children love it, especially my son. It never ceases to amuse us all and the ending sees me in tears every time.


#3 is It’s a Wonderful Life – A beautiful movie that always reminds me to appreciate what I have and, again, that makes me cry!


#4 is The Grinch – I just love that wicked green guy with his bah humbug attitude and I’m always moved by his turnaround and acceptance of the error of his ways.


#5 Die Hard – I can’t believe this was made back in 1988! Its exciting action scenes featuring the fearless, wisecracking Bruce Willis AKA John Maclane and its messages about family values get me looking forward to Christmas every year.



What are your favourite festive movies?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love, Darcie XXXIMG_6311


My Christmas Cake Recipe #cake #bake #bakeoff

Today I’m going to share the recipe for my Christmas cake. It’s one I’ve adapted over the years and I think I’ve now got it just right. This year though, as I’ve been rather busy writing, I only managed to make my cake last week. This means that it won’t have long to mature, which is a shame, but sometimes the best laid plans…

I enjoy baking because it relaxes me and because I enjoy eating the results! If my children join in too, it’s even more fun, and I love seeing the satisfaction they feel when they make their own cakes, biscuits and more. Life is so busy that being able to spend some time together in the kitchen gives us a chance to talk and laugh and to share memories and these times are so special.


Darcie Boleyn’s Christmas Cake 


1kg of mixed dried fruits – raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, cranberries… (Use whatever fruit you prefer.)

50g stem ginger – chopped

zest and juice one lemon, zest and juice one orange

150ml of a spirit of your choice – brandy, whisky, rum or sherry – plus extra for feeding (I prefer brandy.)

250g butter (This year I’ve used Stork block as a family member has developed a lactose allergy.)

200g soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon black treacle

175g plain flour

100g flaked almonds

150g chopped pecans

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons mixed spice

½ teaspoon ground cloves

4 large free range eggs

1teaspoon vanilla extract



(1) Place all of the dried fruits and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl or pan then mix in your choice of spirit along with the lemon and orange zest and juice. Cover with a clean cloth or tea towel and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Stir regularly to ensure that the fruit plumps up nicely.



(2) Mix together the almonds, pecans, flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl.



(3) In a different bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and treacle together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour with each. Finally, gently fold in the dry ingredients.

(4) Tip the creamed mixture into the fruit. Stir well with a wooden spoon.


(5) Prepare a 23-25cm and 8 cm deep cake tin: grease then double-line the inside of the tin with greased baking parchment. Allow the parchment to come about 1cm above the top of the tin. Cut a double circle of parchment with a diameter approximately 5cm bigger than the tin. Fold and cut a hole in the centre about 4cm across.


(6) Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Even out the surface and make a slight indentation in the centre with the back of a spoon. Put into the middle of the oven and carefully balance the circular disk of parchment on top of the tin. (This stops the top of the cake over-browning and drying out, but it won’t work in a fan oven as it tends to blow the parchment off.)


(7) Bake for 3 hours and 45 minutes.

(8) Place on a rack and allow to go cold in the tin – preferably overnight.


(9) Remove from tin and take off the side parchment, leaving the bottom in place. Pierce all over with a skewer and carefully spoon over 5 tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Wrap carefully in a double layer of parchment then in two layers of foil so that the cake is completely covered.

(10) Leave to mature in an airtight tin in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. ‘Feed’ every 3 to 4 weeks with four additional tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Rewrap carefully each time.

(11) Two weeks before serving, cover with marzipan and allow to dry for 5 days.

(12) Before serving, ice with fondant or royal icing, and decorate as desired. (The photograph below shows last year’s cake as this year’s is currently maturing.)


If you make your own cake, do you have a favourite recipe?

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018!

Love, Darcie XXX

#boookreview – Now You See Me – by @Kierney_S @bookouture

Unknown-2.jpegWOW! WOW! WOW!

I LOVED this FABULOUS thriller from Kierney Scott!

Now You See Me is intense from the word go. The author knows how to write an FBI thriller with style and I was hooked from the start! There were twists and turns and moments when my stomach churned and if I could have sat in my chair and read it in one go I certainly would have done. The main character Jess Bishop is bright, intuitive and deliciously flawed, exactly what I want in an FBI heroine. She’s got plenty of secrets of her own and the author weaves them into the plot in a way that made me gasp.

All I can say is get a move on with the next one, Kierney, because I’m ready and waiting to read it!

#bookreview – The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup @TroupAnn – #amreading



I loved this book! It was creepy, dark and full of twists and turns. There was a rambling old house, an eccentric family, plenty of secrets and betrayals and lots of moments where I shivered. Ann Troup does psychological thriller with panache; she creates characters and plot lines that get under your skin and leave you with goosebumps long after reading. There are plenty of secrets in The Forgotten Room waiting to be uncovered and if you like your chillers with a gothic veneer and a deep exploration of the human psyche, then this is the book for you!

#bookreview – Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances @suewatsonwriter @bookouture

Now I’m ready for Christmas!


This book is wonderfully funny, romantic and festive and I loved every page! Reading it was like snuggling in front of a log fire in a fluffy dressing gown while sipping a hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. It’s that good!

I loved Chloe and Gianni, as well as the rest of the colourful characters. Chloe was so sweet, real and believable and I shared her joy in simple pleasures and identified with her pain. She has suffered a loss that will resonate with many readers, but despite this, she is strong and she knows she has to accept that her life will not be how she’d thought it would be and make the most of what she has. As Chloe and the passionate, fiery Gianni are thrown back together in the beautiful seaside village, they start to rethink their past decisions and behaviour and rediscover feelings they thought they had lost long ago.

The setting was absolutely magical, especially with the festive details. I wish I could walk on the beach at Appledore before sampling one of the amazing sundaes at the local ice cream parlour. Along with the romance comes another delightful sensual journey, and that is linked to good food and wine. My mouth was literally watering at the vivid descriptions.

This is a story about love and loss, about wanting things from life then being disappointed and taking for granted what you actually have or failing to communicate with the person you love so that a rift develops between you.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous Christmas read, then I highly recommend Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances.

(Thank you to Sue Watson, Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC.)

#bookspotlight #bookreview Ours Is The Winter by @LaurieEllingham

Recently I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of Ours Is The Winter by Laurie Ellingham. The book releases on 17th November 2017 and you should go and preorder your copy now because it’s fabulous!
Here’s the gorgeous cover and the blurb:

Journeying across the Arctic, their pasts are about to catch up with them.

Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show.

Erica has it all. A loving husband, a successful career and the most adorable baby daughter. But Erica has been living a double life, and as she nears her fortieth birthday her lies threaten to come crashing down.

Molly was on her way to stardom. But when her brother died, so did her dreams of becoming an Olympic champion. Consumed by rage and grief, she has shut out everyone around her, but now she’s about to learn that comfort can come from the most unexpected places.

Noah has a darkness inside him and is hounded by nightmares from his past. Tortured, trapped and struggling to save his fractured relationship, he knows this journey is not going to help, but try telling his girlfriend that.

As their lives and lies become ever more entwined, it becomes clear that in the frozen wilds there is nowhere to hide.


My thoughts 

Ours Is The Winter is a gripping tale about love, loss, longing, regret and trying to move on with life. The story focuses on three characters – Erica, Molly and Noah – who are thrown together when they embark on an Arctic challenge.

I loved the way that Laurie Ellingham gave the perspectives of the three characters as they set off on the challenging and gruelling adventure, while providing details about their backgrounds. As I read, I felt that I knew the three characters well and I hoped that they would find what it was that they were looking for.

Laurie Ellingham has a lovely style that seamlessly transports you into the story and my favourite thing about Our Is The Winter was the descriptions of the settings and the dogs. Being mad about dogs, it made me want to meet the huskies in the story and I would love to have the opportunity to visit the setting of the novel. I also felt the biting cold that the characters endure during the trip and shared their longing to see the Northern Lights.

This story is gripping, exciting, emotional and beautifully written. Laurie Ellingham is a talented author and I look forward to reading more of her books!



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