A Heartwarming, Memorable Christmas Gift – Guest Review by Hayley

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Fans of “The Royal Wedding Series” rejoice! We now have “A Royal Christmas Wedding” to not only help us celebrate Christmas, but to melt our hearts, make us laugh, and maybe even wipe away a happy tear or two. If you loved previous books in the “Royal Wedding Series”, if you enjoy Christian fiction, or even if you just need some extra Christmas spirit, I encourage you to read “A Royal Christmas Wedding” without a moment’s delay! I have every confidence that it will become a new favorite Christmas story, and perhaps even your favorite in the series, as it did for me. Continue reading

Not On My Read-Again List

Keeping Christmas image“Nothing is more beautiful than family”. With this theme as its tagline, Keeping Christmas is Dan Walsh’s newest Christmas novel released by Revell. Ultimately, it is a story of heartache and depression which ultimately transform into joy and hope. Empty-nesters Stan and Judith Winters are facing their first Christmas with none of their children or grandchildren able to come home. As the 25th of December draws nearer, Judith becomes more depressed and despondent. Stan, beside himself to help his wife, is faced with a difficult decision that will fill their home with Christmas joy once again, while simultaneously letting down a friend and crushing a dream.

With this plot in place, it is easy to see the setup for a heartwarming, sweet surprise at the end of the story. A reader’s journey along the way, however, is slightly tedious, a little unbelievable, and even somewhat depressing. To begin with, Continue reading

Sure to Become a Christmas Tradition

Twenty-one Candles imageMany families have a special collection of Christmas stories they enjoy reading, year after year. Often this is a cherished tradition. And the only thing more fun than actually DOING a cherished tradition is adding to it – in this case, by finding new stories! If you are looking for new stories to add to your Christmas collection – stories that are unique, meaningful, and suitable for all ages – then I am happy to share with you a new volume that I have just discovered this Christmas season… “Twenty-one Candles: Stories for Christmas” was written by Canadian author Mike Mason, chapter-by-chapter over the course of many years, and collected into a single volume in 2014. As stated on the back cover, this book peers into the deeper meaning of the holidays and is filled with: “Silly sages and the wisdom of the simple. Stones and rockets and hand-written notes. Presents that unfold endlessly, and presents already open, if only we would notice.” Continue reading

The Christmas Cat review

The Christmas Cat imageSeveral years ago prolific, award-winning author Melody Carlson began a tradition of writing a simple yet heartwarming Christmas novella each autumn, just in time for readers to enjoy as December approached. As the years have passed, this tradition remains in place.   From stories about puppies and ponies to department store Santa Clauses, Ms. Carlson has taken readers on many inspirational journeys of holiday imagining. The newest addition to this fun tradition is The Christmas Cat, published by Revell in 2014. As per Ms. Carlson’s previous novellas, this book contains all the necessary elements for a pleasant holiday story, including unexpected occurrences in the lives of lonely people, adorable kitty-capers, Christmas wishes come true, and hints of love.

Unexpectedly, The Christmas Cat opens with news of the death of Garrison Brown’s grandmother – and the uncovering of her will which places him as the sole guardian of Continue reading

Where Treetops Glisten review

Where Treetops Glisten imageWhat could be better than a unique, heartwarming, old-fashioned Christmas story carefully crafted by a talented author, filled with Christian values and sweet surprises (and un-surprises!), then polished to near perfection? The answer is THREE such stories melded together into one book – each a delightful story of its own, yet interrelated with the other two. Where Treetops Glisten is a new, 2014 release from WaterBrook Multnomah that successfully brings each of these elements to life, in the voices of three acclaimed authors – Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin and Tricia Goyer. Stepping away from typical holiday novella collections filled with several unrelated short stories, Where Treetops Glisten focuses on one family. As each story-within-the-story singles out a different sibling and shares his or her Christmas love story, the overarching tale is revealed piece by piece.

So many elements of this book are artfully intertwined and corresponding, beginning with the three inner-story titles based on classic Christmas songs – White Christmas by Cara Putman, I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer. With World War II as a backdrop, Continue reading

Angel Dreams review

Angel Dreams imageAre you searching for a new story to immerse yourself in this Christmas season – a story that inspires your faith, beckons to your imagination, and tugs on your heartstrings? Perhaps your ideal holiday tale is not complete without children and snow, miracles and love, or mysteries and revelations.   Well, I am delighted to say that a story containing all these elements – and so many more – has been published just in time for the 2014 Christmas season. Angel Dreams, by Michael Phillips and Chris Schneider, is sure to become a new Christmas tradition held dear in the hearts of all who read it, and who are open to its messages of hope, love, faith, and imagining in the name of Jesus Christ.

Angel Dreams is a unique story in numerous aspects, beginning with the fact that Continue reading

A Simple Christmas Wish review

A Simple Christmas Wish imageAre you looking for a sweet, heartwarming story to read this Christmas season?  Maybe you like a story with a little drama, a hint of mystery, and enough emotional twists to make you laugh and even cry – just a little?  Or perhaps your ideal Christmas story contains personable characters who find a home for their hearts during the holidays.  Well, your search may be over.  A story that fits each of these conditions is available from bestselling author Melody Carlson, and is called A Simple Christmas Wish.

Published by Revell in the fall of 2013, A Simple Christmas Wish is a continuation of the annual tradition started by Melody Carlson, who delights readers with a heartwarming Christmas novella each holiday season.  For readers who have enjoyed her stories in past Decembers, or those just discovering these holiday treasures, A Simple Christmas Wish is sure to delight with its unique simplicity.

A very special quality of this story is the strong bond of love between Rachel Milligan and her brother’s child, Holly.  While babysitting her beloved niece in Chicago just a few weeks before Christmas, Rachel’s world is turned upside down with tragic news of her only surviving family members.  Just as she picks herself up from the terrible turn of events, yet another unwelcome surprise confronts her, leaving her with only one option.  Drive to the heart of Amish country, visit a family she never knew existed, and convince them not to take her niece away.  Will this be the worst Christmas imaginable, or will Rachel – and Holly – receive the wishes of their hearts?

A Simple Christmas Wish very much reflects its title…  It IS simple, both in writing and plot.  The writing style is very basic, and you will not be blown away by brilliant dialog or incredible imagery.  The characters occasionally lack the emotion their scene demands, and the children’s words do not always reflect their age.  However, this story possesses a big heart, and the interwoven theme of the importance of family pardons a less-than-perfect writing style.  All aspects considered, A Simple Christmas Wish is a sweet and simple story of love and hope at Christmastime and – if you can forgive a very basic writing style – just may become your new holiday tradition.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.