Authors: Anneka R. Walker, Sian Ann Bessey, Carla Kelly, Krista Lynne Jensen
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2020
Kindle the spirit of the season as four of your favorite storytellers weave tales of love and hope in this charming yuletide collection.
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2020
All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade.
West Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and to get better acquainted, he poses as the caretaker of his own house. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things get . . . messy.
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christmas
Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep
Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:
12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.
A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?
The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.
As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?"
Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. But before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. She and her 12-year-old son Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to do the work themselves, even though Christmas is coming. The charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on both Wendy and Jackson, who even registers himself for school in a bid to get his mom to move them there permanently. Wendy knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea is hard to resist.
Join award-winning author Melody Carlson for a Christmas story that will warm your heart and have you dreaming of your own enchanted seaside holiday.
Authors: Vanessa Riley, C.J. Chase, Kathleen L. Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Susanne Dietz, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, Gabrielle Meyer, Rita Gerlach
Genre: Historical Romance/ Christmas
Experience a Dickens of a Christmas
Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?
Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?
One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother’s wish for a family Christmas—and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?
Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts—for love.
The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.
Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?
Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician’s heartstrings and prove her wrong.
The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?
A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899?
Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.
The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.
When Amelia discovers the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
Reviewer: Jessica Sichel
“Christmas” is a collection of four short stories written by Marcia Lee Laycock. “Missing Christmas,” “No Matter How Far,” “An Earthly Treasure,” and “An Unexpected Glory” are rather different from each other and each has a different take on the miracle and wonder of Christmas. Yet, all of the stories share the common theme of God as provider, whether the needs of the characters are physical, emotional, or financial.
In the first story, “Missing Christmas,” self-centeredness overwhelms the main character. Due to an unfortunate event, she and her husband are unable to attend Christmas with distant family as previous planned, leaving the unnamed narrator feeling very sorry for herself. However, towards the end of the story she is shown an unexpected kindness and says, “The sight…filled my soul with a light that made me forget about myself.” The wonder of Christmas wins over the narrator.
Next, Laycock tells the story of a man in desperate straits who almost gives in to the physical stress his body undertakes in, “No Matter How Far.” Help comes in various forms and in the end, the sequence of events, along with his background, propels him towards finding answers to certain questions.
The third story, “An Earthly Treasure,” is a little out there – literally! It is a science fiction tale which takes place in space and shows how, even when we are physically and mentally very far from where Jesus wrought miracles, God works anyway, crossing immeasurable boundaries.
The fourth story – and my favorite – is “An Unexpected Glory,” a classic tale of overcoming the desire for Christmas to be perfect. The mishaps which befall the characters are all too well known by many. When things seem to be falling apart all around, God can and does work all things for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Laycock has a talent for storytelling and shows her versatility in the variety of genres, settings, and characters within this little collection. One story seems to have a more existential feel, while another is heart-warming, and a third is science fiction. When picking up a compilation of Christmas stories, one might expect a more traditional, consistent set of tales. Instead, Laycock modernizes Christmas by setting her stories in what seem to be present – and in one case, is actually future – scenarios. Furthermore, the characters themselves are rather approachable, feeling and thinking things that a reader may very well think for him or herself. Laycock does a good job making connections between the reader and her characters.
There are a few flaws in the tales, such as in the fourth story when a baby is given medication for an unknown ailment instead of being taken to a doctor for evaluation. The medication causes the child to sleep, which is not necessarily a sign of healing. This incident leaves a disturbing feeling in the mind. Also, some of Laycock’s characters could be made a little less flat, with more information or background being given about them. These are, however, short stories, so some brevity in such areas is to be expected.
Overall, for a different take on the traditional fireside short story, “Christmas” would be a good choice. Happy reading!
Reviewer: Cierra Loften
Everyone who knows me knows I love everything about the holiday season. The festivities, the decorations, the food, and of course, the real reason for the season: celebrating the birth of Christ. So, when I saw the title of Laycock's collection of 4 short stories, I decided to pick it up. The cover gets right down to the point of what the stories are about (the birth of Jesus) and the author bio on the back is also simple and lovely to look at. The cover earns an 8 from me. There were four separate stories, with their own respective characters, though, overall, I didn't really connect with the characters in any of the stories. I found them a tad boring, though they weren't awful by any means. I'll offer a 6 for the characters. Each story's plot was fairly simple and fairly interesting, though none of them really struck my interest for very long. Plot earns an 8 from me. Style wise, I can tell Laycock has been writing for quite a while. Her ideas flow very well and she does a wonderful job of closing each story. Style earns an 8. Unfortunately, when it comes to addictiveness, I really had a difficult time finishing these stories. As mentioned above, I didn't find them that intriguing and that made it hard for me to want to keep reading at times. Addictivenes earns a 4. Ending on a positive note, the stories were inspirational and did a beautiful job of capturing the peaceful, loving essence of Christmastime. Content earns a 10. Overall, Christmas earns a 4 star rating from me.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
I love a book that leaves me feeling inspired, especially in time for Christmas. The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson is a sweet novella of friendship, faith and love that is perfect for the Christmas season.
The author takes the reader on a journey into the lives of four friends who were brought together into a book group by their one common friend - Abby. It was to Abby the group gave credit for bringing them together and it was Abby who knew each of them well enough that they all confided in her, but when she dies they are lost without her, ready to give up on the book group Abby started. Ready to give up on maybe creating friendships with each other that could be just as deep. We soon discover however, that when grief is shared, friendships become stronger and Abby's four friends learn more about each other and themselves then they ever thought possible.
While I was disappointed that Abby's character was not developed enough to make me care that she had died, the reader does learn about her from the way her friends react to her death and with the gifts she leaves each of them. If more effort had been put into Abby I might have been shocked and I might have cried right along with her friends. So for me, it wasn't a very moving experience.
That said, what happens to the four friends after Abby's death is something I think most women wish they had - great friends who support each other through their struggles and their joys. I loved the way the women begin to open up to each other as they try to honour their friend with the Christmas Angel Project. This is an inspiring story to read at Christmas and is one I'm sure you'll love. It may even inspire you to become a Christmas Angel!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
We are listed in The Book Reviewers Directory!