12/18/17

Eve's Christmas Wedding - Caroline Mickelson


4 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Wedding planner Eve Bennington has her Christmas all thought out, down to the last Mai Tai she plans to savor once she reaches Hawaii. But her plans quickly go awry when her very pregnant business partner insists that Eve do a favor for Santa's niece. The problem? Santa isn't real. Or so Eve believes until she and her ex-boyfriend Hunter find themselves on a sleigh pulled by eight shaggy reindeer. Their destination? The North Pole. Their mission? To pull together a very last minute Christmas Eve wedding. Eve's problem? Finding out that Santa Claus really does exist challenges everything Eve thinks she knows, including her belief that she and Hunter don't belong together.



Visit Caroline's website - HERE

Sign up for her VIP Reader Newsletter list here to receive a FREE Christmas novella as well as updates on new releases.





MY THOUGHTS - Book 5 of my Holiday reading!
CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!! Well right out of the gate I would like to say "Caroline, where have you been all my life??" - I would love to read more by this author. This was funny, like laugh out loud funny, touching and magical.

Now, if you are looking for a serious heartwarming blah blah blah story - this is not it! This is a chick-lit-ish zany Christmas story about a wedding planner contracted to do a traditional Christmas wedding for Santa's niece. THE Santa... well maybe... is it? Is Santa even real? Is there really a "North Pole" and can reindeer really fly? Well, Eve finds out all this and more!

As I was reading in my livingroom chair I laughed out loud. And my husband, being the nosy one that he is, says "What?" LOL
I say - "Oh its just this book I am reading, its hilarious!"
So I figure "What the heck"... and I start reading out loud to him -
"My partner signed a contract that we need to get out of, but, well, it's tricky. This client is what you might call a public figure. Or at least that's how he passes himself off." Hunter nodded. "Interesting." He took a sip of his coffee, a thoughtful look on his face. "Is he a politician? An actor? Or a corporate tycoon? Let me guess, his press office is giving you the run around?" "I don't know if he has a press office. For all I know, he may not actually exist." Eve felt suddenly very foolish but it was too late to backpedal out of this conversation now. "Let's just say that he lives in a world of his own." Hunter leaned forward, his voice a stage whisper. "Mafia?" Eve laughed, she couldn't help it. "I wouldn't go that far."

"Okay? No. I'm not okay." She turned around in a slow circle to get a three hundred sixty degree view of wherever it was that they had landed. But all she saw was ice, snow banks as tall as she was, and more ice. "At least we're on solid land. I could kiss the ground." Rapz hopped out of the sleigh to stand beside them. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, your lips might stick to the ice." He shook his head ruefully. "Not an easy clean-up."

If you are looking for a cute, fun quick Christmas read - this is the one!!!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from the author Thank You!!

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE

12/13/17

The Christmas Room - Cathrine Anderson


4 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Widow Maddie McLendon has uprooted her life to move to Rustlers Gulch with her son and grandson. But as a brutal Montana winter looms on the horizon, contractors have yet to break ground on their new house, leaving them to live in a makeshift camp of trailers, tents, and sheds....

Since his wife died six years ago, millionaire rancher Sam Conacher has been content to wallow in his grief alone while keeping a tight rein on his twenty-six-year-old daughter. But now the girl has gone and fallen in love with his foolish new neighbor's no-good son....

Maddie and Sam will never see eye to eye on anything, until a near-tragedy gives them a true glimpse into each other's souls. And as the first snowflakes begin to fall, they'll discover that an open heart is the biggest gift of all....

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - 
Catherine Anderson is the author of more than thirty New York Times bestselling and award-winning historical and contemporary romances, including Mulberry Moon, New Leaf, Silver Thaw, Walking on Air, and Cheyenne Amber, among others.

Visit her website - HERE

MY THOUGHTS - Book 4 of my Holiday reading!
Very heartwarming story. This one gave me a great big Christmas hug. This was like getting two love stories under one cover. First you have Cam and Kirstin, they are both very sweet and likable - then you have Maddie (Cam's mother) and Sam the grouchy land owner/rancher. I love that Maddie doesn't take his crap and just dishes it right back at him.

Another added bonus, at least for me is - the author gives us several POV. You get to see the story from the eyes of all the players even 16 yr old Caleb (whom I loved as well).

It was a little slow at times (except maybe the bull moose attack LOL) but did pick up half way through. This it was a real nice, sweet but sad in spots - easy flowing Christmas story that will definitely warm your heart for the season.
Grab your cup of hot cocoa or coffee or wine and curl up by your Christmas tree and enjoy the read!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Berkley Romance Thank You!!

Order yours from amazon - HERE

12/12/17

Cut & Assemble Santa’s Workshop - Matt Bergstrom


5 Stars!

ABOUT THE "BOOK" - 
Get ready for Christmas with a fun-filled project that not only offers a holiday activity for the whole family but also makes a charming keepsake decoration. One side of this festive model looks like a traditional cut-and-assemble building and the other reveals the interior of Santa's workshop. The dollhouse-like effect includes scenes of Santa's elves at work and Mrs. Claus in her office, checking off a list of naughty or nice names.
No prior experience is necessary for assembling this easy-to-make scale model. Detailed instructions and diagrams explain every step of the assembly process, from cutting, folding, and gluing to adding the finishing touches.
  
ABOUT THE CREATOR/DESIGNER -
Chicago-based Matt Bergstrom is a graphic designer, photographer, and papercraft artist. His Wurlington Press imprint publishes a series of postcard-sized paper architecture kits that re-create the iconic skylines in miniature. Matt is a fan of road trips and offbeat tourist attractions, national monuments, and unusual natural wonders. He has nearly completed his quest to sketch pancakes at diners and cafes in all 50 states.

MY THOUGHTS -
WOW! This is cool! Difficult, and definitely not for a child, but way cool. I seriously think it will take me weeks to finish it - but I am determined to finish it! This is a very detailed model of Santa's workshop that you (as the title says) cut & assemble.

OK some helpful hints -
* You should definitely have s scoring tool (which I do have luckily). This is light weight cardstock but the small pieces are hard to fold exactly. The more exact you are the better it will turn out.
* I suggest using a strong double sided tape, not glue. Glue is messy and takes longer to dry. But double sided tape works perfect.
* Read all the directions first! And be sure to follow the directions - This project is intricate and a little confusing. You will want to know what you are doing before you forge ahead.
* Take your time and just go one step at a time - and enjoy it as you go!

This is as far as I have gotten -

I would love to post more pictures as I go along. So come back and check out the progress. Maybe I'll have it done by Christmas??

So all-in-all - yes it is HARD... but I think it is so worth it! I mean, I don't think I would have liked it if it had been easy. I do like a challenge. It makes it more fun and it is going to be so awesome when it is done! And I will feel like I really accomplished something. I am just not sure how I am going to store it between Christmases. I may just have to get it its own special box.

There are a couple other ones by Matt Bergstrom. I want more! Maybe the Haunted house next?

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Dover Crafts Thank You!!

Order yours from amazon - HERE

12/11/17

Christmas At Grey Sage by Phyllis Clark Nichols


3.5 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK -
This Christmas, there's plenty of room at the inn.

Nestled in the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, the Grey Sage Inn looks like the perfect place for weary travelers to escape the craziness of the Christmas season. There's plenty to see in historic Santa Fe during the day, and the inn's owners, Maude and Silas Thornhill, are happy to spend their evenings hosting this year's guests from across the country.

But an unusual snowstorm throws a wrench in the festive mood. The sprawling inn becomes close quarters as stranded guests discover this Christmas won't be the relaxed vacation they expected. Tension and fear mount as the storm worsens, and Silas, a retired doctor, is called away in the middle of the night to care for a neighbor. The snow and stress unlocks tongues-and in the unexpected conversation that follows, secrets and pasts are revealed, and hearts are healed.

In the midst of snowdrifts and fireside conversations, of tales of days gone by, the warmth of Christmas brings a renewed hope as these trapped strangers become friends-proof again that the joy, hope, peace, and love of Christmas can be experienced no matter where you are.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Phyllis Clark Nichols believes everyone could use a little more hope and light. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions from within the simple lives of small town communities you just know you've visited before. With a love for nature, art, faith and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment, often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband, where red birds and axis deer are her ever-ravenous neighbors. She is an English major and classically-trained musician, seminary graduate, concert artist and co-founder of a national cable network for the health and disability-related programming. After retiring as a cable network executive, Phyllis began leading mission teams to orphanages in Guatemala and now serves on three non-profit boards where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most.

Find out more about Phyllis at http://www.phyllisclarknichols.com.

MY THOUGHTS - Book 3 of my Holiday reading!
A fun, interesting, and original Christmas story! While this won't go down as my favorite one, I did have trouble getting into it at first (it was slow in the beginning for me). Overall it was still a very good read. There definitely some thoughtful and heartwarming moments in here. I have never read a Christmas story based in NM so that was nice. Great descriptions!

I can't say I felt the character development was strong but the characters were very interesting! A group of strangers, all different personalities with different backgrounds and different issues they were dealing with - all come together to end up having a great Christmas together!

A nice, easy flowing sweet Christmas read that is all about what Christmas should be!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Litfuse Thank You!!
Order your copy from amazon - HERE

12/8/17

Christmas Recipes From Five of Your Favorite Authors - Sharon Kleve, Jennifer Conner, Angela Ford, Jennifer Chambers, & Ella Medler


ABOUT THE BOOK -
5 Incredible Authors — 50 Amazing Recipes

What's better than sharing some favorite recipes for the holiday season? It brings together family traditions and love.

There is a recipe for everyone. Including: vegetarian, vegan, main courses, side dishes, drinks, and of course luscious desserts.

MY THOUGHTS -
OK first off - the cover - ADORABLE!!!! Props to whoever chose that one! 

I am a vegetarian so there are a few recipes in here that I would not eat, but my husband would like a few of the ones I don't  :-)
I know he would like Sharon's "Christmas Eve Barbecue Ribs" - Can I tell you a secret... shhhh - I have never made ribs! I wouldn't even know how... until now! I think I could actually do it following these very simple directions.

OK Sharon - the Christmas Morning Frittata - YUM, now that I would make and eat! and the whiskey glazed sweet potatoes. Now you're just making me hungry!

Some other great recipes -
Raspberry Margaritas - I seriously might have to make these!
Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Cookies
Loaded Baked Potato Casserole - to make it vegetarian I would use veg broth instead of chicken and leave out the bacon - then it would be perfect!
Julene's Hearty Clam Chowder - Holy crap - now you're talkin!
Hot Candy Cane Nog -  all this need is a little Rum!
Cinnamon Spice Coffee - Did I mention I am a coffee-aholic!???
Yammy Burritos - Whaaat? A vegetarian dish! This sounds really awesome. I really think I might make these the day after Christmas when my daughter and her hubs come down for a few days! Thank you Jennifer Chambers for making my planning a little easier!
Millionaire's Best Kept Secret - (Shortbread/chocolate bars with bourbon). Alright- you had me at Bourbon!


And that's just a few of the delicious recipes in this book! So much good yumminess!

Thanks Sharon Kleve for sending this my way!

Order your copy from amazon - HERE



12/7/17

A Little Christmas Faith - Kathryn Freeman


4.5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Is it time to love Christmas again?
Faith Watkins loves Christmas, which is why she’s thrilled that her new hotel in the Lake District will be open in time for the festive season. And Faith has gone all out; huge Christmas tree, fairy lights, an entire family of decorative reindeer. Now all she needs are the guests …
But what she didn’t bank on was her first paying customer being someone like Adam Hunter. Rugged, powerfully built and with a deep sadness in his eyes, Adam is a man that Faith is immediately drawn to – but unfortunately he also has an intense hatred of all things Christmassy.
As the countdown to the big day begins, Faith can’t seem to keep away from her mysterious guest, but still finds herself with more questions than answers: just what happened to Adam Hunter? And why does he hate Christmas?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero… 
I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes can come in many disguises.
The author is adorable, isn't she?
Check her out -

MY THOUGHTS -
Book 2 of my Holiday reading!
Cute, cute, cute! I have read a handful of books about starting a new Hotel/Inn/B&B and I am finding that I really like that story plot. It reminds me of The Gilmore Girls when Lorelei was starting her own Inn, The Dragonfly Inn and she did the test run with her friends and parents. It makes for fun reading! This one is crafted very well. There are a few little things happening in the background that all come together perfectly.

Very good character development! I really liked Faith. I think I would have liked her for real as a person. Sorry, I do that with characters LOL... I try to think of them as real people living near me and could I be friends with them. And I think I could be friends with Faith! I wasn't too sure about Adam, he was very stand-off-ish at first (but he was supposed to be) but then of course he won my heart. I think it first happened fairly early in the story - when he helped and kind of bonded with Chloe.
Oh, and that brings me to Chloe, Faith's teenage niece.  When she was first introduced I thought "Oh no, and here's the teen angst." but again - she won my heart!! There are also a lot of minor characters that have great spotlights in the story. Kathryn ties them all together very nicely.

A fun, sweet, endearing Christmas story that will win your heart too! This is my first one by this author. I had actually never heard of her before, but Kathryn Freeman has quite a few other books out there. I would definitely love to read some more of hers.

*  There is a bit of sex in here but nothing overly graphic! It is all tastefully done.

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Rachel's Random Resources Thank You!!
 
Order your copy from amazon - HERE

12/4/17

The Gift of Christmas Past - Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall


4 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Arson wasn't the only fire that ignited between them.
Promises shattered.
Lies spoken.
She was arrested.
He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.

Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again . . . thrown together to help a four-year-old-girl rendered mute after being rescued from a fire.

Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.

Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS -
Cindy Woodsmall is the "New York Times" and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction. She's been featured in national media outlets such as ABC's "Nightline" and the "Wall Street Journal." Cindy has won numerous awards and has been finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in Flowery Branch, GA.


Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. She is very excited about their first coauthored book.





Find out more about Cindy and Erin at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.

  
MY THOUGHTS - Book 1 of my Holiday reading!
This was a great quick Christmas story. It was sweet and very heartfelt and a little suspenseful at times.

Good solid character development. I wasn't sure how I felt about them at first. I wasn't in love with either of the main characters - Hadley and Monroe. They were both just OK for me, but I did grow to like them both very much as the story developed.

At first you are reading a flash back and I actually really liked this part (even though I didn't love the characters). Then it jumped 10 years in the future. The transition was a little uncomfortable for me. I felt a little lost at first - it didn't feel smooth enough. But... again, it redeemed itself and the story started getting interesting again.

I love Cindy Woodsmall as a writer but I had only read her Amish stories. Erin is new to me.
I would have to say that I think I like Cindy's Amish books better but I will certainly be willing to more books like this as well. This was a very enjoyable read!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Litfuse Thank You!!
Order your copy from amazon - HERE