Last Week of the Year! Hope You Had a Merry Christmas. #Poetry #Dogs

Merry Christmas from Harold, Holly, and Hermann! Here’s a little poem. I don’t know how to describe it, but maybe rhyming free verse? For my next few posts after this one, I’ll sharing books our readers have nominated as their favorites of the year.

After Christmas

The presents have been given
The food is put away
Time to sit back and celebrate the day

The week to come
Will end the year for all
A season over, a new year calls

Our hearts are open
And God will hear
Our precious prayers for the coming year


Thanks so much everyone, for reading my blog, and for your friendship and support. This year has been a blast.



Blog Tour and Book Review: The Cranberry Inn #Family #CountryInns #Bookouture #Christmasbooks

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A feel-good Christmas romance about fresh starts, the importance of family and learning how to follow your heart. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Rachel Hanna and Carolyn Brown.

As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall, Laurel Hanover and her eight-year-old son are going home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…

No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter Joel Hutcherson. They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.

But then Laurel uncovers a card with beautiful, ornate writing amongst her father’s things and learns the real reason he disappeared. And it changes everything. Worse still, she thinks Joel knew the truth all along.

Laurel thought this was going to be the perfect Christmas – that maybe she had found her happy. But now there’s nothing to stop her from running back to New York the moment the baubles come down… is there?

BOOK REVIEW

This is a sweet Christmas story about family, memories, and moving forward. The characters are endearing and the story is heartwarming. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a lovely mountain town where Laurel is trying to get the Inn ready for an unexpected guest, since her father has gone away on a mysterious trip. Memories of lost loved ones and coming back home again are major themes in this story. It is also about learning what you really want in life and having the courage to start over again. This is a book to enjoy with a good cup of coffee on a chilly day, while looking forward to your own holiday celebration. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Christmas read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!


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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Self-Published Saturday/The Red Button

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. This week I’ve reviewed The Red Button by Keith Eldred. This is an interesting prequel to A Christmas Carol.

The Red Button is a wonderful prequel to the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Belle Endicott, who lost her mother as a child, toils away at her father’s small button shop, trying to take over her mother’s duties. She and her father work constantly, attempting to make ends meet. Then they are visited by the ambitious Ebenezer Scrooge, who wants to turn their small business into a large button factory. As their business relationship grows, so does their personal relationship. But Ebenezer is constantly striving for more success.

This prequel introduces us to Ebenezer Scrooge as a young man, and we meet his love, Belle, who tries to show him there is more to life than possessions and gold.The narration is done from a very unique and imaginative perspective, and the characters are well-written and engaging. The history of early manufacturing and the ruthless business tactics of the time are examined. The effect of an escalating love of money on a person’s character is explored so well here. A touch of the paranormal is also added, although this book does not contain as much ghostly activity as A Christmas Carol. This really is a perfect pre-holiday read, and motivates me to read A Christmas Carol once again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Eldred

Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at www.thisis.red.

Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.

BUY THE RED BUTTON

AMAZON

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

COVER RATING

I think the cover works well. It is colorful and does a good job of evoking the era in which the book is set.

*If you read the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Book Review: The Santa Suit

What a wonderful Christmas story! When Ivy buys an old farmhouse, she doesn’t realize it is the home of the former town Santa, and that a Santa Suit she finds will be the key to happiness for more than one person. The characters are endearing, and the story is fun, magical, and just right for Christmas. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a big way. 

Sometimes you just want to relax with a book that is just a lot of fun without too many complications, especially at Christmas. This is such a book.

I recommend this to anyone who wants to experience some Christmas joy.

I received a free copy of this book from the St. Martins Press via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kay Andrews

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 29 novels (including The Santa Suit; The Newcomer; Hello, SummerSunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The WeekendersBeach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring FeverSummer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook,The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by fourteen more New York TimesUSA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels.

BUY LINKS

Apple Books
Google Play
Kindle
NOOK
Kobo

MY AMAZON REVIEW (“HELPFUL” VOTES APPRECIATED)

MY GOODREADS REVIEW (“LIKES” APPRECIATED)

Book Promo and Excerpt: Mistletoe Christmas

It’s that time of the year when Christmas books are coming out! It’s my favorite time to be a reviewer because I often get a peek at them first. This is an anthology of four Christmas stories by different best-selling authors, all surrounding the Duke of Greystoke’s annual Christmas Revelry. Make sure and check out the excerpt below. My review will be posted separately on Sunday.

The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.

But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.

Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more. But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.

A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Eloisa James, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got an MPhil from Oxford, a PhD from Yale, and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. In 2013 she won a Rita Award for Best Romance Novella. She teaches Shakespeare in the English department at Fordham University in New York. She is the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of The Bad Luck Bride. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of more than ten series, including Lost Lords of London, Sinful Brides, The Wicked Wallflowers, and Heart of a Duke. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. When Christi was at the University of Connecticut, she began writing her own tales of love–ones where even the most perfect heroes and heroines had imperfections. She learned to enjoy torturing her couples before they earned their well-deserved happily ever after. Christi lives in Southern Connecticut, where she spends her time writing, chasing after her son, and taking care of her twin princesses-in-training. Fans who want to keep up with the latest news and information can sign up for her newsletter at www.ChristiCaldwell.com.

Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels. Her popular series include the Dukes of War, Rogues to Riches, and Magic and Mayhem.

BOOK EXCERPT

EXCERPT from “A Mistletoe Kiss” by Eloisa James

Prologue

Lady Elizabeth Childe to her American cousin, Mrs. Sarah Darby

November 25, 1815

My dearest Sarah,

I’m so thrilled to tell you that after years of hoping, Lord Childe and I have finally received an invitation to the Duke of Greystoke’s Revelry! ’Tis a magnificent Christmastide house party featuring every amusement and wonder. I’ve heard there are plays, dancing, a magical grotto . . . His Grace has a genius for bringing together the finest in England: the aristocracy mingles with artists, politicians, commoners—even journalists and opera dancers!

As you can imagine, such a Revelry does lend itself to scandalous behavior. For mothers, though, it’s as important as the Season: a girl who has failed to attract a husband might find success in its less formal atmosphere. We shan’t discover the other names on the guest list until it is printed in the Morning Chronicle.

My husband grumps that Greystoke thinks too highly of his party, but the Revelry has been labeled a cornerstone of British society. Now that the duke is on his deathbed, though, no one knows what will happen next year. If this is to be the final gathering, I’ve no doubt it will be a Revelry to remember.

LINKS TO BUY

APPLE | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | GOOGLE PLAY | TARGET | WAL-MART

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

A Regency Christmas Anthology

A Regency Christmas Anthology by Susan Payne is a collection of three Regency romances. 

In A Regency Christmas Story, Penelope is struggling to pay her brother’s gambling debts to Lord Leighton. Will she offer up anything in order to pay?

In The Best Christmas Present, The Earl of Williamsburg is looking for a wife. But a debutante’s mother is catching his interest, and possibly his heart.

In Sugar Plum Christmas, Micheline works for a bakery which caters to the aristocracy when she catches the eye of Lord Hedley. Can he win her heart by discovering her past?

These Regency Christmas romances did not meet my expectations for Christmas stories. A Christmas story must transport you to the Christmas season, no matter what time of year it might be. Here I am right in the middle of the actual Christmas season and I found these stories to have only passing references to Christmas. The book cover is also very generic. It feels as if these were already existing stories that were thrown together at the last minute.

I also found the main male protagonists to be lacking character. They had no problem with taking mistresses on the side and their treatment of women was abhorrent. I found Sugar Plum Christmas to be the best of the three, but only because it describes the confections Micheline is baking so well. Sugar Plum Christmas also had the best Christmas atmosphere, although it was still not enough.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the Book on Amazon

Link to Susan Payne’s Amazon page

Link to my Goodreads Review

A Year Before Christmas

This is a delightful Christmas Story Poem by Cathy Cade. It is a new take on “A Night Before Christmas,” complete with Santa, Reindeer, and ….Engineering? You will enjoy this lively poem and its colorful, captivating illustrations. It is clever, saucy, and fun.

Buy A Year Before Christmas on Amazon

Cathy Cade’s blog and bio

Duffy the Christmassy Dragon

by Kate Noble

This book is adorable! This cute, captivating, illustrated children’s book tells the delightful story of how Duffy the Dragon helped Santa and his reindeer save Christmas. The illustrations are so colorful and well done, and the story is written as a fun kid’s poem. 

Here is one of the colorful and imaginative illustrations of Duffy the Dragon.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to read it to my five-year-old grandson. You can’t get any higher praise than that.  The book can be obtained on Amazon Canada or on the Author’s website. Both links are below. I live in the US, but still had the option of purchasing it on Amazon Canada. Instead, I ordered the book from the author’s website, where she offers personalized dedications. She is also working on more Duffy books.

I received a free digital copy via Netgalley. I loved it so much I purchased a hard copy. My review is voluntary.

Link to The Author’s Duffy the Dragon website

Link to the book on Amazon Canada

Christmas With The Ops Room Girls

Christmas season is near, and the Christmas reviews are here! Expect to see a lot of them pop up the next few weeks. Below is Christmas with the Ops Room Girls, about a group of WAAFs during WWII. Historical Fiction and Christmas all in one. Enjoy!

Christmas With The Ops Room Girls is the second in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series by Vicki Beeby. May, a member of the WAAF during World War II, witnesses two evacuee children being separated and feels powerless to do anything. Meanwhile, Jess has volunteered her to play Prince Charming in a Christmas Pantomime. She is also getting uncomfortably close to Peter while dealing with memories from her past. She struggles to find the confidence and strength to handle all of these developments.

This book can be read separately, but characters from the first book show up midway through, so reading the first book would be helpful. This isn’t quite a cozy mystery, but there are mysteries to be solved and a slight crime subplot.

Overall, I found this book to be heartwarming and fun, and I would definitely recommend this series.

I received a free copy of this book from Canelo and Netgalley. My review is voluntary

Link to the book on Amazon

Vicki Beeby’s Facebook Page

Link to my Goodreads Review



			

Joy to the World

Oh how I love everything written by Jodi Taylor! This short story in the Frogmorton Farm series is no exception. You will laugh and cry.

There is a serious message in this short story about online predators, but there is also love, Joy, and a golden horse. Joy feels unappreciated and unloved by her father, Russell, and she feels her mother Jenny is weak and clueless. Her only friend is Tommy, a girl she met online. And that’s where the trouble starts…

I would suggest starting with the first book in this series, The Nothing Girl, so you will know the whole story of Jenny, Thomas, Russell, and more. In The Nothing Girl, Jenny is an orphaned girl who has a pronounced stutter. She lives a loveless life with her coldhearted aunt and uncle, until the arrival of a giant golden horse. This series is heartfelt and addictive. I love it so much that I want to go live at Frogmorton Farm.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, read by Lucy Price-Lewis, who does a great job, especially with the voice of Thomas.

Since I am a huge fan of Jodi Taylor’s, I also recommend you read The Chronicles of St. Mary’s, about an organization of hilarious time-traveling historians, and The Time Police, a spinoff of that. Everything Jodi Taylor writes is amazing.

Link to the story on Amazon

Link to Jodi Taylor’s Website

Link to my review on Goodreads