So, hey, yeah, I dropped off in the middle of posts.
I have a good reason of a dreadful cold and all, just what we all want for Christmas right?
Wrong, of course, but when you think about it . . . People always say what they want, what they’re doing, what they’re planning, or to be more accurate I should say we say what we want, what we plan, etc. And I’ve put what I want, need, plan, etc. before seeking God, and what He wants, He plans, His doing, so this Christmas time I’ve relearned/looked at myself and seen that I need to stop planning so much and let myself live God’s plan.
You see I had this big plan to crush this blog party, to have two months of blogging scheduled, and weeks of Instagram posts ready to go. But alas it is not so, now, I am ready for my blog to launch but I’ve had to put some fun ideas on hold for another time when I had wanted to do it for the launch but that’s all right, it’s all good, it’s okay, I need to let things fall in God’s plan and not my own.
What is something you’ve learned this year? Or like me relearned/remembered?
I have several reviews and spotlights of Christmas books I’ve enjoyed or can’t wait to enjoy!
About An Archer Family Christmas by Karen Witemeyer
It’s Christmas Eve, 1893, and the entire family has gathered to celebrate the holiday. This day is always bittersweet for Jim and Cassie, who lost a child on Christmas Eve three years earlier. Cassie has devoted herself to being the favorite aunt of the Archer children, whisking her nieces away to a nearby schoolhouse to create decorations for the Christmas tree that the men and oldest boys are venturing out to chop down.
When an unexpected knock at the schoolhouse door reveals a desperate pregnant woman on the run from a dangerous outlaw, it’ll take a Christmas miracle—and the entire Archer clan—to make sure no danger befalls the child born on this beloved holiday.
First off I should say I’m only reviewing the first novella since I reviewed the second when it first came out in a collection. Loving the Acher books I was so excited when I saw this was coming out … And man, it is wonderfully perfect, yes, there was a good good amount of sadness, but so much joy, this is a perfect read for romance, western, family, sweet-read lovers, though it is best that you read with caution as there is a attempted murder, kidnapping, mentions of a baby that died at birth, and a death.
About Christmas Hostage by P.D Atkerson
Trouble seems to follow Lee everywhere, even now that he’s not the Phantom Thief. After everything that had happened, he’d expected his life to finally calm down and for three months it did.
But when he’s left alone on Christmas Eve, things spiral out of control and he soon finds himself taken hostage alongside a little girl. Why have these men taken her? Lee doesn’t know, but he soon finds out.
These men are with the Underground and they don’t make idle threats. If he’s going to keep the girl safe, he’s going to have to use some old tricks.
Christmas is a time for new beginnings, but Lee’s having a hard time starting over. Does he need to forget everything he’s done, or learn from it?
Goodness, wow, this? It is so good! The suspense, the father/son banter and love, the care, the spying, the hostage, this is wonderful! I loved the first book in this series, but … I love this shorter story more, because, hey, it’s so good! Even younger readers will enjoy this special little spy story.
About Yesterday’s Christmas by A.M. Heath
During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home …
1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.
Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?
A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Past, and present, (Which I think includes as a genre.) Fairytale retelling.
My Rating: 5 Stars.
Recommendation: 15 up.
My favorite character/s: Matthew is my favorite character, I liked his teasing, happy, and open attitude, he was funny, and I really liked how he teased the other characters.
My Verse for Matthew is Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (English Standard Version.)
I enjoyed getting to know more about Betty because she was interesting in the first book and I loved her book and A.M. Heath has written another sweet story!
My thoughts: As I said in my review of Lo, How a Rose, I have never read Beauty and the Beast, but I have watched VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet, read three or four retellings and enjoyed them, this was an enjoyable book with a hard lesson on how some people treat marriage. I liked how the book went back and forth at first I wasn’t sure I’d like, but it grew on me, and the ending was awesome! I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
(I received this book in exchange for my honest review, and I’m truly delighted to share it, all the thoughts are my own)
About Christmas Vows $5.00 Extra by Lori Copeland
Lori Copeland, loved for her whimsical, folksy style, brings readers a feel-good Christmas story. A young widower with three needy children is snowed in at Henrietta Humblesmith’s marrying parlor for the holidays. He has no idea what a special Christmas awaits him. Readers will enjoy Lori’s trademark humor and warmth.
Review: This is a sweet little story set around Christmas about a small family struggling after the death of their wife and mother, as well as the fact that the children barely know their father who was in jail. Though there were several mentions of Santa and him not being able to find the kids, I enjoyed this sweet, somewhat silly, Christmas story.
Rating: 4 stars.
Recommendation: 13 up for mentions of robbery.
Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (King James Version.)
About Christmas Cowboy by Mary Connealy
Get ready for a fun and suspenseful Christmastime romance. Trouble follows singer Annette Talbot to Wyoming—and rancher Elijah Walker finds himself directly in its path. Though still wounded by the betrayal of his ex-fiancée, Elijah finds himself attracted to the secretive singer. When it appears Annie is a threat to his mother’s life, Elijah must decide if Annie’s deep faith and love of God is genuine or if it’s all just a ruse. He decides to trust her—until he discovers she’s a wanted woman. As Christmas draws near, will Elijah respond to God’s gentle persuasion to find the truth before he loses Annie forever?
My Review of The Cowboy’s Christmas: A sweet somewhat suspenseful story set during the during the most wonderful time off year. When a book is a book is a western you can expect to enjoy it. When a book is set during Christmas you can exist to enjoy it if it focuses on the right things, meaning Christ’s birth. When a book is written by Mary Connealy you know you’ll love it.
There was some mystery surrounding the characters that was slightly more mature so this book is better for older teens up. There are suggestions of character doing sinful things like stealing, prostitution, and light unsavory things though it is untrue.
About Merri’s Christmas Mission by Chautona Havig
One woman’s mission to conquer Christmas
Merri doesn’t want much from life–a job, healthy kids, a modest apartment, cheap fun…
And a LAVISH Christmas.
No, really. While other people save for vacations and cars, Merri saves every spare dime for her annual Christmas Extravaganza!
But when she loses her job three months before Christmas, survival means dipping deeper and deeper into the Christmas fund! What’s a Yuletide fanatic to do?
All Barney wanted was to win a pool table for The Mission, but watching a single mom’s dogged determination to win a great Christmas gift for her kids makes it hard to keep his eye on the needs of the mission instead of the shifting hopes of his heart.
A Christmas “noella.”
Review: Mrs. Havig’s books are ones I always look forward to … Even when they cover subjects I would normally stay clear of, such as a single mother … Because they are so honest, so good, so well written, and have so much faith. Merri’s Christmas Mission is no different, it is another need to read Christmas noella.
Rating: 5 stars.
Recommendation: 18/19 due to mentions of an unwed mother, the word sex is used … Long story and yet it’s kind of all right, not used in a bad way but you’d have to read it!
Verse: 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. (King James Version.)
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book from the author, I did not have to write a review, even a honest one but hey, I did because it’s that good.
Now for some books I am looking forward to reading …
A Very Bookish Christmas
Four feel-good Christmas stories.
This is a limited edition novella collection.
The anthology includes:
Molly and Anna by Sarah Holman (inspired by Pollyanna)
Gingerbread Treasures by Rebekah Jones (inspired by a Sherlock Holmes mystery)
Sylvie of Amber Apartments by J. Grace Pennington (inspired by Anne of Green Gables)
Sincerely, Jem by Kate Willis (inspired by Daddy-Long-Legs)
Christmas Carol Society by Rebekah Jones
How Do You Impersonate a Christmas Ghost?
The Christmas season has arrived. The members of the newly-formed Christmas Carol Society are beginning their weekly meetings. Charlie Baker finds the first meeting odd enough, but when the assignments start, he has to wonder why he allowed himself to get roped into attending. Miss Dartmoor tells her members to impersonate the Ghost of Christmas Past for their own personal Scrooge. Just how does a mere human accomplish such an absurd task? Charlie tries to figure it out, but begins to see the Lord might plan for the assignments to have a deeper impact on him than he expected. An impact that Charlie isn’t sure he wants to face.
Christmas Stalkings by Chautona Havig
Seven Christmas trees-excessive in some people’s minds, but for Wendy Nabity, they aren’t excessive but essential. One tree for each of her cats. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid, Blitzen, and Vixen each need their own trees, you see. And what “mommy” wouldn’t have stockings hung on her chimney “with care”-one for each of her fur babies? But something isn’t right at the Nabity house. Wendy keeps finding things where they shouldn’t be, and the local police-well, they think she’s half-crazed and blind to the obvious. The cats are playing with the trees in her absence. Neighbors on each side of her do little to help. Shy Peter will hardly look her in the eye as he blushes his way through conversations and rushes away-the besotted darling. Neal, well the whole town knows just what a rude curmudgeon Neal Kirkpatrick is! But if he makes one more rude demand of her, she might just start dumping the litter box on his front porch! But even Fairbury’s police can’t ignore a threatening note left in one of the stockings, and one officer takes it upon himself to do something. Nothing could have prepared Wendy for the danger to her and her cats. She’s confident she knows who is responsible, but why won’t anyone believe her? What can she do to prove it? Christmas Stalkings-who knew Christmastime could feel so sinister?
Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle
The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.
Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.
When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.
While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?
The Christmas Hankerchief by Lisa Norato
A Christmas Novella
Historical Christian Romance
Duxbury, Massachusetts 1825
Grandmother Hart gifts Tuppence with a very special handkerchief of handmade lace to be carried on Tuppence’s wedding day along with a promise God shall provide the man of her dreams. But how can that be, when the man of Tuppence’s dreams is marrying another, and Tuppence must assist her grandmother in baking a fruitcake for the couple’s wedding?
A Sidelined Christmas by Toni Shiloh
Sidelined with a career-ending injury, wide receiver Jahleel Walker is forced to return to his hometown of Peachwood Bay, Georgia to heal. Nothing shocks him more than running into his high-school sweetheart, Lucille “Bebe” Gordon.
Bebe Gordon returned to Peachwood Bay three years ago with a divorce certificate and her daughter, Hope. When Jahleel returns, all the memories of the past come rushing back. She can’t decide if he’s changed or if her heart is holding onto past hurts.
Will Jahleel and Bebe take a chance on love or let life sidelined them at Christmas?
Have you heard of these books? Have you read books by these authors?
What are you doing for Christmas? Do you celebrate Christmas?
And since I’m writing this late at night I’m going to sign off.
@readreviewrejoice – Abigail