Countdown to Christmas #14

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Hello! I can hardly believe it, but it’s Christmas Eve, Eve, and the final Countdown to Christmas of 2018!! 🎄😱  Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

This week’s pick is Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost.

IMG_5059.JPGWhen Holly White’s fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime–exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm. 
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

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Twelve Slays of Christmas is such a fun and festive read!  The mystery is well done and the atmosphere is so Christmas-y.  I could totally see this series becoming a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.  This book was so fun and enjoyable, and if you love cozy mysteries, I would definitely recommend this book!

Have you read Twelve Slays of Christmas?


 

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Blogmas Book Quote | A Christmas Inspiration

Blogmas Book Quotes

Hello! It’s time for another Blogmas Book Quote!

Today I’m sharing a lovely little quote from LM Montgomery’s short story, A Christmas Inspiration.  It is one of the stories featured in A Vintage Christmas, and it has been one of my favorites from the entire collection that I’ve read so far.  It is such a sweet story about giving and thinking of others, especially about those who often feel forgotten, and it just warmed my heart while reading it.


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“How lovely the world is,” said Jean.

“This is really the very happiest Christmas morning I have ever known,” declared Nellie.  “I never felt so really Christmassy in my inmost soul before.”

“I suppose,” said Beth thoughtfully, “that it is because we have discovered for ourselves the old truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  I’ve always known it, in a way, but I never realized it before.”

“Blessing on Jean’s Christmas inspiration,” said Nellie.  “But, girls, let us try to make it an all-the-year-round inspiration, I say.  We can bring a little of our own sunshine into Miss Allen’s life as long as we live with her.”

~ LM Montgomery, The Christmas Inspiration


Thanks for reading! 💚❤

 


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Blogmas Book Quotes | The Gift

Blogmas Book Quotes

Hello everyone! Today I’m back with another Blogmas Book Quote!

Today’s quote comes from The Gift by Cecelia Ahern.  This quote may be short, but to me, with Christmas only one week away, I feel like this quote is an especially prevalent reminder of just how precious this time of year can be.


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“Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning.  Time can’t be given.  But it can be shared.” 

~Cecelia Ahern, The Gift


Have you read The Gift? Also, share with me a favorite memory you shared with someone important to you!

 

Christmas Countdown #13

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Welcome to week 3 of Countdown to Christmas! Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.  Last week was so busy, I ended up taking a break from Countdown to Christmas, but this week I am back. Today I am actually featuring two books, because my niece wanted to share a Christmas book of her own!

Today’s picks are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Santa Claus Book by Eileen Daly.

IMG_4773.jpgA Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens. It was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

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The Santa Claus Book is all about Santa delivering toys on Christmas Eve!

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A Christmas Carol is honestly such a delightful read!  Even if you’ve seen some of the many adaptations, the book is still worth the read.  Ebeneezer Scrooge is so memorable for a reason.  It’s quite short and I really think every book lover should at least give this one a try!


The Santa Claus Book is such a cute and fun picture book.  It is filled such gorgeous, vintage pictures, and it just puts you in such a Christmas-y mood.  My 5-year-old niece really adores this one and loves reading about Santa delivering presents!

Have you read either of these books? 🎄

 


 

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‘Tistheseasonathon Wrap-Up!

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Hello! So last week I participated in the ‘Tistheseasonathon, that went from December 3rd through the 9th. You can check out my TBR here. Today I’m going to be sharing how I did!


Alright, so technically I finished all the challenges, but I did not get to my whole TBR.

Here were the challenges:

CHALLENGE ONE: READ A BOOK WITH RED OR GREEN ON THE COVER.

CHALLENGE THREE: READ A WARM & FUZZY BOOK

CHALLENGE FOUR: READ A SHORT BOOK (200-250 PAGES)

CHALLENGE FIVE: READ A HOLIDAY THEMED BOOK

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The Christmas Remedy was the first book I read, and technically, that means I finished challenges 1, 3, 4, & 5. 😏

This was a really cute book, but it wasn’t super Christmas-y until the very end. // ⭐⭐⭐1/2 // My Review

CHALLENGE TWO: READ A BOOK WHILE LISTENING TO HOLIDAY MUSIC.

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Then, I listened to Christmas music while reading Silent Days, Holy Night, which means I finished challenge 2, as well!

This was such a sweet and heartwarming read. I could totally see it being on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries someday! // ⭐⭐⭐⭐ // My review

And, that’s all I read, lol! So, I sort of completed this readathon, just not in the way I had hoped. 😂


Did you participate in ‘Tistheseasonathon? Or are you participating in any other readathons this month? Let me know how you’re doing/did!

Thanks for reading! 🎄


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Book Review | Silent Days, Holy Night | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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Hey everyone! Today I’m teaming up with JustRead Tours and Gilead Publishing for the blog tour to celebrate the recent release of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols. I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the book as well as how you can win a copy!

Here we go:

silent days holy night.jpegTitle: Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Pages: 240

Genres: Fiction, Inspirational, Christmas

Published by: Gilead Publishing (Oct. 20th, 2018)

Summary

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house . . .  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

Silent Days, Holy Night

what i thought

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author, Gilead Publishing and JustRead Blog Tours!*

This book was so sweet!  Going into this story, I thought I had an idea how this book would go.  While it sort of did, Silent Days, Holy Night ended up being so much more than I anticipated!

I absolutely loved all the characters in this novel!  Julia is so sweet and sassy and I just adored her.  I love how determined she was about everything.  Mr. Lafferty was the sweetest little cinnamon roll and, just like Julia, I wish I had him as a friend.

Silent Days, Holy Night was so well written, too!  The writing was so comfortable to read, if that makes sense.  It was just the perfect book to read, curled up on the couch with soft Christmas music playing in the background.

This book made me laugh and it also made me shed a few tears.  It is one that I will not soon be forgetting!  It also made me really want to start studying sign language again.

Silent Days, Holy Night is about loving others, friendships and embracing our differences.  This book is filled with the Christmas spirit, and it was honestly such an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet and heartwarming read this holiday season.

4 stars 2


Purchase Silent Days, Holy Night

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giveaway

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(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here

Click here to enter the giveaway!


about the author

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Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, 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. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: Website | Facebook | Twitter


tour schedule

To see the full tour lineup, click here!


tour schedule (2)

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Book Review | The Christmas Remedy

the christmas remedy.jpgTitle: The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

Genres: Christian, Christmas, Amish, Romance

Published by: Waterbrook Press (Oct. 23rd, 2018)

Summary

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

The Christmas Remedy

what i thought

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the publisher!*

This was such a sweet book!  I’m from Ohio, and so I’ve visited Amish Country many times throughout the years.  So when I was approached by the publisher to read and review this book, I was so intrigued by the plot that I had to say yes.

Continue reading

Christmas Countdown #12

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Welcome back to week 2 of this year’s Countdown to Christmas!   Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

This week’s book is The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber.

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WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS PERFECT?

For Cassie Beaumont, it’s meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing’s worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.

What’s left? A professional matchmaker. He’s Simon Dodson, and he’s very choosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she’s astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa’s elf at a children’s party and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all — and she’s finally ready to meet her match.

But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!

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The Perfect Christmas truly makes such a perfect Christmas read!  If you love Hallmark Christmas movies, you’ll absolutely adore this novel.  It is full of the classic troupes we all know and love.  Plus, it is just filled with such a fun and Christmas-y atmosphere.  The Perfect Christmas is such a lighthearted, festive, and enjoyable read!

Have you read any of Debbie Macomber’s books?

 


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Christmas Countdown #11

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Countdown to Christmas is back!  If you’re new(ish) to my blog, Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.  This is the third year I’ve been doing this, and it’s now time to share my first pick for the 2018 holiday season!

To start things off, my first pick for 2018 is Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.

IMG_5434.JPGImagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.

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Christmas with the Kranks, which is the adaptation of Skipping Christmas, is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  So, naturally, I had to read the book that inspired the film, and let me just say it was no different!  This book is so fun, festive, and goofy.  The writing style and short chapters makes this book a breeze to get through, which is perfect when you’re busy with holiday preparations and don’t have much free time.  Skipping Christmas makes such a great holiday read!

 

Have you read Skipping Christmas or seen Christmas with the Kranks?

 


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Christmas Countdown #10

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Hello and Merry Christmas Eve!  The big day is finally almost here!  Welcome back to my final Countdown to Christmas of 2017.  Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

Today’s book is The Child’s Christmas by Evelyn Sharp.

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Members of an English country family experience the excitement and beauty of an old-fashioned Christmas season, in events leading from the early days of decoration and preparation through New Year’s Day and up to Twelfth Night.

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The Child’s Christmas is such a festive and delightful book!  It tells of all the various Christmas festivities in an old-fashioned, late 1800’s/early 1900’s setting.  It was really fun reading about all the different activities! Also, I really appreciated that the book started in early December, and went all the way through January 5th, the 12th day of Christmas!  Learning about all the different activities they did AFTER the 25th has only pushed my love for Christmas further.  You can be sure I’ll still be celebrating Christmas until then, too!  Overall, The Child’s Christmas is a fun and entertaining holiday book that I think people of all ages will enjoy!


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