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 #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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Christmas Countdown #8

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Welcome back to 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.  Can you even believe how quickly Christmas is approaching?!  Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas Eve!

Today’s book is The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears (Nancy Drew #116) by Carolyn Keene

IMG_2636.JPGOn the trail of a teddy bear thief, nancy unwraps double-dealing and double crosses! 
Bess is working during the Christmas rush at Beary Wonderful, a toy and teddy bear shop, when the holiday season takes a sudden scary turn. The owner’s prized collection of antique teddy bears — cute, cuddly, and worth a bundle — has been ripped off. But the break-in is only the beginning of a much bigger and more brazen teddy bear caper. 
The attempted theft of Bess’s own bear — a replica of one of the antiques — leads Nancy to believe that more is at stake than a couple of burgled bears. For Nancy knows that even something as innocent as a teddy bear can be stuffed with intrigue!

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The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears is such a fun and short Christmas story!  Like most Nancy Drew books, the mystery isn’t too intense, but it is still filled with plenty of twists and turns.  The book is also quite festive, and even though it’s about a robbery, it still put me in the Christmas spirit.  I really appreciated the length of this book, too, because at Christmas time, I don’t always have as much time to read as I would like, so it’s nice, for me, to enjoy shorter books this time of year.  Overall, this was a very enjoyable book.  I really think Nancy Drew fans will love this holiday themed mystery!

 

Do you like Nancy Drew books?  Have you read any of her Christmas mysteries?


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Book Review | What Light

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Title: What Light by Jay Asher

Pages: 251

Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary, Christmas

Published by: Razorbill (Oct. 11, 2016)

Summary

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

What Light

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What I Thought

I just knew I was going to love this book!  For one thing, it’s Christmas, and if you know me, you know I absolutely love Christmas (I had my tree up the first week in November, and I just took it down yesterday).  So, What Light sounded absolutely perfect to begin with.  Also, I love Jay Asher’s books.  I’ve read both 13 Reasons Why and The Future of Us and thoroughly enjoyed both of them.  So, when I found out he was writing another book I was super excited.  What Light did not disappoint either!

Continue reading

Christmas Countdown – #5

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Ahhh! We are SO close to Christmas! I am so excited, but I cannot believe it’s almost here.  Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read during this holiday season, which was inspired by Kourtni Reads‘ Christmas countdown!  Usually, it’s  posted on a Sunday, but I was sick earlier this week and didn’t get a chance to post Week 5’s countdown…so here it is…on a Thursday!

This week’s book is The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans.

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“Whatever the reason, I find that with each passing Christmas the story of the christmas box is told less and needed more. So I record it now for all future generations to accept or dismiss, as seems them good. As for me, I believe. And it is, after all, my story.” So begins “The Christmas Box”, the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her. Together they discover the first gift of Christmas and learn what Christmas is really all about. “The Christmas Box” is a Christmas story unlike any other.

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The Christmas Box is one of those sweet, heartwarming Christmas stories.  It may make you cry, but it’s such an enjoyable book.  It’s quite short, so it could easily be read in an afternoon.  Or, if you’re busy preparing for the holidays, this is a great book to read because even if you can only read a couple pages each day, you’ll still finish the book quickly!  I actually just discovered The Christmas Box is book 1 in a trilogy, so I hope to read the rest of the series probably next Christmas, but maybe this year…we’ll see!

 

Have any of you read this book? Let me know what you thought!


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Christmas Countdown

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Hey everyone!  First of all, I want to apologize for randomly disappearing on you all this month!!  I totally did not plan on taking a mini blogging hiatus, but I’ve just been super busy these past couple of weeks.  I hope to be blogging more consistently again though!

Today, I want to introduce a new, weekly feature on my blog starting today and going until Christmas!  This series was inspired by Kourtni Reads‘ own Christmas countdown, which you all should totally check out.  Instead of posting books I want to read this holiday season, however, I’m going to be recommending a Christmas-y book that I have already read!

To start things off, my first pick is My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins.

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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

 

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This book was just so cute and fun!  It’s one of those books that will really put you in holiday spirit and make you want to get all cozy and drink hot cocoa.  While some of the stories were definitely stronger than others, overall this was a very enjoyable read.  Also, this book focuses on all the winter holidays –  not just Christmas, and it features a wide range of characters from all walks of life, so that made it very diverse and unique!

Some of my favorite stories in this collection were:

  • Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
  • Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Peñs
  • Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
  • It’s a Yultide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
  • Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire

 

Have any of you read this book?  Let me know what you thought!


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