Category Archives: Holidays

Mistletoe Village by Kathleen J. Robison on Tour with Celebrate Lit with Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Mistletoe Village

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Holiday Romance

Release date: November 30, 2021

Two broken women, two defeated children. Can Grace offer what they’re looking for? When the big city holds nothing but painful memories for sisters Rence and Sandy, they pack it up and head out for Grace and the promises it holds.

Promises of a new start. A new job at Grace General for Rence and a place to begin healing. But most of all, a promise to each of the sisters’ hurting children that a real Christmas awaits them in Grace, complete with snow on giant evergreens and lots of Mistletoe Magic.

But despite its Christmas card atmosphere, Grace, Oregon seems to hold a lot of secrets. Who is that giant of a man they encounter in the woods? Why won’t anyone talk about him? What is the hold the past seems to have over the town? Will they be able to break it before history tragically repeats itself? And will Grace be the place where love and forgiveness finally meet?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

After a nasty divorce, Florence “Rence,” needed to get her daughter, Livy, and herself out of town. Her sister, Sandy, decided she and her son, Josiah, would tag along and help Rence and her daughter move into their new home in Grace, Oregon.

Thus begins Mistletoe Village, by Kathleen J. Robison. The story starts off with a heart-catching scene before moving on to a tale of a fresh start marked with hope, forgiveness, faith and love-with a hint of mystery and intrigue thrown in.

I enjoyed the story and the characters. Rence’s co-workers were just the type people you would like to have working alongside you (with the exception of maybe one or two). The townspeople were all kind and protected their own. And the town, oh, my, I would love to live in such a cozy, idyllic place!

Mistletoe Village is another pleasing tale that makes a wonderful Christmas read.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.

More from Kathleen

I love Christmas stories, and since becoming an author, I’ve wanted to write one. Mistletoe Village started out as Mistletoe Hermit, but then it wasn’t going in quite the happy direction that I wanted. So Mistletoe Village was born. I wrote this sweet, cozy, slightly suspenseful romance with all the elements that make Christmas … Christmas! But most importantly, it’s always about the faith element, Christ.

The main character Rence Paladin is dear to my heart. She was created with someone extraordinary in mind, and I had that person read the book to see what she thought. When she finished, she turned bright red and answered, even if you hadn’t told me … I knew it was me! However, it’s not her story, but it encompasses her delightful personality, some of her sweet memories of a single-mom, and how she strives to keep her focus on Christ while always serving others.

So let’s go. Let me take you to Mistletoe Village. You’ll find a little of everything that oozes Christmas in the tiny town of Grace. Holiday spirit, decorations, a children’s church pageant, and a Christmas festival. Oh, and I’ll introduce you to little Gus, the feisty family cock-a-poo. But most of all, I hope you, like Rence and Carl, rediscover the joy of Christmas at Mistletoe Village.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 19

Texas Book-aholic, July 20

Genesis 5020, July 21

By the Book, July 22

For Him and My Family, July 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 24

lakesidelivingsite, July 25

Inklings and notions, July 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 27

deb’s Book Review, July 28

Splashes of Joy, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

An Author’s Take, July 30

Bizwings Blog, July 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 31

Miriam Jacob, August 1

Spoken from the Heart, August 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1f7f5/mistletoe-village-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson

Publisher’s Summary

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

I have read several of Melody Carlson’s books and found them to be very enjoyable. My favorites, though, are always her Christmas tales. Every year, I eagerly anticipate and can’t wait to read them. A Christmas in the Alps did not let me down!

Every component—from the mysterious letter to the hasty choice to fly to France, from the enigmatic Kyle to the clockmaker factory—built upon the others and helped to create a beautiful, suspenseful story that had me fascinated and hooked from the start.

The French Alps provided the ideal backdrop for Christmas. I could almost physically feel the cold, see the icy landscapes, and imagine the breathtaking views.

The faith component was understated and subtle. However, it complemented the story well.

A Christmas in the Alps is a novella which makes it the ideal book for a quick read when you are feeling nostalgic for Christmas, or during the holiday season.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Once Upon A Dicken’s Christmas by Michelle Griep

Publisher’s Summary

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan-favorite Michelle Griep:
 
12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.
 
A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?
 
The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

Michelle Griep’s intriguing and engaging trilogy of novellas, Once Upon a Dickens Christmas, is modeled after Charles Dickens and is set in Victorian England. The tales are united by an enigmatic coin’s legend, or in this case, the principal writing on a coin.

As I read the individual stories, I had the impression that I had been transported back in time to the Victorian era. Each story’s tempo is perfectly set by the narrative’s cadence, which draws you in and keeps you there. There are good reasons to enjoy (and occasionally doubt) the motivations of the key characters because each had admirable and imperfect components to their personality. The adversaries were distressing and dreadful, nearly creating a feeling of repugnance.

Due to its subject matter touching on the issues of domestic abuse and harsh working conditions, one of the stories, “The Old Lace Shop,” was a little more challenging to read. The story was also the newest of the three as the other two,”12 Days at Bleakly Manor” and “A Tale of Two Hearts,” were already in print.

Collectively, the Christmas storylines, the entwining of faith and redemptive nature will inspire and delight you, making Once Upon a Dickens Christmas an essential part of your Christmas reading.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Old West Christmas Brides: 6 Historical Romances Celebrate Christmas on the Frontier by Margaret Brownley, Rosey Dow, Darlene Franklin, Marcia Gruver, Vickie McDonough and Debra Ullrick 

Publisher’s Summary

Christmas Romances Filled with the Spirit of the Old West
 
It is hard for a woman to make a decent living in the Wild West of the late 1800s, and as the Christmas season approaches, prospects for a happy celebration seem dim.

A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley
Stranded alone in Nebraska Territory in 1882 with a broken wagon and two stubborn mules, Ellie-Mae Myers has no way to continue searching for her twin brother along the deserted Pony Express route or of returning home to Kentucky. Could a man on the verge of being hanged be the answer to her prayers?
 
A Wife in Name Only by Rosey Dow
Katherine Priestly seeks a job to help support her mother and brother. A local ranch seeks a cook, but by 1884 standards, the owner, Brett Masten, will only hire a married woman to work among his men. Desperate, Catherine claims she is a married woman at the tender age of eighteen. Will her charade become a barrier to true love and send her home without enough money to buy Christmas presents?
 
Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter by Darlene Franklin
Lucy Ames’ dreams come true when her sharp shooting makes her the star act of Major Paulson’s Wild West Show in 1891. Gordon Paulson is traveling with his parents for one last season before accepting a teaching position at West Texas Christian College. As Lucy’s and Gordon’s love for each other grows, will God weave their gifts and dreams into a single calling?
 
A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver
Noela Nancarrow and her pampered sister have been dragged into the Badlands by their adventurous father to live penniless in a sod house in 1885. When a local rancher invites Noela to a lavish Christmas party, will her holiday spirit return, or will she learn a lesson far greater from the experience?
 
Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough
Anna Campbell sets out to deliver two small orphans to their uncle in Texas during December of 1880. Erik Olson knows it’s impossible for those cute little pests to be his brother’s and refuses to accept them—regardless of Anna’s persistence. Little do they know that behind the scenes, Erik’s Uncle Lars and his buddies are doing a little matchmaking, hoping to give the children a father and a mother. 
 
A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick
In 1883, Awnya O’Crean is on the brink of starvation and homeless in the Colorado Mountains. When she goes hunting for food, God places her in the path of Amadeus Josef. Will Christmas with the Josef family teach Awnya how God works in mysterious ways?

My Review

Old West Christmas Brides contains six historical romances, all of which are novella-length, which makes them perfect for showcasing a “Christmas in July” theme. Naturally, the chilly winter themes also assist in helping to cool you down, too!

Despite the fact that each story is about a distinct setting and set of events, I thoroughly enjoyed them all. The idea of faith appealed to me the most and served as a thread connecting the stories.

I appreciated every story and really would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. All the women faced true-to-life toils, sufferings, hardship and ordeals along the way. In spite of this, each main character stepped up to the plate and dealt with whatever obstacles they faced.

As you settle in and curl up on your couch or favorite chair to read, the individual stories will transport you to a different era and locale, bringing holiday warmth to your heart and filling you with Christmas cheer.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

(I received this a few years ago. I’m trying to catch up with all the reviews that I was unable to do when I was hospitalized for an extended period of time.)

Children’s Christmas In July Part 2

North Pole for Sale by Nicole Jackson

About the Book

Mrs. Claus takes her family on an adventure around the world to find “just the place” in this light-hearted children’s book about finding the perfect spot to live. But somehow everywhere they stop just isn’t quite right. Santa and Mrs. Claus may be surprised where they find their Home after all.

A delightful children’s Christmas story, The North Pole for Sale takes place soon after Christmas and is sure to entertain and delight young children, especially preschoolers.

Mrs. Claus decides the North Pole doesn’t really fit as a home. Together with Mrs. Claus, the entire North Pole crew—Santa, the elves, and the reindeer— set off with Mrs. Claus on a grand adventure to parts unknown in search of a new home. There are explorations and mishaps along the way. And what an exciting quest it is.

The illustrations are so cute and delightful, and the story is sure to tickle everyone’s funny bone.

Nicole Jackson’s book, The North Pole for Sale, is a must-read for the Christmas holiday season!

Terry Treetop and the Christmas Star (The Terry Treetop Series #6) by Tali Carmi

About the Book

This charming picture book will show your child that reaching out to help others is an important part of the Christmas spirit. It features Terry Treetop, a red-headed, freckled young boy who loves to climb trees. Christmas is in the air, and Terry is busy getting his family’s Christmas tree ready with his Dad when he notices a small, helpless creature in danger. Terry runs out into the deep snow and puts his famous tree-climbing talents into play. Will he be able to save little Sammy and then enjoy Christmas with a furry new friend?

In Terry Treetop and the Christmas Star, by Tami Carmi, Terry Treetop’s narrative is one of empathy, kindheartedness, compassion and helpfulness—all qualities we strive to teach and instill in our kids.

The teachings in this endearing and adorable Christmas tale are priceless and could be applied at any time of year (especially winter).

Terry assists his family in preparing for guests, and along the way, he also helps a little woodland creature.

The story is cute and imaginative. The illustrations are delightful and richly enlighten the storyline.

I was unaware that the book was a sequel. It is, however, fantastic as a stand-alone and is perfect for toddlers and beginning readers alike.

The Terry Treetop tale is also an excellent teaching resource for kids.

(Currently free on Kindle)

Oddball Ornaments by Terry Overton on Tour with Celebrate Lit includes a Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Oddball Ornaments

Author: Terry Overton

Genre: Middle Grade Christmas Story

Release date: November 16, 2021

The ornaments in the attic are excited. It’s almost Turkey Day, and they know when they start smelling turkey, they’re going to be pulled down out of the attic and hung on a tree for the humans to enjoy. After all, Box Day is all about admiring the ornaments, isn’t it? But when Grandma joins them for Turkey Day instead of Box Day and brings a bunch of new ornaments with her, the Oddball Ornaments know something isn’t right. Determined to find out the source of Grandma’s sadness and what Box Day is really about, Nutcracker sets out on a quest to climb to the top of the tree to ask Angel about the true meaning of Christmas and discovers the truth is much more wonderful than they could ever have imagined.

Click here to get your copy!

I think at one time or another, every child has believed their toys came to life while they weren’t around. My kids definitely did, and I used to wish that my own would. In Oddball Ornaments, Terry Overton has taken that premise and run with it.

This story is very sweet and endearing. One specific set of decorations is referred to as “oddball” and is labeled as such since it does not belong to any single category, such as red, blue, etc.

Although the narrative is geared toward a younger, middle school audience, it is so wonderful and has such a powerful message that it would be perfect for almost any age group.

As I mentioned, the ornaments come alive at night. The “oddball’ ornaments have lots of questions regarding the day that smells like turkey and the days that come after, such as presents day. The angel perched atop the tree is more than happy to oblige, and the other ornaments assist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I intend to include it in our family’s annual Christmas collection. It rates right up there with our other Christmas favorites, such as The Birds’ Christmas Carol.

You won’t want to miss this story since it eloquently and beautifully illustrates the true meaning of Christmas.

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Terry Overton is a retired university professor of educational and school psychology. She has an Ed.D. in Special Education and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Her professional experience includes teaching public school, teaching at the university level, and being a college dean. She has two children and six grandchildren. Her writing and publication experiences include textbook and journal articles in the fields of special education and school psychology. She seeks to answer God’s call to share the good news and grow the church by writing Christian books and devotionals. Her book Both Sides of the Border is a Firebird Book Award winner in the categories of Cross-Genre, Socio-Political Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. Both Sides of the Border also won the American Writing Awards in the Multicultural Fiction category, Social Change category, and a finalist for the Women’s Fiction category. Her book, America of We the People was awarded the Firebird Book Award for Socio-Political and Political categories. She and her husband live in the southern tip of Texas where they enjoy semi-tropical weather and spending time with their friends and family.

More from Terry

Oddball Ornaments: The Story of Christmas was written one late fall while I looked at my own Christmas tree. I wondered, “If the ornaments could talk, what would they say? Would they even know why they were hung on the tree?” And that was how the book began. I played Christmas music and imagined a cast of characters like toys in Toy Story but ornaments and humans. It was such fun to write. I ran a few things by my regional experts (grand Angels) and they approved. It always means so much more when family are involved in my writing projects.

Not long after the book was out, the sequel was completed, and it will be released late summer 2022. “Oddball Ornaments: The Story of Forgiveness.”

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 2

Inklings and notions, July 3

Lights in the Dark World, July 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 5

Girls in White Dresses, July 6

Older & Smarter?, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 8

For Him and My Family, July 9

deb’s Book Review, July 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 11

Mary Hake, July 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 13

For the Love of Literature, July 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 14

Blogging With Carol, July 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terry is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1f7f2/oddball-ornaments-celebration-tour-giveaway

Children’s Christmas In July Part 1

With Jesus I Give, Published by Good News Meditations Kids

ABOUT the BOOK

Christmas time is here! Rediscover the true meaning of this holiday using this story based on biblical values such as love and giving.

Join Noah and his father in this fun and heartwarming story of love and compassion. It’s Christmas morning and Noah is playing with his new toys and notices a little boy through the window who is very sad. He then is inspired to do something very special for that little boy. Come along as Noah spreads the joy of Christmas.

This book will:

  • Captivate your child and teach your kids that Christmas is about a lot more than gifts and toys.
  • Help them be reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season
  • Encourage acts of kindness and joy this holiday season

With Jesus I Give is a touching story of Noah, who decides to give his favorite Christmas present to his neighbor’s son. Because they had just moved, the small neighbor boy did not receive a Christmas present.

Noah’s father explained to him how Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us and how His birth exemplifies the true meaning of Christmas. Noah, without realizing it, was a living example of Christ’s admonition to love our neighbors.

The narrative was enjoyable for both my granddaughter and me. There were a few unusual word choices and pairings, but overall, the concept and message delivered were pleasant and nice, neither overwhelming nor too weighty for young children.

The graphics are colorful, vivid and lifelike, which contribute to the story’s attractiveness. Just by looking at the drawing of the unhappy little fellow, you could really empathize and understand he was upset.

The book is intended for youngsters aged 3 to 8. I believe it would also be appealing to younger children. For example, after the first reading, my granddaughter, who isn’t two yet, asked me to “read it again” multiple times and hasn’t grown weary of hearing it.

I received an advance review copy of With Jesus I Give for free from BookSirens, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

(Previously Published)

The Nativity Story for Toddlers and Kids from MamTalk Publishers

ABOUT the BOOK

The Nativity Story for Toddlers and Kids is a cute story with a few caveats. Children will enjoy the illustrations since they are simple, bright and true to the narrative being delivered. The story is presented in an easy-to-understand fashion. However, there are numerous formatting mistakes. In addition, several of the explanations and wording are flawed.

My two-year-old granddaughter enjoyed the story, especially the passages that included baby Jesus, but she wasn’t as charmed by it as she had been with other books of its kind.

The target ages are 3-6 years of age.

Overall, it is a good introductory way for younger children to learn about the birth of Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.

The Nativity Story for Toddlers and Kids is a cute story with a few caveats. Children will enjoy the illustrations since they are simple, bright and true to the narrative being delivered. The story is presented in an easy-to-understand fashion. However, there are numerous formatting mistakes. In addition, several of the explanations and wording are flawed.

My two-year-old granddaughter enjoyed the story, especially the passages that included baby Jesus, but she wasn’t as charmed by it as she had been with other books of its kind.

The target ages are 3-6 years of age.

Overall, it is a good introductory way for younger children to learn about the birth of Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.