Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren

The Purpose of Christmas is a moving, inspirational seasonal title by Pastor Rick Warren.

In this powerful book, Warren shares the three purposes of Christmas and how they can solve your greatest needs. From the beginning, this book will touch your heart and open your mind to the rewards of accepting God's Christmas gift to us--His Son, Jesus Christ.

This is a challenging review for me to write simply because this tiny book with beautiful photography meant so much to me this year.

  • It reminded me that our family's focus must be on Jesus. 
  • It encouraged me to give control over my life to God.
  • It renewed for me the hope of God's most precious gift--my Savior. 
I'm no sure I can get my husband to read it, but I feel it would make a difference in his way of thinking too. Even we Christians get so caught up in trying to manage our lives that we forget everything we do and everything we have comes from God. We scramble about trying to make things work, when all we need to do is give our lives fully to God and let Him figure it out. 

Warren definitely has a beautiful gift for words. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and look forward to reading more of his work. 

Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; 1 edition (November 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416559000
ISBN-13: 978-1416559009

I borrowed this book from my local library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: Michael Landon's Legacy by Cheryl Landon

Michael Landon's oldest daughter, Cheryl, shares what she feels is her father's legacy alongside seven key principles she believes can change your life and the world in Michael Landon's Legacy: 7 Keys to Supercharging Your Life.

The book opens dramatically with an account of the car accident that almost killed her. Cheryl talks about her addiction to pain killers and a suicide attempt, crediting Michael Landon's unwavering love as crucial to her survival.

This is a book I borrowed from the library on a whim because I saw Michael Landon's picture on the front. I had heard some of Cheryl's story in discussing plots for Little House on the Prairie episodes with other fans of the show, but I knew very little about the author before reading Michael Landon's Legacy. 

In many ways, her story is amazing. A life of hardship until her mother married Landon, she suddenly knew the grass to be greener. That didn't mean, however, she was promised a happily ever after. Problems plagued her after that near-fatal car wreck. His sudden illness and death, along with last-minute will changes that tore the Landon family apart, could have left Cheryl bitter; but the seven keys found within the book's pages changed her life and she shares them now with millions as a motivational speaker.

Since it is titled Michael Landon's Legacy, I thought it would be more about his contributions to the world. While the author talks about Landon and how she feels what she is doing honors his legacy, this book mostly focuses on these seven keys:
  • Trust in God
  • Choose love over fear
  • Believe in daily miracles
  • Take action now
  • Believe in truth between people
  • Build bridges
  • Don't judge each other

The tone of the book is New Age and Cheryl admits she follows the Church of Religious Science; though she also says she is a born-again Christian. No matter what faith she identifies with, these keys are good principles to live by.

Not my favorite book by any means, but I'm glad I read it to see how a family member viewed the iconic Michael Landon and to know that the author has dedicated her life to making a difference in the world.

Hardcover: 172 pages
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company (February 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1571742859
ISBN-13: 978-1571742858

I borrowed this book from my local library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 End of Year Book Survey

Now in its sixth year, Jaime at The Perpetual Page Turner has released this year's End of the Year Book Survey.

Number Of Books You Read: 39 :(
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: children's and then women's fiction

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard

I love Hubbard's work. It's wonderful to read about characters I've come to care about throughout a series.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Thankfully, nothing.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I finally broke down and read the HP series. I am glad I did, as I ended up loving it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham

I suggested this for my online book club and everyone loved it.

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started: Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber

Best Sequel: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

Best Series Ender: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Patricia Yeager Delagrande

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, but Rowling did a wonderful job of blending the ordinary life of her characters into the magical world in which they exist. In this book, readers learned a bit about a main character, but didn't realize it right away.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Death of a Clown by Heather Haven

I don't typically have time to re-read, but I would love to read this one again.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Serena from Taken Away by Patricia Yager Delagrange because I despised everything about her.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard

Hubbard has a wonderful style that draws readers in.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Love Your Husband Love Yourself by Jennifer Flanders

A book that discusses Ephesians 5:22-33, which can be a controversial portion of Scripture.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” --Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: The Baked Potato Boy by Dorris Fortson

Longest: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Death of a Clown by Heather Haven

Shocking--but great--ending.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Sorry, romance wasn't much on the radar this year.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Death of a Clown by Heather Haven

While I have read Haven's work in the past, this one was a different style of mystery for her. It was superbly written with a more serious tone and lacked a sarcastic female lead. It's definitely a style that she should use more often, even though her other books are equally as wonderful.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

If my oldest daughter hadn't bugged me to read this series, it probably wouldn't have happened this year. Of course, since I listened to them on audio, she feels I really haven't read them anyway.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Sorry, my only crush is my hubby.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

None this year. This makes me so sad.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

In addition to Hogwarts, we get a glimpse at Malfoy Manor and more of the Ministry of Magic.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Love on the Menu by Ellen March

This is a funny, sexy romantic comedy. Makes it sound like a movie, but that's not a bad idea. I could see this book playing out on the small or big screen,

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

There is so much injustice and a horrible loss in this one. Definitely a book that leaves a lump in your throat.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

From Tours to Paris by Linda Kovic-Skow

In the interest of full disclosure, I edited this manuscript; but I have to tell you that if all travel memoirs were this good, I would read more of them.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Dead Reckoning by Caitlin Rother

This a true crime story. To even think there is this much evil in the world makes my stomach churn.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Rani in Search of a Rainbow by Shaila Abdullah

Inspired by the 2010 floods in Pakistan, this is a touching and delightful story of one girl’s determination to help after her family and friends are moved to a refugee campsite.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Taken Away by Patricia Yager Delagrange because I didn't feel Serena truly paid enough for her actions.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Le Veque Novels

Kathyrn Le Veque writes Medieval romance novels. Not always my typical fare, but I have found some I truly enjoyed.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Love on the Menu by Ellen March

A fun book to read and a fun review to write.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

One of this year's early Musing Mondays posts talked about re-purposing books. You can read my thoughts here.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I tend to love Top Ten Tuesday. It really makes me think about what I am reading and want to read.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

This might sound silly, but making plans to work through my TBR pile is always a great time. I am a goal-driven person; though life doesn't always help me out. Here is one of reading challenges I am participating in for 2016 that will hopefully help.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Time. Since returning to work outside the home I've struggled to balance it all.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Most viewed: Book Blast & Giveaway for Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

Most comments: Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read from the Young Adult Genre

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Downtown Books is located in downtown Manteo, NC. I like to visit with the family when we vacation on the Outer Banks in July.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I miserably failed both reading challenges I undertook in 2015. Hopefully 2016 will bring me more success.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, et al. 

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

Shiny Broken Pieces
by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Read a minimum of 50 books.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Nothing yet. Still playing catch up.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Seasonal Fiction on Sale!

A magical Christmas fairy tale to warm your heart!

A touching story of redemption and forgiveness, The Journey of Joseph Winter: A Christmas Fairy Tale is an uplifting, nostalgic Christmas story in the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life and A Miracle on 34th Street.

Joseph Winter is a good and gentle man, but he carries with him the pain and regret of a childhood mistake.

When a package mysteriously arrives on his doorstep, he is invited on a path to redemption.

Traveling far from his cozy little home in St. Paul, Minnesota, into the snowy landscapes of the Arctic, his touching Christmas journey takes him in search of the one man who may be able to help him find peace—Santa Claus.

An inspirational family Christmas tale in the style of the classic Christmas stories shared by families every holiday season, The Journey of Joseph Winter: A Christmas Fairy Tale is the inspirational story of a man in search of Santa Claus, his childhood, and ultimately—himself.

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Last Christmas Ella’s heart was broken.

She had been with sophisticated banker Robbie Newton for six years when they suddenly broke up on New Year’s Eve.

Robbie had left her heartbroken and hurt with nothing but a note explaining he had taken a job in Chicago.

This Christmas Ella is determined to bury her past and start afresh.

She focuses on her career as an artist and organises her debut exhibition in a swanky London gallery.

While shopping for her best friend, Libby Crosley, who is hosting her infamous Christmas party that evening, Ella bumps into a mysterious man in the supermarket.

After a series of awkward run-ins and chance meetings with this stranger, Fergus Lamb, Ella feels the pangs of love again.

Fergus is nothing like any man Ella’s ever dated.

He’s a quirky, smart, bold, and spontaneous war photographer who looks like James Dean.

Just as Ella’s luck is changing, Robbie shows up unannounced at the opening night of her exhibition.

Ella is faced with a choice when Robbie finally offers her what she always wanted…

Who will Ella choose? Her suave and successful ex-boyfriend who she finds so irresistible? Or the exciting new stranger who has just waltzed into her life?

Will this Christmas be a fresh start? Or will she be dragged back to the memories of Last Christmas?

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Sarah’s committed to her stellar modelling career in New York, but there’s an obligation she needs to fulfil. Harold was a Grandpa to her when she needed him most. Now all Harold wants is one last Christmas in his beloved Waratah Bay Homestead. Sarah’s not that so hot on baking and Christmas seems a bit… challenging… but she’s prepared to fly half way round the world to give it a try.

The only problem is, Harold no longer owns Waratah Bay Homestead. Farming tycoon Max Ramsey owns it now and he doesn’t like company, he doesn’t like Christmas and most of all, he doesn’t like Sarah.

When the two clash, enough sparks ensue to light a Christmas tree. How many enemies does it take to cook one Christmas turkey?

Previously titled Christmas at Waratah Bay.

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Abraham Schuster only wants one thing for Christmas--to fall in love. Unfortunately, he's just gone through an awful break up and is still trying to pick up the pieces of his life. Is he willing to put himself out there again? Will he be able to find a woman in time to have a Merry Christmas? Or is he destined to go through the holidays with a lonely heart?

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cheryl's Seasonal Favorites

To celebrate Christmas, I have put together a short list of seasonal favorites that I've reviewed here. These favorites are a mix of genres, so hopefully you'll find something to enjoy.

In this mystical, magical tale a father unfolds the story of Klaus, whose parents died when the Black Death came to their village in 1343. Little Klaus was adopted by the Worshipful Guild of Foresters, Carpenters, and Woodworkers, where he would become a master at his craft. His work would be well-sought after and his generosity led to his sharing his toys with children at Christmas.

Despite the fact that Klaus finds love with his beautiful wife, Anna, his life is not easy. Rolf Eckhof is jealous of the master woodworker and is determined to sabotage his good work. Eckhof's jealousy leads to an epic battle between good and evil on a frosty Christmas Eve.

A beautifully told story that is destined to become a Christmas classic.

Purchase here!

Johnny and his beloved brother, Tiger, are still dealing with the loss of their mother when their Navy Commander father is transferred to a military base in Michigan. Plagued by illness since birth, Johnny along with Tiger and the commander must survive the difficulties of military life from their hunter's cabin on Lake Huron. Luckily, kind and elderly Mrs. Pennington is there to help out. But when the commander is called away before Christmas to fulfill his secret mission for the U.S. Military, the boys pray to St. Nicholas for their father's safe return. Can the love of St. Nick save a life and reunite a family?

A truly remarkable Christmas tale, For the Love of St. Nick is a must read for those who hold family and Christmas close to their hearts.

Purchase here!

The Viet Nam conflict is in full swing, but Frank McRae still lives in the past, tormented by his nightmares of fighting the Japanese in WWII. Even worse, Frank's family is being torn apart. His wife Maggie, the love of his life, is being tortured by ovarian cancer. The thought of losing her is devastating and he urges her to continue the fight. His son, Mike, goes off to Viet Nam, where God knows what could happen to him. Actually, Frank knows all too well.

When Frank learns that Mike has fallen in love with Thi Nhuong, despite Maggie's pleas and his daughter Julie's urging, Frank disowns his son. If there is a God, where is He? How could he let such horrible things happen?

This is a deeply emotional, heart-wrenching book. And yet, it is such an inspiring story of hope and how God's grace touches all of us, that you can't help but feel uplifted by the time you're done reading.

One Holy Night is destined to become a Christmas classic as moving as Max Lucado's The Christmas Child. This book would also be wonderful on film.

This book has been revised since I read it and also has a new cover. You can purchase it here!

After her siblings and parents are murdered in gang-and drug-related violence in Mexico, Isabella Alcantara's grandfather begs her to flee the country with her husband, Francisco. Her abuelo uses his life savings to hire a "coyote" to take a very pregnant Isabella and Francisco across the border. The young couple soon finds themselves alone in the desert and without a penny.

Miriam Nelson lives on a small farm along the Arizona border. Her faith is put to the test when her husband, a border patrol agent, is murdered in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Now the sole support of their son, Davey, the only help she has is her mother, whose health is in question.

As Isabella's due date arrives, she finds herself alone without any idea of how she will care for her baby. Their paths destined to collide, these two women soon discover a common yearning that binds them together.

Outstanding! A modern-day nativity story that blends a ripped from the headlines situation, a crisis of faith, and a grandfather's intercession. Don't be surprised if reading A Christmas Journey Home becomes one of your family's holiday traditions.*

Purchase here!

* I limited myself to sharing one book by an author. Kathi Macias has several wonderful Christmas novels.

This book opens five years after the actual death of Ebenezer Scrooge. Bob Cratchit, patriarch of the Cratchit family and Scrooge's former clerk, now owns Scrooge and Marley. In the years since Scrooge's death, Bob's generosity has run amok; not only leaving him the unwitting victim of shysters and the Cratchit family distanced from each other, but Bob's poor management skills have left Scrooge and Marley teetering on the verge of ruin. Scrooge makes a ghostly appearance to Cratchit, warning him he will be visited by three spirits.

In as much as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an indictment on capitalism, A Christmas Carol 2 is a humorous commentary on what happens when money is handed over to people or causes without first applying good judgment and common sense. The three spirits aim to show Cratchit the error of his ways and how even though his intentions are admirable, his actions often create more problems than real help. Readers find sprinkled throughout this tale, characters from other Dickens books and numerous footnotes about these characters or supposed conversations between Dickens and his publisher.

Definitely worth a chuckle or two.

Purchase here!

Joy, Laura, and some of the other wives in their knitting group feel their husbands don't appreciate the time and effort that goes into making Christmas special. From entertaining to shopping for gifts, from mailing out cards to decorating their homes, these women do it all. But this year they are sick and tired of not being able to enjoy the season and fighting to get their husbands to understand they need some help.

When Joy decides to go on strike for Christmas she has no idea what she's started. One after another, women from the knitting group join her, and once the local newspaper gets wind of the story, letters of support roll in and create an environment in the town of Holly where women and men are choosing sides. As the husbands learn exactly what it's like for their wives to create the perfect Christmas, the wives struggle not to interfere and make sure it is done the right way. And Rosemary Charles--the local reporter covering the story--has a bet with the newspaper's photographer that the women will win.

This is one of the funniest holiday stories I've ever read. But On Strike for Christmas is more than a book about a battle between the sexes. It is about love, understanding, compromise, and friendships. It was also turned into a movie for Lifetime.

Purchase here!

In the St. Nick of Time finds Kay Sullivan Lynch returning to the Chicago Police Department, much to the dismay of her family. She's not sure it's the right move for her either, but the widow needs to make a life for her and her children so they can move past their loss.

Captain Flynn Dowd transfered to the CPD to escape his own troubles. He hasn't thought about having a woman in his life for a long time, but beautiful and dedicated Detective Lynch sets his pulse to racing. When Sidewalk Santas collecting to feed the hungry are dropping dead all over Chicago, Kay and Flynn are hard pressed to find a motive or MO. They do however, find a strong mutual attraction they can't deny.

Racing against time, Kay and Flynn try to connect the pieces of this strange murder mystery, while exploring their feelings for each other. Will the Lynch children's opposition force Kay to choose between her family and her man?

A sexy, suspense-filled mystery that concludes the award-winning Sullivan Boys series. The strength of this series has always been its characters. K.M. Daughters creates wonderful, complex characters whose stories you want to follow. I would recommend all of them.

Purchase here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Reviews: 204 Rosewood Lane and 311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber

My love for the Cedar Cove series on Hallmark Channel--which viewers recently learned would not be renewed for a fourth season--led me to begin reading the books by beloved author Debbie Macomber.

In 204 Rosewood Lane, Grace Sherman's life flipped upside down thanks to her husband's sudden and unexplained disappearance six months ago. Questions plague Grace: Where is Dan? Who is he with? Olivia Lockhart, Grace's best friend, is a source of advice and comfort, but at least Olivia's ex-husband didn't disappear without a trace.

Elsewhere in Cedar Cove, Justine--Olivia's daughter--impulsively got married and is making a life with her new husband, Seth; Grace's daughter, Maryellen, seems to be hiding a new relationship; newspaper editor Jack Griffin continues to woo Olivia, and Rosie and Zachary Cox's marriage looks like it might be coming to an end. Oh, and how could I forget that a stranger arrived in Cedar Cove, checked into the Thyme and Tide--the local B&B--and was found dead the next morning.

Filled with drama, romance, and intrigue, 204 Rosewood Lane is a superb addition to this series set in the coastal community of Cedar Cove in Washington. Capturing the charm of small town America, Macomber adds new characters to the story while further developing the storylines of characters readers meet in the first book. It is definitely a good idea to start from the beginning of this series.

The recent divorce of Rosie and Zachary Cox plays a significant role in the third book of the Cedar Cove series, 311 Pelican Court. Known for her unusual decisions, Judge Olivia Lockhart rules that instead of the children being shuffled back and forth between the home they grew up in and their father's new apartment, Rosie and Zach must be the ones to move back and forth. 

Things aren't going smooth in Olivia's world either. Her ex-husband, Stan, has decided he wants her back, which leaves her feeling confused and puts her budding romance with Jack Griffith on ice. Her best friend, Grace Sherman, is still dealing with the fallout from her husband's sudden disappearance, but is ready to finally move on. She's just not sure how. 

The investigation into the man who died while staying at Bob and Peggy Beldon's bed and breakfast continues with some surprising twists and turns, and the consequences of Maryellen's actions end up being tougher to deal with than she anticipated.

While I enjoyed the first two books in this series, I feel 311 Pelican Court is where the series hits its stride. The core characters have been introduced and developed, so Macomber dedicates this book to moving some storylines forward and bringing others to a satisfying conclusion. It is easy for the reader to become attached to these folks and this town as if they were real. One thing I believe Macomber handles very well is how war impacts families. Some of the town's residents served in Vietnam, which is woven into their stories and has at times created more questions than answers. 

I look forward to the continuation of the series in 44 Cranberry Point, which is the location of Bob and Peggy Beldon B&B, the Thyme and Tide. 

I borrowed both these books from my local library. These reviews contain my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read these books for the following challenge:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

I've always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, but haven't read a ton--fiction or non-fiction--about them. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book.

Many years ago I read a middle grade series by Yvonne Prinz. I would love to read something for an older audience by this talented author. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book. 

My daughters and I read Cinder together and then started Scarlet. Just about that time, my oldest daughter decided she was too mature to read with Mommy anymore. Sigh. I would really like to read Scarlet all the way through and then pick up the story with Cress. See Goodreads for more info.

Proving my theory that if I ever get interested in a TV show it is destined to end, Downton Abbey's final season starts in January. I'm hoping they wrap it up nicely and don't leave too many loose ends. This book looks like a new way to celebrate my favorite current show. See Goodreads for more info.

The only thing better than a sweet romance is a sweet romance set during Christmas. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book.

This sounds like a fascinating story, and I love a book that moves between the past and present and ties them together. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book.

I have been intrigued by this book since it first came out, especially because it is set in post-communist Russia and I have read nothing else set there during that time period. This is on my Amazon Wish List, so I hope Santa is listening. See Goodreads for more info.

Not only do I enjoy McCullough's work, I've been to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC. Much of what we see in the Outer Banks when we vacation ties into their strong history in aviation. As we drive by the enormous sand dunes, I can almost imagine Wilbur and Orville Wright out there running test flights. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book.

The premise of this book creeps me out just as much as it intrigues me. A girl starts writing to a dead person for a school assignment. She decides on Kurt Cobain because her sister had loved him so much. As a result, she learns more about what happened to her sister and who her sister was. Check out Goodreads for more info on this book.

This is another book that has been on my Wish List for a long time. As a character-driven reader, I really consider why people act the way they do. What is Huguette Clark's story and what drove her to become so reclusive? As a lover of history, the thought of diving into a long, lost era enthralls me even more. See Goodreads for more info. 

What books do you hope Santa will leave under your tree?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Seasonal Fiction on Sale: Christmas with the McRaes by Teresa Hill

Discover the first three romances in the series readers describe as "unforgettable."

This boxed set includes the first THREE books in the bestselling McRaes series, plus a bonus novella, Welcome Lizzie. It's more than 1000 pages of deep emotion, surprising humor, and memorable family drama.



Twelve Days before Christmas, Rachel McRae opens her front door and a social worker puts a baby in her arms -- one who comes with a four-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old girl -- siblings abandoned and in need of a temporary home

Rachel and her husband, Sam, have dreamed of a house filled with children -- a dream that has led them to repeated heartbreak. Sam McRae has finally decided the only thing left to do is leave his wife.

Reluctantly, Rachel and Sam take the children in, but just until after Christmas. They will do their best not to fall in love with them, not to get their hopes up that this time a miracle will happen. That these children will stay, and that their marriage can still be saved.


She looks at him and thinks, "Please don't let him be more than twenty-five."

He looks at her and thinks, "Please let her be at least twenty-five."

Neither one of them is.

And that's only one of their problems.

Rye is a man with an ugly past. He didn't come to Baxter, Ohio, looking for a woman, but there she was. Emma is pretty and sweet, and the kind of woman he'd always wanted, but never dreamed he could have. Her innocence and vulnerability tugs at Rye's weary heart, and the sizzling sexual pull between them can't be ignored.

But Emma has a dangerous ex-boyfriend, plus an outraged, overprotective father with a family connection that dooms Rye and Emma's relationship from the start. That and Rye's dangerous past make it seem impossible for them to have a future together.

BED OF LIES (Book 3)

One very bad night, after more than a few drinks, the most perfect guy in the world falls apart and ends up in bed with Julie.

She understands. It happens. It doesn’t mean anything, she says, but she’s lying to herself. It blows up her life and his — a specialty of Julie’s.

Growing up, Zach McRae was her best friend's older brother, sweet, protective and perfect. He shows up out of the blue at her engagement dinner and instantly sees right through all the lies she's told herself. Like that she's fine, even happy and right where she wants to be.

Zach, also, is no longer the perfect guy of her childhood, although he’s trying desperately not to let it show. His life is increasingly and uncharacteristically out of control.

It’s time for he and Julie to face some hard truths from their past, plus puzzling ones from their present. Like that they can’t stop thinking about each other, can’t stop wanting each other, and can’t stop ending up in bed together.



Catch up with the whole McRae family as its newest member, Emma & Rye's daughter, Lizzie, is born.

Also, get a sneak peak at the hero and heroine of Teresa Hill's New Adult series, Everything To Me, featuring Emma & Rye's oldest daughter, Dana, and Zach's fiancee's younger brother, Peter!

Purchase here!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Seasonal Fiction on Sale

Eve Taylor, a self confessed Christmas addict, should be at home decorating her tree and baking cookies for Santa. Instead she's stuck in a snowed in airport the night before Christmas Eve. Another lonely Christmas seems inevitable until Grayson Parker and his two small children come barging into her life. Will Grayson be able to melt Eve's heart in time for a Merry Christmas or will events conspire to pull them apart?

Purchase here for 99 cents!

After one last performance, Calyssa Durant will be trading in her ballet slippers for an uncertain future.

Having sacrificed so much of her life to become a ballerina, Calyssa has met her goals only to long for something more. She will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 'Nutcracker' one more time before quitting her traveling ballet troupe.

But, when a late-night rehearsal ends with surprising danger, Calyssa and theater owner, Nikolas Clauson, are caught in a battle with an unexpected villain. As the smoke clears, Calyssa finds herself on a journey to her own, real-life 'Land of the Sweets'. Will she also find her own Nutcracker Prince, or will his stormy past and current secrets be more than this ballerina can overcome?

Purchase here for 99 cents!

Cowboys are a different breed...
They work hard, play hard and love harder.
It's all about the ride, until the right woman
makes them fall.

Cord Dixon, Mr. Laramie in the world of western clothing modeling, loses his job because he refuses to sleep with his female boss. Christmas is coming, and his bills are due, so he takes the only job he can find. A mall Santa. Socialite wedding photographer, Hope Carlisle’s life disintegrates when she ruins the wedding of the year. In one fell swoop, she loses her best friend, her business partner and her fiancĂ©. Unemployed and needing a job fast, Hope takes a job as an elf photographer at the local mall. She is not looking forward to her new job, until she meets her sexy Santa. Individually, Hope and Cord’s lives seem to be a hopeless mess. But with the magic of Christmas in the air, they work together to reclaim their lives and find love in the process.

Hope For Christmas was originally included in the holiday anthology Santa Wore Spurs. This novella launches The Cowboy Way series.

Free on Kindle!