November 13, 2019

Review: The Christmas Diary

The Christmas Diary

The Christmas Diary by Elyse Douglas

Kindle Edition, 285 pages
Published September 12th, 2012
My rating
: 4 of 5 stars

The Christmas Diary held me captive. I couldn't stop reading! Not knowing what would become of Alice & Jack kept my eyes peeled and I rather enjoyed the scenery.

Alice has been sort of a Scrooge to everyone lately since her business is in serious trouble. She doesn't want to lose the Candle Shop that she spends all her time and money on. But one thing is for certain, Alice Ferrell will not be marrying her fiancee, the lawyer, on Christmas day, because she is stuck in a snowstorm and visited by a ghost!

On her car journey to Holbrook, she gets diverted to a small town Bed & Breakfast, thanks to a mysterious old man (the ghost) who she barely misses on the road in the blustery wind and snow. The crotchety old man tells her to look for a book and Alice finds a `15-year-old' diary that belonged to a Jack Landry. She discovers he is in love with Darla and she is moved and captivated by the feelings he has for her that she wants to know everything about him. Darla left him and her two kids when they were very young.

I loved the weather and cross-country skiing and just the Christmas atmosphere. It was a fun adventure both physically and emotionally. Alice realizes that what matters to her is Love and an examination of conscience helps too :)

Goodreads Summary

Alice Ferrell is an entrepreneur who owns her own gift shop. She’s practical, professional and loyal. But her business is failing and she’s also struggling to plan her wedding. She’s tired and dispirited. Although she and her wealthy fiancĂ© argue frequently, they’re meeting in a picturesque Pennsylvania town to be married on Christmas Day. Alice leaves New York and is soon lost in a violent snowstorm. Night descends. She nearly hits a man who darts out in front of her. He’s frightening and mysterious. He directs her to a nearby B&B. In a bookshelf in her room, she discovers an old diary wedged behind a row of books. The diary was written by a man 15 years ago. She reads it and is immediately overcome by its honest and tender style. Intrigued, she sets off on an “innocent” journey to try to find the man, to learn what happened to him. During her journey, Alice must confront her past, present and future and make a decision that will change her life forever.

About the author

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master's degree in English Literature. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress, and a speech-language pathologist. She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed numerous novels including The Other Side of Summer, Christmas for Juliet, The Christmas Eve Letter, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.
Douglas grew up in a family where music and astrology were second and third languages. He has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and equities trader. He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years. Elyse and Douglas live in New York City.

November 12, 2019

Novella November-Snowlicious

Snowlicious (Yoga in the City #3)

Snowlicious by Leigh LaValle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

❄ A fun, flirty friends-to-lovers holiday romance. ❄
Mike and Thea have been friends for a long time. But now they're older and are secretly attracted to each other. They both have fears of ruining their friendship by taking a chance and going on to the next phase. Out of the Friend Zone into the L-Zone.
Mike is a lawyer who had many one night stands but they were never the ones he wanted, which was Thea. Thea has recently divorced and owns a Floral Shop. I guess it was time to throw caution to the wind and take a chance on Love huh.Christmas trees, snowstorms, holiday events prove to be an exciting backdrop for this novella. I enjoyed it a lot.

Goodreads Summary 

Snow's falling, carolers are singing, and holiday lights are twinkling. It's the most wonderful time of the year to get out of the friend zone... At least that's what Mike is hoping. But his best friend, Thea, is seriously lacking in holiday spirit. In fact, she's hot-and-bothered in the wrong way when her ex steals her entry in the Festival of Trees competition. Now, she needs to find the Best Tree Ever so she can win the competition before her florist shop loses business. The catch? Thea's using this opportunity to exert her independence and stand up for herself, but Mike can't pass up the chance to play Secret Santa and lend her a helping hand. Such an expression of holiday giving couldn't possibly backfire, right?

November 11, 2019

Novella November: The Boss Who Stole Christmas

The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls, #1)

The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1) by Jana Aston

Kindle Edition
Published November 7th, 2019
Publisher Rutherford Press
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, talk about getting into the Christmas Spirit! This one is sure to set your stockings on fire.

Goodreads Summary 

Dear Santa, Please bring me a new boss for Christmas. Mine is the worst. The worst, hidden in a six foot tall package of male perfection. It’d be easier if he looked like an old Scrooge, wouldn’t it? Nick Saint-Croix doesn’t look like an old scrooge. He’s hot as- Um, never mind. Just bring me a new boss. Please. Sincerely, Holly Winter

November 10, 2019

Novella November: A Blind Date for Christmas

A Blind Date for Christmas

A Blind Date for Christmas by Jo-Ann Carson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**I received a free kindle book from JRT Publications via NetGalley in exchange for a review
In the small town of Mystic Keep, at The Perfect Brew cafe, Oscar and Annabelle's eternal flame burns perpetual and there is no stopping it, not even from Venomilia's curse. The story doesn't go into detail about how Oscar becomes the bearer of a curse, only that he is unable to fall in love or go on a second date. Having friends like Sanjay to help these paranormal star-crossed coffee baristas is a blessing.

The Mistletoe Inn

The Mistletoe Inn

The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans

Hardcover, 300 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Simon Schuster
Audio CD performed by Madeleine Maby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Kimberly Rossi was little her mother killed herself. Harbouring feelings of anger hate and resentment she blames herself.
Depression, death and suicide, feelings of being inadequate and unworthy of love, as well as spousal abuse, prevail for the most part. Kimberly seems to always attract the wrong guys and marries an abusive man after so many failed relationships. It was sad regardless of being a romance novel.

Until her father bought her a ticket to a writer's workshop for Christmas, Kim's life was going nowhere. I thought it brilliant taking words out of, what seemed to be, Kimberly Rossi's diary at the beginning of each chapter. Loved that. Also, her dreams of becoming a romance writer were darkened with the news her Dad had colon cancer.

Kimberly is a smart cookie and she can do without a man but when the right one comes along, how will she know? It seems to be that certain secrets were too good to be true and when it is revealed who Zeke was, it makes her retreat back home with her dad. Mr. Rossi is now recovering from cancer BECAUSE of having the right connections. He could get the care he needed.

Goodreads Summary 

At thirty-two Kimberly Rossetti, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Burlington, VT. Deep inside Kimberly knows she's at a junction in her life and it's time to either fulfill her dream or let it go. The other reason she decides to attend the conference is because famed romance writer, H.T. Cowell, once the best selling romance writer in America, and the author whose books instilled in her the desire to be a writer, will be speaking in public for the first time in more than a decade. In one of her breakout sessions, Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, and one of the few men at the conference, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat. As Kimberly begins to open up to him about her stories and dreams, she inadvertently reveals her own troubled past. As Zeke helps her to discover why her books fail to live up to their potential she begins to wonder if he's really talking more about her life than her literature. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes that Zeke has his own darkness, a past he's unwilling to talk about. The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.

November 9, 2019

Mistletoe and Mr. Right

Mistletoe and Mr. RightMistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 6th, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

Reading this contributed to the #HoHoHoRAT 2019

- Two Stories of Holiday Romance

Mistletoe and Mr. Right
This contemporary begins with a surprise visit to Ireland. Jessica wants a serious relationship with her boyfriend but he might not be the one for her when she quickly finds out Brennan never really was on the same page. He is shocked to see her! Not quite the response she was after, but ok. His family owns a B&B and from the minute she steps foot on their property, all the bad luck in the universe wants to spoil her mood. From running over their Nanny Goat to meeting his mother who had never heard her son mention Jessica at all. Wow, talk about disillusioned. This is often the case of loving someone who doesn't love you. There was someone else who needed her and who she had better chemistry with. He made all the difference in the world. I loved that Jessica got her Sleighride in the snow!

Sleigh Bells and Second Chances

A second chance at love. Christine Laker is Jessica's friend who also is in love with a guy she met 4 years ago. Cary White is the lead guitarist in a rock band called Pursuant. Christine is a PR agent recruited to promote Pursuant for a London Tour or some gig. What follows is a HEA. Yay.

Goodreads Summary
In "Mistletoe and Mr. Right," Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least. The holiday hijinks continue in "Sleigh Bells and Second Chances," when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but it's her duty to babysit one of London's hottest bands at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve . . . even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss--at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance? Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!

November 8, 2019

#HoHoHoRAT Book Bingo Challenge

I am participating in the HoHoHo Readathon hosted by Kim This will be my Book Bingo submission created by Simply Angela

I'm no digital artist and I used Gimp to edit the bingo squares so I hope Angela won't mind. Don't @me ok? I suck I know. Ignore it 

The important thing is we know what book title goes where.

 Snowed in/Snowstorm

 a Holiday/Winter read that's been in your TBR pile for a year or more

A book with Christmas in the title

A book with a Snowy Cover

Book of your Choice

Christmas/Holiday Romance

New Year Read (New Year’s Eve is featured somewhere in the book or title or a Winter-themed read released in January)

A book with Mistletoe in the title

a book set in Britain (England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland)