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Showing posts tagged: Christmas click to see more stuff tagged with Christmas
Dec 24 2013 12:00pm

Merry and Bright: 5 Favorite Contemporary Christmas Novels of 2013

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne ThayneI’m a fan of second chance stories, and I don’t think it is a coincidence that my five favorites from among the twenty or so contemporary Christmas stories I’ve read this year all focus on characters who, after knowing real unhappiness, get another chance, not just for a happy Christmas but for a happy life. The lovely gifts in “Grown-up Christmas List” are realized in these books. “And love would never end . . .” That’s my kind of Christmas.

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne Thayne

Genevieve Beaumont, Hope’s Crossing’s spoiled princess and former Bridezilla, and Dylan Caine, war hero who left a few missing parts in Afghanistan, have only two things in common. They both ended up at drinking at the Speckled Lizard on the Friday after Thanksgiving and they both really dislike the Christmas carols some patron with lousy taste in music keeps playing on the digital jukebox. When Genevieve decides to make her objections to the music known, she ends up in an altercation with a redhead with a fondness for Christmas carols and a job as assistant district attorney. The altercation turns physical, and when the redhead’s obnoxious male companion gets involved, Dylan can’t sit there and watch him manhandle Genevieve, even if she is a spoiled brat. By evening’s end, they have something else in common: they are handcuffed together in a squad car on their way to the police station.

Genevieve and Dylan are not likeable characters. Dylan, of course, is a hero, and he sacrificed enormously in service of his country. It is impossible not to feel sympathy for him, but it’s also difficult to really like him when he is all wounded animal snarling and tearing at his loving family who are brokenhearted over his losses but whose gratitude that Dylan’s life has been spared is even greater. However, with Dylan, readers familiar with the series recognize from the opening scene that his psychological healing has begun, albeit in infinitesimal increments. The Dylan of earlier books would never have agreed to meet his brother Jamie at the Lizard.

[Good thing he did...]

Dec 20 2013 11:15am

If It’s Christmas, I Must Be Reading Debbie Macomber

The Gift of Christmas by Debbie MacomberThis year Harlequin reissued Debbie Macomber’s first Christmas romance, The Gift of Christmas, almost three decades after it was first published. Since that first holiday book in 1984, Macomber has written another twenty-three Christmas novels plus a novella. This doesn’t count the books reissued singly or in combination. Then, there are the three Hallmark Christmas movies—Mrs. Miracle, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, and Trading Christmas. The first two became Hallmark’s highest rated movies of their respective years, and the third won its slot. For many romance readers and a lot of other readers and viewers who don’t consider themselves romance fans, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Debbie Macomber’s contribution.

David Hinkley, an entertainment columnist for New York Daily News, called the Hallmark movies based on Macomber’s books “the Labrador retrievers of the movie world” whose “only goal is to make you feel good.” I thought that was an apt characterization of Macomber’s Christmas books as well. Labs are popular and family-friendly, and time with one leaves you smiling. All these things are true of her books.

[Especially her Christmas books...]

Nov 29 2013 12:00pm

All I’m Asking For: Exclusive Excerpt

Christi Barth, Kat Latham and Brighton Walsh

All I'm Asking For by Christi Barth, Brighton Walsh, Kat LathamPut love on your wish list

This Christmas, the producer of a small-town holiday spectacular is swept away by a handsome Hollywood director. Being stranded in a snowstorm offers a couple a second chance at a future together. And an American in London helps a brooding Brit put the ghosts of Christmas past behind him. Wherever you are, however you celebrate, this collection of three festive novellas will bring warmth to your holiday season.

Tinsel My Heart by Christi Barth

Becca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other's dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

Season of Second Chances by Brighton Walsh

When a storm strands Claire Hanlin in Chicago on Christmas Eve, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Logan Dawes, the man she almost married two years ago. The chemistry between them is dangerously potent, but with nowhere else to go, Claire accepts Logan's offer to stay with him for the night.

Back in the home they shared, surrounded by reminders of Logan and his young daughter, Claire begins to realize how much she misses the family she almost had. After a few cups of Christmas cheer, she falls right back into her ex's arms-even though she knows it means setting herself up for heartbreak all over again.

The magic of the season has thrown him together with the woman he's never stopped loving, and Logan's not about to pass up this gift. He's not the workaholic he was two years ago-his family comes first. Now all he has to do is prove it to Claire, before the snow stops and she flies out of his life for good.

Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat Latham

Thanks to a transatlantic house swap, California girl Ashley Turner is finally going to fulfill her lifelong dream of a proper English Christmas. Her holiday plans did not include a sexy stranger climbing into her borrowed bed in the middle of the night. But in the light of day, Ashley can’t help but wonder if Santa has delivered early…

Game designer Oliver Stansfeld can’t wait to leave dreary London—and all its difficult holiday memories—for sunny San Diego. But a freak ice storm and a grounded plane have forced him back to his already-occupied flat. To make up for the mix-up, the least he can do is show his pretty houseguest where to get the perfect Christmas tree before he leaves.

The more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows, and soon Ashley is tempting Oliver to give in to the spirit of the season and snuggle up for the rest of the winter. As the ice melts and flights start taking off again, he must choose between giving in to the past or risking his heart on a chance at love.

Get a sneak peek of the holiday anthology, All I'm Asking For (available December 5, 2013), featuring stories from Christi Barth, Brighton Walsh, and Kat Latham, and edited by Angela James, with an exclusive excerpt of selected scenes from each story.

[Log in or register to read an excerpt from each story...]