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Showing posts from December, 2015

December Wrap Up/ My Year in Books

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Another year over and done with! 2015 was a good year and I’m hoping for more goodness in 2016. As far as my December wrap up there isn’t much to tell. I didn’t get any books for review and I didn’t get any books via NetGalley or Edelweiss, which as I stated before is one of my goals in 2016. I vow to read more books I already have and not add more to my TBR pile. I also won’t be doing any challenges this year just the Goodreads one since it basically keeps my books organized for me. So here is what my year in books looked like… the short little survey I got via Tara @ runningnreading and how my Goodreads Challenge went. Number of books read: 92 Pages read: 17907 [more books this year yet fewer pages…that’s short stories for ya! Genre I’ve read the most from: General fiction/women’s fiction Publisher, I’ve read the most from: St. Martin’s Press & NAL/Berkley [they are so generous!] Favorite/most often used reading spot: My bed and sofa Most read author:

Day 25 of 25 Days of Christmas: The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

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The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson Published: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Revell Format: NetGalley Rating: 5/5 Synopsis Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture. My Thoughts The Christmas Joy Ride was one of my favorite seasonal reads. First off I’m a hug

Day 24 of 25 Days of Christmas: Max the boy who didn't believe in Santa Claus by Lou Silluzio

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Max, the boy who didn’t believe in Santa Claus by Lou Silluzio and Salvatore La Vattiata [Illustrator] Published: March 30, 2015 Publisher: Domjaf Media Format: free Kindle read Rating: 5/5 Synopsis It’s Christmas Eve and young Max is having trouble believing Santa can deliver so many presents in one night. Is Santa Claus real? He resolves to stay up and catch the giver of presents, even though his brothers try to talk him out of it. What happens when the boys wake Christmas morning? Did Max catch Santa? Have presents been delivered? Is the magic of Santa as real as Max’s parents say it is? My Thoughts This was the cutest read ever! I loved the story of Max who thinks that Santa doesn’t exist. He tells his younger brothers and come Christmas there are no presents under the tree. Everyone is searching the house and soon realize that Santa never came and the only reason their parents think this has happened is because someone doesn’t believe. Max cries and conf

Day 23 of 25 Days of Christmas: All I Want for Christmas by Claudia Carroll

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All I Want for Christmas by Claudia Carroll Published: November 25, 2014 Format: free Kindle read Rating: 3/5 Synopsis Christmas with the one you love. It’s going to be perfect … isn’t it?  Three couples. Three Christmases. One perfect day! In three days Lucy and Andrew will fly to Mexico for their beautiful wedding. What’s a twenty-year age gap when you’re this in love? Christmas dinner feels like the perfect occasion to introduce the two families to each other. What could possibly go wrong?  Workaholic Jo Hargreaves spends most of her Christmas day wondering where her unreliable new husband is.  Dawn and Kirk spend hours slaving over a mung-bean based vegan festive lunch - but Dawn’s mum is struggling to keep her true feeling to herself.   Can these three couples manage the magical Christmas they’ve been dreaming of? My Thoughts I didn’t know that this was a prequel so it was no wonder I was a bit confused. However, I felt this read was ok. I mean I didn’t di

Day 22 of 25 Days of Christmas: A Family for Christmas by Helen Scott Taylor

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A Family for Christmas by Helen Scott Taylor Published: September 21, 2012 Format: free Kindle read Rating: 4/5 Synopsis A heartwarming tale for Christmas. A lonely career woman stranded in a blizzard, a disillusioned man who has cut himself off from women. When he rescues her from the snow and takes her into his home, the spirit of Christmas and his little girl's love work their magic. My Thoughts All Eve was trying to do was to get to her meeting when her car goes off the road to avoid a lamb. Tom came to her rescue and took her in until the roads were cleared. It's only been Tom and his little girl but when she meets Eve she is instantly taken and soon so will Tom. This is the story of finding love again and opening your heart up to the possibilities of finding the one for you. This is a sweet read and is bound to restore your faith in love and the all the joy that comes with it.

Day 21 of 25 Days of Christmas: Snowed Inn by Danielle Lee Zwissler

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Snowed Inn by Danielle Lee Zwissler Published: October 20, 2015 Format: Smashwords Rating: 4/5 Synopsis Sometimes a little bad luck can lead to good fortune... When Lacy Johnson made a last minute decision to head home for Christmas, she wasn't prepared as usual... Her car broke down, and that's not even the worst of her luck, well that was until she met Grayson Snow-- the sexy hijack that came barreling down the hill in his pickup to save her... Soon, it was apparent, that Grayson was more that what met the eye, and she started to fall for him and his charms, but she didn't fit in there, or did she?  Luckily for her, there was room at the inn. My Thoughts Snowed Inn can definitely be defined as magical. Lacey and Grayson met when her car was stuck in snow and he came to her rescue. While this story can seem predictable and everything just falls into place so magically that’s what I love about it. Yes, some of the read maybe too far fetched as far a

Day 20 of 25 Days of Christmas: A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson

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A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson Published: December 12, 2014 Format: free Kindle read Rating: 4/5 Synopsis Holly and Caleb had been best friends as children, growing up on the same street, but as teenagers, they couldn't be further apart. When Caleb unexpectedly asked Holly to help him pick out a Christmas gift for his girlfriend, neither of them anticipated where it would lead. My Thoughts A Christmas Gift is the story of Holly and Caleb who as kids were best of friends but as they grew up moved into different social circles. One day Caleb asks Holly for help picking out a gift for his girlfriend but unknown to Caleb, Holly has had the biggest crush on and it kills her to do this. While Holly finds gifts that are meaningful his girlfriend lets it be known that all she wants are expensive gifts. Holly is torn to tell Caleb the truth about his girlfriend but doesn’t want to hurt his feelings and doesn’t want to risk their renewed friendship. A Christmas Gift

Day 19 of 25 Days of Christmas: Makeshift Angel by Jean Louise

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Makeshift Angel by Jean Louise Published: December 7, 2014 Publisher: J.Y. Harris Books Format: free Kindle buy Rating: 5/5 Synopsis Emily wants to be sure that Santa gets her Christmas wish, and according to schoolyard rumor, that's a job for snow angels. Trouble is, there's not much opportunity to make snow angels in Florida. So Emily has to come up with a Plan B..... My Thoughts What can be said about a story that’s only nine pages long? LOTS! Boy, I thought this wasn’t going to be much of a read, boy was I wrong. This is a touching story of a little girl who only wants one thing for Christmas so she sets out to make it come true. She hears that if she makes a snow angel and makes a wish it will come true but living in Florida kind of makes that impossible so she sets out to make her own snow. When we find out her wish I must admit I got kind of teary-eyed. This book might be very short, but its message and emotions are that of a full-length book.

Day 18 of 25 Days of Christmas: A Very Grey Christmas by T.A. Foster

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A Very Grey Christmas [Kissing Eden #3] by T.A. Foster Published: November 20, 2014 Format: Kindle buy Rating: 5/5 Synopsis I was getting ready to spend the single most important holiday of the year alone. Completely and utterly alone. That meant he wouldn’t be there Christmas Eve. No making Christmas cookies or listening to my dad sing off-key while my mom bustled around wrapping last-minute gifts. No decorating the tree. No midnight Christmas kiss. No waking up in Grey’s arms. We were actually going to spend our very first Christmas in different states. That was until Grey gave me the most unexpected gift of my life. My Thoughts Is it possible that the last book of the series could be the best? Well, in this case, A Very Grey Christmas is my favorite in the Kissing Eden series. Although this is a series I promise you can read this one and totally be fine, there are a few things that catch you up so you know more or less the background. In this final book, w

Day 17 of 25 Days of Christmas: Forever Christmas by Jody Holford

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Forever Christmas by Jody Holford Published: December 10, 2013 Format: free Kindle read Rating: 4/5 Synopsis When Anna Meyers purchases the home that her late mother grew up in, she’s determined to prove her independence to herself and to her well-meaning father and brother. She’s been lovingly sheltered and protected for all of her 26 years, but now she just wants to live her life- on her own terms. Sam Gardner hadn’t given much thought to who would move next door to his small Angel’s Lake bungalow. Once his neighbor arrived, however, he could think of nothing and no one else. When Anna makes it clear that she’s not interested in having a man around, he invents a girlfriend to put her at ease. Thinking that, Sam has a girlfriend makes it easier for Anna to be herself and open the door to friendship. He frustrates her, makes her laugh, and challenges her, but he never tries to step on her independence. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes that w

Day 16 of 25 Days of Christmas: Last Christmas by Lily Greene

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Last Christmas by Lily Green Published: October 22, 2015 Publisher: Endeavour Press Format: via free Kindle read Rating: 4/5 Synopsis 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 organizes 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

Day 15 of 25 Days of Christmas: Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

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Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh Published: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Revell Format: via NetGalley Rating: 4/5 Synopsis For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking--some could be called downright ugly--but they were tradition. A tradition she's heartbroken to miss this year. With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments. Fan-favorite Dan Walsh invites readers to enjoy this nostalgic Christmas story that celebrates all of our most cherished seasonal traditions, especia

Day 14 of 25 Days of Christmas: The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

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The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson Published: September 1, 2011 Publisher: Revell Company Format: free Kindle read Rating: 4/5 Synopsis The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing. Once again, Melody Carlson delivers a Christmas story that will touch hearts and delight the senses. Sure to be a classic, The Christmas Shoppe is filled with the special magic the best Christmas stor

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

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Come Back to Me by Mila Gray (Come Back to Me, #1) Publisher: Simon Pulse Published: December 8, 2015 Genres: New Adult, Romance Add to Goodreads Buy: Amazon / BN Synopsis In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave. When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend… Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship. But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s fi

Day 13 of 25 Days of Christmas: Dancing with Mistletoe by Leslie Wells

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Dancing with Mistletoe by Leslie Wells Published: November 5, 2014 Publisher: Percambio Press Format: free Kindle buy Rating: 3.5/5 Synopsis It’s December 21st, 1981 in New York City, and the holidays are approaching fast. But up-and-coming book editor Julia Nash isn’t too busy to notice that her boyfriend has only put one small gift under the tree. At least, Jack has an excuse: as the lead guitarist of a famous British rock band, he is deep into rehearsals for their upcoming tour. But Julia was hoping for something a little more meaningful than the pair of mittens she can’t resist taking a peek at. Julia tries to ignore her friends egging her on about what Jack might have planned. But even with the distractions of a demanding boss, a steamy snowball fight, a baking flop involving rum balls, and a blizzard that shuts down the entire city, the question still torments her: Is a pair of gloves—the kind of thing you’d give to a friend—the only gift Jack is giving her? And

Day 12 of 25 Days of Christmas: Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

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Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie Published: October 13, 2015 Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks Rating: 3/5 Synopsis Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent. My Thoughts I was kind of torn when it came to this book. At first, I thought it was a cute romantic book about a girl and guy meeting at a toy store looking for the same toy, but sadly I wish it was only about that. Then comes this story of a “spy” looking for some secret spy clues I honestly didn’t get it. I was just utterly confused and not buying this whole storyline. I gave it three stars mainly for the beginning which was the only part I liked. This wasn’t my cup of tea but feel free to give it a try you might have better luck than I did.

Day 11 of 25 Days of Christmas: Until January by Mary Whitney

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Until January by Mary Whitney Published: December 17, 2014 Publisher: Posit Publishing Rating: 4/5 Synopsis I have a happy life—a great career, wonderful friends, and a nice family (for the most part), but parents don’t like to let their single thirty-one year old daughters spend Christmas alone. Apparently, no matter how successful you might be in your career or how independent of a life you may lead, you can’t be trusted alone during the holidays. You might snap Fatal Attraction style and make rabbit stew for your married lover’s Christmas dinner. But I’m a vegetarian, and I don’t date married men, so my parents have agreed to let me spend this December by myself. I’m even looking forward to it—at least, I was until HLG came back. HLG is short for Hot Lawyer Guy. I know his name, but it’s easier if I think of him as HLG because he’s my unattainable crush. Every woman has a mild obsession they need to kick, and he’s mine. If he would just go away for good, this Dece

Day 10 of 25 Days of Christmas: The Holiday Jingles Set by Christianne C. Jones

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Holiday Jingles Set by Christianne C. Jones and Emma Randall [Illustrator] Published: August 2015 Publisher: Picture Window Books/Capstone Rating: 5/5 My Thoughts This is the cutest set of children’s Christmas books I’ve seen in forever! The pictures are vivid and amazing and each story is so cute your children can’t help but get drawn in. This is a great way to get the kids involved and the rhyming story is something everyone can get into. While the suggested age is 2 I dare you not to fall in love with these whimsical characters that make the season a little brighter. These are bound to put smiles on the faces of all ages.

Day 9 of 25 Days of Christmas: Miss Christmas by Gigi Garrett

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Miss Christmas by Gigi Garrett Published: November 27, 2015 Format: free Kindle read Rating: 5/5 Synopsis Holly Kuhn is on the hunt for The Tree, but could she possibly find The One along the way? Next to Santa Claus, Holly Kuhn has one of the most important Christmas jobs out there. She’s the Director of Horticulture at Rockefeller Center, which means she’s in charge of finding the biggest and most perfect Norway spruce and transporting it to Manhattan. When she stumbles upon The Tree of her dreams on an idyllic Massachusetts dairy farm, Miss Christmas—as she’s called—is on seventh heaven. That is, until she meets the farm’s owner, handsome Sam McCary, and discovers he doesn’t share her holiday spirit. Will Holly be able to convince him to share his tree with the world? Or will workaholic Holly learn that sometimes there’s something even more important than tinsel-trapped success? Join Holly and Sam—along with a colorful supporting cast and charming small town

Blog Tour: Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage

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American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you'll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.  This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!  A humorous collection of holiday-inspired stories with Christmas drink recipes If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss  Christmas Confessions & Cocktails ! The 25 stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit (and spirits, including Christmas cocktail recipes like Christmas Cookie Martini, Peppermintini, and Glitter & Gol