I recently took a gander at my to-read shelf and found it loaded down with quite a few Holiday related novels. Generally, I don’t start my holiday reading until after Thanksgiving, but this year I think I’ll start a little earlier. To see how far through my list I can get, I decided to post all the titles here and then a short review once I’ve finish each one.



Don’t you just LOVE the covers of Holiday novels? I do. Can’t wait to get started!!

First Book Review: Richard Paul Evens, The Mistletoe Promise

22754416I’m going to start this review with what I didn’t like. This is a personal opinion, of course, but I’m a little annoyed with authors from Utah who have their characters addicted to eating at Cafe Rio. People in that area are obsessed with that place and honestly, its not that good. Plus, it’s super stressful to eat there because you have to go through this line and the workers just start throwing toppings onto your dish before you have a chance to say whether or not you want it, like they already assume to know what you want because that’s what everyone wants, because people can’t think for themselves, or be original, or something like that. And who would order anything from a Mexican restaurant without the pico? Whew! Rant over. What I did like. This wasn’t my favorite novel by Evens but the story was good. My heart broke in places and soared in others. I wasn’t surprised by what Nicolas was up to but I was surprised as to why. Speaking of Nicolas, he is every woman’s fantasy which kept me, at least, turing pages. This is a nice little seasonal story of self-forgiveness, redemption and love that is well worth reading. Enjoy!

Second Book Review: Susan Mallery, Marry Me at Christmas

24944848This novel is nothing more than your average holiday romance. It’s sweet and predictable and gets its readers into the holiday mood. Jonny is a little too good to believe but still, it was fun to watch as the famous action star falls in love with plain-Jane Madeline. It would have been more fun for me to see both Jonny and Maddie have a few more flaws and thus hurtles to overcome. Raven the dog was my favorite character and hers were the only parts of the story that really pulled at my heart strings. The end too was a bit rushed and the proposal a mite disappointing. Having said all that, I would definitely recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a light holiday romance this time of year.

Third Book Review: Sandra Dallas, A Quilt for Christmas

19286506To be honest, I didn’t get very far into this story before I realized that the book just wasn’t for me. The very first paragraph was beautifully written and I actually read it more than once. But after that, the author sort of lapsed into long paragraphs filled to the brim with too much detail and a lot of telling when what I really wanted was to be back in the action and just see the mc’s life rather than being told about it. Having said that, I think this is probably a well-thought out book with some interesting history and I would say to other readers, give it whirl.

Forth Book Review: Janet K. Halling, An Unexpected Angel 

14383709Unfortunately, this one didn’t draw me in either but after re-reading some of the reviews, I’m thinking it might just be me. So I’m posting a review from another reader on Goodreads. She really loved this story.

How amazing is it when a short book, only 120 pages long,can make you sit and cry and cry? An Unexpected Angel is truly an unexpected read.Main character Ella is an unlikable,lonely and straight forward lawyer. The story begins on Christmas Eve. With nuances of Dicken’s, A Christmas Carol, Ella is taken on a journey of self-discovery and forgiveness. Each experience that Ella has, draws her closer to her real self. Ella has hard a sad life, losing her mother and sisters at the age of nine. She has never recovered from this loss or fully healed her relationship with her father. With the help of her guardian angel Cohen, she learns many things in one night. There are many tender moments in this story that will leave you reaching for the tissues. Will I share this story with my kids and other family members? 100% yes! I loved this book so much, I plan on buying several copies to give to family members. The messages found in this book are so important I HAVE to share it with my loved ones. This is a 5 star book that you will want to own and share this Christmas.

Fifth Book Review: Elin Hilderbrand, Winter Street

20706316This story drew me in a little better than some of the others but by the time I got to the end I was feeling very unimpressed and not really all that excited about reading the next one in the series. I really can’t put my finger on what exactly but just wasn’t getting any kind of warm, Christmas feeling, nor did I care much for what became of the characters. However, many, many people on Goodreads loved this story so don’t take my word for it.

After not having much luck the last few years with Holiday novels, I’m thinking in years to come, I might stick to the authors I know will deliver an uplifting, compelling story and leave the rest to others. Until next year!

If you’re tired of the same old women’s fiction stories, you might want to give this one a whirl.9781937178598

At first I didn’t think I was going to like this story. And honestly, for me it did start out kind of slow. But then a tragic accident changed everything for both the main character and the    plot. From there, the story became amazingly creative, unexpectedly so. I really thought I knew where this story was going, but I couldn’t have possibly predicted what came next. I loved all of the life-lessons Gowen incorporated into this novel. I actually found myself taking notes. I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone so I’ll say anymore. Enjoy!

Check it out on: Goodreads & Amazon




EmmaNOT Looking for Love: Single woman (23) seeks best friend to chat on the phone, shop the clearance racks, watch chick flicks, try out messy cooking projects, and eat Dove dark chocolates.

Emma isn’t so good at the whole life-coaching thing. Her first client ended up with a broken heart and is threatening to relapse in her bad habits. Now Emma has problems of her own to deal with, and all those problems start with one name: Justin.

Justin is her best friend, so it’s hard for Emma not to feel betrayed when she suspects he is falling for her childhood rival. And she knows she’s losing him despite her best efforts. No matter how much she tries, she keeps running up against obstacles. How is she supposed to help other people when she’s drowning in her own failures?

Fans of Jane Austen’s Emma will love this modern retelling of the classic romance novel. Fall in love with Emma’s latter-day tale of redemption, forgiveness, and the quest for true love.

My Review:

A sweet story, well written and fun, Emma will have you smiling cover to cover. I’ve never read Jane Austen’s version of this tale but I am familiar with the premise, and I love that Jamison made Emma an aspiring life coach. Only it doesn’t take long for Emma to learn that meddling in the lives of others based on her own misguided assumptions, not to mention, scant training, can quickly turn disastrous. Questioning her ability to finish any one goal she’s set for herself, much less achieve her dream of coaching individuals toward a better life, Emma stumbles along making one wrong turn after another. But as she discovers through her life coach training, sometimes we have to make a few wrong choices before we can learn how to make the right ones.

This is an LDS Christian fiction and is very Mormony. So if you’re not a fan of this genre don’t download this book, “waste” your time reading it, and then go on Goodreads and trash it . . .

Oh, um, wait. I’m projecting. My bad =D

Anyway, if you ARE a fan of LDS fiction and want a fast-paced story with plenty of twists and turns, and laugh-out-loud moments, plus a romantically happy ending, then this is the fun summer read for you.


About the Author

Looking for love? Rebecca H. Jamison would love to set you up with that special someone, but you’re better off reading her books. She has a terrible track record as a matchmaker.Jamison

Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and Cape Verde.

Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She and her husband have six children.

You can learn more about her at www.rebeccahjamison.com

Youtube book trailer: Click Here

To Purchase: Amazon: Click Here  Barnes and Noble: Click Here 

Giveaway: It’s simple. Just leave a comment here to be one of two lucky winners of a free download. 

Read an Excerpt:

It was amazing how much more snow Phil could pick up with his shovel than I could with mine. He cleared three feet of the driveway before I was done with one.

“When we’re done, if you have time, you should come in and meet Harri. I think you two will get along.”

Phil stopped and looked at his watch. “I’m planning to do a couple more driveways before it gets dark.”

“I’ll go get Harri now if you’re in a hurry. She wants to meet you.”

Phil leaned on his shovel. “Harry is a she?”

“Her real name is Harriet. She moved here a couple months ago and she’s hardly met anybody. I think you’ll like her.”

Phil threw his head back, laughed, and started shoveling again. “I thought you were trying to introduce me to your new boyfriend.”

“You think I would be out here shoveling snow while my new boyfriend stays inside?” I grabbed a handful of snow and threw it at him. I didn’t mean to hit him in the face, but that’s where it landed.

Phil wiped the snow off his face and grinned. “I wondered why you were dating such a loser.” I expected him to throw a snowball at me, but he just stood there. “So you don’t have a boyfriend?”

I giggled a little at his awkwardness. “Nope. Harri doesn’t either.”

Phil threw another shovelful of snow away from the driveway. “So you . . . I mean, you and your friend are . . . available?” Phil didn’t open his mouth enough when he talked. That was the one thing about him that always distracted me. I couldn’t help staring at his mouth.

I had to force myself to look into his eyes. “Why is that a shock, Phil? Every woman in that house right now is available. You can take your pick—Harri, me, or Barbara. You’re surrounded by single women.” It was safe to assume Phil wouldn’t pick me. I was at least three inches taller than he was, and it was a rare man who dated a taller woman.


Conner Dell didn’t meant to blow up the school bus.prenumberas

Or the bathrooms.

In fact, he only wanted to go to sleep and possibly dream about Melanie Stephens.

But explosions had a funny way of happening when Conner and his friends were around.

Conner Dell wants to be good–he really does. But he is terrified that he might be turning into a Darkhand, especially when new powers start to surface. What’s worse, the Stalker is following Conner, but no one else seems to be able to see him. The Magi think he might be hallucinating, the guilt of what happened in the Shadowbox keeps weighing on him, and his relationship with Melanie Stephens is complicating things. Even for a Magi, Conner knows his life is anything but normal.

My Review:

Penumbras: the shadow where the light and dark intersect. The gray area where pressing questions linger. Will the dark finally overtake Conner? And what ugly secret from his past is Dr. Timberis hiding?

I can’t remember the last time I read a sequel, or second installment in a series that I can honestly say is better than the first. Now don’t get me wrong, the Kindling is great, which makes the fact that Penumbras is better all the more exciting. Packed with adventure, this book consists of one heart-thumping battle after another, new powers/abilities revealed and a kiss that literally sends a boy and girl flying =D

In this second installment in the Kindling series, Bell artfully brings readers up to speed without tedious re-telling while providing the perfect balance of plot, romance and action that will keep parents and children alike up reading well after bedtime.

So you’ve been warned. Open this book at your own risk.

Read responsively 🙂

Braden headshot 2012-2About the Author:

Braden Bell grew up in Farmington, Utah and graduated from Davis High School. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theatre from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. He and his wife, Meredith live  with their five children on a quiet, wooded lot outside of Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches theatre and music at a private school. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys singing, acting, reading, gardening, and long walks with the dog.

Visit Braden on Facebook or at BradenBell.com 

To Purchase or Download a copy of Penumbras visit: Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Mystic GrayEthan and his friends are back in a brand-new adventure! With inherited powers they don’t understand and can’t quite control, they head back to Crater Lake to rescue their friend Jacob, train for an epic battle, and join forces with a powerful ally—the Mystic Gray. Filled with action, adventure, and mystery, this book is a thrilling addition to the Crater Lake series!


My Review:

I don’t really know whole lot about the middle-grade fantasy genre, so I’m probably not the best reader to say whether Return of the Mystic Gray was good or not. All I can say is that I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. And that if my girls were still young enough for me to read to, I would have loved reading this story aloud to them.

This book has everything middle-school boys and girls might want. Woven into the action and adventure is a touching story of friendship, loyalty and survival. The characters are vivid and relatable. My favorite is Brady. I love that he is so cocky about his invincibility, that he is willing to run headlong into any and all dangerous situations as long as he can show off his gift, and how he conveniently keeps losing his shirt so everyone can gape as his chiseled physique. Characters who possess a shallow/depth, in my opinion, make the story.


I’m excited to announce the start of my blog tour for Replacing Gentry! Follow the tour for reviews, interviews, fun posts and giveaways!


March 8th
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Kick Off

March 11th
Literary Time Out – Review

March 13th
My Book A Day – Review

March 15th
Min Reads and Reviews – Review

March 19th
Jinky is Reading – Review

March 21st
My Devotional Thoughts – Review & Guest Post or Tens List

March 26th
New Adult Fiction – Review & Guest Post or Tens List

March 28th
Reader Girls – Review & Guest Post/Tens List

April 1st
Curling up with a Good Book – Review & Guest Post or Tens List

April 3rd
Karey White – Review

April 9th

Book Blast

April 10th
Rachael Renee Anderson – Review
Crafty Zoo with Monkeys – Guest Post or Tens List

April 11th
Vonnie’s Reading Corner – Review
Getting Your Read On – Review
What’s Beyond Forks – Review & Interview

April 12th
Free eBooks Daily – Interview
Maureen’s Musing – Review
Bookworm Lisa – Review

April 13th
White Sky Project – Guest Post or Tens List

April 14th
OMFG!Books – Guest Post or Tens List

April 15th
Books, Books the Magical Fruit – Interview

April 16th
3Ps in a Pod – Guest Post or Tens List
Fire & Ice – Review

April 17th
Indie Author How-to – Interview
Rachelle Christensen

April 18th
Ever and Ever Sight – Review
The Muse Unleashed – Review

April 19th
Books and Needlepoint – Review
Amethyst Daydreams – Review

Why Not? Because I Said So! – Review

April 20th

Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews – Review & Character Interview

April 23rd

MK McClintock – Review & Guest Post



I’m very excited to be a part of debut author, Jadie Jones, first YA novel, Moonlit, cover reveal.

MoonlitEighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.

When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.

But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?



Release for this novel is Mid-April. To pre-order today at a reduced price go to Amazon or Widow.

To learn more about  Jadie, visit her Blog, Twitter, Pintrest, Facebook, Goodreads.


Kennedy Carter has the perfect life. It includes an engagement to an NHL celebrity all-star, a Vera Wang wedding dress, and more money than she could ever spend. But when Kennedy learns that her fiance Todd is cheating on her, she decides to leave the glamour and glitz behind.

She escapes to Orlando, Florida with a plan to rebuild her life while staying hidden from a country obsessed with celebrity scandals. The real world however, is tougher than she expected. Suddenly Kennedy has to deal with cockroaches, creepy alarm salesmen, and waiting tables… along with David, a gorgeous new love interest.

But what happens when the past refuses to stay hidden? When the truth of her background catches up to her, Kennedy must finally decide who she is, what she wants and where she really belongs.

As a past reader and even writer of the chick-lit genre, lately I’ve sort of been slowly moving on to other genres. I haven’t been interested in reading chick-lit—don’t want to write it. When Whitney asked me to read and review her novel I agreed without knowing what kind of books she writes. She emailed me the PDF and it came one evening while I was finishing up preparing supper. My daughter was still out for her run so I decided to download the galley on my iPad and maybe read the first page or two to see if I thought I was going to like the book. Did I like it? Okay, so I ended up reading the entire first chapter while standing in the kitchen. Then I couldn’t wait to get back to the story again later in the evening.


It’s never too early to start compiling your seasonal reading list. And really, No Holly for Christmas is not just a Christmas book. The story incorporates the entire holiday season from Halloween to Thanksgiving and then on to December 24th.


Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for ADA, Brian McAlister, and social worker, Holly Winter, when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone’s holiday reading list.

Review from the blogger at The Book Bag:

No Holly for Christmas is not your typical Christmas story. It is a great suspense romance. Both of the main characters start out as people I didn’t like very much and then as I got to know them, I came to understand why they were the way they were.

Then the suspense part of the story took over and kept me up way too late reading, to make sure everything would be okay. Holly and Brian have to rely on each other to make sure they both stay alive. And by being dependent on each other, they learn to open up to each other and see that they really are meant to be together.

I had previously read another of Ford’s books, Count Down to Love, and was so excited to read this one. I was not disappointed! A little Christmas, a little romance and a little suspense, all rolled into one – it doesn’t get any better than that! Thanks Julie, for making my Christmas reading a lot more fun this year!

So get No Holly for Christmas while you still can for .99 from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Buy it before November 1st, email me your confirmation number and you just might win a $25 Barnes & Nobel gift card. Also, enter to win a copy of the book by liking me on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

29th Book Blast Participators: Writer’s Mirror   Views from the Hobbit Hole   Kaidan’s Seduction   2 Kids and Tired Books   Debbie’s Inkspections   He’s So Funny   Eva’s Sanctuary   Why Not? Because I Said So!   The Book Bag   The Musings of a Book Addict   From the TBR File  


Congratulations to my contest winners!!

$25 Gift Cards go to Braden and Mary

Copy of No Holly for Christmas goes to two of my new Facebook Friends Amanda and Jessica!

Thanks for Entering!


In a world where elves are only slaves, one boy is determined to make things right. With the elves’ help, Kris decides to begin with the children. But can a pile of gifts on Christmas Eve really change anything? This enchanting story is sure to captivate kids of all ages. An instant holiday classic you’ll want to read again and again!

The Night Before Christmas meets The Help.

Though I read this novel in September, there was a point in the story toward the end when I felt a little chill that was lit with the spirit of Christmas—a welcome taste of the season to come.

I really love Christmas novels and so it was no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to review this one. Written from the POV of Rebecca, wife to Kris Kringle, this story begins when Rebecca meets, Kris, the cousin of a friend visiting from out of town. In the world Tolley created, elves are second classed citizens hired by the human class as domestics and laborers. And are discriminated against in every way possible. It’s truly heartbreaking. But Kris sees the elves’ unique qualities and fights for their rights, doing so, of course, with a twinkle in his eye. I loved his tenacious assertiveness and the way he refused to back down even though he seemed to be the only human able to see the elves’ true potential. When Kris moves to town permanently, he’s already set his sights on Rebecca, and she quickly learns to see the elves through his eyes.

And the rest is, as they say, “history.”

Kris Kringle’s Magic is a fun and poignant story of tolerance and looking past societal prejudice to see the potential, and magic, in everyone.

This novel is great for both adults and children. Or, for adults to read with their children.

My recommendation: cuddle up with your loved ones next to a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate and read this book by the light of the Christmas tree.