Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews, Uncategorized

SRP Review: Holiday Edition (Part 1): An Island Christmas, A Christmas Bonus, All I Want For Christmas

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

It’s holiday reading time! This year I’m a little behind schedule (two illnesses, multitude of Christmas gift crafting, writing book 6 in the Scrap This series, and preparing for the tax season is to blame) and I hope to get some more reading done now that two huge items on my to-do list are complete (mermaid tail blanket and tax courses). But I did manage to work in some reading time to save my sanity and give my overworked brain a rest.

an-island-christmasMy first book of the season was An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer. This book took place during Christmas time on Nantucket, and it also has a Christmas wedding. The Gordon family comes together over the holidays for a wedding and there is some meddling and doubts that might put a damper on the big day. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away so all I will say is that this was what I’d consider a perfect Christmas story–family angst (but not too heavy), wonderful descriptions of the holiday appearance of the town, family get together, and most of all a sweet holiday spirit where there are lessons learned and a great understanding and appreciation at the end. It was the perfect book to start off my holiday reading.

achristmasbonuscoverThe next book I read was The Christmas Bonus by Patty Froese. Millie agrees to help her boss, Andrew, with a work project over the Christmas holiday and finds herself swayed into staying with his family. There is plenty of family angst in the story, and one of the issues is very heavy but is handled in a way where it doesn’t take away the hope and spirit of the story. At first, everything seems simple in the characters lives but like real people, the reader starts to learn of the struggles each one faces. I loved seeing how over the holidays, a time usually spent with family, Millie and Andrew not only come to realize how well they do know each other, but also learn some important (if at times not flattering) things about themselves and realize their roles in some of the issues they are facing.

all-i-want-for-christmasThe last book for this edition is All I Want for Christmas by Nora Roberts. This was a cute, sappy, heart-warming Christmas story…think Hallmark Christmas movie…which means it was written just the way I love holiday stories. The story takes places over a few months time but the Christmas hope is spread throughout the book as it’s centered on the twins big gift for Christmas which they are keeping a secret from their dad. The one thing twins Zeke and Zach want for Christmas is for their single dad to fall in love so they can have a mom. I loved the antics of the twins and how the issue keeping the couple apart felt real but wasn’t too traumatic as to dampen the sweet spirit of the story. I found myself smiling while I was reading this book.

I hope to have another edition up by the end of the week. Now that I’m all done with my courses and test taking for the upcoming tax season, I have more reading time. I can’t wait until it’s time to turn on the Christmas lights, sit in the recliner, and let myself enter into the world of another book.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP HOLIDAY REVIEW HOLIDAY EDITION (PART III): The Santa Shop, An Avalon Christmas, and A Victorian Christmas

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

This is my last Holiday Review Edition for 2014, I had wanted to post before 2015 but family activities took precedence. I was happy to get in a little more holiday reading this year than last, and hope that I’ll get even more holiday reading at the end of this year (though I really don’t want to ruminate long on this year ending as it has just begun).

the santa shopThe Santa Shop by Tim Greaton was a different type of Christmas/holiday read for me. I do my best to steer clear of darker stories around the holidays. I like the books I choose to be more light-hearted and have a humorous rather than serious tone. The Santa Shop, while not depressing or dark as in creepy way, it started off with a sad tone that grew more hopeful as the book went on. In a way, that is how the holiday season goes for some people, sad and stressful and growing into a more hopeful and restful time. I like how the book had a message without the reader receiving a lecture. Even when Skip was at the point of giving up total hope, he still clung to some and was able in his darkest hour to look past himself…and that to me is one of the true, loving spirits of the Christmas season.

After reading The Santa Shop, and I decided to go for something that had a little more of a happy tone and that built on the feeling of community that was in the end of the Santa Shop. I wanted to keep that feeling going. I read An Avalon Christmas by Darien Gee which is a collection of short stories that connect with each other through the town of Avalon.an avalon christmas The stories are a mix of longing, people searching for a connection, and of reaching out. The stories have a sweet spirit and all the point-of-view characters come away with a better understanding of themselves and their role in the world. All of the stories are set around Christmas time and show some of the holiday spirit that blossoms at that time of year.

 

 

a victorian christmasMy last holiday read of the year was A Victorian Christmas by Catherine Palmer. This book, like An Avalon Christmas, is a collection of short stories but in this book they aren’t connected. The stories are set in the Victorian times and are set at Christmas time. There is a strong Christian message in each story so for those readers who prefer non-religious holiday stories, this book might not be to your liking. For those readers who enjoy Christmas stories that reflect strongly the religious meaning of Christmas, this is a wonderful book and will be inspiring and uplifting.

 

 

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Holiday Review Holiday Edition (Part II): Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

I hope the holiday season so far has been one of joy, wonder, and happy times for everyone and continues to be so. I also expect it has been a little busy. I don’t know why, but this year it seemed to have snuck up on me. I had thought I had a good plan to get all my holiday preparations done and have plenty of time to read but time escaped from me. It probably didn’t help that I had the flu for about a week which stole away some of my energy, not to mention an online course I was taking. But, I have been able to read two books (and hope to be done with a third tonight).

The first book I read was Mrs. Miracle. mrs. miracleI first heard about this book when I watched the movie on the Hallmark channel a few years ago. It was one of the movies I was on the lookout for every year (along with its sequel). This year, we switched from DirectTV to cable and our area doesn’t get the Hallmark channel. I was so disappointed. Since I couldn’t watch the movie, I decided to read the book. I tried really hard not to compare the book to the television movie but in the end it kept coming to mind.

There were elements of the book that weren’t in the movie which made the book richer and gave the characters more depths, and there was a scene or two (definitely one) that I was glad wasn’t in the movie. The main part of the story stays pretty much the same in the book and the movie and I think if you enjoyed the movie, you’d the book. And, if you didn’t enjoy the movie because you found it a little sappy (which some people find most of the Hallmark, Lifetime, UP, etc holiday movies) then you might enjoy the book instead as it’s richer and delves into the heavier aspects of the situation. This story has a Christmas time setting also a Christmas time message of hope, love and forgiveness. Even though it’s a little heavy (deals with a widower with small children), I still found it to be a ‘feel good’ story.

call me mrs. miracleThe next book I read was Call Me Mrs. Miracle. I enjoyed both of the books with Mrs. Miracle, but will admit that my favorite of the two was Call Me Mrs. Miracle. For me, the second Mrs. Miracle had more of a Christmas story line as part of the plot centers around a toy store at Christmas time and a little boy’s Christmas wish. Like with Mrs. Miracle, there is also a Hallmark movie based on this book. I will also admit there is one element of the book that I like a lot better in the movie than I do in the book and wish it was the same. I don’t want to give it away so won’t say anymore. It didn’t change the story much, but to me it made the Christmas spirit come through more in the movie than in the book. This book left me a little teary-eyed (which is hard to do) and has moved up the list as one of my favorite holiday reads. It had the right amount of emotion, plot, holiday setting and Christmas magic feeling to make it a perfect holiday read for me.

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Review Holiday Edition (Part I): A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas, How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas, and The Christmas Bake Off

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

a nutty nutcracker christmasFirst, I’m going to start with a children’s book that I read this holiday season: A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas. I’m going to add one new to me children’s book to my reviewing schedule every holiday season. I really liked the take on the Nutcracker story which incorporates video games. I read the book on my Kindle and would love to see the print version of the book. I loved the pictures on the Kindle Fire and know they have to look so much better on the printed page. (I was sick at the start of this holiday season so I checked out books through Overdrive.) It was an engaging story that can be completely read at one bedtime. It wasn’t scary and had the perfect mix of humor and message.

The next book is How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas by Fiona Gibson. I’d classify this story as having taken place during Christmas Eve/Christmas rather than one which showcases the holiday spirit. The story is about Anna meeting her boyfriend’s parents for the first time. how the inlaws wrecked christmasWhile the events happen on Christmas Eve, the focus of the story is on Anna and Ben’s relationship and realizations that are made during the time rather than on the holiday. It’s a quick read and I think it does portray though how sometimes it’s during the holidays when we truly come to know and understand a person and our role in their life.

the christmas bake offThe last book for this post about my holiday reads is The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements. The story is set in Skipley village during the annual Christmas Bake Off. The reader gets to meet a few of the residents and might, like me, come to root for all of them to win the bake-off. There was a reason that I wanted each of the contestants I met to walk away with the win. Unfortunately, there is some ‘grinchy’ competitive spirit and some sabotage occurs. The truth is found out and not all is what it seems. This was a cute story filled with holiday shenanigans along with holiday spirit and some romance. I enjoyed this short story and it was what I needed (great mix of humor, town coming together, and romance) when I was feeling under the weather. Helped put some holiday spirit into me. Also, this story does include some recipes at the end.

Stay tuned to the Self-Rescue Princess for more holiday book reviews. One of the books to be featured next week is Mrs. Miracle. And, if you have any suggestions for holiday books please feel free to list them in the comments. I’m always on the look out for the perfect holiday/Christmas story.

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Review Holiday Edition (Part II): Mistletoe Magic, Where Angels Go, Heartache Motel

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas Eve and I’ve only had three books reviewed for this holiday reading season. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I somehow tweaked the muscles in my shoulder and neck and reading (having to hold my neck down a little) is what causes the most amount of pain. I’m starting to feel better so have been able to increase my reading time. Here are some of the books I have been able to get through in the last few weeks:

Mistletoe MagicMistletoe Magic by Melissa McClone

This was a sweet Christmas romance story. Caitlin finds a tiny kitten and takes it to the vet to get it checked over…and unexpectedly runs into someone from her past. This was a heartwarming short-story that takes place on Christmas Eve. There was minimal angst in the story (which was wonderful as some days I want touching, funny stories) and it just wrapped itself around me. Both the leads were likable and I found myself rooting for them. If you need a quick dose of holiday magic, this short story would be perfect.

Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber.Where Angels Go

This story is about three ambassador angels going down to Earth to each answer a prayer is set during Christmas time.I usually love Debbie Macomber’s Christmas stories…not that I thought this one was horrible…but I found the sadness of one of the three storylines overwhelming for me. I knew going into the book that one of the resolutions was possible, but I held out hope. All three of the stories connected at the end, and I wish the stories weaved together a little bit throughout the book. Also, for the one situation in the story I found it was left unfinished and would have loved to see the actual ending. (If I mention the details, I’m afraid I’ll give the story away).

Heartache MotelLast of my reviews for this editions…and definitely not least is Heartache Motel by Terri Austin, Larissa Reinhart, and LynDee Walker. These are three short stories featuring different heroines which are set around Christmas time (but not the same Christmas) at the Heartache Motel in Memphis.

This anthology includes the stories Diners Keepers, Losers Weepers by Terri L. Austin, Quick Sketch by Larissa Reinhart, and Dateline Memphis by LynDee Walker. I want to go to Memphis during Christmas time after reading this anthology, though I’d pick a different motel to stay at. Each story in this book had its own voice, even though all three contained humor, mystery, and a strong, sassy heroine. I loved how the setting and time frame was a true part of the stories and not a gimmick. These three mysteries wouldn’t be the same if they were someplace else or at a different time. And, I must admit I’d love to get one of Cherry’s holiday wear creations. I’m one of those people who actually adore and wear Christmas theme sweaters.

Posted in Books, Holiday, Writing

SRP Holiday Reading Search is on…

Santa Sees YouIt’s that time of year again for me…my annual reading and watching time (besides the Voice) of holiday fare. For some reason this year, I’m itching to start my holiday reading and movie matching earlier. I haven’t started my reading yet, but I have indulged in a few holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. I must say, I prefer the Hallmark movies as they fit my personal criteria better for what makes an awesome holiday movie.

I like my holiday angst to be have a light, humorous tone and center around “holiday issues”. I don’t mind some heavy issues, but nothing too heart-breaking (Christmas Shoes in all its forms is not on my list). If I’m going to cry at the holiday, I want it to because my heart was touched by kindness and generosity. It’s a weird quirk of mine that from the week of Thanksgiving through January 6, I want ‘holiday drama’. 

‘Holiday Drama’ are those aggravating issues and situations which only happen around the happiest time of the year–the time of joy, love, and togetherness. The angst over not being invited…or being invited… to the Christmas event of the year, deciding to pare down the holiday madness only to be confronted by those not agreeing with your choice, the neighborhood war of yard decorations, greedy shopper buying the entire stock of the hot item, the Scrooge and the Christmas fanatic running into each other and love wants to blossom…and there’s enough drama to last the whole season long.

As my quest is now beginning, I’d love to hear from anyone with suggestions. And since there are those readers who love more angst filled drama in their holiday reading, please let me know about any of those titles. I’d like to have a holiday reading suggestion list for readers to browse. (Authors, feel free to leave a comment with the title of any holiday/Christmas story you’ve written)

If you go to the Holiday category of my blog, you can find the mini reviews of my holiday reads from the past two years.

Now, off on my search….

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Review: Holiday Edition IV – Harlequin Holiday Collection, The Do’s and Don’t of Holiday Parties, and Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmas

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

It is that time when my holiday reading comes to a close. After New Year’s day, I just can’t get into the mood of reading holiday stories. It’s one of my quirky traits. I didn’t get as much reading as I’d have liked this holiday season, so many more books are still left on my to read list. This year, I’ll try harder to have projects wrapped up before Thanksgiving so I have more reading time. I had a wonderful holiday season so I can’t really complain…when one’s only complaint is not enough reading time then it’s been a great holiday season.

I’m looking forward to all of the other books waiting for me on my Kindle and on my book shelves. What to pick, what to pick? Before I get distracted with new reading, I’ll do my final Holiday Review for the holiday season of 2012.

harlequinholidaycollectionThe first book I’ll be talking about is a collection of four short stories titled The Harlequin Holiday Collection.The four stories in this collection are And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree, Seduced by the Season, Evidence of Desire, and Season of Wonder. My two favorite stories in this collection were And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree and Season of Wonder. What I like most about collections is there is usually a story (or more) that each reader will enjoy. I found the first and last story in this collection really drew me in because the Christmas season was a strong element in the story and that’s what I really look for during this time of year. And the first one had me giggling which is a huge plus as I love humor in holiday stories.

I try to get a few non-fiction books in and this time they came at the end of my reading list. Next was The Do’s and Don’t of Holiday Parties by Jacqueline dosanddon'tsofholidaypartiesWhitmore. Every year, we throw an ornament exchange party and I wanted to get some new ideas for next year. There were a few tips I picked up, but for the most part the items mentioned were things I had read or heard about before. Now, I do read a lot so I picked up my information here and there throughout the years, it’s nice having it all in one book. I did like the separate section for office parties as they should have a different focus and ‘rules’. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a party and not sure where to start, or what you might be getting into, this is a great book to read.

hurrylessworrylessThe last book I read this holiday season, and the one I wished I read first is Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmas: Having the Holiday Season You Long For by Judy Christie. Many times when I was reading this book, I found myself having to slow down so I could savor the words and the feelings. I wanted to take my time and allow the advice to soak into my brain and heart. This is also one of my favorite reads this year. I plan on starting next year by reading this book, but I’ll read a chapter every few days so I can remind myself to slow down next year. I do want to let readers know that this book does have scripture references and stresses the religious aspect of the Christmas season. I do think that no matter how you celebrate the Christmas season, this book will help give you ideas on how to make the season what you’d like it be.

Posted in Holiday, Reviews, Uncategorized

SRP Reviews: Holiday Edition III – Lakeshore Christmas, Decorating for Christmas, and Christmas with Hope

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

During this month, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

The holiday season is winding to a close. I’ve been able to find time for reading, but not so much for reviewing. A good and bad thing. It means I’ve been enjoying choices so much I wanted to jump into the next one rather than pausing to write a mini-review. The bad news is trying to catch up and finding the notes I made. I have a habit of putting things in ‘safe places for later’ and totally forgetting the location of the safe place.

Now on to my reviews:lakeshore christmas

Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs. A couple of my favorite holiday (and general) book elements were in this story; Christmas time setting, a librarian as the heroine, and a love of Christmas by one character and the other who dislikes it. I love these types of holiday stories where the hero and heroine are at opposite ends of the spectrum and land up coming together in the end. I loved the fact that the hero had been a child star made famous by a holiday movie and how that factored into his dislike of the holiday. At times, I kept debating which movie the author had in mind when writing the story. This is a contemporary love story and has a part that is a little steamy (very tastefully done). Lakeshore Christmas was one of those stories that had me totally immersed in the setting and the town. I’d lose track of time and didn’t want to put the book down. I wish I could visit Lakeshore next holiday season. There was one element of the story I found myself a little disappointed in as there was no ‘announcement’ from the characters about something they discovered or suspected, but as I thought about it was the perfect ending. I checked this book out from the library but will probably go buy a copy as I know I’ll want to read this again.decorating for christmas

Next is Decorating for Christmas by Kasey Rogers. It does seem a little strange to read this in the middle of the holiday season, but I had a decorating plan for our house this year. I’ll admit this year’s decoarting was pretty similar to last year’s except for the addition of my ‘Finding Nemo’ tree. I thought I give this a read to prepare for the after Christmas sales and see what I’d need to pick up for next year. I do love and enjoy decorating for the Christmas holiday season. I liked how the author used themes and gave you ideas on how to incorporate it throughout your house. While I like using themes in certain locations, I can’t see myself doing my whole house in one theme. For one, I’d have to buy a lot more stuff (and we have plenty on hand already) and even though I loved some projects and they’d work in a room of ours, the thought of using tools to build holiday decor kind of scares me. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to give it a try.

ChristmasWithHopeFreebieCoverArtThe last book I’ll be talking about in this post is Christmas with Hope by Anne Patrick. Anne Patrick is one of my favorite suspense authors and I was thrilled to pick up this free read from Desert Breeze Publishing. Christmas with Hope had one of the most unusual Christmas settings I’ve read. It takes places in Iraq and the heroine and hero are soldiers serving in the war. It’s a bit of an intense story at times because of the setting and the realness the author gives us with details, but I enjoyed seeing a romance bloom in an environment with danger lurking around the corner. I was glad I stepped outside of my ‘holiday reading comfort zone’ as I enjoyed ‘seeing’ how Christmas would likely be for those serving our country in a war environment.

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Review: Holiday Edition II: Blue Christmas, Bah, Humbug!, and The Christmas Singing

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

During this month, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

blue christmasToday, I’m starting with Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews. Family holiday drama (of both the holiday and general type), a holiday decorating contest between stores, and a small mystery on the side made this a must read book for me. I love the ‘war’ the heroine has with her neighbors and fellow business owners in town. It never crosses into dangerous territory so keeps a fun light-hearted spirit in the book. The humor in the book also helps a serious family issue become a heart-warming issue. The description of the window display is wonderful and the vintage Christmas decorations talked about in the book makes me want to go on the hunt for some. The heroine is the perfect mix of spunk and tender-hearted. I love getting to know her and want to read more about her life and journeys.bahhumbug

The next book is right now my favorite read this holiday season, Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks. This book would make a great Hallmark Christmas movie. I could just picture this story on the television. I loved how the author weaved a serious issue with funny moments. The hero isn’t a Christmas guy and once the reader knows why he and his family just go through the motions, your heart will ache for them. I love how the heroine kindly, and with sass, pulls him into the Christmas spirit. The hero at first comes across rough and tough but his tender side springs up pretty fast. I loved the banter between the hero and heroine, ‘watching’ them together always made me smile. I will admit this book has one of my pet peeves (won’t mention so I don’t give away the story), but the author made me love these characters so much (hero and heroine plus the supporting cast) that I didn’t care.

Christmas SingingThe last book I’ll be talking about for this edition is The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall. I enjoyed this book, but must say it’s more of a book set during the Christmas season rather that a Christmas story.  The reason I believe this is because Christmas itself didn’t play a major role in the story, and this is based on my personal ‘definition’ of Christmas stories. After a fire destroys the heroine’s bakery, she returns home to rest and recuperate from the trauma. I did like that the heroine wasn’t the usual heroine I read in Amish stories. She had a lot of fire to her and wasn’t so easy to be ‘won’ over when wronged. While home, she lands up spending time with the boy she had loved and had left her…but not for the reason she always assumed. I loved the details at the sweetness in the story. It was just the type of book I had wanted to read, angst but not too much.

Posted in Books, Holiday, Reviews

SRP Review: Holiday Edition I: Christmas Letters, One Imperfect Christmas, and The Christmas Lamp

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

During the holiday season, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

I’m a little behind in my holiday reviewing, though not in my holiday reading. I’m taking a little break from editing and writing to bring you the first batch of holiday stories. I hope you find one to add to your reading list.

christmas lettersChristmas Letters by Debbie Macomber is a romance novel set during the Christmas season. A quick, easy read that gave me the feel good feeling I so enjoy in books this time of year. The heroine writes Christmas letters during the holidays for extra income. She makes people’s lives sound more interesting and the troubles they face not sound as hopeless. I picked up the book thinking her job would be the main point of the story, an interesting take on a seasonal job, but it’s actually the hero’s job that causes the conflict. The hero is a renowned child psychologist who has some strong ideas about how to rear children and isn’t fond of Santa Claus. I love the exchanges between the couple and how they worked to get to know each other without their differences being the only way they defined each other. The holiday spirit is alive and well in the book. A sweet read that had me smiling and falling into the season.

one imperfect christmasMy next read was One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson. The story is set from a few days after one Christmas until the following Christmas day. It follows the full year for the heroine who is devastated by her mother’s stroke. The cover looked cute and cheerful, and with it being a book I downloaded on my Kindle no blurb to read, so I wasn’t expecting a heart-breaking family drama type of story. At first I didn’t find the heroine very likable, but she grew on me. The author did a good job of showing how a person’s personality and outlook could change after a traumatic event and how coming back to themselves took. I don’t want to give too much away, but the story did end on an upbeat note…for those like me who prefer a cheerful tale around the holidays. It’s about a family trying to stay together as they fall apart and how the holidays can be a stress and a healing within a family.

the christmas lampThe last book for this first edition of holiday reviews is  The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland. This is a contemporary romance tale set in a town called Nativity where Christmas is the town’s identity and biggest draw. The small town struggles when a new highway diverts traffic away from them and the holiday shoppers forget to stop there. The heroine finds herself at odds with a business consultant who arrives to help them find ways to save money. She sees his cost-cutting measures, eliminating some of the town’s Christmas traditions, as ripping away the heart and soul of the town rather than a means to save it. This was a lovely story with a nice message about remembering traditions without having them become the only meaning of Christmas.

 

If you have a favorite Christmas/holiday story please leave the title in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for another book to add to my growing collection.