Books · Holiday · Reviews

SRP REVIEWS: HOLIDAY EDITION (PART II) – Merry Ex-Mas, Tender Hearts, and The Mistletoe Inn (HALLMARK MOVIE)

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.

merryexmasMerry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts

The holidays aren’t quite that merry for some of the women in Icicle Falls: Cass’s daughter is engaged and wants to get married this Christmas and have her father (Cass’s ex) and his new wife stay at Cass’s house, Charlene’s ex-husband waltzes back into her life with apologies and a renewed love for her, and Ella is trying to get used to being divorced which is hard when you still live with your ex. But, all is not what it seems and it will take the spirit of the holiday to help the women sort out truth from fiction. I love how this story shows the struggles of three women trying to find the Christmas spirit when it would be easier just to let it remain lost. This book has a nice balance of holiday setting, holiday theme, and the angst that can make us want to give up trying to maintain  holiday cheer for those that we love (and who sometimes create our trying moments).

tenderheartsTender Hearts by Gail Delaney

Billy and Erin met while they were both in Hawaii on vacation. Erin was sure their time together was only a vacation fling and not true love so she slipped out of Billy’s room–and life–only to find she needed to venture back into his life since they created one together.

This story takes place over many months, ending during the Christmas season. This was one of my favorite books as the characters felt real and had a great chemistry together, even when they were at odds with other. The issues they were trying to overcome came across as natural rather than obstacles created so the couple could struggle with being together. The ending was beautiful and poignant, a perfect Christmas story ending. (Currently, it’s one of my favorites.) I don’t normally add disclaimers but I wanted to let readers know this book does have some heartbreaking scenes of a very ill baby which might be hard for some readers, especially during the holiday season.

the mistletoe innAnd last is another holiday movie review, Mistletoe Inn (A Hallmark Countdown to Christmas Movie)- This movie is based on the book The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans. Kimberly finds herself single just in time for the holidays when her boyfriend dumps her because she isn’t serious (like him!) about her writing. Kimberly has dreamed of being a writer but seems to allow her insecurities to hold her back from her dream. She finally decides to prove her ex wrong by going to a writing retreat that takes place in the Mistletoe Inn around Christmas time. I love a good romance, especially a Christmas one, and this one also throws in writing. I understood Kimberly as I struggle with some of her insecurities and being desperate for others approval. The holiday setting was perfect. I loved her love for Christmas (another thing I had in common with the heroine) and also how the famous (but never before seen in public) romance writer compared writing to decorating a Christmas tree. I hadn’t thought I’d come away with some good writing advice from the movie! This was a heartfelt Christmas movie and I thought the characters had a wonderful chemistry together. It was just what I love in a Christmas movie: small-time angst, getting to know and trust yourself and others, and love being realized and born during the holiday season.

giveaway · Holiday · Uncategorized

My 31 Days of Holiday Movies

Holiday Movie CollectionI love holiday movies. Holiday movies are one of the things I love most about this time of year. I love the spirit, and yes the uncomplicated problems which turn into such angst-filled movie plots. While I love dramas, during the holiday season I prefer to watch movies that are a lighthearted.

I’ve always had a couple of my favorites on DVD but wouldn’t have called it a collection. When we switched cable providers and no longer had the Hallmark channel I missed the fun, whimsical, and yes at times cheesy, but always with happy ending holiday movies that were shown every night and all day on Sundays. There are a couple of other networks that run holiday movies (even all day on Sundays), but some of them didn’t have the same lighthearted feel as the Hallmark movies.

I caught a horrible respiratory infection at the beginning of the holiday season last year and really missed my holiday movie binges. To cheer me up, my husband bought me a couple Hallmark movies–and my collection started. (The summer is a good time to snap up holiday movies at a discount on Amazon.)

It was so great to pop in a Christmas movie when the ones on Lifetime or UP just didn’t feel my particular holiday viewing need. When it was time to relocate the holiday movies back downstairs, I realized I hadn’t watched all the movies in my collection. This year, I wanted to make sure I enjoyed all my movies (and my collection had grown since last Christmas) so I created my own holiday movie schedule to include in my Christmas planner. 2015-12-03 12.20.16I will switch them around if I decide I really want to watch a particular one. There are just some days where nothing but Elf or Christmas With the Kranks will do. I love having all the movies written down (and some days have more than one listed) and knowing that I’ll be visiting each set of characters during the holiday season. My family was amused, and I believe a little perplexed, at this addition to my Christmas to-do lists. I already have my cookies to bake list, appetizers for Christmas Eve list, shopping list, decorating list, and now I have created my own holiday movie guide. I know some people find all the planning and to-dos that come along with the holidays stressful, but I love it. I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving as I know it’s time to display and show my holiday/Christmas love. (Bring out the Christmas sweaters!)

GIVEAWAY: If you’d love to start your own holiday movie collection, I’m giving away a copy of Christmas With the Kranks (based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham). To enter, comment with the name of your favorite holiday movie. Currently, I have 46 movies in my collection and would love to make it 50. Help me add some titles to my wish list. I’ll draw a winner on December 7.