A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

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Pages: 208

Publisher: WaterBrook and Multnomah

Published: September 24, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: If you enjoyed The Christmas Remedy last Christmas you will enjoy A Christmas Haven. It is filled with friends, family, and romance along with a lot of hope and kindness.

Woodsmall has taken the time to research the Swartzentruber Amish sect and how it differs from Old Order and written a romance that leaves you all smiles.

Ivy’s progression from short-sided adult to one who sees the picture is a beautiful journey.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, WaterBrook and Multnomah, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she’s stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she’d cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene’s Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.

The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman’s illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.

Memories and Murder (A Tourist Trap #11) by Lynn Cahoon

 

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Pages: 202

Publisher: Kensington (Lyrical Press)

Published: November 12,2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I stumbled on this series about a year ago and have gobbled it up like turkey on Thanksgiving Day. I feel so at home with Jill and her Aunt Jackie every time I open up a book in the Tourist Trap series. We have books, coffee, and murder. A trifecta of perfect cozy mystery ready.

I enjoyed the topic of elder abuse in the form of scams. Unfortunately, there are so many elderly that have no one to watch out for them and they end up losing so much. Lynn Cahoon tackled the subject with finesse and made it entertaining so as not to seem like a lecture.

You can read this series starting with any book in the series but I still suggest reading in order to get the best reading experience.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
NetGalley: It’s October in South Cove, California, and the locals in the quaint resort seem to be happily pairing off in the lull before the holidays. Everyone, that is, except for Jill Gardner’s elderly aunt, who just dumped her besotted fiancé—and she won’t say why.

When Jill hosts a talk at Coffee, Books, and More on the topic of elder abuse, all that’s really on her mind is lunch. But the topic hits close to home when she discovers Aunt Jackie has been getting mysterious calls. Jill’s certain the caller is a con artist, of course, but her feisty aunt claims to understand this, though she’s still shaken—and Harrold’s still heartbroken. Who’s behind the scam and why was her aunt targeted? When a volunteer from the Senior Project is found murdered, Jill’s detective boyfriend is on the case—and it soon becomes clear no one is safe when a caller from beyond becomes a killer in their midst.

Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle

 

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Pages: 328

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: October 15, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: Such a beautiful Christmas love story. I am blown away by the beauty described and the magic that was sprinkled throughout. I’m not talking about paranormal magic but the magic that occurs during Christmas when people are kind and work together to make the spirit of Christmas come alive.

Christmas Angels is a clean read with no sex and very few curse words. I would have no problems letting a teen girl read this Christmas romance.

If you loved Nancy Naigle’s Christmas in Evergreen books then you need to hurry and snatch Christmas Angels up for this Christmas season. You won’t be sorry. Your heart will thank you.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: A heartwarming Christmas story filled with the magic and miracles of the holiday season by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.
Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Antler Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Antler Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

Christmas Sweets by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier

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Pages: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 29, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I am a huge fan of the Hannah Swensen series and had not read The Twelve Desserts of Christmas. A cute novella that makes you love Hannah even more. Of course, it is filled with plenty of yummy recipes!

I fell in love with Jaine and Prozac (yes that really is her cat’s name). I have added this series to the TBR list that is already full but I laughed my way through Nightmare on Elf Street. Just imagine a cat running through the mall with a corn dog in her mouth all the whole wearing antlers.

The Christmas Thief was my first Leslie Meier book and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but by the end I did. Very interested in this series now.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Gathered in one volume for the very first time, here are three yuletide tales of mystery, murder, and romance, featuring your favorite sleuths . . .

THE TWELVE DESSERTS OF CHRISTMAS by JOANNE FLUKE
It’s the perfect mix of naughty and nice when two lovestruck boarding school teachers watch six kids over Christmas break. But when someone wants the cozy couple’s romance to burn out faster than a scorched fruitcake, it’s Hannah Swensen to the rescue, armed with her sleuthing skills—and twelve deliciously festive recipes . . .

NIGHTMARE ON ELF STREET by LAURA LEVINE
Aside from the mortifying costume, how bad can a gig as a mall Santa’s elf be? Jaine Austen finds out when she’s teamed up with the Santa from Hell. But things go from bad to worse when he’s found murdered on the job—and Jaine is a suspect. Now all she wants for Christmas is to find the real killer . . .

THE CHRISTMAS THIEF by LESLIE MEIER
Elizabeth Stone is ready for a white Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine—until a fancy Yule ball at the Florida hotel where she works dumps snow on her plans. The sponsor’s jewels have gone missing and the police are asking about her ties to a cute mystery guest. Good thing Elizabeth’s mother, Lucy Stone, flew down to surprise her. ʼTis the season for a little investigating . . .

Includes Luscious Holiday Recipes!

Have a Deadly New Year (Farm-to-Fork 3.5) by Lynn Cahoon

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Pages: 88

Publisher: Kensington (Lyrical Press)

Published: December 3, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I have to limit myself on picking books with adorable dogs on the cover as my TBR list is getting out of control. LOL. For the third time this week I have added another series to read for 2020.

The novella does include a recipe for NYE Sweet and Sour Chestnuts. Sounds very yummy.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington (Lyrical Press), through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Chef Angie Turner of The County Seat—Idaho’s finest farm-to-table restaurant—is preparing a private dinner in the mountains during ski season, but the trip’s about to go downhill . . . It’s a-rockin’ New Year for Angie and her crew as they cater a bash for a famous band—and as a bonus, they’ll get to stay at the singer’s Sun Valley house for a whole week once the party’s over. But there are hints of discord, and the event hits a sour note when one of the musicians is found with a drumstick in his chest. Is this a case of creative differences turned lethal or is there another motive at play? Angie’s jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire as she and her fellow foodies try to solve the case before the killer comes out for an encore . . .

Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer

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Pages: 258

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Published: October 15, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

What do A Christmas Carol and Let it Snow have in common? Cold weather, a precocious child and Scrooge! If you like to read books about a curmudgeonly old man being softened up then this is the book for you.

Let it Snow could easily be read in a weekend but I made this my guilty pleasure after long days of teaching so I took a bit longer. Every night as I closed the book I found myself smiling. The precocious little girl, Wink, is a delight. We all need a Wink in our life at one point. Viewing life through her eyes is a blessing.

There are allusions to adult relations but nothing in detail so I consider a clean read. No foul language except for maybe a “hell” or two so again a clean read. A Christmas book for the collection.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Random House Publishing Group, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley:

A Nantucket shopkeeper discovers that Christmas is the perfect occasion to make unexpected friendships . . . to warm the coldest of hearts—and maybe even find love.

Christina Antonioni is preparing for the holidays at her Nantucket toy shop, unpacking last-minute shipments and decorating for her loyal Christmas shoppers. But when her Scrooge of a landlord, Oscar Bittlesman, raises her rent, it seems nearly impossible for Christina to continue business on the wharf.

Even so, Christina hopes there is a warm heart underneath Oscar’s steely exterior. When she bonds with Wink, his sweet, young granddaughter who frequents the shop, it becomes clear that perhaps he isn’t so cold after all. And with the help of Wink’s uncle, who happens to be a charming and very handsome bachelor, this may be the best Christmas any of them could have ever imagined. Nancy Thayer’s enchanting Nantucket setting provides the perfect backdrop for this holiday love story.

 

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop #4) by Amanda Flower

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Pages: 260

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: December 10, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

My favorite of the series so far.

A fast-paced read with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing until the end. Verse and Vengeance had me stumped on the killer right up to the reveal. I thought I was pretty good at guessing the killers but I was proved wrong.

Even after four books, I’m still intrigued by a magical bookstore. I’ve often wished I could visit Violet and her store to see what book it would pick for me.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the paranormal or magical world but love cozies you have to give this series a try. I’ll think you will be surprised how fast you will fall in love with Cascade Springs.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley:

With the help of Walt Whitman’s works, magical bookshop owner Violet Waverly puts her pedal to the metal to sleuth a bicycle-race murder that tests her mettle.

A bicycle race is not Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly’s idea of a pleasant pastime. But police chief David Rainwater wheelie wants them to enter the Tour de Cascade as a couple, so she reluctantly consents.

The Tour de Cascade is the brainchild of Violet’s Grandma Daisy. The race is a fundraiser to build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone in this Niagara Region village supports the race. As if the bike race weren’t tiring enough, pesky private investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books. It takes all of Violet’s and Grandma Daisy’s ingenuity to keep Redding from discovering the shop’s magical essence–which communicates with Violet through books.

When Redding perishes in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the private eye’s bike was cut. Worse, Violet tops his list of suspects. As Emerson the tuxedo cat and resident crow Faulkner look on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to solve the crime. But no other names ring a bell as culprits, and as David’s investigation picks up speed, Violet will have to get in gear to clear her name.

Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop #1) by Julie Anne Lindsey

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Pages: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 29, 2019

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review: I am so torn as if I liked this or not. I liked the characters but the plot seemed blah in regards to the murder mystery. A lot of focus was on the background of the characters and such. At times I found myself bored reading.

The budding romance between Winnie and Colton seems to be too convenient. Almost like, oh my main character needs a romantic interest. I think it would have been better if the romance was introduced in book two.

I will read book two and see if my thoughts improve. You never know, maybe I was just having a bad reading week while reading Apple Cider Slaying.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .

ONE ROTTEN APPLE

Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike—until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . . .

A Precious Gift (Walnut Creek 2.5) by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Pages: 107

Publisher: Gallery, Pocket Books

Published: November 5, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My review: A sweet story to tide us over until the next full-length novel release in January 2020 in the Walnut Creek series.

I had grown very interested in Kyle and Gabby’s story from the other novels and was happy to see Shelley had written their story. Although not a Christmas book it is sure to warm the coldest hearts this holiday season. It will give you hope that love can overcome just about any obstacle. A little faith can make the hardest times in life a bit easier.

Although A Precious Gift is a novella between the second and third books of the series you can read it as a stand-alone. All the books in the series can.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Gallery Pocket Books, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: In this return to the heartwarming series about “friendship, love, and truth” (Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author), Kyle Lambright has fallen hard for Gabrielle Allison Ferrara. After all, she’s beautiful, smart, and kind. There’s just one problem—his Amish family will never allow him to date an Englischer. Can Kyle break with tradition for true love, or will he stay with his family?

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook (A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Series) by Nancy J. Cohen

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Pages: 377

Publisher: Orange Grove Press

Published: November 19, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: A new favorite cookbook. I will be buying a hard copy very soon. Plenty of yummy recipes to keep me busy for a bit.

The cooking tips, in the beginning, were very helpful. A few things I did not know like you can exchange parsley for cilantro. It is divided into sections like most cookbooks are but Cohen made sure to include a vegetarian section which will be helpful when I have my niece over. There is also a beverage section. If you like doing theme dinners, Cohen has also taken the time to give you themes and what recipes you should fix for that theme. How fun!

I have never read The Bad Hair Day cozy series so I enjoyed the book excerpts throughput the cookbook. I have put this series high on my TBR list for 2020.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Orange Grove Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate.
Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer. Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series.

Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family.

Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes.

PS: The Chili Dip is delicious!

 

Christmas by the Lighthouse by Rebecca Boxall

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Pages: 236

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Published: September 12, 2019

Rating: 3 (maybe 4) stars out of 5

My Review: Hmm… can you like a book but at the same time not like it? I’m not even sure why I don’t like it except it seemed so far fetched it was ridiculous. If you put that aside it was a sweet love story.

I found the title very misleading. Christmas played a very minor role in the story. By the title, I would have thought it would be rampant throughout.

In my opinion, read as a book not to take seriously and one as a relaxing read. I give it 4 stars because I liked the story just not the delivery and the outlandishness of it.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Amazon Publishing UK, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Happy-go-lucky journalist Summer has always managed to focus on the silver lining. But nothing in her life has prepared her for her husband Seth’s recent revelation: he wants a six-month break from their marriage.

Determined to stay positive, Summer decamps to Jersey to spend six months by the sea, where every passing week makes Seth more of a distant memory. Then she meets sweet, charming Jude, whose life seems to be on permanent hold even before he receives devastating news of his own. To both of them, their chance encounter feels like fate, and with Summer’s encouragement, Jude embarks on a bucket list of experiences that seem to bond them for life.

When they’re together, the world is alive with possibilities, but as Christmas approaches, their time is running out in more ways than one. Will they return to the lives they left behind – or take a chance on an unknown future?