Month: December 2012

A Man’s Opinion on Let it Snow by Green, Johnson, & Myracle

Posted December 15, 2012 by Jana in Guest Post, Young Adult / 1 Comment

Can you believe it? 10 days until Christmas! I don’t know about you, but I am getting extremely excited about it! And I’m also super excited to welcome my friend from Resolution Corner to give us a guy’s perspective on one of my very favorite Christmas romances, Let it Snow, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. I read and reviewed this book last Christmas, and was delighted to find out that he enjoyed it as much as I did!

_______________________

Romance is as much a part of the modern day Christmas with romantic films such as “The Holiday” or “Love Actually” as it is about the nice big guy in the red coat who delivers nice presents, snow (if you can get it), cheesy music and a good Gingerbread Latte.

As part of this thread for the month of December, I offered to read and review this book from three of THE hot YA writers around – Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle.  “Let It Snow” is a book of three separate, but interlinked stories which takes place over one particularly snow affected Christmas.

The first story, “The Jubilee Express”, is written by Maureen Johnson and sees lead character Jubilee Dougal (you find out the origin of her unusual first name at the start of this story).  Due to circumstances out of her control, she is forced to leave her ideal Christmas behind, including her boyfriend, Noah, and his family’s Smorgasbord party, to travel to Florida to spend Christmas with her grandparents.  Along the way, the train in which she is travelling is halted by a snow drift just outside Gracetown and due to a series of circumstances, she is forced to spend Christmas Day in Gracetown with a boy named Stuart, along with his family, whilst being offered the chance to re-evaluate her priorities.

The second story, “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle”, is written by John Green. Tobin, the lead character of this story, along with his friends JP and The Duke are settling down to a James Bond movie marathon whilst Tobin’s parents are stuck at a medical conference.  However, plans change when a phone call sends them on an epic quest in the snow with the promise of stranded cheerleaders, Twister and hash browns at the Waffle House.  But what do you do when one of your party is a girl who doesn’t really like the idea of cheerleaders, the Reston brothers along with a group of college guys are trying to get there first and the only way to get there is your parents’ car?

The third story, “The Patron Saint of Pigs”, by Lauren Myracle centres round a girl by the name of Addie who has recently split up with her boyfriend because she cheated on him.  It also features “Guardian Angels”, Starbucks (apologies for the unintentional plug, but one of the main locations is a franchise store of Starbucks – (Other coffee stores are available)) and tea-cup pigs.

I had already read books by Maureen Johnson and John Green earlier this year which meant that I had high expectations from this book.  Thankfully, Ms. Johnson and Mr. Green along with co-author Lauren Myracle delivered with a fantastic romantic read which clearly aims towards the Young Adult market without excluding older members of the audience.  (I can say this as a forty year old male).


It’s funny that I mention “Love Actually” because a friend of mine asked me in passing what I thought of the book and I said that it felt like the YA version of this film.  The reason that I say this is that although all three stories could operate on their own, there are characters, both lead and supporting, who weave between all three of these stories who give the book as a whole a sense of community which makes sense as all three stories are predominantly set in Gracetown.  There is also a clear passage of time created between the three stories as the first story being set on the lead up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the second being set later on during Christmas Eve and into early Christmas Day morning and the final story being set during Christmas Day and Boxing Day.   This helped me get to grips not only with the intricate storylines being weaved but the various relationships between all of the characters.

As I said above, the book is definitely written with the Young Adult market in mind from all three writers.  They write three dimensional teenage characters who are not the surly, sulky stereotypes that you sometimes hear of in the media but people who have the same hopes, fears, loves and dislikes that we all do in day-to-day life, albeit with the emphasis on “loves” or male/female relationships – particularly for the three lead characters in Jubilee, Tobin and Addie.

Where this book clearly scored for me was the plotting.  I don’t just mean the way that all three authors have combined to deftly plot a book where people and situations move within the three stories culminating in a fitting climax, but with the careful striking of a balance between humour, sometimes bordering on full on comedy, gentle drama and romantic warmth.  As a reader, I never felt like one element outweighed the other two, which can sometimes happen.  I felt that the humour felt realistic and intelligent without being goofy, the drama complimented the humour rather than working against it by being too dark, miserable or mawkish and the romantic elements not being too, for want of a phrase, mushy.

If I personally had to pick a favourite story out of the three, I would have to say that it would be John Green’s story “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle”.  The reason for this isn’t that the story is written from a male perspective with Tobin being the lead character, it’s from the point of view that the story is more humour led rather than the more gentle drama led “The Jubilee Express” and the modern day moral fable that is “The Patron Saint of Pigs”.  That said, all three are fantastic and dovetail into a wonderfully written payoff at the book’s conclusion.

In short, this is a book that doesn’t talk down to or patronise its target YA audience and gives teenagers some credit for wanting to read books with intelligence and “smarts” whilst being able to indulge the young at heart, such as people like myself, with a story where you were once of a more innocent age and love can come at times and places when you least expect it.

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads and it’s one that I’d happily recommend as a seasonal heart warmer.  To go along with it, I’d recommend the following:

1. Put on some Contemporary Christmas related music – Examples: “A Very She & Him Christmas” by She & Him, “This Is Christmas” by Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler or the soundtrack to “The Holiday” by Hans Zimmer.  (Yes, I did listen to these albums whilst I was reading this book),
2. Get yourself  a suitably warm Christmas drink such as a Gingerbread Latte or Hot Chocolate,
3. Sit by a nice open fire (or a fake one if you don’t have an open fire),
4. Finally, snuggle up in a nice warm blanker or duvet whilst reading.

 


My Condolences

Posted December 14, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

I’m taking a moment to interrupt my Christmas event and express my deepest, most heartfelt condolences to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut a few hours ago. 18 precious children, between the ages of 5 and 10, and 8 school personnel died in this tragic mass-shooting, and my heart is broken.

As many of you know, I spent several years working in an elementary school teaching children how to read and write. As I read about the shooting, I thought of my sweet students with so much life left to live. My mom works in a school, and my younger sister is in college to be a preschool teacher. This is a very personal story for me and my family, and I only can only express my deepest sympathies to the victims, families, students, and teachers. I know nothing can be said or done to alleviate the pain they are going through, but I certainly hope that peace will fall over all affected.


‘Twas the Night, by S. Hill, K. Holmes, & T. Jensen (Book Review)

Posted December 14, 2012 by Jana in Book Review / 0 Comments

‘Twas the Night, by S. Hill, K. Holmes, & T. Jensen (Book Review)Twas the Night by Kate Holmes, Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen
Published by Bell Bridge Books on October 18th, 2010
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 251
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
What do a Blue Angels pilot, a bounty hunter and an ex-NFL football player have in common? The three bad-boy bachelors of Snowdon, Maine have to make a friend's Christmas Eve wedding on time or die trying! They're willing to risk anything to make that happen-even dashing through the snow in the goofiest bus on Earth, bright red and filled with a bunch of merry, meddling senior citizens known as the Santa Brigade. All too soon, these men will have met their matches in three special women: a woman from their past, a forest ranger so hot she ought to be declared a fire hazard, and a woman on the run.

Ho, ho, OH!

While serving up holiday cheer with the Santa Brigade, the guys will discover 'tis the season for good will and folly. Wise men or not, they are well and truly caught, which means these roguish St. Nicks are willing to jingle a few bells along the way if that's what it takes to find what they truly want for Christmas nestled in their beds after the stockings are stuffed and the gifts placed under the tree.

I loved the idea of this story. Three macho men hitch a ride home on a big, shiny red bus full of senior citizens dressed as Santas. On their way home, they make stops at homeless shelters to spread Christmas cheer to those less fortunate. It’s definitely a unique storyline! It appears to be an anthology, but it’s really one story written from three different perspectives. Each author took on one character, and then they took turns writing chapters from their character’s point of view. It’s a really good idea, but it ended up causing a lot of redundancy. I kept reading the same things. I’d read it happen to one person, and then I’d read another person SEE it happen to said person. I got kind of tired of it.

I enjoyed the characters. The senior citizens are all pretty hilarious old people. They say some of the funniest things. You know how older people can be pretty blunt without really realizing it? That’s how these people are. They totally speak their minds whenever they see fit. I liked all three of the main guys, although I had a hard time telling them apart sometimes. There was not much different about each one to set them apart from the others… plus two of them had very similar names: Sam and Stan. It made it tricky! The three grew up together in a home for boys, so they have a very strong bond. I loved reading about their relationship. I also liked their love interests: a childhood sweetheart, a girl who ran away to avoid testifying against someone in court, and a girl-next-door type who was also headed to the wedding. Each one has quite a dynamic personality, and they added a lot to the story. In my opinion, they actually brought more life to the story than the men did, because these girls are all very different from each other. They come with different backgrounds and life stories. The guys are very similar, so a lot of times it didn’t really matter which one I was reading about.

At first, I was really loving the story. I enjoyed reading about what these men had to do to get to the bus. One had to parachute to it, one had to use a snowmobile to drive out to it, and one had to pay an “Amish woman” $100 to get her to take him to a local truck stop on foot. The sexual tension was definitely there with all three couples, and that was also fun to read about. As soon as they reached the bus, though, (and that happens pretty soon) the story got boring. All we hear about from then on is the lustful thoughts that everyone is having about each other, and the Santa Brigade stops at shelter after shelter. Nothing exciting or noteworthy happens at the stops, though. They make toys on the bus as they drive through major weather, and stop at shelters to deliver them and put on a show.

The men want to jump the bones of the women pretty much all the time, and vice versa. There’s no real talk of love or anything, just sex. No real talk of commitment. The only relationship that even made sense to me was the one between the two childhood sweethearts. They had a history, and they were in love and their feelings were believable. But the other two? They had known each other for, what, 2-3 days? It just seemed unrealistic and rushed to me. And all the men talked about or thought about was sex, sex appeal, sexual tension, and sexual fantasies. The story quickly went from a light-hearted, funny Christmas romance (which I loved) to a bunch of sex scenes (that can be skipped without ruining the flow of the story) and dirty thoughts strung together, which is not my thing. Some of the old people even catch the lust bug! It was just uncomfortable.

Now yes, some sweet romance happens, and a few of the characters have some “coming of age moments,” and I really liked those aspects of the story. Eventually, the story turns back to a happy, light romance. I loved the ending, and how everything was tied together. All in all, parts of this book were great, and parts of it I skipped/skimmed through. I loved the unique storyline. As far as a contemporary romance goes, it’s pretty mainstream. It follows all the usual formulas, and ends like pretty much all romances do. I love happy endings, even if they are totally predictable. :)


Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Mini Book Review)

Posted December 12, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, New Adult / 5 Comments

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Mini Book Review)Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Published by Vanguard Management Inc. on October 12, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 126
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
To college student, Katie Brandt, ‘Home for the Holidays’ sounds like hell. When her parents separated, their holiday traditions shattered like a dropped ornament. What could be worse than celebrating Christmas with her suddenly single mom and mom’s new boyfriend?

Alex Walker, an engaged 20-year-old, dreads going home for his own reasons. He has a daunting task ahead of him and wishes he could skip the holidays altogether. So when a friend of a friend needs a ride north, Alex finds that having beautiful Katie seated by his side proves to be just the distraction he needs.

A simple ride home for Christmas turns into a nightmare when light snow rages into a full-scale blizzard. Katie and Alex find themselves stranded, and a vacant cabin becomes a haven from the storm.
Under different circumstances, time alone with Alex would be the ultimate Christmas gift, but Katie knows Alex is engaged and she must hide her growing attraction.

However, Alex harbors a secret that just might change this holiday from the worst Christmas ever, to the best.

Ok. Christmas. Crazy Blizzard. Sexy boy. Abandoned cabin. Near-death experience. Fireplace. Can this get any better? Guys, if you love Christmas romances you have GOT to get your hands on this. It is darling, and romantic, and sweet, and had me giggling like a school girl. Oh, and it’s totally clean. No steam here, but plenty of tension to go around. I like that better anyway. :)

I’m a sucker for blizzards. I love it when they happen here at my house, and I love it when they happen in books. When the power is out and there’s no place to go and no outside communication, things happen. Katie and Alex were shoved together out of the blue, and had to become great friends really fast when their truck plunged into an icy river and they had to get themselves out and warm before hypothermia set in. I loved their small talk during the drive, I loved the concern they felt for each other as they trekked for miles in the snow, and I loved watching the romance grow as they sat by the fire in an abandoned cabin (that they broke into) eating watery tomato soup and awkwardly sharing a really uncomfortable hide-a-bed. The writing was witty, the characters were relateable, and the story was super Christmassy. Trust me when I tell you that I’d totally give up my traditional Christmas to eat sticky spaghetti by the fire with Alex. He’s a dreamboat. And Katie is just plain and normal enough to give me confidence that I can nab a guy like Alex.

This is a quick Christmas delight that I just know will warm your heart like it did mine. I can see myself reading this little gem over and over again. I’d recommend this to lovers of movies like The Holiday. Parts of this totally reminded me of Cameron Diaz and Jude Law in that movie. It’s just a silly story about two people who had no idea Santa was bringing them each other for Christmas!


Christmas Goodies to Munch While You Read!

Posted December 11, 2012 by Jana in About Me / 4 Comments

I’m a baker. I love baking, but I try not to very often because, well, the waistline expands quickly if I get carried away! However, Christmas is always a good excuse to bake and cook up a storm. So let me share with you some of my favorite holiday recipes that I love to munch on while reading by the fire! (Oh, and if you’re not a baker, I’ve also listed some of my favorite store-bought items.)

 

 

Spritz Cookies
I love these cookies more than words can express. And the texture is amazing. I have been making these every year since I was very young. It’s actually the first Christmas cookie I ever made.

Ingredients:
•    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1 1/2 cups butter softened
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    1 egg
•    2 tablespoons milk
•    1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
•    1/2 teaspoon no-color almond extract

•    red and green food coloring

•    sprinkles
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat until combined. Do not chill.
3. Split dough in half (or make two batches) and add red or green food coloring until you get the desired color.
4. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Dust with sprinkles.
5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool completely.
6. Grab your favorite book and munch away!

Russian Teacakes
These are amazing, and that’s all I’m gonna say.

Ingredients:
•    1 cup butter
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
•    2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 cup chopped walnuts (I leave these out because I’m allergic.)
•    1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

b>Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

Candied Peanuts

This is the “top secret” recipe for the Nuts 4 Nuts candied peanuts sold by street vendors in New York City! I was in NYC at Christmastime a few years ago, and LOVED these so much!

Ingredients:
•    2 tablespoons water
•    1/4 cup sugar
•    1 1/4 cups raw nuts
Directions: <
1. Bring 2 tablespoons water and ¼ cup sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the nuts and stir often until water evaporates. Continue stirring until the sugar begins to harden on the nuts. When the sugar on the nuts begins to turn light brown, pour them onto a plate to cool. Be careful not to cook the nuts too long or the sugar will burn.

For the non-baker:
Poppycock candied popcorn
Pepperidge Farm Holiday Chessmen Cookies (SOOO buttery!)
Andes Mints
Popcorn Tins
Gardetto’s 
Stephen’s Hot Cocoa

Man, I’m getting hungry! What holiday treats do you enjoy indulging in?


Merry Christmas from JKSCommunications!

Posted December 9, 2012 by Jana in Giveaway / 3 Comments


Santa has come to visit today, with two awesome giveaways in honor of Christmas! Treat yourself or stuff the stockings of your loved ones with a number of wonderful titles up for grabs in this giveaway, sponsored by JKSCommunications and the publishers and authors affiliated with them. I’m delighted to offer all of them to you, as many of them have been on my to-read list for a while now.

 

Comeback Love: A NovelComeback Love by Peter Golden

What would you do if you had a second chance with the one that got away? More than thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving behind Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without.

Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globe-trotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Though she’s stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they rediscover the passion that once drew them together—before it tore them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon will finally reveal the true reason for his return. . . .

Comeback Love is an evocative journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s, and who never truly let each other go. Plumbing the depths of youth, regret, and desire, Peter Golden deftly illuminates the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.

The Chosen of GaiaThe Chosen of Gaia by M. Mariz

Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few. Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he’ll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.

A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.

Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.

HuntedHunted by Cheryl Rainfield

Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she’s going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.

2:32 AM (The Djinn Master's Legacy, #1)2:32 by Emily Ford

In the early morning hours nearing her 17th birthday, Cat Townsend woke to the sudden blur of a mysterious unknown man sitting on the edge of her bed. She did not feel fear — rather a strange calmness overtook her. In an instant their eyes locked, he lightly touched her hand, and then he disappeared into the nothingness of night. Caught in that undefined place between asleep and awake, the moment felt hazy and surreal. A chill ran down Cat’s spine as she glances at the time – it’s 2:32 a.m.

What unfolds in the first book of The Djinn Master’s Legacy trilogy, is young Cat’s personal struggle with the overwhelming choice to accept a destiny of magic. As she contemplates the merits of unparalleled power, her new and ordinary world in Savannah, Georgia is understandably shaken. The closer her decision gets, the more twisted her life with family, friends and boyfriend becomes. Will she choose to give up everything she cherishes?

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Model Spy (The Specialists, #1)Model Spy by Shannon Greenland

Teen genius Kelly James is in a lot of hot water. A whiz with computers, she agreed to help her college rA, David, uncover some top-secret information. After all, she doesn’t have many friends and David has always been nice to her. it doesn’t hurt that he’s supercute and irresistible, too. All she has to do is hack into the government’s main computer system. but a few hours later, her whole life changes. she is caught and taken in for questioning, only this isn’t your run-of-the-mill arrest. rather than serve a juvenile detention sentence, she accepts the option to change her name and enlist in a secret government spy agency that trains teen agents to go undercover. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, she discovers that David works for this agency as well! And before she even begins to understand what is going on, she’s sent on her first mission as an undercover model. And who better to partner with than David himself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! I hope you win!


Bookish Finds: Christmas Edition

Posted December 8, 2012 by Jana in Bookish Finds / 2 Comments

Bookish-FindsOriginal

Bookish Finds is a feature here at That Artsy Reader Girl, where I highlight awesome bookish things I come across during my exciting life.

To see what else I’ve found, click here!

 

 

It’s Christmas all month here at That Artsy Reader Girl! Today I’m going to show you all the cute bookish Christmas things I’ve found: decorations, DIY projects, and fun ideas!


Such a simple way to add your love of books to your Christmas home decor!


Christmas trees made of books/newspapers!
Learn to make it here.


Book page snowflake ornament!
DIY here!


Glitter and mod podge book/sheet music ornaments.
This is how it’s done!


DIY fleur de lis book page ornament.
Learn how to make it.


Christmas tree ornaments made of book pages!
Find the instructions here!

Merry Christmas! I’m off to make ornaments, bake cookies, and get all crazy festive! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!


Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)

Posted December 6, 2012 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace
Published by Cedar Fort on September 8, 2009
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 186
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought it!
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.

Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

Aubrey Mace, the award-winning author of Spare Change, has done it again! This light-hearted holiday romance is sure to please even the most cynical scrooge. Told with humor, sweetness, and Aubrey's signature wit, this is one Christmas story that will keep you smiling all year round.

Santa Maybe is a cute, quick read with lots of adorable Christmas spirit and tradition. It all starts when Abbie writes a letter to Santa, asking for a husband. She does this as a joke, not expecting anything to happen, seeing as how she has sworn off of men. Low and behold, she is awakened by a thud in her living room. Armed with a rolling pin and lots of adrenaline, she sneaks out and finds a man asleep under her tree. I swear, I need to write my letter to Santa now. I need a man for Christmas too!

I’d been wanting to read this book for a few years, and am so glad I started my Christmas reads further in advance this time. Santa Maybe is the perfect book to get you into the Christmas spirit. Abbie owns an adorable sounding bakery, and she spends a lot of time there baking goodies as the snow falls outside. I could practically smell the cookies baking in the oven. When Ben shows up, he immediately fits into her life perfectly, and is so persistent and amazing. It was fun watching the two of them try to figure out who he was!

Oh, and boy, did Abbie end up with a winner. Ben is amazingly perfect (well, except for the amnesia), and the dream man that fills up my single girl’s mind. He’s chivalrous and handsome and thoughtful, caring, etc. He’s all the good things! He and Abbie have great chemistry, but she is convinced that he has a wife and children somewhere. This really hinders the relationship, and I wish we had been given more time to see them as a couple, rather than in this stage of limbo.

Aspects of this story are pretty unrealistic. I mean, Abbie had absolutely no problems accepting a stranger into her house. I’m a bit too paranoid to be able to do that, but he is pretty handsome, so maybe I’d bend the rules for a guy like him! Ben’s face went up on the news, and women began posing as his wife so they could have him to themselves. I found that a bit far-fetched as well. And Abbie’s sister’s reaction to all of this was also rather unrealistic. If this happened to my sister, I’d be flipping out! I certainly would not immediately start shoving her into him. I’d have to interrogate him first!

All in all, though, Christmas is a time for magic. Santa Maybe is a cute, magical story chock full of family, food, and romance. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves simple little contemporary Christmas romances.

(Disclaimer: This book was written by an LDS woman, so aspects of the LDS faith are woven into the story. Nothing is pushed on the reader, though. Ben and Abbie go to church once, so the readers are given a few churchy details during that portion of the book. Other than that, there’s nothing else.)


Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Posted December 4, 2012 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 9 Comments

TTT
I kind of love this topic! There are so many amazing books I’d like for Christmas this year, that I hardly know where to begin. A lot of great ones are coming in January as well, so I might have to see if Santa can sneak it to me early. He’s magical like that, right? So, here’s my letter to Santa!

 

 

What do you have on your Santa wish list this year? I’m always up for more recommendations, plus it’s totally possible to send a second letter, right? Give me links and I’ll stop by!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my Christmas book giveaway! The link is in my side bar. :) 


That Artsy Reader Girl’s Bookish Little Christmas Event Kick-Off

Posted December 2, 2012 by Jana in / 1 Comment

Happy December! I love December, and I love everything to do with Christmas. I love the snow, the food, the decorations, and the music. One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is sit by the fire and read Christmas books. I spend all year searching for good ones. The next 24 days at That Artsy Reader Girl are going to be filled with Christmas posts, Christmas/winter book reviews, festive features, music, recipes, and a LOT about me. Definitely feel free to link me to any Christmasy posts that you’ve got on your blog, and I’ll announce them here as well! And feel free to steal my button and participate right along with me. Just make sure to link back to my blog. :)
Here is the schedule of this month’s posts. Be sure to check back often as I update the list of happenings around my blog, as well as other fun Christmas events.

December 1st: Christmas Books Giveaway Hop
December 2nd: Event Kick-Off and schedule
December 3rd: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman (Book Review)
December 4th: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings
December 5th: Christmas Reading on a Budget
December 6th: Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)
December 7th: Author Guest Post and Book Excerpt – Stacy Joy Netzel
December 8th: Bookish Finds: Christmas Edition
December 9th: Merry Christmas from JKS Communications! (2 Giveaways)
December 11th: Christmas Goodies to Munch While You Read!
December 12th: Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Mini Book Review)
December 13th: Inner Child: Christmas Books I Grew Up With
December 14th: ‘Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes, and Trish Jensen (Book Review)
December 15th: A Man’s Opinion on Let it Snow by Green, Johnson, & Myracle
December 16th: My Favorite Christmas Book Covers
December 17th: Christmas Around the Book World (Guest Post from Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books)
December 18th: Christmas with Reece and Jenna from Danielle Sibarium’s Heart Waves
December 19th: Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks (Mini Book Review)
December 20th: Singletons: Unite in Seasonal Solidarity (Author Guest Post – Libby Mercer)
December 21st: The Magic of A Christmas Carol (Guest Post by Kimberly)
December 22nd: My Christmas Playlist (The Songs I Grew Up On)
December 24th: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates (Book Review) 
December 25th: Merry Christmas! (+ My Top 10 Favorite things About Christmas)

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