Top Ten Cozy Christmas Book Titles

Posted December 9, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

This week’s TTT is a freebie, so I chose to keep things Christmassy over here during A Bookish Little Christmas! There are some completely adorable Christmas book titles out there that give me all the Christmas feelings and sound perfect for curling up with by the tree. I’m going to share some of those today!

1. Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
2. Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley (because cats)
3. Christmas On Candy Cane Lane by Sheila Roberts
4. Snowflakes On Silver Cove by Holly Martin
5. Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson
6. Upon a Winter’s Night by Karen Harper
7. Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn
8. The Holiday Hideaway by J.L. Jarvis
9. A Merry Mountain Christmas by Trish Milburn
10. Snowfall on Cedar Trail by Annie Rains

Don’t these sound cozy!? Have you read any of them?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Lauren’s Christmas Reading Round-up

Posted December 9, 2019 by Jana in Guest Post / 4 Comments

I’m so excited to have Lauren from Bookmark Lit on the blog today to celebrate A Bookish Little Christmas with me! Lauren loves Christmas pretty much as I do, so I was really excited that she wanted to participate this year! She’s rounding up some awesome Christmas books today, all of which I’ve either read or want to read! Hopefully she helps you find your next holiday read.


It’s no secret that I love Christmas if you follow my blog. I AM one of those people who starts listening to holiday music riiiiight around Halloween. I put my Christmas decorations up somewhere toward the middle of November. I plan a huge holiday TBR each year, sign up for seasonal readathons, and aggressively plan blog posts accordingly throughout December. This year, my first post (a rundown of Netflix, Disney+, Hallmark, etc. Christmas movies releasing in 2019), was posted before November 15th. Hey, if Hallmark is going to debut their new Christmas movies on October 26th, surely I can advertise them before mid-November!

I digress: when Jana announced she was looking for participants for the Bookish Little Christmas this year, I decided I should talk about one of my biggest holiday highlights: BOOKS. I’m a sucker for book covers so I originally planned to chat about those, but I thought it would be good to share some general holiday reading recommendations and highlights from this year’s TBR. You can find a number of these on my blog as well, where I did a bit of Christmas in July with 2019 books coming. Without further adoooo….

 

25 Days Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander | Has there ever been a more perfectly-fitted book cover for a holiday story?! The fact that this looks like an advent calendar – aka a Christmas countdown – matches the title of the book so perfectly. I’m excited to read this one. Also on my 2019 TBR!

Christmas at the Palace by Jeevani Charika | Maybe this cover is a little cheesy looking but for some reason I’m obsessed with it. I haven’t read this yet and am not sure I’ll get to it this holiday season, unfortunately. I LOVE the font, the snow, the castle, the couple… ugh, perfection!

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin | I love this cover! I think this is slightly more on the winter or New Years side (plot-wise), but don’t quote me on that! It’s just so cute and has wonderful typography. A bookish holiday story set in Paris?! YES. Also on my 2019 TBR!

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella | I used to love the Shopaholic books but lost steam years ago. I’m really curious to read this one – I have a feeling it will generally stand alone with some recap about the MC’s life at the beginning. I ADORE illustrated cover trends and this one is absolutely no exception.

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and others | I’m a big anthology fan and the Winter and Summer-oriented ones, edited by Perkins, were highly adorable. The covers especially! Also a general TBR recommendation!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand | This book was exactly what I wanted it to be when I read it a couple of years ago. I highly recommend this one, and love the cover! It’s simple and dark – not super holiday-ish – but just the right touch of it! It’s also based on a Dickens book, so it’s a little old-school-looking. Also a general TBR recommendation!

Winter series by Elin Hilderbrand | If you like her other summery stories and would like to see Nantucket at Christmas, give this series a try. I didn’t fully LOVE these books, to be perfectly honest, but they’re so quick and addicting to read! They’re also a bit more on the December/winter side than Christmas but there are some strong holiday feels usually at some point in the stories.

Sweetwater Springs series by Annie Rains | This series has some springtime books as well, which you’ll see as a common theme in the “small town romance companion series” trend that I adore so much! The first book, shown here, was lovely, and I’m eager to read this year’s Christmas installment!

Any book by Jenny Hale set at Christmas | Yes, they get a little repetitive if you binge-read them, but I recommend reading one of her books RIGHT before Christmas. I always savor them as my last holiday read on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, because they’re the most atmospheric for the holiday. The pictured book is my favorite of hers.

Haven Point series by RaeAnne Thayne | I won’t lie: I keep thinking I’ve reached the last book in this series and she keeps putting new ones out! Not complaining – I ADORE this small town. The book pictured here is the first in the series and like the Sweetwater Springs books, you’ll find summertime books mixed in.

Snowfall on Cedar Trail by Annie Rains | Next in the Sweetwater Springs series.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory | Next in the Wedding Date series, but can be read alone.
Christmas at Silver Falls by Jenny Hale | Her newest 2019 release.
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan | I’m on a blog tour for this!
Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne | Next in the Haven Point series.
All I Want for Christmas is You by Miranda Liasson | New series for me!
The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission by Jaci Burton | Novella for November’s TBR
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston | This one sounds amazing!

For more holiday cheer, book reviews, decorations, tags, and more, check out the bottom of this post on my blog (it lists ALL of the holiday-related posts from years past) and here you can see 2018’s posts.

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

The Dance Before Christmas by Victoria Alexander | Book Review

Posted December 8, 2019 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

The Dance Before Christmas by Victoria Alexander | Book ReviewThe Dance Before Christmas by Victoria Alexander
Series: The Lady Travelers Society #2.5
Published by HQN Books on October 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 113
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
A fake fiancé and a Christmas engagement are a recipe for trouble in this delightful holiday romp featuring New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society

Miss Anabel Snelling needs a fiancé, and fast. If her father, Sir Archibald, has his way, she’ll be married in time for Christmas—to a man she doesn’t love. That’s why she and her aunt have concocted a brilliant plan to hire an American actor to play the role of her suitor. But the charming Wesley Grant is playing the part a little too well, and Anabel is in danger of falling for him. What Anabel doesn’t know is Wesley is not the actor her aunt hired. Still, what kind of a gentleman would he be if he didn’t come to her rescue? He has a new plan of his own—win Anabel’s heart…for real.

I really love fake romance tropes because these kinds of relationships are always laced with tension and wondering and so many feelings. I also love historical romances set at Christmastime because they feel so cozy and traditional, with the candles and the traditional Christmas decorations. I’d been intrigued by The Lady Travelers Society series as well, so I was happy to jump into this novella for multiple reasons. While it was cute, it did fall victim to the same plight that so many novellas do: the shortness prevented character and plot development.

I did really enjoy what I saw of these characters, which is always the most important thing to me in any story I read. Anabel is resourceful and liberal during a time when women did what they were told. I loved that she and her aunt dreamed up a plan to fake an engagement in order to avoid an arranged marriage set up by Anabel’s father. I loved Wes, and the fact that we’re dealing with mistaken identity with him made things even more fun. I liked watching him try and figure out how to play the part of an actor. The romance was a bit fast and unbelievable for me, but I guess that’s where the magic of Christmas comes in! The three elderly ladies who meddle and snoop and conspire under the surface cracked me up. I’m not usually a fan of silly characters like this, but I liked them.

All in all, The Dance Before Christmas was a fun little holiday romance that got me into the spirit of the season. I wish the characters had been a little more developed because they had such great potential to be. I wish the story had a little more depth as well, but that’s what I get for reading a novella. I’m definitely interested in the rest of The Lady Travelers Society series!

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Jingle Bell Harbor by Tracy Brogan | Mini Book Review

Posted December 7, 2019 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

Jingle Bell Harbor by Tracy Brogan | Mini Book ReviewJingle Bell Harbor by Tracy Brogan
Series: Bell Harbor #3.5
Published by Montlake Romance on October 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 111
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
As assistant buyer for the world’s second-largest Christmas store, Kelsey Parker feels like a holiday harlot. She’s contractually obligated to promote the yuletide season. All. Year. Long. And it’s taking a toll on her spirit. But when her clueless, self-absorbed boyfriend goes on their long-anticipated romantic vacation—without her!—Kelsey is beyond disappointed to find herself tromping through the Bell Harbor snow instead of lounging on a tropical beach.

Drew Hampton is considered quite a catch among the Bell Harbor bachelorettes, but when his high school dream girl, Kelsey Parker, shows up at his grandfather’s Christmas tree lot complaining about her love life, he decides it’s long past time to get her under the mistletoe himself.

As things heat up between the two, a surprise visitor arrives, making Kelsey an offer she can’t quite believe. Now she must decide what matters most, and she just may discover the key to her happiness.

This is a sweet, funny Christmas novella that’s perfect for getting you into the holiday spirit! I’ve not read any of the other Bell Harbor books, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. There’s not a lot to say about it because it’s such a short book, at just over 100 pages. I read it in one sitting and had so much fun with the characters (Drew gives me heart eyes), the holiday festivities, the swoons, and the setting. The story did not feel rushed or compressed in order to fit into a novella. I loved Tracy’s writing and bought the rest of the Bell Harbor series because this one was so much fun. I can’t wait to read them! Consider this my seal of approval. If you’re looking for a magical dose of Christmas cheer, pick up this little gem and prepare to smile!

 

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Miranda Liasson’s Favorite Children’s Holiday Books | Author Guest Post (+Giveaway)

Posted December 6, 2019 by Jana in Giveaway, Guest Post / 21 Comments

I’m so excited to have Miranda Liasson on the blog today to share her favorite children’s Christmas books! When I dreamed up Bookish Little Christmas 8 years ago and began inviting authors to participate with guest posts, this post here is the exact kind of post I was hoping to receive. I love the cozy books she chose and the memories she shared of her childhood and her life as a mother. Make sure you read about her latest release and enter to win the entire Angel Falls series!

Miranda’s Favorite Children’s Holiday Books

My first thought at revisiting my favorite kids’ holiday books was—I’d LOVE to talk about that! Such happy times, such good memories.

As all of you who love books know, our memories of books are often bonded to our souls.

But a funny thing happened as I pulled out the old bin of kids’ books from my attic. I came to realize that my wonderful memories of books—some from my own childhood, others from my kids’ time—are overshadowed by even more powerful memories—of my mom, who’s been gone a long time, and of my kids, all now in their 20’s. I still see them all lined up next to me on our crazily-patterned couch with their blankies and sippy cups—and the dog, just another one of the kids, ready to snuggle in too.

Great times!

At this time of the year, we crack open books for our kids that imbue a special sense of hope and the meaning of the holiday (whichever ones we celebrate). We want to pass on that legacy of love and giving. And as we enjoy them with our children, we feel their sense of wonder and awe spread to us as well.

I hope you enjoy my little trip down memory lane as you create your own memories this season with your families!

1960 Edition of The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Catherine Barnes

This is a large book—10 by 13 inches, to be exact. And it deserves this big, sumptuous size so we can fully appreciate the amazing illustrations. This book, which I own from my childhood, is sadly out of print. I did find a copy for $250 somewhere on the Internet if you’re interested!

Even better, I found this amazing YouTube video done a few years ago by an amazing music teacher wanting her second graders to learn in a fun way the lines to the famous poem. You can appreciate it—and her own love for this book—here.

On my copy, as the teacher’s in the video, the binding is taped and the pages may have a few smudges, evidence of how beloved this book was not only by me but by my children too.

As the tale unfolds, we experience in sharp detail that the narrator of Moore’s famous poem is the dad of his sleeping family, and we discover Santa along with him, during one wild night of interrupted sleep.

My love of Victorian homes probably started here, as they are shown, beautiful and snow-covered in the sleepy gray light of the moon.

I still remember my mom pretending to pull out a cookie from the gorgeous display, saying things like, that dad’s feet must’ve been cold when they hit that floor, and the inflection of her voice as she said Doooown the chimney he came with a bound!

It is no wonder I am a writer. With an expressive mom like that, what else could I possibly be?

The teacher reading the story in the video does it beautifully. But her narration made me realize that everyone’s experience of a great story is unique—different inflections, different pauses. And, of course, surely different commentary. Yet another amazing thing about books!

Little Golden Book Edition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, original copyright 1958

Rudolph is the classic underdog story. In this edition, passed down to me from my dear neighbors, Rudolph, ashamed to have Santa see his red nose, decides to hide where no one would find him—in a toy pirate chest with a heavy wooden lid and brass hinges. An illustration shows him, nose glowing, climbing deep into a giant green box.

Yes, there is a wealth of take-home lessons here—be yourself, take pride in your differences, etc. But again, it’s my mom’s wise take on Rudolph’s temporary act of cowardice that has stuck with me over the years…

“You see,” I can still hear her saying, “even heroes have moments where they need time to regroup.”

Renee Graef’s Illustrations of Picture Books based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books

Every girl my age in the 70’s read the wildly popular Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

Picture books published years later, when my kids were little (which are still in print today, including a hardcover anthology of all the picture books together), illustrated by Renee Graef, paid homage to the stories and the classic black-and-white Garth Williams illustrations.

Each little picture book re-tells part of the original stories. The illustrations are in color and gorgeous, and Laura’s same heartwarming tone is present in a simpler form. In the book Christmas in the Big Woods, the Ingalls family gets company from afar for and Laura gets a beloved rag doll she names Charlotte.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch

This book will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary. I bought it for my kids but it is one of my favorite picture books of all time, period.

This book has perfect storytelling married to amazing illustrations, and both create a marriage made in heaven. It is about a broken man who has lost his wife and lives as a woodcarver at the edge of town. He is visited by a young boy and his widowed mother because she has lost her manger set and would like another made. Eventually she asks if her son could watch him work because he’s interested in becoming a woodcarver too. Jonathan begrudgingly lets them in to his home—and his life. The story unfolds with perfect pacing and is so filled with emotion, I usually start crying on the first page and don’t stop until it’s over. This is a haunting, beautiful story about the healing power of love. If you haven’t read it, please do yourself a favor and experience this book!

Little Rabbit’s Christmas, a cloth storybook Illustrated by Brian Bartle, 2000

This is an ingenious little cloth book that zips up for a child to carry around, which my son did A LOT. It has a tiny quilted rabbit on the inside on an attached string that can be moved from page to page as Little Rabbit gets himself into various Christmas situations. The reason this one goes on my favorite list, besides being vey cleverly put together, is that there is a page where Little Rabbit is allowed to sleep in the living room so he can listen for Santa, prompting my then-young son to ask (over and over) to do the same.

Sadly, I was not as lenient as Little Rabbit’s mom, putting MY little rabbit to bed upstairs, far away from the Christmas tree.

Lastly, I wanted to share a photo with you, taken on the very same crazy couch I told you about. You can’t see the ever-present basket of library books, many of which I just told you about. And you can only see the reflected lights in the window behind the kids from our Christmas tree that year.

But what you do notice is the shock and awe on my three kids’ faces.

This particular year, through a friend, we were able to procure a puppy from a litter that just happened to be ready right before Christmas. (The only reason we were able to do that was because the breeder knew my brother well.) My husband drove an hour to pick this little dog up in a snowstorm. I stayed behind, and I clearly remember reading a boatload of Christmas stories, trying to keep everyone busy and hold in my own anticipation. Then at last my husband walked in.

I don’t know how I managed to capture this moment on film, but it is priceless to me.

Maggie went on to become a member of our family for the next fifteen years, often curling up with the gang to listen to many books being read aloud too.

I wish you all a happy holiday season filled with love, hope, and great stories!

Check out Miranda’s latest Christmas novel, All I Want for Christmas Is You, book #3 in the Angel Falls series.
Enter to win a copy of the entire series at the bottom of this post.

All I Want for Christmas Is You by Miranda Liasson
Series: Angel Falls #3
Published by Forever on October 29, 2019
Genres: Adult Fiction — Contemporary, Romance, Holiday – Christmas
AmazonAdd to Goodreads

Being naughty was nice, but now these friends-turned-lovers are in for an unforgettable Christmas…

Just when Kaitlyn Barnes vows to get over her longtime crush on Rafe Langdon, they share a sizzling evening that delivers an epic holiday surprise: Kaitlyn is pregnant. And if that weren’t life-changing enough, everyone assumes they’re engaged — a charade they must keep alive through the holiday season. But Kaitlyn knows Rafe better than anyone, and Rafe settling down is about as likely as Santa skipping Angel Falls this year…

Rafe would rather Kaitlyn believe a lie — that their night together was a fling — than face his own dangerous truth: he’s falling for her, hard. After a devastating loss, Rafe swore he’d never risk his heart again. Yet the longer they pretend to be engaged the more Rafe starts to want the real thing. But now he has to convince Kaitlyn he wants to be by her side — and their baby’s — for all the Christmases to come.

About Miranda Liasson

Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about everyday people who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better!

She’s a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart winner and an Amazon bestselling author whose heartwarming and humorous small–town romances have won accolades such as the National Readers’ Choice Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and have been Harlequin Junkie and Night Owl Reviews Top Picks.

She lives in the Midwest with her husband and three kids in a charming old neighborhood which is the inspiration for many of the homes in her books.

Miranda loves to hear from readers! Find her at Facebook.com/MirandaLiassonAuthor, and on Instagram and Twitter @mirandaliasson. For information about new releases and other news, feel free to sign up for her newsletter at https://mirandaliasson.com/#mailing-list.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, & Joanna Shupe | Book Review

Posted December 5, 2019 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 0 Comments

How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, & Joanna Shupe | Book ReviewHow the Dukes Stole Christmas by Joanna Shupe, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Tessa Dare
Published by Avon on October 15, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 392
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Add to Goodreads
Christmas magic is in the air... From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance...with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

"Meet Me in Mayfair" by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless--and unexpectedly handsome--Thorndale himself. Now the duke's holding her future in his hands...and he's not letting go.

"The Duke of Christmas Present" by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm--the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can't resist the woman he never stopped loving...or the future that had once been in reach. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay...but if ever there were a time for miracles, it's Christmas...

"Heiress Alone" by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister's family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss ... until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

"Christmas in Central Park" by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker's weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column's author, can't even boil water. When the paper's owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing--especially when Duke's attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

I actually picked this up because I love Tessa Dare so much and make sure I read everything she writes. I’ve also been interested in Sarah MacLean, though, and have enjoyed Sophie Jordan’s YA books so I had a feeling this was going to be good! I really love historical romance, and when Christmas is thrown into the mix it’s even better. This was a wonderful set of novellas that I really loved for the most part!

My thoughts on “Meet Me In Mayfair” by Tessa Dare:
This was a very fun story about a girl trying to save her beloved home from the duke who is planning to take it away from her. I liked the chemistry between Louisa and the Duke of Thorndale. There was also a TON of Christmas in this. They spend an entire night exploring the town of Mayfair in the snow getting to know one another and falling in love. It’s very sweet and the snow made it so magical. The writing was great, and I loved the banter between the characters that I’ve come to expect from Tessa Dare.

My thoughts on “The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean:
This was my first story written by Sarah McLean! Jacqueline and Eben have quite the history, and she’s back home for Christmas after twelve years of being gone. I really loved the flashback scenes interspersed throughout the present day scenes, and I thought the author did a wonderful job of really developing the story despite its short length. I felt like I got a fully fleshed out novel with the backstory, the baggage that each of the characters carry, and all the feelings and emotions as they figure out their past and their future. Eben is very tender, and Jacqueline is very weary. The story was filled with Christmas spirit, and quite a bit of steam as well! It was very fun to read.

My thoughts on “Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan:
This one was a bit rocky for me because I didn’t love the Scottish-style dialogue of some of the characters. I love books that are set in the Highlands, but I honestly could not figure out what was being said at times without actually reading parts out loud. It took some getting used to. And what family accidentally leaves a member behind!? And then there’s this plot line that deals with magical/bewitched shortbread… it was kinda weird. I didn’t really like the love story or the main characters. I liked the service staff, but the main couple was meh. I did love the castle setting and the added mystery with the scary brigands!

My thoughts on “Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe:
This was my least favorite of the novellas in the book, and I found it hard to get through. I liked the less commonly seen setting (New York City) and the idea of the story, but something was missing for me and I’m not sure what it was. I did have a problem with the dialogue. A character will slip from perfectly proper word choices and not using any contractions to sounding like a character from modern time partway through a paragraph. Characters would go from sounding like an overly proper robot to a silly teen outside the movie theater in the blink of an eye. It just didn’t work for me, and kept undermining my efforts to try and convince myself this was a historical romance. I also didn’t feel that this story particularly complimented the other stories, which felt more traditional and historical than this one. Oh well. You can’t win them all! I did like the Christmas party!

All in all, I really loved Tessa Dare’s novella, am excited to read more from Sarah MacLean, think it’s worth looking into more of Sophie Jordan’s adult books, and might possibly try another Joanna Shupe because she deserves a second chance. I love the Christmassy feels from all of them, some were just better than others.

This review was originally posted on December 24, 2018 and was re-posted for some extra love.

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Christmas Jars | Movie Review (+Giveaway)

Posted December 4, 2019 by Jana in Blog Tour, Movie Review / 0 Comments

Christmas Jars | Movie Review (+Giveaway)

I’m excited to be a part of the official Christmas Jars movie blog tour! I’ve never read the book by Jason F. Wright, which this movie is based off of, but I’ve heard wonderful things about it and would like to read it at some point in the future. Thank you to the PR company for providing a free copy of the DVD for this review!


Christmas Jars Movie
Rating:
NR (TV movie, suitable for all ages)
Genre: Drama
Movie Trailer (Don’t watch it, though. It gives too much away! Be surprised instead!)
IMDB Info Page
Amazon | TargetDeseret Book

Read about the book on Goodreads.
Buy the book at Deseret Book or on Amazon.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Jason F. Wright.

Hope is an aspiring reporter who has had her fair share of tragedy in life. Abandoned at birth, she’s grieving the recent death of her adopted mother when her apartment is burglarized of all her possessions. While reporting the burglary to the police, Hope discovers a jar full of money, labeled “Christmas Jar.” Shocked and grateful for this act of kindness, Hope discovers that people all over her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, have been receiving Christmas Jars for years during times of need. The jars are always anonymous and always contain different amounts. In this heartwarming Christmas classic, Hope goes undercover to discover the secret behind the Christmas jars, putting into motion a series of events that will change her life, and her community, forever.

Christmas Jars is a new favorite movie of mine! It’s perfect for the Christmas season, and made me smile from ear to ear as well as cry happy tears multiple times. As soon as it was over I started it all over again, then went and bought my mom a copy, and then went on Twitter and started telling people to watch it! I am a MAJOR Christmas movie fanatic. I watch all the new Hallmark and Netflix Christmas movies each year, plus I’m always looking for new ones elsewhere. Because I watch so many,  I’m kind of picky with my movies. I’ve only got so much time to watch Christmas movies each year, so I like to make sure they’re amazing. I tend to space out and play games on my phone or just stop the movie and move on to something else if it isn’t grabbing me. I actually had to quit decorating my Christmas tree (my actual favorite things to do) and sit down because I was so invested in the story. This rarely happens to me! I will admit that I didn’t have highest expectations for Christmas Jars. I thought it would be a nice movie, but I didn’t know it would enter my heart and make itself at home. There’s tenderness, romance, family love, love for others, snow, Christmas decorations, and music I woke up humming this morning.

Hope’s story touched me so much, and I really liked her as a character because she’s so genuine and sweet. The movie begins as her birth mother abandons her in a cute little diner. One of the waitresses finds Hope and adopts her. Viewers see a short montage of Hope and her mom celebrating various birthdays and holidays together over the years. During the last part of that montage we see her help her mom battle what we can only assume is cancer, before ultimately losing her to that battle sometime in November (that’s the only time I sad-cried). Shortly thereafter, Hope’s apartment is burglarized and on that same night she receives the Christmas Jar. In her quest to discover the truth behind this jar, she takes viewers on an inspiring and heartwarming journey. I love the entire cast of this movie. Well, except for Hope’s superficial co-worker who I never could talk myself into liking and her crappy boss. Other than those two, I loved everyone… especially Adam. He’s one of the sweetest dad figures I’ve seen on TV recently. I also love Ian, our swoonworthy male lead who looks amazing in his Christmas green cardigan. He’s so sweet and caring and I have a major crush on him. Hope grew up in the diner she was abandoned in, and the people that work there are like family. They are so much fun.

There’s so much heart and humor in this movie and I giggled a lot. The cinematography is great, there’s so much snow, and everything is so festive. I loved all the decorations. I love the little town this movie takes place in. The romance is barely there, but was just enough to make my heart flutter. I think my favorite thing about this movie, though, is the message that we should remember what this Christmas season is about. It’s not about all the presents or the decorations, it’s about love. There is a huge focus on loving and helping others who are in need, whether it’s financially or emotionally. Christmas Jars inspires you to look outside yourself for those who need you. I really love that message, and I think that’s why I immediately started the movie over again once I finished it. It made me feel hopeful and inspired and happy. Many of us don’t have a ton to be happy about, but I was reminded that you can always find something to make yourself happy. Sometimes that’s sacrificing something you want for someone who needs it more than you do.

Bottom line, I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and plan to gift it to friends and family this year. You pretty much need to go buy it ASAP!

NOTE: For those interested, there is no focus on religion or faith in this movie. I would consider it to be in the same vein as Hallmark’s Christmas movies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Top Ten Christmas Books I Hope to Read In December 2019

Posted December 2, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

Just few days ago I kicked off my annual Bookish Little Christmas event, so I’m keeping things festive with a holiday reads TTT! Of course, you don’t have to focus on holiday books for this prompt. These are just the books you love to read during the holiday season (and if you don’t celebrate the holidays, pick your favorite books to read during winter). I know some people love to re-read favorites, like Harry Potter or Pride & Prejudice. I’m not much of a re-reader, and I love Christmas romance novels… so those are what I’m planning on reading this month!

If you need some ideas or have no idea where to start with holiday books, I’ve got you. Check out my 2019 Christmas book releases post that went live a few days ago (or my posts from 2018 or 2017). I’ve also got a shelf on Goodreads full of over 500 Christmas books that sound good to me!

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
A Snowy Little Christmas by Fern Michaels, Tara Sheets, & Kate Clayborn
Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, & Christi Barth
An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow
Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker
One Christmas Eve by Shannon Stacey
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar
Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
At the Christmas Wedding by Caroline Linden, Katharine Ashe, & Maya Rodale
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Have you read any of these?
Any recs for Christmas books you’re excited about or have loved in the past?
What books do you love reading during this time of year?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

2019 Christmas Songs Book Tag

Posted December 2, 2019 by Jana in Book Tag / 7 Comments

The Christmas Songs Book Tag has become a pretty popular feature on my blog each year as part of A Bookish Little Christmas! I created this tag in 2015 and bring it back each year for people to participate in. Because I do this every year, I am limiting my choices to books I’ve read in 2019. You can do whatever you would like. :)

1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Favorite bookish couple.
Olive and Ethan from The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

2. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Name a book where a character is away from home (school, vacation, etc.).
The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey. It takes place on a luxury cruise around the Mediterranean!

3. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Name your favorite “little” book (children’s book, short story, novella, etc.).
Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare was SO GOOD, and is a novella in the Spindle Cove series.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: What book(s) do you hope Santa brings you this year?
Since Santa can do anything, I’d really love the new Riley Sager book that’s coming out in May. It’s called Home Before Dark, and sounds perfect! But he could also bring me The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern or Ashley Elston’s cute new Christmas YA, 10 Blind Dates.

5. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Which book turned your nose red (made you cry)?
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

6. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Your favorite book/kind of book to read during the holidays.
I think it goes without saying that I love Christmas books! At this point (while I’m writing this post), I’m curently reading my first one: A Cowboy for Christmas by Sara Richardson. It’s a fun fauxmance, and I’m enjoying it!

7. “We Three Kings”: Your favorite trilogy.
I’m really surprised to say that I’ve actually read two trilogies this year! This never happens, and I usually leave this questions unanswered. My favorite of the two was the de Vincent series by Jennifer Armentrout. I read them one right after the other.

8. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”: A character you would love to be snowed in with.
Gabriel Duke from The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare because he’s pretty much the best and loves animals.

9. “Last Christmas”: A book that seriously let you down.
I was excited to read Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter, but it was terrible. I’m not sure if it was the audiobook narrator that made me hate it, or if it was the writing. “A chill that had nothing to do with the cold” was mentioned way too many times and drove me insane, so perhaps I just hated everything. lol.

10. “White Christmas”: An upcoming release you’re dreaming about.
Umm… I already mentioned Home Before Dark… So what else? The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare!

Which books would you pick for the prompts?

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

2019 Romantic Christmas Book Releases | A Book List

Posted December 1, 2019 by Jana in Book Spotlight / 6 Comments

There are SO MANY romantic Christmas books coming out this year, and here’s a bunch of them (feel free to let me know if I’ve missed something)! You’ll be seeing reviews of some of these on the blog this month! Links will take you to Goodreads to read more about each title.

Adult

25 Days ’til Christmas by Poppy Alexander
All I Want for Christmas Is You (Angel Falls #3) by Miranda Liasson
An Alaskan Christmas (Wild River #1) by Jennifer Snow
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas (Angelic Intervention #11) by Debbie Macomber
An Amish Christmas Bakery by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin
An Amish Second Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray, Patricia Johns, & Virginia Wise
Cakes and Kisses: An Amish Christmas Bakery Story by Kelly Irvin
Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar
Christmas at Silver Falls by Jenny Hale
Christmas at White Pines (And Baby Makes Three #1-2) by Sherryl Woods
Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews
The Christmas Cookie House by Jennifer Griffith
The Christmas Dare (Twilight, Texas #10) by Lori Wilde
Christmas from the Heart by Sheila Roberts
A Christmas Haven (An Amish Christmas Romance #2) by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall

Christmas In Evergreen: Letters to Santa by Nancy Naigle
Christmas in Harmony Harbor (Harmony Harbor #9) by Debbie Mason
Christmas in Silver Springs (Silver Springs, #6) by Brenda Novak
Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson
Christmas in Winter Valley (Ransom Canyon #8) by Jodi Thomas
The Christmas Keeper by Jenn McKinlay
The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan
The Christmas Shop by Nancy Naigle
Christmas Shopaholic (Shopaholic #9) by Sophie Kinsella
The Christmas Voyage by Deirdre Purcell
The Christmas Wish by Melinda Curtis
Christmas with a Cowboy (Longhorn Canyon #5) by Carolyn Brown
Christmas with You by Nora Roberts
A Coldwater Christmas (Coldwater Texas #4) by Delores Fossen
Coming Home for Christmas (Haven Point #10) by RaeAnne Thayne
Cookies and Cheer: An Amish Christmas Bakery Story by Amy Clipston
Cowboy Christmas Homecoming (Dark Horse Cowboys #4) by June Faver

Cowboy Christmas Redemption (Gold Valley #8) by Maisey Yates
Cowboy Firefighter Christmas Kiss (Smokin’ Hot Cowboys #5) by Kim Redford
A Cowboy for Christmas (Rocky Mountain Riders #6) by Sara Richardson
A Dash of Christmas (The Montgomery Brothers #9) by Samantha Chase
The Duke’s Desire (12 Dukes of Christmas Book 8) by Erica Ridley
The Earl’s Christmas Pearl (Duke’s Daughters #4.5) by Megan Frampton
Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler
The Giving Heart (Summer Island #2) by Toni Blake
The Highlander’s Christmas Bride (Clan Kendrick, #2) by Vanessa Kelly
It Started at Christmas… by Jo McNally
It Started with Christmas by Jenny Hale
It’s a Christmas Thing by Janet Dailey
It Won’t be Christmas Without You by Beth Reekles
Lavender & Mistletoe by Donna Kauffman
Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer
Loaves of Love: An Amish Christmas Bakery Story by Beth Wiseman

Longing for a Cowboy Christmas by Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, & Amy Sandas
Low Country Christmas (Safe Haven #3) by Lee Tobin McClain
A Mackenzie Clan Christmas (Mackenzies & McBrides #8.5 & 11.5) by Jennifer Ashley
Melting Hearts: An Amish Christmas Bakery Story by Kathleen Fuller
The Merry Viscount (Widow’s Brew #2) by Sally MacKenzie
My Favorite Things: A Christmas Collection by Lynsay Sands
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas (River Ranch #3) by Soraya M. Lane
Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep
One Christmas Eve (Cedar Street #2) by Shannon Stacey
One Week ‘Til Christmas by Belinda Missen
The Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry
Puppy Christmas by Lucy Gilmore
A Royal Christmas Wish by Lizzie Shane
Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date #4) by Jasmine Guillory

Sergeant’s Christmas Siege by Megan Crane
Seduction On a Snowy Night by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, & Mary Jo Putney
Snowfall In the City by Susan Wiggs
Snowfall On Cedar Trail (Sweetwater Springs #3) by Annie Rains
A Snowy Little Christmas by Fern Michaels, Tara Sheets, & Kate Clayborn
Spirit of the Season by Fern Michaels
A Tale of Two Christmas Letters by Cathy Gillen Thacker
Tangled Up In Christmas (Texas Heat #2) by Lisa Renee Jones
A Texas Kind of Christmas by Jodi Thomas, Celia Bonaduce, & Rachael Miles
The Trouble with Christmas (Credence, Colorado #2) by Amy Andrews
The Ugly Christmas Sweater by Jackie Paxson
An Unforgettable Christmas by Ginny Baird
A Wedding In December by Sarah Morgan
We Met In December by Rosie Curtis
Where Winter Finds You (Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5) by J.R. Ward
White Christmas Wedding: A Novel by Celeste Winters

Winter’s Proposal (And Baby Makes Three #3-4) by Sherryl Woods
Wrapped Up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan
Wrapped Up In Christmas by Janice Lynn
Wrapped Uo In You (Heartbreaker Bay #8) by Jill Shalvis

Young Adult

I can’t believe I could only find one YA Christmas book
releasing in 2019! Isn’t this kind of a strong market that the
publishers are ignoring? With all the cute Netflix Christmas
movies, I just figured there would be more interest.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

 

 

Which titles are you excited to read this year?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email