2009 Challenges Wrap-up

2009 Completed Challenges
Alternative Name
1st level – 12 books
1. The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga
2. Philosophy Made Simple by Robert Hellenga
4. Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
5. The Long Walk Home by Will North
6. Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge
7. Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center
8. Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer
9. Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
10. Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis
11. The Last Chance Cafe by Linda Lael Miller
12. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
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(Read at least 5 Romance novels)
1. The Shell Seekers by R. Pilcher
2. Snowbound by J. K. Johnson
3. It Had To Be You by S.E. Phillips
4. Hotby Julia Harper
5. Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr
6. Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins
7. The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal
8. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
(I read more but stopped listing for the challenge)
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(Read 10 eBooks)
1.Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson
2. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
3. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
4. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
5. Hot by Julia Harper
6. That Old Cape Magicby Richard Russo
7. The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal
8. Irresistible by Susan Mallery
9. Welcome to Serenityby Sherryl Woods
11.How to Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist
12.Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra
13.All the Right Angles by Stef Ann Holm
14. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
15. All That Matters by Stef Ann Holm
16.The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson
17. At Home in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller
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(Read 1-5 books)
Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle
On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts
Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind

Barcelona, 1945—A great world city lies shrouded in secrets after the war, and a boy mourning the loss of his mother finds solace in his love for an extraordinary book called The Shadow of the Wind, by an author named Julian Carax. When the boy searches for Carax’s other books, it begins to dawn on him, to his horror, that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book the man has ever written. Soon the boy realizes that The Shadow of the Wind is as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget, for the mystery of its author’s identity holds the key to an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love that someone will go to any lengths to keep secret. – Goodreads synopsis.

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Reading this novel was like peeling an onion. Every time a layer of the story was revealed another was waiting to be told. I really enjoyed the experience of reading it. Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s writing is so descriptive that I felt I was an observer within the story – eavesdropping on the street or outside a window. The book is full of humor, passion, and intrigue. The Shadow of the Wind is Zafon’s wonderful gift to book lovers and I’m so glad I read it.

I recommend a visit to the author’s website for more information including an essay on why he writes. You’ll also find music composed and performed by the author for The Shadow of the Wind.

My 2009 Favorite books list

Here it is – My 2009 Favorite Books List. These are books that I read in 2009 but were not necessarily published this year. You can click the covers for my reviews. I think 2009 was my best reading year ever. My thanks and appreciation to the authors. The books are in the order that they were read.

Last Days of SummerUnaccustomed EarthToo Good To Be TrueEating Heaven
Shelter MeThe HelpLove Walked In
Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in VirginiaThe Lace Makers of GlenmaraCleopatra's Daughter

This Is Where I Leave YouHugh and BessBenny & ShrimpThe Secret of Everything: A NovelThe Shadow of the Wind

The Secret of Everything by Barbara O’Neal

The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal: Book Cover

Tessa Harlow enjoyed leading hiking tours until the hike that had a nightmarish ending. Feeling tremendous guilt and responsibility for the incident she goes to her father’s home to heal. From the time of the accident she has flashbacks from her early childhood – memories that don’t make sense. Feeling a pull to the area where she spent the first years of her life, Tessa heads to New Mexico to scout possible hiking tours and that’s where her journey really begins. By meeting people who are new to her but from her past Tessa starts to put pieces together that lead her to the truth of her early years.

I enjoyed Tessa’s journey of discovery and how she learns to make reparations. It seems that more than a few characters in the book are looking for a way to make amends in their lives and find that they can help each other along the way. The depth given to the major characters had me pulling for each one. My favorite was Natalie, the daughter of Tessa’s lover. Natalie is grieving the loss of her mother and is acting out. Tessa feels a connection and wants to help her. I loved how the author makes that happen.

Barbara O’Neal’s writing is beautiful and evocative. Her descriptions of sights, smells, and sounds give wonderful atmosphere to Los Ladrones – the small New Mexico town where the story takes place.

I enjoyed reading The Secret of Everything and look forward to more novels by Barbara O’Neal.

Review copy from Random House (via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Truly, Madly: A Novel

Truly, Madly is a fun, entertaining and romantic mystery. Lucy Valentine has a gift. She can find lost things or people. When Lucy fills in for her father at the family business (a match-making business called Valentine, Inc.) one of her first clients asks her to track down a former love. While looking for this person, Lucy finds another mystery to solve. Add to the mix Sean Donahue, the handsome PI who works in the office above Lucy’s, and you’ve got the makings for a fun series. I liked the supporting characters and the twists along the way to solving the mystery and I look forward to the next book by Heather Webber.

This book will be available February 2010.
You can read more about the author and her books here.

Review copy from Goodreads First Reads

Mailbox Monday – Dec. 28


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page. Click the covers for book info.
Cover Image
From Lynne (another Secret Santa gift!)
The Blue Bistro Savannah Breeze
and a lovely Celtic bookmark

Sunday Summary – Dec. 27


There was very little reading over the past week. We shared wonderful Christmas celebrations with relatives and friends. Santa left me a new Scrabble game (Scrabble Scramble) and Lost in Austen (dvd). Our daughters will leave for their city this morning and the house will be very quiet. I think everyone is looking forward to getting back to their routine. I know I need to get back to regular exercise – did I really eat all those cookies???
Check out the giveaway of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It ends on Dec. 28th.
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Nely awarded me the Beautiful Blogger award. Thanks for thinking of me, Nely! This award asks the recipient to tell 7 things about myself and to pass it on to 7 bloggers. Here’s a link to another post where I wrote a similar list. I want to leave the award open to any blogger who’d like to participate.

Giveaway – Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

The New York Times and international best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies captured the imaginations and brains of readers worldwide and has been translated into 20 languages. Now, comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem! Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk Books; September 15, 2009; $12.95) by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters expands the original text of Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, swashbuckling pirates, and other seaworthy creatures.

Editor Jason Rekulak explains the choice of sea monsters for this highly anticipated literary mash-up:

Sea Monsters allowed us to draw inspiration from so many rich and diverse sources—most obviously Jules Verne novels and Celtic mythology, but also Jaws, Lost, Pirates of the Caribbean, even SpongeBob Squarepants! I think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fans were counting on us to deliver something original.”

With Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Quirk Classics has also developed a new Austen to monster ratio. Instead of featuring 85% of Austen’s work and 15% new text as in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters features 60% Austen and 40% additional monster chaos! Most importantly, this new Quirk Classic stays true to Austen’s original novel…

You can check out the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jZVE5uF24Q

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter 1
by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters,
Authors of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

The family of Dashwood had been settled in Sussex since before the Alteration, when the waters of the world grew cold and hateful to the sons of man, and darkness moved on the face of the deep.

The Dashwood estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the dead centre of their property, set back from the shoreline several hundred yards and ringed by torches.

The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. Her death came as a surprise, ten years before his own; she was beating laundry upon a rock that revealed itself to be the camouflaged exoskeleton of an overgrown crustacean, a striated hermit crab the size of a German shepherd. The enraged creature affixed itself to her face with a predictably unfortunate effect. As she rolled helplessly in the mud and sand, the crab mauled her most thoroughly, suffocating her mouth and nasal passages with its mucocutaneous undercarriage. Her death caused a great change in the elderly Mr. Dashwood’s home. To supply her loss, the old man invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it.

By a former marriage, Henry had one son, John; by his present lady, three daughters. The son, a steady, respectable young man, was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother. The succession to the Norland estate, therefore, was not so really important to John as to his half sisters; for their mother had nothing, and their fortune would thus depend upon their father’s inheriting the old gentleman’s property, so it could one day come to them.

The old gentleman died; his will was read, and like almost every other will, gave as much disappointment as pleasure. He was neither so unjust, nor so ungrateful, as to leave his estate from his nephew — but Mr. Dashwood had wished for it more for the sake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son — and to John alone it was secured! The three girls were left with a mere thousand pounds a-piece.

Henry Dashwood’s disappointment was at first severe; but his temper was cheerful and sanguine, and his thoughts soon turned to a longheld dream of noble adventure.The source of the Alteration was unknown and unknowable, but Mr. Dashwood held an eccentric theory: that there was discoverable, in some distant corner of the globe, the headwaters of a noxious stream that fed a virulent flow into every sea, every lake and estuary, poisoning the very well of the world. It was this insalubrious stream (went Henry Dashwood’s hypothesis),which had affected the Alteration; which had turned the creatures of the ocean against the people of the earth; which made even the tiniest darting minnow and the gentlest dolphin into aggressive, blood-thirsty predators, hardened and hateful towards our bipedal race; which had given foul birth to whole new races of man-hating, shape-shifting ocean creatures, sirens and sea witches and mermaids and mermen; which rendered the oceans of the world naught but great burbling salt-cauldrons of death. It was Mr. Dashwood’s resolution to join the ranks of those brave souls who had fought and navigated their way beyond England’s coastal waters in search of those headwaters and that dread source, to discover a method to dam its feculent flow.

Alas! A quarter mile off the coast of Sussex, Mr. Dashwood was eaten by a hammerhead shark. Such was clear from the distinctive shape of the bite marks and the severity of his injuries, when he washed up on the shore. The cruel beast had torn off his right hand at the wrist, consumed the greater portion of his left leg and the right in its entirety, and gouged a ragged V-shaped section from Mr. Dashwood’s torso.

His son, present wife, and three daughters stood in stunned desolation over the remains of Mr. Dashwood’s body; purpled and rockbattered upon the midnight sand, bleeding extravagantly from numerous gashes — but unaccountably still living. As his weeping relations watched, astonished, the dying man clutched a bit of flotsam in his remaining hand and scrawled a message in the muddy shore; with enormous effort he gestured with his head for his son, John, to crouch and read it. In this final tragic epistle, Mr. Dashwood recommended, with all the strength and urgency his injuries could command, the financial well-being of his stepmother and half sisters,who had been so poorly treated in the old gentleman’s will. Mr. John Dashwood had not the strong feelings of the rest of the family; but he was affected by a recommendation of such a nature at such a time, and he promised to do everything in his power to make them comfortable. And then the tide swelled, and carried away the words scrawled in the sand, as well as the final breath of Henry Dashwood.

The above is an excerpt from the book Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters, authors of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Author Bios
Jane Austen, coauthor of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, is coauthor of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which has been translated into 17 languages and optioned to become a major motion picture. She died in 1817.

Ben H. Winters, coauthor of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, is a writer based in Brooklyn.

For more information please visit www.BenHWinter.com and www.quirkclassics.com
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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

(giveaway now closed)

I have one copy to give away
courtesy of Anna at FSB Associates

* Leave your email in a comment
* Open to US (stateside) residents
Giveaway ends: 8pm (eastern) Dec. 28

Mailbox Monday – Dec. 21


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page. Click the covers for book info.


From Goodreads First Reads:
Truly, Madly: A Novel

Sunday Summary – Dec. 20

What a week! Sadly, not much reading. Good thing the one book I read was good! The review will be posted later. I’ve been baking Christmas cookies – several of the neighbors exchange, love that. Shopping is mostly done but the gifts need to be wrapped. I’ll do that over the next few days. One of my daughters helped get the Christmas card created yesterday so I’ll be getting them ready for mailing today. I took iTunes up on their gift of free holiday tunes. It’s a great mix. Anyone else get them?

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday pick was Paganini’s Ghost by Paul Adam and my Friday Find was Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen

I suspect that there won’t be much in the way of reading next week. Maybe a book that came in the mail yesterday – Truly, Madly by Heather Webber.
Paganini's Ghost: A MysterySearching for PemberleyTruly, Madly: A Novel

Waiting on Wednesday – Dec. 16

This title will be released on January 5, 2010
Hardcover – 288 pages
Minotaur Books
Paganini's Ghost: A Mystery

Paganini – showman, womanizer, dazzling virtuoso – is one of the most charismatic characters in the history of classical music. His violin, il Cannone (the Cannon), is now kept in Genoa, Italy, where it is played only once every two years in a sold-out concert by the winner of an international competition.

This year, though, a Parisian art dealer is found dead in his hotel room the day after the concert. In his wallet is a scrap of sheet music, torn from a page that belongs to the competition’s winner. But how did the dead man get hold of it? And why?

Detective Antonio Guastafeste asks violin maker Gianni Castiglione to help him navigate the curious world of classical musicians, their priceless instruments, and the unsavory dealers who prey upon them. Together, Antonio and Gianni must unravel another mystery that has gone unanswered for over a century, one that may hold the answer to the modern-day murder.

Filled with remarkable history and musical lore, Paganini’s Ghost plays at a breathtaking tempo that will keep you reading until the very last page.

Mailbox Monday – Dec. 14



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page.
Click the covers for book info.
From Random House for review:
The Secret of Everything
From Amazon:
Local Knowledge
Real Life & Liars
East Hope
Rewriting Monday

Sunday Summary – Dec. 13

The view from my back door
(click on photo to enlarge)

Books reviewed:


Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson
Jessica James stopped by for a guest post about what we can learn from historical fiction. Jessica is the author of Shades of Gray – it’s one of my favorite books read in 2009.
Thanks go toPolishOutlander for the Honest Scrap award:
The rules of this one is to list ten honest things about me
and then pass the award on to ten other book bloggers.
So here it goes:
I’m one of 8 siblings (one brother, six sisters)
I have three children (all in their 20s)
I have a degree in music education – piano concentration
I’ve visited Ireland twice
I climbed (hiked?) Croagh Patrick once
My favorite colors are blue and green
I have green eyes
I love really good chocolate
I almost never say no to a Manhattan cocktail
I named one of my daughters after a character in Little Women
I hope to live part of each year in a warmer climate in a few years
So that’s a little about me.
I’m going to leave the award to anyone who’d like to participate. It’s fun!

The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson and challenge wrap-up

The Christmas Bus

The people of Christmas Valley always celebrate Christmas to the fullest extent. The mayor plays Santa, every business is holiday themed, and there’s a nativity for the kids each Christmas Eve. This town knows Christmas. But this year nothing goes according to plan. Shepherd’s Inn is full of strangers, Mad Myrtle is causing problems, and a young couple with a baby due any minute rolls in to the middle of town in their Partridge Family-style bus. It’s hardly the holiday Christmas Valley wanted–but it may be just what they need. This charming novella is sure to become a new Christmas tradition for readers who love a great holiday story.

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Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? This is a sweet, modern retelling of the Christmas Story. Melody Carlson wrote a quiet yet sometimes humorous novella filled with quirky characters. It’s an enjoyable book that will warm your heart and remind you of “the reason for the season”.

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This fulfills my goal for the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge.

Books read:

Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle
On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts
Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

Thanks to Nely for hosting the challenge


Show Me 5 Saturday – It Happened One Night


That’s A Novel Idea hosts a MEME called Show Me Five Saturday. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week

2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it
5 Stars or less for your rating

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1. It Happened One Night

2. Contemporary Romance

3. Takes place in Vermont. Characters: Lana Biel, Eli Ward

4. Liked:
the setting – Vermont and Wildflower Barn where Lana works
Charlotte – who encourages Lana to believe she can be a good mother
Eli – because he never lost faith in Lana. This could drive some readers nuts, though. *grin*
Didn’t like:
Karin – Lana’s bitter and manipulative sister.

5. 3 stars

It Happened One Night

Jessica James – Blog Tour Guest Post

Today I’m pleased to welcome author Jessica James. I read Shades of Gray last summer and knew it would be on my 2009 Favorite Books list. For more about the book, click on the cover. Here’s some background information about Jessica and then her guest post about what a reader can learn from historical fiction.

Author bio and awards

Jessica James is the award-winning author of the historical fiction novel Shades of Gray, an epic Civil War love story that has twice overtaken Gone with the Wind on the Amazon Best-Seller list in the romance/historical/U.S. category. A former newspaper editor, she spent 18 years in a newsroom before turning her attention to fiction writing. She holds a master’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism.

This multi-award winning novel has been widely praised by historians for its balanced portrayal of the War Between the States, and by romance readers for its emotional description of the love that develops between the two main characters.

The novel chronicles the clash of a Confederate cavalry officer with a Union spy as they defend their beliefs, their country and their honor. The rolling hills of northern Virginia provide the backdrop for this page-turning tale of courage and devotion.

Shades of Gray Awards and Accolades:

2009 HOLT Medallion Finalist for Best Southern Theme

2008 Indie Next Generation Award for Best Regional Fiction

2008 Indie Next Generation Finalist for Best Historical Fiction

2008 IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction

2008 ForeWord Magazine Finalist for Book of the Year in Romance category

2008 Favorite Book of the Year by The Book Connection

2008 Favorite Book of the Year by BookWorm’s Dinner

2008 Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year by The Printed Page

Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia

Learning something from historical fiction

When Mary was kind enough to review my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray last July, she noted that war novels are really not her preferred genre. I’m not sure she could have said anything more gratifying – I wrote Shades of Gray for precisely that type of reader.

Authors realize time is precious for everyone and that finding a few hours to sit down with a book is becoming a luxury. Though I definitely want to reflect my passion for the Civil War in my writing, my goal is to write books that appeal to readers of any genre and, more importantly, have them not regret the time they spent reading it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want readers to come away with a new appreciation, or even better, an actual interest in the war. I believe historical fiction can be a great teaching tool, and love it when readers say they’ve actually learned something about our nation’s history. Mary noted that she gained new insight into the Southern perspective by reading Shades, and found the plotline of a woman dressing as a man during the war one of the more captivating aspects of the book.

O.K., so you don’t remember reading about women soldiers in your history books? Me either. In fact, I’ve had a few readers say this “fictional” premise is too far-fetched. Yet in reality, there are hundreds of wartime records verifying that women fought beside their male counterparts, sometimes even achieving rank as officers. For the most part, their sex was only revealed after being wounded, or being found by a burial party when they were killed in action. (Two dead females were found on the battlefield right here in my hometown of Gettysburg).

While I’m on the subject, at least six soldiers are known to have performed their military duties while pregnant, and two Confederate prisoners of war gave birth while incarcerated. I don’t have any pregnant soldiers in Shades of Gray, but my female heroine does get sentenced to prison. I was a little leery about that plotline as well, thinking that if a woman were caught in male attire, surely she would announce her sex and simply be sent back across the lines – as some were. But records show a number of women who were not discovered in prison until becoming ill, dying – or, amazingly, delivering a baby.

Some people read historical fiction, I suppose, to learn interesting facts such as these, while others perhaps turn away from it for precisely the same reason. Some want to be educated – and others merely entertained. I think historical fiction, done correctly, can accomplish both. By properly weaving facts with fiction, and creating characters with real feelings and emotions, readers can become so engaged with a book that they begin to care about what happens – and in doing so, learn something.

When readers tell me they smiled over my main characters’ triumphs and cried over their heartaches – I take it as a testament to the emotional connection they formed to Andrea and Hunter. It is that connection that gives them the feeling they’ve read an epic love story – not a Civil War story at all. And yet surely all those readers who have told me they silently wept upon the pages of Shades of Gray, have also come away with an additional knowledge of history and a new understanding of the sacrifices that helped shape our country.

Learning about the past doesn’t have to be a dull and tedious proposition – it can be entertaining and thought provoking in a way that may surprise you.

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My review of Shades of Gray can be found here.

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Tomorrow Jessica James will stop at http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com as part of her Holiday Blog Tour and Civil War Basket Giveaway.

Visit www.jessicajamesbooks.com for more information on the tour.

Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Blue Christmas

It’s the week before Christmas, and antiques dealer Weezie Foley is in a frenzy to garnish her shop for the Savannah historical district contest. She’s ready to shoot herself with her glue gun by the time she’s done, but the results are stunning. She’s certainly one-upped the owners of the trendy boutique around the corner, but suddenly things start to go missing from her display, and there seems to be a mysterious midnight visitor to her shop.

Still, Weezie has high hopes—perhaps in the form of an engagement ring from her chef boyfriend, though Daniel, always moody at the holidays, seems more distant than usual. But throw in Weezie’s decidedly odd family, a 1950s Christmas tree pin, and even a little help from the King himself (Elvis, that is), and maybe there will be a pocketful of miracles for Weezie this Christmas Eve.

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My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novel. I read Savannah Blues last month knowing I had Blue Christmas on my tbr shelf. Mary Kay Andrews has a way with words that just makes me smile.

It was fun to see what Weezie, Daniel and their wacky relatives and friends were up to. I loved the descriptions of Weezie’s Christmas decorating project as well as the debacle that was Christmas Eve family dinner. There’s a bit of a mild mystery woven into the story.

All in all, it’s a light, fun holiday book and I look forward to reading Savannah Breeze.

Mailbox Monday – Dec. 7



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page.
My Holiday Swap gifts fromStephanie:
Time of My Life
The Heretic Queen (Paperback)
I ordered from Amazon.com:
Now & Then