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

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Show Me 5 Saturday – It Happened One Night


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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



Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Blue Christmas
Synopsis:

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.



Show Me 5 Saturday – On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts

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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

1. On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts

2. Contemporary, ChickLit

3. Setting: the small town of Holly; several women (aka Yulezillas); and their mostly uninvolved husbands

4. I liked: The lessons learned on both sides of the strike
The light comedy that Sheila Roberts does so well
It read like one of those fun holiday tv movies
The recipes at the end

5. 4 stars

On Strike for Christmas


Bed & Breakfast by Lois Battle

Bed  &  Breakfast: A Novel

Library Journal:

In this well-crafted story by the author of Storyville (Viking, 1993), Josie Tatternall, a military widow in her seventies, is inspired by a friend’s nearly fatal illness to call together her own three daughters in particular, her estranged daughter, Cam, who has not been home since the death of her father years ago. What starts out as a family gathering for the twilight of Josie’s life actually marks the beginning of her understanding of her achievements and, quite unexpectedly, her second chance at love. The story introduces a cast of memorable characters, primarily Josie herself, who fully reminds us that life, love, and growth are not limited to any particular age. Somewhat light reading, but a good story nonetheless. (Susan C. Colegrove, Athens Regional Lib. System, Ga.)

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My thoughts:
Holidays bring families together – for better or worse. Lois Battle has family dynamics down pat – whether you’re from the North or the South. Ms. Battle writes the truth – especially about sisters, mothers and friends. I didn’t think this novel was as light as Susan C. Colegrove (see Library Journal synopsis above) but I enjoyed the drama and recommend it to fans of Women’s Fiction.

“No one got through life without regrets. The best you could hope for was that they’d be the right regrets, that no matter what you’d suffered, you had taken a chance on love or whatever else you’d most wanted.” p.369


I read Bed & Breakfast for the Holiday Reading Challenge but it would also be a good book to read for Maggie’s Southern Reading Challenge in 2010.