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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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.
“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
Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?
Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built.
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I saw this book reviewed on many blogs a few months ago but didn’t know if it would be a book I’d want to read – until I read Alaine’s review. Then I won her monthly giveaway which was Hugh and Bess. It’s a wonderful story of two people ‘thrown together’ who end up truly loving each other. Hugh has endured horrible events in his life and is starting to live a normal life again. Bess is a young teen and not looking to be married at all much less to a stranger who is twenty years her senior. She’s an obedient daughter and agrees to the match.
Susan Higginbotham’s wonderful novel covers the early days of the arranged marriage; the battles that take Hugh away from Bess; and the day to day life of a knight and lady – which could entail visiting their tenants or visiting the king. Nothing prepares them, though, for the ravages of ‘the pestilence’ heading their way. No family is left untouched by this Black Death. They are powerless as they await their possible demise:
“It’s almost as if I think a soldier must feel, waiting for the enemy to attack.” (Bess)
“No. It’s worse, far worse. War’s never seemed so simple as it does now. There are rules, strategies, preparations that can be made. This is different. There is nothing we can do but wait and hope we are spared.” (Hugh)
How frightening that must have been! This really is an emotional story and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I appreciate the research that must precede writing a book such as this. Following the end of the novel is an Author’s Note that tells what happened to the relatives and close friends of Hugh and Bess. There is also a Reading Group Guide as well as an excerpt from The Traitor’s Wife (Ms. Higginbotham’s first book).
In the wake of her shattered marriage, Sarah flees to the coastal town in California where she grew up. There, she revisits her troubling past: an emotionally distant father, the loss of her mother and an unexpected connection with Will Bonner, the high school heartthrob skewered mercilessly in her comics. But he’s been through some changes himself. And just as her heart is about to reawaken, Sarah makes a most startling discovery. She’s pregnant. With her ex’s twins.
The winds of change have led Sarah to this surprising new beginning. All she can do is just close her eyes…and breathe.
I’m a fan of Susan Wiggs’ Lakeshore Chronicles so when I saw that her stand alone novel Just Breathe was released recently in paperback I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed reading about Sarah – how she was able to leave a bad situation and move forward. Sometimes moving forward means going back to the beginning. Sarah moves back to the area where she was raised and the story takes off from there. I really liked Will and his daughter as well as several other characters. I’d love to read a sequel … or the second book in a new series? Just a thought.