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Christmas

4 Cozy Mysteries to Enjoy: It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Murder, A Pumpkin Spice Killing, Murder Can Haunt Your Handiwork, Death Gone A-Rye #BookReview #Audiobook @ellenbyronla @KensingtonBooks @TantorAudio

If you follow my blog at all, you know I am a cozy mystery lover. I do enjoy a good amateur sleuth, the characters and settings of these stories. This year I also found a couple to match up with my seasonal reading in both Autumn and Christmas books. If you are looking for a good cozy to pick up, see if any of these strike your fancy.

Continue reading “4 Cozy Mysteries to Enjoy: It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Murder, A Pumpkin Spice Killing, Murder Can Haunt Your Handiwork, Death Gone A-Rye #BookReview #Audiobook @ellenbyronla @KensingtonBooks @TantorAudio”

Three Christmas Audiobooks: The Christmas Bookshop, The Christmas Escape, Mistletoe in Juneau #BookReview #Audiobook #20BooksForChristmas @HarperAudio @jennycolgan @SarahMorgan_

I am well into my Christmas reading, as well as trying to complete the 20 Books for Christmas Challenge. The Christmas Escape and Mistletoe in Juneau were both read/listens, while The Christmas Bookshop was strictly an audiobook experience. I enjoyed all of them, although some more than others. All were provided to me from the publishers upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “Three Christmas Audiobooks: The Christmas Bookshop, The Christmas Escape, Mistletoe in Juneau #BookReview #Audiobook #20BooksForChristmas @HarperAudio @jennycolgan @SarahMorgan_”

More Festive Christmas Stories: Every Day in December and The Secret of Snow #BookReview #Audiobook #20BooksforChristmas @HarperAudio @0neMoreChapter_ @viola_shipman @KittyWilson23

Two more festive reads to get you in the mood for the holidays. Both of these were read/listens with great narrators to add to my enjoyment of the stories. Both were provided to me by the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “More Festive Christmas Stories: Every Day in December and The Secret of Snow #BookReview #Audiobook #20BooksforChristmas @HarperAudio @0neMoreChapter_ @viola_shipman @KittyWilson23”

Beacon Bakeshop Cozy Mystery Series by Darci Hannah #BookReview #Audio

With festive reading upon me, I wanted to read Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. I realized it was the second book in a new cozy mystery series, to found the first book, Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop in audiobook at my library. Over the last few days, I completed them both and will definitely continue reading this series by Darci Hannah.

Continue reading “Beacon Bakeshop Cozy Mystery Series by Darci Hannah #BookReview #Audio”

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas – 3 #BookReviews of #Audiobooks: Meet Me in London, Mistletoe Season, Sleigh Bells Ring @HarperAudio @michelle_major1 @ToffTalks

I am well into reading Christmas stories as well as reading books for my 20 Books for Christmas Challenge. Each of the books here was available in both ebook and audiobook. I did a read/listen and enjoyed them all in both formats. The audiobooks were all well done and added to my enjoyment of the stories. All were provided to me by the publishers upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas – 3 #BookReviews of #Audiobooks: Meet Me in London, Mistletoe Season, Sleigh Bells Ring @HarperAudio @michelle_major1 @ToffTalks”

Celebration at Christmas Cove by Carrie Jansen #BookReview and Excerpt

CELEBRATION AT CHRISTMAS COVE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; October 26, 2021) tells the heartwarming story of a grieving woman who can’t wait to leave a wintry New England island, and a widower who would do anything to stay.

CELEBRATION AT CHRISTMAS COVE by Carrie Jansen

Expected publication: October 26th 2021 by Berkley Books

Travel magazine writer Celeste Bell is in a terrible mood. Not only was her flight to the Caribbean diverted to a Massachusetts island, now it looks like she’ll have to spend Christmas there. Single and still mourning the loss her mother a year earlier, Celeste is desperate to avoid any emotional entanglements and all holiday festivities. She just doesn’t feel like celebrating.

But that’s exactly what community center executive director Nathan White and his young daughter, Abigail, want to do. Nathan is entirely focused on making sure that his daughter has a happy Christmas, especially with the knowledge that if he can’t raise money for the community center soon, it will close and they’ll have to leave the island. When he meets Celeste, Nathan begins to feel a connection and wonders if he’s brave enough to risk his heart once more.

Thawing their frozen hearts and saving the community center will require a Christmas miracle. But tis the season…


4 Stars:⭐⭐⭐⭐

Celeste is a writer for a prestigious travel magazine. She’s trying to reach her assignment, reporting on a Christmas festival in the Caribbean, but she has a series of mishaps. Celeste does not want to spend Christmas at home after the death of her mother just before Christmas the year before. She volunteered for the assignment rolling in a few days of vacation. First, she is bumped from her flight, then she takes a prop plane to Sea Spray Island to catch a connecting flight to New York ten down to the Caribbean, but weather has other ideas. She has one goal once she lands and that is to leave! Mishaps pile up and she continues to be stranded. Will she make it to “the other islands” on time to write the story about the festival?

Nathan White is on the prop plane with her. He is the manager of the local community center and is trying to get grants to keep it open. He is a single dad to Abigail (Abby) and brother to the owner of the local Inn. If he can’t secure funding, the center will close and he and Abby will have to move to Boston, where Nathan has been offered a job. He sets Celeste up at his sister’s Inn and Abby becomes her personal tour guide. It doesn’t take long for Celeste to begin to enjoy all the Christmas Events set up by the community center staff and volunteers. It also doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with Sea Spray Island.

Celebration at Christmas Cove by Carrie Jansen is a sweet, holiday romance that has everything I have grown to love in these stories. We have a protagonist that dislikes Christmas due to events in her past, a small town that goes crazy for Christmas, a single dad with an absolutely adorable child, lots of fun and silly Christmas Activities, some quirky characters, small town gossip and everyone trying to push the two of them together. There is some angst due to misunderstandings and lack of communication and two people who are afraid to tell the other how they fell. I loved the setting of an island cut off from everyone during a storm and the camaraderie of the town pulling together. Throw in a last minute solution to problems and this was an all round winner. I would love to see this one made into a movie. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Excerpt

Monday—December 19 “You’re bumping me?” As a writer for an elite travel magazine, Celeste Bell had virtually flown around the world over the course of the past seven years and she’d never been bumped from a flight. She knew it was bound to happen sooner or later; she just didn’t want it happening now. “We paged you three times, but since you weren’t at the gate for initial boarding, we assigned the seat to another passenger,” the agent explained. Celeste wasn’t at the gate because she’d had to bring her luggage to the ticket counter after changing out of the ugly sweater she’d worn to her office holiday party earlier that day. This season, she’d been avoiding Christmas festivities like the flu, but since participation was mandatory, she reluctantly donned the most hideous apparel she could find: a fluffy, white sweater with a cartoonish fir tree emblazoned across the front. The tree was crowned with a blinking LED-powered star, and a dozen miniature, multicolored sleigh bells were strung from its boughs with silver tinsel. The sweater bore an uncanny resemblance to a yuletide craft Celeste had made in first grade from a paper plate, cotton balls, glitter and various geometric shapes cut from red, green and yellow felt. Oh, the things she did for the sake of her career. “I get it. Symbolism,” Brad, the college intern, remarked. Holding a plastic cup of eggnog in one hand and a chocolate mint brownie in the other, he gestured toward her midsection with his chin. “You chose that sweater because your last name’s Bell, right?” The bells were actually Celeste’s least favorite part of the sweater, which was saying a lot. Whenever she walked from her cubicle to her boss’s office or to the break room and back again, their jingling made her feel like a Clydesdale horse—it didn’t help that she’d gathered her long, thick blond hair into a high ponytail—and drew increasingly annoyed looks from her coworkers over the course of the day. She intended to switch wardrobes before a colleague drove her to Logan International Airport, but at the last minute, the magazine’s editor in chief, Philip Carrington, tasked Celeste with proofreading Brad’s post about the Boston Harbor Holiday Cruise. And by proofreading Philip meant rewriting. Brad’s draft was so poorly structured, it took Celeste half an hour to reword it, and by that time her coworker was threatening to leave without her. When she arrived at the airport, Celeste wheeled her luggage into the restroom so she could change. She removed her heavy winter coat, scarf and gloves, and she stuffed them into her suitcase, along with her socks and shoes. Then, she opened her smaller carry-on and checked to make sure she had a travel blanket with her before adroitly exchanging her slacks and ugly sweater for a casual slate-blue swing dress and crochet cardigan. Finally, she slid her feet into a pair of canvas sneakers. Celeste intended to be ready for the tropical Caribbean temps the moment she stepped off the plane. But first she’d have to step onto the plane. “Are you sure there aren’t any seats left?” It was an inane question, and Celeste could hear the whine of desperation in her own voice. “I can book you on the eleven-thirty-six flight tomorrow morning. Of course, we’ll compensate you for the inconvenience, as well.” Tomorrow was December 20. Technically, Celeste didn’t need to be in the Caribbean until first light on December 23. That’s when the Christmas carnival—or simply carnival, as it was called—for the particular island she was visiting kicked off a daybreak street party known as j’ouvert. The trip was a mix of business and pleasure; after taking a couple days to enjoy a much-needed break, Celeste would spend December 23, 24 and 25 attending carnival and describing its highlights in a Christmas Day post on the magazine’s blog. That meant if she didn’t leave Boston until almost noon tomorrow, she’d squander nearly a full day of vacation. Even so, Celeste cared less about that than she did about the weather forecast, which warned that a nor’easter was brewing. If it followed its projected course, the storm could pack a wallop in terms of snow accumulation, and who knew how that might affect air travel for the next few days. She couldn’t risk it. “Would you check for flights on other airlines, please?” The agent’s fingernails clicked against the keyboard, her expression impassive. After what felt like an eon, she said, “If we hurry, I can book a seat for you on a flight with our partner airline, IslandSky. There would be a brief layover on Sea Spray Island—” “I’ll take it,” Celeste said as the woman continued to speak. “—then you’d continue to New York City and from there you’d fly nonstop—” “Yes, thank you, that’s what I want to do.” Celeste didn’t care about the small print, she just needed to get on that flight. A few more minutes of keyboard clicking and then Celeste was off and running, dodging fellow travelers and circumventing airport vendors as she darted toward Terminal C with her carry-on bag in tow, the sweater inside it jingling all the way. As she ran, she recognized it wasn’t really the need for an extra day of relaxation that spurred her on. Nor was it solely that she’d made a professional commitment to cover the carnival. No, what really urged Celeste forward was the fear that if she didn’t leave now, right now, it would be too late and then there’d be no escaping for Christmas. And escaping was her primary purpose in volunteering to immerse herself in a Caribbean carnival while all of her coworkers were celebrating Christmas with their families. From the rollicking parades and music, to the lively dancing, vibrant costumes and mouthwatering food, the carnival wasn’t likely to evoke memories of the calm and cozy but joyful Christmases that Celeste used to celebrate. On the contrary, going to the Caribbean would keep her from thinking about how it had been just over a year since her mother passed away. And it would take her mind off the fact that she was still lonely. Still alone. Just thinking about not thinking about it made her lungs contract. Or maybe it was the exertion of tearing through an overly dry, hot and crowded airport trailing an unwieldy piece of luggage in her wake. As fit as she was, by the time Celeste arrived at her gate she was gasping. Light-headed, she hardly registered that the descending ramp the agent directed her to follow led outside to ground level where the plane awaited her on the tarmac. Celeste skidded to a standstill. The realization hit her like a gelid gust of air: it’s a prop plane. When it came to prop planes or Christmas festivities, it was almost a toss-up as to which distressed her more. Almost but not quite. Pressing her dress flat against her legs so it wouldn’t fly up in the wind, Celeste numbly soldiered forward, the end of her ponytail lashing sideways at her face. She climbed the four ladder-like steps and entered the dimly lit interior where a flight attendant—or was he the copilot?—reached to take her carry-on for stowing while simultaneously issuing safety instructions. Overcome with either regret or relief, Celeste plunked herself into the seat closest to the door, fastened the buckle around her waist and closed her eyes. She was finally on her way. From CELEBRATION AT CHRISTMAS COVE published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Carrie Jansen.
Author Carrie Lighte biography and book list

About the Author: Carrie Jansen earned an MFA in creative writing and published many poems and short stories before becoming a novelist. An avid bodyboarder and beach walker, she spends as much of the year as she can on Cape Cod, where she draws inspiration for her contemporary romances. She also writes Amish romance novels under her pseudonym, Carrie Lighte. In addition to writing romance novels, she has also written greeting cards and short stories. She lives in Massachusetts. Learn more online at carriejansen.com

The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees #BookReview @Bookouture @AuthorTracyRees

The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees

Published October 22nd 2021 by Bookouture

About the Book: In gorgeous Hopley Village twinkly lights are going up, snow is falling and the delicious smell of gingerbread is in the air. Will two broken hearts find their happily-ever-after this Christmas?

Continue reading “The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees #BookReview @Bookouture @AuthorTracyRees”

Two Wonderful Christmas Stories from Whitsborough Bay: Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop & Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks

I love visiting Whitsborough Bay and meeting up with new and familiar characters. With a Lifeboat Rescue Station, Seals on the beach and a wonderful street with small businesses, this is a village, I would love to visit. Read on to see if these books interest you and join me in visiting Whitsborough Bay.

Continue reading “Two Wonderful Christmas Stories from Whitsborough Bay: Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop & Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks”

Three Christmas Stories: The Christmas Wedding Guest, On Christmas Avenue, Dreaming of Christmas #BookReview #Audiobook @HallmarkPublish @HarperAudio @HarlequinBooks @canelo_co

This past week, I enjoyed three Christmas stories. All the books had been provided to me by the publishers (both ebooks and audiobooks) which gave me the opportunity to do read/listens. All of these books gave me that Christmas Spirit that I was looking for.

Continue reading “Three Christmas Stories: The Christmas Wedding Guest, On Christmas Avenue, Dreaming of Christmas #BookReview #Audiobook @HallmarkPublish @HarperAudio @HarlequinBooks @canelo_co”

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