Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George & Stephanie Graegin {Review}

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story
by Kallie George & Stephanie Graegin
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Schwartz & Wade
In this charming Christmas-themed picture book that feels like a classic, four animals deliver a lost package for Santa.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel are eagerly waiting for Santa to fly overhead. When he does, a gift tumbles out of his sleigh, landing in the woods. The friends find the gift and read the tag: “For the new baby at the farm. Love, Santa.” And so, in spite of Squirrel’s grumbling—“It’s not our baby”—they set off on a long journey to deliver it. Sweet, poignant, and starring a cast of truly adorable characters, this is a story sure to be shared year after year at Christmastime.
My Review: 4 Stars
Four animals are in the forest waiting for Santa to fly over, when a present falls out of his sleigh. They see the on the tag that it's for the new baby and set out to deliver it. Although they think the gift is silly, they make an interesting discover--sometimes the joy of others is the best thing.
I love how each animal has an unmistakable personality. One is grumpy and negative, while others are hopeful and positive. The illustrations are charming and engaging, really adding a spark to the story. The lesson of working together to do a job, even if the job isn't desirable, really shines through, as does the value of service.

There are many little gems that show up in these pages and everyone from kids to adults will find them sweet.
*I received a copy from the publisher. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Buy Links:

Kallie George holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series, among other acclaimed books for children, and, in addition to writing, leads workshops for aspiring writers. Kallie lives in Vancouver, and Christmas is her favorite time of year. Visit her at

Stephanie Graegin is the illustrator of Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan; Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins, which received three starred reviews; and Happy Birthday, Bunny! by Liz Garton Scanlon, which received two starred reviews. Graegin earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute for Fine Arts and her MFA in printmaking from the Pratt Institute. You can visit her at

The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Peek-Through Picture Book Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup {Review}

The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Peek-Through Picture Book
Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers
The twelve days of Christmas have never looked so fun! Turn page after page of this innovative picture book based on the classic carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and watch as twelve days of gifts appear through clever peek-through holes on each page! Young children will especially love anticipating all the presents and seeing them arrive as if by magic. This interactive and lively book is sure to be a family favorite at Christmastime year after year.
My Review: 4 Stars
It's true that I'm an adult, but I've always loved picture books with the peek-through pages, as both the story and the illustrations build on each other until the end of the book, when it all comes together in a glorious conclusion. I love the pictures!
The words to this book are from the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Each turn of the pages leads to more vivid color and more fun as these two little elves work there way through the song. My kids are getting a little older, but it would be so much fun to read this with a young child, while singing along. This is a great addition to my holiday picture book stash.
*I received a copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Buy Links:

About the Illustrator:

Britta Teckentrup has written and illustrated over seventy children’s books, which have been published in over twenty countries. Her books include Big Smelly Bear, Grumpy Cat, and The Odd One Out, as well as Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book. Born in Hamburg, Germany, and educated in London at St. Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art, she lives with her family in Berlin.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Genre: Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Novella
Publisher: Rooted Publishing
Publication date: November 7, 2016
Number of pages: 118

Someone has noticed me. A secret admirer? A man with a good heart, who sees how much I actually need help, even though I never admit it? Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful story—a romance full of hope and second chances and love. 


A secret Santa gift left on Kale Brennan’s front porch opens up a fresh view of her ordinary life, and perhaps of God. Maybe she does matter. Maybe God sees her—as does a new-to-town music teacher who has her seven-year-old daughter gushing and her own knees ​buckling with his killer smile. But as Kale embraces new possibilities, a staple in her life—a man who is kind and steady, not to mention necessary for her injured daughter’s recovery—also snatches her attention in an unexpected way. Will the one pursuing her with his secret gift and kind gestures be the one her heart longs for in the end?

Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.
Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.
She would love to hear from you! Please visit her at or on Facebook at or email her at


4 Stars

Christmas stories are often so heartwarming and uplifting and this one fits the mold. Single mom, Kale, and her precocious daughter, Sydney, have a pretty good life, but it's not easy. A secret Santa tries to ease that burden for them. Sometimes it's nice to wish for a better life, but sometimes it's best to be content with what you have and that's a great lesson that Kale learns through the process of the story.

Great friends and new friends always keep things interesting and there's almost a love triangle of sorts. I love the gentle flow of the plot, the entertaining situations (especially those involving Sydney), and the peaceful comfort that the religious thread brings. This is a story that can be read in one sitting and really brings a Christmas spirit to your soul.

Content: mild romance; moderate religious themes.

*I received a copy through SLB Tours. I voluntarily reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.*   

Enter the giveaway HERE.

My Christmas TBR List

My good friend, KJ's Book Nook, posted
her Christmas TBR List and 
I thought that was a great idea!!

Head on over to her blog
to see her list and tell
her what you're going to read
this Christmas season!

I have a big list of books that I want to read.
I may get to all of them and I may not,
but here's my list of what I want to try
to get read:

CHRISTMAS 2016 List:

A Country Christmas (A Timeless Regency Collection)
Under the Mistletoe (A Timeless Romance Anthology)
A Midwinter Ball (A Timeless Regency Collection)
What Light by Jay Asher
No Holly for Christmas by Julie Ford
A Family Under the Tree by Terri Reid
To Warm a Wintered Heart by Deborah Hathaway
A Christmas Kiss by Susan Hatler
Getting Micah Under the Mistletoe by Kimberly Krey
Wrong Brother, Right Match by Jennifer Shirk
Almost Christmas by Brooke St. James
All is Merri and Bright by Tifani Clark
One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg
The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jennifer Snow

Christmas Greetings from the Presidents {Book Spotlight}

Christmas Greetings from the Presidents

Every Christmas since Calvin Coolidge in 1927, the President of the United States has delivered a holiday message to the American people. Gathered in this volume are selections from those messages along with a brief glimpse into the history unfolding at that time. For example, what FDR said during Christmas 1941 is made even more poignant knowing that the attack on Pearl Harbor had happened just weeks earlier. Likewise, one of President Reagan’s Christmas messages is even more impressive knowing that the Iron Curtain was about to come down.

These little-known messages are filled with the spirit of Christmas and remind us that patriotism has a place in our holiday celebrations.

Buy Links:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Silver River Secrets by Linda Hope Lee {Blog Tour Excerpt and Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Silver River SecretsSilver River Secrets
by Linda Hope Lee
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Tragedy made them strangers. The truth could change that…

Lacey Morgan's grandmother is the only reason she has to ever set foot in Silver River. Her hometown is populated with too many ghosts and memories. Too many painful reminders. Including Rory Dalton.

In all her brief visits over the past ten years, they've barely spoken. Locked on opposite sides of the tragedy that tore their lives apart, they buried their feelings along with their parents. But this trip is different. She will stay a little longer. Dig a little deeper. And try to solve the mystery that has kept them from the truth…and each other.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin



    Just then, she looked up to the hilltop. Rory jumped back, hoping she hadn’t spotted him. He didn’t want her to think he had the slightest interest in her return to Silver River.

    Sam shoved his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels. “Wonder how long she’ll be here this time.”

    “She never stays more than a week. Just long enough to check on her grandmother.”

    “Might be longer. Remy broke her hip. She went straight from rehab to Riverview. Lacey’s here to help her get settled and to clean out her old apartment.”

    “I heard about Remy’s accident. I’m sorry she’s had trouble. But how do you know so much? Or would that be violating lawyer-client confidentiality?”

    Sam laughed. “Not at all. That bit of info comes from Ida Capshaw. She’s our paralegal, you know, and she plays bridge with Remy.”

    “Ah.” Rory stepped forward again in time to see Lacey’s car sweep over the bridge and join the traffic on Main Street. Then a delivery truck pulled in behind her, and she was lost from his view.

    He gave his head a quick shake and frowned at Sam. “Why are we standing here wasting time when there’s work to be done?”

    Sam’s eyebrows peaked. “Because she’s back?”

    “So? No business of mine.”

    “So you keep telling me. But I have a feeling you’re in for trouble, this time. Big trouble.”

* * *

Linda Hope Lee writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She enjoys traveling especially to small towns in search of story ideas. She's also an artist, specializing in watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil. Photography provides inspiration for both her writing and her art. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where many of her stories are set.

Tour Schedule

November 29th: Launch
November 30th: Mommabears Book Blog
December 2nd: I Am A Reader & Heidi Reads...
December 3rd: Zerina Blossom's Books
December 5th: Getting Your Read On
December 6th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & copy of SILVER RIVER SECRETS by Linda Hope Lee (print if US, ebook if international)
- 3 winners will receive a copy of SILVER RIVER SECRETS by Linda Hope Lee (print if US, ebook if international)
- Open internationally
- Ends December 12th

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This is Not a Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans {Blog Tour Spotlight and Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

This Is Not a Werewolf StoryThis is Not a Werewolf Story
by Sandra Evans
Middle Grade Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 352 pages
July 26th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

This is the story of Raul, a boy of few words, fewer friends, and almost no family. He is a loner—but he isn’t lonely. All week long he looks after the younger boys at One Of Our Kind Boarding School while dodging the barbs of terrible Tuffman, the jerk of a gym teacher. 

Like every other kid in the world, he longs for Fridays, but not for the usual reasons. As soon as the other students go home for the weekend, Raul makes his way to a lighthouse deep in the heart of the woods. There he waits for sunset—and the mysterious, marvelous phenomenon that allows him to go home, too. But the woods have secrets . . . and so does Raul. When a new kid arrives at school, they may not stay secret for long.

Guest Post:

Sandra Evans is a writer and teacher from the Pacific Northwest. Her forthcoming middle grade novel, This is Not a Werewolf Story (Simon & Schuster July 2016), was inspired by her favorite 12th century French tale, Bisclavret, by Marie de France. Born in Washington state, Sandra spent her childhood on U.S. Navy bases from Florida to Hawaii, and returned to the Northwest as a teenager. Since then, she has lived and traveled in France and Europe, but has never strayed far for long from the Puget Sound region.

Tour Schedule

November 28th: Launch
December 1st: Beck Valley Books
December 2nd: Wishful Endings
December 5th: Falling Leaves
December 7th: Life as Leels
December 9th: 100 Pages A Day
December 11th: Nish Homeschool Blog
December 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

A hardcover copy of THIS IS NOT A WEREWOLF STORY by Sandra Evans plus Swag
Open internationally
Ends December 16th

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