Hibernation on top of Hibernation?

I have a bit of a dilemma. Every January, I hibernate from the abundance of activities. All the clubs, meetings, church committees, travels, practices. Just for a month I allow myself to bask in the warmth and coziness and silence. A time to regroup, to revitalize for the myriad of work and activity of the new year.

So, as you have guessed, the dilemma is that is what I’ve been doing since March 13, 2020! As all of you have too. I have nothing to hibernate and to recoup from this January. What would hibernation look like now? I can’t pull away from attending meetings—DAR, PEO, Sunday School. None of those are gathering. I have enough alone time to ease my normal January blues and need to seclude myself.

My hibernation this year might be just the opposite, where I can reach out instead of inward. Suppose I spend my “at home” time sending cards, calling friends, researching, writing, planning. January this year will give me a new beginning in a positive vein. I welcome the challenge. Who knows, perhaps all of my clubs and organizations will start meeting again and give me the need to hibernate in 2022.

How does your January look different from before? Are you ready for the challenges?

Merry Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas to you! We are thankful for our family and friends especially during this 2020 memorable year. The lessons we’ve learned have brought us close to our God who is still in control. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, as well as the Prince of Peace. Let us celebrate Jesus’ birthday together.

Our love crosses the miles to you, praying 2021 finds you well and safe.

Blessings and peace, Marguerite

Review and Giveaway Mishaps off the Mainland

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About the Book

Book:  Mishaps off the Mainland

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre:  Christian fiction, contemporary romance

Release Date:  November 24, 2020

BOULDIN-Mishaps Off the Mainland

All Mel wants is to run the business of her dreams.

Melody Carmichael’s mobile pet grooming business might sink before it can sail when a favorite pet escapes her care. Doggie escape-artist, Daphne, got a taste of freedom, and the Afghan hound refuses to be found.

Enter Zeke Solomon. Desperate to bring the dog home for his grandmother, Zeke steps in to save the day.

And working together with Zeke would be a snap—if he would just stop blaming Mel for Daphne making a break for it.

Zeke is desperate to prove himself worthy of the Solomon name and step out from his father’s shadow. With his father breathing down his neck and demanding he return to the company business, Zeke must decide whether confronting the man he admires most is worth the risk of alienation.

Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?

Was it all just a mistake?

Mishaps off the Mainland is the fifth “Merriweather book” in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My review

Oh, how I love this island series. Each book is like another season of a favorite show. Onward with the life of a pet groomer—might I say a struggling business with a series of mishaps.

A star of the novel is a runaway dog—an escapee. She ties, and tries, the lives together of many characters as she remains elusive. I can relate as a recent rescue dog owner. My Tully is a puppy, a rather large puppy, begging to be set free to roam. I never intended to have a dog, but I think God had another idea. I rescue cats too. My latest was a mama-to-be cat who gave us six babies—we kept two.

As the heroine Mel explores her options as a groom, she continues to rescue, love, and foster animals. She is an inspiration for us all. If you like animals, this tale is relatable. Sometimes animal lovers do crazy things for the good of the furry “beasts.” Live, laugh, and wander the islands with Mel, Zeke, and the escapee.

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin

Tabitha Bouldin is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and an avid reader. When she’s not busy homeschooling her two boys, you’ll find her buried in a book.

More from Tabitha

Why mobile pet grooming?

I get this question a lot when I bring up Mishaps off the Mainland.

I mean, I could have chosen any occupation as long as it could be mobile. Anything from a mobile doctor office to a bug specialist. The world was wide open for ideas.

After just completing a rather serious series, I wanted to write something lighter, funnier, but with that same depth and heart that I love to read. I also needed something that fit my character, and Mel had some pretty strong opinions right out of the gate.

You see, Mel is one of those characters who spoke to me right away. She loves animals. All animals but especially dogs. They’re her happy place. Mel is also a giver. She will drop everything to help someone else.

When I asked her what her dream job would be, she answered me faster than any character ever has. Pet groomer! (Yes, I talk to my characters.)

And I thought, why not a mobile pet groomer? She gets to spend all her time with animals (which is a bonus for me as the author), and Mel’s character traits can shine through her actions and reveal her giving heart.

Once the job was decided, I knew there needed to be some drama. What would be the underlying fear of a pet groomer? I didn’t want to injure an animal, so I went for what felt like second most traumatic, an escaped animal.

While Daphne’s escape is serious and causes Mel no end of sleepless nights, it also provides some comedic relief for Mel and Zeke while they work through their own personal battles. I like to think of Mishaps off the Mainland as a mixture of quirky fun and serious truth. The story was a joy to write, and I hope you fall in love with Mel and Zeke.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

21st Century Keeper at Home, December 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 20

Connect in Fiction, December 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 21

deb’s Book Review, December 21

Inklings and notions, December 22

The Collaborative Press, December 22

For Him and My Family, December 23

lakesidelivingsite, December 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 23

Joanne Markey, December 24

Reviewingbooksplusmore, December 24

Batya’s Bits, December 25

Daysong Reflections, December 25

She Lives To Read, December 26

Rebekah Reads, December 26

Splashes of Joy, December 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Blossoms and Blessings, December 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 28

Captive Dreams Window, December 28

Artistic Nobody, December 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, December 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Aryn the Libraryan, December 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/104fd/mishaps-off-the-mainland-celebration-tour-giveaway

I look forward to your comments. What animals do you like as pets or just because?

A Merry Feast

The one thing that has not changed this year is my baking and eating. I’m not talking about the turkey or ham or casseroles. More like cookies, cakes, and plain old junk food. I just can’t help it.

For years I have made tins of Louisiana trash—what most people call chex mix—as gifts for friends and family with a nice portion for my own house. I love the mixture of nuts, cereal, oyster crackers, cheese crackers, and pretzels. Baked in butter, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt for two hours. Yummy! I’m going for another handful now.

The other item that I bake many times during the Christmas season is sugar cookies, decorated in all the season colors. My grandmother’s recipe is swirled with sweetened condensed milk making it scrumptious. I take these cookies everywhere, needing to get them out of the house away from our greedy fingers.

Other favorites to spice up our palates are hot apple cider and gingerbread cookies.

What do you bake during the Holidays, every year no matter what?

Review and Giveaway Bride by Blackmail

About the Book

Book: Bride by Blackmail

Author: Debbie Lynne Costello

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Historic Charleston, South Carolina and Debbie Costello—what a fantastic combination. Back to my favorite city, no matter the time period. I love to walk the streets in any decade or century. Debbie brings life and mystery in her writing with characters that capture the time and essence of Charleston.

Her heroine Charlotte has an interesting and possibly devastating dilemma with neither option rendering happiness for all involved. She has to take the less selfish offer to save her family from shame, doesn’t she?

How many times do we put others first even to our own detriment and pain? As a parent—sacrifice. As a spouse—compromise. But do I remember to seek another way, God’s way? It’s comforting to know He can turn my crazy plans into good. How much easier and rewarding if I would listen to Him first.

Envision a beloved town as you the reader meet these characters on the street, in the mansions, trying to find that blend of purpose and hope, doing God’s will even with the sacrifice of the familiar. Enjoy!

About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello has been writing since the young age of eight. She went to college for journalism. She enjoys medieval settings and settings set in nineteenth century Charleston, South Carolina. She loves the Lord and hopes to touch people’s lives through her stories. Debbie Lynne lives in the beautiful state of South Carolina with her husband of 40 years, their 4 children, 2 Tennessee Walking horses, 2 Arabians, miniature donkey, 6 ducks, and 3 dogs.

More from Debbie

It is fun to build characters in books and one of the best ways is to show some sort of a hobby or skill that the particular character enjoys. In Bride by Blackmail, Charlotte and her sister, Nellie, are doing needlework on a tablecloth that they hope to have done by the holiday season. My grandmother who would be over a hundred today loved to do needlework. I have pieces from when she was young up until her later years when she did needlework on pillowcases to decorate them up as a Christmas present. But I also have pieces done by my great-great grandmother and her sisters. They are cherished pieces I hope to hand down for generations. As part of my giveaway I’ve purchased antique needlework and embroidered pieces to giveaway with the prizes.

Another fun way to build characters is show something they love to eat. Nellie, who is a minor character, is visiting the hero’s home with her family. Duncan being from Scotland has scones on the breakfast menu. Nellie can’t get enough of the yummy biscuits and finds the servant enjoys helping her continue her indulgence even after she leaves.

SCONES

Preheat oven to 400

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup sour cream

½ cup butter (hard)

½ cup cranberries

1 large egg

2 tsp. sugar (do not put this in with the dry ingredients. This is for topping.)

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl. Once mixed well, cut hard butter into pats and drop into the bowl. Now cut the butter into the floured mixture until it is more like a crumble. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and your sour cream until well mixed.

With a fork (no mixer!) blend the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, keep stirring until the mixture becomes one large ball. If you need to you can use your hands toward the end to make sure all the flour is in the ball.

On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out to about 3/4” thick. I try to make mine a rectangle for the next step. Once you have the thickness right, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsps. sugar. Cut the dough into triangles and place on cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper on the cookie sheet). Be sure to place adequately apart on the sheet to prevent them touching when rising.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden color.

Allow to cool slightly. These are wonderful warm or cold!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

Hallie Reads, December 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 15

Novels Corner, December 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

Connect in Fiction, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Artistic Nobody, December 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Britt Reads Fiction, December 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Rebecca Tews, December 20

deb’s Book Review, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23

Vicky Sluiter, December 23

Labor Not in Vain, December 24

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Connie’s History Classroom, December 26

Bizwings Blog, December 26

For Him and My Family, December 27

Maureen’s Musings, December 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie is giving away the grand prize of a smart watch!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/104ae/bride-by-blackmail-celebration-tour-giveaway

I look forward to reading your comments.

Light of the World

Then God said, “Let there be light.”

Genesis 1:3

At Christmas time, like no other season, light finds its way into our lives. Brilliantly and demurely. Quickly and slowly. Colorful and white. Twinkling and still. As I write today, I’m sitting by my Christmas tree that’s laced with tiny white lights. This morning I lit a fragrant candle. All around me the trappings of Christmas, not as many as before, but reminders of Christmas.

The wise men followed the light, a star in the heavens. The search for light in a dark time leads one on many quests. This year renders many examples of individuals seeking a bright path, a new job, a different direction, hoping to follow the way to light, to a rewarding future. Sometimes the light, the sign, is dim especially in the bustle of life, but once a soul is still in the darkness the light glows as on a tree in an otherwise dark room. That is my favorite time—at peace with the stillness bathed in the dim rays. That is my favorite time—at peace with the stillness, bathed in the dim rays.

Jesus said, “I am the light.” One does not need to follow any other way to the truth. When the way seems dark peer a little closer. Catch that flicker of peace and hope. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. Light can beam from other sources: a hymn, a word, a verse of Scripture, a gift, a smile, a shared moment.

This Christmas I seek the light, reaching for the peace of the Light of the World. “O Come, Lord Jesus.”

Do you have a source of light that draws you to rest in its glow?

Review and Giveaway Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed banner

About the Book

Book: Something Borrowed

Author: Weaver, Dawn, Boyd, Tysinger, Shiloh

Genre: Christian/Contemporary/ Romance / Holiday

Release Date: October 20

Something Borrowed Cover FINAL 6x9

Old friends, new loves, and a borrowed tiara.

Always Been Yours — Hanady’s planning her dream wedding, but her injured best friend Keenan isn’t the groom. If she can’t see she’s marrying the wrong guy soon, his leg won’t be the only thing broken.

All the Moore — Leilah Anderson has been living behind the screen to hide her disability, then she meets Reggie Moore face-to-face. Can their relationship survive the truth and distance between them?

A Holly, Bolly Christmas — A dream wedding venue at Christmas? Sign Chahna Kapoor up. Even if her fiancé doesn’t know it…

Somehow, This Christmas — When not-so-merry mishaps threaten wedding planner Cate Forsyth’s holiday wedding and reputation, will her own happily ever after with sweetheart Noah Bennett melt away?

A Promise So Sweet — Lydia Osborn hasn’t heard from her ex in ten years, so imagine her surprise when he shows up proposing marriage. Tis the season for love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Oh, to have friends that stick close through the years. My sister has a college clan like this one in the novel. After years removed from the connection in college, my sister’s group plans not just girl weekends, but girl weeks where they meet, bringing all their lives from miles apart together for renewal and focus (usually at the beach or the mountains). The bond has not been broken even though the woes of life—physical, mental, and emotional woven with spiritual. They have something special that not everybody has or understands. It takes work and commitment.

In Something Borrowed, these friends, still in their twenties, are finding love, making career choices, facing financial and physical strains. Each has chosen a life in a different city far from the close community of college. Yet, they stay connected and share their individual and corporate struggles and joys with the reader.

At Christmas, this collection of novellas is really one great novel of truths about friendship, love, connection, sharing, and growth. It inspires me to reach out to any friends and connect or reconnect with others even the simple act of a card or a memory. Count it a blessing to have multiple life-long friends.

(As a side note, I LOVED Toni Shiloh’s story set in New Orleans. I’m from Louisiana and enjoy the references to lifestyle, accents, and setting.)

About the Author

JayceeWeaver_HeadShot

Jaycee Weaver Author
Lover of Jesus, family, books, coffee, music, and crafting (in that order), Jaycee Weaver is perpetually pursuing at least one of her passions. She writes contemporary Christian romance with realistic characters in everyday situations where they always find a happy ending. Visit her at www.jayceeweaver.com.

toni

Toni Shiloh Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

MikalDawn_HeadShot

Mikal Dawn Author
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at www.mikaldawn.com.

TeresaTysinger_HeadShot

Teresa Tysinger Author
Teresa Tysinger is a wife, mother, and communications director for a national non-profit. She writes charming Christian romance, inspired by grace. Teresa now resides in Texas, though part of her heart remains in North Carolina. She loves Jesus, coffee, and happy endings. Visit Teresa at www.teresatysinger.com.

AndreaBoyd_HeadShot

Andrea Boyd Author
Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at www.andreaboyd11.com.

More from the Something Borrowed Authors

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Something Borrowed. Before we share our excitement for the collection, we’d like to give a brief history of how it came to be.

Last year, the five of us crafted the Once Upon a Christmas collection, but Teresa needed to step down and we were blessed to have Angela Ruth Strong join us in her stead. Early this year, we rejoiced as Teresa was able to resume her place, and then our hearts broke as we learned of Angela’s breast cancer battle. Through all life has thrown our way, we’ve formed a beautiful friendship and have plans to write more collections together!

In January, we decided on a Christmas weddings theme, but we wanted it to be different and unique. Ideas sprang to life and six college roommates emerged, each from a different walk of life but bound by friendship. And then, we found ourselves missing our sixth. With prayers and a blessing over Angela’s health and a writing endeavor that’s been a dream for years (read her story on Facebook!), we found a way to include her in the form of a sixth roommate who no longer needed a love story.

Enter Ruth Ann. Married right out of college, she’s been busy cranking out babies like nobody’s business. And when the next bride, Jaycee’s character Hanady, brings them together for a girls’ reunion weekend, it’s Ruth Ann who produces the perfect something borrowed for this circle of friends.

Hanady’s planning a wedding to the wrong groom—just ask Keenan, the injured best friend who’s loved her for years. Wheelchair-bound Leilah doubts she’ll wear the tiara, but her online gaming friend might be too wonderful to resist. Chahna “Ana” Kapoor just knows she’s going to wear the tiara, so she books her dream venue—she just needs her boyfriend to propose and her parents to tone down the drama. After being engaged to Noah for years, Cate is more than ready for the tiara to be hers, but not-so-merry mishaps the week of the wedding threaten a happily ever after. And finally, having watched all of her friends marry and start their families, when Lydia’s ex shows up on her doorstep with an outrageous proposal, she finds it hard to believe her turn might finally have come.

We are so happy to present to you this collection of five interconnected stories where friendship and faith take center stage. For some, it’s new love. For others, it’s finally sealing an old one. Each tale is unique and yet together they weave one overarching message of love, joy, hope, and peace through the Christmas season.

As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.

Blessings,

Jaycee, Toni, Mikal, Teresa, and Andrea

Blog Stops

Remembrancy, December 10

Connect in Fiction, December 10

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 12

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 12

For Him and My Family, December 13

EmpowerMoms, December 13

She Lives To Read, December 14

Through the Fire Blogs, December 14

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 15

deb’s Book Review, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Captive Dreams Window, December 16

Artistic Nobody, December 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Livin’ Lit, December 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

CarpeDiem, December 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 20

Cultivating Us, December 20

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Something Borrowed Authors are giving away the grand prize package of an Amazon gift card, pens, and chocolate!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10462/something-borrowed-celebration-tour-giveaway

I’d love for you to comment! Merry Christmas to all.

Merry Christmas Multi author Giveaway

Hello Readers!

Merry Christmas! To celebrate Christmas and you, I have teamed up with Celebrate Lit to do a special giveaway!

We want you to have a chance to win 45+ of books or a $500 Amazon card to buy a ton of books yourself in the Celebrate Lit 2nd Annual Merry Christmas Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!

Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/102df/2nd-annual-merry-christmas-readers

The event and giveaway is going on now through December 12.

Review and Giveaway An Ivy Hill Christmas

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About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

Ivy Hill Christmas

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Take me back to Ivy Hill any day, especially a day during the Christmas season where I can roam the quaint streets with old friends. Sharing a history with these authentic, loveable characters draws me to the pages. In my mind I leap onto the well-worn paths and country roads into the familiar homes with ease.

Klassen exposes some delightful Christmas traditions involving baskets filled to overflowing, caroling, giving, and including less fortunate people that spark a yearning to share.

Even while participating in the Christmas glitter and coverings, the characters cannot mask the ever-present problems of finances, work, society, politics, and relationships. Sound familiar? They are part of our lives today. For a needed retreat from the imposed solitude of today, go to the quaint, but far from perfect, life in Ivy Hill. Honestly, I want to return to this place often.

About the Author

Klassen Julie

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

Blog Stops

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave a comment and enjoy reading what others have to say.

One Ornament at a Time

For some reason, I am not rushing with decorating this year. I’m really enjoying the unpacking and placing of each item, letting the memories work a peaceful web around me. The boxes with ornaments are around the tree, waiting for my perusal.

The tree is up, and the white lights soothe me into the Christmas realm with rays of calmness and hope. Yes, hope that even with the changes of 2020, the celebration still is centered on the birth of Jesus. More than ever, He is the center of our home.

So, the ornaments dress the tree one at a time as I collect the memories.

…angels

…santas

…homemade

…old ones

…nativities

…funny ones

…sparkly and glittery

…breakable

…travels

…baby booties

Yes, 50 plus years of memories pour out of the boxes each year. In 2020, I’m giving them extra attention, time to absorb what they represent. Perhaps, you will do the same with your special decorations. There’s something to be gained from not being as busy this year.

Merry Christmas…