Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Snack-Size Reviews to Savor

Only one week to go until Christmas! I've been savoring some sweet Christmas short stories and novellas, and I wanted to share about them so you can enjoy a last-minute treat too. :)

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Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale by Amanda Dykes
Rating: Summer

All the rumors you might have heard are true...this is a lovely little tale! Only a few characters are featured, and yet the author weaves their lives into a braid of tender emotion, loss, and hope. The setting is unique and described beautifully, definitely perfect for Christmas Eve dreams. And I love the inspiration behind it all: the desire to spread the deepest love through bicycles. It has my own wheels spinning, making me want to touch lives in unique ways with what I have right now.

Wrapped in Red by Meghan M. Gorecki
Rating: Spring

Wrapped in Red is all about family, hope, and healing. It's a fun contemporary novella, but not without its difficult parts, including a prickly heroine with a wounded heart that longs to love again. I enjoyed the sweet side of Christmas in the city, and the ending is thought-provoking and inspiring. 

Rating: Spring/Summer

This modern-day reimagining of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is clever, funny, and entertaining. How Carol ends up being whisked away to face her past, understand her present, and see the direction of her future is quite clever. The "Ghost Hosts" have such funny and unique personalities! (The scenes they bring to life keep the reader eager to turn pages.) And yes, this story all about Christmas parties is as entertaining as one would hope it to be—while conveying a heartfelt message and culminating in a charming ending.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book.*

What Dreams May Come by Alana Terry
Rating: Spring

Knowing this has its main basis in reality makes the romance extra sweet! The story unfolds slowly, taking its time to share how the two main characters ended up in such a tragic situation, far apart and unable to see how anything could change. I like how the tension feels authentic and the heroine's love and loyalty are so strong. This is a bittersweet but inspiring tale about trusting God with the dreams He gives and opening your heart to hope again.

How Gretchen Stole Christmas by Tracy Joy Jones
Rating: Spring/Summer

Fun and full of heart! How Gretchen Stole Christmas starts out with a young woman eager to surprise her family for Christmas...but quickly takes a surprising turn that brings an old flame into the picture. I really enjoyed reading about Gretchen's big family and seeing how she reacts to a crazy situation. The ending is perfect for a Christmas romance, and I love the way the heroine's eyes are opened.

*You can get this e-novella for FREE this month (December 2017) when you subscribe to the author's newsletter!*

BONUS

Seaglass by Kara Swanson
Rating: Spring/Summer

This isn't a Christmas read, but it is another freebie that is oh-so-lovely! A bit of fantasy churns through the pages of this simple little story, but the message shimmers bright for real-world readers. I love the imagery and what the two main characters come to see about living life.

Thanks to Juju of Tales of Whimsy for the inspiration regarding mini reviews!

3 comments:

Cindy V said...

Thank you so much, dear Amber, for including Yes, Carol . . . It's Christmas! in your list, and thanks also for your very well-written (as always!) review of my novella! It was so much fun to write, and I'm glad to hear you had fun jumping into the craziness of Carol's world. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!!

Amber Holcomb said...

Cindy,

Aww, it's my pleasure! Thank you for the kind words about my reviews. :) I can definitely imagine Yes, Carol being a fun book to write; it was certainly a fun book to read!

Merry Christmas to you too! ♥

~Amber

Tracy Joy Jones said...

Amber, this is so fun to be included in your list! Thank you for your sweet review. I wish I'd seen it last year, but it made my day today! I hope you have a lovely Christmas!