Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Review Extravaganza!!

Pelican Book Group has kicked off its annual "Christmas Extravaganza!" That means you can purchase absolutely fabulous novellas for a dollar each through the month of December. You might call it PBG's Christmas gift to you--a wealth of romance full of Christmas cheer at a price that's such a bargain!

To get the festivities started, I want to key you in on some of the books, what they're about, and let you know what I thought of them. That's right - it's a review extravaganza, and I hope you run out and grab your copy today! To purchase, simply visit: Happy shopping!

By the way, I'm part of the fun with what I like to call my "London Romance" - Finding Home! Join me at Harrods for tea, and Trafalgar Square for caroling! Share a romantic sunset walk with my hero and heroine, Peter and Lexie, as they wander a bridge over the river Thames. I believe even Dickens would approve!

Here's more to savor:

Angel Song – Mary Manners

Down on her luck, college-educated art teacher Quinn Sanders is a single mom who's returned to Landers Hollow to raise her five-year-old daughter, Linsey. While working at the local diner, Quinn is befriended by Jason Graves. She has no idea Jason's the youth director of Landers Hollow Community Church until he asks her to lend a hand with the children's Christmas pageant.

Jason is dealing with issues of his own--a painful divorce following a doctor's confirmation that he'll never be able to father a child. Jason longs for a family of his own, but, rejected and disheartened, fears it may never come to pass.

Jason and Quinn are both searching for a Christmas miracle. What they find is sweeter than an angel's song.


Mary Manners is a “must buy” for me because her books never disappoint. Her proven talent for blending joy, tears, heart ache and a faith-filled hope shines bright in the pages of Angel Song. Quinn and Jason (and Linsey, too – the little pixie!) absolutely won my heart, but that’s Mary Manner’s gift—pulling on your heart strings while shining God’s love in her stories. Kudos, Mary! Another winner!

Everybody Loves Mickey – Therese Travis

He’s a saint with a tarnished halo, and Aubrey Thomas can’t stand him…or can she?

Handsome fireman, Mickey Hurst is loved by all. He volunteers at the local parish where Aubrey Thomas works as an administrator. He sings in the choir. He leads the youth group. He even acts as the church handyman, but Aubrey knew him before he became Saint Mickey—when he told her he’d have to be drunk to kiss her…and he was. What’s so infuriating is that despite his horrible admission, Aubrey loves Mickey as much as everybody else.

Mickey doesn’t blame Aubrey for disliking him. After all, he kissed her when he wasn’t sober—and insulted her, to boot. Aubrey deserved a better man—a Godly man. But, since that fateful kiss, Mickey’s drawn closer to the Lord. With the intercession of God and the matchmaking parish staff, Mickey prays that this Christmas he will be able to prove to Aubrey he’s now the man for her.


What impressed me most about the novella Everybody Loves Mickey is the realistic and dimensional way Ms. Travis creates her characters. With a deft hand at description and plot, she draws us into the world of two opposed characters – one with a tainted past, another operating on the assumption that, pardon the clich√©, ‘leopards just might not change their spots…’ The end result is a Christmas story full of magic, and redemption. Enjoy!!

An Aussie Christmas Angel – Clare Revell

On an extended holiday from the UK, John Connington finds himself in Sydney, Australia with no lodging, and only a telephone number from a friend-of-a-friend offering him a place to stay. Trusting that God knows what He’s doing, John makes the call.

Jo Heywood can’t believe the audacity of John Connington, yet when her flat mate knows of this obscure offer, there's nothing Jo can do. She’s not prepared for the avalanche of feelings this stranger elicits. Not impressed by God’s sense of humour, Jo fights how she feels.

Can a long distance relationship really work or is God just testing them both?


Most folks know I’m a fan of Clare Revell’s. She’s a remarkable author with a fabulous repertoire of Christian romantic suspense novels. However, this time she offers us a trip to the land down under rather than a dose of murder and mayhem. She takes us to Australia, and treats us to the charming love story of Jo and John – a pair who are destined to be together, despite horrendous logistics and questions about how they can blend the lives they’ve created on separate sides of the globe. This story resounded with faith, hope and romance. Can long-distance relationships work? Read An Aussie Christmas Angel and find out for yourself! Bravo, Clare – great job!

Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy – Carla Rossi

College senior and not-so-ex-ballerina Jane Trumbull is home for Christmas break. She welcomes the joyful chaos of a happy family holiday – then the rollercoaster of emotions begins.

Veterinarian Dr. Noah Barron hopes his return to Texas and his new clinic will help him forget about his dark days in California. But he can’t outrun unresolved issues and doesn’t know how lonely he really is – until he meets slightly clumsy Un-Plain Jane.

Can Jane and Noah learn to share who they really are and what they really want? And can they allow God to send joy after sorrow, hope for hidden dreams, and healing for past wounds?


I’m a Carla Rossi fan from way back. Her books are some of the first I ever read from White Rose Publishing, and spotting Carla’s talent is a large part of what made me want to write for this publisher. I figured, if WRP endorsed work this good, then I wanted to try to be part of their ranks as well!! She didn’t disappoint with her latest novella, a Christmas release that is sure to warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and leave you sighing with delight. A charming plotline and delightful characters kept me turning the pages and left me bummed when the story came to an end, only because I wanted more! KUDOS, Carla – keep up the great work!

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – JoAnn Durgin

Jacob Marston, Starlight, Iowa's hometown hero made a long-ago promise to the Lord: he won't kiss a woman until he knows she's "the one." Now at age twenty-eight, the rugged firefighter questions if it'll ever happen. Then, he meets his best friend's sister, and Jake believes he's found the woman of his dreams. But what will she think when she discovers his vow?

When Julia makes an unexpected confession on Christmas Day, Jake shares his secret with her, and it looks as though happily-ever-after will make a holiday appearance.

But somehow, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight learns Jake’s secret, and he's instantly transformed from town hero to laughingstock. Did Julia reveal his secret? Can Jake forget the humiliation and find his way under the mistletoe to share a forever kiss with Julia?


I love finding my way to new and talented authors! JoAnn Durgin is just such a recent discovery for me. With heart, wit, faith and hope, she develops a charming story of second chances driven by winsome characters wrapped by a plot that kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next! I look forward to reading more from this gifted writer!

Southern Fried Christmas – Marian Merritt

Love: purer than Colorado snow, deeper than a Louisiana bayou.

The Colorado Rockies have always been home to journalist Kelly Shepherd, but after the death of her father, and facing her first Christmas alone, she accepts an assignment that leads her deep into Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Since his wife’s death, Denny Labouve has focused his attention on his ten-year-old daughter and the family business, but Kelly sparks the dying embers of his heart even as a Christmas cold front moves through his beloved Cajun country.

Will Denny and Kelly be able to trust God to bridge the span between the Colorado Rockies and the Louisiana bayou?


Marian Merritt is a ‘new to me’ author that has landed straight onto my ‘to buy list’ for subsequent releases. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author who has a beautiful way of capturing scene, setting, and dialogue. I felt like I was in N’Orleans for Christmas when I read her novella, Southern Fried Christmas (how awesome is that title?!?). Love lost, love found, and starting life anew form the backdrop of the story – and it’s one I highly recommend.
Those are the review to now - but stay tuned!! There are more to come. Pelican Book Group is jam-packed with Christmas gifts. In the days ahead, I look forward to sharing additional reviews and great books with you!!
Blessings ~


  1. Marianne, thank you for such a glowing review! I appreciate the time and energy you took to read and review Southern Fried Christmas! These Christmas stories are truly Pelican's Christmas Extravaganza and I'm so honored to be part of it!

  2. Coming soon, my reviews for several more Extravaganza stories!! Stay tuned!

  3. What a great reading list. Thanks for posting these!

  4. This is so awesome, Marianne! THANK YOU!!!

  5. Now you've gone and done it, Marianne! I don't have time to read right now! My publisher (YOUR publisher!) will be very unhappy with me if I don't meet deadline. And here you go reviewing a whole Kindlerama of books I can't resist! (((Sigh))) It's a good thing Christmas-themed books are just as good after the holiday passes... :D