Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Extravaganza Reviews - Part 2!

If you're like me, you can't get enough of Christmas! That in mind, I'm delighted to bring you round two of my peek into the Christmas Extravaganza from Pelican Book Group. Check out these titles, available to you during the month of December for just $1.00 each! What a bargain, and what great stories! Go shopping at http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com and ENJOY!

Christmas Forever – Robin Bayne

Jason hasn't seen Cami in three years. Now she's back, with the son he'd wanted to claim as his own. Can he believe her newly found faith or will she desert him, and God, again?

Finding your way to a new life, and rediscovering the love you lost. Those elements form the backbone of some of my favorite stories! If you feel the same, then you’re going to love Christmas Forever by Robin Bayne. It’s a gem of a novella full of the beauty of the season! Cami is a prodigal, heading home. Jason is the one she left behind—the one who has been in love with her forever. Can they find their way back? Is their love meant to be? Pick up a copy of Christmas Forever and find out! Robin Bayne’s story won’t disappoint!

She Came to See the Snow – Mary Annslee Urban

Haley Blackwell travels to Colorado with plans to relive her favorite childhood memories—including a snowy Christmas. When she meets her grandparents’ neighbor, she finds herself yearning for more than a white Christmas, but trusting men has never been easy for Haley.

After a failed marriage, and the death of his ex-wife, Tate Rivers is determined to concentrate on raising his preschool daughter, Ashlyn, and to stay clear of another relationship. He doubts he can ever trust his heart to another woman—until he meets Haley.

Despite the weather forecast that does not include snow on Christmas Day, Ashlyn prays that God will give Haley the desires of her heart. Will Haley realize Tate isn’t a man who will abandon those he loves, and will they be able to push aside the past and step forward together in love—the way God desires?


From deepest pain the greatest joy can bloom—by the grace of God, and if we allow ourselves to accept that gift. I love that aspect of Mary Annslee Urban’s story, She Came to See the Snow. This novella features true-to-life characters who face true-to-life situations. Realism in Christian fiction is something that tends to either turn me on to a story, or make me set it aside. Haley and Tate took hold of my heart and this lovely, well-written romance won me as a reader. Grab a copy, and enjoy!

Ransomed Hope – Deborah Pierson Dill

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…

Seventeen years ago, Ashley Turner lost her father as well as Manuel Vega, the man she loved. Since then, she’s been trying to make the best of a bad situation. Now a widow, burdened with the alcoholic brother who bankrupted the family ranch, and days from foreclosure, she’s beyond hoping for her situation to improve. Ashley knows God allows adversity for a reason, but she can’t begin to comprehend the purpose in her troubles.

“…But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

When Manuel makes good on his promise to return after having been harshly turned out so many years ago, Ashley dares to hope that all is not lost. His intention is not to rescue her, however, but to pursue revenge for past wrongs. He soon discovers that his hardened heart is no match for her renewed hope.


This beauty from ashes story was a wonderful read! Captivating! Ashley and Manuel are characters you cheer for through all the messy circumstances life can sometimes stir up. Hope, fear, wistfulness and FAITH – all four of these elements create the tapestry of a story that is sure to be on your keeper shelf. Way to go, Deborah!!!

As You Are at Christmas – Davalynn Spencer

Angela Murphy’s plans for a cozy Colorado Christmas shatter when she finds her fellow-teacher boyfriend entangled with another woman. But she goes home anyway—to her grandmother Mollie’s Berthoud Boarding House where she’s forced into tasks with Mollie’s handsome new boarder, Matt Dawson.

While temporarily rooming at the boarding house until his new furnace arrives, Matt sees through Mollie’s manipulations to pair him with her granddaughter, but he can’t complain about spending time with the beautiful gray-eyed school teacher and the mangy stray they pick up on their way home from cutting a Christmas tree. In the company of both a beauty and a beast, Matt understands more clearly the words of a long-forgotten youth leader.

Will those words draw him back to a long-forgotten God? And will Angela find that home lies not in the Victorian house of her childhood, but in the arms of the man she’s grown to love?


Sweet touches of humor and love as tender as an evening snowfall make this novella sparkle! Davalynn Spencer is a new-to-me author and I can’t wait for her next release. This story featured not just a winsome hero and heroine but a match-making grandmother who’s totally endearing! I love watching two faith-filled people triumph in love over the obstacles in their lives…even when that romance needs a bit of a kick-start in order to flourish.  ::wink!:: Kudos, Davalynn!!

Breath of Christmas - EA West

When Esther Beauchamp agrees to drive a snowmobile during the Santa Snow Challenge, she expects a problem-free weekend of transporting snowboarders. What she gets is the task of transporting a single snowboarder and babysitting his service dog while he’s on the slope.

Robbie Kendrick is instantly attracted to the pretty staffer who volunteered to help him during the competition. While she’s clueless about asthma, he appreciates her efforts to understand how it affects him and his snowboarding. Best of all, she treats him like a man who isn’t disabled and gets along great with his medical alert dog.

But when Robbie’s ability to compete is called into question, is it in God’s plan for him to give up the career he loves, or will his competitive spirit cause him to lose his chance at a future with Esther?

There is something so beautiful about the way EA West creates her stories. They tug on the heart, they depict realistic characters, and I love the unique circumstances and fresh plots she develops. EA keeps me turning the pages because I never quite know how she’s going to “pull it off” in the end. Invariably, however, there is satisfaction, joy, and hope in the pages of her stories. Breath of Christmas is no different, and it’s such a wonderful holiday treat. Grab a copy!


One Christmas Eve – Robin Patchen

Movie star Blake Carmichael found more than just freedom from his drug addiction in rehab. He found God. And he has just one wish for the first Christmas of his new life: reconciliation with his teenage son, Eli. But after eight years of hardly hearing from Blake, Eli wants nothing to do with his father. So when his mother forces Eli to stay with Blake during the Christmas holidays, Eli sneaks out of the house.

From the New Hampshire seacoast to the dangerous streets of Boston, Blake searches for his son, desperate to protect Eli from sins Blake knows all too well. But even if he finds his son, will he ever be able to convince Eli of his love?

I love stories that portray real redemption. I love stories that portray flaws that are identified and overcome (both themes give hope to us all, yes?). Robin Patchen hits the mark with deft writing and smart plotting on her debut, One Christmas Eve. Sometimes we have to *keep* overcoming our sins because of the perceptions they create. Sometimes we have to ask for forgiveness when we jump to erroneous conclusions. How beautiful that grace that leads to love, hope and reclamation! Bravo, Robin.

A Christmas Homecoming – MaryAnn Diorio

Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody’s departure, Sonia’s world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister’s destructive actions, has become rebellious.

Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?

Jody Pettit O’Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her departure, her world has been turned upside down. She’s been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.

Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God?


Do you love stories about redemption and finding your way to faith, love and home? That’s part of what makes Christmas such a magical time of year, isn’t it? Restoration? The love of God? Christ’s birth in spirit and truth shining through tribulation and sin? Second chances? This offering from MaryAnn Diorio features all of that and more. This novella packs tremendous punch, and I highly recommend! It’ll restore your belief in second chances for everyone!

Whew! What a line up!!! In conclusion, and just in time for your Christmas enjoyment, I'll be posting reviews for three concluding selections of the PBG Extravaganza! Stay tuned for more great book offerings, and happy reading!!



  1. Thank you, Marianne for the great reviews. So appreciate it!

  2. Thanks for the great review, Marianne. All these books look wonderful. I read Christmas Forever, and it was heartwarming. I'm looking forward to diving into the rest of these. What a great way to encourage that holiday spirit!

  3. What a wonderful line-up of Christmas stories!

  4. Great stories! Marianne, thanks for posting these!

  5. Wow, this is awesome and wonderful. Thank you for all your hard work, Marianne. I don't know how you do it!

  6. Thanks for the sweet review, Marianne! So many great stories!

  7. I love the Christmas line-up. Thanks for showing them off!