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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Trio of Heartwarming Holiday Happiness

I always look forward to reading new holiday romances and revisiting favorites from years past but now that I've returned to work (retail, no less!), I know that time will be at a premium this year.  You can imagine how delighted I was to learn that three of my favorite authors were releasing new Christmas themed novellas in digital format; three delicious, heartwarming stories that can easily be read over morning coffee, evening hot chocolate or in between those never-ending holiday errands.  And at their current prices of less than $1.00 they're the perfect "Merry Christmas to Me" gift! 

Thank you, Santa!  And thank you, Tessa, Emily and Eloisa!


Once Upon a Winter's Eve: A Spindle Cove Novella
By Tessa Dare
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date:  November 15, 2011

It's the night of the officer's ball in Spindle Cove and Violet Winterbottom is where she can usually be found at a ball; in the corner.  She's gained a fair amount of confidence since arriving in Spindle Cove - a haven for young ladies who for a variety of reasons are society misfits - following The Disappointment a year past but her parents have called her home and tomorrow she leaves for London where she faces the possibility of seeing him, the boy next door, the man she's always loved, the man who, one year ago, broke her heart by giving her reason to hope then leaving the country without even saying "good-bye."

She's on the verge of leaving the ball when a bedraggled and obviously wounded man staggers into the ballroom, mumbling in a foreign language, and collapses at Violet's feet.  Who is he?  A spy?  A smuggler?  An enemy of England or someone more familiar?  All Violet knows about this stranger who intrigues her is that she's the only person at the ball who can understand the language he's speaking and he's desperate to keep her by his side.

One night.  That's all she has to discover his secrets.  Will it be enough to erase the painful memory of The Disappointment and give her the courage to once more open her heart to love? 

Tessa Dare returns to Spindle Cove, the setting of her current historical series, for this charming, frequently humorous and sensual holiday tale that will warm your heart on a cold winter's eve and leave you counting the days until your next visit to this delightful seaside village. 

The first book in the Spindle Cove series, A Night to Surrender was released in August and the next book, A Week to be Wicked will be released March 27, 2012.  That's 130 days.  In case you were wondering. ::grin::


Mistletoe Mine:  An Eternity Springs Novella
By Emily March
Publisher:  Ballantine
Release Date:  November 21, 2011


Only one thing is casting a shadow on Molly Stapleton's upcoming marriage: the fact that her beloved parents haven't spoken for the past three years.  Can a destination wedding in Eternity Springs, Colorado and a little help from her new Eternity Springs friends bring about the Christmas miracle she most wants?

Torn apart by a tragic family betrayal, Emma and Jared Stapleton have lived separate lives for the past three years.  Now, with the wedding of their only child on the horizon, they will come face to face for the first time since the day when they hurled painful words at one another and Emma stormed off their ranch, never to return.  Will their daughter's not-so-subtle matchmaking and the magic of the holiday season open this stubborn, emotionally wounded couple's eyes to the fact that where love still resides there is always hope?  And, if they finally set aside their pride and truly communicate with one another, will the gift their hearts most desire finally be theirs?

Emily March's small mountain town of Eternity Springs has quickly become one of my favorite fictional places to visit.  Each story, whether full-length or shorter novella, is character driven, deeply emotional and finely woven with March's strong threads of hope, love and friendship.  If you haven't visited Eternity Springs yet, why not take a trip this holiday season with "Mistletoe Mine?"

Lover's Leap, the next book in March's Eternity Springs series will be released December 27th.  Two trips to Eternity Springs this holiday season make me one very happy reader!


Winning the Wallflower
By Eloisa James
Publisher:  Avon Impulse
Release Date:  December 6, 2011


Cyrus has a plan:  become wealthy, buy an estate, marry a member of the ton, restore his family's reputation in society and, at all costs, avoid the scandal his parents created when his titled mother eloped with the family solicitor.  Choosing perpetual wallflower, Lucy Towerton at first sight, Cyrus secures her father's approval of the match then goes about his business, paying his fiancee less attention than he would a stranger on the street.
When Lucy, who is much more than the wallflower persona she presents, inherits a fortune from her aunt, she becomes an instant heiress and Lucy's snobbish mother insists she break the engagement and set her sights higher.  Lucy does break it off but not for those reasons.  Having finally gained confidence in herself, and the attentions of other men of the ton, Lucy realizes that she deserves more than to be a number on a gentleman's "plan." Though she desires Cyrus, she really doesn't know him but she knows herself well enough to understand that she cannot spend her life with a man who doesn't desire her above all else.  Lucy wants love and she's willing to fight to get it.  What Cyrus slowly discovers, once he no longer has her, is that what he wants is Lucy but she won't make it easy for him.  If he wants to win her, he'll have to work for it because Lucy won't give herself to a man who doesn't know her completely and who can't open himself completely to her.  
 
Like exquisitely packaged gourmet chocolates, James reveals each layer of Lucy and Cyrus's personalties at a leisurely pace,  serving them to the reader at the appropriate time.  Light and fluffy, dark and sensual, intriguing and complex; each delicious piece offers a deeper look into the hearts of our hero and heroine, allowing the reader - and even the characters themselves - to finally, completely uncover the real person behind the public veneer. 

I loved this couple!  They made me laugh, sigh, groan, laugh some more and cheer them on from beginning to end. James's signature wit, well-drawn characters and sensual romance make this holiday tale one to treasure.  And, as an added bonus, the epilogue is one of the most entertaining I've read in ages.  I highly recommend "Winning the Wallflower."

The next book from Eloisa James, The Duke is Mine, will be released December 27th.   I've read it and I think it's one of the best books she's written.  (Watch for my review in December)  It also features one of my favorite heroines ever, Olivia Lytton, an irrepressible young lady who is introduced to readers in "Winning the Wallflower." 

~PJ

33 comments:

  1. oh. .this is tessa dare's book that my friend told me to order for her, i will check on BD and order for her because she is so excited with this book.. hem.. i think i will order for my self too :)

    emily and eloisa's book sounds great too

    so many chirstmas book

    love it ;)

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  2. Hi PJ, and thank you for bringing such wonderful tidings of joy! I love Christmas stories, too, and these are three of my favorite authors as well! They are indeed holiday presents I'll have to give myself. It is also so adorable that Eloisa used "Lucy" as her heroine's name. That's what she and her family named the tiny Dashound they rescued from Second Hand Hounds of Minnasota last year. SSH is an amazing animal rescue organization run by Connie Brockway's daughter, Rachel. They are having a much needed online fundraser right now. Check out SSH on FB to make a donation in the spirit of the holidays!

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  3. Love Christmas stories.

    Tessa Dare's release is very high on the wishlist, Christmas and Spindle Cove, Happy Days. *g*

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  4. I have an entire collection of Christmas stories I start re-reading the end of October, I am always adding new ones, I will have to start reading earlier next year.

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  5. Love the reviews, PJ! And you know how much I love Christmas books--and how many favorites I have. "Once Upon a Winter's Eve" and "Winning the Wallflower" have been added to the favorites list, and I'm sure "Mistletoe Mine" will join them just as soon as I read it.

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  6. Good Morning (or good evening) my Christmas book buddies! Hope you're all doing well today. It's my day off (yay!) and filled with errands (of course) but I'll be popping in and out throughout the day.

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  7. Eli, Tessa's story is such a delight. I was telling someone (Janga, maybe it was you?) the other day that Tessa is one of the few authors out there who can give me a "full book" feel with a short novella. Eloisa James is another.

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  8. Flora, I kind of chuckled too when I read that the heroine's name was Lucy in the novella. Little four-legged Lucy is becoming quite famous, isn't she?

    Thanks for the shout out for the animal rescue fundraiser too!

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  9. Tessa Dare's release is very high on the wishlist, Christmas and Spindle Cove, Happy Days. *g*

    Very happy days, Beebs! :)

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  10. I have an entire collection of Christmas stories I start re-reading the end of October

    I usually do the same, Dianna but with my crazy work schedule this year I've found myself focusing on novellas and categories more. Much to my delight, there are some wonderful shorter stories out there! :)

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  11. "Once Upon a Winter's Eve" and "Winning the Wallflower" have been added to the favorites list

    Mine too, Janga. I'll be re-reading them for sure.

    I'm sure "Mistletoe Mine" will join them just as soon as I read it.

    I enjoy my "visits" to Eternity Springs so much. March has certainly found her niche (in my opinion) with this new contemporary series!

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  12. This wonderful trio of Christmas novels all sound so terrific. Santa already knows that: "All I Want for Christmas is Some Brand New Books!" Thanks for sharing these. Now, I'm going to see if a department store or mall has a Santa yet so I can sit on his lap!

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  13. Thank you PJ for pointing me in the right direction for some more Holiday reading. I need to add some new Holliday stories to my collection. This year I truly need a way to escape into a good story. I have read Tessa and Eloisa many times. I can't wait to try an Emily March book.

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  14. Hooray! I'm giving myself an early Christmas present with these---great stories at great prices. Can't beat it! :-)

    Thanks for the reviews, PJ!

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  15. I always enjoy Christmas stories! Thanks! These authors are auto-buys for me.

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  16. just realized that this is a novella, Bookdepository do not sale the novella ;(

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  17. Thanks for the shout out, PJ! I'm thrilled you enjoyd Eternity Springs and MISTLETOE MINE!

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  18. I had no idea Eloisa had a new novella coming out! Must go pre-purchase immediately. :) I'm also very much looking forward to The Duke is Mine.

    I devoured Tessa's Once Upon a Winter's Eve the day it came out and absolutely loved it! I fell in love with Violet and Christian immediately. I can't wait to return to Spindle Cove in Colin and Minvera's story! :) March 2012 seems so far away. ::sigh::

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  19. I am hooked on Emily March series and can't wait for the new one to come out. I love Christmas stories so will check out that one too.

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  20. Connie said, Santa already knows that: "All I Want for Christmas is Some Brand New Books!"

    I have a feeling that's on all our Christmas lists! :)

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  21. Gigi, I hope you enjoy the novellas and that they bring you a lightness of heart this holiday season.

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  22. Hooray! I'm giving myself an early Christmas present with these---great stories at great prices. Can't beat it! :-)


    Gannon, you are so going to enjoy these three!

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  23. These authors are auto-buys for me.

    Me too, Laurie! Hope you enjoy the stories.

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  24. just realized that this is a novella, Bookdepository do not sale the novella ;(

    I sure wish they'd come up with a way for readers outside the US to easily download digital books!

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  25. Emily March said, Thanks for the shout out, PJ! I'm thrilled you enjoyd Eternity Springs and MISTLETOE MINE!

    You're welcome, Emily! I've thoroughly enjoyed every "visit" I've made to Eternity Springs and can't wait for the next one! :)

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  26. Lisa said,
    I fell in love with Violet and Christian immediately. I can't wait to return to Spindle Cove in Colin and Minvera's story!


    Me too! Me too!

    I think you'll really enjoy "Winning the Wallflower!"

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  27. Virginia said, I am hooked on Emily March series and can't wait for the new one to come out

    Same here! I've been a fan of her historical books (written as Geralyn Dawson) for years and now she's writing some of the best contemp/women's fiction books I've read in ages.

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  28. PJ -
    What a terrific way to get into the holiday spirit than reading these three authors! I just downloaded Tessa's novella a few minutes ago before I read your holiday blog today. Emily's books are so much fun and I didn't realize she had a novella especially for Christmas so I'll be "visiting" Eternity Springs soon. I'm also thrilled that Eloise has given us another Wallflower story to brighten up our days as we wait for the snow to fall and have time to just sit and read in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace.

    Wishing you an early Merry Christmas!

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  29. What a great list of Christmas books, thank you!

    I have Tessa's on my Kindle already, now I need to get Winning the Wallflower
    By Eloisa James.

    As always, you rock with your 'hints' PJ!

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  30. These sound wonderful, PJ! One of these days I'll get an e-reader...

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  31. I'm also thrilled that Eloise has given us another Wallflower story to brighten up our days as we wait for the snow to fall and have time to just sit and read in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace.

    Jeanne, what a lovely picture you paint. I hope you enjoy the novellas!

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  32. As always, you rock with your 'hints' PJ!

    Thanks, Dalila! I love sharing my love of books with all my reader friends! :)

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  33. What wonderful holiday books. I will have to add them to my collection. Unfortunately, I do not yet have an e-reader. Too many books I would really like to read are coming out in that format only. I really need to decide which I want - NOOK or Kindle - and go for it. Then I can order all those books on my list and not have to try to find room for them in my bookcases.

    thanks for the reviews. I want them all.

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