Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: Christmas Story

A Joyful Christmas (6 Historical Stories): Book Review

BOOK BY: Cynthia Hickey; Liz Johnson; Vickie McDonough; Liz Tolsma; Carrie Turansky; Erica Vetsch

A lovely collection of inspirational Christmas stories just in time for the season!

As always, Barbour Publishing brings talented authors together to create a delightful collection of stories that will leave readers with a smile on their faces. Feel-good holiday stories with just enough tension and more than enough romance to satisfy an appetite for light, Christmas reads.

Each author brings her own voice and own spin to Christmas tales of faith, hardship and Christmas joy from the 1800s. Some stories have been published before and others are brand new.

You’ll be in for a treat if you pick up this collection.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

From Idea to Publication: The Journey of a Published Novel

A Series on My Journey to Publication

When I first started on this journey to publication, I hadn’t realized how much work goes on behind the scenes before the finished product hits bookshelves or virtual shelves. So I thought I’d take some time to talk about the process and pull back the curtain on a very long, but rewarding, process.

SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is due to release on November 20, 2020. The idea for the story started back in mid-2018. I’d just finished writing my first novel and had entered it in several contests and submitted it to various publishers. While I was waiting for responses, this idea about a Christmas story was germinating.


I love Christmas stories and am known to read them in October right up until New Years, so the idea of a new holiday story intrigued me. I also needed something to focus on while I was waiting for responses. The initial idea was triggered by a Facebook post someone had shared about a resort that does Christmas all year round in New England. I followed a rabbit trail and discovered a month-long holiday festival celebrated in Middlebury, Vermont which starts November 30 and continues right through December 31.

What a fun setting and event to work through a story!

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

I began asking questions. Having been an event planner for much of my career, I wondered how the event planners would handle things going wrong or disappearing all together. It sure would throw a wrench in the plans! In a place that does Christmas better than any other in New England, why would someone want to destroy the festival or at least the appearance of wanting to destroy it? And who would be able to get to the bottom of the mystery?

I probably have answered those questions quite differently than others would have. You’ll just have to read the story when it comes out in November to see how I handled them!

Have an idea? Start asking questions and see where your story takes you.

Next time, we’ll talk about plotting or pantsing or plantsing.

The Christmas Table


BOOK BY: Donna Van Liere

This is another Christmas story that takes us to Glory’s Place and the colourful cast of characters readers have been introduced to in previous novels. It does help to read earlier novels as there are so many characters now it may be a bit confusing for readers unfamiliar with Ms. Van Liere’s books.

I loved how this novel connected two different time periods – 1972 and 2012. I quite enjoy reading time slip novels so this was definitely a treat.

This story picks up with Lauren and Travis setting up house after their wedding. Lauren purchases a refinished table and discovers recipe cards tucked inside a secret drawer. Never having cooked much or memories of family dinners around the table, Lauren is determined to start now before little ones arrive.

In 1972 we see the love and dedication that went into crafting the walnut table and the tragedy that surrounded the young family who built it.

What I found a challenge was to read both stories in present tense as if it was happening RIGHT NOW. It was a bit jarring at first, but after a while I got used to it.

There are characters to love and moments to cry along with them. But, it is a Christmas story so there is a happy (or at least satisfying) ending.

This story has all the feels.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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