Christmas Book Picks 2016

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I received complimentary copies of some of the books I mention here in exchange for honest reviews, which you’ll find in the posts I’ve linked to.

The time has again arrived! I share my Christmas Book Picks before Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. in case any of my dear blog readers would like to procure and read a title or two from the list during the holiday season, which I sincerely hope you will. 🙂 You’ll find them listed in a pretty eclectic order.
*And to the authors of my Christmas Picks, if you’d like a little gift for making the list, see the bottom of this post.*

zuzus-petalsZuzu’s Petals, A Dream of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ by Karolyn Grimes and Karen Deming

Fiction/Children’s Books

from me

That’s right! It’s thee Zuzu from my all-time favorite Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life. This children’s picture book is by Zuzu herself–that is, the woman who played the role of Zuzu Bailey in the movie, actress and author Karolyn Grimes. It’s an inspiring story from Zuzu’s point of view, and it includes the Bailey family and the people of Bedford Falls as it draws a parallel to the movie’s message about the power of kindness. The illustrations by co-author and illustrator Karen Deming are just beautiful, and I highly recommend this book both to current and soon-to-be fans of the iconic and classic film.

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Winter LightWinter Light by Robin Maderich

Contemporary Romance

from me

While Luke only suspects he’s met Allie before, she hasn’t forgotten their one moment on the ice… This small-town romance takes place in fictional Connor Falls, Pennsylvania. I particularly appreciated how the plot doesn’t always take the most predictable route. The book is an excellent example of solid storytelling in short fiction, and I’d recommend it to fans of sweet romance who’d enjoy a quick Christmas read with warmth, deep emotion, and memorable light.

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The More the MerrierThe More the Merrier by Liwen Y. Ho

Contemporary Romance/Short Story

from me

 Blind dates don’t help Alyssa, but is a “fake date” with her guy-friend Barry any better? Having enjoyed other romances by this author, I just dove right into this one without knowing what it was about ahead of time. This read is short, sweet, romantic (even a little hot), Christmassy, and not just a straight shot to Happily Ever After without believable conflict. I even had some real giggles and a moment or two of eyebrow raising–in a very good way. I’d recommend this fun splash of Merry to any fans of sweet romance.

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The Spinster's Christmas

The Spinster’s Christmas by Camille Elliot

Christian Fiction/Regency Romantic Suspense

from me

Yes, as sweet as its fitting cover is, don’t think this novel is all sweetness and holly and heart-flutters and nothing more. Miranda Belmoore and Captain Gerard Foremont are in for a Christmastide unlike anything they expected. What could easily have been a nice but flimsy Regency tale is instead a rather gritty and passionate holiday story of danger and longing, with dashes of humor and irresistible grace. Regency, suspense, and romance fans alike would do well to partake of this story, particularly at “Christmastide.”

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EvergreenEvergreen by Susan May Warren

Christian Fiction

from me

In light of their empty nest, John has got big plans for himself and his wife, Ingrid–and she’s not ready for any of it. It’s refreshing to read about couples who’ve been married for a while, who are still navigating the ins and outs of living an ever-unfolding life together. There’s depth to this story, a distinct understanding of the human experience, and the age-old Christmas Story is woven into this one in a way that’s real and relatable. For those who are familiar with the Christiansen Family series and those who are not, I highly recommend this warm, poignant, wise, and uplifting holiday novella.

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Hang Your Heart on ChristmasHang Your Heart on Christmas by Heather Blanton

Christian Fiction/Historical Western Romance

from me

Amy Tate, the town’s new schoolteacher, puts a hitch in the plans of Robert “Dent” Hernandez, a vengeful U.S. Marshal. Here’s a gritty holiday tale if there ever was one. It’s got the danger and rough-edged intrigue of the West, but it still manages to be warm and sweet when it needs to be. I was touched by the message central to the story, that there’s more to life than death. It makes the Christmas theme here all the more significant and beautiful. And, hey, that Amy and her spectacles–whoo hoo for girls with glasses!

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a-royal-christmas-weddingA Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

Christian Fiction/Romance

from me

So. A prince in Brighton Kingdom doesn’t plan on declaring his love for the American woman he once fell for, hmm? This novel is unashamedly a romance of fairytale proportions, one that I suspect fans of The Princess Diaries would enjoy. The story also makes way for some serious themes, including matters of faith and the tension between father/son respect and disagreement. Plus, the novel lays Christmas on thick, which I found absolutely delightful. How I’d relish being amid the festive sights and sounds of Brighton during the holiday season!

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The Incense Road Trilogy by Tracy Higley

Star of Wonder Star of Night Royal Beauty

Christian Fiction/Historical, Biblical Fiction

overall from me

The stars have heralded the coming of a new world ruler, and there’s a dangerous race through the sands of Arabia to secure power. When I started this series, I was unprepared for the stirring adventure the story becomes, something bringing Aladdin and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark to my mind. There’s action, intrigue, and romance, but along the way, the focus of this journey naturally shifts as the ultimate search for a Savior takes precedence. I’d recommend this trilogy to anyone who’d like to experience the Christmas Story in a broader context, beyond a baby in a manger.

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Those are my picks this year–and now Christmas is officially kicked-off! Entries for 2016’s Christmas Book Picks giveaway are now closed, but comments on the post are remaining open.

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Now, why not start off your Christmas reading right away with a free copy of Star of Wonder from the Incense Road Trilogy by Tracy Higley? I got mine at Amazon.

Star of Wonder

Star of Wonder

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Congratulations, authors, and thank you for writing your books! If I’ve selected yours as a Christmas Pick this year, you’re welcome to a complimentary medal to display on your website, blog, social media–wherever you wish. Click the image below and contact me to receive a full size PNG medal. (The lined watermark will be removed, of course, and the medal will include the year on it, 2016.) Thanks again!

 

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35 thoughts on “Christmas Book Picks 2016

  1. Wow! Thank you for this list! I do try to read such books before Christmas! (and after!) I like both giveaway books mentioned, but the book that especially appeals to me is “A Royal Christmas Wedding.”Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love your Christmas list. I start reading Christmas books around the first of November. I have never read either author, so this is a hard choice. I heard great things about both… so I pick Royal Christmas Wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! Thanks for sharing. Many are new authors for me. I would love to win either Susan May Warren’s Evergreen or Rachel Hauck’s A Royal Christmas Wedding. If I must pick one though, I’ll choose Evergreen since I’ve not started on Rachel Hauck’s Royal series yet.
    Thanks for the chance!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice post. I always enjoy a good Christmas read during the holiday season. I would enjoy winning either book, but which one in particular? Tough call! How about the one with the fewest entries? No, that wouldn’t be fair. Ok, how about the wedding one. I would also like to receive your own Giveaway Bonus. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the idea of “Zuzu’s Petals, A Dream of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” by Karolyn Grimes and Karen Deming. I just love “It’s a Wonderful Life” and watch it every year. I also have a game based on the movie. I love reading Christmas books each December. I will check and see if my library owns any of these so I can add them to my Christmas reading list.

    I would love to be entered into the drawing for a paperback copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck. It sounds Great!!

    I hope I win, but I don’t have Internet access at home, only at work, so I wouldn’t be able to check my mail until Monday the 21st. Don’t know if you can make an accommodation for that or not. Thanks for the opportunity either way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They look great books, I would like to add my self-published family history book called TURNER TREES by award winning author Keith Pott Turner, it may not be entirely about Christmas, but it includes biographies about Dickens and the Christmas Bull, plus it would be a lovely present for readers to discover they may have some famous ancestors.

    Like

    • Thank you, Keith. 🙂

      Because this is my annual awards post for my top Christmas book recommendations of the year, I must mention for my blog readers that this isn’t a book I’ve read or have recommended. Though I’ve added no official rules about it, I will have to ask that visitors refrain from posting self-promotional comments, as that isn’t quite what this event is designed for.

      I appreciate your stopping by!

      Like

  7. Pingback: Winners: Christmas Book Picks 2016 Giveaway | Prismatic Prospects

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