Christmas Book Picks 2018

I received a complimentary copy of the first book on this list for an honest review.

It’s that time of year again! I share my Christmas Book Picks before Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. in case any of my blog readers would like to procure and read a title or two from the list during the holiday season. I very much hope you will. 🙂 You’ll find them listed in the order I read them.
*And to the authors of my Christmas Picks, if you’d like a medal for making the list, see the bottom of this post.*

The Christmas Star: A Love Story by Robert Tate Miller

Christian Fiction/Contemporary Fiction

★★★★ from me

Paul, a husband and father with a crumbling life, lands back in time with shepherds who’ll travel to see the newborn Christ. I usually dislike making comparisons between creative works, but here and there, this novel reminded me of four different movies I like. That includes two of my all-time favorites: It’s a Wonderful Life and The Nativity Story. This sobering tale is saturated with the meaning of Christmas and the hope, redemption, and beautiful light that meaning brings. If you feel drawn by the winking white light of the star on the book cover, go with that feeling.

Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes

Christian Fiction/Biblical Fiction

★★★★ from me

A young couple’s love must bear the weight of the ages… Countless people are familiar with the biblical story of Mary and Joseph. There’s depth and an almost painful beauty to this fictionalized account, with distinct characters and their different motives coming into play. It shows how flawed human beings might react when what they “claim to believe” may no longer just be an ideal concept—a nice, safe distance away from reality. I see why so many people have enjoyed this inspiring classic over the years.

Red Boots by Kate Willis

Fiction/Short Story

★★★★ from me

An old shopkeeper has a chance to bring joy to a young heart. There’s a touch of whimsy to this tale, with a pair of boots “listening to the voices” of the shop’s shoppers and “the cash register’s song” filling the atmosphere. Sure, it can be easy for such a quick and pleasant read to be all holiday schmaltz, but the ingredients of a little regret and a dash of sacrifice make this dessert more than a Christmas popcorn ball. If you enjoy stories that give you a Gift of the Magi kind of feeling, check this one out.

The Candy Cane Caper by Cynthia Blair

Young Adult Fiction

★★★★ from me

Christine and Susan Pratt, teenaged twin sisters, set out on a Christmastime adventure to save a children’s hospital in danger of shutting down. This is the sixth book in the Pratt Twins series, but you can enjoy it even if you’ve not read the previous books yet. Chris and Sooz aren’t teenagers who only deal with what they go through because something happens to them. They’re proactive girls who make stuff happen. Plus, this fun, wholesome YA read has the bonus of being ultra Christmassy.

With Love from Miss Lily: A Christmas Story by Jackie French

Historical Fiction

★★★★★ from me

Sophie, a hospital director in war-torn Europe, is in for an unexpected Christmas. I stepped into a series mid-river when I picked up this short tale, sandwiched between two novels I haven’t read yet. But even without all the background information, the heart of this tale paints a poignant, compelling picture. It’s an account of resistance, of espionage, and of the sharp ingenuity that comes to the fore when ordinary people find themselves in the darkest, most critical of circumstances. An impactful, hopeful holiday story indeed.

Ms. Ely’s Christmas Wish: A New Life Tabernacle Short Story by LaShonda Bowman

Christian Fiction/Contemporary Fiction

★★★★★ from me

Seeing that some of her loved ones are moving on with happy lives, it might be time for Orella Ely to start her own new life elsewhere. Now, if this “short story” isn’t actually on the low end of a novella, I’m sure it’s at least a novelette. And it’s a beautiful tale. Not a sugary-Christmas-corny kind of beautiful, as Ms. Ely isn’t a sugary, sweet-old-granny type of heroine. But her sauciness and snap add some kick (and humor!) to this read. The story managed to break my heart in places without becoming depressing, and I liked how I couldn’t predict every turn the story took. I’d be happy to go back to read more about Ms. Ely earlier in the New Life Tabernacle series and to treat it like “prequel” reading.


There you have ’em—my picks for the year. Christmas is now officially kicked-off!

Entries for 2018’s Christmas Book Picks giveaway are now closed, but comments on the post are remaining open. 


You can get your reading started by picking up free Kindle copies of Red Boots and With Love from Miss Lily. Be sure to double-check the price before downloading!


And check out a romantic comedy that ties right into the holidays: The “She” Stands Alone. It’s available as a standalone (Ha! She stands alone! 😀 ) and also as part of a collection, Inspiring Love: Three Romantic Reads.


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, 2018.) Thanks again!


24 thoughts on “Christmas Book Picks 2018

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      Whoo hoo! You’re entered, Sally. 🙂 And I hope you enjoy the reads! It’s always a pleasure when I find/read new-to-me authors and think, “Hey, now–this is pretty GOOD.”


  1. Karen Klepsteen says:

    I’ve never heard of any of these stories, so I appreciate your honest opinion of them! Thank you for the chance to win The Christmas Star! That’s the one that has me the most excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kristen says:

    I think The Christmas Star looks really good and I’d love to win it in a give away. Thank you for reminding me of Two From Galilee. I forgot about it and now will add it to my Christmas reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      You’re entered, Joan!

      This was the second (or third?) time around for me and Two from Galilee. 😀 I was floored by parts of it the first time I read it, years ago. It was deeper than what I was expecting!


  3. Judy Mooney says:

    I would love to win “The Christmas Star” and am new to your books. I’m sure this one is special given the Christmas season and love and joy surrounding it. Thanks for the chance to win this book in the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      The Christmas Star is indeed special, and it’s been great to finally have the chance to share it as one of my holiday favorites. I read the novel last December after my Christmas Book Picks event was already over, so I had to wait almost a year to share it with this 2018 list. 😀 You’re entered in the giveaway, Judy!


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