Monday, October 31, 2016

"Wishing on Snowflakes" 
by Joanne DeMaio

I was very fortunate to have been chosen to be a part of the Snowy Street Team for "Wishing on Snowflakes," the new release by Joanne DeMaio.  It is a combination of two previously-released books titled "Snowflakes and Coffeecakes" and "Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer."  I received an electronic copy of the book free in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first time reading anything by Joanne DeMaio.  I have had several of her books on my to-read list in the past and just never got around to reading them -- definitely my bad!!  I did not realize what I was missing out on for all of this time until now.

Both of these novels are set in the small, quaint town of Addison, Connecticut just before the holiday season begins and involve a lot of the same people.  The characters are well-developed and before you know it, they have become your friends. 

The first novel opens with a wedding getting ready to take place, but the real story lies in a relationship between someone losing a job and returning home to live again and someone trying to get past a personal tragedy. 

The second novel opens with news that a wedding has been cancelled just a few weeks before the scheduled date.  The story revolves around someone picking up the life's pieces and someone healing after an accident.  As both people heal, love blossoms.

Both novels involve all of the senses and feature a lot of holiday decorating, family, good food, good friends, and lots of snow . . . all of the ingredients for a wonderful holiday season!!  In fact, the books would be a great holiday gift for someone, even yourself!!

I have to admit I was sad to see the stories come to an end.  The next day I was wondering how my friends in Addison were doing.  These DeMaio books are a quick read and definitely worth your time.  I know I am glad I can finally add her to my list of favorite authors and will read more of her novels in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2016

"The Christmas Club" by Barbara Hinske

I started reading "The Christmas Club" around 3:00 one morning just after I went to bed and was immediately immersed in the story of Verna, Edward, and others in early 1950s Cleveland and how something as simple as a $5.00 bill can change someone's life for the better, sometimes without that person even knowing it.

Barbara Hinske has taken a number of people who did not know each other and interwoven their lives together by simple acts of kindness and selfless caring.  Each life is touched in an honest and pure way that not only allows the receiver to feel better, but also warms the soul of the giver.

The book is short, written in Hinske's usual conversational style, and can easily be read in one or two sittings.  It is perfect to read while waiting in traffic or at a doctor's office.  Once you start reading "The Christmas Club," time will fly and all of a sudden you will be sad to see that you have reached the end of the book -- that is what happened to me.

Thank you Barbara Hinske for another enjoyable read!!