Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More for the Hollidays

Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews
Meg and Michael’s house is serving as the marshaling point for the annual Caerphilly Christmas parade. The theme is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and it features twelve drummers from the school marching band, eleven bagpipers, ten leaping lords costumed in medieval finery from the college drama department, etc. There are also assorted Christmas-themed floats, a live nativity scene on a flatbed truck, the Three Wise Men on Caerphilly zoo camels, and Santa Claus in a bright red horse-drawn sleigh (eight reindeer were beyond the zoo’s scope).
Meg has been volunteered to organize the parade, which is to proceed from her house to the local campus, where Santa will take up residence to hear the Christmas wishes of the town’s children. Of course, getting all the camels, pipers, leapers, and drummers in order is proving every bit as difficult as Meg feared it would be. Then her nephew Eric, wide-eyed and ashen-faced, whispers, “Meg, something’s wrong with Santa.”
The local curmudgeon, whose beard and belly made him a natural for the role, has been murdered. Now Meg and Chief Burke, who is playing one of the wise men, are faced with the two-fold mission of solving the murder and saving Christmas!

Readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery---this one filled with outrageous Christmas spirit…and mayhem.

The Chistmas Countess by Adrienne Basso A Woman With A Past...Six years ago, Rebecca Tremaine, the daughter of a vicar, became pregnant by her fiance. When he died unexpectedly, Rebecca was heartbroken and disgraced. The child was stillborn-or so Rebecca believed. Now, she's both shocked and jubilant to discover that her relatives arranged for her baby girl, Lily, to be given to a distant family connection-Cameron Sinclair, Earl of Hampton. The widowed earl reluctantly agrees to let Rebecca visit Lily over Christmas at his home in Kent, where she finds that the little girl, while a darling, is alarmingly spoiled...and the handsome, confident earl is attractive beyond measure...A LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS...Graceful, tender-hearted, and completely captivating, Rebecca fills Cameron Sinclair's home with warmth and light. There's no denying that her concern for Lily's behavior is well-founded. Just as he knows there's also no denying the ache he feels at the thought of her departure. After his wife's death three years ago, Cameron was adamant that he could never love another woman. But as the holiday season draws to a close, he can only hope that it is not too late to admit the joy of being proven thoroughly, delightfully wrong...

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
In Beck's debut novel, the conservative radio and TV host (An Inconvenient Book) makes a weak attempt at a holiday classic in the vein of It's a Wonderful Life. Despite his single mother's financial hardships, 12-year-old Eddie is certain this Christmas he will receive his much-desired Huffy bike. To his dismay, what he finds under the tree is "a stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that his mother carefully modeled after those she can't afford at Sears (one of four places she keeps part-time jobs). Eddie tosses the sweater and insults his mother before the two go visit his grandparents at their farmouse. On the drive home, though, Eddie's exhausted mother falls asleep at the wheel and crashes, dying instantly. Sent to live with his grandparents, an increasingly bitter and angry Eddie lashes out at his accommodating guardians, engages in typical teenage angst and grapples with belief in God. For all his focus on traditional family virtues like respect, love and forgiveness, Beck's lightweight parable cruises on predictability, repetition and sentimentality. Copyright

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe hair-raising holiday tales edited by a store favorite, Charlaine Harris
The editors of Many Bloody Returns deliver the perfect howl-iday gift, with new tales from Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and many more.New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn—along with eleven other masters of the genre—offer all-new stories on werewolves and the holidays, a fresh variation on the concept that worked so well with birthdays and vampires in Many Bloody Returns.The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year’s morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

Dashing Through the Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark
In the picturesque village of Branscombe, New Hampshire, the townsfolk are all pitching in to prepare for the first (and many hope annual) Festival of Joy. The night before the festival begins, a group of employees at the local market learn that they have won $160 million in the lottery. One of their co-workers, Duncan, decided at the last minute, on the advice of a pair of crooks masquerading as financial advisers, not to play. Then he goes missing. A second winning lottery ticket was purchased in the next town, but the winner hasn't come forward. Could Duncan have secretly bought it?
The Clarks' endearing heroes -- Alvirah Meehan, the amateur sleuth, and private investigator Regan Reilly -- have arrived in Branscombe for the festival. They are just the people to find out what is amiss. As they dig beneath the surface, they find that life in Branscombe is not as tranquil as it appears. So much for an old-fashioned weekend in the country. This fast-paced holiday caper will keep you dashing through the pages!

Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford
As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world.Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all.With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike.

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Susan

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