Remember, I warned you to get ready for lots of Christmas talk around here! Here goes the first installment!
I haven't really made a habit of seeking out Christmas titles to read until just last year. I read Christmas at Fairacre (click on the title to read my review) and totally loved it. Of course, I've read Christmas With Anne (Christmas stories written by my favorite author, L.M. Montgomery!? Hello!) and A Christmas Carol by Dickens. But this year I thought it would be fun to read a cozy Christmas title. Therefore when I was offered a chance to read The Christmas Secret, by Donna VanLiere, I said, "please!" Oh, am I ever thankful!
I've never heard of Donna VanLiere before, although I had heard of the book title The Christmas Shoes. Apparently, VanLiere has a "Christmas Hope" series and The Christmas Secret is book 5 in the lineup. I'm glad to know that there are four others because I'll be making a point to read each and every one of them!
Was this book good!? Oh my stars, yes! This is the PERFECT Christmas book and was exactly what I was looking for. It is well written, believable, (I can visualize it as a chick flick), made me cry at the very end, and was a grab-your-latte-and-Kleenex-and-try-to-find-a-quiet-spot-alone-some-place type of read. This book is the epitome of relaxed down time and Christmas bliss.
VanLiere has a very clever writing style. She intertwines so many lives within this book and the story slowly unfolds revealing more about the characters, exposing some relationships and building others. In The Christmas Secret we meet Christine Eisely who is a single mother of two children who is down on her luck in so many ways. Her ex-husband is hammering down her door to see the kids, and yet refusing to pay child support. She loses her job and is about to be kicked out of her duplex when life suddenly takes a turn for the better. Although that storyline might surprise you as being one I would normally enjoy, VanLiere manages to take this deep and head-y subject matter and handles it tastefully, sometimes humorously, and always in a hopeful manner that just draws the reader in and involves them in all the nitty gritty details. Fabulous, fabulous story telling abilities. VanLiere tells a clean story in a way that just delights the reader, making them feel those warm Christmas fuzzies that we're all after this time of year. I really couldn't speak more highly of this book.
The Christmas Secret would probably take you about 2 hours to read, which is the same amount of time you'd spend with a movie of like nature. You'd enjoy either and so I'm also pleased to inform you that VanLiere's Christmas books have been turned into movies and will be available for viewing on the Lifetime Movie Network on December 13th. Here is the lineup of showings:
4PM ET: The Christmas Shoes
6PM ET: The Christmas Blessing (LMN Premiere - one telecast only)
8PM ET: The Christmas Hope (Premiere)
10PM ET: The Christmas Shoes (Encore)
12AM ET: The Christmas Hope (Encore)
(Check local listings for scheduling changes.)
I don't have cable so I won't be watching them, but if I did -I would. I enjoyed the story THAT much and it would be a great movie to finish up a Christmas craft with, or to be entertained while wrapping gifts, baking cookies or just sitting and relaxing for a bit. (If any of you have seen these movies or plan on watching them, let me know how they are! I'd really like to know!)
In the meantime, I'm glad I spent the time with the book itself and I don't regret a minute of it. Rather, I'm thankfully for the perfectly satisfactory Christmas story that helped to get me in the Christmas mood. (Not that that's difficult to do, however, a nice book is always welcome!)
This post was originally a giveaway but the contest is now closed.