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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Christmas Secret

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.

40 comments:

hopeistheword said...

This does sound good. We don't have cable or satellite either, but I will admit that watching Christmas movies is one thing I miss.

Annette said...

We just got cable, well, satellite, and I set them to record! Thanks for the heads up! But you might want to change the date to 12/13 in your post.

I think you should move in next door to me so we can be buddies in real life.

Stand Fast said...

Thanks Carrie!

Shawntele said...

I love her books, have them all! Well except this one, and I have a sneaky suspicion it will be under the tree for me this year. :O)

Hampers said...

Thanks for sharing the Christmas secret.It looks great. Will buy my copy soon.

Beth said...

I just picked up this book from the library. I have enjoyed her other Christmas books. I highly recommend her book, Angels on Morgan Hill, a non-Christmas book but a great story.

AlleluiaLu said...

I've seen "The Christmas Shoes" and loved it. I've added "The Christmas Secret" to my Christmas TBR list as well as the others you mentioned. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Amber said...

I would LOVE to win a copy. :-)

Marjorie said...

A wow giveaway, I love Christmas books.
I am a google reader follower.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Katy said...

Sounds like a lovely read! I'm looking for a nice holiday book for the season.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Oh, you know I love a good sappy holiday book or movie!

Barbara H. said...

Sounds interesting! I'd love to win and try out this author.

tmu said...

sounds like a great book to curl up with. And i know i'm not sposed to end a sentence with a preposition.

i'd love to win sometime!

Just Mom said...

Sounds delightful! Please enter me!

Jen @ Happy LIttle Homemaker said...

This sounds lovely; count me in!

Cassandra said...

I'm interested! It sounds like a really good book.

wmmahaney said...

Sounds like a wonderful book.
wmmahaney(at)Att(dot)net

Lisa writes... said...

Add me!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to read this book...thanks for the opportunity.

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

mountainsofbooks said...

Sounds good. I've yet to read a Christmas story this year...or even last, I think.

Paula said...

Thank you for a review of this book. I would also love to have a copy!

Amy said...

Sign me up! I saw it at Sam's but passed on it (due to the $$$), but FREE, I like! :-)

sweetpea08 said...

I've seen the Christmas Shoes and loved it...and of course cried! =) I look forward to seeing the other ones! Thanks for the chance to win this book...looks great!

rachel_demille@yahoo.com

Margie said...

This looks like a wonderful book! Count me in.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Linda said...

Count me in! Thanks!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Abi said...

I'd sure love to win this book Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Great Giveaway- charming books! I have enjoyed her first Christmas stories...thanks for the giveaway!
Jen N
artandjen at juno dot com

Susanne said...

Sounds like a nice read for a cold blustery evening! Please enter me!

Amy said...

I would love to get a copy of this book!

We are all about Christmas stories in this house. I have a collection on my coffee table and would love to add a new book to it. One of our traditions is that I read aloud to my kids during the month of December. After 12+ years they'd appreciate a new book too.

enyl said...

My book club has decided to substitute our regular meeting to watch the Christmas movie series on Dec. 13th.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

Framed said...

I love christmas books. Please enter me.

Christielulu said...

I always like to read the book before the movie and like new books.

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, one I would really enjoy reading. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Winning Readings said...

I love The Christmas Shoes and would enjoy reading this book!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-secret.html

Beth (BBRB) said...

Ooh! This looks great! Please enter me!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Mark said...

I loved the other 4 books, so hope I win this one

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
http://www.readingtoknow.com/

Kathy said...

I'd much rather read the book first on a cold winter night!

Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

plb8156 said...

I would so love to win this - it sounds great :)
plb8156@aol.com

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