Saturday, November 03, 2012

Christmas Books

One more list this week, by popular demand. I mentioned on Facebook that I had a number of Christmas books since I'm getting ready for my brown bag luncheon. And, some of my friends enjoy Christmas books as much as I did. So, I promised to share some of this year's new releases. It's a fabulous selection for those of us who love holiday reading.

I'll start with the mysteries first.

Rhys Bowen's latest Royal Spyness mystery is The Twelve Clues of Christmas. Lady Georgiana lands a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in a small village right out of A Christmas Carol. But, a dead man on her first day in town, followed by another on her second day in town, and one more on her third, leaves the village buzzing, and Georgie convinced someone is trying to ruin the holiday.

The twelfth entry in Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery series is Holiday Buzz. Cleo Coyle is providing the beverages for the Great New York Cookie Swap. But, when she finds the bodies of two bludgeoned bakers, she's going to spend her holiday season poring over clues.

Des Mitry's first taste of Christmas in the quaint New England village of Dorset is filled with crime in David Handler's latest Berger and Mitry mystery, The Snow White Christmas Cookie. Three blizzards have blanketed the town, but it doesn't stop crime. Mitch Berger finds his neighbor dead of a drug overdoes,a Grinch is stealing mail, and Des finds a black market gang with ties to organized crime. With a fourth blizzard on its way, this might be a Christmas to remember.

Kate Kingsbury's new Pennyfoot Hotel mystery is a holiday one, The Clue is in the Pudding. Cecily Sinclair Baxter is forced to hire a temporary housekeeper for the hotel, a woman who fights with everyone, including an actor who drops dead after the huffy woman serves him some plum pudding. The housekeeper may be the number one suspect, but Cecily suspects someone else might be a killer.

Joyce and Jim Lavene take associate professor Jessie Morton back to the Renaissance Faire Village for the Christmas season in Treacherous Toys. She's wanted to work as an apprentice to the new toy maker, but Chris Christmas is discovered dead just hours after her arrival. Jessie plans to unwrap the truth about the man's death before word gets out it's not safe to be Santa, or his helper.

Anne Perry takes readers to India in this year's annual holiday story, A Christmas Garland. India is in the midst of rebellion in 1857. When a guard is killed at the British garrison, and more deaths follow, a medical orderly is arrested. Lieutenant Victor Narraway searches for the truth, despite his superiors' wish for a show trial. Thanks to a simple Christmas garland and some brilliant detective work, Narraway turns a dark hour into one full of joy and light.

Ellie Avery would really just like to play Mrs. Santa for her Air Force husband and two children in Sara Rosett's Mistletoe, Merriment, and Murder. Instead, the super organizer is trying to avoid the garishly decorated house down the street, help a client who is a hoarder, and prove she's not a killer before someone wishes her a deadly Christmas.

The last mystery is Livia J. Washburn's Wedding Cake Killer. Phyllis Newsom helped her best friend plan a Christmas wedding in Weatherford, Texas. Phyllis is happy to host the event, despite the forecast of a snowstorm that could be a recipe for disaster. When the new groom is found dead at a bed-and-breakfast, Phyllis' newlywed friend is the top suspect.

Now, onto the Christmas romances and stories that embody the Christmas spirit. Speaking of Christmas spirit, I'm starting with The Ghost of Christmas Present by Scott Abbott and Amy Maude Swinton. Peter Guthrie faces the worst holiday of his life. His son needs heart surgery, he loses his job, and his former father-in-law sets him up to prove he's an unfit father. In desperation, he takes to the streets as the Ghost of Christmas Present, a performance that changes lives.

In Victoria Alexander's What Happens At Christmas, a beautiful widow finds her plans for a Christmas proposal going wrong. Camille, Lady Lydingham wants an official engagement to a handsome prince for Christmas, but she has to cope with her unconventional relatives. And, then, Grayson Elliott shows up, determined to prove he and Camille belong together.

Amanda Cabot takes readers back to 1882 Wyoming territory in Christmas Roses. Celia Anderson is a widow determined to take care of herself and her daughter unless she can have the romantic marriage she only read about. She tells Mark Williams she wants a man who will bring her roses for Christmas, or she won't marry again.

Melody Carlson always deals with miracles in her holiday books. This year, The Christmas Pony, tells of Lucy Turnbull, a young girl who wished for a pony for Christmas, even though her mother and grandmother told her they couldn't afford a pony. It's too hard to put food on the table in 1937, and no little girl should ask for such nonsense. But, the arrival of a glamorous woman in town could change everything.

Janet Dailey takes a rancher to Manhattan in A Cowboy Under My Christmas Tree. Sam Bennett is only in town for a month to set up Christmas trees, but once he meets Nicole Young, a window designer, four weeks won't be enough time to romance her. Every day feels special as the couple find the Christmas spirit and help a small boy with a big wish.

In A Wreath of Snow, Liz Curtis Higgs takes readers to a Victorian Scottish Christmas. In 1894, a schoolteacher's holiday plans crumble in the face of her brother's bitterness, so she only wants to get back to Edinburgh and the students she loves. An unexpected detour throws her together with a newspaperman who shares a secret history with her, a past that could lead to regret or a future together.

Romance author Sabrina Jeffries has her first hardcover novel, 'Twas the Night After Christmas, a mix of family secrets, playful passions, and powerful love, all sparked by a holiday reunion in Regency England. When Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, receives a letter saying his mother is dying, he reluctantly returns home since he never forgave his parents for leaving him to be raised by distant relatives. He returns home to find a healthy mother, and a meddling lady's companion, a widow who is determined to reunite mother and son. He also discovers that that beautiful widow arouses the scoundrel in him.

Karen Kingsbury's Christmas story is The Bridge, a story of tragedy and love set against the background of a small bookstore. Molly Allen left her love behind in Tennessee when she walked away five years earlier. Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville and hasn't forgotten Molly. He can still visit the bookstore, The Bridge, that they both loved. But a flood that swept through Franklin, Tennessee destroyed almost every book, leaving the owners despondent, with no hope when the bank pulls the lease. It seems a few people are going to need miracles and a second chance.

Debbie Macomber brings back her angels, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy in Angels at the Table. When they descend on Times Square on New Year's Eve, they bring an apprentice angel, Will, with them. Will lends a helping hand to bring two lonely strangers together. But, Lucie and Aren are torn apart with no way to find each other. A year later, they haven't forgotten their time together, and Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, and Will decide to reunite the couple, mixing true love, a bit of mischief, and a Christmas miracle.

A Fool's Gold Christmas is Susan Mallery's contribution to the holiday books. Dancer Evie Stryker doesn't appreciate the unrelenting cheer in Fool's Gold, California, but she was forced to return home after an injury. Recruited to stage the town's winter festival, she hopes to leave town as soon as possible. However, the lawyer who works below the practice space for the young dancers is the best friend of Evie's brother. He's always seen love as dangerous until the magic of Fool's Gold proves miracles can happen.

It's a McKettrick holiday in Linda Lael Miller's An Outlaw's Christmas. Sawyer McKettrick wasn't ready to settle down on the family's Arizona ranch. Instead he headed for Blue River, Texas and a job as marshal. But, he's injured in a snowstorm, and ends up stranded with teacher Piper St. James in her room behind the schoolhouse. As the storm clears, Piper's long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood might turn into a holiday wish.

Lisa Plumley combines humor and romance in Together for Christmas.Talent agent Casey Jackson doesn't do Christmas.But, when he's called to Michigan to get a pop star's holiday special back on track, he meets the star's sister, a down-home diner owner who is crazy about Christmas. Can a Christmas-lover find romance with a sexy Scrooge?

Charles Todd, author of the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford mysteries, has a holiday tale, The Walnut Tree. It's a bittersweet love story set at Christmas during the opening months of World War I. Just after Lady Elspeth Douglas agrees to marry her friend's brother, Alain, the Germans overrun Belgium, threatening France, and Alain leaves to join his unit. Trapped on the French coast, Elspeth tries to make herself useful carrying water to the soldiers. She's rescued by a solider, and then separated. But, she can't forget the horrors she saw or the man who rescued her.

Jason F. Wright, author of Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters, brings us The 13th Day of Christmas. Marva Ferguson, an aging widow with a special tradition that happens every December 26, befriends a nine-year-old boy who also loves Christmas. After Charlee becomes critically ill, he receives a mysterious note. Beginning with December 12, it promises twelve days of gifts and stories that will reveal the truth behind the carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It's a story of laughter, tenderness, faith, and hope.

Stories of tenderness, faith, and hope, with a few mysteries thrown in. If you're a fan of Christmas books, and can't find a story in this list, you just might have a little Grinch in your soul. Maybe I can change that with the promise of a Christmas book giveaway coming up on Thursday. Anticipation. That's appropriate when discussing holidays and holiday reading.


CindyD said...

I think you left out the new Thomas Kinkade, A SEASON OF ANGELS.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Cindy. Actually, these are all books I had in hand. Since I haven't seen A Season of Angels, I didn't know about it. Thanks for the addition to the list!

Melissa said...

Fantastic!!! Thank you so much :)

Lesa said...

My pleasure, Melissa. Now, you should have your holiday reading all lined up, unless you also read some tried and true books.

holdenj said...

Wow! There are so many good ones to choose from, at least we have a few weeks!

Jane R said...

Gosh, I'm not sure where to start but I do know that the new Rhys Bowen book will be near the top of the list. I really enjoy the Royal Spyness series. This is a great list! Thanks!

Ingrid King said...

I can't believe it's time for Christmas books already. I just can't bring myself to read these before Thanksgiving, but a number of the ones on your list are going on my reading list for December. Something to look forward to!

Lesa said...

I usually agree with all of you - too early for Christmas books. But, this year, I need to read a few for my brown bag luncheon in a couple weeks. So, I'm starting early. Enjoy!

Sue Farrell said...

I haven't read an Anne Perry book in a couple years---so I must go get A Christmas Garland---I love her writing.

Lesa said...

Sue, I'm glad I reminded you of her books!

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