Monday, December 16, 2013

OFF THE BOOKSHELF: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt

The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt is what I was taught to consider a "shared universe" story -- meaning multiple authors contribute to the story line/universe.

Authors: Joan Campbell, Jennifer Fromke, Sheryl Holmes, Deanna Klingel, Fay Lamb, J.A. Marx, Ruth O'Neil, Debbie Roome and Marji Laine. Each author contributed a chapter to the book.

Publisher: Write Integrity Press. or from Amazon -- I read this on Kindle, and am pretty sure it was a free book when I got it.

Grace is our narrator, grieving the loss of her grandmother as Christmas approaches, and still wounded from the betrayal of her twin sister, whom she has not seen since high school. Orphaned as children, she and her twin were raised by their grandmother -- now Grace is totally alone in the world.

That is, until she gets a package prepared by her grandmother before she died. As children, the twins loved going on treasure hunts created by their grandmother. This package has nine envelopes and sends Grace around the world to meet people important to her grandmother and to learn valuable lessons about forgiveness, second chances, and trusting in God.

Honestly, I teared up several times, reading this book. What's interesting is that many e-books open up to the table of contents and don't give you the cover art unless you flip backwards, so I and didn't realize there were nine authors. The various chapters came together so smoothly, the "voice" didn't change for me. Nicely done!

If you want a heart-warming story for Christmas that takes you around the world, this is the one to add to your reading list. Bravo to the authors!

Monday, December 9, 2013

OFF THE BOOKSHELF: A Darcy Christmas -- Jane Austen Tribute Anthology

A DARCY CHRISTMAS is an anthology of novellas in tribute to Jane Austen and probably her most famous couple -- Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. I know I got this from B&N, but I honestly can't remember if this was a Free Book Friday book, or the featured book they offer first when you touch the "shop" button on your Nook. All I know is, I had to have it.

One word (can you really limit yourself to ONE word to describe this collection?): CHARMING.

Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan and Carolyn Eberhart did a lovely job, going on after the last page of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE to speculate on "What if?" -- and setting all their stories at Christmas.

What if Mr. Darcy didn't ask Lizzy to marry him a second time? What if their first child was born at Christmas? What would the Christmases be like through the years, as they grew older and their children grew up and started falling in love?

Starting with a tribute to Dickens with "Mr.  Darcy's Christmas Carol" -- yeah, exactly! -- and then traveling through the years ... you'll smile every time you open your book and settle down for another little glimpse into the Darcy family's Christmas traditions and adventures.