Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Book Contest!

We need some cheery news. The year-end holidays are upon us, we want warmth and light and happy thoughts.

So tell us what holiday themed novel is your favorite, gives you the best "holiday spirit" feeling! Share books we might want to read to lift our own spirits. Now, in order to avoid having everyone list the old classics, let's limit this to fiction published after 1970. The story can incorporate any of the year-end holidays: Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice...

Post a comment listing author and title and a paragraph or two about the story and why it is your holiday favorite. On Dec. 22, we'll select two winners. Prizes (of course there are prizes!) will be your choice of:
~ Forbidden Fantasies gift bag: Forbidden Fantasies hardcover book, tote bag, T-shirt, boa
~ four mystery/suspense trade paperbacks
~ four metaphysical/mind-body-spirit nonfiction trade paperbacks

Hmm, now I have to browse my shelves to find a good book to reread to put me in the holiday mood.

36 comments:

MaryF said...

I just read a terrific sweet romance called Santa's Angels by Janet Kaderli. I'm currently reading A Town Called Christmas by Carrie Alexander. Both definitely put me in the spirit!

Raelene said...

There are two old short stories that I enjoy and re-read. They were early stories by these authors, the writing not yet as polished as they later became, but they just grab me.

Santa Claws by MaryJanice Davidson is part of her Wyndham Werewolves. I just love that this Scottish werewolf hates slogging through the slush in Boston - until the ripe peach scent of the corner Santa hits him. Things are hysterical from there.

All I Want for Christmas by Shelby Morgen has a woman executive spending her holiday on a business trip to Singapoe - and rescuing a man from a slavery ring, her own personal Christmas present.

Raelene

Diane said...

I love Santa Claws by MJ Davidson!

BethRe said...

I love the Christmas Kisses anthology that has Linda Howard's Mackenzie's Magic about the only daughter of the MacKenzie's Maris who has lost her memmory and wakes up with a hot man in her bed and a she find out that she has stolen a horse.

Denise said...

THE MAN WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS by Kathryn Shay is a great seasonal read, albeit a bit of a tearjerker. This is book two in her America's Bravest series published nine years ago.

Denise

Anonymous said...

Jenny Overton's The Thirteen Days of Christmas is an oldie (1972) but still gives me a good laugh when I reread it every year. Gotta love a hero who is so determined to get his girl.
Helen

Christine McKay said...

This is a winter story more so than a holiday tale - Patricia McKillip's Winter Rose.

Love curling up next to the fire and re-reading it. Fairies (and not the benevolent kind), an enchanted wood, two sisters vying for the same man... I think the plot originated with a fairy tale, but I don't remember which one.

lrwirum said...

A couple that I really enjoy reading are:

A Very Merry Christmas by Lori Foster

A Holiday Treasury by Christine Feehan

Amara said...

Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett.

It's a semi-paroday of Christmas in the Discworld series. Death (the personified, character Death), takes over for the Hogfather (Santa Claws), since he has disappears. Only he ends up getting the childrens' wishes horribly (and often times, horribly literal) wrong.

As per usual, Pratchett manages to be hilarious with his sidenotes and descriptions. This one isn't one of the best in his series, but it is the most festive.

Flick said...

I've just come back from a holiday in the States and seen lots of special Christmas books in the shops. It's much less common in the UK. There don't seem to be Christmas anthologies or novels set at Christmas, except for children's books.

One of my favorites in 'The Fir Tree' by Hans Christian Anderson -the story of a tree who spends all his time envying those around him who are taken off to be masts on ships or decorated for Christmas. He longs for something exciting to happen to him. Eventually his time comes and he's chosen as a Christmas tree for a grand family. His joy is fleeting and after the holiday is over, he's discarded and eventually chopped up for firewood.
Whilst it's not a 'happy' ending the message is a great one. Be happy with your life. Don't waste it wishing you were someone else or were somewhere else. Hey - and if you have a 'real'tree for Christmas - buy it with a root ball and plant it afterwards!!!
Happy holidays!!

anny cook said...

I loved Shiloh Walker's two parter, Make Me Believe and Hearts and Wishes. Very humorous, romantic stories set at the North Pole.

Amarinda Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amarinda Jones said...

Practically Twins by Viola Rowe. My mother gave it to me when I was twelve. It follows the lives of two stepsisters through various holidays including Christmas. I still have it at 45

Vicky B said...

Reader's Digest Book of Christmas (1973), Silver Spurs, Santa Mouse, actually, any children's Christmas book. Why these? Because I remember curling up with my children and reading them to them and now, I watch as they do the same with their children. These memories are the best.

Terry Odell said...

Sadly, I haven't ever found a Hanukkah story, although I'm sure there are some out there. Christmas isn't my thing, so I never read Christmas stories either. Call me Scrooge, but seeing Christmas decorations go up on Halloween just doesn't do it for me. No kids left at home, so our celebrations are very low key.

I don't know when Doc Holiday was published (by Deb Dixon), but she's read excerpts at GMC workshops, so if I was going to read a Christmas book, that might be one I'd pick up.

However, I wish everyone peace, joy, and prosperity this season, regardless of your holiday bent. I might be Scrooge, but I'm a Scrooge with a heart.

Terry Odell said...

oops -- and I forgot to add the bit about my gift to all -- I have posted some family favorite recipes on my website -- duh. Click 'recipes' in the "Links" column.

Raelene said...

Hey, Terry, if you read erotic romance, do try the Hanukkah story "First and Last" by Suz deMello. A Quickie from Ellora's Cave, part of the White Hot Holidays series from a few years ago. It's set in the year 2114, very old-fashioned Hanukkah.

Raelene

Angelia Sparrow said...

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, Russel Hoban, 1971!

It's a take on O Henry's "Gift of the Magi."

Emmett does odd jobs and his widowed Ma washes clothes. They get into a talent contest for Christmas money. Emmett puts a hole in Ma's washtub for a bass, and Ma hocks Emmetts tools for a dress.

While they don't win, they do get a steady musical gig, which pays better than the contest.

My grandmother read it to me when I was little. I read it to my kids now that I'm grown up.

"And they sang 'Where the River Meets the Sea' there on the ice at 4 AM for Pa."

N.J.Walters said...

Mackenzie's Magic by Linda Howard is a holiday favorite of mine. It sits on my "keeper" shelf with my other Mackenzie books.

Liz said...

My favorite came out last year Christine Feehan's Dark Celebration: A Carpathian Reunion Dark Series Book 17
They all gather for Christmas the Carpathians and their human friends. It catches up long time readers with whats been happening to the couples already lifemated and there's 2 new couples. I've read Christine since Dark Prince was written and love her books, and the Dark Series is my absolute favorite. It was so neat to see whats been happening in their lives. I reread the whole series several times a year.

Heather Hiestand said...

I'm fond of Debbie Macomber's annual Christmas books. This year's entry was adorable, but my favorite is There's Something About Christmas. Great fruitcake recipes - who knew? Also, I just read Cindy Spencer Pape's The Cowboy's Christmas Bride and enjoyed that one. I love Christmas stories!

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Raelene -- 'old fashioned' and 2114 sound intriguing. Celebrating the miracle of lights with sex. Hmmmm

Judith Rochelle said...

My favorite ie Bluebird Winter, a novella that follows Sarah's Child and Almost Forever. I think I've read it about a hundred times. It is such a feel good story and just wraps you in the holiday spirit. I just finished A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller, which is also good, but Bluebird tops the list.
BTW, I know Janet Kaderli and she'll be so happy to know you loved her book, MaryF.

Judith Rochelle said...

I also want to mention John Grisham's Skipping Christmas, which in its own way makes you feel the spirit of Christmas. It's a short little book and well worth the time it takes to read it. If you know someone who's burned otu on Christmas, read this book to them.

Judith Rochelle said...

Okay, a little more about Bluewbird winter. Derek Taliaferro is all grown up now (and what a hunk he is) and a highly respected doctor. When he finds Kathleen, abused, divorced, and about to give birth in her snow-buried car, he manages to get her out and in her old framhouse, by a blazing fire, he delivers her little girl on New Years Eve and a bond is formed among the three of them.

Amy S. said...

A new one I just read was Nick of Time by Elle James.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Hogfather by Terry Pratchet. Makes me laugh every time! If I could delve back further, Alfred Terhune (he wrote the Lassie series) wrote a short called "The Christmas Puppy". It is not a happy tale AT all and will make most people sob for hours. However it is one story I will never forget.

Laura K said...

I love the Quickies of Christmas from the Cave. I also just got "Wicked Winter" which is an anthology. I love the anthologies because I get to meet new authors. Loved "Echoes from Heaven" by Mackenzie McKade. That was a beautiful story!

Jodith said...

I wish I could remember the name of the book. It was a harlequin super romance and it must have come out a good 20 years ago. It was a sweet story of a rather ditzy young woman who brightens the life of a man and his young daughter. I was enchanted by it and read it several times, but then I lost it in one of my moves. I'd love to find another copy of it. The general theme of the book was believing in miracles, and that miracles aren't always what we expect them to be. In it's way, it was quite profound, expecially for a Harlequinn book *laughs*.

Samantha Kane said...

Wow, these all sound great! One of my new favorites is called "Mr. Timothy," by Louis Bayard. It's not so much a Christmas story, but I relate it to Christmas because it's a sequel to Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Mr. Timothy is twenty-something Tiny Tim Cratchit, healthy and whole and living in a brothel in Victorian London, where he does the books for the madam. The mood is dark, and Tim is a typical twenty-something searching for himself. He has to deal with the ghost of his father, and there's a mystery involving shady Victorian pedophiles. It sounds strange, but it's a fabulous book!

Saralee said...

My favorite Christmas story is "Rest You Merry" by Charlotte MacLeod. It's probably from 1978 or 1979,

Okay, so it's a mystery and not a romance, but it's so funny! Come to think of it, I like all Charlotte MacLeod's stories.

Saralee

Desiree Holt said...

book I definitely want to recommend. It's not a christmas story but it's about the essential goodness of people, which is especially important at Christmas. It's entitled Trustee From the Tool Room, and it's by Nevil Shute. It's the story of a man who make miniature mechanical thigns and writes articles about them, who is the trustee of his sister's estate. When she and her husband are wrecked in the South Seas, and he is left with the care of their daughter, he must find a way to retrieve the jewels locked on their ship, their bequest to their daughter. A man with little momney but contacts all over the world because of his articles, this is the story of how people at the top of the ladder reach out to him and make his journey possible. and then...oh, but I definitely don't want to give it all away.

Samantha Kane said...

Desiree ~ A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute, is one of my favorite books. I will definitely have to check this one out!

Anonymous said...

Desiree I loved that book Trustee From the Tool Room too - an excellent story and definitely Nevil Shute at his best
Helen

Flick said...

I'd like to enter the competition, properly, rather than just stick my favorite Christmas story on here - The Fir Tree - which everyone should read but it isn't uplifting, isn't post 1970 and isn't a romance!! Ha ha.

"Lucy Blue where are you?" by Louise Harwood is my top Christmas read. It actually starts on a snowbound New Year's Eve. Lucy ends up stranded at an airport and desperate to get back to London, she shares a rental car with a guy she's met in the queue for hard to find cars. She's not the sort to leap into bed with a stranger in a motorway motel, but she'll never see him again so why not?
But the guy's brother becomes desperate to find Lucy - she's the only thing to brighten his damaged sibling's life. He puts up posters all over the city and tracks Lucy down only to fall in love with her himself.Right until the end, the reader is kept guessing as to what will happen. The book comes full circle to the following Christmas and in a beautifully written party scene, this reader is left sighing with happiness.

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