Books,  Reviews

Christmas Novellas and Short Stories

For those of you who tell me “Oh, I’m too busy to read right now”, I say “Bah humbug!”  Just for you I have three novellas and a book of six short stories, perfect for reading here and there in between Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas shopping and office parties (or driving to team practices, tournaments over the holidays, and the like), all which will put you in the Christmas spirit!

So much more fun than planning on how to avoid Aunt Mildred’s cheek-pinching fingers and critical relatives reviews of your holiday stuffing recipe!



My first pick, Operation White Christmas (An Escape to the Country Novella) by Nicki Edwards, is a romantic and sweet little read, and unlike some “Christmas” tales that are set near the holiday (but has little to do with the story itself), this book has Christmas spirit woven throughout.

OperationWhite Christmas

When Hollie  finds herself un-engaged just a few months before her wedding, her friend Mackenzie comes up with “Operation White Christmas”. Since her honeymoon to Canada already planned, Mackenzie convinces her to take the trip anyway,  to escape for Aussie Hollie to experience her first White Christmas.

After that kind of bad fortune, what else could go wrong?

Pretty much everything. Her bad luck continues when she arrives in Canada and things go from bad to worse. Rescue literally comes in the form of photographer and llama owner Jim – and their connection and chemistry is real.  Jim has his own past history to work through, but ultimately, love at first sight is what you need to find in a novella, and Edwards delivers it in spades.

The story is fun, the characters likable, and you’ll be left wanting to know more of their story – in a good way! You’ll be ready for snow and the season with this tale!


Falling for Christmas

Now, I just fell in love with the short story Falling for Christmas (Falling for the Freemans Series) by Kate Hewitt. It’s an intro (a prequel, if you will) for Hewitt’s new series “Falling for the Freemans” which will be released in 2016. If this little story is an indication of what’s to come in the tiny forgotten town of Creighton Falls, sign me up.

Hannah Ford was meant to spend her holiday at a country estate with “friends” but when her ex shows up with his new fiancee, she flees. Distraught and not wanting to spend the holiday alone in New York, she drives blindly in escape – 300 miles worth of escape – and gets caught, unprepared, in a snowstorm. She is rescued by the somewhat reclusive local carpenter Sam Taylor – but the town no longer has a hotel, so she accepts his offer to stay with him until the roads clear. Aware that it is a risky offer, she accepts.

Sam is unprepared for guests, having planned to drink away the holiday and the ghosts it brings.  Anything more from here is a spoiler, so I’ll say that the book offers up complex characters and lots of tension, along with happy moments and healing.  This is a quick read and I’m hoping that there will be more of Hannah and Sam in the upcoming series, because they were such interesting characters.  This story really isn’t necessarily one of love at first sight, but the hope it brings sweeps you up in the spirit of the holiday!

Falling For Christmas is published by Tule Publishing and is available now. Kate Hewitt can be found online at, on Twitter and on Facebook!

A Very Country Christmas

Next up is A Very Country Christmas (A Free Christmas Short Story) by Zara Stoneley. This novella is part of a series author Stonely has written set in Tippermere (in the English countryside), and I confess, there are a lot of characters for such a short story.  I was at times challenged keeping track of everyone – they’re a busy lot – but author Stoneley was prepared and has a sort of who’s who of characters at the start of the book.  The writing is light and humorous – this is a fun bit of a romp with a cast of very quirky characters.

Lottie lives with fiancee Rory in a small flat on the grounds of  Tipping House Estate, which she is in line to inherit. She is hopeful that Rory will finally buy her an engagement ring for Christmas, as they’ve been engaged for a while but Rory’s funds have been tight.

She’s also planned on a quiet Christmas dinner for the two of them, but can’t seem to get any time alone with him, and now there is word everywhere she turns of Rory talking to another girl.

Soon enough, family member by family member is added to the Christmas table until they can hardly fit them all, and Lottie is still determined to do it all on her own. What ensues is nothing short of hilarity, with a lot of horse talk thrown in.  It was a very engaging read!

A Very Country Christmas is published by Harper Impulse and is currently available for Kindle via for free! Go check it out for a taste of this fun author! Zara Stoneley can be found online at her website, on Twitter and on Facebook.

a TexasChristmas

Last but definitely not least on my list is A Texas Christmas: Six Stories from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love  by Ramona Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Mary Hake, and Kathleen Y’Barbo.

This title is a collection of Christmas stories set in Texas in the Old West.  There is something about courtship in that period that is so endearing and enchanting, where the touch of a hand or a look is loaded with longing.  My grandmother said on more than one occasion that we (the current generations) have it so much harder in finding a partner because we have so much baggage – in this period, expectations were simpler and there is a lovely quality.

While each of the six wonderful stories are independent, they are connected through location and time. Several of the authors have woven together their characters, so that someone we meet in the first story is the one to find love in the second, and third. A later story picks up another character and he is the thread that links them together. Much of the stories are downright funny, and all are sweet, hopeful and tell a story of faith. There is no lust in the desert here, and none is needed.

This may well have been one of my favorites in the list and of the Christmas tales I’ve read so far. I don’t often read period pieces, so this was a delightful change from my norm.

A Texas Christmas was published by Barbor Books and is available now on Amazon and in bookstores. The authors can be found on Twitter at @ramonaCecil, @DarleneFranklin, @LenaNDooley and @KathleenYBarbo!


Disclosure: I was provided advance reader copies via NetGalley by the above publishers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Also linking up today with A Bit Of Everything so be sure to pop over (click here) and check out what’s being shared there!

A Bit Of Everything

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