Blog Tour and Book Review: The No-Hopers Christmas Club @rararesources #christmasstories #holidayreads


As warming as a mince pie and a glass of sherry, these eighteen festive-themed shorts are just waiting to be unwrapped.

  • A lonely dog shelter volunteer battles to find new homes for her long-time canine residents while realizing her own future is just as uncertain. As the new year approaches, can a fellow animal lover give her the fresh start she so wants for her dogs.
  • A widowed grandmother prepares to reunite with her forbidden first love, only to discover the grand country pile from where he’s sent her a Christmas card isn’t quite what it seems.
  • A single woman finally meets a man to couple up with over the festive season, but will the eccentric mistress of her late father destroy her plans?
  • An ambitious 20-something attends a lavish Christmas party with only one aim – to bag a rich husband. But her plans are derailed when a troubling connection with the aristocrat she’s set her sights on is revealed.


This is a fun collection of stories that will sweep you right to the holiday season. They all have a theme of hopelessness in one way or another, and the endings will touch your heart. I’m a dog person, so my favorite of course is the title story, The No Hopers Christmas Club, about the unadoptable dogs at the dog shelter. However, all the stories are wonderful. This is a can’t-miss, Christmas Eve, hot-chocolate-by-your-side kind of read. The stories are so varied that everyone will enjoy them.

I received a free copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources. My review is voluntary and the opinions are my own.


Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies, but these days only puts it to use when identifying which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. For many years, she worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown-up, responsible citizens.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Gentleman of Holly Street #holidayromance #historicalromance @rararesources

The Gentleman of Holly Street Book Description

Will this Christmas…

Change their lives again?

When self-made gentleman Freddie Walton rescued penniless Philomena Nichols at Christmas eight years ago, he never imagined that he would build his empire with her. Yet whilst they have created a life together as friends, Freddie can’t let their special connection become more than that. Not when his dangerous past continues to haunt him… But what happens when Freddie’s feelings for Philomena also refuse to stay hidden?

Book Review

This is a slow-burn Historical Christmas Romance that will transport you to the holiday season in 1830s London. The characters Freddie and Mena have an unusual relationship. They’ve been long-time friends since Freddie saved Mena’s life eight years ago, but share an unacknowledged love for each other that both of them are fighting in this slow-burn romance. I enjoyed both characters, who share so much, including feelings of inadequacy that keep them apart. I especially liked Mena’s fierceness, independence, and compassion for others. It did move a bit slowly for me at times, but overall this is a satisfying Christmas romance that historical fiction fans will enjoy.

I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin Historical via Rachel’s Random Resources. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

Purchase Link (Amazon)

Author Bio

Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a book.

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#Bookreview: The Highlander’s Holiday Wife #Mystery #Romance #Holiday

This is another book I read in September for the November issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society.

Edinburgh, 1826.  Lady Samantha Penwith, who runs a school and orphanage, is determined to find out who assaulted and murdered her husband. While out investigating, she rescues the victim of another assault and then slips away.  Braden Kendrick is the sensible member of Clan Kendrick, a noted doctor. But when an unknown rescuer saves his life, he is determined to find out their identity.  As Christmas approaches, Samantha and Braden find themselves fighting to uncover the truth and endangering their lives in the process.

This is a murder mystery with a touch of action/thriller and romance. The cover and title do not closely match the story because this is a well-crafted mystery as opposed to a light holiday romance.  It did not quite transport me to the Christmas season, but the characters are well-rounded and I easily connected with them.  The whole Clan Kendrick is an interesting family that readers will enjoy knowing.  Samantha is a strong woman, and the mystery is completely intriguing and compelling. The book is a bit of a slow burn in the first half, leading up to an exciting second half.  Recommended to anyone who enjoys Regency-style murder mysteries with strong female characters.

I received a free copy of this book from Zebra books via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Vanessa Kelly is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of The Improper Princesses series, the Clan Kendrick, The Renegade Royals and The Stanton Family series, in addition to other historical romances. Named by Booklist as one of the “Stars of Historical Romance,” her books have been translated into nine languages and published internationally. In graduate school, Vanessa specialized in the study of eighteenth-century British fiction and is known for developing vibrant Regency settings, appealing characters, and witty storylines that captivate readers. She lives with her husband in Ottawa. Visit her at or join the Clan Kendrick Facebook Group at


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#BlogTour and #BookReview: Holiday Romance #romanticomedy #Bookouture


She’s meant to be catching flights, not catching feelings…

Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays, when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.

Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.

Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.

The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.

What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own…

A totally gorgeous and escapist friends-to-lovers festive romance with a swoon-worthy hero. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Mhairi McFarlane, and Christina Lauren.


For ten years, Molly and Andrew have been sitting next to each other on flights home from Chicago to Ireland during the Christmas season. They have an enjoyable 7 hours of laughing, joking, and chatting about their lives as they head to their separate celebrations. It becomes a tradition of its own. However, this year the weather has caused almost all the flights to be canceled. But Andrew is a huge fan of Christmas, and Molly vows to get him home.

This is a fun, witty, and charming story of two friends who fall in love on a whacky adventure from airport to airport over ten years. The characters are engaging and the dialogue is clever. The story flashes back and forth from the present to each of their previous Christmas flights, and we watch their relationship develop. Does this transport me to the Christmas season? It does. From packed airports to Christmas sweaters to many Christmas-tinged side trips on the way to their destination, we follow the couple on a romantic holiday jaunt. This book also truly lives up to its genre of romantic comedy, and I chuckled my way through. The cast of characters is fun and varied, from family members to cabbies to airport employees and more. Holiday romance is a sweet, funny Christmas vacation that you will definitely want to take.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Catherine Walsh was born and raised in Ireland. She has a degree in Popular Literature and the only prize she ever won for writing was at the age of 14 in school (but she still cherishes it.) 

She lived in London for a few years where she worked in Publishing and the non-profit sector before returning to Dublin where she now lives between the mountains and the sea. When not writing she is trying and failing to not kill her houseplants.


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#AudiobookReview A Bookshop Christmas


A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.

But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.

When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.

Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…

Audiobook Review

Three years after her husband’s death, Megan is still trying to move forward. On top of that, her bookshop is struggling and she’s not sure it’s going to make it. When famous novelist Xander Stone agrees to do a book signing at her shop, she is thrilled. But his rudeness and condescending manner do not bode well for the event. Angered by Xander’s scorn towards romance novels, Megan invites him to her book club and begins to see a different side of Xander Stone.

This is a sometimes light romance that, interestingly enough, pokes fun at some romance tropes while simultaneously introducing many of those tropes into the actual book. There are several nods to Jane Austen and some poignant discussions of the financial plight of bookstores right now. I’m not sure this transports me completely to the Christmas season, as I think most of the book could have taken place at any time of the year and I didn’t completely feel the holiday spirit.

I have some problems with Xander, the most important of which is that he has a pattern throughout the book of suddenly becoming rude and extremely verbally abusive out of the blue, with no warning. It happens more than once, and the explanation for it is not good enough. I also don’t like the name Xander as a shortened form of Alexander. It sounds like a little boy’s name. But considering his behavior and penchant for temper tantrums, maybe it’s fitting.

The other characters are likable and the narrator, Laura Brydon, does a good job differentiating between all the characters and bringing their personalities alive. This takes my rating from two stars to three.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Saga Egmont Audio. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

NOTE: The first cover is the cover of the audiobook. The second cover is the cover of the Kindle edition. I prefer the audiobook cover. What do you think?

ANOTHER NOTE: I’m annoyed that a book with an abusive main character has 1500 ratings on Amazon and over a 4-star average while much better books struggle for an audience.


Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks. She loves words, Shakespeare, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes (not necessarily in that order) and lives with her husband and two cats in Yorkshire. A Bookshop Christmas was a finalist in the RNA Romantic Novel Awards 2022.



Self-Published Saturday: Christmas in ’45 #christmasfiction #fathersanddaughters

Self-published Saturday is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with marketing. Self-published/indie authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to spreading the word about their book. If I can help even a little with marketing, I’m happy to do it. Below is my review of a wonderful Christmas novella, Christmas in ’45, by Indie author Mark W. Sasse.


On Christmas Eve, 1944, Roberta and her mother are notified that her father has been killed in the war. The following year, Roberta struggles with loss, grief, anger, and moving on. As Christmas 1945 approaches, she’s decided not to celebrate it at all. But love, patience, and a wonderful gesture could change everything.

This is a beautiful Christmas novella about loss and starting over again. It’s also about fathers, daughters, and grief. It will break your heart as you watch a little girl try to heal from losing her Dad. If you enjoy heart-touching Christmas stories, you will appreciate this novel, which explores the love of a father and the different forms it can take.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Mark W Sasse is a novelist and award-winning playwright and director. He vacillates on a daily basis between which genre of writing he enjoys the most. Luckily, he doesn’t have to choose! Sasse’s novels have been featured on curated sites such as Bookbub, Freebooksy, and EReaderNewsToday while his plays have been produced in New York, Penang, Columbus, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney, Australia, among other places.




*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published/indie authors go a long way!

Last Week of the Year! Hope You Had a Merry Christmas. #Poetry #Dogs

Merry Christmas from Harold, Holly, and Hermann! Here’s a little poem. I don’t know how to describe it, but maybe rhyming free verse? For my next few posts after this one, I’ll sharing books our readers have nominated as their favorites of the year.

After Christmas

The presents have been given
The food is put away
Time to sit back and celebrate the day

The week to come
Will end the year for all
A season over, a new year calls

Our hearts are open
And God will hear
Our precious prayers for the coming year

Thanks so much everyone, for reading my blog, and for your friendship and support. This year has been a blast.

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Cranberry Inn #Family #CountryInns #Bookouture #Christmasbooks


A feel-good Christmas romance about fresh starts, the importance of family and learning how to follow your heart. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Rachel Hanna and Carolyn Brown.

As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall, Laurel Hanover and her eight-year-old son are going home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…

No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter Joel Hutcherson. They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.

But then Laurel uncovers a card with beautiful, ornate writing amongst her father’s things and learns the real reason he disappeared. And it changes everything. Worse still, she thinks Joel knew the truth all along.

Laurel thought this was going to be the perfect Christmas – that maybe she had found her happy. But now there’s nothing to stop her from running back to New York the moment the baubles come down… is there?


This is a sweet Christmas story about family, memories, and moving forward. The characters are endearing and the story is heartwarming. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a lovely mountain town where Laurel is trying to get the Inn ready for an unexpected guest, since her father has gone away on a mysterious trip. Memories of lost loved ones and coming back home again are major themes in this story. It is also about learning what you really want in life and having the courage to start over again. This is a book to enjoy with a good cup of coffee on a chilly day, while looking forward to your own holiday celebration. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Christmas read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!





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Self-Published Saturday/The Red Button

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. This week I’ve reviewed The Red Button by Keith Eldred. This is an interesting prequel to A Christmas Carol.

The Red Button is a wonderful prequel to the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Belle Endicott, who lost her mother as a child, toils away at her father’s small button shop, trying to take over her mother’s duties. She and her father work constantly, attempting to make ends meet. Then they are visited by the ambitious Ebenezer Scrooge, who wants to turn their small business into a large button factory. As their business relationship grows, so does their personal relationship. But Ebenezer is constantly striving for more success.

This prequel introduces us to Ebenezer Scrooge as a young man, and we meet his love, Belle, who tries to show him there is more to life than possessions and gold.The narration is done from a very unique and imaginative perspective, and the characters are well-written and engaging. The history of early manufacturing and the ruthless business tactics of the time are examined. The effect of an escalating love of money on a person’s character is explored so well here. A touch of the paranormal is also added, although this book does not contain as much ghostly activity as A Christmas Carol. This really is a perfect pre-holiday read, and motivates me to read A Christmas Carol once again.


Keith Eldred

Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at

Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.



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I think the cover works well. It is colorful and does a good job of evoking the era in which the book is set.

*If you read the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Book Review: The Santa Suit

What a wonderful Christmas story! When Ivy buys an old farmhouse, she doesn’t realize it is the home of the former town Santa, and that a Santa Suit she finds will be the key to happiness for more than one person. The characters are endearing, and the story is fun, magical, and just right for Christmas. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a big way. 

Sometimes you just want to relax with a book that is just a lot of fun without too many complications, especially at Christmas. This is such a book.

I recommend this to anyone who wants to experience some Christmas joy.

I received a free copy of this book from the St. Martins Press via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.


Mary Kay Andrews

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 29 novels (including The Santa Suit; The Newcomer; Hello, SummerSunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The WeekendersBeach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring FeverSummer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook,The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by fourteen more New York TimesUSA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels.


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