Twelve Days of Christmas book rview


I confess I have never been a Debbie Macomber fan. Her books have struck me as more goody two shoes than I could bear. i always turned to the tales of dukes and earls for my leisure reading.

Now, however, I find myself writing stores that are similar to those Macomber has long been famous for. I am all about good people, happy ever after, and small town charm.  I don’t presume to have her skill; I’m still very much a novice novelist. But in trying to approximate what she does, I have gained respect for her as an author.

Twelve Days of Christmas hits just the note we need  for the season and for the climate of the country right now too. The heroine is impossibly cheery and sweet. The hero is a modern day Scrooge who falls victim to being “killed with kindness.”

As a blogger myself, I could also relate to the heroine’s struggle to gain readership.

If only real life could be as  wholesome as the world Macomber creates, we’d all be a lot happier.

P.S. Southern Hospitality, the second book in my Calusa series will be out this week.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery book review


I have to confess I became attracted to Cornwall when I watched the first Poldark series on PBS. The remake stirred up those feelings all over again. Jenny Colgan’s new book Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is set off the Cornish coast, so that was point one in its favor.

Point two is that the story actually takes place on an island that can be reached by a causeway only at low tide. I live on an island off the coast of Florida, but fortunately you can get here via a bridge.

Point three, of course, is the word bakery in the title.

I am also quite fond of books set in small towns, and this one is particularly charming. The townsfolk are quirky. The spunky, artisan-bread-making heroine lives in a lighthouse and has a pet sea bird .  And an appealing boyfriend who would rather tend to beehives than make a fortune in corporate America. It’s veddy, veddy British, so even the slang is fun.

When Mother Nature throws a spanner into the works, the scenes that follow are riveting. As we know here in Florida, living on an island can sometimes make heavy demands. It is heartwarming to read about how this brings a community together. Well done.









I’ll Be Home for Christmas book review


The temperature on Christmas Day in Southwest Florida where I live was in the mid-80s, so reading about snow, ice skating, and the like was a welcome diversion. Lori Wilde’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas was just the right choice to remind me how Christmas used to be back when I still lived in Pennsylvania.

And I always enjoy books set in small towns like Twilight, Texas, where all the folks are welcoming and all the men are good-looking. Personally, I’ve yet to find such a town in real life, but hope springs eternal.

Gabi Preston is cuteness personified. Every time she gets stressed out, she gets a case of the hiccups. Not a good trait for someone who will one day be facing judges and juries for a living. She’s tried all the old wives’ cures; however, the only cure that seems to work for her is a kiss from Christmas tree farmer Joe Cheek. Go figure.

Gabi and Joe are both almost too good to be true, but I guess that is de rigeur in a holiday tale. She happily transitions from an L.A. condo to a borrowed yurt; he’ll do anything for a daughter he was tricked into thinking was his and forego resenting his ex.

The obstacles to an HEA are pretty  substantial and should have been harder to overcome, but somehow they are as easily tied up as a Christmas bow by the novel’s end. A minor quibble. Overall, this one is as feel-good as Christmas in a snow globe, and that’s enough.