Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cozy up with a good Christmas read.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind me my plan was to get started with my Christmas shopping. Yes, I’m one of those people who has yet to buy the first Christmas gift. There was no way I was facing the Black Friday crowds, but I did have every intention of going Christmas shopping on Saturday. Notice I said, did have. Saturday came and went and I amused myself by organizing my house which has been woefully neglected for the past eight months as I wrote my last novel. On Saturday night, I promised myself I would map out a game plan and start my Christmas shopping on Sunday after church, but who the heck wants to shop in the rain. With the temperature outside dropping, and the rain coming down, I decided someone out there was trying to tell me to stay home and read a good book. It’s easy for a writer to come to this conclusion! I put on my warmest sweats, lit a fire and pulled out Diana Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn. If you haven’t checked out her Outlander series I highly recommend it.

When I finally forced myself to get up out of my cozy comfy chair, I realized I needed to think of a blog topic. I was struggling to come up with something. Chalk it up to too much stuffing and whiskey bread pudding. My poor brain is floating in sugary calories and carbs. One of my writer friends suggested I do a blog on cozy Christmas reads. How come I didn’t think of that? I just finished Mrs. Gabaldon’s book, and the weather is still abysmal. I need more great reading material, and what better to snuggle up with than some great books about Christmas.

I’m guessing there are some others of you out there who might be procrastinating doing something or just want a good book to take a long, hot bath with. Well, look no more ladies and gentleman, after some careful detective work, I’ve come up with a list of five Cozy Christmas reads guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a flutter in your heart.

Number One – The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare
They can't even be in the same room together...
Ever since their failed elopement years ago, Prisca Hawthorne has taunted, insulted, and in every way tried to push him away. If only her heart didn't break every time Lord William Westfield left her...
But staying apart is even worse...
Lord William throws himself into drinking, gambling, and debauchery and pretends not to care about Prisca at all. But when he returns to find a rival werewolf vying for her hand, he'll stop at nothing to claim the woman who should have been his all along.
Can Prisca forgive the unforgivable, or are the moon-crossed lovers going to be forced into a battle of wills that could be fatal?
Number Two – A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
The Wallflowers are four young ladies in London who banded together in their wild and wickedly wonderful searches for true love. Now happily married, they join together once again to help one of the world’s most notorious rogues realize that happiness might be right under the mistletoe.…

Number Three – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…

 Number Four – The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas by Lauren Willig
Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies...

Number Five – Christmas Warms the Heart (The Wetherby Brides) by Jerrica Knight-Catania
Catherine Wetherby Hart, Duchess of Weston, is convinced Christmas will be ruined if the famous Hart Christmas Ball isn't perfect. But two special guests might just make it the best Christmas ever in this Hart-warming short story.

And because I can’t very well talk about cozy Christmas reads without mentioning the Christmas Anthology I’m in I have to add a number six!

A Summons From Yorkshire (Regency Christmas Summons Collection One) by Julie Johnstone, Ava Stone and Aileen Fish.
And just to wet your whistle here is the blurb for my story.

The day Andrew Whitton, Earl of Hardwick chooses his fortune over the woman he loves, Drew discovers that money makes for a cold bed partner. Now, no matter how far he runs, the memory of his betrayal haunts him, and there’s not enough liquor to dull the past or diminish his disgust. * Charlotte Milne trusted in happily ever after until her knight turned out to be wearing rusty armor. Drew, the scoundrel, seduced her, though she very much enjoyed the seduction by the man she’s loved since childhood. Left scandalously ruined, Char flees her home intent upon forgetting Drew and proving her worth. * Separated by disloyalty and pain, each struggle to bury the memories of the other until a mandatory summons from the Duke of Danby sets them on a path of collision to Danby Castle. With the tides of irrevocable change rising, Drew must find a way to show Char that even the most selfish of rakes can be redeemed by love before the woman of his heart becomes the wife of another.

We’ve come to the end of my list, my friends. Now, I have a question for you. Do you have a favorite book that you think is a perfect “cozy” read?

***Everyone who leaves a comment today with an email address will be entered into the Regency Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza. We're giving away a Kindle and many more prizes.

Have fun reading!
Julie Johnstone
Romance where the Aristocracy Dances on the Edge of Danger and Desire
A Regency Christmas Summons ~November 2011


Anonymous said...

I loved all the reviews. Good job.

Olivia Kelly said...

I've read most of the books on that list, and enjoyed them all! I have never read Laura Willig, so thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check her out. :)

Jerrica Knight-Catania said...

Goodness, Julie! I'm so honored to be on that list! With the likes of Lydia Dare, Lauren Willig and Lisa Kleypas?!? They're some of my favorite authors! :)

Lauren said...

Wonderful post! I love Christmas and the Anthology looks spectacular! Lauren Willig is perhaps one of my most favorite authors. I got to meet her in person and she was absolutely amazing. So hilarious, nerdy and down to earth.

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

All those books look great! And so perfect for Christmas. Thank you for the giveaway!:D

cypsays_hi at hotmail dot com

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Julie Johnstone said...

Definitly check out Lauren Willig's books. They're great and she is amazing in person!

Julie Johnstone said...

You are an amazing author, and it was my pleasure to include you!

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks for stopping by. I, too, got the chance to meet Lauren Willig in Washington DC several years ago. She is such a nice and intelligent woman.

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy some of these books.

Lisa said...

I've read a couple of those and added a few to be read now :) I enjoy holiday books around the holidays but not so much throughout the rest of the year. I have a hard time reading about snow and such when its 90 degrees out lol. I just finished His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander and it was a great Christmas book.
tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check that one out.

Louisa Cornell said...

What a great list of books, Julie! I've read several of them and I can recommend them highly!

Another I would recommend is Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes.

And my favorite reread every Christmas is anthology called Angel Christmas. It has five wonderful stories by five wonderful authors including Mary Balogh and Patricia Rice.

Suzie Grant said...

Excellent list of excellent authors. Thanks for compiling these great holiday reads. I have to add a few to my tbr pile I think.

Marie Higgins said...

What a great list! I'm definitely going to check them out! Thanks for sharing!!