Monday, November 14, 2011

Reviews With A Christmas Theme

With the holidays just around the corner, I tend to read and listen to more books with the Christmas theme.

Today I’m sharing two audios books that deal with the holiday season and a cookbook that’s perfect for this time of year.

1225 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE by Debbie Macomber

Christmas normally brings thoughts of family, friends and decorations. There’s no place like Cedar Cove for the holidays.

Author Debbie Macomber has created the last entry in her Cedar Cove series with 1225 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE gathering everyone for the holidays.

The story centers around Beth Morehouse, owner of the local Christmas tree farm and animal rescuer. Someone has left 10 lab-mix puppies on her doorstep and she needs to find homes for them by Christmas. She’s looking forward to spending the holidays with her 2 daughters and then learns her ex-husband, Kent, is coming too. What no one knows, he’s bringing a ‘friend’ with him.

Finding homes for the puppies, Beth interacts with the other residents of Cedar Cove giving a look at their lives during the holiday.

With the giving of a puppy, closure is brought to each family. Their sorrows, joys, and hopes are expanded on. There are surprises along the way and romance is always in the air. Though this is the last installment in the series, new fans won’t have trouble keeping up. They will, however, hopefully be inspired to find out more about the residents of Cedar Cove through prior books.

The narration by Sandra Burr brings the characters to life and gives more depth to the story. She vocalizes the emotions of the various characters beautifully. She intones the warmth of the story in her narration. 

Visit 1225 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE for an enchanting holiday story.

Author Debbie Macomber’s website is

1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber, A Cedar Cove Novel, Read by Sandra Burr, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1455819980, Unabridged, 5 Discs, Listening Time: 6 Hours 10 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


9781427213266Throughout the year and especially around this time, we look for hope.

THE CHRISTMAS NOTE by Donna VanLiere is an enchanting story of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. It’s a reminder we never know what’s around the next corner for us or how our lives can impact others.

Greetchen Daniels and her 2 children move into an apartment to be closer to her mother, Miriam. Moving in, the family encounters one of their neighbors, Melissa McCreary. Melissa is a loner and has very little to say to the noisy new neighbors.

A man searching for Melissa winds up at Greetchen’s door. Since Melissa isn’t home, he wants Greetchen to tell her that her mother is dead and she has a week to clean out her apartment. Not wanting to get involved, but feeling she has to help, Greetchen informs Melissa and offers to help with the cleaning.

Through a chain of events, the women find hope and uncover long-forgotten secrets that impact both their lives. The cast of supporting characters add charm, humor, and additional layers to the story. There are surprises along the way that will delight and enhance the story.

Author Donna VanLiere does a wonderful job narrating the story. She gives warmth and compassion to the characters. She also gives each character their own unique voice.

THE CHRISTMAS NOTE is a heart-warming story perfect for the holidays.

Author Donna VanLiere’s website is

The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere, Read by Donna VanLiere, MacMillan Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1427213266, Unabridged, 4 Discs, Listening Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

by Alan Rossen and Beth Allen

116394088With the holidays fast approaching, now’s a great time to check out JUNIOR’S DESSERT COOKBOOK: 75 RECIPES FOR CHEESECAKE, PIES, COOKIES, AND MORE.

Written by third-generation co-owner Alan Rossen and co-author Beth Allen, this cookbook offers delicious recipes for the holidays or everyday. It features recipes that helped make Junior’s Restaurants legendary on the East Coast.

The easy-to-follow cookbook begins with a brief history of the landmark restaurant chain. Then it features chapters on cheesecakes, soda fountain desserts, black and white foods, layer cakes and cupcakes, pies, unusual desserts, and sugar-free alternatives (including cheesecake). In addition, there’s a chapter about Baker’s Basics and one that addresses what to do if the dessert doesn’t turn out perfect.

The recipes are given with detailed ingredients, easy step-by-step directions, and a sidebar featuring ‘The Junior’s Way’ for extra helpful advice to achieve a great dessert. There are also family tidbits scattered throughout.

The cookbook is enhanced by 40 color photographs by Mark Ferri. The beautiful full page photos are sprinkled throughout the book and highlight some of the 75 scrumptious recipes.

Whether you’re an accomplished baker or trying your first dessert, JUNIOR’S DESSERT COOKBOOK would make a wonderful addition to your collection. 

More on Junior’s and the cookbook can be found at

Junior‘s Dessert Cookbook by Alan Rossen and Beth Allen, Photographs by Mark Ferri, The Taunton Press, @2011, ISBN: 978-600853920, Hardcover, 192 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Do you enjoy books with a holiday theme? Thanks so much for stopping by today. 


  1. I love it when these books start coming out! Thanks for the look at some of them. :)

  2. Mason - Oh, those both sound like wonderful Christmas stories! And that cookbook - mmmmmm :-). Yes, I'll bet they would all put a person in the "holiday" frame of mind...

  3. What a timely post.

    Yes, I have enjoyed several books with a holiday theme, but rarely at the right season ;)

  4. Elizabeth, when these type books start coming out you know the holidays are just around the corner.

  5. Margot, you are so right they would put a person in the 'holiday' frame of mind. Both stories are great reminders of what is really important during the hectic holidays.

  6. Dorte, I know what you mean about reading books out of season. Sometimes in the middle of winter I enjoy books that feature summer holidays. :)

  7. I should get one of those audio books for our next road trip.

  8. I'm so not ready to start thinking about Christmas yet, but I better get ready because it's coming. Great reviews. Thanks.

  9. Diane, I think you'd enjoy both of the audio books.

  10. Carol, I know what you mean about not being ready for Christmas. It will be here and over with and I'll still be trying to get ready for it. :)

  11. I really need to start my Christmas shopping...

  12. I always enjoy Christmas connected stories. Thanks for putting me on to these.

  13. Alex, you're not the only one. It's only 40 days and counting. :(

  14. Linda, I think you'll enjoy both of these wonderful stories. They are both available in print too.

  15. 3 yummy sounding books! :) I love hopeful Christmas stories! :)

  16. Jemi, these are definitely hopeful, heartwarming stories for Christmas and the cookbook has yummy desserts perfect for holiday giving.

  17. I enjoy Debbie Macomber books and could use a break from these extra stressful days! I love holidays and I love puppies! Sounds great!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.