21 October 2013

Find your Love on Main Street too in this absolute gem of a holiday anthology

I love this time of year, no, not just all the spooky decor for Halloween, but the time that the we begin to see the holiday (Christmas) anthology show up in bookstores. Starting in October, we are usually blessed with a choice of anthologies from some of our favorite authors and they usually can be counted on to be lighthearted and fun reads.

This year, I received an anthology for review that included novellas by seven authors - Adrienne Bell, Juliet Blackwell, Cecilia Gray, Rachael Herron, Lisa Hughey, Ruby Laska, L.G.C. Smith - some I had read before, some not. What immediately intrigued me was the fact that this anthology was not a set of seven disconnected novellas about the holidays, but actually a complete series of stories about the inhabitants of Snow Creek, a small town in California touched by a bit of holiday magic.

After reading the first story by Juliet Blackwell, I couldn't put Love on Main Street: A Snow Creek Christmas down, in fact I was tempted to Google Snow Creek and see if I could check in at the Mitten Inn and scope out rental properties, for a possible move. You see, I feel in love with the town and the people - the three old guys who sit on a bench outside the Magic Shop, no matter the weather; the diner and the brothers who run it; the tattoo artist with the heart of gold. Really, please just find me an air ticket and I'm there, especially in time for Christmas Eve and the annual Fezziwig Ball.

Having read many many anthologies, I have to say this was one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to immerse myself in. The stories and characters interconnected seamlessly with each author's unique voice shining, polished like the star atop the Christmas tree.

I can't point to a favorite among the seven stories, because frankly, they were all touching. But the ones that standout in my memory 24-hours after closing the book on my Kindle are: Juliet Blackwell's Queen of Hearts, which introduced us to Snow Creek; L.G.C. Smith's The Holiday Snow, that features two single parents who re-discover the true meaning of holidays; Adrienne Bell's Second Chances, who hasn't wanted to see if that first love might still have a chance to reignite: and Lisa Hughey's One Silent Night, where a marriage's fault lines have been exposed, but a small glimmer of hope remains. That's not to say I didn't love the others, but for some reason these three resonated strongly with me at the moment I read them. When I re-read this book, because I plan to, I know that others will stand out equally.

I'd recommend that you purchase this book not only for yourself, but also for your best friend, your sister, your neighbor, your favorite waitress. Really anyone who you want to be wearing a smile of sheer pleasure after a fabulous read. This is the perfect holiday gift to give… And I do think I'm going to be looking for the little town of Snow Creek, California, aren't you too?

_______________________________________
From the Publisher



Love on Main Street: A Snow Creek Christmas
by Juliet Blackwell, Rachael Herron, LGC Smith, Lisa Hughey, Ruby Laska, Adrienne Bell, Cecilia Gray
Pens & Friends
ISBN 9781940785028
Price $3.99

Where love begins on Main Street and ends happily ever after....

Christmas, the most magical season, is almost upon the small mountain town of Snow Creek. For seven couples, holiday wishes mean more than just gifts or parties. Can Snow Creek pull off its annual holiday miracle of bringing love to town?

Featuring seven original romances by New York Times and bestselling authors…
Juliet Blackwell 
LGC Smith 
Cecilia Gray 
Adrienne Bell 
Rachel Herron 
Ruby Laska 
Lisa Hughey

QUEEN OF HEARTS BY JULIET BLACKWELL 

Serafina Rogers is not an impulsive person, but lately something’s gotten into her. She walked away from warm San Diego, her scumbag ex-fiance, and her teaching job in order to come to Snow Creek and take over her deceased aunt’s witchy supply store. Unfortunately, her hunky cowboy landlord, Joe, has other plans for the space, which hasn’t turned a profit in years. Neither Joe nor Serafina believe in magic, much less romance. But when a Yule log is tossed on the fire, Serafina begins seeing things in her aunt’s deck of cards, and Joe’s niece goes missing…they might just have to change their minds.

THE HOLIDAY SHOW BY LGC SMITH

Christy Monroe hates Christmas. The excess, the inevitable disappointments--bah. Dan Rose loves Christmas. The fun, the way his bakery smells—it’s all a little magical, especially in Snow Creek. When their first-grade daughters decide they want to be sisters, Christy and Dan had better watch out. The girls maneuver their parents into organizing the elementary school holiday show together. It doesn’t take long for Dan to make it his goal to change Christy’s mind about Christmas—and taking a chance again on love.

LET IT SNOW BY CECILIA GRAY 

After losing her parents, Jessica can't bear to lose her childhood home and family bookstore, too. When they're taken from her, she has nowhere to go…except the arms of Daniel, Snow Creek's resident hero paramedic. It's not be the Christmas miracle Jessica wanted, but it might the one she needs….

SECOND CHANCES BY ADRIENNE BELL 

There’s no doubt in Eileen Ledger’s mind that the last time she saw hockey superstar Paul McAlester she made the biggest mistake of her life. Only, she’s never been sure if the mistake was in kissing him, or in running away. But ten years later, Paul is back in town for Christmas, and Eileen has a second chance to make things right…as long as she can keep herself from falling in love again.

A CHRISTMAST YARN BY RACHAEL HERRON 

Knitting has always served as a distraction, something that Clara can hide behind. After a significant weight loss, though, she's still not sure if she wants to be noticed. When sexy Lincoln ends up on the front porch of her yarn store, he seems to see everything clear as day. Will Clara finally be seen for her true self?

MISS BONNY'S BURIED TREASURE BY RUBY LASKA
Caroline Bonny has always known about her family curse: no Bonny daughter will ever marry until her great-great-great-grandfather's buried treasure is found. Caroline has made her peace with her life as a spinster-turned-cosmetologist, until easy-on-the-eyes schoolteacher Lance Carter comes to town determined to drown his recent breakup in holiday festivities.

ONE SILENT NIGHT BY LISA HUGHEY 

Nick and Ally Carpenter split up months ago after years of infertility treatments crushed their marriage and their dreams of children. When the couple reunites for the holidays to make a dying woman happy, can an unexpected miracle show them the way back to love or is it too late?