Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review of the '2014 Christmas Collection' by Stephanie Burkhart & more!



Christmas Collection
by Stephanie Burkhart

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BLURB:

Seven complete sweet to sensual romances from seven multi-talented authors in settings that are sure to be magical this holiday season. There's a story for everyone.

A SEASON OF MIRACLES by Linda Swift

Caroline Ross, a Confederate widow, desperately seeks medical help for her little son in the Union Army camp.

John Oldham, a soldier disowned by his family for choosing the wrong side, comes to her aid. As they keep a vigil for days at Danny's bedside, a close relationship develops between them. John longs for a family and wants to make Caroline and Danny his own.

Will his wish come true in this season of miracles?

AT FIRST SNOWFALL by Cecilia Corona

May all your dreams come true, takes on a whole new meaning when Xiomara finds out she's an Oracle with Fae witch powers, and her boyfriend is a werewolf from another realm.

When her half- brother shows up on her doorstep with his prophecy, the true nightmare begins. She must stand beside him in the battle of Galant or the evil Queen will destroy the kingdom.

Some faerytales are all too real, but if she can unleash her powers and learn to control them before the first snowfall, she just might find her happily ever after.

MR. CHRISTMAS ELF by Stephanie Burkhart

Jules' Christmas list is looking pretty pathetic. She needs a new muffler for her car and a hundred dollars to pay off her root canal. Her niece is asking for an iPad, but all Jules can afford is a Barbie doll. The peppermint on the top? Her boyfriend dumps her in a text message.

Jules could use a little Christmas magic, so when Elvis pops up claiming that he was sent by Santa to fill her Christmas list, all she has to do is believe – in the magic the season has to offer.

ALL THAT WE HAVE IS OUR SOUL by Katrina Gillian

The wait is finally over. Today is Theodore Lewis' 18th birthday and his essence has switched places with his soulmate for the day. His people have practiced this tradition for centuries. They are granted the chance to see the world through each other's eyes before actually meeting.

Only the Fates may have missed their mark. Theo's life is in 1940 and his soulmate is in 2014. This couldn't be happening. Is he doomed to never be with his soulmate, or will the Fates find a way to make this right?

CHRISTMAS TEARS by Rebecca J. Vickery

What's a widowed mother to do with two children to provide for and Christmas coming soon? Noelle Welborn is in dire straits when she loses her job, is cheated out of her pay, and has no relatives to which she can turn. Then they lose the roof over their heads. Sleeping in the car seems the only option left.

Officer Nick Stewart stops when he spies a familiar looking car parked in a church parking lot late one night. Sure enough, she's the same pixie-faced woman he warned before. When he discovers she has kids asleep in the car, he insists she park in his yard or go to the police station with him.

But what about the next night, and the next?

ROOM AT THE INN by Nan O'Berry

Welcome to Magic Hallow, Pennsylvania. On the day before Christmas Eve, Helena McCray finds herself driving from New York to Washington, D.C. with a car load of Felicity Adams designs. She wasn't expecting the storm of the century to send her car careening off the road. Rescued by James Buchannan, she is taken to a grand old Victorian he has been fixing up as a bed and breakfast.

Gift of the Magi has been handed down in James Buchannan's family since his great, great, grandfather brought his Russian bride home from Europe. But the Magi is a secret place where James can hide from the world. Helena McCray slowly melts his heart and together they find out the magic of the inn could be in opening their hearts to a new beginning.

BLAME THE MISTLETOE by Markee Anderson

Do you believe in love at first sight? Or love after a kiss under the mistletoe? Neither did Tasha or Cal...

Tasha Adams owns a bakery and catering shop after losing her nursing career. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem make her an almost hermit, especially during the holidays.

Calvin Miller, busy doctor and bachelor, receives a sudden and unexpected visit from his young niece and nephew for the holidays. There go his work plans.

Then a fateful collision on a staircase changes all their lives.

Read an excerpt from ROOM AT THE INN:
A warm hand brushed the gown away from her shoulder. Helena closed her eyes as his lips moved across her flesh toward the tender skin of her neck. She arched in delight and cried out his name once more.

"Helena? Helena?" James' voice, full of concern, filled her ears as the tender scene dissolved before her opening eyes. His disheveled face appeared. The hint of an evening shadow darkened his cheeks, his mussed hair dipped over those expressive grey eyes that were so kind yesterday, but now appeared filled with worry.

"Um," she blinked and gathered her thoughts. "I'm fine." Pushing to sit up, her hand brushed against his arm. She looked down, disappointed to find flannel instead of skin. "I was having a dream," she whispered.

"You were calling out my name."

"I-I was?" She looked around and realized to her chagrin there was no canopy bed, no comforters, nothing to remind her of the pleasant dream.

"I hope it was a good dream," he grinned and stood. "You had me a bit worried it was a nightmare."

**My thoughts**

This is a fun collection of short, romantic stories revolving around the Christmas season. They also revolve around short-lived romances, in which the main characters fall in love extremely quickly. A popular theme around Christmas is finding that magical true love and having a Happily Ever After. I admit that having so much of it thrust into one volume was a little too sugary for my taste, but each story on its own was fine. Some people will eat up all of that sweet in one sitting. I needed to space it out a bit more.

Each story has a very different setting and reflects the variety of writing styles of each of these authors. I think there is a story for everyone in this volume. My personal taste is not historical romance, for example, though I did enjoy the opening story "A Season of Miracles." My favorite story was "Mr. Christmas Elf," because I like those quirky kinds of characters and stories that reflect the magic of Christmas. I am also not a fan of fantasy, but really liked "All We Have Is Our Soul," because it was such a unique idea to me. "Christmas Tears" did just about bring me to tears, with its message of second chances during the season.

As so often happens for me with short stories, I did want to know more about what happened with the different characters and their newfound loves. The stories ended as they should, but I always want to know the next chapter. I guess that is a good sign.


Buy links


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

LINDA SWIFT

Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award-winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Linda holds an Education Specialist Degree from Murray State University with post-graduate work from U. of Alabama and was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist in the public schools in three states.

Linda's first two books were published by Kensington. She currently has twelve E-books (also in print) and seven short stories available at Amazon and other distributors. Her Civil War novel, This Time Forever, has been adapted for a short film titled Clarissa's War which will soon be available through Vimeo.

Visit her website at http://www.lindaswift.net

CECILIA CORONA

Cecilia Corona is a massage therapist by day and enjoys the adventures of writing by night. When she's not sitting at her computer plotting her next tale, she's enjoying the Southern California weather. She loves movies, animals of all kinds, especially her three dogs, and she's a big fan of mermaids. When she was young and saw the movie Splash for the first time, she believed sprinkling salt in the bathtub would magically allow her to grow a tail. She was sadly disappointed when the experiment didn't work. If she can't be a mermaid, then maybe she'll just have to write about them.

You can visit Cecilia at: http://authorceciliacorona.blogspot.com/

STEPHANIE BURKHART

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department. She served in the U.S. Army between 1986-1997 in the Military Police Corps. Raised in New Hampshire, she now makes her home in Castaic, CA. Stephanie adores chocolate, enjoys coffee and participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's held in Santa Clarita, CA on 20 Sep 2014. She writes romance and children's stories. Stephanie is published with Victory Tales Press, Desert Breeze Publishing, and 4RV Publishing.

Visit Stephanie's website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

KATRINA GILLIAN

Katrina Gillian is a big fan of Marvel comic books and superheroes. Only a real man would dare to wear tights when facing down the bad guy. Gotta love that!

When she isn't thinking of ways to take down Hydra, she creates pre-made book covers at: Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". You can also check out her published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. All That You Have is Your Soul is her debut story with Victory Tales Press.

Visit the author at: http://katrinagillian.blogspot.com \ http://judgeyourbookbyitscover.blogspot.com/

REBECCA J. VICKERY

Rebecca J. Vickery has been married to the same very patient man for quite a while now. She has one son, a special daughter-in-law, and three wonderful grandchildren.

She lives in South Carolina, USA, and slips away to go camping at Myrtle Beach whenever possible. Long walks on the beach help her to unwind and often ignite her imagination with new stories.

She enjoys the challenge of adding a special twist to her stories of romance. Usually they involve the paranormal, mystery, adventure, suspense, or a bit of fantasy along the way to a happy ever after ending.

Recently Mrs. Vickery has branched out into speculative fiction and has several short stories published in that genre. She owns Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, a small independent company, and also Victory Tales Press, where invited authors share their stories in various anthologies.

You may visit Rebecca at these sites online: rebeccajvickeryauthor.com \ rebeccajvickery.com \ victorytalespress.com

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors.

NAN O'BERRY

Nan O'Berry lives on a small farm in Western Tidewater with her family and pets including a Black Angus cow named Esmeralda. A graduate of Old Dominion University with a degree in education, she taught elementary school for several years before turning her attention to writing romance. She loves hearing from readers.

Please feel free to contact her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-OBerry-Romance-Author/161753103856411 or at her website: http://oberrynan.wix.com/nanoberryauthor

MARKEE ANDERSON

Markee Anderson resides with her husband, three older children, and various pets in Wisconsin.

See more information at www.markeeanderson.com and more information about her other pen names at www.sweettalebooks.com.


Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting! I truly appreciate it!

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  2. Thanks for hosting us today! I'm glad Mia T enjoyed the blurb. There are so many good stories in this anthology.

    Nan

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  3. Glad you enjoyed the blurb Mai T. Thanks to Books to Light Your Fire for having us by today.

    Nan

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  4. Enjoyed reading about the book and your review.

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  5. Sounds like a great collection.

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  6. I really loved reading the blurbs on each story. I love these short stories. These all sound really good.

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  7. Good review and giveaway! I like reading all the author's bios. :)

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