Tag Archives: Melody Carlson

Book Review — A Quilt for Christmas

2 Jan

I was determined to finish A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson by Christmas night. I failed, LOL! I did finish it prior to my immediate family’s Christmas get-together so I count that as a win. While you may think it’s past time for a Christmas-y novella, I recommend you take a look at this one. It has a great message of reaching out to others with hurts, challenges, and needs. At least put it on your TBR list for next December 😉 .

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/.

My Impressions:

The Queen of Christmas Novellas has done it again. A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson is a feel-good story about reaching out of our own lives to others who are hurting and facing challenges. Four strangers are brought together to create a quilt for Vera’s neighbor. Prompted by the precocious 4 year old Fiona, the four very different women forge friendships, and in one case an uneasy alliance, to help a family in need. The book is quick to take off as novellas do, but is filled with poignant moments and a few chuckle-inducing scenes. Friendships are made, a romance is kindled, and hearts are softened. It was the perfect book for holiday reading due to its Christmastime setting, but would make a great weekend read any time of the year.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

First Line Friday — A Quilt for Christmas

23 Dec

How is it Christmas Eve Eve?! LOL. I usually devour Christmas books from November through Christmas, but I have only completed one this year. I am still trying to adapt to my husband’s 3-day work week. We head up to our home in the mountains a lot or visit his mom in another state. Not sure why my road-tripping doesn’t translate into more reading time, but it doesn’t. I need to make some adjustments because I am missing my books. This weekend finds us traveling again, this time meandering a bit. We will be listening to an audiobook, and I will take A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson along. Carlson is a favorite, and I am determined to get it read before the stroke of midnight on December 25. What about you? Are you reading this weekend?

Here’s the first line:

Vera Swanson used to love Christmas.

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

Top 10 Tuesday — Cozy Reads

29 Nov

Happy Tuesday! Have you recovered from your Thanksgiving festivities yet? We have extended our fun with a two week visit from our not quite 3 year old granddaughter. Whew! I am old! 😉 I keep reminding myself that when our oldest was her age, I had a 14 month old and another on the way. But I was a lot more agile back then.

Blogging has taken a backseat to the care and feeding of a preschooler, but I didn’t want to miss a TTT. This week’s theme is Cozy Reads. That could take all forms — from mysteries, to romances, to small town reads, and Christmas books. I am featuring some from all those categories so that you have a good mix to choose from. Hope you find a book to love!

For more favorite cozy reads, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Cozy Reads

Cozy Mysteries

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Cozy Romances

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Just Let It Go by Courtney Walsh

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Small Town Cozy Reads

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Home to Hickory Lane by Deborah Raney

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

Cozy Christmas

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson

A Quilt For Christmas Blog Blitz!

14 Oct

A Quilt for Christmas JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Quilt for Christmas

Title: A Quilt for Christmas: A Christmas Novella
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Genre: Christian Romance

Recently widowed Vera Swanson is having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit in her new town. When asked to make a quilt for an ailing neighbor, she pulls together a diverse circle of quilters, including freespirited Tasha Ellison. The group becomes stitched together through shared stories, trust, and a little romantic weaving.

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

EXCERPT

So Vera would be alone for Christmas—not that she planned to acknowledge the holiday. Who was there to celebrate with anyway? After five months in Fairview, she hadn’t made a single friend. She’d heard that as one got older it grew more difficult to make new friends. Perhaps her loneliness was proof of that. 

A loud knocking at her door brought Vera’s little pity party to a halt. Hurrying to see who was pounding so urgently—since no one ever called on her here—she suddenly remembered she was still in her pajamas and robe. She cracked open the door with a cautious hello? but could see no one. 

“Please, please, can you help me?” a small voice pleaded from down below. 

Vera blinked at the small child who stood on her doorstep. With two messy blond pigtails, bare feet, and widened blue eyes, the little girl looked somewhat lost and confused. And like Vera, the child was dressed in sleepwear, except hers was a thin, summery nightgown that looked none too warm.

“Wh-what?” Vera fumbled to unlatch the chain and fully open the door. “Who are you?” 

“I’m Fiona,” the girl reached for Vera’s hand and, grasping it tightly, tugged. “We live right there.” She pointed to the opened door across the hallway. “Mama is sick. Please help me!” 

“Oh my!” Leaving her own door wide open, Vera let the child lead her across the hall and into the condo.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long was made into a Hallmark movie, and the film version of The Happy Camper is soon to be released. She and her husband live in central Oregon.

Connect with Melody by visiting melodycarlson.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Quilt for Christmas, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and quilted coasters!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 12, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on October 19, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

First Line Friday — Courting Mr. Emerson

2 Sep

Happy Friday! The book I am sharing today appeared on my shelf a while back. I’m not even sure how it ended up in my house! LOL! But Melody Carlson has been a favorite of mine for a long time, so I am happy about it despite its mysterious origins. 😉 Courting Mr. Emerson is a contemporary romance that I am betting I will love. Now I just need to find time to read it! Have you read it? Let me know what you thought. And if, like me, you haven’t read it yet, it’s available for FREE from Kindle Unlimited.

And now the first line:

George Emerson didn’t need anybody.

When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause–and finds herself falling for him in the process.

A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around–which to him seems like all too often. He’s not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.

But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?

With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.

Top Ten Tuesday — Modes of Transportation

26 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today’s TTT theme is books with ___ on the cover. I chose modes of transportation — you know trains, planes, automobiles, etc. Some of these books I have read; others are on my TBR shelf. I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more cover love, check out that Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Covers with Trains, Planes, Automobiles, Etc.

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

Elvis Takes A Back Seat by Leanna Ellis

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

If You Liked . . . As Dawn Breaks

28 Feb

Feedback is showing that my book club really liked As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin. We will be discussing it next week (Covid caused some delay with our schedule, but we are back!) This WWI-era novel has a lot for us to talk about — historical details, espionage, munitions, women’s roles in that time — good stuff! If you were a fan of this book too, I have some more recommendations. One is another novel by Kate Breslin — she has several set during WWI so any of hers are a good choice. I hope you find a book that piques your interest.

The Warfront And Spies

The Far Side of The Sea by Kate Breslin

In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life — a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield. 

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel’s half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

An Unusual Role for A Woman in 1916

Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson

It’s 1916 when newspaper woman Anna McDowell learns her estranged father has suffered a stroke. Deciding it’s time to repair bridges, Anna packs up her precocious adolescent daughter and heads for her hometown in Sunset Cove, Oregon.

Although much has changed since the turn of the century, some things haven’t. Anna finds the staff of her father’s paper not exactly eager to welcome a woman into the editor-in-chief role, but her father insists he wants her at the helm. Anna is quickly pulled into the charming town and her new position…but just as quickly learns this seaside getaway harbors some dark and dangerous secrets.

With Oregon’s new statewide prohibition in effect, crime has crept along the seacoast and invaded even idyllic Sunset Cove. Anna only meant to get to know her father again over the summer, but instead she finds herself rooting out the biggest story the town has ever seen—and trying to keep her daughter safe from it all.

More Spies!

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network–field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

Book Review: A Christmas in The Alps

6 Oct

I always like to start off my Christmas reading with a novella from Melody Carlson. This year’s offering is A Christmas in The Alps, a feel-good story about reconciliation. A recommended read, this book will whisk you off to the charming French Alps — bucket list anyone?

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/.

My Impressions:

I always like to start my holiday reading off with a novella from Melody Carlson. This year, Carlson takes readers away to the French Alps with a young woman who longs for family in A Christmas in The Alps. Simone has been left alone after the death of her grandmother. Facing an uncertain future, she allows herself to be talked into a trip to her great-grandmother’s home village to discover a mysterious treasure. Throughout the book I was reminded of the verse in Matthew 6: for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Several of the characters learn the truth of this scripture as they search out lost family connections. Simone finds family, love, and a new purpose on her trip. The story isn’t complicated and is somewhat predictable, but I enjoyed it. Sometimes I just need a sweet read that turns out the way I want. 😉

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

First Line Friday — A Christmas in The Alps

24 Sep

Happy Friday! It’s fall, y’all! While many people are polishing their pumpkins and sipping cider or spiced lattes, I begin my Christmas reading. It’s never too early for a little Christmas cheer, right? This week I am featuring the first of my Christmas reads, A Christmas in The Alps. What better way to kick off the season with a Melody Carlson novella.

When do you start your Christmas reading?

Here’s the first line:

Simone Winthrop knew all about loss.

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

21 Sep

Happy Tuesday! After a few challenging TTT topics, I am relieved to have an easy one — Fall 2021 TBR. I can always come up with lots of books that I will be reading soon. As always I have a mix of genres, so you can find a book to suit your tastes or whims. Let me know if any books on my list made yours.

For more Fall TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on My Fall TBR List

A Christmas in The Alps by Melody Carlson

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell

In The Shadow of Your Wings by JP Robinson

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon

The London House by Katherine Reay

Out of The Water by Ann Stewart

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

A Season on The Wind by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox