Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Novels

Recently I have been the opportunity of reviewing two wonderful books Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The third title that you will see in this blog is about a book that I volunteered to post an excerpt of in order to advertise the book.

Unfinished Gift

About the book
 Can a gift from the past mend a broken heart?

Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And he wants the dusty wooden soldier in Grandfather's attic--the one he is forbidden to touch.

Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts--a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.

Who is Dan Walsh?
Dan Walsh is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, a church he helped found 23 years ago. He is the author of The Unfinished Gift and lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area

My Thoughts
Let yourself go back in time – more specifically in the year 1943 during the 2nd world war. In this book you will get a multitude of details related to the time where things were though and all the resources were concentrated on the war. You will see how coupons were used for food and how you could get more meat just by saving the fat and bring it back to the butcher. You will experience the loss of a mother, the missing in action father, the strained relationship with a grand-father that you never knew and the discovery of a beautiful wooden toy.

This story will dig out the resentment a father has against his own son and his wife to discover that he was wrong during all these years. And it took the disappearance of this son, the letters of his daughter-in-law as well as a grand-son who runs away in the midst of a major snowstorm to melt the anger away. And from that point on, the grand-father is changed from the inside out.

A wonderful neighbour and a lady from the children’s service are also a delight to discover. They embrace the little boy and encourage him to do unto others what he would like to be done to him. And so, he takes on to please his grand-father but it is a hard thing to do since his grand-father is so distant and grumpy. Nevertheless, he tries, gets discourage and decides to leave... Lost in the storm, he will be saved by a gentle stranger who will bring him to safety. While this is happening in town, half-way around the world, another Christmas miracles is happening.

The whole story is spanned on a five days period - from December 20th to the 25th to be exact. Only God could have weaved such a miracle in the lives of these people.

I enjoyed the story very much. It kept me wanting to read more and the way it finishes it makes me wonder what other adventure these characters will experience. I love historical fiction and this one is absolutely special since it is set during the Christmas season. After I turned the last page of the book, I saw an announcement for a sequel titled The Homecoming set to be released in June 2010. I am looking forward to read the sequel just to discover what will happens to all the characters I have learned to love throughout the pages of the Unfinished Gift.

To read an excerpt of the Unfinished Gift, simply go to .

Christmas Dog

About the book
Christmas miracles can come from unlikely sources.

Betty Kowalski isn’t looking forward to the holidays. She just can’t seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it’s because her husband is gone. Maybe it’s because she’s missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbour, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about.

Who is Melody Carlson?
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody’s website at  .

My Thoughts
Here’s an interesting little novel to dig into during the Christmas season. Imagine yourself living alone in a house. Your kids are grown and live far away from you. And you think your neighbourhood is going down because of a specific neighbour. Many around thinks that particular neighbour is bizarre and rude and probably not good news. Everyone seems scared of him.

Then a dog shows up in your yard. Dirty, scummy, hungry and you would think the dog belongs to the neighbour. You remember that your job is to love the ones that are hard to love... So you make an effort to encourage the neighbour and go buy food and toys for the dog. You delivery the goodies and the dog at his door and leave. Problem is – this is not his dog.... To top it off, your grand-daughter shows up at your door after running away from home. Mind you, she is old enough to know what she wants being in her 20s and such.

I’m not a fan of dog but this little novel was a delight to read. In the midst of holiday frenzy and birthdays galore, I was enjoying this little novel. It is fresh and simple yet captivating at the same time. The characters interact well between each other and we learn how simple love and kindness can melt the grumpiness away.

As you go through the story, you will discover with Betty what Christmas is really about and open your heart to love the ones around you – even the dog!

If you want to read and excerpt of the book – go to .

Finding Christmas  
About the book
Christmas is everywhere . . . even where you least expect it.

Join award-winning author and storyteller James Calvin Schaap as he uncovers the grace, joy, and love of the season through seven heartwarming tales of miracle moments in a messy world. This beautiful and inspiring collection of contemporary Christmas stories will remind you what grace looks like--and where to find it.

Who is James Calvin Schaap?
James Calvin Schaap, a professor of English at Dordt College and president of the Chrysostom Society, is the award-winning author of twenty-two books. He lives in Sioux Center, Iowa.

My Thoughts
I can’t share my thoughts about this book as I have not received a copy yet. But I promised to post an excerpt of this book as well so here it is - . From what I can see, it looks like it would be a great book to get during Christmas time.

These reviews were made possible because I have received a copy of Unfinished Gift and Christmas Dog from Graf-Martin.
Available now at your favoroute bookselle from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Unfinished Gift is available everywhere even at and

Christmas Dog is available everywhere even at and
Finding Christmas is available everywhere even at and

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