Recommended reads: Extend the holiday season with these heartwarming novellas

Looking for a sweet treat with no calories? Here’s recommendations of just a few of the wonderful novella reads from the Christmas Cookies Series. Extend the holiday season with these heartwarming stories, including Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For (recipe included).

A Maple Cookie Homecoming

by Judy Ann Davis

Can you ever go home again? Julien Franklin is recently discharged from the Army and headed back to his hometown of Linden, Vermont with a new puppy he’s named Mozart. He’s planning to stay “for a while” and remodel his adopted parents’ home. He’s unprepared to see Natalie Pinkett again. She’s the one he regretted had got away. Now, years later lots of life has happened to them both, changed them both. Is there any possibility they can rekindle their friendship, or even their star-crossed romance? What surprises are in store with the house remodel? Plans to stay a while be extended, or shortened as his heart will dictate.

The former high school sweethearts begin to get reacquainted over coffee and their forever favorite treat, maple cookies. Natalie is running her bookstore, and renting the rooms above it for extra money. She’s returned home herself after becoming a widow. She wants to raise her daughter in her own home town. Julien is looking for a place to stay, and moves into this apartment. The pair will remain in close contact, especially since Natalie’s daughter and Mozart become fast friends.

Judy Ann Davis, the author of this charming story, sets a vivid scene of a small town and the details that make it unique. It’s easy to see why it’s a magnet for those characters who grew up there. The author creates intriguing characters and introduces the reader to them, then slowly peels away the layers and reveals more and more about their backgrounds, desires, dreams, and buried secrets. As the plot moves forward, the ripple effects of one person’s life on others’ lives is beautifully shown and quite thought provoking. It’s such an engaging story, and it surfaces an interesting debate about possibilities, and exploring the idea of how idyllic is it if you ever go home again.

 Merry Little Wishing Spritz

by Cherie Colyer

Cassie is about to lose everything. Big change threatens her present and her plans for her future. The home and the job she loves are facing a large yellow construction crane and demolition blueprints, according to a prescient vision disclosed by her friend. Lakeside Books is a charming store and living above it suits Cassie just right in the idyllic town of Mystic Creek. She had a beloved history with this bookstore and Bea, the current owner. On the brink of a heartbreak, her thoughts turn dark toward the anonymous buyer. Wrath in a witch such as Cassie can be a worry, except she’s bound by the magic rules, or can those rules be stretched?

Cassie and her friend just happen to have baked a batch of special cookies used to cast a wish-come-true spell. Deciding it’s worth a try, Cassie casts enthusiastically and with only the best of intentions. What could possibly go wrong? Just like Cassie, you’ll be surprised at the answer to that.

The first surprise is the handsome new visitor to town who has a great interest in the bookstore as well. Cassie’s attraction to this man grows stronger as she gets to know him better. She has her own rules to apply in this aspect of her life too. This dear witch has vowed not to date mortals. In this case, it’s a tough decision to stick to; romance has a magic all its own.

It’s not long before Cassie has her hands full smoothing the wrinkles caused by her good natured spell. Some of the affects are unexpected and don’t seem to occur due to her actions alone. Is someone else dabbling in magic?

Author Cherie Colyer writes a delightful, winsome romance that amuses from page to page as the reader frolics through this charming witch Cassie’s story. You’ll want to linger over every page with its vivid descriptions, sweet humor, and characters that you’ll wish were friends living in your own hometown. Spend the holidays with them in this merry little read.

Snickerdoodle Snowmen

by Sarita Leone

It’s the busiest time of the year in North Pole, Alaska. Baker Kris Kringles is certainly feeling the deadline pressures as she bakes, packages and sends snickerdoodles all across the globe. Keeping busy means she can fulfill the wishes of all those people waiting for their sweets, and she can bury her secret regrets in her work. She certainly doesn’t want to share with anyone the secret she hides, and she doesn’t want to talk about it with her sometimes meddling sister. After all, what help is a sister who believes in magic and happy endings?

Big-time New York reporter Santos Kloss makes no secret of his feelings about Christmas — bah humbug! It’s his last assignment before he moves on and of all the bad luck, he’s sent to North Pole to report on a certain baker’s world renowned Snickerdoodle Snowmen. He’s not happy, but he will fulfill his final obligations.

The flour flies when these two strong-willed characters meet on the snowy grounds of North Pole. It is the time of miracles, in the clear, frozen, tundra. Will a miracle bring peace between these two? Do they have something to offer each other that they didn’t even realize they might be missing? How could that possibly happen between two strangers, both so set in their ways? It is North Pole after all.

This author skillfully interjects delightful humor into a sweet, romantic book. The setting is crafted so vividly, you’ll want a steaming mug of hot chocolate nearby as you enthusiastically devour each page. The characters will steal your heart, including a mischievous sister who only means well. This dear story is absolutely a stocking stuffer must, and an after holiday delight.

Krampus and the Kolaches

by JD Douwes

Now this is anything but a harmonious caroling expedition, but these characters sure know how to show a reader a good time. It was so fun to join Khalie and her quirky group of friends on their way to the Figgy Pudding event and singing competition. They’re all seasonally excited, and I am too as I read about their antics in this vibrant and witty story.

One of the friends, Dina, has brought along her son Fred. He is a mischievous imp, and Dina is in denial about his pranks. That’s when the action turns wild. Who shows up as the sparks fly? Krampus appears. Of course, that’s the costume that Khalie’s boyfriend Harry planned to wear for the caroling event. His furry appearance scares Fred, who runs away. Krampus helps Santa by scaring the naughty.

The hunt for Fred begins, and reveals such a crazy adventure all over the holiday event. Everyone wants a taste of Khalie’s delicious kolaches too, but she needs to deliver them to the event’s bake sale intact. That turns out to be easier said than done. Along the way, Khalie notices some curious peculiarities about Harry in the Krampus costume. What has got into him? What indeed? It’s very unnerving, but some changes are actually endearing. With all the crowds and commotion, will they find Fred? What naughtiness will he have instigated?

At the end of this rollicking chase, you’ll have exercised your funny bone. The mystery of the Krampus will be revealed and it will warm your heart. This author has created a delightful holiday story filled with entertaining characters.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is an author with The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Her newest ebook is Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For.



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