Immerse yourself in this eclectic collection of short stories featuring authors from around the world. Travel to different places with them as they enjoy an unexpected journey back home to reunite with family and take a chartered flight to the North Pole. Shiver with the cold and anxiety as their loved ones get stranded in a snow storm in Alaska or share the amazement of gazing at the spectacular views during a hike to Machu Picchu. Explore the Indian subcontinent by train, share an unforgettable vacation in Cyprus or venture into Afghanistan in the midst of war.
Holidays are a time of sharing and can take many forms. These stories explore the issues of family dynamics, reflections on life, and finding the true meaning of love and acceptance. They also show that sometimes, it is just as important to let go of old feelings and old memories.
This collection of short stories is sure to warm your heart and light the spirit of Christmas.
A White Christmas
Homesteader’s Christmas Disaster
The Christmas Spirit
Letters from Carmen
A Christmas Awakening
Times of Gifting, Time to Heal
A Little Bit of Kindness
The Journey Within
Who doesn’t love a good holiday anthology? Especially one with over 15 different stories in it! I know I do. And while I didn’t feel connected each of these stories in the way that I had hoped to, there’s nothing to say that you won’t. I was introduced to new authors which is always great in my book, and read some new works from old authors. And this anthology is the Debut for on author as well. The amazingly talented, triple threat C.L. Cannon makes her writing debut in this anthology with Chasing Time, an amazing little short, that I hope to see grow into a full blown novel of its own some day! What happens when two best friends go back to their quiet little home town that they wanted nothing more than to get away from? And all for her sisters Christmas wedding. Surprises, revelations and Christmas joy are to be had by all!
Also coming back and making their second circuit on the blog is Shannon Youngblood, who wrote Puppy Love. Cute and timid, its a great Christmas love story and proof that material possessions are not greater than love. Fighting for the love of an animal shelter, nothing is too precious, including your home to save it. What would you be willing to give up to save an animal?
Sam’s Place reminded me of ‘White Christmas’ with its bringing of strangers together for the greater good and made me all warm and tingly. What would you do to bring back that spark that you lost for life? Would you listen to a stranger and let them lead you to your destiny? Or would you be so scared you ran away?
Lonely Ness had me intrigued. What do you do when your wife goes missing? Hire the only detective with no cases you can find. Ness is that man and Nick needs his help. Will Ness solve this case? Or will Nick never know what happened to his poor wife?
A White Christmas starts the anthology off with a look at reflection of self and family and what would you do if your world came tumbling down only to have everything you ever wanted land at your feet.
Homesteader’s Christmas Disaster is the one that brought me home. The author and I are both from Alaska, different parts, but still the same. Reading it made me miss home in ways I hadn’t in a long time and had me giggling as I remembered stories my friends told me of living in the villages and out in the Bush.
El Dorado had me questioning my sanity slightly as I was reading, but in a good way. I felt as though I had fell into a history book and back in time as I read about the times of old and how the legends of El Dorado had influenced so much of South American culture.
Times for Gifting, Time to Heal was amazing in its reflection of how something so simple as being with strangers on foreign soil for the holidays can force you to become close and go to lengths you wouldn’t think to go to to make each other comfortable. And the bonds those friendships can take and last forever.
The Christmas Spirit is cute. It reminded me of watching Angel and Cordelia’s ghost. How would you feel if you had a ghost in your house that found a way to talk to you? Would you talk back? What if that ghost was stuck on this plane because he literally had unfinished business and decided you were it?
Letters from Carmen is great because when you think that you know everything that is going on in your life and it turns upside down on you, there is always an upside. And this story shows you just how lucky and many upsides you can have! I have had these ups and downs and truly appreciate the way this was written. What would you do if your life was turned upside down by finding out you had an aunt you never knew about, and only because your mom was dying?
A Christmas Awakening is a questioning of faith. What would you do if you were put in such a way as to have everything you believed torn from you, changed your beliefs and then had those beliefs turned on your head? Would you still believe what you believed, or would you now believe what you used to believe? How would you handle the memories of your former self washing over you as you traveled to your former life? Could you do it? Would you do it?
Twisted Memory is interesting. We travel through the main characters life as she grows and accepts who she is becoming, while unable to tell her family who she is for fear of what happened to her brother happening to her. The best Christmas presents and plans go undone, until the end. And then it’s the best surprise you could hope for!
Christmas Cinderella is probably the story I questioned the most. Full of Christmas Miracles and surprises, it also made me question realism. How could things happen with no explanation? How can you be so close, yet so far away? And how can something so crazy happen, yet everything be okay when you walk away? Do you believe in the miracles of Christmas? Then this story is definitely for you.
A Little Bit of Christmas Kindness is a great story of giving and learning to accept a gift. The main character is so used to giving she has to learn to accept things, while learning to give to herself as much as she gives to everyone else. A story of slight self-discovery and finding new love, when its been hiding from you all along.
The Journey Within takes us to the beautiful isles of Cyprus to go on a journey of self discovery and release. We’ve all heard of the “Pay it Forward” movement, well this story encompasses that with a game called “Pass the Parcel.” From tickets, to hotel, to an expensive vacation to Cyprus, we learn something in ourselves as we read. Letting go is easy if we breath and try.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading Holiday Heartwarmers while I did. Some of the stories left me wanting more, and hoping they get turned into feature novels. Others left me feeling empty, like I had been handed a gift, and had it stolen from me. But, that does mean that they will for you. There is a variety of writing in here. From funny to historical. Family to romance. Even military. There is something for everyone in this book. You don’t have to like it all to like the book.
That’s not the point of an anthology. It’s not for every story to please the reader. Its for the reader to read and find what pleases them. To find that story they can relate to. To find that story that you want to read again and again. That you want to e-mail the author and ask them “When are you going to turn this into a book?” because it’s that good. This has those stories.
So, do I suggest you read this because I say so? No. I suggest you read this so you can say, “I found that story that I want more.” and be able to show your friends and then ask them which one is theirs.