Saturday, January 21, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Please forgive me for the delay in announcing the winners from the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.  It has been an incredibly busy new year so far! So now, without further ado....

The winner of the mystery box of Christmas books is...

Julie @ My Book Retreat

The International winner of a Christmas book of her choice (up to $5) from Better World Books or Book Depository is...

Darlene @ Darlene's Book Nook

The winner chosen from all of the book reviews posted (wow, we had 118 book reviews posted!), who will win a Christmas book of her choice (up to $5) from Better World Books or Book Depository is...

Alleluialu @ Bookend Crossing

Congratulations, ladies! Thanks again for joining me for the reading challenge and I hope you will join me again next year.  I will be emailing you soon to iron out the details.  I hope you will bear with me, as my finances are a bit shaky at the moment.  If you read this before I contact you, feel free to email me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom


And now for the winners of the other three giveaways that ended yesterday!

The winner of the 100 Followers Giveaway, who will receive the audio book copy of The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts, is...

Carol Wong

The winner of the We've Seen Santa giveaway is...

Julie @ My Book Retreat

The winner of the Wise Bear William giveaway is...

Ann McGuffy

Winners of the alternative Christmas titles are...

Little Dumber Boy
Sally Ford

Christmas in Killarney
Britney W.

I will be emailing the winners, but if you happen to read this post first, please email me your addresses at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom.  The authors will be mailing out Julie and Ann's books and I will be sending the book to Carol.

Congratulations to all the winners! I hope you enjoyed all the events during the holiday season.  Be sure to stop by each month on the 25th for Rudolph Day!

Always in spirit....

Monday, January 9, 2012

REMINDER: Post your Christmas reading challenge wrap-ups by midnight tonight!

Just wanted to remind everyone to be sure to post your wrap-up posts for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge by midnight tonight so you can be eligible for the participant giveaway.  Please contact me if you need more time to post it.  I can give anyone a day or two extra, if necessary, and just postpone the drawing.  You can email me directly, if you like: truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

Post your wrap-ups HERE.


There are also some giveaways still going on and I've decided to extend the deadline on two more of them. All three of these giveaways will all now end on Friday, January 20 at 11:59pm CST.

100+ Followers Giveaway

We've Seen Santa (2) copy Giveaway

Wise Bear William Giveaway

Good luck on all the giveaways and the reading challenge giveaways too!

Always in spirit....

Christmas Reading Challenges and Sharing the Joy Wrap-Up

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge and Christmas in July in December
I signed up for the Christmas Tree level (for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge), to read 5 or 6 books and I'm pleased to say, I read 5 adult novels, 2 childrens' books, and I watched a slew of movies!

Here's what I read:
The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott (did not review--4 stars on Goodreads)
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern (my mini-review--A bit of A Christmas Carol feel to this one so it's a given I would like it, but told in a new and original way.  No lightly tiptoeing on broken glass here.  A Christmas book that really makes you think, but not the run of the mill Christmas fare. I highly recommend it.)
The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts (review)
The Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn (review)
Next Christmas in Girouette by Michael and Dylan Welch (review)

Childrens' Books:
Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly McClure Stowe (review)
Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos (review)

Stand-Out Movies:
Motion Pictures:

Arthur Christmas
Disney's A Christmas  Carol

Television movies:

Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas (Hallmark Channel)
A Princess for Christmas (Hallmark Channel)
Dear Santa (Lifetime)
Annie Claus Is Coming To Town (Hallmark Channel)
The Christmas Pageant (Hallmark Channel)
12 Dates of Christmas (ABC Family)
Christmas Comes Home to Canaan (Hallmark Channel)

I hope everyone enjoyed the challenge! I know I sure did.  I will be hosting again this year for Christmas 2012 so I hope you all will join me again.

The Sharing the Joy event also ended on Friday.  I hope it was a fun month of interesting posts for you.  I wish I could have done more! There are still some giveaways going on and I'm going to extend the deadline on a couple of them so go enter! If you love Christmas as much as I do, be sure to stop by every month on the 25th for Rudolph Day and all month long for Christmas in July.

Always in spirit....

Book Reviews: The Gingerbread Bump-Off and Next Christmas in Girouette

The Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn

My thoughts:
This was basically my very first cozy mystery and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  The mystery is set up nicely and amateur sleuth, Phyllis, reminds me of Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote (one of my favorite shows back in the day).  She is known around town as "the woman who solved all those murders," much to the dismay of the police, most likely because it seems she tends to show them up.  I can certainly say that I was kept guessing about who committed the crime...there was no figuring this one out! I will say that no one should read this book on an empty stomach or if you're on a diet.  Phyllis and her roommate, Carolyn, are constantly baking yummy treats and cookies.  I felt like I could reach into the pages and grab one of Phyllis's German Chocolate Cookies and eat one myself.  I wish! I was so pleased when I discovered that there are recipes that Phyllis prepared in the story at the back of the book.  I'll definitely be trying them out.  In all, this book was a wonderful read at Christmas, even if it surrounded solving a murder.  I'm thinking I will definitely be checking out more of Livia's Fresh-Baked Mysteries in the future.

About the book:
A Christmas killer has been icing Phylis Newsom's friends in the sixth Fresh-Baked mystery.

Not only will Phyllis Newsom's house be featured in the annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour of Homes, she also has a Christmas Eve bridal shower and a New Year's Eve wedding to bake goodies for. But like her tasty treats, she rises to the occasion.

Before the tour gets under way, Phyllis makes a gruesome discovery on her porch: someone has tried to kill her friend. As Santa's naughty list gets longer, Phyllis tries to catch a half-baked killer.

Next Christmas in Girouette by Michael and Dylan Welch

My thoughts:
This book really was a heartwarming Christmas story.  I wasn't sure at first if I liked it, but as I read more and more, it started to grow on me.  It's one of those stories that has a message of appreciating the past, of letting go of all our technology and what we think are necessities, and mainly how to really appreciate people and the loved ones in your life.  Really a wonderful message to read at Christmas time.  The authors have incorporated the past and present of a ghost town in the Rocky Mountains, exposing the reader to what life was like then and now.  The characters are all interesting in their own way.  If I had one pet peeve, it would be the dialect depicted on the page that was supposed to make it sound like a western twang, but really just grated on the nerves a bit.  Otherwise, a good Christmas story with a message and many heartwarming moments.

About the book:
Next Christmas in Girouette… is a full-length novel for people of all ages—nine to ninety-nine—who want to share a classic, heart-warming literary adventure at Christmastime.

Set on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, this is the story of a brother and sister—Autry and Oxana Quinn—who find themselves stranded in a Girouette, a virtual ghost town, from Thanksgiving through Christmas when their father is taken seriously ill. Their grandfather, a Marine Captain long retired, plus an eccentric old cafĂ© proprietress, a Blackfeet Indian horse trader who once served as the town’s mayor, a couple who published the local newspaper and an ancient deaf-mute trapper are the only remaining inhabitants of Girouette. These self-styled, “diehards” all seem to have one thing in common. Thanks to a mysterious event 60 years earlier, they still believe in Santa Claus.

Girouette features something for everyone: carefree cowboys who race their horses over snow covered country road, a team of wolves trained to pull a dogsled, a stroll that nearly turns tragic on a buffalo jump, a serialized newspaper story titled “The Adventures of Rocky Mountain Santa,” a desperate attempt to escape from an abandoned copper mine, a night-time journey through the mountains on a frozen river and the miracle that delivers wayfaring strangers to Girouette during a storm on Christmas Eve.

The book revels in the solitary beauty of winter in Big Sky Country, the enduring wisdom of the elderly citizens of Girouette, the excitement of frontier history coming to life, the inspiration of a family healing itself and the magic of an old-fashioned western Christmas. Read Next Christmas in Girouette with your family this year, and you’ll want to revisit it for years to come at holiday time.

Both read for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received both books from the authors in exchange for an honest review.  I received no monetary compensation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge: Share Your Wrap-Up Here

Well, it's the last day of the challenge.  *sniff*  Another Christmas has passed and we're into the new year.  Time to set aside the Christmas reads for our normal reading fare.  Don't worry...the challenge will be back for Christmas 2012 and I hope you all will join me again!

I'm posting the linky below for you to link up your wrap-up post.  I'm going to give everyone until Monday, January 9 at 11:59pm CST to complete their wrap-up post.  If anyone needs a little extra time, please let me know.  Now, on to the giveaway details...and I'm adding a little extra prize too!

All challenge participants in the U.S. will be entered to win a mystery box of Christmas titles handpicked by me.  These will be gently used books (possibly library discards) and/or brand new books.  I will pick an additional winner from any International participants and I will purchase a book or eBook of your choice under $5.00 (U.S.) from Book Depository or Better World Books and have it shipped to you.  I will verify that these retailers do indeed ship free to your country.  If they do not, you will have to choose an eBook or I will choose another winner.  All winners will be chosen randomly using  All challenge participants will be asked to complete a wrap-up post, share it in the wrap-up linky, and include your country of residence with your name to be eligible for the giveaway.  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below.

Extra Prize!
I feel bad for not getting around to comment on all of your reviews so I'm doing an extra giveaway.  I will go to the review linky at midnight tonight and randomly pick ( a winner from all reviews submitted.  As posted above, I will purchase a book or eBook of your choice under $5.00 (U.S.) from Book Depository or Better World Books and have it shipped to you.  If the winner is international, I will determine if they ship to you and, if not, an eBook will be purchased.

Thanks again for joining me for the challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  I'm actually still reading and will probably be doing so until midnight tonight! Yeah, today is my last day of Christmas and I'm milking it for all it's worth (well, at least until the next Rudolph Day anyway). =O)

Also, there are still some giveaways going on until midnight tonight and a couple, including my 100+ followers giveaway, going until well into January.  Go try your luck!

***Remember to link to your wrap-up post and include your country of residence with your name***

Sharing the Joy: Alternative Christmas Titles and a Give@way

I thought I would save these alternative Christmas reads until after Christmas.  Why do I call them alternative Christmas reads?  Well, they're not your normal Christmas fare.  They are what you might consider short crime/thriller stories told during Christmas.  Now, like other Christmas stories, they do focus on a lesson learned, but the outcome isn't good for the protagonist, like it usually is in regular Christmas literature (Scrooge comes to mind).  I have to say that I enjoyed both of them, even if they were a bit somber.  So, these are actually stories that can be read any time of the year and Untreed Reads is giving away one eCopy of each story.  There will be two winners.  These might be good after Christmas reads for you fans of crime fiction.  Full giveaway details at the end of the post.

Little Dumber Boy by B.K. Stevens
Will’s aunt wants him to spend some time with his estranged son at Christmas. All Will wants is to knock off his girlfriend’s husband and collect a share of the life insurance policy. Unfortunately, when you fail to take into account all the angles, the perfect crime can really ruin your holiday. A short story from our Fingerprints line.

B.K. Stevens (Bonnie Stevens) is the author of One Shot published by Untreed Reads in November, 2011. She has also published over thirty-five other mystery stories, most of them in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Some of her stories have been reprinted in anthologies such as Women of Mystery I, II, and III. Another story appeared in Family Circle after winning first place in a national suspense-writing contest judged by Mary Higgins Clark. In addition, Bonnie has published college textbooks on composition (Holt) and on literary criticism and research (Holt/ Harcourt), along with a book on Jewish education (Behrman House). She and her husband, Dennis, live in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Bonnie teaches English at Lynchburg College; they have two daughters, Sarah and Rachel. Bonnie belongs to Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Christmas in Killarney by S. Furlong-Bolliger
Maureen is facing the prospect of a depressing Christmas after her husband Bob loses his job and she’s forced to clean hotel rooms. When Bob’s former boss is murdered, she thinks there’s a chance that the couple’s luck has changed. Unfortunately, for Maureen, her luck just got a lot worse. A holiday short story from the author of Dead Giveaway

Susan writes mysteries from her rural Midwest home as a way to escape the demands of having four kids, two cats, one dog, several chickens … and one husband.  Besides writing mysteries, Susan also works as a freelance academic writer for various research publications, medical dictionaries, and encyclopedias. She also has several articles published in national magazines.  In 2010, Susan joined Untreed Reads with the short stories Death by Jello and Christmas in Killarney, following up in 2011 with the humorous mystery short Paddy Whacked and the crime short Dead Giveaway.

Enter to win an eCopy of Little Dumber Boy and Christmas in Killarney.  Two winners...please specify which title you prefer in the comments along with your email address.  Open to everyone.  Giveaway will end on Friday, January 20 at 11:59pm CST.  Good luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Give@way Reminders!

There are currently three giveaways going on here at The Christmas Spirit.

Giveaways ending Friday, January 6 at 11:59pm CST:

--One copy of children's book, Wise Bear William by Arthur Wooten.  Read about the book, read my review, and enter HERE.

--Two copies of children's book We've Seen Santa by Tiffany A. Higgins.  Read about the book, read my interview with the author, and enter HERE.

100+ Followers Giveaway extended until Friday, January 20 at 11:59pm CST.  Enter HERE.

I hope you've been enjoying the Sharing the Joy event this year.  I still have a couple more reviews and other things planned for the last two days.  There may be multiple posts.  Also, the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge ends on Friday so I'll be looking for those wrap-up posts. ;O)  There will be a linky posted for them.

Alway in spirit....

Giveaway Winners!

I'm pleased to announce a couple of winners in two Sharing the Joy giveaways!

The winner of the signed copy of To Be Queen by Christy English is...

Valerie  (did not respond and left no contact info)
New winner----Christy Robinson (she has been contacted)

The winner of the eBook copy of Harem by Colin Falconer is...


Congratulations! I am emailing Cheryl, but Valerie, please contact me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom within 48 hours with your mailing information.  Thank you!