Kissing Under the Mistletoe – a wonderful heartwarming story

Kissing Under the MistletoeKissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Regan Martin believes she has finally received the perfect job offer; she is hired as a wine marketer for a company that was founded and run by women. She even gets a home to live in and her daughter (Holly) will be going to a school that the company will pay for. Regan made a horrible mistake six years ago by trusting a man that did not tell her he was married, she has been paying for it ever since. With numerous jobs behind her, she is ready to move on and forget the last six years. Until she realizes who else lives in the town of St. Helena.

Gabe DeLuca has placed a target on Regan’s back and has been hounding her ever since he walked in on a dinner date with her and his sister’s cheating husband, Richard. He has been the acting patriarch of the family since his parents died and he took it upon himself to watch out for his brothers and especially his baby sister. His family owns a large winery and ever since he saw Regan and Richard together, Gabe had tried to keep Regan out of the wine business in hopes that his sister would never have to deal with her.

Regan has told Gabe several times that she was sorry and did not realize that Richard was married. She was nineteen and emotionally Richard pushed all the right buttons. Gabe’s mission is to protect Abigail (his sister) and he was not interested in whose fault it was, he has just never wanted Regan and Abby to meet. To make matters worse, Richard has disappeared with a lot of money and Abby has been unable to get a divorce.

When both Regan and Gabe realize that she has been hired by his grandmother’s and sister’s wine company (Ryo) she is fired and only has a few days to move from the cottage. She is devastated until the most amazing things start to happen. Chaira (Chi Chi) Gabe’s grandmother and her friends seem to take a liking to Regan and along with Jordan Schultz, the woman who originally hired her they make it their business to find her a new job and a place to live. And even though there are still several people around town that want her to leave or at the very least see if Richard will contact her so they know where he is, those that rally around her make the others see her in a different way, which in return makes Gabe also see her differently.

I really enjoyed this book and had such a fun time reading you will laugh and cry as the author tugs are your heart. The characters are interesting and I laughed out loud several times from their antics. The “Randolph” rescue campaign, all three Mrs. Clauses trying to out-maneuver the PTA to keep the Community Action Committee from being barred from the meetings and the naughty jar, I believe Regan will be able to fund Holly’s college fund with it. I am looking forward to the next book; the brothers and sister were still not quite sure about Regan by the end of the book so it will be interesting to see how things progress.

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The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby – a fun feel good Christmas story

The Billionaire's Christmas BabyThe Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun feel good Christmas story.

Hannah Woods has been counseling a group of single, unemployed mothers each Thursday evening and when she is done all she wants to do is get into her comfy clothes and have two glasses of wine. Hannah likes counseling however there are some days that are harder than others. On this latest day she is worried about Louise, a woman who didn’t show at the meeting. Hannah had been Louise’s caseworker since she was pregnant and at first she thought things were getting better, however lately she is not sure. As she leaves the center she hears a small cry and as soon as she sees the basket she knows whose baby it is, Louise’s baby, Emily.

Louise left a note saying she was sorry and I could not do this anymore, that life was too hard. She wanted Hannah to please find her brother, Christopher James saying she believes he would raise Emily. So Hannah breaks every rule in the book and was searching for three weeks until she finally finds him, his name is now Jackson Pierce. He left his old life behind and started his own software company after graduating college; he and his partner had turned it into a billion dollar company within 10 years.

So on a snowy, windy night she drives up to his cabin and knocks on the door where he proceeds to tell her she must be in the wrong place and slams the door in her face, twice. Hannah is not sure what to do, but gets her car ready to drive away, however Jackson finally comes back out and asks her to come back into the house, knowing she could not drive in this weather. He is surprised to find that Hannah is not the only occupant in the car.

Believing Emily is Hannah’s he is shocked when he overhears a conversation and finds out Emily is his niece. Needless to say he is angry and if the weather had not turned into a blizzard he would have made them leave. He does not want to be a father and rejects any mention of adopting Emily. As they ride out the storm, Hannah learns about his childhood, that he had been let down by social workers, his father and more recently by his sister when she and her addict friends stole everything from him when he was just starting out.

Hannah has her own past she has to deal with and because she feels responsible for Louise’s death (since she did not see the signs) she will do anything to keep Emily out of the system. During the five days they are together she hopes she is getting to Jackson, and she is amazed when he finally says he will adopt Emily but wants a promise out of Hannah, that she will be there for every step of the proceedings.

When the blizzard lets up, Hannah goes back to work to find she has lost her job but gained much more with Jackson and Emily.

What a cute fun story. I liked how the story unfolded and really enjoyed getting to know Hannah and Jackson. Both had terrible childhoods but had not let the past scar them from making something of them-selves. The only thing that they were unable to do was fall in love until they met the right person. This is a lovely Christmas story that brings warmth to your heart.

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Book Addicts Calendar of Events
January 6 – January 19

One Time Events:
Second Annual “Writers in the Attic” Competition: Now through Friday, Feb 22, submissions will be accepted for the second annual Writers in the Attic writing competition. This year’s theme is “detour”. Stories will be blind judged by a local literary notable and be published as par tof the Writers in the Attic 2013 anthology. Competition guidelines and submission forms can be found at http://www.TheCabinIdaho.org

Boise’s Novel Orchard: Is seeking submissions for its zine NIBBLES. Appearing monthly, NIBBLES will give a glimpse of what writers in the Treasure Valley and beyond are doing. They’re looking for prose under 4,000 words, poetry is 22 lines or less, and black and white original artwork. Email Megan Justice (Megan.Justice@BoiseNovelOrchard.org) for more info or to submit your work

Hillview Book Club: Monday, Jan 7, 9:30 a.m., Grab your morning coffee or tea and a snack, get cozy and chat about this month’s book choice, Barnes & Noble in Boise

Pre-School Story Time: Tuesday, Jan 8, 2 – 2:30 p.m., Storytime with puppets and lots of fun for children ages 3 – 5, Sagebrush Room of the Library! at Cole & Ustick in Boise

Idaho Screenwriters Association: Tuesday, Jan 8, 6:30 p.m., Idaho Pizza, 7100 W Fairview in Boise at 6:30. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Sherry Cann at Sherry.ae@hotmail.com or visit their website at http://www.IdahoScreenwriters.blogspot.com

Partners in Crime Writing Group: Tuesday, Jan 8, 7 p.m., Interested in reading, writing, or publishing mystery, suspense, or true crime? Stop by the Partners in Crime writing group. New members always welcome! Barnes & Noble in Boise

Classics Club Book Club: Tuesday, Jan 8, 7 – 8:30 p.m., This month’s book is Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, Hyde Park Books in Boise

Bloomin’ Babies Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Contact the Main Library! branch for more information, YS Storwell room, Main Library! Boise

Toddle Tales Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Toddler storytime for ages 2-4. Big books, flannel stories, songs, ABCs, and counting for toddlers. Lemhi Room at the Library! at Hillcrest

Preschool Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 10:30 – 11 a.m., A special story time for children ages 3-5, Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister and in the Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Become a Mad Scientist: Wednesday, Jan 9, 4 p.m., Come and do fun science experiments. Kids ages 6-12 are welcome. Sycamore Room of the Library! at Collister

Covering Idaho Kids!: Wednesday, Jan 9, 6 – 8 p.m., Are you struggling to provide health insurance for your children? Get the facts about the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). A bilingual outreach worker will be available to answer questions. Bitterbrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick

Night Owl Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 9, 7 – 7:30 p.m., YS Storywell room at the Main Library! Call for more information, Main Library! in Boise

Early Literacy Story Time: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., This fun storytime for preschool-age children is also a workshop for parents to learn ways to help their children develop early literacy and math skills that will help them be successful in Kindergarten and beyond. This series of storytimes runs on an 8-week cycle and focuses on a different skill each week. No registration is required. This week focuses on telling stories. Lemhi Room in the Library! at Hillcrest in Boise

Bloomin’ Babies Story Time: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Contact the Main Library! branch for more information, YS Storwell room, Main Library! Boise

Preschool Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., A special story time for children ages 3-5, Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister and in the Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Pre-K Korner: Thursday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., story time for children ages 3-5, Sagebrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick in Boise

Toddle Tales Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 10, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Toddler storytime for ages 18 months – 3 years. Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister

After School Fun: Thursday, Jan 10, 4 – 5 p.m., Fun programs for children ages 6-12, Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 12, 11 a.m., This week’s theme: noise, noise, NOISE! Join us as we read stories all about sounds and noises. Barnes & Noble in Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 12, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Idaho Writers Guild Luncheon: Tuesday, Jan 15, This is an opportunity to network with other writers and find out whats happening in your literary community. Bruce DeLaney will be the featured guest at this luncheon. Smoky Mountain Pizza and Pasta, 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd. in Boise, Visit http://www.IdahoWritersGuild.com for more details

Taproot Book Club: Tuesday, Jan 15, 6:30 – 8 p.m., in conjunction with Boise Novel Orchard, Dive into a different type of book club where we discover well-loved and not-yet-found books, Hyde Park Books, downtown Boise

Super School Agers: Wednesday, Jan 16, 4 – 4:45 p.m., Games and activities for kids age 6-12, Sagebrush Room at the Library! at Cole & Ustick

Books to Film Movie Nights: Wednesday, Jan 16, 6:15 – 8:15 p.m., Lauren Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, Light snacks are permitted. The movie is rated PG-13. The movie starts promptly at6:14 p.m. due to its length. Call the Library! at Collister for more information

Early Literacy Storytime: Thursday, Jan 17, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., This week’s skill is writing your ABCs, Lemhi Room at the Library! at Hillcrest

Author Event: Thursday, Jan 17, Richard Rodriguez will be in Sun Valley as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts 2012-13 Lecture Series and Performing Arts Series. Rodriguez is a contributing editor at News America Media in San Francisco as well as the author of several books on class, ethnicity, and race in America. Visit http://www.SunValleyCenter.org for details and to purchase tickets

After School Fun: Thursday, Jan 17, 4 – 5 p.m., Fun programs for children ages 6-12, Hayes Auditorium at the Main Library!

Idaho Writer’s League, Caldwell Chapter: Thursday, Jan 17, 7 – 9 p.m., If your dream is to become a writer, regardless of your genre, be it novel, short stories, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, autobiography, or other, we are here to share information about contests, publishers, agents, and to give you support, opportunity for growth, and provide the tools necessary to help fulfill your goal as a writer. Caldwell Public Library 1010 Dearborn St., Caldwell, ID 83605, For more information or directions call (208)-459-6119, or (208)-859-4206 or email caldwell@idahowriterleague.com

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 19, 11 a.m., This weeks’ theme: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Celebrating the memory of a very important man featuring books about his life. Barnes & Noble in Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 19, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Family Story Time: Saturday, Jan 19, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Main Library! Call for more information

 

Reoccurring Events:

Writers’ Block: Tuesdays, Noon – 1p.m., Boise Community Radio, KRBX 89.9. Hosted by Jennifer Sanders Peterson and Amanda Turner

Poet’s and Writer’s Open Mic: Every first Thursday, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Idaho Falls

Nook Tablet Class: Saturdays, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Nook HD/HD+ Class: Saturdays, 11 a.m., Thursdays, 6 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

 

Writing Groups:

Boise’s Novel Orchard: This group meets the first Tuesday of every month at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise. Visit their website for more information including cost. http://www.BoiseNovelOrchard.org

Idaho Author Association: Idaho authors coming together to support and help each other achieve success in the world of publishing. All published Idaho authors are welcome to join us as well as writers seeking help and advice. More info at http://www.facebook.com/groups/idahoauthorsassociation & http://www.facebook.com/idahoauthorsassociation

Idaho Falls Writing Groups: Looking for critique groups in Idaho Falls? Check out the Idaho Writer’s League website for more information. http://www.IdahoWritersLeague.com

Idaho Screenwriters association: Monthly meetings are the third Tuesday of the month and meet at Idaho Pizza, 7100 W Fairview in Boise at 6:30. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Sherry Cann at Sherry.ae@hotmail.com or visit their website at http://www.IdahoScreenwriters.blogspot.com

Idaho Writer’s League, Caldwell Chapter: The Caldwell Chapter of the Idaho Writer’s League is a unified support group for writers networking with other I.W.L. chapters throughout Idaho. If your dream is to become a writer, regardless of your genre we are here to share information about contests, publishers, agents, and to give you support, opportunity for growth, and provide the tools necessary to help fulfill your goal as a writer. For more info, call 208-459-6119 or 208-859-4206 or email Caldwell@Idahowriterleague.com

 

Reoccurring Contact Information:

• Library!! At Collister: 4724 W State St, Boise 83703, (208) 377-4995

• Library! Main: 715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 384-4076

• Library! At Cole: 7557 W Ustick, Boise 83704, (208) 570-6900

• Library! At Hillcrest: 5246 Overland Rd, Boise 83705, (208) 562-4996

• Barnes & Noble: 1315 N Milwaukee Rd, Boise 83704, (208) 375-4454

• Rediscovered Books: 180 N 8th St, Boise 83702, (208) 376-4229

• Hyde Park Books: 1507 N 13th St, Boise 83702, (208) 429-8220

• The Cabin: 801 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 331-8000

Sea Glass Winter – an engaging fun romance

Sea Glass Winter: A Shelter Bay Novel (Shelter Bay #5)Sea Glass Winter: A Shelter Bay Novel by JoAnn Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Northwest author shows us what small town living is like in coastal Washington state.

Dillon Slater was a Tech sergeant who has spent time in Afghanistan defusing IED’s. After his tour, he signed up with the Troops to Teachers program and recently started a job teaching high school physics and coaching the boys basketball team in the idyllic town of Shelter Bay, Washington.
Claire Templeton is a jewelry designer who lived in Beverly Hills until recently, and is now a citizen of Shelter Bay. After her mother died her 15 year old son seemed to go through a troubled stage, so she picked up and they moved north.

Claire’s son Matt was recently a star basketball player for his high school and is not happy with the move. He knows that the Shelter Bay team has had a losing season for many years. Matt may not be happy he is here, however the town is ecstatic, as they know all about the phenon who is moving to town.

As Claire and Matt settle into small town living, Dillon makes his presence known to both Claire and Matt; he is attracted to Claire and wants Matt to succeed. He also is very interested in the team and wants them to work together whether they win or lose, much to the dismay of the citizen’s who want to win.

As the season progresses they have some success and some failures which results in the team doing exactly what Dillon wants, they start to mesh. Dillon and Claire also grow closer, even though she fights her attraction; Dillon is a determined man who always gets what he wants.

This is an engaging fun light romance centering on small town living where people often help fight your battles and share your successes. This is the 5th in a series and can be read as a stand-alone however since it is a small town, characters from other books reappear and share their continuing lives.

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The Duchess War – a wonderful historical

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful historical romance with flawed characters that grow throughout the story. I love Ms Milan’s writing as she weaves stories with amazing characters.

Robert Blaisdell, the Ninth Duke of Clermont is a puzzling man who is trying to make amends for his father’s wrongs. His father was not in the habit of treating people well, including his wife and son. Robert has a secret that he does not want anyone to know about, yet it helps him deal with who he is.

Robert meets Wilhelmina Pursling while she was being accused by George Stevens, Captain of the town’s Militia of writing handbills that may cause worker upheaval and problems for factory owners, and although not a true beauty, he sees something in her that attracts him.

Minnie leads a quiet life living with her Great-aunts and has no wish to be the center of attention, as a matter of fact when she is in a crowd, many times she faints as she has a memory of a swarm of people surrounding her, calling out her name as they spit and throw rocks. She was twelve at the time and her world had just been destroyed. When Minnie was a child, her father passed her off as a boy for the first twelve years of her life. Her father loved and adored her and wanted to take her when he traveled, so he dresses her up as a boy and called her Maximilian Lane. She was a brilliant chess player and they both played all over while traveling, until her world crumbled around her and she was betrayed.

Minnie figures out Robert’s secret and although silently applauds his ingenuity, she does not want anything to do with it, as she does not want her past discovered.

As we learn about Robert’s past we see how his early years shaped who he is now and notice that he is an emotional wreak as he had no love while growing up until he was accepted unconditionally by a half brother he never knew about. Oliver was raised by loving parents however Robert’s father was cruel to both his mother and to Oliver, never accepting him. Robert would do anything for Oliver including telling secrets.

As Minnie tries to prove her innocence Robert is amazed by her and asks her to marry him. Because of her past and his, she doesn’t want to; feeling someone of her status should not marry a duke. She is also worried about what people will think if and when they find out who she really is.

What an emotional story, Ms Milan writes such compelling characters in all her books, they usually are surprisingly wonderful people with interesting histories. I loved how Minnie and Robert are not necessarily attracted to each other in the beginning and when they marry, they may not even feel love. However we see the feelings grow as they spend time together and when they have to deal with a crisis we see the emotional tug of war that goes on between the two and how heartrending to see how it is resolved. I really enjoyed the secondary characters which include Oliver, Sebastian and Violet and look forward to their stories.

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