Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book 6: Under The Mistletoe

My winter break has started and finally - finally! - I get some reading done. And slowly I feel the spirit of Christmas coming to my soul and home. Let's check out book number 6, shall we?

I am not a big fan of historicals. I like them from time to time, but usually I prefer contemporary romance.

The last historical I read was for last year's challenge and it was this one by Mary Balogh. Check out the link, cause it was high praise for that book, which I loved reading and treasure dearly.

There was one historical on the agenda for this year, again by Mary Balogh, and it is another keeper: Under The Mistletoe.

I was a bit sceptical at first, because it was a) a historical and b) it was five novellas of about 70 pages each. Huh, novellas. I am not a friend of those. Too often I feel like the storyline is rushed and implausible. There is no time to develop depth within the characters and who the hell falls in love within 70 pages?! Huh? Yeah, right.

Again, Mary Balogh taught me a lesson. None of the above is true for this amazing book. Lovely settings filled with funny, generous, loving and caring characters.

Run and grab a copy, friends. I guarantee you a wonderful time with this book and I really, really have to check out Mary Balogh other books. Oh joy, so much to explore!

Happy Reading!

P.S. See my historical influenced style of writing? *lol*

Friday, December 16, 2011

Favorites: The Farm Chicks Christmas

If you love Christmas as much as I do, you have to go and grab yourself a copy of The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Serena is blogging from her lovely farm showing off her home, sharing her recipes and introducing family life. With her second book, she offers the most inspirational Christmas ideas and cookie recipes for the season.

The book is full of crafts, ideas and colorful pictures of Serena's and her friends & family's decorations. Lovely! Honestly, lovely!

My favorite book to bring over the season to my home and my heart. Check it out. As well as Serena's blog. *click*

Book 5: The Christmas Cookie Club

Howdy, friends!

I am a slow reader this season and an even slower blogger, but here is book number 5: The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman.

"I am the head cookie bitch and this is my party."

First lines can totally thrill me, such as the above. And this first line is as special and funny as the whole book. We get to know the members of a Christmas Cookie Clb, who celebrate their cookie swap every season. They are all women and more or less connected for years and years of friendship. Each woman has a story and recipe to share. And these recipes are great!

Well, nuff said. That's it basically. We learn more about the women and their personal background and their stories. Additionally, there are little snippets of information about all kinds of groceries, which can be found in cookies: sugar, dates, salt... Very informative and in a very entertaining writing.

This book is a keeper. Not for the recipes only, but for the depth and uniqueness of characters. I laughed, I cried and I hoped for these women. I highly recommend this holiday read. Have fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reading Romance

This has to be shared, cause it's too good not to. Do you read romance? Of course, you do. So do I. As do women (and a few men) all over the world. I love my romance. It's one of the most wonderful things in the world. Check this out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book 4: Christmas In Lucky Harbor

Hello, friends! This last week has been crazy, but here I am. Back to my former self, I managed to do some reading and here is some lovely double feature, which I highly recommend: Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis.

The compilation contains book 1&2 of the Lucky Harbor series: Simply Irresistible and The Sweetest Thing.

Lucky Harbor is the small town setting, in which the three half-sisters Maddie, Tara and Chloe inherit an old Inn. They hardly know each other, but then they have to live and work together to make the Inn work and with it comes a sexy contractor, his best friend, a world champion sailor,  and to make the circle complete, the county sheriff. All stories are told within three books, so in case you wanna read all of them, you have to make sure to grab this week's release Head Over Heels.

Yes, this might sound predictable and when you are a wee bit clever, you might figure out who will end up with who, but I don't care about that. The author still manages to surprise me with the story line and that's what counts to me.

I love the books of Jill Shalvis. Her writing is funny (laugh out loud-funny!) and fast. Her characters are wonderful, annoying and lovely. Her heroes are sexy as hell and know how to handle their women. All alpha, but totally worth every single word written about them.

Go and grab this book. Make sure to have some coffee and cookies nearby. Cuddle up and have fun reading. I am sure you will.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friends, I am sorry, but it's a crazy time here a la casa del Sanna. I am busy with my online business and real life work and family birthdays. I hardly read, so there's nothing to post. I will be back to my former self by next week. See ya then.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book 3: A Season To Remember

I just started a new Christmas book today, which seems to be pretty amazing and made me laugh and cry within the first ten pages. Goodness!

But here is my review of book number 3: A Season To Remember by Sheila O'Flanagan.

It actually is a collection of short stories, which are connected by the setting, a luxury hotel in Ireland. The Sugar Loaf Lodge. Every room and the people, who are staying there over the Christmas holidays, are telling their own story. Stories about love, family and tragedy. Stories about hope and the spirit of Christmas. And the lodge's very own ghost.

All of it united by Sheila O'Flanagan's lovely writing. And check out that cover. Amazing, huh? I like it a lot.

What else is there to say? I love the Irish setting, but then I am deeply in love with Ireland and the Irish and this works for me. I guess, it's more chick lit than romance, so in case you are not a lover of chick lit, you should leave this book behind. But if you like it, please give it a try. It's a good read and so worth the money. Totally makes you jump into the season.

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book 2: Kissing Santa Claus

Kissing Santa Claus is an anthology with Christmas novellas by Donna Kauffmann, Jill Shalvis and Helenkay Dimon and contains three stories:

- Lock, Stock and Jingle Bells by Donna Kauffmann. It's about Holly, who inherits her mother's Christmas shop in the US and so she has to fly in from London and handle business. She hates Christmas, but very much like next door neighbour Sean. And that's it. There is some secondary storyline going on about a hidden diary, but it's not even worth mentioning. As often, the storyline is rushed, the characters are flat and do not believe a single word of that story. Sorry, folks.

- Bah, Handsome! by Jill Shalvis. Oh yeah, Jill Shalvis. What can I see? She's a master of the genre. And so is this novella. It's about Hope, who owns a B&B and has to deal with Danny, her unwelcomed solicitor, who is stuck with her because of masses of snow. No drama, not too much emotions, that doesn't work. Just a very entertaining, wonderful love story. I liked it a lot.

- It's Hotter At Christmas by Helenkay Dimon. Nah! That's all I'll say, cause the rest won't be very good-hearted. Total crap. Don't read. Don't buy.

All in all, very disapointing. Jill Shalvis is pretty good, but I don't think you should buy the whole anthology for that single novella. Maybe you have a friend, who will borrow the book to you. Or you can find that one single novella online as a digital read. I would recommend that, but please do not spend money on that whole piece of crap. Thankyouverymuch.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Liked These...

Because of lots of stuff going on a la casa del Sanna, I didn't find the time to finish my next Christmas romance. But I thought, I could give you an update with those books, which I really, reall liked during last year's challenge. If you are looking for a good Christmas read, you might wanna check out these:

1) A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh. It's a historical, which I usually do not like too much, but this one was extraordinary good.

2) Santa, Honey by Kate Angell, Sandra Hill and Joy Nash. It's an anthology, which starts pretty strong with Kate Angell's novella about a star player from her Richmond Rogues series. Then it gets pretty average, but it's still worth reading, IMO.

3) The Bite Before Christmas by Heidi Betts. Yeah, well. About that one. It's three novellas, which are kind of a mini series. Vampires and all. I liked it a lot, it was by far the best Vampire Christmas romance, I have read. I have heard other opinions, but for me it was a good read.

4) Yule Be Mine by Lori Foster. In contrast to most readers, I am not a fan of Lori Foster. Usually her books just don't work for me. This anthology of four novellas is pretty strong though. I would even go that far and say it was the best Christmas anthology I've ever read. And I have read a lot! Great stories, strong characters, very christmassy and wonderful narration. Perfect!

5) Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas. *sigh* The first book in the Friday Harbor series (book 2 is coming soon!) and I loved it. Again, I heard people complain, but for me her contemporary voice works pretty good. I am not into her historicals, though. Yeah, I know. Shame on me. But you should read this one. It's lovely.

And isn't it a shame, that I have read something like 25 Christmas romances last year and these were the only keepers? Huh, what does that say?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Children's Christmas Books

In case, you are just a little bit like me, you just love to surl up under a blanket with your kid(s) and read some lovely Christmas books. As we are German, we do read German books, but we do have a few English children's books as well. We had one I brought home from London years ago, which we read like crazy. For this year, I bought two of the little books by Roger Hargreaves: Little Miss Christmas and Mr. Christmas.
Buy here
They will be the kid's treat for St. Nicolaus, which is celebrated December, 6th in Germany. So, I cannot tell you if they are very popular in our home, but I know, that Roger Hargreaves' books usually are. They were published in German some time in the eighties, but since then have vanished from the book market over here. I got mine in English via The Bookdepository. An online shop for books, which I can highly recommend. It's worth checking their prices with amazon. You can save some money. Not always, but often.

Anyway, are there any Christmas books for kids, that are loved in your family? And which are these?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Giveaway Winner and What To Read

There's a winner and I made choose. There were eight entries with posts on blogs and/or facebook, twitter, etc. The winner is number 3, which would be Host! Congrats, girl! Send me an email for your shipping adress, will ya?

Now, that the holiday come closer, I have a little list of books, which I am so far planning to read. No real schedule this year, cause it didn't really work with last year's challenge. At least not for me. So I will read and post whenever I feel like it. Here are this year's books. Any other recommendations?

1) To All A Good Night (anthology) by Donna Kauffman / Jill Shalvis / HelenKay Dimon

2) Kissing Santa Claus (anthology) by Donna Kauffmann / Jill Shalvie / HelenKay Dimon

3) Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs

4) A Season To Remember by Sheila O'Flanagan

5) Not Another New Year's by Christie Ridgway

6) Wrapped Up In You by Carole Matthews

7) Under The Misteltoe by Mary Balogh

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Just a quick reminder, that there is a giveaway going on. Come on, folks! Now that the red cup is back, you really are in need of a coffee wrap, right? Just like this one, which is part of the giveaway.

Plus, you will receive two books from last year's challenge. It's Debbie Macomber's On A Snowy Night and Sarah Mayberry's Home For The Holidays. And for cold winter nights, you will receive a nice bubble bath with chocolate.

Follow the link and take part in the giveaway here. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yummie Wednesday

Hey everybody! I promised recipes and crafts on Wednesdays and Saturdays and here's the first yummie recipe. It's cookies, which I like to make in the fall. My family likes them and although they are not from one of my Christmas books, I thought, I'd share the recipe with you.

Ingredients (make 24 small or 12 big ones)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
4 tablespoons milk
2 chocolate-covered candy bars (I used Mars)

Mix flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl beat butter, sugar, egg and peanut butter. Add flour and beat until smooth. Add chopped candy bar. Bake for about 15 minutes. Done.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book 1: I Hate Christmas

I so do not hate Christmas, but Daniel Blythe does. He is a writer of both, fictional and non-fictional books and a Creative Writing tutor. Plus, he co-presents programmes for BBC Radio from time to time. So, he knows his job. And is a total pro.

This book is announced to be "A Manifesto for the Modern-Day Scrooge" and that it is. Funny. Amazingly funny. Did I mention, that the author is British?? Nuff said.

With this book you can be sure to get examples of the worst presents ever, the worst Christmas song and album ever and in case you think, that lovely little carol-singers are annoying, you may find a list of how to avoid them ("Have the television on very loudly.").

I like the British voice, especially as I am known to be pretty anglophile. I usually do my Christmas shopping in London, so I can totally understand what's all that fuss about Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas is all about.

But even if you are not as madly in love with Britain such as I am, you might love this book. Check this out, it's from the chapter about the worst Christmas carols. The author really isn't into Oh Tannebaum (Oh Christmas tree) and let's us know:
"An ode to the Christmas tree, to the tune of 'The Red Flag'. What's this all about then? (...) And the amazing message of this tedious carol is - the tree stays green all year long. Big wow."
Yes, I think this is ridiculously funny. If you feel the same, go and grab this book. And have fun reading. Such as I had. And folks, please check out the giveaway here.

Title: I Hate Christmas. A Manifesto for the Modern-Day Scrooge.
Author: Daniel Blythe
Publisher: Allison & Busby Limited
Pages: 187

Monday, October 31, 2011

Let the challenge begin!

Yee-hah! Here we are, back again. After what seems to be a lifetime of spring, summer and fall. Finally, finally, November's here and makes us celebrate the season. I am happy to be back reading Christmas romance and blogging about it.

As every year, we head into the challenge with a giveaway. This year, I am giving away some of last year's reads plus some extra fun stuff. Check this out:

It's Debbie Macomber's On A Snowy Night and Sarah Mayberry's Home For The Holidays. With that comes one of my coffee wraps, MisbehavinAngel style, and some lovely wonderful, yummie, makes-your-skin-all-smooth chocolate bath. This is an international giveaway. All you have to do is this:

1) Leave a comment.
2) Spread the word via your blog, facebook, twitter ... whatever.
3) Become a follower.

Each of the above will make you enter the contest with one entry. Contest is open for one week until November, 7th, midnight (German time). Good luck, folks! And Happy Reading!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Opener

Hey honeys!

I just decided what the first book of this year's challenge will be and ta-da it's a non-romance with the wonderful title I Hate Christmas.

Yes, the angel is full of surprises. Maybe I am the most surprised person here. I skipped through that book and it looked like a lot of fun, so I will start with that.

Plus, every Wednesday and Sunday, I will show a lovely project I made from one of my various Christmas crafting & cooking books. It's not just romance this year. It'll be much more.

I cannot wait to start. Let the happiness begin!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just one more week!

Until the Christmas Reading Challenge will be back! I already received the first books in the mail and some guest bloggers will join us during the two months toward the holidays. I am super excited and hope you are, too. Until then, feel free to post recommendations and keep on reading!

Love and hugs, Sanna

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First preparations

I just placed the first order for Christmas books at the Book Depository and cannot wait for the books to arrive. I am not in any kind of Christmas mood so far, but I enjoyed the challenge last year and am so looking forward to it. Who is joining me? Please leave a comment, I would like to know and welcome you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Coming back soon!

Hey folks!

Have you missed me? *g* I sure missed you. A lot. But maybe you are follwoing me and my regular blog, so we kind of stayed in touch, right? The Christmas reading challenge will be back on November, 1st. I plan on reading not so much this year, but discuss a lot. You are very welcome to suggest Christmas romance from now on. Please do so. I feel like I have polished the market last year, so I really, really need suggestions. You with me?

Can't wait to meet you all again! Love and hugs, Sanna