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 random.org 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