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Holiday Cheer 2014

Holiday Cheer

Holiday Cheer 2014

At Bookreporter.com, we've been celebrating the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. As our gift to you, we've been spotlighting a book and giving five lucky readers a chance to win it.

Although the contests have ended, we encourage you to take a look at this year's featured titles. These are books you'll want to read during the holidays --- and throughout the new year as well!

- Click here to see the winners of this year's Holiday Cheer Daily Contests.

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith - Memoir


After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children --- especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their "True Friends." As the Smiths come together to solve the mystery of who the gifts are from, they begin to heal from their grief and come together as a family.

The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton - Fiction

 

A friend's deliberate deception. A family's desperate dilemma. Archaeologist Grace Madison is in Brussels cataloguing looted antiquities when her son's bride is attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie, a hydrologist, disappears in France.

A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy by Sarah Lazarovic - Nonfiction

 

Based on a visual essay that was first published on The Hairpin, A BUNCH OF PRETTY THINGS I DID NOT BUY is a beautiful and witty take on the growing “slow shopping” movement. Sarah is a well-known blogger and illustrator, and she writes brilliantly without preaching or guilt-tripping. 

By Winter's Light: A Cynster Novel by Stephanie Laurens - Fiction

 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to romantic Scotland to usher in a new generation of Cynsters in an enchanting tale of mistletoe, magic and love. It's frosty December and six Cynster families come together at snowbound Casphairn Manor with members of their households to celebrate the season in true Cynster fashion --- and where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind. 

The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley - Psychological Suspense


Eve Lattimore’s son has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world. But when tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that there are some crises Eve cannot control --- and some secrets that not even love can conceal.

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal - Historical Fiction


When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother, Fannie. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been --- and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum --- is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Psychological Thriller


Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Their life --- as she sees it --- is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything has changed.

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney - Fiction


For the past 33 years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself --- she tells the truth. The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. But when she is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together --- and pull themselves together --- in wonderfully surprising ways.

Horrorst├Âr by Grady Hendrix - Fiction

 

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), HORRORSTÖR comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult - Fiction


For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, and Virgil Stanhope, a private detective who originally had investigated Alice’s case. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

Mastering the Art of French Eating: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love by Ann Mah - Memoir


When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post --- alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down. So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan - Fiction

 

Josie DiSanti is starting over. Recently widowed, she has fled her New York City home with her two young daughters --- spirited Rose and shy Emily --- in tow. She takes refuge in Mill River, Vermont, to live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard, the local bookstore owner and a woman Josie barely knows. There, the young mother and her girls build a new life for themselves --- until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart.

Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber - Romance


Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help 24-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track and help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store when Addie and her polar-opposite next-door neighbor, Erich, are forced to spend Christmas together. However, Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought --- and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right.

A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas - Historical Fiction


It is 1864, and Eliza Spooner's husband, Will, has joined the Kansas volunteers to fight the Confederates. When the unthinkable happens, she takes in a woman and child who have been left alone and made vulnerable by the war, and she finds solace and camaraderie amongst the women of her quilting group. When she is asked to help hide an escaped slave, she must decide for herself what is right, and who she can count on to help her.

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella - Fiction


Becky Bloomwood and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join Becky’s husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky really hopes to become a personal stylist --- Sage’s personal stylist --- if only Luke would set up an introduction. Then, unexpectedly, she is offered the chance to dress Sage’s archrival, and though things become a bit more complicated, it’s a dream come true. Suddenly Becky has everything she’s ever wanted. Or does she?

The Social Climber's Bible: A Book of Manners, Practical Tips, and Spiritual Advice for the Upwardly Mobile by Dirk Wittenborn and Jazz Johnson - Nonfiction

 

Johnson & Johnson heiress Jazz Johnson is a lifelong insider in that rarefied world that fans of both "Downton Abbey" and "Gossip Girl" dream about. Raconteur Dirk Wittenborn is old enough to remember when sex was safe and cocaine wasn’t addictive. In short, Jazz belongs to some of the most exclusive clubs in the world, whereas Dirk has been kicked out of them. Who better to guide you? In the grand tradition of TRUE PREP and THE HIPSTER HANDBOOK, THE SOCIAL CLIMBER'S BIBLE will teach you everything you need to know to become a pro Mountaineer.

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh - Fiction


MY SUNSHINE AWAY unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when 15-year-old Lindy Simpson --- free spirit, track star and belle of the block --- experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - Fiction

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life --- and her relationship with her family and the world --- forever.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - Biography


Appearing in paperback for the first time, with 20 arresting new photos and an extensive Q&A with the author, UNBROKEN is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body and spirit, brought vividly to life by SEABISCUIT author Laura Hillenbrand. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award, UNBROKEN will be made into a feature film releasing on Christmas Day.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan - Historical Romance


At the age of 35, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium --- with her three children and nanny in tow --- to study art. Not long after her arrival, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, and the two begin a fierce love affair that spans the decades and the globe.