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Holiday Cheer 2021

Holiday Cheer

Holiday Cheer 2021

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 contests.

And the Bridge Is Love by David Biro - Fiction


Every week for 20 years, three friends meet in a leafy enclosure under the Verrazzano Bridge: Gertie, a feisty Norwegian divorcée and former athlete; Maria, a family-obsessed Italian American widow; and Corinna, a book-loving, hash-smoking eccentric. Together they sit and watch the sea as the ships --- and the last years of their lives --- sail by. On the eve of Gertie’s 80th birthday, they realize that time is running out. Gertie decides she wants to travel the world. Maria secretly plots to reunite Gertie and Corinna with their estranged families. And Corinna falls in love. As the three women strike out in different directions, a series of events unfolds that threatens to destroy the most precious thing of all: their friendship.

Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti - Fiction

Dava Shastri has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. However, a brain cancer diagnosis at the age of 70 changes everything, and Dava decides to take her death into her own hands. Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries. Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her "death" reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever. In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment --- and make peace with those closest to her before it's too late.

Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber - Romance


Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she'd wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With her mother’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways.

Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life by Sutton Foster - Memoir


Whether she’s playing an “age-defying” book editor on television or dazzling audiences on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster manages to make it all look easy. How? Crafting. From the moment she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing days, she was hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing and so much more. Channeling her emotions into her creations centered Sutton as she navigated the significant moments in her life and gave her tangible reminders of her experiences. Now, in this charming and poignant collection, Sutton shares those moments, along with crochet patterns, recipes and so much more.

Ready, Set, Cook: How to Make Good Food with What's On Hand (No Fancy Skills, Fancy Equipment, or Fancy Budget Required) by Dawn Perry - Cooking/Reference


Former food director of Real Simple Dawn Perry used to wake up at the crack of dawn to hit the farmers market and scour specialty food stores for peak-season vegetables and lesser-known spices. But as she started to have a family, she became less interested in spending her mornings and weekends food shopping and meal prepping than building couch forts and making Play-Doh spaghetti. If you're time-crunched for any reason --- early meeting at the office or late night on the town --- READY, SET, COOK will help. Here, Dawn offers her very own playbook for getting good food on the table fast so you can spend more time doing what you love with your free time and energy.

Ruby Falls by Deborah Goodrich Royce - Psychological Thriller


On a brilliantly sunny July day, six-year-old Ruby is abandoned by her father in the suffocating dark of a Tennessee cave. Twenty years later, transformed into soap opera star Eleanor Russell, she is fired under dubious circumstances. Fleeing to Europe, she marries a glamorous stranger named Orlando Montague and keeps her past closely hidden. Together, Eleanor and Orlando start afresh in LA. Setting up house in a storybook cottage in the Hollywood Hills, Eleanor is cast in a dream role --- the lead in a remake of REBECCA. As she immerses herself in that eerie gothic tale, Orlando’s personality changes, ghosts of her past re-emerge, and Eleanor fears she is not the only person in her marriage with a secret.

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen - Historical Romance/Mystery


When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey's cloisters. She then encounters Sir Frederick, who long ago broke her heart. When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something.

Verity by Colleen Hoover - Psychological Thriller


Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh to complete the remaining books in a successful series that his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read --- page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of the night her family was forever altered. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words.

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks - Romance


1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at 16 to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind…until she met Bryce Trickett, a teenager who introduced her to photography. By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him and tells him the story of another Christmas, decades earlier --- and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult - Fiction

Diana O’Toole is an associate specialist at Sotheby’s, and her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows that her boyfriend Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos. But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her. It turns out the whole island is now under quarantine, and Diana is stranded until the borders reopen. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.