Whether chestnuts will be roasting on an open fire or Jack Frost decides to nip at your nose, the holiday season with its warm sentiment to fill your heart will soon be upon us.
Chick Lit authors are particularly skilled in creating characters and plots that are accessible across all genders and age groups. The trick, I suspect, is that the authors in this genre are observers of life. They view people and events through compassionate and perceptive eyes and let their writing talent become the voice for human emotions.
It’s beginning to look alot like Chick Lit, a holiday anthology, is a delightful collection of stories written by many of the acclaimed authors whose names have been synonymous with excellence in the Chick Lit genre. Individually, these authors have enriched the Chick Lit landscape. With this anthology, readers will see a collaboration that works and works quite well. The end result: An array of stories that will leave an indelible mark on your heart.
In Deck the Malls with Purple Peacock, Amy Gettinger skillfully portrays the difficulty of working in the mall during the holiday season through the eyes of Araceli Martinez. Araceli endures a thankless job with an insensitive boss because she dreams of opening her own dress shop. Despite this being a short story, Gettinger fully develops Araceli’s character. The reader will feel both her determination to succeed along with her frustrations. In addition, Gettinger uses vivid descriptions to paint her tale. Here is a young woman mourning her mother while seeking the dream of small business ownership. Add to this the wrinkle of being an illegal alien who wants to obtain American citizenship and a burgeoning romance and you have a story that will both entertain and have you thinking. Deck the Malls with Purple Peacock will have you believing in holiday miracles.
In It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stopping, Geralyn Corcillo showers readers with fine writing, great characters and a generous helping of humor for a delightful result. The romantic undercurrent between Dan and Tanya is palpable adding to the allure of this tale. I’m a big fan of the movies from the 1940s (courtesy of my mother who was a young woman in the 1940s and flooded our home with these cinematic gems) so I was especially appreciative of the witty bantering that Corcillo so masterfully threaded into her narrative so reminiscent of this bygone era. The prospect of romance drives the plot for the main characters and a few of the supporting characters. In addition, there is such richness in a theme that speaks to trusting our instincts as well as learning how to trust others.
In The Miraculous Power of Butter Cookies, Holly Tierney-Bedord weaves a tale of sibling jealousy and later survival when a family pulls together. Tierney-Bedord’s writing style is inviting in its honesty and natural quality. In addition, it is ingenious that cookies springboard this story. Cookies serve to symbolize the value of a family working together despite dire circumstances to create their own miracle. Jealousy still rears its head yet the cookies are the tool to quell lingering hostilities and help these siblings find a way to work together and remember that they are a family. This, in itself, speaks of the power of a miracle. Further, Tierney-Bedord isn’t afraid to write characters who may be unkind to each other if they are capable of learning their lesson.
In Jingle Bells and Social Fails, Jax Abbey paints a picture of romantic longing and miscommunication in a humorous and delightful story. Abbey created a light, comedy of errors tale for readers to digest with characters that are comfortably familiar. Reese represents the doubt we might feel when the stars appear aligned towards our romantic future. Surely something so good to be true can’t possibly be. Abbey did a marvelous crafting Reese, Javi’s and Javi’s colorful family. It is the testament of a marvelous writer who can use her words to enchant readers. Abbey succeeds on all accounts.
In I’m Scheming of a White Christmas, Kate O’Keeffe uses a first person narrative approach to tell the story of Tilly Grayson, New Zealand native living in the Big Apple and working as a personal shopper for a department story. With dreams of snowflakes dancing in her head, a desire for a White Christmas isn’t the only thing catching her fancy. When a man from her past enters her life, a revenge plot leads to unexpected results. I was amazed at how cleverly O’Keefe allowed her narrative to effectively balance the serious with the humor without missing a beat.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Laurie Baxter tells the story of Ming, a young woman who gets to experience her Christmas with Charlie Brown. But this isn’t the Charlie Brown of Charles Schultz fame. Baxter gives us her own Charlie Brown, a nerd from Ming’s past who stirs her emotions. Baxter is clever for she uses a old movie as a vehicle to bond these characters. Hers is a story of self discovery as Ming and Charlie travel along the road towards understanding. Baxter’s writing style is so inviting. And while at initial glance readers might be tempted to view Charlie as the antagonist because of his past behavior towards Ming, as the story unfolds, the truth is revealed.
In All I Want For Christmas Is, Monique McDonell provides a delightful tale amidst the backdrop of a wedding. Miranda is a doctor returning to the familiar small town of her youth as a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding. She is at a crossroads with both her personal and professional lives. But this bridesmaid is in for quite a few surprises. What impact will Miranda’s decision have on her future? McDonell is to be applauded for crafting an interesting story with a slew of lively characters. Elspeth, Miranda’s former vaudeville star grandmother, is a special treat.
In Christmas Cookies, Vivian Brooks takes readers on a delightful journey through the eyes of Kinsley as she navigates her work responsibilities with the prospect of a romance. Brooks creates an endearing character in Kinsley and Perry. The supporting characters in this office are thoroughly fleshed out and add both humor and conflict to the plot. Best friend Jocelyn offers sage advice while nemesis Sierra is a perfectly realistic addition to the story. Grandma’s Christmas Cookies have a starring role too. In addition, Brooks is no stranger to accentuating her dialogue with a generous dose of humor. There are many marvelous and lighthearted moments between Kinsley and Perry as well as those scenes between Kinsley’s grandmother and Perry’s grandfather. Brooks is a champion at pacing and dramatic suspense hooks as delicious as Grandma’s Christmas cookies.
In A Holly Jolly Heartache, S.E. Babin brings to life the all too familiar poignancy of surviving betrayal when a romance ends and learning to believe in second chances. Babin addresses this theme in an ingenious way when a beautiful and mysterious gift holds the key to happiness. Jess is a realistic and likeable heroine asking those questions about life and love that many of us have been prone to ask on occasion. Babin writing captures the mystique of a famous myth and imprints hope and romance through the genius of thoughtful characterization.
In Mistletoe & Mayhem, Susan Murphy gives readers a story about life’s crossroads. Callie Ashton is a Sydney lawyer who, after professional disappointments, returns to her small town. It is difficult for her to get her family in their parochial views to understand her. Add to the mix the possibility of rekindling a romantic relationship and you have an enjoyable fictional treat. Murphy gives readers a marvelous slice of small town life, its people and attitudes, through the eyes of a native daughter who had pursued her own big city dreams before returning home. But this is a story of self discovery nestled in a journey back to familiar surrounding. Murphy does a stellar job showing that what we think we want may not always be what we need.
In Candy Christmas, Tracy Krimmer gives us a poignant tale of Candy, a young woman who is a loner but finds herself in a social environment not to her liking. When her friend Lexy “volunteers” Candy to host a Christmas party at Candy’s apartment, Candy’s social anxiety is tested with surprising results. I liked how Krimmer writes Candy with such vulnerability and uncertainty about herself. There is a marvelously understated Christmas miracle that resonates in this story.
I highly recommend this holiday anthology. With the high caliber writing talent and imaginative genius revealed by this stunning collaboration, there is no doubt that readers will find much to enjoy.