We’ve finished the last month of the Unlocking the Past 2022 Reading Challenge: Around the World. This month we traveled to any country, so long as it was Christmas, and my choice of story was actually the Christmas collection from Karen Witemeyer, Under the Texas Mistletoe. Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.
January 2023’s Theme: A Book with a Spy
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Under the Texas Mistletoe
by Karen Witemeyer
Karen Witemeyer is a Christy Award winner for a reason. I listened to the first story in the collection called “A Texas Christmas Carol” last Christmas and loved all the creative connections to the beloved Christmas story. I definitely understand why it won the Christy. While I did not reread that particular novella this Christmas, I did get the chance to listen to the last two and an exclusive short story during the drives back and forth to my parents during my Nanny’s decline and ultimate passing.
“An Archer Family Christmas” ultimately was my favorite one. The Archers have long been my favorite, but it was the sweet story of Jim’s and Cassie’s married life and struggles that really touched me the most out of the entire collection. Cassie and Jim lost their only child and were told it would be impossible to have another a few years previous to the setting of this story. Watching them go through Christmas in such a family-oriented and child-heavy family was poignant and beautiful. Without giving away spoilers, the danger, love, and beautiful weaving of this story were one that will long stick with me. Far longer than any of the other stories.
“Gift of the Heart” was another beautiful story with unique characters–a strong widowed mother who will do anything to provide for her daughter, even confront a rich and reclusive resort owner. The romance and growth they brought to each other was one I also enjoyed. I especially like that the hero had an arm that had been crippled as a child, and that we got to see how he adapted to life and how it molded him into the man he was.
I can’t remember the name of the short story as it was on audio, but it had to do with the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and a man’s determination to prove to a father that he was the right man for his daughter to marry. It was a super cute story with a fun twist on the song.
I definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy Christmas stories connected to other stories and Christmas songs, stories with depth, romance, and unique characters, and fans of Karen Witemeyer.
Genre: Historical Romance, Texas, Late 1800s
Three Charming and Festive Holiday Novellas Spiced with Humor, Frontier Action, and Sweet Romance
In this 3-in-1 novella collection, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer presents the new story “A Texas Christmas Carol,” in which a town’s wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and by the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors.
It also includes, for the first time in print, “An Archer Family Christmas.” When the Archer clan gathers for the Christmas holiday, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie’s life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.
In previously published “Gift of the Heart,” a widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start. But with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near?
Sprinkled throughout the collection, you’ll find a hope-filled Christmas devotion, Witemeyer holiday recipes, and fun facts about nineteenth-century Christmas celebrations!
For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on January 7th at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. *Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.