I was offered the chance to review The Unfinished Gift and The Christmas Dog by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I jumped at the opportunity. I haven’t read much fiction at all this year and love to read.
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
I started with this book. The adorable pup on the cover beckoned me. This is a lighthearted story of an older woman who is not at all in the Christmas spirit, especially when it comes to her neighbor Jack. Through a series of events, she finds herself not just one but three unexpected visitors for Christmas and learns what Christmas is really all about. It is a cute story with a happy ending; just right to get you in the right spirit for Christmas! The plot is quite simple, as are the which makes it easy to read in the spare moments throughout the day. In hind sight, it would have made a nice story to read in the evenings as a family. I finished it quite quickly. When I finished, I knew I would pass this book on to my grandmother who is in the hospital. I am sure she will enjoy it as well.
She slowly got out of the car, and out of habit ever since that notorious Jack Jones had moved into the neighborhood, she securely locked her car’s doors. Then she sat her purse and Bible on the hood of the car and peeked around the right side to see the front fender. The horizontal gash was about a foot long with a hook on one end, causing it, strangely enough, to resemble the letter J. Betty just shook her head. It figured . . . J for Jack. So she continued to obsess over him—and over today’s sermon and her futile prayer. How was it possible to love someone so completely disagreeable and inconsiderate and downright evil? She grunted as she struggled to lower the
garage door. Really, she thought as she stood up straight, even Pastor Gordon would be singing a different tune if he was forced to live next to Jack Jones.
Read the entire excerpt from the Christmas Dog here.
The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh
This was a great read as well, especially since I have a soft spot for historical fiction. It starts with a little seven year old boy, Patrick, in 1943. Patrick has lost his mother in a car crash, his father is fighting in Europe and he is taken to live with a stranger, his grandfather, until his father can come home. Though there is tension between the prickly grandfather and himself, he is quickly taken under wing by the neighboring widow. Through tragedy and tears, a family is reunited, a little boy gets both his Christmas prayers answered and a man finds his Christmas spirit and the true meaning of forgiveness. I was in tears at the end of the book. Tears of happiness, that is. Yes, I am a bit of a sappy person. On of my favorite parts of the book was reading the letters from Patrick’s dad to his mother while he was at war. Heartwarming and filled with truth, they touched my heart. I found the characters to be engaging and was quickly caught up into Patrick’s world. The author did just the right amount of Character development (in my opinion) for the book, especially when it comes to the grandfather. I had an instant dislike for him instantly, which I am assuming the author intended. This emotional connection made the ending all that much sweeter, especially knowing that it could only be God who could work such a miraculous change. I know there is a sequel coming out and I look forward to finding out what happens next!
Instead he thought about his father. He had been gone for a long time, but Patrick still remembered what he looked like. He had studied the picture every night before bed, trying to remember the sound of his voice. It was deep and strong, like the voice of the Shadow. And he was tall with dark wavy hair. He was a pilot on a B-17, dropping bombs on Hitler and all the bad people in Germany so the world could be free. That’s what his mother had said. But right now, Patrick didn’t care if the world was free. Or if his dad flew bombers or drove a milk truck. He just wanted him home. Read more here.
Finding Christmas by James Calvin Schaap
While I didn’t have the opportunity to review this one, I do have an excerpt for you. Enjoy!
The Christmas Dog and The Unfinished Gift would both be great reads with the Christmas season almost upon us. They would also make a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer! All are available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
One lucky reader will receive a copy of the Unfinished Gift.
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Disclosure: Thank you to Graph-Martin for providing these books to review.