Welcome! Murder on Millionaires' Row by Erin Lindsey will be released on October 2. I will be featuring it on October 3 when I will have an excerpt and a giveaway! A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn and Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron come out on October 9. The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston will be published on October 16. Lots of delightful new books for us to read on the upcoming cold evenings.
A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson takes us to Seaside, Maine. Wendy Harper is traveling with her son, Jackson from Ohio to Seaside just before Thanksgiving. Wendy inherited a beach cottage from her grandfather. It is an answer to her prayers since she has a slew of debts incurred from her deceased husband’s battle with cancer along with student loans. Wendy has managed to get a month off to renovate the cottage and get it listed for sale. Jackson is excited about the trip and wants to relocate to Seaside permanently. The cottage is in better condition than Wendy expected, but it still needs some work. She hires Gordon, the local handyman, to help with the repairs. Jackson is thriving in the new environment. He makes a friend, finds a dog and enrolls himself in school. One day Wendy is at the hardware store and meets Caleb Colton, a furniture craftsman. She is surprised by what she feels when near Caleb. Wendy admires his beautiful furniture (works of art) and his Christian values. Wendy knows she should do the responsible thing and sell the cottage. However, she is drawn to the town, the cottage and a certain woodworker. To stay in Seaside, though, she needs a steady income stream. Christmas is rapidly approaching, and miracles have been known to happen.
A Christmas by the Sea is a charming Christmas story. I thought it was well-written with steady pacing. It is a wholesome story with a light Christian element. The Christian themes include the importance of having a strong faith in God, prayer, reading the Bible, trust in God, and know that He will answer your prayers but not always in the way you expect. I liked the characters with Jackson being my favorite. He is delightful with his infectious joy. I like how he learned to complete certain repairs courtesy of online videos (they are helpful). I enjoyed the descriptions of Seaside and the ocean. There is a wonderful scene where Jackson and Wendy are finding sand dollars on the beach (they are not easy to find). Colton’s furniture sounded beautiful along with the seashell creations made by Wendy. My one complaint is the ending was rushed along with the romance between Wendy and Caleb. An epilogue would have been appreciated (a year or two later). A Christmas by the Sea is a short book at only 167 pages. One of my favorite sentences is “God takes care of us and He will provide what we need.” My rating for A Christmas by the Sea is 4 out of 5 stars. Melody Carlson has given us another lovely Christmas story filled with love, hope, faith, family and joy.
A couple of my favorite Melody Carlson Christmas books are The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Shoppe. Thank you for stopping by today. Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Tour for Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan. It is the fourth A Cora Crafts Mystery. May you have a day filled with heartfelt moments. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader