Tag Archives: Christmas

Ellie Grant. Treacherous Tart. New York: Pocket Books, 2014.

treacherous tartMaggie Grady has been enjoying seeing her Aunt Clara celebrate the wonders of Christmastime in Durham, North Carolina with her new love, Donald Wickerson. So it is no wonder that Maggie’s Christmas mood is completely ruined when her boyfriend, Durham Weekly newspaper reporter Ryan Summerour, presents Maggie with evidence that Donald is not what he seems. Instead of being the caring and trustworthy man that he presents himself to be, Donald is a male black widow. Donald has had six wives in the past and all of them suffered suspicious deaths. He has been investigated for every death, but has escaped charges. However, the evidence against him is condemning.

Faced with breaking her Aunt Clara’s heart, Maggie just doesn’t know what to do. When Maggie finally gets up the courage to tell Aunt Clara, she won’t hear any of it. Her wonderful Donald could never do such a thing. Wouldn’t Maggie be upset if Aunt Clara suggested Ryan was capable of hurting someone? The news spreads when Ryan puts a picture in the paper with his article on Donald’s philandering ways. It looks like someone must have believed it because that same day Donald stumbles into Maggie and Clara’s shop, Pie in the Sky, bleeding from a bullet wound.

Now, as the girlfriend of the victim, Aunt Clara is under suspicion for Donald’s death. Maggie isn’t going to let her aunt end up in jail over a murderous scoundrel, so she and Ryan start digging for more information on Donald and for possible suspects. They soon find out that there are a lot of people who could have wanted Donald dead seeing as he was dating more than Aunt Clara at the time of his death, not to mention the family of Donald’s supposed victims. Just when it looks like Ryan and Maggie are onto something, another crime is carried out. Will Maggie be able to find the murderer before anyone else gets hurt? Also, Donald wasn’t the only person in town with something to hide. Will the secrets uncovered shed light on the crimes committed or will they only add to the confusion?

Treacherous Tart is the second book in the Pie in the Sky mysteries.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Grant, Ellie, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Wake

Jodie Bailey. Quilted by Christmas. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014.

quiltedIt has been twelve years. Twelve years since that fateful night when Taryn McKenna pushed Justin Callahan, her high school sweetheart, to take the next step in their relationship. Taryn hasn’t seen him since. Reeling from the breakup and guarding a secret that must never come to light, Taryn went off to school, but soon found herself back home and is now a teacher in fictional Hollings, North Carolina.

Not too long before Christmas, Taryn finds her calm and quiet existence disrupted by Justin’s return from the army. But, he’s not back for a short visit; Justin has retired and come home to Hollings for good. Now, Justin’s words, “You’re needy. Manipulative. You used me,” are ringing in Taryn’s head once again. Moreover, not only does she have to face him in town, but Taryn’s Grandma Jemma has hired Justin to do some work around Jemma’s house. What is Taryn to do when her only haven has been invaded by a man she has done everything to forget?

When Grandma Jemma is rushed to the hospital, Taryn must admit that it isn’t feeling a lot like Christmas, though this new event does show Taryn exactly the kind of man that Justin has grown into. Before her stint in the hospital, Grandma Jemma was working on a hand-stitched quilt as a wedding present for Taryn’s cousin. It is a tradition for a hand-stitched quilt containing an Irish chain to be made for every new McKenna bride. With Jemma in the hospital, it is Taryn’s duty to finish the quilt. Nevertheless, fate must be working against the McKenna’s because there is no way that Taryn will finish this quilt on her own. When Justin offers to commit his quilting skills to the cause, will Taryn be able to set her feelings aside? Even more importantly, will Taryn recognize the opportunities for healing that God is placing in front of her?

Quilted by Christmas is the twenty-second title in the Quilts of Love series. This series is made up of a multitude of books written by various authors to share their stories of “love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings.” This is much like how a quilt is made up of many tiny stiches that are assembled together to tell a story.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Bailey, Jodie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

David Saperstein and George Samerjan. A Christmas Passage. New York: Kensington Books, 2008.

When a storm strands passengers in the Atlanta airport on December 24th, several travelers accept a stranger’s offer of a ride to Asheville. As the five adults and two children pile into Lisa Barone’s vintage VW microbus, she promises them that they will be in Asheville by dinnertime.  The first few hours of the trip are uncomfortable as the riders adjust to their close proximity to each other, but the drive is smooth, with little trouble from snow or icy roads.  That changes shortly after the van crosses into North Carolina.  The travelers encounter whiteout conditions and an avalanche that leaves them stranded.  Taking shelter in an abandoned cabin, they have a Christmas Eve that none of them could have anticipated.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational, Saperstein, David and George Samerjan

Joan Medlicott. A Blue and Gray Christmas. New York: Pocket Books, 2009.

When Hannah’s husband Max discovers a battered tin box in the foundation of a house he is restoring, he brings it to Hannah and her dear friends Grace and Amelia. To their delight, it contains letters and diaries from two Civil War soldiers, one from South Carolina and the other from Connecticut. What historic treasures!  But it is the human story that attracts the ladies–two young men nursed back to health by a local woman to whom they then become bound by gratitude. Not content to leave the story of these men and the kindly woman in the past, the friends make plans to bring the men’s descendants to Covington. Amelia and a local school teacher head to Connecticut to track down the Union soldier’s family.  Meanwhile, life in Covington goes on.  Hannah tries to help her sort-of daughter-in-law, Sarina, find happiness after her husband has left her.  Sarina’s romance with a local pastor stirs up the church.  When Grace is injured in a car accident, Bob is denied access to her because they are not married, causing him great pain. Will the incident cause Grace to reconsider her decision not to marry?

This is the ninth novel in Medlicott’s  Covington Novels series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Medlicott, Joan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Alex Haley. A Different Kind of Christmas New York: Doubleday, 1988.

Alex Haley was known worldwide for his blockbuster Roots.  Fewer people know this later, brief novel which tells the story of a slaveholding North Carolinian who has a change of heart.

Fletcher Randall is the son a powerful state senator in Ashe County.  Senator Randall’s 3,000 acre plantation is worked by over 100 slaves who bring in crops of cotton and tobacco.  Fletcher’s parents send him to the College of New Jersey (Princeton) where he endures insults and harassment because of his family’s slaveholding.  The harassment does not move Fletcher, but his relationship with three Quaker brothers does.  On a visit to their home in Philadelphia he is taken to a meeting of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, an anti-slavery organization involved with the Underground Railroad.  His outrage at this affront turns to something else as he reads about the Quakers and the Underground Railroad.  After much soul-searching, Randall changes sides and returns to Ashe County to assist enslaved people in a mass escape set for Christmas Eve.

This book was evidently issued for the holiday season in 1988. It is beautifully produced book, with a lovely dust jacket and ornamental designs in the book itself.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1980-1989, 1988, Ashe, Haley, Alex, Mountains

Corydon Bell. Come Snow fer Christmas. Cleveland, OH: Tower Press, 1947.

As this novella opens, Doc Beddingfield is having a George Bailey kind of Christmas.  The good doctor moved from Charleston back to his home in the North Carolina mountains after his beloved wife, Cora, died almost a decade ago.  Each year since her death Doc sits at his desk on Christmas Eve and writes a letter to Cora.  At first the letters were sad ones, full of pain and loss, but over the years the tone changed and the letters became newsy reflections on recent events.  In recounting his year, the doctor re-establishes his connection with Cora, giving him a sense of continuity in his life.

This year is different. A feeling of uneasiness prevents Doc Beddingfield from writing.  Thinking that his sixth sense is telling him that a patient needs him, he sets off on his horse.  His patient is fine, but he learns of a new family in the neighborhood whose home has burned down. Visiting them, he finds a woman about to give birth.  Taking this new family into his home revitalizes the doctor and reignites feelings of community that had grown dim in the previous year.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1940-1949, 1947, Bell, Corydon, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational

John Hutton. Christmas Maus: Another Small Tale of Sisters House in Salem. Winston-Salem, NC: Salem Academy and College, 2008.

This picture book follows Sister Maus as she decorates the Salem Single Sisters’ House and bakes cookies in preparation for Christmas. The tiny mouse also meets new friends who live in the nearby Brothers’ House. A section of author’s notes in the back of the book provides more information about traditional Moravian Christmases, like those celebrated in Salem.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Children & Young Adults, Forsyth, Historical, Hutton, John, Piedmont

Janet and Ron Benrey. Season of Glory. New York: Steeple Hill Books, 2008.

In this third novel in the Benrey’s Glory, NC series, handsome glass expert Andrew Ballantine comes to town to advise Glory Community Church on the replacement of their stained glass window.  When he is poisoned at a Christmas tea party at the Scottish Captain Inn, nurse Sharon Pickard comes under suspicion. Sharon had the opportunity to administer the poison and because of a medical mission trip to Sri Lanka years earlier, she knows all about the poisoned that was used.  As the police investigate the crime, Sharon nurses Andrew back to health.  They fall in love. To prevent another attempt on Andrew’s life, they must race to solve the crime.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Benrey, Janet and Ron, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Pasquotank, Romance/Relationship

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter. Christmas Wedding. Greensboro, NC: Magnolia Mysteries, 2007.

Ashley and Melanie have each found true love, and they are ready to marry their beaus. Ultra-organized Melanie has arranged every detail of the Christmas-themed double wedding, but that will not stop things from spinning out of control as relatives start acting strangely, a Melanie-double is seen around town, and a bridesmaid reads impending disaster in the tarot cards.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coast, Hunter, Ellen Elizabeth, Mystery, New Hanover, Novels in Series

Jude Deveraux. Holly. New York: Pocket Star Books, 2005.

Concern with social status and money can keep a person from recognizing true love when it comes around. That’s the case with Holly Latham. Holly is rich and a bit manipulative. She loves old houses. She particularly loves Spring Hill, an historic house outside of Edenton that is adjacent to the similarly fine house of her great childhood love, Lorrie Beaumont. When her parents buy Spring Hill, Holly sees a way back into the Beaumont house and Lorrie’s heart. Even with her eyes on these particular prizes, Holly makes a detour into the arms of sexy Nick Taggert. Holly is quick to discard Nick, but Nick senses that Holly can be made to see the light. While Nick hangs around he uncovers things about Lorrie Beaumont that make him realize that Holly needs not just his love, but also his protection.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Chowan, Deveraux, Jude, Romance/Relationship