26 September 2015

Noela reviews A PIONEER CHRISTMAS COLLECTION by Various Authors


A Pioneer Christmas Collection by 9 Authors
Barbour Books (September 1, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

This is a re-release of an extremely popular Christmas collection that showcases some of the best authors in the business! Each of these nine novellas are a wonderful gift illustrating God’s bountiful provision and care, and touchingly wrapped in adversity, adventure and romance. This charming compilation of intriguing tales of pioneer life and love in untamed lands, feature the new pioneers celebrating Christmas in fascinating, unconventional dwellings.

‘Defending Truth’ by Shannon McNear, sees Truth,
Defending Truth
a young woman in western North Carolina,
alone and responsible for her younger siblings after her father had left them to fight the British. What will she do when she comes across a half-starved militia man loyal to the Crown? This is an intriguing and heart-warming story reflecting the battle on King’s Mountain and of God’s grace.

‘The Calling’ by Kathleen Fuller centers around a tavern in Unionville, Ohio, that also doubles as a stagecoach stop. Elijah Montgomery is pushed by his parents to travel and preach. Is he just being obedient to his folks or hearing the calling himself? What part might Milly, the lovely tavern girl who works for her father, have in helping Elijah to find his destiny?

‘A Silent Night’ by Anna Urquhart illustrates the struggles of a mother and young child surviving on their own in the woodlands of Michigan Territory in 1830. Refusing a marriage of convenience that most women would have taken up leaves Lorna vulnerable and unprepared for winter. How can she possibly survive and will they get their Christmas miracle that 6 year old Afton is praying for?

A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley has the bloomer-clad Ellie-May Newman searching across the unforgiving Nebraska Territory for her missing brother who rode for the Pony Express. After saving a man, she informs him he’ll be helping her on her quest. There’s an interesting love triangle in this story and an unexpected outcome for Ellie at the end of the trail. Margaret Brownley is a brilliant storyteller and this tale is a hearty feast for a novella!

A Christmas Castle
‘A Christmas Castle’ by Cynthia Hickey ambushes Annie Morgan with quite a few eye-popping revelations when she arrives at her ranch in Prescott, Arizona, to chase down her new husband who was supposed to meet her in town. This story by Cynthia was fast-moving, delightfully romantic, and especially captivating!


‘The Cowboy’s Angel’ by Lauraine Snelling has a very pregnant woman and her son living on the Dakota Territory plains in 1875 waiting for her husband to return home after leaving weeks earlier to purchase supplies. With a baby coming, a 4 yr. old son, animals to care for, and snowstorms, Belle is in much need of a Christmas miracle from God’s angels. What could have befallen her husband?

‘A Badlands Christmas’ by Marcia Gruversoon has Australian Jonathon Nancarrow 
journeying from sophisticated New York City along
A Badlands Christmas
with his two daughters to the small town of Medora in the heart of the wilderness, still seeking peace and healing after the death of his wife. His eldest daughter Noela takes quite a while adjusting to the overwhelming differences, especially having to live in a house made of dirt and grass called a soddie! Will this little family survive a harsh Dakota winter here and can Noela find love in the wilderness? Marcia Gruver writes an immensely memorable and highly entertaining read, delivering an enchanting story with a very sweet romance.

‘Buckskin Bride’ by Vickie McDonough takes us to Oklahoma Territory in 1889 to where Mattie and her two sisters Milly and Jess are living in a tipi, which unknowingly happens to be on handsome Irishman Conall Donegan’s land. Their father hasn’t returned and Mattie having been left in charge feels a huge responsibility to keep her sisters safe, fed, and sheltered. When Jess is hurt and they are all discovered, Mattie feels like everything is falling apart. Can things come together for Christmas?

The Gold Rush Christmas
‘The Gold Rush Christmas’ by Michelle Ule delivers an interesting and unique story with twins Samantha and Peter Harris travelling to Skagway, Alaska with good friend Miles. What sets out as a search for the twins’ father ends up becoming so much more for all three of these ‘musketeers’. This takes place during the 1897 Gold Rush bringing many unsavoury characters to the region; however this story which is based on a true account ends with an extraordinary Christmas inspired conclusion.

~ ** ~ ** ~ ** ~ ** ~ ** ~ ** ~

You can find this new release of A Pioneer Christmas Collection at these places and others: Amazon; CBD 2013 edition & 2015 edition; Barnes & Noble; BAM; and in Australia - Koorong!

GIVEAWAYS: We have THREE BOOKS for giveaway today!! Generously donated by Marcia Gruver, Shannon McNear, and Michelle Ule! To be eligible leave a comment below the review along with your email address for contact purposes should you win. Using (at) and (dot) will protect you against spammers.


106 comments:

  1. Last year I took up the habit of beginning to read Christmas books in September. I have just picked up Melody Carlson's "The Christmas Joy Ride" and I am diving in. :) I would love an opportunity to enjoy some good old fashioned Christmas time in Pioneer Christmas. I am especially drawn to The Calling. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Kelly, that's a wonderful tradition to start up!! It'd certainly get you in the Christmas mood early... And that's always a good thing! :) Enjoy Melody's and I hope you get to add A Pioneer Christmas Collection to this year's Christmas reading! Have a blessed weekend yourself, Kelly!

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  2. These all sound marvelous. The authors are all new to me, and I'd love a chance to get acquainted with their work. Christmas is coming--so soon--and Christmas stories are fantastic mood-setters. Great review! My email is kf1928(at) telus(dot)net.

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    1. Thanks Kathleen! One of my Christmas wishes would have to be for you to read this book, Kathleen! :) I know you will absolutely love it. It's sure to make you festive as well as warming your heart! Blessings!

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  3. I have never been drawn to a Christmas collection, but it does sound like a good way to open the season!

    Gpk 1946 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Absolutely, Phyllis, I couldn't agree more! And this fantastic collection of pioneer Christmas stories is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! :-)

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  4. Such a beautiful review, Noela - thank you!! I love Christmas novella collections and can't wait to read this one. Some wonderful authors - love the pictures, and the fact each novella has a different setting (several of which I have visited). I've always loved pioneer stories, each of these is so wonderfully different in story line.

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    1. Thanks Bonnie, I adore these collections too... They're just perfect to cozy up to heading towards Christmas! This one is particularly special with each of these novella's being a gift of inspiration and fascinating insight into pioneer times!

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  5. NOELA, your reviews are amazing as always! Thank you for the hard work you put into them and for this lovely post. Can you imagine living in a soddy? What brave and hard working men and women those pioneers were! No tvs, no pcs, no microwaves, no cars...ugh, I never would have made it! :/

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    1. Thank you so much my dear cohort, yes a lot of work but happy to do so! Well I did sorta live in a soddy and ended up with a rat in my hair lol, as told in Marcia Gruver's novella in this collection. I'm not sure if I would truly cope too well... Particularly if there were spiders. ~shiver~ That would be worse than no technology I think! ;) It's be interesting for sure, but awfully hard non-stop work I imagine.

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    2. And then there were the mice in their hair, Diana. With that gorgeous mane of yours, I would think you wouldn't appreciate that! :)

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    3. All I can say to that is EEK! and thank the Lord for letting me live in the 21st century -- although even that has its drawbacks! I had forgotten about the mouse in Noela's hair...thx for reminding me of that gross little tidbit. :/

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    1. This sounds right up your alley or Christmas tree, then, Cindi! ;) Although, we will need to know your email addy so that we may contact you should you win.

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  7. Enjoyed the Review. I grew up in hard times almost like some of these - no soddys though. I am an avid reader and it is getting close to time to start the Christmas books. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of the books. spotts06 at comcast dot net

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Stella! I must say, I'm glad you didn't have to live in a soddy... I can't imagine that would be real pleasant. Although I'm sure they served their purpose in providing shelter for these hardy pioneers! All the best with your entry to win one of these amazing books, Stella!

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  8. Very nice over views of the stories! It's a nice collection with a broad range of characters and situations. What I've enjoyed is three stories are about people who are already married (plus one arranged mail order marriage)--you don't see that very often and yet a deep love is well represented. Thanks for including a really nice Christmas collection!

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    1. Thanks so much Michelle! I loved that too in this collection... It's so beautiful to see the romance alive and thriving in marriages! This of course is my favourite Christmas collection.. ;) Thank you for your fascinating and exciting story about the 1897 Gold rush in Alaska! I'd never read anything prior to your story on this subject, so it really opened my eyes!

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  9. And of course one of the stories includes a heroine named Noela Nancarrow . . . :-)

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    1. Haha! I doubt we'd have made it through the day without SOMEONE (pointing at Noela) mentioning that fact. I'm so proud to have her unique and beautiful name as my main character's name. And even more proud that it forged a deep and lasting friendship between us. Thanks for the mention, Michelle!

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    2. Hmm I've heard that name somewhere before... Totally rings a bell.. ;) Haha thanks Michelle, and thank you Marcia!! So grateful God brought us together over the miles, and so thankful for your special story that I'll treasure always!! :)

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  10. Hello, OWG friends and fans! Well, this is exciting to wake up to. I want to thank Noela Nancarrow and the other beautiful ladies here for giving up their time and space for A Pioneer Christmas. We were very excited when Barbour Publishing announced the rerelease of our book for the 2015 Christmas season. Now those of you who might have missed it last time will get a chance to read these exciting stories. A wonderful review Noela, as usual. Thank you so much!

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    1. What a blessing from the Lord that this amazing book was re-released!!! So happy that many others will now be able to read this wonderful book now! Thanks and blessings to you Marcia!!!

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  11. "A Silent Night" sure hits home. I'd love to win this book. Season's Greetings.

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    1. Ohh that was such a touching story, 'msnwright', I'm sure you'll absolutely love it! All the best and Season's greetings to you, too!

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  12. Would love to win
    A Pioneer Christmas Collection Thank you for a chance to win one..

    kris-win{a}mynamehasbeenstolen.com.

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    1. You're in with a chance, Kris, so all the best in winning a copy of this fabulous book!

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely review, Noela. I adore Christmas stories, and this collection sounds fantastic! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're very welcome, Britney! I love Christmas stories too, and this collection is a really special and fascinating collection of them. Hope you get your hands on this amazing book soon, Britney!! :)

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  14. Wow! So many responses. I wish you could all win

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    1. Hi Cynthia! I feel exactly the same way, every time I post a review!! But I'd especially LOVE to bless everyone a copy of this beautiful book for Christmas!!

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  15. All the books sound great! Sometimes I like to sit and imagine what it would be like to live during this time period. I remember watching on P BSa few years ago a series called "The Colony". Thank you fir this opportunity!

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    1. I often find myself daydreaming when reading an historical novel how it would really be too, MammaG! I think it'd be very rewarding (although hard work) having to live off the land. And I think there'd be a whole lot less distractions from God and family. I don't recall ever hearing about The Colony over here in Australia, but that sounds interesting!! All the best with your entry!

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  16. Two of my favorite words - pioneer and Christmas. Sounds like some wonderful reading!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Haha those words are a perfect marriage aren't they, Susan?! Especially for GREAT reading!! I hope you get to enjoy this book this Christmas!

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  17. Can't wait to read this one! I am going to start reading Christmas books in
    October to get in the spirit! I'd love to win a copy of Pioneer Christmas - thanks for the giveaway!
    Stimmer(at)familylife(dot)com

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    1. Sounds like a great plan, Sharon!! :) A Pioneer Christmas collection would be the PERFECT book to get you started!! :)

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  18. Nothing like reading Christmas stories. I would so love to win this. Thank you for the chance.
    leliamae54@aol.com

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    1. This book certainly is a real treat, Lucy, so I hope you're able to find a way to read it whether you win or not. Here's hoping for a win though! :)

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  19. NOELA, thank you for this splendid review! I enjoy reading Christmas stories. :)

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks Caryl! Christmas is such a special time of the year isn't it? Love them, too, my friend! Blessings to you!

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  20. Awesome a lot of great authors and stories in one . Looks and sounds like a great book.
    Blessings
    Diana
    joeym11(at)frontier(dot)com

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    1. It sure is, Diana!! :) And as you said, great authors and stories in one!! All the best Diana!

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  21. I do enjoy Collections! Great review today..
    We lived in a house once that was 1/2 soddie.. It had been stuccoed on the outside and plastered on the inside & the north rooms, the walls were a foot thick .. I love to read this collection, thanks for a chance to win a copy :)
    dkstevensne AToutlook (Dot) com

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    1. Thanks Deanna! Wow, how interesting that you lived in a half-soddie! I would imagine it'd be really well insulated, and both warm in winter and cool in summer. I'm sure the ceiling would have been covered too, thankfully, lol. Nothing so fine as having mice, snakes, and spiders fall onto your kitchen table haha. All the best, Deanna!

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  22. I love collections - thanks for the great review, Noela :) It would be wonderful to have such a book in my hands!
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Betti, thankyou! I would love to be able to place one of these books in your kind hands! Here's hoping!!

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  23. It's great to see so many coming by to leave a comment. Best of luck to you all on the drawing!

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    1. It's been a wonderful response, Marcia! But then, it is a terrific book so I can understand everyone keen to get a copy!

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  24. Thank you all so much for visiting and leaving such kind comments - and thank you, Noela for your lovely review and for hosting us today!

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    1. Thank you Anna, you're very welcome! Glad you are enjoying your time on OWG!

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  25. Thank you, Noela, for the wonderful review, and to everyone who has visited today! As Marcia said, we were so excited and honored to have Pioneer Christmas brought up for re-release. And it's just as much an honor to have everyone's interest in it, this time around! Blessings!! <3

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    1. I think I found it just as exciting, Shannon! :-) Pretty sure I let out a squeal when Marcia first told me it was going to be re-released. And then again when I found out it was going to be sold in Australia this time round! Thanks and God bless you!!

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  26. I used to believe I was born in the wrong era, I would have loved to have been a Pioneer woman! Thanks for sharing this giveaway!
    rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. I'm sure you would have been too, Robin!! It'd be a challenge but so rewarding and interesting I would think! I've often said, I'd like to go back to visit... Not sure about living there until I give it a try, lol. All the best, Robin!

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  27. All of the stories sound marvellous.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Each and every one is truly a real treat, Mary!! I really hope you get to read it this Christmas!

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  28. Oh wow, what a great colection & great authors! I love reading about times past.
    Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. I know Tina, isn't it just one of the best gathering of authors and fascinating pioneer stories out there!! :) I wish you all the best in winning a copy!! Blessings!

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  29. What great authors. I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the giveaway and a great review. Blessings, Annie, justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome Annie, and thanks! They sure are terrific authors and the stories they've written are some of the best novella's I've read! Blessings to you too!!

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  30. These are all new authors for me but the stories sound Great!
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Lientjie
    lientjiehuman(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au

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    1. They sure are Lientjie! :) I hope you get to enjoy this great collection this Christmas!!

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  31. I love these book collections! It's a treasure to read each story. Some of these authors I've read and others are new to me. Thanks for reviewing, Noela!

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    1. I agree, these are such beautiful books, Regina! This one has 9 of some of the most memorable novella's I've read. Very special stories from very talented authors set to warm your heart this Christmas, Regina! :) All the best to you, and thank you!

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  32. Thank you for reviewing the book, Noela! And thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! :)

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    1. You're welcome Kathleen, thanks! God bless!!

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  33. My friend who posted about this hasn't steered me wrong yet when it comes to books and these stories all sound great. Win or lose the drawing, I want to read this book...but winning is exciting! :-)

    vandmward(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Your friend sounds like she has great taste in books, Melinda!! This one is a keeper for sure, and I know you'll get hours of reading pleasure from it! :) Here's to a win for you!

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    2. Melinda! How fun to see you here. Thanks for stopping by, neighbor! Love you.

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  34. Sorry that I'm late to the show, but I'm on vacation. Thanks so much for the fabulous review of all of our novellas, Noela!
    And good luck to everyone who has entered the give away. I wish we had enough books to give one to each of you. Blessings!

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    1. No worries, Vickie, thanks for popping in! I'm so glad you enjoyed the reviews! I feel the same about wishing everyone could receive a book, I would LOVE to be able to do that one day! :) Bless you!

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  35. I love these Christmas collections. Liked the review.
    Hadajen (at) Gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thank you for coming by to read about A Pioneer Christmas Collection, 'Hadajen'! All the best with your entry!!

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  36. All these stories in I. A Pioneer Christmad Collection by different authors all sound so good . . Certainly gets you in the Christmas spirit . . Love to read Christmas stories . Thanks .
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Sure is something special about Christmas stories, Liz! And these nine are sooo interesting to boot! :) Blessings and all the best!

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  37. Four of these authors are some of my favorite and the rest will be new to me. What a nice collection for the holidays.

    tlhcoupon (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. That's awesome that some will be new to you, Trosado. It's always a treat to find new favourite authors which I'm sure you'll do after you read this collection! :) I hope you get to enjoy it for Christmas!

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  38. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing

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    1. You're welcome Anne! Hey, if you come back could you pls leave your email so that if you're chosen a winner, we'll be able to contact you. Thanks!

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    2. anne at rightler dot com
      Thank you for the reminder.
      Anne

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  39. Ooh! Sign me up and tie it with a big red bow! This book sounds wonderful and I thank you for the giveaway.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Haha Melanie, well I have your entry now tied up with that big red bow, so let's see if that helps!! ;) Blessings to you!!

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  40. I love Christmas stories.And all these stories sounds great.Thanks for a chance to winit.jackie_tessnairat yahoodotcom

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    1. I hope you have a very merry Christmas, Jackie, with some fantastic Christmas reading in it for you!! :)

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  41. Llitterell61754@yahoo.com
    Love to have the chance to read these stories. It sure would be nice to read something with good values and not worldliness. Besides, an old friend Vickie McDonough has one of the stories in this collection!

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    1. We're glad to give you that chance 'Llitterell', as well as being able to share about this great collection of stories with everyone! Vickie is a wonderful author, I love her stories!! :)

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  42. I don't know if my comment is going to show so here it goes again.
    I enjoyed reading about the different books! Now I have a few new authors, which I'd loved to read their books. I love reading Christmas Story books. I'd love to win, thank you for the chance!
    Donna Harris
    donnasquaw52ataoldotcom

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    1. Yep, got your comment twice but I'll delete one of them. Thanks for being persistent! And thank you for coming by to read about this wonderful Christmas collection of stories. I hope you get your wish!! :)

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  43. I would love to win this collection of Christmas stories. I love Lauraine Snelling and Margaret Brownley. I don't know that I've ever read anything from any of the other authors, but I am always looking for new authors to try. Sure would be nice to win this book.
    Debbie Clatterbuck
    princessdebbie1_2000atyahoodotcom

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    1. They are wonderful authors indeed. I think I've read every single book of Margaret's! ;) The rest of the authors are just as brilliant too I have to say, so you're in for a real treat in discovering some amazing new authors! All the best, Debbie!

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  44. I love reading Christmas books and now is the time to start reading them while the weather turns colder and the woodstove is going. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Absolutely Karen, and also before it gets too crazy busy! Oh I love the sound of the woodstove burning and reading this pioneer Christmas collection of stories. Sigh... Just perfect!! I hope you get that chance Karen, but if not just remember this new release is going for a great price on Amazon! Blessings!

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  45. Another fantastic looking set of novellas up for grabs!! And historical to boot...that's my favorite genre don't ya know :-) I love reading about people starting new lives elsewhere or trying to forge a life in the wild country before civilization. Each one of these stories would be a treat to read, thank you for the chance!

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    1. I do tend to forget this quite often:

      teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    2. Thank you Trixi, for your comment! And your email! :) Lol, it's a great genre, my favorite too!! I wish you all the best!!

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  46. Thanx for the giveaway!!! I love Christmas Collections, anytime of the year!!!!
    j4hibdon(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. The 3 authors mentioned above were so very generous in offering a book each, so you have them to thank! I'm with you too Jennifer... I could happily read them anytime of the year! :)

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  47. Oh, this sounds like a fun collection! And I love having several Christmas stories together in one book. I noticed a certain name that sounded very familiar in one of those reviews. ;) You did a great job, Noela. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

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    1. And here's my e-mail:

      bookwarp(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Hi Angi, so glad you made it here!! :) Yeah this is a fun and very interesting collection of Christmas stories... It's like 9 presents wrapped up in one big one! Thanks Angi and all the best!

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  48. Oh goodie, I really enjoy reading Christmas novellas. I think it's because I know for the most part Christmas stories have that feel good happy feeling. Loved reading your review on this, it's happy ! I'll bet you had fun reading this one 😀 historical fiction is my favorite to read , especially about pioneers.
    Book1lovingmomma at gmail dot com

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    1. Yep this was a pretty special book to read, Deanne! ;) Not only was it a whole lot of fun, but one of the best 'pioneer' collections as it was so fascinating reading about the varied and primitive shelters these pioneers found themselves spending Christmas in! I wish everybody could win this fabulous book but as that's not possible, I so hope everybody gets to grab one this Christmas as a special treat!! :) Thank you for your comment, God bless!

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  49. I am so ready for some Christmas stories :) These sound like winners!
    dkstevensneAT outlook (DOT(com

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  50. Oh, these all sound so good . I love reading Christmas stories any time during the year . Thank for the chance to win one . lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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