Father Tom Christmas moves to the picturesque English hamlet of Thornford Regis to become its new vicar and to seek a peaceful haven. But inside the empty village hall, the huge Japanese o-daiko drum that’s featured in the May Fayre festivities has been viciously sliced open—and curled up inside is the bludgeoned body of Sybella Parry, the daughter of the choir director.
Realizing this village is not the refuge he’d hoped for, Father Tom comes to a disturbing conclusion: Sybella’s killer must be one of his parishioners. No one is above suspicion—not Sebastian John, the deeply reserved verger, nor Mitsuko Drewe, a local artist, nor Colonel Northmore, survivor of a World War II prison camp. And over all hangs the long-unsolved mystery of a sudden disappearance, one that brought Father Tom to this picture-perfect place to live—or die.
Buy this British cozy mystery for just 99 cents today.
Click here to purchase Twelve Drummers Drumming
Reading and Meeting My Goal
I (Susan) entered October ahead of schedule. According to Goodreads, I was more than on track to meet my 2014 goal to read 65 books this year. But by the end of October, I had slipped to a precarious position. The root cause can be traced to two factors: I hooked up cable TV after a 10-year hiatus. And the Kansas City Royals made a thrilling post-season all the way to Game 7 of the World Series.
Last week, I realized I had six weeks to read 12 books. Doable, but not easy. I charted out a plan to finish two books a week for the rest of the year. This means my Township may be neglected. This is where reading on the Kindle has a disadvantage. It’s not so easy to look at the shelf and pick out the skinniest books to tackle. A little more research is required to plow through to the goal. I’m stacking up a few sweet Christmas stories and adding some by favorite authors.
Any other tips to get through to the goal? How is your progress going with your reading goal?
Prime Christmas Music
It’s beginning to SOUND a lot like Christmas thanks to a new feature introduced in Amazon Music. Amazon invites site visitors to “listen while you shop.” Click the music note icon at the top of the page to hear the selected playlist. It’s even more fun if you’re a Prime members, which offers free access to playlists loaded with Christmas music.
Lots to like about these playlists: You can put them in your Amazon Music Player to listen on just any device. I’ve already had them on my Kindle Fire and the television. Mix and match options allow you to throw out particular songs you don’t like (Nutcracker Suite, anyone?). Plus, you can upload music from your computer to get true Christmas harmony. Amazon has put together a wonderful blend of classics and contemporary hits. Playlists like “Holiday Movie Favorites,” “Christmas Morning” and “Christmas Road Rage” (don’t worry, it’s a soothing blend of instrumentals) add some great tunes.
Black Friday Deals
Amazon and publishers have dropped hints that Black Friday Deals will be forthcoming. We’ll be here checking for the best deals and posting them on Daily Cheap Reads. Check the site throughout the day to see the updates we post.
These three cheap shorter reads (only 99 cents each) are a great way to start your holiday reading.
Bruno and the Carol Singers (99 cents) St. Denis is experiencing its coldest winter in years and Bruno is occupied with his Christmastime duties. From organizing carolers to playing Father Christmas for the local schoolchildren, Bruno has his hands full . . . at least until some funds raised for charity go missing.
Can’t Wait (99 cents) Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend’s sister, Summer Turner, is off-limits. Summer shares a connection with Caleb she’s never felt with anyone else. Summer will have to take matters into her own hands if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.
Merry Christmas from . . . (99 cents) Karen Robert has spent the last several years tracking down the wonderful and wacky Christmas cards represented in this book—the best out of tens of thousands she has reviewed.
A Dixie Christmas ($1.99) Laughter and love combine in Sandra Hill’s Blue Christmas–with a touch of Elvis magic. Wealthy Wall Street businessman Clayton Jessup III steps in trouble–literally–when he confronts the bizarre group of Elvis impersonators who’ve set up a living Nativity scene on his property.
In Jinx Christmas, sexy NASCAR star Lance Caslow makes a last-ditch effort to win back his ex-wife Brenda. he will do anything to prove he’s worthy of Brenda’s trust again–even join the Cajun Christmas show starring a raucous Cajun family whose menfolk dance for charity events in little more than a smile . . .
Santa Viking ($1.99) A fun, romantic romp yule love!
Boltor’s Bride: Bolthor the Skald has been there for his fellow warriors. Enter the sexy, Saxon widow Katherine of Wickshire Manor, a woman in need of a strong man to take care of her, her four children, not to mention about two hundred chickens. When Viking meets Saxon, the sparks do fly.
A Viking for Christmas: Bodyguard Erik Thorsson, a fiftieth generation Viking, meets Jessica Jones, dressed as a cute Santa Claus, when she stages a righteous attempt to rob the local Piggly Jiggly. For the first time in five years, since his beloved wife died, Erik finds himself head over Santa boot heels in love, but how to convince Jessica that he’s not her Christmas curse, but instead a Christmas miracle.
The cheer in Fool’s Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. An injury has forced her to return home to her estranged family. So she won’t add to the awkward scenario by falling for the charms of her brother’s best friend, no matter how tempting he is. When she’s recruited to stage the winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move on, anywhere but here.
Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the town he now calls home, but the pounding of little dancers’ feet above his office is more than he can take. When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he’s unprepared for their searing attraction. Evie is his best friend’s sister—off-limits unless he’s willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is dangerous, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles do seem to happen….
Buy this Christmas romance for $1.99 today.
Click here to purchase A Fool’s Gold Christmas
Megan McAllister is home for Christmas…whether she likes it or not!
Christmas is about family…and for Megan family means two people: herself, and her daughter Skye. It doesn’t mean her parents who, ten years ago, saw her pregnancy as anything but a miracle. And it definitely doesn’t include her irresistible ex-boyfriend Lucas Bright.
So ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ has never been top of Megan’s festive playlist. But for Skye, she knows she needs to spend the holiday season with the people she’s left behind. She can do this. Even if the thought of meeting Lucas under the mistletoe still has her feeling like she’s drunk one-too-many Snowballs!
But somewhere between the hanging of stockings and the crackle of wrapping paper, Christmas starts to sparkle. And Megan begins to wonder if family could be bigger than her and Skye after all…
Buy this Christmas romance for just 99 cents today.
Click here to purchase Driving Home for Christmas
With his wild heart, Sawyer McKettrick isn’t ready to settle down on the Triple M family ranch in Arizona. So he heads to Blue River, Texas, to seek a job as marshal. But in a blinding snowstorm, he’s injured—and collapses into the arms of a prim and proper lady in calico.
The shirtless, bandaged stranger recuperating in teacher Piper St. James’s room behind the schoolhouse says he’s a McKettrick, but he looks like an outlaw to her. As they wait out the storm, the handsome loner has Piper remembering long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood. But for how long is Sawyer willing to call Blue River home?
As the gray skies clear, Piper’s one holiday wish just might bring two lonely hearts together forever.
Buy this Western Christmas romance for only $1.99 today.
Click here to purchase An Outlaw’s Christmas
The perfect road trip: 2 strangers, 1 truck, and 1500 miles to fall in love.
Detective Justin Hatcher and Cameron McAlister are in a hurry to leave North Carolina-for totally different reasons. He wants to confront his family about a five-year-old betrayal. She wants to escape the remnants of a failed marriage.
Thrown together as unlikely and unexpected travel partners, their trip is filled with both dramatic and humorous situations along the road. But, with God’s constant hand in their journey, can Justin and Cameron discover that…
Yes, you can go home again…especially at Christmastime.
Buy this inspirational romance for $1.99 today.
Click here to purchase Almost Home
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?
This tender story about fresh starts will charm readers as all of Melody Carlson’s Christmas offerings do. Full of redemption and true holiday spirit, Christmas at Harrington’s will be readers’ newest Christmas tradition. Buy this quick inspirational Christmas read for only 99 cents today.
Click here to purchase Christmas at Harrington’s
For Mary Sullivan Christmas is, and always has been, about family. And this year is no different. As she awaits the arrival of her eight children and their partners at the cottage in Lake Tahoe, she hangs the ornaments that they made for her over the years. Each decoration brings with it a tide of memories, all of which she holds dear to her heart.
But when she comes across the oldest ornament, the one her beloved husband, Jack, gave her on their very first Christmas together, Mary is immediately swept back to the first days of their whirlwind romance, to the love that would be the foundation on which they built the family she is so proud to call her own.
For just 99 cents, you can join the Sullivans this Christmas for a story that explores the wonder of the holidays, the meaning of family and a love that transcends time.
Click here to purchase Kissing Under The Mistletoe