A light and fluffy confection that’s a perfect read for a holiday break.



From the Holiday Romance Collection series , Vol. 1

Passey’s (The Tree Keeper’s Promise, 2016, etc.) latest Christmas tale is a lighthearted romance inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic holiday novel.

Eleanor Fooge is running her grandmother’s fudge business in Pine Creek, Colorado, and it’s not going well. The company is losing money, and Eleanor’s control issues have alienated her business partner. When Eleanor’s angry opinions about charity go viral, the business’s reputation suffers. She’s seen as a classic Scrooge despite her strong aversion to her name’s being compared to Dickens’ famous literary character’s. Enter Cam Wilson, a consultant whom Eleanor brought in to help save the business. He had a crush on her back in high school, years ago, and he’s retained his youthful good looks and charming personality—and Eleanor takes notice. He’s also smart enough to recognize that although Eleanor can effectively make the hard decisions required to save the company, her temperament is unpredictable. She also treats her employees terribly, going so far as to force them to work on Christmas. In addition, her hatred of all things Scrooge causes her to pass up good business opportunities, such as selling fudge at a local theater company’s sold-out performances of A Christmas Carol. She just wants to save the business before her grandmother finds out about the trouble. Cam wants to do his job, but he also finds himself falling for Eleanor all over again. Passey’s spin on the Dickens tale is as sweet as the fudge that Eleanor dishes up throughout the novel. Eleanor’s transformation is expected but enjoyable, and Passey makes a good observation about Scrooge himself: “he’s generous and kindhearted by the end. But no one…wants to give him that credit. Once a miser, always a miser.” The author’s prose flows nicely, and the chemistry between Cam and Eleanor is a consistent treat. There are no steamy love scenes along the way, but Cam’s willingness to lay everything on the line for Eleanor is a Christmas gift that romance fans will want to unwrap.

A light and fluffy confection that’s a perfect read for a holiday break.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9909840-8-5

Page Count: 195

Publisher: Winter Street Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

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Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the...


Hannah’s sequel to Firefly Lane (2008) demonstrates that those who ignore family history are often condemned to repeat it.

When we last left Kate and Tully, the best friends portrayed in Firefly Lane, the friendship was on rocky ground. Now Kate has died of cancer, and Tully, whose once-stellar TV talk show career is in free fall, is wracked with guilt over her failure to be there for Kate until her very last days. Kate’s death has cemented the distrust between her husband, Johnny, and daughter Marah, who expresses her grief by cutting herself and dropping out of college to hang out with goth poet Paxton. Told mostly in flashbacks by Tully, Johnny, Marah and Tully’s long-estranged mother, Dorothy, aka Cloud, the story piles up disasters like the derailment of a high-speed train. Increasingly addicted to prescription sedatives and alcohol, Tully crashes her car and now hovers near death, attended by Kate’s spirit, as the other characters gather to see what their shortsightedness has wrought. We learn that Tully had tried to parent Marah after her father no longer could. Her hard-drinking decline was triggered by Johnny’s anger at her for keeping Marah and Paxton’s liaison secret. Johnny realizes that he only exacerbated Marah’s depression by uprooting the family from their Seattle home. Unexpectedly, Cloud, who rebuffed Tully’s every attempt to reconcile, also appears at her daughter’s bedside. Sixty-nine years old and finally sober, Cloud details for the first time the abusive childhood, complete with commitments to mental hospitals and electroshock treatments, that led to her life as a junkie lowlife and punching bag for trailer-trash men. Although powerful, Cloud’s largely peripheral story deflects focus away from the main conflict, as if Hannah was loath to tackle the intractable thicket in which she mired her main characters.

Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the pages turning even as readers begin to resent being drawn into this masochistic morass.

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-312-57721-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine’s voice as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine’s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York’s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn’s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the house—after all, nobody’s paying her to go there. But if there’s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it’s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife’s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker’s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter’s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there’s worse—much worse—to come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02578-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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