RSS Feed

Category Archives: Christmas!


December 1st

December 2nd



December 3rd



December 4th






















December 5th


December 6th


December 7th



December 10th


December 11th





December 14th



December 18th










December 20th


December 25th



December 28th

December 31st


Blog Tour with Review: An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly #5) by Lauren Layne

Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon
Love Unexpectedly
Lauren Layne
Releasing Nov 7, 2017

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.


My Review

“Sometimes the stars just have to align, and you’ve got to be quick on your feet.”

Fate. Kismet. Serendipity. Second Chances. An Ex for Christmas is the perfect feel good holiday romance that you just can’t help but swoon over.

It’s that time of year. The weather is turning cooler. The leaves are changing colors and we’re all getting out our fall must haves. And I don’t know about you guys, but this is my favorite time to dive into holiday reads. I can’t get enough of the warmth, magic and the good ol’ tug on my heart strings. And let me tell you, An Ex for Christmas certainly knocks it out of the park.

An Ex for Christmas is the 5th book in the Love Unexpectedly Series, and can be read as a stand-alone novel. An Ex for Christmas follows the story of Kelly and Mark. Kelly is what you might call superstitious. She is obsessed with all things fate related and believes that everything happens for a reason. So, when Kelly has a chance meeting with a psychic just before the holidays, she will stop at nothing to make the prophecy she was told come true….And so begins the “Ex” list. Kelly makes a list of all her ex’s hoping that she has already met the one, but you know what they say…sometimes the best things have been under your nose the whole time…

An Ex for Christmas was a total fun read. It will impossible to not get caught up in Kelly’s belief’s and antics; hoping that she will find the one. I thought Kelly was crazy in the best possible way. I loved that she was so into the fates and didn’t let others disbeliefs knock her down. I loved the relationship that Kelly and Mark had. They were the best of friends, and while I knew right away how the story was going to go, it was still a joy to watch it all unfold.

An Ex for Christmas is the kind of read that you just want to curl up by the fire with. It’s fun and entertaining. It’s sexy and frustrating and swoon worthy as ever. I loved everything about this book and it certainly made my heart full and happy. A really enjoyable read.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*


As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.

I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.

My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.

None of that’s the weird part.

What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.

We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.

But I still feel her eyes on me.

Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.

Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.

Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”

I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.

“Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.”

Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!

I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .

There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.

And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.

I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.

Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though they’re really rare in New York.

She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.

I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.

I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.

The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”

Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.

But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.

“Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.

She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”

I freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.

She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”

I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”

Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”

Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .


“You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”

She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!

I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—

Nope. No. Do not go there.

Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.

“Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”

“Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket. Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough.

I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.

“Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”

I whip my head around. “How did you—”

The woman is gone.

Like vanished gone.

Leaving me to wonder . . .

If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?

Have I already met my one true love?

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Here we are people! A full list of all of our lucky winners! Keep tuned for more of our blog giveaways in the new year!


DAY ONE – Reine Williams

  • Pineapple Lumps & Tim Tams (New Zealand goodies!)


DAY TWO – Lori Christensen

  • Havoc E-book by Autumn Grey


DAY THREE – Lupita Saavedra

  • The Chronicles of Izzy series by Michelle Graves (E-books)


DAY FOUR – Christina Lynne

  • Puddle Jumping (Paperback) by Amber L. Johnson


DAY FIVE – Keyshla Yari Carrrasquillo

  • Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti & Where We Belong by K. L. Grayson (E-books)


DAY SIX – Cheryl Hickford

  • Neanderthal Seeks Human & Neanderthal Marries Human from the Knitting in the City Series E-books by Penny Reid


DAY SEVEN – Banda Patty

  • The Out of Line Boxed Set (E-Books) by Jen McLaughlin & $10 Amazon Voucher
  • An Imaginary House by the Sea E-book by Cecily Gates & your choice of E-book up to the value of $10
  • The Law of Moses E-book by Amy Harmon

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY SEVEN! (THE FINAL DAY!!!)

Amy – It has been so much fun doing these giveaways all week long! For my final giveaway, I’m going to be gifting one lucky winner The Out of Line Series E-Book Box Set by Jen McLaughlin as well as a $10 Amazon gift card! The Out of Line series is one of my favorite series’. As you probably know by now, I am a big fan of angst and romance! Jen McLaughlin more than delivers with this series. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have!

Charmaine – We have had the best time this week feeling like the book blogger versions of Santa! Thank you SO much to everyone who has participated in our week of giveaways. We love you all so much for being a part of our blog! For my final prize I am giving away a book I very recently have read, An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates. I loved this book, it gripped my heart and turned my emotions inside out. To go with this I am also throwing in an E-book of your choice that you are dying to read over the holidays! (Value up to $10)  

Kristal – Woohoo! Our final day of our Christmas Giveaway has arrived. A ‘grand finale’ if you will…x ! Aaaaanyway, for my final prize I wanted to contribute a book that I recently read and LOVED so I went with The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon. This is a beautiful story about love and gratitude that transcends genre boundaries and will have you thinking outside of the box. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (have tissues handy).

So to sum up, one lucky winner will be receiving ALL of the above prizes. Score! Thank you so much for following our blog this year! It’s been a blast xx 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY SIX!

Neanderthal Seeks Human & Neanderthal Marries Human E-Books by Penny Reid

This year I have come across SO MANY amazing books and authors. My Kindle library is growing on a daily basis and I spend way too much time thinking and discussing all things books, but I have some firm favourites in there… So when it came to picking some goodies to giveaway for our Christmas Giveaway Week I knew I had to giveaway something from Penny Reid.

This year for me has been the year all about Penny. I am absolutely and utterly obsessed with her writing. My name is Charmaine and I am officially a fan-girl. So, I want to spread my love of all things Smart-Romance with all of you and give you the chance to get the very first two books in her ah-mazing Knitting in the City series. This is where it all started for me and I’m hoping it will be the same for you… because there are some heart exploding, jelly leg creating, mega swoon-worthy stories (and men) to be had.

Click on the Rafflecopter and enter now! This comp is only live for ONE DAY!!!


There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.


There are three things you should know about Quinn Sullivan: 1) He is madly in love with Janie Morris, 2) He’s not above playing dirty to get what (or who) he wants, and 3) He doesn’t know how to knit.

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn—former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat—is ready to propose marriage. In fact, he’s more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day—thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of pre-matrimony: engagement, meeting the parents, bachelor/bachelorette party, and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions. But Janie, much to Quinn’s dismay, tosses a wrench in his efficacious endeavors and challenges him to prove his devotion by going through the matrimonial motions, no matter how minute and mundane.

Will Quinn last until the wedding day? Or will he yield to his tyrant impulses?

Regardless, one thing is for certain, Quinn Sullivan will have to learn to expect the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. the unexpected) if he plans to have and keep Janie Morris as his wife.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY FIVE!

Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti and Where We Belong by K.L. Grayson (E-Books)

For today’s giveaway, I’m highlighting two awesome indie authors that I was introduced to by another amazing author friend of mine, Lex Martin. Both of these ladies have written books that have touched my life in one way or another and their books have quickly made my top book list! These book remind me of the very reason I love to read!

The first book is Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti


“In here,” he said, pushing on the skin above my heart, “you’re ten below zero. And you’re closer to death than I am.”

My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember. I choose to live my life by observation, not through experience. While people are laughing and kissing and connecting, I’m in the corner. Watching them live. I’m indifferent to everything, everyone. The only emotion I feel with any kind of depth is annoyance, and I feel it often.

A text message sent to the wrong number proves to be my undoing.

His name is Everett, but I call him rude. He’s pushy, he’s arrogant, he crowds my personal space, and worst of all: he makes me feel.

He chooses to wear all black, all the time, as if he’s waiting to attend a funeral. Probably because he is.

Everett is dying. And he’s spending his final days living, truly living. In doing so, he’s forcing me to feel, to heal. To come face to face with the demons I suppressed in my memory.

He hurts me, he fulfills me, he completes me. And still, he’s dying.

This book took me not only on an incredible journey, but also a roller coaster ride of emotions. It makes you see the beauty in things and that fight for life and love. It is beautifully written and captivating. There aren’t enough words to show how amazing this book was for me. This book will make you laugh, you will cry-maybe even ugly cry- and fall in love. This isn’t just your typical romance. It is so much more……

The second book is Where We Belong by K.L. Grayson


Regret . . . she’s a snarky little bitch.

I’ve tried several times to regret the events that took place on June 5, 2008, but for the life of me, I can’t. I’d never regret the pain, the suffering, or the heartache because it ultimately led me to the place I am now. And I can’t regret the place I am now. What I still can’t figure out is this: how is it possible that the single worst day of my life inadvertently became the very best day?

Five years ago my life was irrevocably changed.

Seventeen minutes was all it took—
to lose my best friend…
to lose the love of my life…

Seventeen minutes was all it took for the seeds of hope—the seeds of my future—to be planted in the worst possible way.

My name is Harley Thompson, and this is my story.

Where We Belong had me hooked from the beginning. I thought to myself, “Oh my god! This book is going to break me”. There was so much angst and heartbreak, just in the prologue. And if you know me, you know I’m a big fan of well written angst. I knew from that moment that I wasn’t going to be able to put this book down. This book will take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions and has the perfect balance of angst and romance. This is one of those books that once you start it, you won’t want to put it down. Where We Belong is a fantastic debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY FOUR!

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson (paperback) & $10 Amazon gift card

Puddle Jumping is one of our favourite reads this year. It’s just a freakin’ beautiful story from start to finish and when you love a story that much there’s nothing quite like owning a paperback copy of it! So today’s Christmas giveaway is a paperback copy of Puddle Jumping, because we’re hoping you will fall in love with this story like we did and want to keep it forever and ever. There’s also a $10 gift-card included in this giveaway because – more book money!! Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY THREE!

The complete series of The Chronicles of Izzy by Michelle Graves (E-Books)

As soon as we discussed our Christmas giveaway plans I knew that The Chronicles of Izzy series would have to be involved. This series is one of my FAVOURITE finds of the year. It’s paranormal romance at its best and I absolutely devoured the whole series. Even if you aren’t usually a reader of this genre I truly believe you will love these books as much as I did.

So what have you got to lose! Enter todays competition and you could have this series of E-Books ready for your holiday reading pleasure. Amazing!!!

Check out my review of the first instalment, See How She Runs HERE

Check out Michelle Graves Goodreads page with links to all of her books HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY TWO!

Havoc E-Book by Autumn Grey & Hollie Lane E-Book by JB Morgan

It’s day 2 of our special holiday giveaway and today, I’m giving away two amazing books! Not only are these books the authors’ debut novels but they are both extremely talented and definitely ladies to keep your eye out for………

The first book is Havoc by Autumn Grey 


Selene Michaels is determined to never let anyone make her feel inferior again. After a painful divorce, she finds herself in Paris on a working holiday, hopeful that this will be the opportunity she has been waiting for. She intends to have fun and maybe find someone to flirt with; someone who will show her a good time, treat her right, and awaken her to all she has been missing. What she does not expect to find is Remington St. Germain and his adorable son, Adrien. Remington is intense, devastatingly hot and a Prince Charming on the outside, but a dirty talking, insatiable devil behind closed doors—the opposite of the man she has been hoping for—and not the type to give up on something that he wants. Selene soon realizes that life with Remington is not only interesting, but adventurous. It’s dangerous, and she’s about to find out how dangerous. . . if she is brave enough to take a chance.

***Havoc is the first installment of a three-part serial, each approximately 36000 words. (110 pages)

Now, I am a big fan of serial series and this one does not disappoint. I fell in love with the characters instantly and couldn’t wait to know more about them. This book is sexy and full of mystery and intrigue. It will definitely leave you wanting to get your hands on the next edition!

This second book is Holly Lane by J.B. Morgan 


Hollie + Layne= One trip. One week. One chance meeting that they’ll never forget. Two hearts. Two different places. And One event that could change it all.

This Christmas, take a stroll down Holly Lane where you’ll find Hollie Reed’s story of memories, friendships, a town full of holiday joy and the power of love.

New Adult, Holiday Romance

Note: This is not a heavy book. It’s light, has swoony romance, filled with humor and great friendships with some holiday magic thrown in.

Holly Lane is a sweet, refreshing light NA story. Perfect for the holidays. It’s an amazing story of friendships,  and first love. The characters were easy to connect with and it was impossible to not fall in love with them. This book made me laugh, cry and swoon!

*Quick Note: This book is still in the final stages of editing and will be gifted to the winner via the author around Dec. 15th!*


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Giveaway Week – DAY ONE!


It’s really no secret that we are a bunch of foodies here at Once Upon a Book Blog, so we are always keeping a well trained eye on any situation where food is mentioned…or even hinted at. Over the years we have seen MANY people raving about Tim Tams. That sweet, chocolatey goodness hits the spot every time. ESPECIALLY if you dunk them. Tim Tams are made to be dunked. So, when we were discussing prizes for this epic week of giveaways, Tim Tams were top of the list. Very closely followed by the lesser known ‘Pineapple Lumps’. Pineapple lumps are hard to describe but know this – they are a national treasure. Everyone loves a good Pineapple Lump. So to start our giveaway off with a BANG we are going to send one lucky winner these amazing New Zealand treats. They can be sent anywhere in the world (mostly) so get entering! Enjoy!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway