Friday, November 19, 2010

Partial Book Review: A Cedar Key Christmas by Terri DuLong (part of the Holiday Magic anthology)

Holiday MagicA Cedar Creek Christmas by Terri DuLong (in the anthology Holiday Magic by Fern Michaels, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter and Terri DuLong)
Publisher: Zebra
Publish Date: November 1, 2010
384 pages
Fiction, Christmas, Romance

My Review:
Why I read this: I finished and reviewed Terri's latest Cedar Key book, Casting About and she sent me the anthology because I whined about wanting to read  more about Cedar Key :)

How is the novel driven: Character-driven

My thoughts: I wanted  more of Cedar Key after reading Casting About and this was a delightful taste of the small town and it's inhabitants.  In this brief and fun installment we meet Josie and her daughter Orlie.  These two are as close as mother and daughter can be and I really enjoyed their relationship.  In these days of books filled with teen angst and dislike of parents, I really enjoy Ms. DuLong's take on positive parent-children relationships while still keeping them real feeling.  This isn't Leave it to Beaver, but it's happy and positive.

It's amazing that in this short of a book Ms. DuLong could show character development, but she does it wonderfully.  I loved watching how Josie handled things and how she grows and changes through the book.  I really liked her as a character and saw her as a strong female without being too domineering.  I also liked Orlie, she's a young girl with a good head on her shoulders and respect for her elders that a lot of children seem to lack.  She's fun to read about.

The storyline is interesting and as usual with this book, the whole town turns out.  There are glimpses of people from previous books and new books.  I think stories in anthologies are tricky when you are use to writing longer books, but Ms. DuLong balances story development and character development well in this short format.  I didn't feel cheated of a story, in fact I felt like I had read a whole book - she puts a lot into the 100+ pages she has in this book.

If  you are wondering if you can read this story out of order - yes you can.  You can read any of the Cedar Key stories by themselves.  They are all crafted in a way that they stand on their own.  Though for the whole Cedar Key experience I do recommend reading all three, Spinning Forward, Casting About and A Cedar Key Christmas.

I can't seem to get enough of Cedar Key and while A Cedar Key Christmas has satisfied me for the moment, I can't wait until she releases the next book next year.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

Mistletoe, magic, twinkling lights, and stolen kisses. . . Experience all the wonders of the holiday season with these four irresistible stories. . .
"Holiday Magic" by Fern Michaels
Ski shop manager Stephanie Marshall is counting on a holiday bonus so she can put a down payment on a home for herself and her daughters. But her handsome boss, Eddie O'Brien, has his own Christmas wish--one that could lead to a lifetime of loving. . .
"A Very Merry Christmas" by Cathy Lamb
Meredith Ghirlandaio's to-do list is already overflowing, between keeping her B&B afloat, directing the town's holiday concert, and trying to avoid rancher Logan Taylor. Doesn't he know Meredith's through with men--even rugged, alpha, drop-dead-gorgeous men? Then again, some vows were meant to be broken. . .
"A Very Maui Christmas" by Mary Carter
Tara Lane has the perfect plan to avoid another hellish family holiday--fly to Maui. Too bad her family decided to follow suit. But a laid-back handyman is about to prove you don't need snow to have a sparkling, sexy Christmas. . .
"A Cedar Key Christmas" by Terri DuLong
Single mom Josie Sullivan is proud of her young daughter, Orli, for helping local fisherman Mr. Al restore his crumbling home. And when Mr. Al's nephew, Ben, pays a visit, Josie realizes just how much Christmas magic one good deed can bring. . .
About the Author:
You can read about Terri on her website here.

FTC Information: I received this book from the author for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.