Review Double Feature, Holiday Edition: A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson & Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H. Gabhart

A Simple Christmas Wish
by Melody Carlson
Copyright 2013
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800719654
The Story:
One girl in need of a home. One woman in search of a home for her heart. One Christmas where it all seems possible. 

It felt strange to be out here in the middle of the night, still wearing the Amish dress--a dress that had belonged to Miri. Rachel's footsteps crunched in the snow, and halfway between the barn and the house, she paused to look up at the night sky, wondering if more snow was in store, but all she saw was velvety black and stars. Millions of twinkling stars. She had never seen stars like that before, so bright and so close, almost as if she could touch them with her hand.

Rachel Milligan never imagined that she and her seven-year-old niece would spend the week before Christmas on a quaint Amish farm in Ohio. But with so many unexpected occurrences of late, perhaps she shouldn't have been surprised.

With her young niece Holly in tow, Rachel anxiously makes her way from Chicago to Ohio's Amish country. As love begins to blossom, family secrets emerge, and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.

Join bestselling author Melody Carlson on an emotional journey into the heart of what family truly means at Christmastime.

“Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

My Thoughts:
As with most Christmas fiction in the inspirational genre, this is a terrific story of hope and love that are especially prevalent during the holiday season. A quick read (I read it in under two hours) there isn't a whole lot of room for an in depth story, but this was far superior to some of the 500 pages novels I've read in the past. I didn't think I'd be shedding tears within the first few chapters, but I did. A Simple Christmas Wish pulls at the heartstrings so much so that I really became attached to the characters. Most times I don't like stories that are shorter in length, just because it feels like it's over before it's begun, with no time to develop any kind of relationship with the characters. Not so with this book, both Rachel and Holly quickly earned a spot in my heart, both overcoming so much while finding hope and love with a new family just in time for Christmas. A Simple Christmas Wish is the perfect story to celebrate the season and is the perfect size to slip in your bag to read on the trip to grandma's house!

~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

To learn more about the author, visit her website here:


The Story:
A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas 

It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

Join bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers--and the world of the human heart.

“Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

My Thoughts:
Christmas at Harmony Hill, although just under two hundred pages, reads like a much longer book. Heather Worth has to face the holiday season and the birth of her first child without her husband who is fighting in the Civil War.With no where else to turn, Heather visits the Shaker village, Harmony Hill in hopes of finding her aunt who is a member of the society. She meets her aunt Sophrena and discovers the miracles of the Christmas season, all where she least expected it.

As with her previous Shaker novels, Gabhart weaves a tale that is both inspiring and interesting. Shedding light on the somewhat mysterious Shaker sect as well as the uncertainties of the battlefield, Christmas at Harmony Hill brings to life the peaceful world of the Shakers and the chaos of war. Heather's struggle with being alone at Christmas is, I'm sure, one that many today can relate to especially with so many servicemen and women fighting overseas. In spite of the historical setting many of the themes in the book are relevant today and the messages of hope and love are something that will never go out of style.

Christmas at Harmony Hill is a terrific holiday read for those who love a bit of history. Even if you're not usually a fan of seasonal books, this is worth the read. In my opinion, there is no better way to relax and stay warm than snuggling under the covers with a book like this one!

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

To learn more about the author, visit her website here:

*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

 Happy Reading!


  1. I've contemplated both of these recently. Great minis!

    Happy Thanksgiving sweetie.

    Thanks for being such a good bloggy and Pinterest pal.

  2. Aww thank you so much! I'm so thankful for all my blog and Pinterest friends and you're one of the best!


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