Monday, November 29, 2021

Books to Get You In The Holiday Mood


'Tis the season for a cozy blanket and a good holiday read. You know we love to curl up with a good book, and this time of year that rings even more true. When stories have a holiday setting they just seem to have a little more sparkle, a little more spice, and lot more magic.  

This year we've put together a great list of books that will be sure to get you in the mood. The holiday mood!


THE SANTA SUIT by Mary Kay Andrews
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn't bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it's a full-time job sorting through all of it. 

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it's from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy's quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

| Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey |

THE MATZAH BALL by Jean Meltzer
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze. 

THE SECRET OF SNOW by Viola Shipman
When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny’s been avoiding since the day she left for college—her northern Michigan hometown.

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood…with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who’s now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.

To distract herself from the memories she's spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she’s ever going to find a place she can truly call home.

Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.

Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.

When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life—to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.

Mistletoe, Maine, is buzzing and not just because Christmas is around the corner! Dante West, local cutie-turned-Hollywood hunk, is returning home to make his next movie. Everyone in town is excited . . . except librarian Lucy Marshall. When Dante took off for LA without warning—or even a goodbye—he broke Lucy’s heart. She swore not to spend one more minute thinking about her ex, but Dante makes an offer Lucy’s struggling library can’t refuse: a major donation to film on-site.

Dante is thrilled to help boost his hometown’s economy and finally begin making amends to the people he hurt years ago when he left, starting with Lucy. But seeing his former best friend on set every day feels a lot less like closure and more like a fresh start. It’s one thing for Dante to fall for Lucy all over again, quite another for a famous movie star and a small-town librarian to find lasting romance. Can the magic of the holiday season give Lucy and Dante’s first love a second chance?

| No Ordinary Christmas by Belle Calhoune |

SO, THIS IS CHRISTMAS by Tracy Andreen
When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn't changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother's inn. And she certainly didn't expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother's doorstep. It's up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley's Christmas. It's about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.

Single mom Lexie Bell hopes to make this first Christmas in their new home special for her six-year-old son, Brock. Festive lights and homemade fudge, check. Friendly neighbors? Uh, no. The reclusive widower next door is more grinchy than nice. But maybe he just needs a reminder of what matters most. At least sharing some holiday cheer with him will distract her from her own lack of romance…

Stanley Mann lost his Christmas spirit when he lost his wife and he sees no point in looking for it. Until she shows up in his dreams and informs him it’s time to ditch his scroogey attitude. Stanley digs in his heels, but she’s determined to haunt him until he wakes up and rediscovers the joys of the season. He can start by being a little more neighborly to the single mom next door. In spite of his protests, he’s soon making snowmen and decorating Christmas trees. How will it all end?

Merrily, of course. A certain Christmas ghost is going to make sure of that!

Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she's earning extra cash working at the local inn—AKA the setting of the greatest film of all time, Holiday by the Lake—while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger.
But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss's frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker.  Lila is type A; Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way,” and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merch. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they've both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets—and an unexpected snowstorm—bring these rivals together?

Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life does not appeal.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.

Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop—and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family?

When hopeful fashionista Meg Julliard must return to her hometown of Chicago to manage her late father’s apartment building, she thinks her dreams of making it in the fashion business are over. Add in her father’s eclectic roster of tenants who all need Meg’s attention (ASAP!), a host of building related disasters, and a handsome handyman she keeps embarrassing herself in front of, and this has all the makings for the worst Christmas she’s ever had.

Ellie Wade, one of the building’s longtime residents, is also not feeling the Christmas Joy this year. She is preparing to move into a nursing home (reluctantly), and is in the process of sorting through her belongings to downsize. Every corner of her apartment holds memories, some good, some bad. But there’s one dress she hesitates to pack up as it represents both the best and worst night of her life.

Ellie and Meg strike up an unlikely friendship and the story of Ellie’s dress comes out. Ellie gifts the gorgeous dress to Meg, hoping that it will bring her more luck, on the condition that she wear it to the building’s Christmas party.

The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also acts as inspiration for Meg to follow a life-long dream of her own, a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, and restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all of the current tenants.

The dress and the magic of the holiday season helps both Meg and Ellie find their own happy endings. 

When Lucy Hannigan returned to her childhood home in Somerset Lake, one of the first things she did was join the local book club. And thank goodness, because now that Lucy’s first Christmas without her mother is bearing down upon her, she can use all the help and support she can get.  Especially when she has to take in a tenant and the only person interested is Miles Bruno, her ex-fiance.

Lucy’s friends keep teasing her about the way Miles is trying to make up for his mistakes but forgiving and forgetting isn’t coming easily to Lucy. With bills piling up and her mother’s finances in disarray, however, Lucy isn’t in any position to say no.

As the small town prepares for the holidays and competition heats up in the Merriest Lawn decorating contest, Lucy can’t help feeling like a Scrooge. Her mom loved the holidays and won the contest each year, but as much as Lucy would like to carry on the tradition, she isn’t sure she has it in her to deck the halls this holiday.

Yet when Miles shows up with tons of tinsel, dozens of decorations, and lots and lots of lights, Lucy begins to wonder if maybe the spirit of the season will finally mend her broken heart.

It’s Christmastime in Twilight, TX. The lights are twinkling, carols are being sung, and the cookies are baking. And this year, best friends Joel and Jana discover a shocking surprise: as they are organizing the living Nativity, they find a sweet little baby in the manger with a note saying the mother will return...soon. 

Jana tucks the infant into her arms, and she and Joel make the impulsive decision to take the baby home. Jana is spontaneous, Joel is a planner, but they agree that it’s better to care for this precious bundle for the holidays, in hopes that the mother really will come back by New Year’s. 

As the days pass, the pair begins to fall in love with the child and they’re also forced to face facts: their relationship goes far deeper than friendship. As the spirit of Christmas—and the magic of Twilight, TX—takes over, this unlikely couple must open up to the feelings they’ve been hiding from each other all along. 

A sleuthing English teacher will need a Christmas miracle to prove a condemned man innocent in this "terrific holiday-themed novel" (Publishers Weekly Starred Review) from Edgar Award-winner Andrew Klavan.

Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan―how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed?

As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family's bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won't get the memo that they're over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven't done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins' identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

ONCE UPON A WARDROBE by Patti Callahan
Megs Devonshire, on a scholarship at Oxford, is brilliant with numbers and equations. She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.

Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, who is a professor at her school, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, begging them for answers. What she receives instead are stories . . . little-known tales from different periods in Mr. Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.

Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.

When her beloved grandmother passes away, Mia Broadhurst returns to the snow-covered seaside village of Winsted Cape, where Grandma Ruth ran the lighthouse overlooking the golden beach.

This will be Mia’s first Christmas without her, and she can’t bear to part with the lighthouse that has been in their family for generations. As she steps into it, childhood memories rush back to her. She can almost hear them playing tag on the steps… But her life is back in New York, dedicated to a busy PR firm, and she has no choice but to sell.

With the snow falling, turning the grounds into a winter wonderland, Mia works with real estate agent Will Thacker. As they restore the historical building, she tries not to notice how handsome he is. After all, she’s only home for Christmas… And Will’s deep blue eyes, as stormy as the Atlantic Ocean, tells her he has his own heartbreak to contend with.

Warmed by a crackling fire, Mia packs up Grandma Ruth’s belongings with the help of her mother and sister. But waiting for them is a black-and-white photograph with a faded inscription. The mysterious message is the key to a family secret that has been hidden for decades––one that changes everything.

When Mia finds out the truth, will it save the precious lighthouse and show Mia where her heart belongs? Or will it tear her from Winsted Cape––and Will––for ever?

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.


Looking for more? 
Check out our post on Four Books to Gift this Holiday!


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Friday, November 26, 2021

Small Business Saturday with K Squared

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us we are moving into full blown Christmas mode.  It is time to get serious about shopping and getting all those gifts under the tree! This year we are really trying to shop small and support businesses in our local community. Just in time for Small Business Saturday tomorrow, we are excited to introduce you to K Squared Artisan Boutique.  

Their motto is A Piece For All and that couldn't be more true! This boutique is unlike any we have ever seen and truly has such a wide variety of offerings for anyone on your Christmas list. 

The owners, Katy and Kesha are two talented jewelry makers that became friends after meeting at local art shows. They combined efforts and their passion for handmade items to create this store that features gifts handcrafted by local artists. 

It's all 100% US made so you aren't only supporting this local boutique, you are also supporting over 100 local artists. Lots of unique items and perfect for gifts!  Lots of jewelry, home decor, accessories, baby/kid items, paper goods, and more! 

They carry an assortment of gifts for foodies and wine lovers ranging from honey, chocolates and teas and all sorts of custom wine accessories.  

Local photographers fill their shop with dozens of iconic landmark and landscape prints. Jewelry makers provide every style you could imagine and there is quite the variety of candles.

All-natural bath and self-care items let you gift and use the items without worrying about all the added chemicals. 

K Squared has a location in The Avenue East Cobb and also a pop up at Avalon.  If you aren't local to Atlanta though, they also offer shipping and you can shop online from their website

We're partnering with K Squared for a giveaway of some of their best-selling items!  One winner will receive a Jack Be Nimble soy candle, a jar of Regina's Farm Kitchen Triple Berry Fruit Spread and some beautiful Gold Magnolia earrings!  Be sure to head on over to Instagram for all the details and to enter to win. 

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

5 Holiday Traditions We Love

Some of our favorite holiday memories growing up aren't really about the toys we received, but about the traditions we participated in with our families. We both recall spending hours baking with our grandmothers. Jen remembers her grandfather reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas each year with all of her cousins as the last activity before bed on Christmas Eve. There's the always popular "milk and cookies for Santa" tradition, and most recently, as parents ourselves, we've had the joy (???) of The Elf on the Shelf. 

We were chatting with Janette of Pineapple Porch Boutique about some of our favorite holiday traditions growing up, and she kindly introduced us to a few new ones that we can't wait to share with our own families. 


When we first heard about The Mouse in the Hammock we fell in love. This is the parents answer to that mischievous elf that has been popular the last few years. This little mouse teaches children that small deeds can make a big impact. He wakes from his Christmas tree hammock each night, and scurries around doing good deeds.  

What a great idea right? Promoting kindness and how you don't have to be big to do big things - that's a tradition worth celebrating during the holiday season! 

Okay husbands - listen up! Here's a tradition we want you to get on board with! 

When local Atlantan Kate Stewart got married, she asked her husband where her "bauble stocking" was. Little did he know Kate's family tradition was to participate in a fun scavenger hunt culminating in finding a special bauble in a stocking on the tree each holiday season. Kate felt this was such a fun tradition growing up, that she wanted others to share in that holiday joy each year too. She creates the stockings, you come up with the bauble. 

It's no wonder these gorgeous hand stitched Bauble Stockings have quickly caught on! Pineapple Porch carries several unique designs in stock for you to begin your own tradition!

Collecting ornaments has to be one of our favorite all time traditions. Each year as we put up our trees, we love walking down memory lane via our ornaments. Our trees are a personal museum of past relatives, places we've traveled, shared hobbies, photos, and handmade gifts a plenty.  As we walked the gorgeous floors of Pineapple Porch we couldn't help but get smiles on our faces as we took in all the ornament bedazzled trees. 

From local landmarks and glittering glam to fa la la funny - Janette has done a great job of having a little something for everyone when it comes to ornament style. 

Anyone who hosts a holiday event knows it is a lot of work. Therefore we will forever and always be behind the tradition of giving a gift to the hostess. 

From serving items, to delicious smelling candles to fun napkins - Pineapple Porch has a little bit of everything on hand to make your hostess feel special and appreciated for all their hard work. 

One of the most widely known traditions during the holiday season is the celebration of the advent calendar. From chocolate surprises behind cardboard doors to building entire Lego scenes, there are so many different options, and ways to countdown to the birth of Jesus.

But when we spotted this gorgeous decorative Advent Calendar in Pineapple Porch we swooned. What a gorgeous decorative piece to help countdown to the big day! 

Do you have any special traditions you do each holiday season? 

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Friday, November 12, 2021

4 Books to Gift this Holiday Season

 This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx on behalf of Harper Collins. 

It's no secret that we are huge readers. One of our favorite things to do is read a book and chat about it with our girlfriends. We constantly update each other with what we are reading, what everyone needs to grab ASAP to read with us, and what books are duds. So when Harper Collins sent four of their latest releases to us, we were excited for several reasons:

1: Who doesn't love a sneak peek at a new release?!

2: Gift giving season is upon us, and now we have four GREAT book suggestions to gift our friends and family this holiday season! 

We love gifting books almost as much as we love getting books as gifts. Giving books as gifts are a great way to personalize a meaningful gift to the recipient. Favorite genre, a great coffee table book, a biography of their favorite actor - the options are endless! 


We already can't wait to gift one of these fiction titles to special people on our our list. Each novel is a little different and is definitely a must read this holiday season! 

by RaeAnne Thayne

Christmas magic meets heartwarming romance in this emotional and uplifting holiday novel. In Sleigh Bells Ring, we are whisked away to the winter wonderland of a Wyoming ranch weeks before Christmas. Annie suddenly finds herself the sole caretaker of her six year old niece and nephew twins, and Tate is the man who could uproot their lives yet again. When Annie learns that Tate plans to sell the Wyoming ranch that provides both her home and her job, she is crushed. But Tate isn't completely heartless, and enlists Annie to help give the ranch a Christmas send off that won't be forgotten. 

A touching story of family, hope, and love - gift this novel to those who love a good feel good read to snuggle up on the couch with. 

by Tara Laskowski

Have a person on your list who loves a good thriller? The Mother Next Door is going to be the novel you slip under their tree this year. This juicy domestic suspense follows a group of influential neighborhood moms who live in picture perfect cul-de-sac of Ivy Woods Drive. Known as the Ivy Five, they work together for months planning the Halloween party of all Halloween parties.  But sometimes not everything is as perfect as it seems. 

The seemingly quiet suburban neighborhood has a dark past, and its inhabitants will go to extreme lengths to hide it. Murder, neighborhood politics, and unraveled secrets - this year's party promises to be one no one will forget! 

Make sure your gift recipient clears their calendar for this one because from start to finish, this twisty thriller will be hard to put down. 

by Susan Feldman

Two sisters struggle to live up to the expectations of their roles as females in the Duncan family. With the desire to break free of their roles and escape their demanding father, they find themselves on the front lines of WWI. The brutal war surrounds them, but even in the harshest of conditions Elise and Ruth thrive in their new unconventional roles. 

Based on true events, Sisters of the Great War is an excellent fictional portrayal of the resilience, sacrifice, and bonds that were experienced by the women in WWI. Historical fiction lovers on your list will love getting to immerse themselves in this often untold side of history. 

by Sarah Morgan

Morgan whisks us away to the beautiful Lapland of Sweden for this tale of friendship and love. Christy is excited for the perfect Christmas getaway with her family and best friend, until she experiences a marriage crisis she's not sure she can fix. Best friend Alix has no idea what is wrong, but still agrees to take Christy's young daughter by herself on the planned adventure with the promise to meet up on Christmas Day. 

Alix is thrown for another loop when she runs into a former nemesis staying in the same location. But she quickly thaws to the idea (see what we did there?) when sizzling feelings emerge. 

The Christmas Escape is the perfect book to gift those on your list who love a good vacation read. Filled with lots of drama, lots of steamy romance, and lots of holiday magic - it will be tough not to be in a festive mood reading what's between these covers. 


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