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The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift
Winner of the 2016 MAGGIE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE in the Romantic Novella Category.

The Christmas Gift is the heartwarming tale of Jack and Erica.

Fifty-five year old Jack Callahan has been alone, by choice, for five years.

Forty-five year old Erica Thomas has never had a serious relationship and believes that love and marriage is not God's plan for her.

Can a chance meeting in an airport and an impetuous photo change their destinies and prove that it's never too late to fall in love?

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About the Book

Ribbon Reviews for this title:
(These are similar to our Bookworm reviews, but they are
not submitted by our in-house reviewers. Each Ribbon Review corresponds to the matching color of our Bookworm reviews.)


This was a traditional Christmas story and just what I was looking for. It had all the traditional scenes of Christmas tree buying, snow flakes and festivity.

We didn’t have traditional main characters though, these two were over 40 and that’s what I loved. Everyone can find love, even when you don’t expect it.

Erica, an independent lady who lived with her mother and thought she had missed the boat as far as men were concerned. Then along comes handsome Jack.

It was an enjoyable short read of two people meeting by chance and then holding a torch for each other until they meet again.

However, I felt that the stolen kiss incident wasn’t right. A respectable and nice man such as Jack wouldn’t have – no spoilers – done what he did when that happened. And I couldn’t quite get over the use of the word pig, describing someone as a handsome pig or a pig such as he, and in favourable terms, I felt just didn’t gel with the story.

I liked Erica and Jack was cute. I enjoyed the book and the author had a great way of saying things. Two I have to share with you.

“He was the famous Jack Murphy and she was the regular Erica Thomas stuck in the snow.” Wow!


But I see my friend Ann with her children and I do wish sometimes that I had made some time for that. That God had sent a man for me to marry.” She blushed as she looked at him quickly and turned back toward the fire. He held onto the arms of the chair to restrain himself from vaulting over the chair to give her all the children she wanted.” That just really made me smile.

A quick read and perfect to pass sometime in the festive season.

I give this a Blue Ribbon.


Submitted by Karen J. Mossman

At the heart of this pleasant Christmas season novella is the idea that “writing is a conversation between the writer and reader.”

The Christmas Gift is the love story between two characters that are not the typical romance novella protagonists--forty-five-year-old mathematician Erica, and fifty-five-year painter and bestselling author, Jack.

Erica has recently retired and moved back to Brandywine Village, Virginia to live with her frail mother. Erica had a career, but she had never experienced marriage or a serious relationship. Jack and Erica meet by chance at an airport. One year later, on a snowy day, Erica meets Jack again.

Had she missed something? Could Jack Callahan be the man that God had for her? Although Jack has a past that unsettles Erica, it is through his creative gifts that they bond and begin to create their own conversation.

This book is the first in the Brandywine Village and in addition to Erica and Jack there are many other enjoyable and relatable characters that I look forward to getting to know better as the series continues- Erica’s mother, her best friends, Jack’s parents and neighbors and some of the townsfolk.

A strong Christian component enhances this book and many readers will appreciate this. I enjoyed the settings and scenery of this book and I empathized with the developing of Jack and Erica. I did not give it the highest rating because I had two problems with this story- there seemed to be some missing dialogue tags which confused me and required me to reread passages. Also, I didn’t fully understand Jack’s backstory and why he had been single for five years.

Overall, I recommend this story, which has been well received by readers.
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