Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Romance – Linda Bradley, Christine Campbell, Billy Ray Chitwood and Angie Dokos

Time for another selection of books from the Cafe and Bookstore that would make great gifts for Christmas.  And an author that definitely leaps off the page at this time of year is Linda Bradley with a novella, A Montana Bound Christmas: Ho,ho, Home for the Holidays  (Book 4 in the popular Montana Bound Series). The series would make a great gift for lovers of family/romance dramas.

About the book

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

One of the reviews for the book

Perspectivepower, Annette Rochelle Aben 5.0 out of 5 stars A Holiday Gift

What fun! From the first chapter to the last, this story is a like a warm hug. Linda Bradley weaves the different worlds of each of the characters together in a rich tapestry that mirrors the story line itself. This could easily become a beloved holiday movie classic, if it were given the chance. Maggie, John and Chloe will feel as much like family to you as they do to each other. Open a wonderful gift of the holidays, when you open A Montana Bound Christmas. 

Read the reviews and the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set of the series:

And on Amazon UK:

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Connect to Linda via her website:

Another book that would be enjoyed by those who love family dramas is the latest release by Christine CampbellGold Plated.

About Gold Plated

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul.

What could possibly go wrong?

When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were.

Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

One of the reviews for the book

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating their Golden Wedding with a grand party at the local Golf Club. Aided by their only daughter Heather, Rosanna is making sure that everything is perfect including baking a delicious cake and buying Paul the ideal gift, but have all their years together been so perfect?

The clock is turned back to 1964 when Rosanna started at Art college and Paul was her young, charismatic tutor. Lacking confidence in herself, she was astonished that he chose her as his “secret” girlfriend, but against all odds, they have now been married for 50 years.

Abandoning her earlier artistic ambitions, Rosanna has looked after their lovely home while Paul continued his successful teaching career.

Christine Campbell is skilled at putting us inside Rosanna’s head. We begin to understand her calm, quiet personality and her loyal, loving nature. We can see that Paul takes her for granted but they seem to have a happy marriage. But at the party everything changes in a dramatic way. Secrets are revealed, treachery exposed, and Rosanna’s life is in tatters.

This is a story, with which we can all identify in some way. It is sadly true that many women, and men, can suddenly find themselves alone as old age approaches and dealing with the collapse of all they believed in can be catastrophic. But this is not a sad story, there is a positive message that life is what we make of it and Rosanna discovers new personal qualities of independence and self-reliance as well as rekindling her creativity.

Personally, I would have preferred the story to have been written in the past tense, especially for the scenes from the past, but that is probably just my particular bête-noire! The detailed involvement in Rosanna’s rollercoasting emotions and cleverly plotted, surprising events make this book a very rewarding read.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

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And Amazon UK:

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Connect to Christine via her blog:

The next author with a compelling drama is Billy Ray Chitwood and his latest release Hammer’s Holy Grail – A novel of Love and Redemption.

About Hammer’s Holy Grail

A star quarterback at Grand View University in Knoxville, Tennessee battles not only his gridiron foes but his Appalachian father’s anger toward his mother and sister. By a turn of fate and nature, Wesley Walton will meet a man ravaged by war and lost love, a man, through his hardships, has come to peace with his spirituality, a man who will become a surrogate soulmate and mentor to the confused young athlete.

This is a short novel but it is long on love, family, forgiveness, and football action – all blending to make this short read a ‘tour de force’ in its own right, with a twist at the end to tie the ribbon to this gift of a novel!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Like many compelling stories, “Hammer’s Holy Grail” is a journey – in this case, both for its main protagonist and for some of its minor characters.

Wesley Walton is a young man with serious potential to make it as a professional quarterback. But he is also a troubled soul, weighed down by family problems and relationships.

Author Billy Ray Chitwood takes the reader on an emotional voyage of highs and lows, injecting some surprises along the way. As is usual in Chitwood books, there are reflections on some of life’s big questions, especially the issues of redemption and what family really means.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good heart-rending tale (not to mention sports fans!).

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books


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And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads:

Connect to Billy Ray via his website:

The next author with with books that have a family theme is Angie Dokos  and here is her first novel  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when he career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

This book is not erotica, but does have sexual content. It includes some curse words, but not many. It doesn’t have any major violence.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Reading new genres has become part of my routine to find fantastic new authors, understand different writing styles, and explore great stories and content. I found all three with the latest book I read, Mackenzie’s Distraction, written by Angie Dokos in 2016. The book is considered new adult contemporary fiction, but it’s stocked full of romance, emotions, attitude, and possibilities. I bought the book a few weeks before a recent vacation and read it poolside on the Amalfi Coast while in Italy. What a perfect combination of beauty in a book just like the many splendors of my surroundings.

Mackenzie’s been hurt in the past and steers clear of relationships especially when the man seems too good to be real or true. But in this case, before she even meets him, her life is traumatized when her mother is a car accident and struggles to survive. Though Mackenzie has friends and other family to help her handle the huge blow, it’s not quite as simple as all that. Her mother’s hospitalization leads Mackenzie to learn a few deep-rooted family secrets, meet friends from a parent’s former life, and discover things about herself she never knew existed. That’s when the potential man of her dreams walks into her life, but is she too crushed and shocked to accept it? Let’s not forget the sudden onset of several available and potentially great catches who are very interested in getting to know her. Who will she choose, if any? Now that’s where the plot of this book takes off… weaving readers on a very emotional and manic ride with the unfortunately impacted young woman just looking to heal.

I’m normally a plot, then character guy. In this book, though the plot is important, it’s less about what the secrets and actions are and more about how Mackenzie deals with all the repercussions. It was a great change of pace for me as you had to settle in, listen, and understand why Mackenzie reacted the way she did in each instance. I didn’t always agree, and I sometimes got angry with her for what seemed like an unnecessary or spoiled adolescent attitude; however, I also haven’t suffered through the craziness that hits her in the span of a few days. In that sense, she certainly tries to find a balance, and readers can easily connect with her on the journey. I vividly recall thinking, if she didn’t accept Trevor’s love and attention, I’d certainly volunteer to stand in. (I won’t tell you if she does or doesn’t, but it’s complex!) He was practically perfect in every way, what exactly was stopping her? Well… that’s where psychology and personality truly come into play and drive her responses. It takes a truly analytical, sensitive, and courageous mind to deliver this kind of story. Kudos to Dokos.

Writing style and caliber were strong. Characters were vivid and relatable. Actions and dialog were balanced well, even if at times I was feeling a little frustrated with some of the things people did or said. But that’s the beauty of a good book: sometimes it takes the writer to challenge the reader to engage outside their normal comfort zone, and readers should keep an open mind to fully understand the vision of the author. Then you see why it works… and you have a thrilling escape in someone else’s complicated life. Being a teenager or even in you early 20’s is ridiculously tough in a modern world. Dealing with siblings who have different attitudes, step families with bigger concerns and questions, friends who just want you to be happy but get in your face all too often… wanting to open your heart to love but not knowing how any more… trusting someone who is virtually a stranger despite spending days with him in the first week… people are often secretive and misleading, so I understand Mackenzie’s concerns. But from one particular scene, the girl can take care of herself! Awesome scene, Ms. Dokos. 😊

I really enjoyed the book and will definitely look for more from the author this year, as she has another book published and is hopefully working on a few more already! She’s got a new fan and I’m confident many more as they take a chance on reading her work. I recommend giving it a chance for all readers, but most definitely if you enjoy balanced romance and emotions, journeys, analytical decision-making and learning how to let go and accept change.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads:

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I do hope you have enjoyed the selection of books for Christmas. Thanks Sally


17 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Romance – Linda Bradley, Christine Campbell, Billy Ray Chitwood and Angie Dokos

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