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  • Kristin Jacques

Friday Fun: Christmas in July


Welcome to the end of the week! We are rounding the bend into another scorching hot month in the Northern hemisphere and because of serendipitous dates, today is the 24th. S & S is hopping on a proverbial bandwagon and injecting a little winter spirit into the air to cool down.



Kringle and Co. are still months out, but take the day, take the weekend, to chillax, enjoy a frosty treat, imagine some snowflakes falling, and dig into our staff curated Holiday reading list.


The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand


The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an entertaining and unique take on A Christmas Carol. The part of Scrooge is played by an entitled, too wealthy for her own good teen girl and the story is filled with snark and romance.

-Jennia




On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.


She didn't.


And then she died.


Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.


Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.


But this year, everything is about to change. . . .



Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle




An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.




Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Kasie West, Nic Stone, and Aimee Friedman



From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.


From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.


From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.


From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.


So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love...


Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd




Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.


Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all.


So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes.


Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving.


And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final.


In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle.


She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing.


Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries.


Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory



Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.


Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.


Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?


A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic by Doogie Horner, J.J. Harrison (illustrations)

Since its publication, this has also become an actual Christmas staple in our house- Lucy



A delightful Christmas storybook for adults based on the action-packed Die Hard movie


All John McClane wants for Christmas is to reunite with his estranged family. But when his wife’s office holiday party turns into a deadly hostage situation, he has to save her life before he can get home in time for Christmas!


The unconventional fan-favorite movie Die Hard is now an illustrated storybook—complete with machine guns, European terrorists, and a cop who’s forced to rely on all his cunning and skills (and the help of a fellow officer) to save the day. Based on the classic “Night Before Christmas” poem and filled with whimsical illustrations, this cleverly reimagined homage is destined to become a holiday classic.


The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis



Narnia...the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter, a magical country waiting to be set free.


Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they've been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch's sinister spell.



A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas


Listen, this remains one of my favorite historical series. It’s not perfect but it’s a good, fun, historical romp, and the holiday short novel is no exception. -Kristin




It’s Christmas time in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed.


Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallfowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants.


However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.


A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart.



Be Sure to check out Episode 2 of the Sword & Silk Podcast where the ladies talk about getting down, dirty, and tossing those words on the page!



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