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A Texas Christmas Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 2011

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Gifts For Dad

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About the Author

Jodi Thomas is a certified marriage and family counselor, a fifth generation Texan, a Texas Tech graduate, and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives in Amarillo, Texas.

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Amazon.com: 28 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4 Star for Jodi Thomas' Story Nov. 2 2011
By Bukcrz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One Wish: A Christmas Story By Jodi Thomas

Since this author is the reason why I picked up this book, I am glad to say that her book did not disappoint.
Samuel Thompson, considered a notched above the wolves of the wild west by the town people, is introduced watching a mercantile and the woman pacing inside the store. A woman he met as a girl when they started going to school. As it happened, she is the only girl who gave him a good memory the short time he attended school. Grown now, he still nurtures a soft spot for her. And tonight the reason he is braving the oncoming snow storm is because he knew her life would be in danger soon.
Margaret Allison, Maggie, grew up to be the only daughter of a rich mercantile owner and just two months ago she came back in town to bury her parents and is now alone in the world. She is introduced as lonely even when growing up and is now facing the upcoming holiday as alone as she always has been - no friends, and no family. Still in her spinster heart she wished for a loving man.
Robbers came in the mercantile, Sam came into the rescue attempt, and they ended up forced to be together for a few days to evade a robber intent on revenge. They play husband and wife - I kid you not - and the robber came to find their death and they live HEA.
The story is solid, as I expected from the author whom I just started reading a month or so ago. And having read at least four book of her that time I present the following issue about all her books that I read: THE RULES.
See, she made ALL her heroes or heroines (from the books I read)lay rules during the development of romance to create the conflict. In a book or two, I don't mind but to have it on all her books is just too formulaic or too overused or....it just makes me think of a cookie cutter that's being used over and over again. Don't get me wrong, her books so far entertained me in the past but with me reading this `ground rules' on every book made me pause to pick up another book from her in the future.
Second issue: I understand why the village people don't like Sam but WHY did they scorned or did not befriend Maggie as a girl and as a woman was not explained here on the book.
Over all, Ms. Thomas' story is a good hour or so read.
4 stars

Naughty or Nice by Dewanna Pace
DNF so I think it's not fair to give a review. I really tried and until the middle of chapter 3 but I think it's just not my thing. Funny though because one of Ms. Pace's short story in the book "Give Me A Texas Outlaw" titled Most Wanted, was a blast to read for me. This one just isn't pulling me in or as interesting.

The Christmas Bell by Linda Broday
Sloan Sullivan is a Texas rancher, whose ranch happens to be near where a train was stranded because of a blizzard/snow storm. Seeing the train and its trouble, he rode on it with the needed woods, foods, and blankets.
Tess Whitgrove, the town's banker's daughter, is in the train who volunteered to bring the commissioned town bell from Boston to their Texas town. We learn soon that she volunteered to prove herself not a spoiled rich daughter to the town people (which to me just prove the point). But I am digressing.
So they get crowded in the train and they fall in love as they mother and father the rest of the passenger. I'm not kidding.
Characters are overused but I would not have mind if the plot isn't as predictable three chapters in the book. I would not have mind a monotonous normal activity if there is more challenging internal conflict rather than a spoiled rich girl proving herself and a working rancher dreaming about her.
So why did I read it? Because one secondary character intrigue me which is a sad thing because I am more invested on secondary characters than the main one.
2 stars (3 on the secondary character)

Away In A Manger by Phyliss Miranda
DNF, again I tried because I do like the main characters. It's just that within in chapter two I already can see where the story goes.
To each her/his own I suppose.
Overall, the three stories (except Jodi Thomas') are uncomplicated and very transparent from the very beginning. If not for Ms. Thomas' book the money would be a waste - for me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
super western romance anthology Oct. 5 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"One Wish: A Christmas Story" by Jodi Thomas. In December 1887 in Kasota Springs, Texas, Sam the farmer wants to go home but waits in a cold alley watching the mercantile across the street as he fears for the life of Maggie who he has cherished since they met as little kids. He knows his bloodline is not good enough, but she persuades him otherwise when he recues her from robbers.

"Naughty or Nice?" By DeWanna Pace. In December 1887 tired of the scorn by the townsfolk of Kasota Springs, saloon owner Anna Ross returns from a supply run as a snowstorm assaults the Texas Panhandle. There she saves the life of greenhorn James Elliot III caught in the blizzard.

"The Christmas Bell" by Linda Broday. In December 1887 the blizzard strands the train on the Texas Panhandle as it headed to Kasota Springs. On board is spoiled Tess Whitgrove the banker's daughter coming home from Boston. Sloan Sullivan, who she disliked when they were children, arrives with a sled to rescue the stranded passengers and workers.

"Away in the Manger" by Phyliss Miranda. In 1887 on the Texas Panhandle Randall Humphrey looks forward to solitude during the Christmas season. Instead the Kasota Springs blacksmith finds Edwinna Dewey yelling at him over his half brother failing to arrive with her family. Her niece Sarah Callahan arrives with three years old twins Damon and Addie Claire at the blacksmith shop.

The latest western romance anthology by this quartet (see Give Me A Texas Outlaw) is a terrific somewhat interwoven but mostly separate tales of couples trapped by a snowstorm falling miraculously in love.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
delightful holiday western quartet Dec 21 2011
By Virginia Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A Texas Christmas" is a holiday delight for lovers of Historical Western Romance. Four of the top writers of the genre, Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace, each contribute a holiday romance centered around the small town of Kasota Springs, TX. When a fierce Winter storm rocks the Texas Panhandle, lives are changed forever and hearts are brought together in unexpected ways. In "One Wish: A Christmas Story", by Jodi Thomas, childhood friends Sam Thompson and Maggie Allison are reunited when Sam saves Maggie's life during an attempted robbery at her general store. In childhood, they were both "misfits", and they formed a strong bond. Separated for years when Maggie was sent away to school, can they now renew their relationship, and find a lifetime love? "Naughty or Nice", by DeWanna Pace, pairs an Eastern society gentleman with a feisty frontier female. When James Elliott III is rescued from certain death in a snowstorm, his rescuer is Anna Ross, who happens to own the local saloon. At first, they seem to have little in common, but each of them has a secret. Neither of them is exactly what they seem, and they soon find themselves very attracted to each other. Can they convince themselves that theirs is more than just an "opposite attraction"? In "The Christmas Bell", by Linda Broday, handsome rancher Sloan Sullivan arrives by horse-drawn sleigh to rescue a train full of stranded passengers. On that train is the beautiful and wealthy Tess Whitgrove, whom Sloan has long admired and considered to be out of his reach. Sloan's pride and Tess's society status has kept him at a distance, but time spent in her company in the close quarters of the snowbound train makes him rethink his opinion of the lovely lady. When they are free at last, will the intense attraction they feel for one another bind their hearts and lives together forever? Phyliss Miranda ties all the story lines together and adds a fun, touching romance with "Away in the Manger". Blacksmith Randall Humphrey keeps to himself as much a possible, has his life in order just the way he likes it, and thinks his content to be on his own. When a beautiful blonde with Texas blue eyes and two adorable children all come into his care, his world is turned upside down. Lovely Sarah Callahan and a precocious set of three-year old twins become Rand's holiday guests when the town of Kasota Springs is whitewashed by a blizzard. Rand is not as permanently grumpy as first thought, and soon Sarah sees beyond his rough exterior to the gentle giant's tender heart. When he goes out of his way to provide a Christmas to remember for her and the children, Sarah knows he has won her heart. Will Rand let go of a past heartache and reach out for the love and happiness he has found with Sarah and the children? The four talented authors who collaborated to bring us this romantic holiday treat also have written numerous other Texas-themed historical romance anthologies. I look forward to reading them all.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Recommending it to my friends! Nov. 4 2011
By Kim S. Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love the series! These 4 authors know how to tell a story and keep you turning the page. I picked it up and finished it in one day. Bravo to 4 women who know how to write romance. I'm recommending it to all my friends.
Two Great Stories; Two Average Tales! Jan. 29 2013
By JJares - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Often, anthologies are short stories by different authors around one theme (i.e.: Christmas). Here, another theme was added - all of the stories took place in and around Kasota Springs, Texas. Thus, the characters and stories were gently interwoven. I felt it added so much!

A CHRISTMAS WISH: Samuel Thompson is part of an unusual clan that doesn't like visitors, questions about their business or spending time in town (Kasota Springs, Texas).

Since the death of her parents, Maggie has run the general store on her own. Samuel and Maggie shared a special friendship during the one year Sam went to school. He feels that he needs to help Maggie because he's overheard men talking about robbing the store and molesting the young woman.

After Sam foils the attempt, he takes Maggie to his isolated home - to avoid the ringleader who has vowed to kill them both.

Jodi Thomas' entry was a serious disappointment! Thomas has such skill that she enchants the reader from the first page; however, I had some problems with the story:

1) While together, they decide to act as if they are married. (???)

2) The author tells us that both Maggie and Samuel are ostracized by the community. However, she doesn't explain why Maggie would be isolated, except to say she was bossy and controlling. In the story, she shows none of these behaviors.

3) I've read almost all of Thomas' books (I'm still looking for 3) and she uses "the rules" far too often. Another reviewer said that she thought it was to create conflict between characters. I agree.

NAUGHTY OR NICE (DeWanna Pace): This is a lovely story about an outcast saloon-keeper, Anna Ross, who is coming back to Kasota Springs with a wagon-load of liquor.

The year 1877 had one of the most severe blizzards in Texas Panhandle history. Anna is struggling to get home, but finds a New England-bred tenderfoot lost in a drift: James Elliott the Third.

THE CHRISTMAS BELL (Linda Broday): Sloan Sullivan owns a ranch near the railroad and notices that the train is stalled due to snow drifts covering the tracks. He loads up supplies and food and takes it to the train riders.

There he finds trouble aplenty: one man has scarlet fever and an extremely-pregnant woman is on board. Tess Whitgrove, the banker's daughter, has been assigned the task of helping the passengers. There's no love lost between Sullivan and Whitgrove. However, there's more work than she can do alone and Sullivan stays on the train.

To prove to the town that she's not just a poor little rich girl, Tess has traveled to bring the new church bell to the town - in time for Christmas. If they remain on the tracks, the bell won't arrive in time.

There were 2 oddities about this story:

1) Of course, the pregnant lady has her baby on the train, during the blinding blizzard! During those days, pregnant women did not travel during the last 3 or 4 months. Half the mothers in America lost their lives during child-birth. It was important for a woman to be near the medical help she might need.

2) Why was Tess considered to be a poor little rich girl? In communities, family members of prominent citizens were treated with deference - not condescension!

AWAY IN THE MANGER (Phyliss Miranda): This is my favorite because it really captured the magic of Christmas. The plot was very predictable, but charming.

Randall Humphrey is the town's blacksmith; he's just going through the motions of life. The town's major pain-in-the-pants has hired him to make sure her niece plus twins are brought to her as soon as they arrive.

Sensing Sarah's reluctance to stay with her aunt, Rand tells the aunt her relatives will come as soon as they are up from naps. By the time they are awake, the blizzard is at its worst. The 3 stay with Randall in his home.

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