Friday, December 12, 2014

30 Days of Christmas - Day 11 - A Sandy's Seashell Shop Christmas by Lisa Wingate

Today's selection is an e-short about a military widow. I am so glad my husband is no longer in the military since I didn't read the synopsis for this book before reading it. It would have just led to increased emotional issues for me, that I wouldn't need.

Genre: Contemporary/Holiday
Published: December 1, 2014
Pages: 36
Ages: 14+
(My estimate)


A magical place, an island Christmas eve, a broken family in need of healing…. 

For young military widow, Tiff Riley, Christmas isn't just another day. It's the worst of all days. Hiding out on Hatteras Island with three-and-a-half-year-old Micah, she's desperate to once again ignore the anniversary of tragedy. The winter-season quiet of North Carolina's Outer Banks is the perfect place to escape. It never feels like Christmas at the beach. 

But in tiny Hatteras Village, the crew at Sandy's Seashell Shop is determined to make sure no one is forgotten at Christmas. Is it possible for a magical Christmas Eve at the Seashell Shop to help mend one damaged life? On a night of miracles, in a place of miracles, can a young widow's heart be reopened to joy, hope… and even love? 

Proceeds from the sale of this E-short will help fund a donation to Operation Military Kids, which serves children whose parents are deployed. E-short length: 40 pages


This is the type of book that I avoided like the plague while my husband was in the military. I didn't watch the tv show Army Wives either because I didn't need anything adding to my already huge pile of worries. Having had a husband in the military who served two tours in the sandbox, I've already imagined myself in Tiff's shoes thousands of times. I'm lucky that I've only ever been there in my mind. But it wasn't hard to get back there, especially with the evocative language in this book. 

I might be slightly biased on the character development in this story because of my past, but I thought it was quite well done. I felt the fog that Tiff lived in years after her husband's death, the overwhelming depression that makes it hard to even get out of bed. And I shed a few tears on more than one occasion while reading this short story. 

My biggest complaint is that I want more. I want to know where Tiff goes after her Christmas Eve at Sandy's Seashell Shop. The story ends somewhat abruptly, leaving you wanting more, and I now have to do some research to find out if there is more, because I need it. I need to know if Tiff finds love again. I am well and truly hooked.

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for solid plot, relatable characters, and leaving me wanting more (in spite of how much I really hate that). I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a slightly more sad holiday read this holiday season. - Katie 

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