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Book Review: Santa's Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of Stories by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau

Santa's Countdown to Christmas by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau was published on October 2, 2017 and is a book format of an advent calendar.  Told from the perspective of Santa Claus, the storyline chronicles what Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer do in preparation of Christmas on each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Crackboom! Books for giving me a copy of Santa's Countdown to Christmas in exchange for my honest review.  I was thrilled to be approved to read this book because I love Christmas and am a kid at heart. This picture book was well written and engaging.  The illustrations were phenomenal as well.  I even enjoyed reading it as an adult.  I wish I had kids of my own so I could buy it for them, but I guess I'll have to settle for buying it for family members and friends who have kids that believe in Santa Claus.  I'd recommend this book for babies through eight years old.  Reading

Book Review: The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White

book review the shop on royal street royal street 1 karen white

The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White is the first book in a spin off series from the Tradd Street book series.  Nola Trenholm is looking for a fresh start in New Orleans after having some hiccups in her personal life.  However, that's proving to be more difficult than she realized it would be with her house renovation.

This book was the October book selection for the book club I belong to.  After hearing a couple of people say it was a little slow in the beginning, I was worried that I wouldn't like the book.  When I finally sat down to start reading The Shop on Royal Street, I had to agree that it was slow to start.  However, once I got two or three chapters in, the storyline really started to pick up making it hard for me to put it down, and I can't wait for the next installment to come out.

I loved the fact that this book took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It's one of my favorite cities to visit.  Add in the paranormal elements, and it was the perfect book to put me in the mood for Halloween.  It's super creepy without being scary.  I completely creeped myself out one night after reading part of the story.  

The situations and predicaments the characters got into were realistic to me, especially for the characters ages.  There still is so much drama in one's life when you're in your twenties.  Most of the characters were likable, but my favorites were Nola, Jolene, and Beau.  I even liked Melanie and Christopher.  However, I didn't care for Mimi as I found her to be a bit suspicious, and I really didn't like Michael. 

There isn't really much I can complain about other than it took a long time to get all of Nola's backstory.  I wish I had known this was a spinoff series prior to reading this book so I could've potentially read the original series first.  It's not necessary to do so, but I think I would've enjoyed The Shop on Royal Street a lot better if I had, or if the author simply hadn't taken so long to give the reader all of Nola's backstory, it would have made me happier.

All in all, The Shop on Royal Street (Royal Street, #1) by Karen White was fantastic.  I gave it four out of five stars, and I can't wait for the next installment.  I might have to tide myself over by reading the Tradd Street series in the meantime.


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