Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere

When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love.

Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for.

The Christmas Secret
is a novel for anyone who wants to see how love is a gift that keeps giving back; that hope is a treasure that never runs dry, and that faith is a miracle that is reborn with each new day.

Donna VanLiere is the New Your Times and USA Today bestselling author of Finding Grace, the Christmas Hope series, and Angels of Morgan Hill. She lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband and three children.  Visit her at her website.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle that seems to have become my life, I was pleased with the opportunity to cuddle up with this book and a blanket for the past several evenings and absorb myself into the lives of Christine and the amazing cast of supporting characters in this book!  I've read the first three  books in this series - The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Blessing, and The Christmas Hope - but just realized today that I totally missed the fourth book - The Christmas Promise.  Though each book in this series will definitely work as a stand-alone, it's fun to read them all as the characters do all tie together in some way.  I enjoy seeing the names from book to book, and getting just a small glimpse into the lives of past characters I've grown to know and love.  (We also have the 2 movies - The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing - based on these books, and I'd recommend them.)

The Christmas Secret, much like the other books in this series, just continued to amaze me with every twist and turn. Donna has an amazing ability of weaving everything together into a gorgeous tapestry of love, grace, forgiveness, family values, and so much more.  Her stories remind me of a quilt made up of the fabrics of a family's life - there is just so much going on, but it's all put together into one story. 

The ending might make you cry, it might make you smile - no matter what, you'll put this book down with a good feeling.  At least, I did.  With the Christmas season soon upon us, this is a great book to add to your reading list. 

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If you are a tv viewer, you might be interested to know that Lifetime Movie Network will be doing a Donna VanLiere Marathon on December 12th:
4PM ET: The Christmas Shoes
6PM ET: The Christmas Blessing (LMN Premiere - one telecast only)
8PM ET: The Christmas Hope (Premiere)
10PM ET: The Christmas Shoes (Encore)
12AM ET: The Christmas Hope (Encore)

Also in December, will post an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS SECRET and an original essay by VanLiere. The site will also sponsor a contest to win signed copies of the "Christmas Hope" books. Details will be forthcoming on

NOTE: St. Martin's Press provided this book to me for free, in exchange for my honest review, which you see above.

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