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Making a list. Merry’s life is Christmas chaos. Her divorce is still in question. She’s behind on crafting orders. Ebenezer is an escape artist. And with one day left, she hasn’t completed the line-up for the annual Christmas parade, thanks to one grinch. Once Merry knows the Christmas secret, she realizes Santa isn’t what’s coming to town.
Checking it twice. Santa’s naughty list, courtesy of Jenna Wilcox, will roll down Main Street with names of residents who deserve a lump of coal in their stocking. Saving the parade won’t be easy, but Merry is up to task. Or so she thinks until she discovers Jenna’s body stashed in Santa’s sack.
Going to find out. As facts are unwrapped, Merry finds the line blurred between who’s naughty and nice. As threats are aimed at her and those she loves, Merry dashes for the truth before the murderer puts her on the naughty list and crosses her off for good.
Which was Better? Book or Movie, Holiday Edition
By Christina Freeburn
Holiday books and movies are my favorite forms or entertainment, even when it’s not the holiday season. There are just sometimes that I want low angst and happy endings and these types of books and movies always fill that need. My love of holiday entertainment was one of the reasons my new series, Merry & Bright Handcrafted mysteries, features a heroine who loves the holiday and has built a crafting business around her love for Christmas. So today, I’m going to compare some of the movie and book combinations.
Two holiday books, Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber, I was introduced to when I watched the Hallmark movies. I was so excited when I realized the movie was a book and rushed out to get copy of them.
Mrs. Miracle is about Seth Webster, a widower with twin sons, who’s having a hard time managing them. Mrs. Merkle (aka Mrs. Miracle) arrives for the job as housekeeper/nanny and encourages Seth to focus on more than work—especially Reba, a travel agent who has caught Seth’s interest. In this matchup, the book was better. There were elements of the book that weren’t in the movie which made the book richer and gave the characters more depth. Though, there was a scene or two (definitely one) that I was glad wasn’t in the movie…a little more angsty than I like my holiday reading. The main part of the story stays pretty much the same in the book and the movie.
The next contender is Call Me Mrs. Miracle.This book has more of a Christmas story line as part of the plot centers around a department store toy store at Christmas time and a little boy’s Christmas wish. With this matchup, I liked the movie more than the book. There was one element of the book I liked a lot better in the movie than the book. I don’t want to give it away so won’t say anymore. It didn’t change the story much, but to me it made the Christmas spirit come through more in the movie than in the book.
Our last battle is On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts.This is one of my favorite types of Christmas theme novels, where the hustle and bustle, the self-inflicted craziness we put ourselves through, is challenged. This story follows the lives of some women who have gotten fed up with being the only one in the household supplying the Christmas magic. After years of feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated, they go on strike and hand over the holiday reins of planning, cooking, shopping and decorating to their spouses. I really enjoyed the humor, the bittersweet moments, and the way everyone learned a lesson from the strike. On this one, I had to call a tie. The comparison between the book and movie is hard as they are so different from each other. It is the same story, but the movie follows one character so some of the issues the women were dealing with are given to Joy (the main character in the movie). The movie has a more light-hearted feel than the book, but I loved how the book delved into how different couples (people) deal with the holidays, and I loved the light-hearted approach of the movie and focusing on one woman’s hurt and feeling as if she was invisible to her family.
About the Author
Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.
Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.