2021 FUN HOLIDAY READS

Santa Cruise: A Festive and Fun Holiday Story 

by Fern Michaels 

Fans of Debbie Macomber and Danielle Steel won’t want to miss this enchanting, humorous, and heartwarming novel that takes you on a singles cruise with four lifelong friends who might just find the gift of love this Christmas…
 
At Ridgewood High, Amy, Frankie, Rachael, and Nina formed a deep bond. Now, fifteen years after leaving school behind, they’re back for a reunion, laughing, reminiscing, and chatting how much has changed—and how much hasn’t. Nina, once the star of every school play, moved to Hollywood and landed a recurring role on a sitcom. Amy, fondly known as “the brains of the operation,” is now a Silicon Valley bioengineer. Outgoing and compassionate, Frankie works for a New York publishing house. Rachael, always the most boy-crazy of the crew, married—mostly to please her parents—but is now divorced. All four are strong, successful, and somehow, still looking for the right partner.  But Frankie has an idea to help solve that: a singles cruise for the holidays.
 
In late December, Amy, Rachael, Frankie, and Nina gather in Miami, ready to board their state-of-the-art cruise ship. The entertainment options are endless, the food is to die for, and the passenger list includes hundreds of eligible men. The highlight of the week will be a magnificent New Year’s Eve celebration with multiple theme parties, dancing, and fireworks. The ladies are happy to give Cupid a helping hand here and there—hanging mistletoe in elevators and cheering each other on through speed-dating events and shore excursions. Holidays—like the path of love itself—don’t always go exactly as planned, but over the course of one festive, unforgettable week, all four will set sail on surprising new adventures.

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff 

by Kristy Woodson Harvey 

In the newest installment of New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey’​s Peachtree Bluff series, three generations of the Murphy women must come together when a hurricane threatens to destroy their hometown—and the holiday season in the process.

When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

In “pitch perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays. 

Christmas In Watch Hill : A Small Town Holiday Duet of Sweet Romances Kindle Edition 

by Sara Celi 

Two novella stories, one captivating small town!

ALL I WANT

Nora Shaw dreads the holiday season because it always brings reminders of what she’s lost. This year, things are even worse. The boutique she inherited from her parents is failing, and she has no idea how to keep it going. She needs a plan, and fast. Then a chance encounter with a handsome widower brings her some new opportunities. Will she open her heart, and her mind?

ALL I NEED

Jessica Norman has spent the last few years turning her coffee shop into a community success. She has no time for love or romance. But when the guy from a one-weekend-fling shows up in town for the holiday, she’s reminded of what she’s missing. After life throws them for a major loop, both do some end-of-the-year soul searching. But will they take a chance on love?

CHRISTMAS IN WATCH HILL is a sweet romance duet that will warm your heart, keep you turning the pages, and remind you of the magic of the Christmas season! 

A Very Bossy Christmas 

by Kayley Loring 

What’s the actual last thing you’d ever want your executive assistant to see you doing the morning after you had hot, drunk, angry sex with her in a terrible hotel room? Dancing around your terrible hotel room to “Come and Get Your Love” like Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy—naked? Yeah. Me too.

And yet, here we are.

The Christmas Cottage by the Cove: A Sweet, Small Town Romance 

by Ellen Joy 

Her fiancé dumped her right before Christmas. Can an old flame help her find more than just holiday cheer? Grab this second chance Christmas romance!

Previously published as, “Merrier with You.”

Kate O’Neil is convinced true love is as real as Santa Claus when her fiancé breaks off their engagement right before the holidays.

Now, she wants to avoid the festivities altogether, so she takes their planned holiday vacation, alone, and flies to Camden Cove to wash away the pain…. 

When mishaps lead to adventures, Kate has to choose between a life that’s safe and familiar or take a plunge into the unknown.

This article was originally published on EditaKaye.net

Good Bedtime Books

Is it time to turn off the TV or unplug from all those sleep-depriving blue screens and curl up with a good book at bedtime? Experts say yes! And here’s five of the very best classics to enjoy.

Don Quixote Paperback 

by Miguel De Cervantes (Author), Edith Grossman 

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Edith Grossman’s definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece, in an expanded P.S. edition

Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. You haven’t experienced Don Quixote in English until you’ve read this masterful translation.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Moby Dick Paperback – November 6, 2018 

by Herman Melville (Author) 

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab’s ship and severed his leg at the knee. Although the novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author’s death in 1891, its reputation grew immensely during the twentieth century. D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world,” and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.” Moby-Dick is considered a Great American Novel and an outstanding work of the Romantic period in America and the American Renaissance. “Call me Ishmael” is one of world literature’s most famous opening sentences. The product of a year and a half of writing, the book is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “in token of my admiration for his genius,” and draws on Melville’s experience at sea, on his reading in whaling literature, and on literary inspirations such as Shakespeare and the Bible.

Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback 

by Gustave Flaubert (Author), Lydia Davis (Editor, Translator, Introduction) 

The award-winning, nationally bestselling translation, by Lydia Davis, of one of the world’s most celebrated novels

Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs in an effort to make her life everything she believes it should be. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, she takes drastic action, with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. In this landmark new translation of Gustave Flaubert’s masterwork, award-winning writer and translator Lydia Davis honors the nuances and particulars of Flaubert’s legendary prose style, giving new life in English to the book that redefined the novel as an art form.

Pride and Prejudice Paperback – October 18, 2019 

by Jane Austen 

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel of manners written by Jane Austen.

Great Expectations Paperback – November 24, 2020 

by Charles Dickens (Author) 

This Charles Dickens novel traces the journey of Pip, from his young days of admiring the rich from afar, to his own experience of living as a gentleman among London’s elite. While living with his sister and brother-in-law in a quiet rural life, Pip meets the reclusive heiress Miss Havisham, and her adopted daughter, Estella. Pip is attracted to the aloof Estella, who symbolizes the social status he aspires to. Pip’s fortunes reverse when he receives money from an anonymous benefactor. As a newly-rich Londoner, trapped in appearances of ‘gentility’, Pip starts incurring debts to continue his dream of being equals with the elite, and feels ashamed at his background. Through adventures involving envious adversaries, a criminal Pip once helped, and Pip’s friends Joe, Biddy, Herbert and Wemmick, Dickens’s Pip learns to disregard pretensions and appreciate loyalty and love, guaranteed not by birth but by one’s character.

The Key to Writing Better Emails

Effective communication in workplaces fosters good working relationships between the staff and leaves no room for misunderstanding and message alteration. Poor communication habits are inevitable today due to digital communication reliance. There is a need to learn how to write clear messages and read them carefully to have good communication habits.

Before, people communicated across tables, listened to their colleagues’ ideas and gave feedback. Today, communication is expressed in written form. Text on a screen has replaced listening as people use email, text, and IM to communicate.

There is less comprehension when reading texts on a screen than on print. People would instead skim through texts than allocate time to read the full text. Replying to volumes of emails becomes burdensome, and people end up giving devoid and confusing responses. Below is a guide to writing better emails.

Reference Details when Communicating

Before giving a response, go back to the email received and respond as expected. For long emails, respond to specific parts that the sender needs feedback on. This kind of response shows one took time to read through and think before responding. Too brief and sloppy answers may not provide clear and accurate communication to the audience. Leaders need to communicate clearly for work guidance to avoid confusion. Proofread text before sending it to avoid misinterpretation. Use proofreading and spell-check programs to improve writing skills.

Check the Tone Projected

The tone is defined as the character and attitude of a message. The recipient and the audience determine the kind of style to use. When texting in digital communication, people should keep in mind the visual impact of their tone. Give a substantive response with an empathetic manner when communicating. When people are not in a good mood to respond to a message, they should let the sender know they plan to read and respond later instead of giving a sloppy response.

Talk Instead of Texting

Some emails may require back and forth communication for a solution. It would be wise to talk instead of emailing to save time. One can use video calls, live meetings, or a phone call. Talking also clears confusing emails.

Digital communication is a challenge as there is no clarity in body language, tone, and eye contact with the other person. Organizations need to have the skills of reading and writing carefully for better communication.