Christmas Joy BLOG TOUR

christmasjoy_blogtour

Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle was released this past Tuesday (October 18th) and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book here. See below for more information about the book, an excerpt, and a short author bio. This was a great read, especially for getting you into the Holiday spirit! 

SUMMARY

Joy Holbrook might be all work and no play, but that changes when her Aunt Ruby takes a fall that lands her in a rehabilitation center before the holidays. Joy takes a leave of absence from her job as a market researcher to run the family farm, even though the timing may hinder her chance at garnering the promotion of her dreams.
Ben Andrews isn’t your average accountant. He also happens to be the handiest man in Crystal Falls. He’s helped his elderly neighbor, Ruby Johnson, decorate for the annual Christmas Home Tour—and win—the last several years. He’s not about to let some drop-in niece break their winning streak.
Ruby seems overly concerned about Joy being able to handle Molly. Under the impression she’s referring Molly the bunny that is one of the menagerie of animals, Joy’s not worried at all until the next morning when a little girl named Molly shows up. For the sake of her aunt, Joy is forced to partner with Ben while Ruby is on the mend to help with preparation for the Christmas tour and, in the process finds her career-focused heart dreaming of a family.
Will the magic of Christmas help her to open her heart and find her everlasting joy?

EXCERPT

61ix7tuxs6l-_sx332_bo1204203200_The next morning, Joy stood at the kitchen sink, sipping a cup of coffee. The house was chilly. An old hooded sweatshirt jacket that had seen better days was draped on the back of one of the kitchen chairs. She slipped it on and pulled her braid free from the back. In so many ways, this place was exactly the same; it made her feel like a teenager again.

            She stared out the window at the familiar property in the daylight. Ruby had always been an animal lover, but Uncle George would flip out if he knew that she’d adopted all these wayward animals.

            She glanced at the worn edges of the oversized sweatshirt jacket. Had it been one of Uncle George’s? Maybe the animals were Ruby’s way of filling the gap that Uncle George had once filled. Couldn’t blame her for that. Had to get lonely out here by herself, but the place was beginning to look like a petting zoo. The smell was farm-y too. And at the moment, every single one of the motley crew was lined up side by side, like they’d rehearsed the formation all night long.

            Seven o’clock wasn’t early. Joy would normally be up, dressed, and out the door by now, but last night’s farm duty had kicked her butt, and she had a little trouble getting a move on. Another twenty minutes of coffee time wasn’t going to kill those animals.

            She turned her back on them and held the warm mug between her hands.

                                                                        ***

            Feeding the animals had sounded like a real cakewalk, but Joy was feeling it this morning. In fact, she was sorer this morning than the last time she got cocky and went for the ninety-minute hot yoga session with Renee.

            The sound of the front door swinging open caused the hot coffee to catch in Joy’s throat. The animals were definitely getting restless, but without thumbs, it wasn’t likely to be one of them coming in to drag her outside. So what—or who—was it? But this was Crystal Falls. And she hadn’t heard a car.

            “Ruby-rooo-roooo.”

            Now, that was one sick rooster, or someone was messing with her. She relaxed a little, fairly certain that no one was ever murdered after a See ’n Say sound check.

            A fast clippity-clomp came charging down the hall, getting closer to the kitchen.

            The only image Joy’s mind could muster, besides that giant Foghorn Leghorn from the cartoons, was that pesky goat, Waddles, kicking and galloping down the hall. Now, that could be a mess.

            Rushing toward the ruckus to limit the damage, Joy stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of a little girl standing in the hallway, looking like she wasn’t sure whether to scream or scram.

            Only about six feet separated Joy from the blond-haired child. “Who are you?”

            The little girl clutched a black lunch bag in one hand against her blue jumper with a fancy M monogrammed on the front, and two chubby orange yarn hair ties hung from the other. The freckle- faced child looked so fragile standing there.

            “What’s your name?” “I’m . . . I’m Molly.”

            “You’re . . .” Like the rabbit? Joy noticed the hand-painted rabbit on the little girl’s lunch bag that looked an awful lot like Molly the Bunny. This can’t be happening.

            Little girl Molly’s mouth hung wide and her eyes darted like a wild animal’s. Cornered and desperate. “Wh-where’s Ruby?”

            “She’s not here. She’s in the hospital with a hurt ankle.”

            “But I come here every day. Ruby makes my lunch and we go to the bus.” Tears welled in Molly’s eyes.

            Maybe the goat running down the hall would have been better than this. Oh no, please don’t cry. “Where’s your momma?”

            The little girl pointed toward the door, her hand shaking.

            “It’s okay. I’ll straighten it out.” Joy whipped around Molly and ran toward the front door just in time to see a blue compact car back out of the driveway. She waved her arms spastically as she took the porch steps two at a time. “Excuse me. Hello!” She raced out to the front yard, but the driver of the car seemed completely un- aware of her yelling and hailing. As Joy ran to the end of the driveway, the car became a dot in the distance, then disappeared.

            Out of breath, and out of her element, she turned and walked slowly back to the house.

            What am I supposed to do with a little girl? There are certainly no instructions in the barn about that.
CREDIT: From CHRISTMAS JOY by Nancy Naigle. Copyright © 2016 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

AUTHOR BIO

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home.

2016 Book #101 – Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle

61ix7tuxs6l-_sx332_bo1204203200_Title: Christmas Joy
Author: Nancy Naigle
Date finished: 10/24/16
Genre: Contemporary romance, holiday
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Joy Holbrook might be all work and no play, but that changes when her Aunt Ruby takes a fall that lands her in a rehabilitation center before the holidays. Joy takes a leave of absence from her job as a market researcher to run the family farm, even though the timing may hinder her chance at garnering the promotion of her dreams.
Ben Andrews isn’t your average accountant. He also happens to be the handiest man in Crystal Falls. He’s helped his elderly neighbor, Ruby Johnson, decorate for the annual Christmas Home Tour―and win―the last several years. He’s not about to let some drop-in niece break their winning streak.
Ruby seems overly concerned about Joy being able to handle Molly. Under the impression she’s referring Molly the bunny that is one of the menagerie of animals, Joy’s not worried at all until the next morning when a little girl named Molly shows up. For the sake of her aunt, Joy is forced to partner with Ben while Ruby is on the mend to help with preparation for the Christmas tour and, in the process finds her career-focused heart dreaming of a family.
Will the magic of Christmas help her to open her heart and find her everlasting joy?

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book with a protagonist who has your occupation” square, since the male lead in the story is an accountant just like me! This book is about Joy Holbrook, a woman with an exciting career in marketing with a firm in D.C. She is up for a promotion and has been working extremely hard towards this goal. When she gets a call about her Aunt Ruby being in the hospital, she drops everything and drives the 5 hours home to Crystal Falls to make sure she’s ok. While her aunt is in a rehab center for her broken ankle, Joy (eventually) accepts the help of Ben Andrews in getting Ruby’s house set up for a big Christmas event taking place in a few week’s time. Joy was able to get some time off work to take care of things in Crystal Falls, and between getting the house ready, taking care of Ruby’s vast variety of animals (its pretty much a literal zoo there on the farm) and watching after Molly (a young girl Ruby helps to take care of) Joy’s days are jam-packed and surprisingly joyful. Joy finds herself happier than she can remember being in some time, which makes her begin to wonder if she could leave the life of the city behind and be happy in this small town?
Overall I liked this book. The description of the festival and of the community that made up the small town of Crystal Falls was heart-warming and really helped to get me into the holiday spirit. It was a little cheesier than I usually go for but cheesy is sometimes exactly what you’re looking for! I thought this was very similar to how I feel while I’m watching one of those Hallmark Christmas movies, and I honestly hope it gets picked up as one because I would love to see it! This was definitely a light read and some of the conversations seemed a bit forced but it was a sweet read that is sure to get you dreaming of a white Christmas. And the lessons that the reader can take away from the book are ones that are most important this time of year: to work a little less, spend more time with family, and to appreciate the moments we’re given with our loved ones.

The bottom line: I thought this was a good read, definitely a little cheesy but also heart-warming and cheerful. This is a great one to get you into the Christmas spirit!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page