Tag Archive | cactus

Cooper Comments: Cactus for Christmas (Book Review)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mom loved this sweet book and recently even went to Arizona but not a Christmas time. She said she missed the green grass and trees we have in Wisconsin. Much like Lucy who struggles to realize that Christmas can be wonderful–even if it doesn’t go according to the way it used to. Author Karen Malley covers a lot of ground in her new novella, Cactus for Christmas and it’s worth the time to cozy up to your own dog to read it like my mom did.

Lucy is a traditionalist. She likes things the way they always have been. Probably even more so since becoming a widow. Having the tree, the cookies, the decorations, family and the snow all make Christmas, well, Christmas! But when her own sister is in need she packs up her anxious dog and drives across the country to Phoenix Arizona to care for her.

They were not close, but at least she’s not too far from one of her daughters who is due to give birth. Life is upended between her sister’s handsome neighbor and a mischievous kitten who becomes the dog’s best friend.

She begins to learn that sometimes new can be great and people are more important than traditions, and maybe she’s not too old for a little romance. Will it be worth her staying around for? You’ll have to read it and see.

Of course, I love the fact that this book has a dog and it is cool that he is happier with a kitten. Not me. I like being the only dog, king of my castle. I will give this book five tennis balls because it was great, and not many stories today are about love later in life. Get this book. You’ll be glad you did!

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A Door County Christmas (Book Review)

Reading Time: 2 minutesI have to admit, I did not read this book at Christmas-time. I read it after. And I loved it! A Door County Christmas is a compilation project that highlights the work of four authors: Eileen Key, Becky Melby, Rachael Phillips and Cynthia Ruchti.  The cool thing is that while these four stories are all stand-alones, they all share a common link to an eccentric innkeeper, Lola Peterson, who has gifted someone in each with a Christmas Cactus that will bloom when love does.

Not all of Lola’s targets for “happily-ever-after” are fully on board or even really care if love, or a cactus, blooms.

Cynthia Ruchti’s tale The Heart’s Harbor involves a young woman, Amanda, seeking a brief respite from her life and failed romance.  Unsuspecting of Lola’s intentions, Amanda, who starts out as a guest,  is quickly left to manage the inn. With the help of Lola’s son, Jordon, together they face a series of challenges as they gear up for the annual and much anticipated Christmas Tea. Will love bloom by then? It’s a spritely adventure and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rachael Phillips story Ride with Me into Christmas takes a look at a widow, Joanna, as she struggles to not only keep the cactus alive, but to deal with her new neighbor (also a widower). Eventually a mutual love of bicycling bring the two together, in spite of opposition. Will they be together come tea time? It’s a sweet story of love between 50-somethings – and utterly delightful.

Eileen Key tells a unique tale in My Heart Be Still with a look at the enduring love of two octogenarians and their own matchmaking efforts even when their home might be sold out from underneath them by the closest kin, a greedy woman who desperately wants the house gone. What will this spunky older couple do to keep their home and perhaps develop a more friendly family?  A sweet and at times, silly, story.

The final novella, by author Becky Melby is Christmas Crazy and involves an interesting mystery man, a rundown theater company, and Jillian, who is somehow supposed to pull everything together for a glorious rebirth. Can she trust dark Latin eyes and do the job? Will love bloom in her heart?

A delightful grouping of stories against the glistening backdrop of Door County, Wisconsin, one of the State’s most coveted get-a-way locations. If you can’t make the trip in reality, then enjoy it here. You’ll be glad you did.