It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Mistletoe Menagerie (+ guest post)

Posted November 24, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, contemporary, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2019, Janine Rosche, romance / 44 Comments

today’s book: mistletoe menagerie by janine rosche

Christmas is still 31 days away according to Google (if we get to Dec 25th and we have days left over, blame Google, not me lol), BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!

So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s featured book is a free novella that kicks off a new series – with a post from the author on a special Christmas tradition plus an awesome giveaway!

Madison River Romance #0.5
Janine Rosche

GENRE: Contemporary / Christmas Romance (Clean)

On Christmas Eve, Sage Matthews races through the city zoo, desperate to honor the tradition she shared with her deceased mother. Yet a simple train ride beneath twinkling lights isn’t enough to quell the ache in her heart for the kind of Christmas she used to know. As she grieves, the last person she expects to see at the helm of the zoo festivities is her childhood crush.

Growing up, Luke Tennison never had any Christmas traditions, let alone a family to share them with. Now, as the assistant general manager at the zoo and a widower, he counts down the days until the strings of lights dim and the tinsel disappears. When he approves a last-minute request for the zoo to host children from a foster home on Christmas morning, he asks Sage for help, in hopes it may bring a smile not only to the kids, but to the once-joyful girl he used to know.

Together Sage and Luke spend the midnight hours wandering through the sleeping zoo and preparing a magical and merry menagerie that the children will never forget. But with heavy snowfall threatening to close the roads, they’ll need a miracle, or all their efforts will be for naught.


how do i get this goodness on my e-reader?

Mistletoe Menagerie is the first story in the Madison River Romance series. It is available free for a limited time to newsletter subscribers through her website includes a sneak peek of her debut novel, This Wandering Heart (Penguin Random House, May 2020).

christmas next door

As a child, my favorite part of the holiday preparations occurred once the last ornament had been hung on the Christmas tree. The placing of the doves. I’d watch with inexplicable reverence as my father set these pretty white birds on a high bough as if they were watching over us for the season.

Doves have long been a symbol of peace, but I was too young to understand that. All I knew was that none of my friends had fake birds on their Christmas trees. It was something unique to my family, and also something my parents took very seriously. So one day, I asked my father what was so special about these little birds, with their Styrofoam bodies and artificial feathers.

“Every time someone in our family goes up to heaven, we remember them at Christmas this way,” he’d said. He’d further explained how each particular dove represented individual family members, most of whom had passed away before I was born.

Now as an adult, the placing of the doves on the tree continues to be my favorite holiday tradition. My husband and I have doves for our grandparents, the babies who never made it from my womb to my arms, and even my father, who taught me the tradition in the first place.

Christmastime traditions have a spectacular way of linking us to both the past and the future, don’t they? Beyond that, these traditions often bind us, at least momentarily, to our lost loved ones by reminding us of the memories we once shared.

In my brand-new novella, Mistletoe Menagerie, Sage Matthews would give anything to relive the tradition she shared with her mother who has just recently passed away: a train ride through the zoo’s Christmas lights. The only problem is in her grief, she’s waited too long. It’s Christmas Eve, and the zoo has just closed, its train pulling into the station for the final time. Only Luke Tennison, her childhood crush and the assistant director at the zoo, has the power to fulfill this wish.

Growing up, Luke never had any Christmas traditions, let alone a family to share them with. Now a widower, he counts down the days until the strings of lights dim, and the tinsel disappears. But Sage had once unknowingly helped him in a dark time, and he’s happy to help her now.

When he approves a last-minute request for the zoo to host a group of foster children on Christmas morning, he asks Sage for help, in hopes it may bring a smile not only to the kids but to the once-joyful girl he used to know.

Together Sage and Luke spend the night wandering through the sleeping zoo and preparing a whimsical and merry menagerie that the children will never forget. Yet as something new develops between them and a snowstorm threatens to ruin all their hard work, they both wrestle with what it means to honor the loved ones they’ve lost while moving forward.

When Christmas morning dawns, will the skies and roads clear for the children’s visit? And for Sage and Luke, will their sorrow and fear yield to the hope of newfound love?

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

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Janine Rosche is offering one of my readers an awesome Christmasy prize pack (US only)! (1) winner will receive a plaid blanket scarf, Willow Tree “Soar” figurine, a set of 8 Willow Tree “Soar” greeting cards, and a $10 Starbucks gift card (Value $60)

See larger photo below.

This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What interests you most about Mistletoe Menagerie? What’s one of your favorite Christmas traditions?

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44 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Mistletoe Menagerie (+ guest post)

  1. Linda Romer

    MISTLETOE MENAGERIE sounds like a good Christmas read. My favorite Christmas tradition is spending Christmas Eve with my husband and children reading and drinking hot cocoa and eating homemade chocolate chip cookies that we make together. Thank you

  2. Lori Byrd

    Love Christmas stories. When my children were little, I loved them waking up to see what Santa brought them.

  3. Sherri G

    The lighting of the Christmas tree has always been a big moment for me. Mistletoe Menagerie sounds like a winner!

  4. Dianne Casey

    Sounds like a great book. My favorite Christmas tradition is getting together with family and friends.

  5. Sonnetta Jones

    I want to read about the foster children. One of the things hinge I like to do everything Christmas is prepare our traditional Christmas breakfast. It brings back so many memories.

  6. Julie Bickham

    Reading Christmas novels is one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season. I look forward to snuggling up with this book.

  7. Arletta

    We have a few traditions: we buy an ornament for each of our girls every year. It’s so fun to look back over the years and see how their interests and hobbies have changed/developed. We also buy them a children’s book every year – favourites from when they were young for their own library. We always open one gift on Christmas Eve. It’s always a calendar from our dog. lol

  8. Winnie Thomas

    I love the doves idea! We have miniature Christmas frames with pictures of each of our kids and grandkids on our tree. The grandkids all love to find their pictures each year. We have 31 of us now!

    I’m excited to read Janine’s Christmas novella and also her upcoming novel set in one of my favorite places!

  9. Tina Myers

    We always get together and bake cookies with the grandchildren. Thank we deliver them to our neighbors.. Love reading Christmas books..

  10. Kathy Anderson

    I can relate to Sage when you long to honor a recently deceased parents wish. Last Christmas was so hard for our family since it was the first one since my mother passed away. Usually I watched Hallmark Christmas movies with my Mom so she told me to not stop watching them but rather watch them with my daughters whenever I lived close to them.
    The second Christmas tradition I am carrying on in my mother’s name. Since I am the oldest daughter it is now my honor and privilege to read the Christmas stories for our children and grandchildren from my Grandma Esther’s book of Christmas stories. This is a collection of stories she assembled from various sources such as magazine articles, Sunday School leaflets, stories passed down from previous generations. My siblings and I always enjoyed listening to “The Missionary Doll” and another story about a boy named Bill. It has always been a highlight on Christmas Eve for Grandma and later my mother to read those stories after which my grandfather would read about Christ’s birth from the book of Luke.

  11. Nancy M

    I’m excited to read a book written by Janine! I like going to church together as a family. Candlelight service.

  12. Jeanna Massman

    I love the interactions of the characters during the Christmas season. It can be a highly emotional time.

  13. Vivian Furbay

    Sounds like two people who need each other find each other in this romance. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  14. Keren Herrera Lyles

    Sounds like a sweet beautiful story. Thank you for this giveaway. My Christmas tradition is the start of decorating for Christmas. As a child we would put Christmas songs while decorating the tree and my mom made hot chocolate to go along with our sweet bread. Now as an adult…my sister and I along with our families get together at my parents home and decorate their tree and house while listening to Christmas songs and having hot chocolate and sweet bread. The decoration that goes up last that we all wait in anticipation is the Star. Once the Star is up…. A sweet comfy feeling sets in and the season of Christmas has begun. Blessings.

  15. Michelle Conell

    What a beautiful cover! After we read the Christmas story from the Bible, we thank God for our blessings and then we open presents starting with the youngest child and going up and then back down. This way we can all see what we’re getting and thanking the gift buyer.

  16. Haley Resseguie

    My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the whole house as a family, but specifically setting out my Willow Tree nativity with my kids (which takes lots of patience with my 4 young kiddos!). Decorating for me always fills me with the hope and anticipation of the season.
    I have Janine’s upcoming novel on my wishlist but I didn’t know about this novella! Excited to read both now.

  17. Debra Branigan

    What interests you most about Mistletoe Menagerie? What’s one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
    This sounds like a lovely Christmas read, so I’m interested. We have let go of many traditions as the kids have grown and established their own in their own homes. We do however, make the traditional (for us) Christmas meal which we still love.

  18. Merry

    The setting of the book is interesting and the characters sound perfect for a holiday romance to bloom. We like going to the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.

  19. Julie Waldron

    The cover is beautiful! It sounds like a sweet story. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sitting around the tree with my family.

  20. Faith Creech

    When our daughter was young we used to take her to the zoo during Christmas time. It was so pretty all lit up! The cover is so pretty!

  21. Cindi Altman

    This book appeals to me because I enjoy stories where old flames reunite. Having the setting in a zoo sounds interesting too since I love animals.

    The only real Christmas tradition that I have is going to candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve. It always brings joy to my heart and the fellowship with other Christians can’t be beat.

  22. karen

    I am excited about this book because the character is celebrating a tradition. One tradition of mine is making cookies that my late grandmother made.

  23. Kay Garrett

    Love the cover of “Mistletoe Menagerie”. Love Christmas stories and clean Christian romances.

    My favorite Christmas tradition was my Dad always arriving very early so he could go down the hall saying “Hohoho Santa’s been here!” and waking up our daughter to go see what was under the tree. It was a tradition that we all loved – including his granddaughter. When she had just turned a teenager, she actually woke up very early to get dressed and fixed up (you know teenagers when it comes to having their photos taken) and then crawled back into bed just so Pappaw could “wake her up” Christmas morning like he always did. I cherish these memories since both Dad and our daughter are together now having Christmas in heaven. <3 Mom joined them a few years later.

  24. Ann

    I have so many little favorite Christmas traditions, I hardly know where to begin!
    I’ve always loved the whole Christmas season— the time leading up to Christmas Eve (my “favorite holiday”), and the anticipation that goes along with it. I love the various scents, flavors, and little rituals… and, bringing them all out for the first time, every year, is so special to me. I really enjoy getting out the box of string lights, and even untangling them! Another one is baking Christmas cookies for the first time that year. …So, re-experiencing all of those magical “firsts” is a sort of treasured tradition for me.

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