New Book Releases: Holiday Fiction


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” Whether you are ready or not, it’s that time of year again. Over recent weeks, publishers have released a ton of holiday themed fiction, and I’ve compiled them all into one list. From mysteries to romance to Jane Austen—there’s probably at least one book on this list that will put you in the holiday spirit.

Note: You will probably notice that all the books on this list are Christmas themed. I’ve look high and low for adult fiction new releases about holidays celebrated by other faiths without any luck. So if you know of any books like this, please let me know in the comments.

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
A satire of traditional Christmas stories and noir, The Fat Man makes the perfect gift for the literary-minded.

A hardboiled elf is framed for murder in a North Pole world that plays reindeer games for keeps, and where favorite holiday characters live complex lives beyond December.

Fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol, two-foot-three inch 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal is angry. He’s one of Santa’s original elves, inspired by the fat man’s vision to bring joy to children on that one special day each year. But somewhere along the way things went sour for Gumdrop. Maybe it was delivering one too many lumps of coal for the Naughty List. Maybe it’s the conspiracy against Christmas that he’s starting to sense down every chimney. Either way, North Pole disillusionment is nothing new: Some elves brood with a bottle of nog, trying to forget their own wish list. Some get better. Some get bitter. Gumdrop Coal wants revenge. Justice is the only thing he knows, and so he decides to give a serious wakeup call to parents who can’t keep their vile offspring from landing on the Naughty List. But when one parent winds up dead, his eye shot out with a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model BB gun, Gumdrop Coal must learn who framed him and why. Along the way he’ll escape the life-sucking plants of the Mistletoe Forrest, battle the infamous Tannenbomb Giant, and survive a close encounter with twelve very angry drummers and their violent friends. The horrible truth lurking behind the gingerbread doors of Kringle Town could spell the end of Christmas-and of the fat man himself. Holly Jolly!

The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas by Lauren Willig
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
‘Tis the season to get Pink! Lauren Willig’s beloved Pink Carnation series gets into the holiday spirit with this irresistible Regency Christmas caper.

Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh-often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation- has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle,” the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate twelve-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? Is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella’s and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?

Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop edited by Otto Penzler
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present.
Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume—Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop. Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others mystifying. This charming one-of-a-kind collection is a perfect Christmas gift, appropriate for all ages and tastes.

Contributors include:
Charles Ardai, Lisa Atkinson, George Baxt, Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, Thomas H. Cook, Ron Goulart, Jeremiah Healy, Edward D. Hoch, Rupert Holmes, Andrew Klavan, Michael Malone, Ed McBain, Anne Perry, S. J. Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, and Donald E. Westlake

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
ONE LITTLE GIRL NEEDS A FAMILY
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.

ONE SINGLE MAN NEEDS A WIFE
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.

SOMETIMES, IT TAKES A LITTLE MAGIC…
Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.

…TO MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…

Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley
Available now (Order on Amazon)

This is the book last year’s popular Lifetime movie 12 Men of Christmas (starring Kristin Chenoweth) was based on. It was originally published in the UK in 2006, and now is being released here.

From the publisher:
After a disastrous discovery loses Emma Tremayne both her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in London, she moves to the Lake District to recover her confidence and live a simpler life. She loves her new job with the tourist board, and she’s settling into small town life just fine-until she ends up responsible for a fundraising effort that calls for twelve naked mountain rescuers…

A Darcy Christmas: A Holiday Tribute for Jane Austen by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, and Carolyn Eberhart
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
From two bestselling and a debut author comes heartwarming Christmas tales sure to delight Jane Austen fans

From Amanda Grange, the bestselling author of Mr. Darcy’s Diary and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Christmas finds the Darcy’s celebrating the holiday with preparations for a ball, but the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of a very special gift… Ever sensual and romantic, Sharon Lathan highlights everything that’s best and most precious in the celebrations of the holiday season. After a quarter of a century together, Darcy and Elizabeth reminisce… Jane Austen meets Charles Dickens! Carol Eberhart’s Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Carol finds Darcy encountering ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, who show him his life if pride keeps him from his one true love.

The Three Kings: A Christmas Dating Story by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Who’s bearing gifts this Christmas? Three hot, single guys!

Christy de la Cruz has it all: a great career as an interior designer for the stylish homes of New Mexico, marriage to a tall and handsome man, and a great family—especially her cousin Maggie. But as the holidays approach, she’s down to two out of three—that handsome husband has walked out the door. Christy is so not up for dating . . . until Maggie takes Christy on as the ultimate romantic project. Just like the wise men in the nativity story, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar arrive bearing gifts and displaying their best stuff. One’s a pretty boy, one’s a rugged cowboy, and one’s an animal lover. Which one will win Christy’s heart?

The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story by Patti Callahan Henry
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Jimmy Sullivan has been living on the road with his brother, Jack, and his band The Unknown Souls. Without a place to call home, Jimmy and Jack lead a nomadic life filled with music and anonymous cities. When they return to a place Jimmy never wants to see again—their old hometown of Seaboro, South Carolina—he falls in love with Charlotte Carrington.

With his soul now filled with hope, Jimmy writes his first love song. When he performs it at a holiday concert to a standing ovation, the lyrics are dubbed the “Perfect Love Song,” so much so that Jimmy finds himself going on tour with famous country music stars, catapulted into a world where the trappings of fame and fortune reign supreme.

All too soon, the hope that had once inspired Jimmy to write such beautiful, genuine lyrics is overshadowed by what the song can do for him and his career. In his thirst for recognition, he agrees to miss Jack’s wedding in Ireland to sing at a Christmas Eve concert. And his ties to Charlotte seem to be ever so quickly slipping away.

Alone in New York City on Christmas Eve, Jimmy finally sees—with the help of a Christmas miracle or two—that his material gains are nothing compared to love, that he is losing all that really matters in his life. Is it too late to find his way to Ireland, to his brother, and to love?

Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
This Christmas, Emily Merkle (call her Mrs. Miracle!) is working in the toy department at Finley’s, the last family-owned department store in New York City. And her boss is none other than…Jake Finley, the owner’s son.

For Jake, holiday memories of brightly wrapped gifts, decorated trees and family were destroyed in a Christmas Eve tragedy years before. Now Christmas means just one thing to him—and to his father. Profit. Because they need a Christmas miracle to keep the business afloat.

Holly Larson needs a miracle, too. She wants to give her eight-year-old nephew, Gabe, the holiday he deserves. Holly’s widowed brother is in the army and won’t be home for Christmas, but at least she can get Gabe that toy robot from Finley’s, the one gift he desperately wants. If she can figure out how to afford it…

Fortunately, it’s Mrs. Miracle to the rescue. Next to making children happy, she likes nothing better than helping others—and that includes doing a bit of matchmaking!

This Christmas will be different. For all of them.

An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Meg Hobart has everything: a happy marriage to a handsome, successful husband, a beautiful home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and three wonderful children. But it all comes crashing down around her the day she learns that her husband, James, has been living a lie—and has brought the family to financial ruin. Penniless and homeless, the Hobarts pack up what little they still possess and leave behind their golden life for good. But it’s not the material things Meg finds herself mourning. Instead, she misses the certainty that she should remain married to James, who has betrayed her trust so thoughtlessly. Worse, she is suddenly very aware of just how spoiled her children have become. Meg wonders what her family has really sacrificed in their pursuit of the American dream.

A frightening twist of fate forces the Hobarts to take refuge with a kind Amish family in Pennsylvania, where they find themselves in a home with no computers, no cell phones, nothing the children consider fashionable or fun. Her uncooperative brood confined to the Amish world of hard work and tradition, their futures entirely uncertain, Meg fears she can never make her family whole again.

Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love. You will never forget the special moment in time that is An Amish Christmas.

Holiday Grind (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #8) by Cleo Coyle
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
There’s nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes, cafés glow with welcoming warmth, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now…

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who’s been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred’s death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging–the conclusion of the police. With Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year’s holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo to solve her beloved Santa’s slaying. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed. But she’d better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

This very special holiday entry in Cleo Coyle’s nationally bestselling mystery series includes a bonus section of delicious holiday recipes as well as a glossary of coffeehouse terms, instructions on making espressos and lattes without an expensive machine, and tips for creating tasty coffeehouse syrups at home.

Christmas Mourning (Deborah Knott Series #16) by Margaret Maron
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
It’s Christmas in rural North Carolina’s Colleton County and Judge Deborah Knott is looking forward to a family celebration when a tragedy clouds the holiday season. A beautiful young cheerleader dies in a car crash and the community is devastated by her death. Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant soon learns that her death was not a simple accident, and more lives may be lost unless he and Deborah can discover why she died.

 

 

The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
“On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.”

The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children’s book author “Sadie Cool” now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she’ll never fall foolishly in love again!

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she’s shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl’s father—unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.

Yule Be Mine by Lori Foster
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Sparkling days, crackling fires, long steamy nights. . .Christmas is all about making memories. In four delicious tales of seduction and romance, New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster brings you all the pleasures of the season–and then some. . .

Booker Dean knows exactly what he wants for Christmas: his next-door neighbor, Frances Kennedy. And he’s got a gift planned for her that involves lots of delicious unwrapping.

Officer Parker Ross hates Christmas, while Lily Donaldson lives for it. But he’s willing to be converted, especially when Lily is the one doing the persuading.

Sergeant Osbourne Decker suspects pet psychic Marci Churchill is barking mad, but she’s also a knockout. And when she’s accused of stealing a donkey from the local nativity scene, he can’t stop thinking about frisking her.

Furious at her cheating fiancé, Beth Monroe decides to enjoy a payback tryst with his gorgeous best friend, and finds that revenge is best served hot and sweet. . .

The Naughty List by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden, and Susan Fox
Available Now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Deck the halls with white-hot passion!
Donna Kauffman – Naughty But Nice
Businessman Griffin’s never believed in luck…until sassy-sweet small-town baker Melody turns his world around. Except there’s a catch: There’s no way he’ll be able to build his empire and hold on to her. His new “lucky charm” could destroy all his dreams…or make this Christmas better than he ever imagined possible…

Cynthia Eden – All I Want for Christmas
Good girl toy inventor Christie takes a walk on the naughty side when she sparks a no-strings fling with Santa—actually, sexy cop Jonas in a Santa suit. She loves her new “bad girl” persona, except as the holidays approach, she starts falling, and hard, for this known’ “love ‘em and leave ‘em” ladies man…

Susan Fox – Tattoos and Mistletoe
Charlie returns to her hometown to fix up her aunt’s B&B, but she doesn’t count on LJ handling the renovations. Nerdy LJ pined for her in school, but now he’s grown into the town’s hottest bachelor. Charlie’s been burned before and won’t let him get close. But LJ’s determined to break down her walls and make her dearest Christmas wish come true.

A Christmas Odyssey: A Novel by Anne Perry
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.

Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, wealthy James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a deadly world of drugs and wild passion. Wentworth’s only hope, he believes, is his old friend Henry Rathbone, who volunteers to search for the prodigal son. Rathbone knows nothing of the sensation-obsessed underworld where Lucien now dwells, but he acquires two unexpected new companions who do: Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper who now works in Hester Monk’s medical clinic, and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor who turns no one away, however undeserving.

Slowly this odd trio gathers clues—about Lucien’s mad infatuation with a beautiful woman named Sadie, and about Shadwell, the ruthless man who owns her and, like the Devil, never lets go of one of his own. Rathbone, Squeaky, and Crow even welcome into their little band a most valuable recruit: young Bessie, a teenager whose courage holds fast even in the depths of the slum. And so they set forth on their odyssey into London’s dark streets, on a mission whose outcome they cannot begin to guess.

Anne Perry’s novels are supreme masterpieces of suspense, and A Christmas Odyssey ranks with the very best. The days leading up to Christmas may prove to be fraught with challenges, but ’tis the season for comfort and joy and miracles.

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts
Available now (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Discover an unforgettable holiday treasure in Sheila Roberts’ heartwarming tale of love and laughter, magic and miracles, friendship and coming home…

On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. “There’s a story behind that snow globe,” the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass—a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart and bring him back to the world of the living. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends—two women with problems of their own—they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.

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  • http://rachellyndhurst.blogspot.com/ Rachel Lyndhurst

    I’d like to second your choice of Dating Mr December by Phillipa Ashley. I read in in its UK form as Decent Exposure and it’s fab. And with a cover that delicious an absolute must in any lady’s Christmas stocking!