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Book Review: Finding Christmas Joy by Amanda Tero

It’s Christmas in July! Or, for some of us, it is. If you live in the south like author Amanda Tero, you’re more than ready to think of cold weather. And what better way to do it than to grab some sugar cookies and hot chocolate (trust me, after you read the story, you’ll be craving them!) and settle down for a winter read?

About the Book

Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
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Author’s Note
July heat causes many of us to yearn for the chill of Christmas—at least, if you’re like me and prefer coolness over heat (and if you live in the South, where humidity and heat combat for the highest number). Sure, Christmas may be far from our minds, but it will be here before we know it!
And when Christmas season comes around, there is just that “feeling in the air.” Christmas music plays in all of the stores, Christmas movies take center stage, and everything is decked in red and green. So often though, what does not take center stage is Jesus Christ—the One for Whom we even celebrate Christmas.
It was Christmas 2017 and I had watched a few Christmas movies. They all just missed the mark. It was the “joy of the season” and the “magic of the holiday” that provided the solution to their problems. As I was thinking about it, the idea for “Finding Christmas Joy” popped into my head. I wrote the entire rough draft in one sitting, not 100% sure where all God was going to lead this idea. Melonie’s struggle was influenced by some events from people in my life. It is definitely something different than I’ve ever written before, involving a girl who is in a relationship (or was).
Though not everyone is going through a break-up during the Christmas season, and though the solution to your struggle may not be salvation (if you’re already saved), I pray that the reminder that the true foundation of joy in Jesus is as much a blessing to you as it was to me.


Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of her piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the
happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)

Book Review

Title: Finding Christmas Joy
Written By: Amanda Tero
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Fiction
Recommended Ages: Any


I was privileged to be on the beta-reading team for this book and found this book to be well worth the read. It’s short, but powerful.

Characters: 1/1

The characters were well-developed, interesting, and so true to real life. I could actually see something like this truly happening.

Dialogue: 1/1

The dialogue was well done. It had depth and showed off each personality well.

Plot/storyline: .75/1

Amanda Tero has mentioned herself that this short story is similar to Hallmark Christmas movies in some ways and that’s probably the only thing that bugged me ever so slightly. Hallmark movies can get a little too predictable. Luckily, that’s where Amanda’s book differed. It wasn’t quite as predictable.

Overall writing quality: 1/1

I loved the writing style in this book. It isn’t all that different from the other books I’ve read by Amanda, but it has a slightly different feel to it. I liked it. And while there were some minor typos when I read it, it has been through a few edits since then, so I’m sure those are gone now.

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1

Well, it is quite short, so it would be hard to put down mainly for that reason. However, even if it were ten times longer, I still would have had a hard time putting it down.

Conclusion: 4.75/5

If you like Hallmark Christmas movies, you’ll love this story. If you like a feel good Christmas story, you’ll like it. If you need to find joy–Christmas or otherwise–this book is perfect for you. I highly recommend it.

Note: I received this book from the author and was not under any compulsion to write a review.

Tour Schedule

July 28, 2018
July 30, 2018
July 31, 2018

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