Gift Guide Giveaways and Reviews

Something For Everyone – Give The Gift of Great Storytelling

The gift of a beautiful story in a favorite book shared with someone else is always a solid plan for Christmas. Of course, since interests vary, there’s always an opportunity to gift someone with a new release on a topic they’re interested in, or perhaps something from one of their favorite authors that you know they can’t wait to get their hands on.

Simon & Schuster Canada sent me an awesome selection of new books as a “something for everyone” gift bundle. Yes, one winner will receive all these books, but if you’re looking for a gift idea for someone on your list, you might just have found it here! Think beyond your sister or BFF – what about your child’s teacher, daycare staff, book club friend, neighbour? Everyone could use a little pick me up holiday gift, and books are actually an easy go-to for gifting (not to mention they’re easy to wrap!)

Here’s a quick summary of each book seen above, to help in your decision making:

Fortune and Glory – Janet Evanovich

Fortune and Glory is the highly anticipated 27th book in Janet Evanovich’s #1 New York Times bestselling Stephanie Plum series!

When Stephanie’s beloved Grandma Mazur’s new husband died on their wedding night, the only thing he left her was a beat-up old easy chair…and the keys to a life-changing fortune.

But as Stephanie and Grandma Mazur search for Jimmy Rosolli’s treasure, they discover that they’re not the only ones on the hunt. Two dangerous enemies from the past stand in their way—along with a new adversary who’s even more formidable: Gabriela Rose, a dark-eyed beauty from Little Havana with a taste for designer clothes. She’s also a soldier of fortune, a gourmet cook, an expert in firearms and mixed martial arts—and someone who’s about to give Stephanie a real run for her money.

Extraordinary Canadians Stories From The Heart of Our Nation – Peter Mansbridge

From Peter Mansbridge, the beloved former anchor of CBC’s The National, and Mark Bulgutch, former CBC producer, comes a collection of first-person stories about remarkable Canadians who embody the values of our great nation—kindness, compassion, courage, and freedom—and inspire us to do the same.

Hear Gitxsan activist Cindy Blackstock describe her childhood in northern British Columbia where she straddled two communities—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—and her subsequent fight for equitable health care for all children as the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Meet Matt Devlin, the US broadcaster who found a new home in Canada when he got a job with the Toronto Raptors, and read how he helped calm the crowd when a gunman began shooting in Nathan Phillips Square after the team’s NBA championship win. From the young woman living with Crohn’s disease—and proudly modeling her ostomy bag—to the rabbi whose family fled Nazi Germany—and who now gives the benediction on Parliament Hill each Remembrance Day—Extraordinary Canadians celebrates the people who have overcome adversity and broken down barriers to champion the rights and freedoms of everyone who calls Canada home.

The Woman Outside My Door – Rachel Ryan

An unforgettable new voice in suspense fiction, Rachel Ryan weaves a thrilling page-turner about a young mother who can’t shake the feeling that her son’s “imaginary” friend is putting him in danger and who will stop at nothing to keep him safe—perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Mary Kubica. How far would you go to protect your family?

All children have imaginary friends, Georgina tells herself. It’s perfectly normal, and they all grow out of it in the end. But when seven-year-old Cody tells his mother about “New Granny,” the new friend he’s met in the park, Georgina is instantly suspicious. Something—call it maternal instinct—tells her he isn’t making it up.

In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

The Sea Gate – Jane Johnson

After Rebecca’s mother dies, she must sort through her empty flat and come to terms with her loss. As she goes through her mother’s mail, she finds a handwritten envelope. In it is a letter that will change her life forever.

Olivia, her mother’s elderly cousin, needs help to save her beloved home. Rebecca immediately goes to visit Olivia in Cornwall only to find a house full of secrets—treasures in the attic and a mysterious tunnel leading from the cellar to the sea, and Olivia, nowhere to be found.

As it turns out, the old woman is stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her house is made habitable again. Rebecca sets to work restoring the home to its former glory, but as she peels back the layers of paint and grime, she uncovers even more buried secrets—secrets from a time when the Second World War was raging, when Olivia was a young woman, and when both romance and danger lurked around every corner…

Cobble Hill – Cecily von Ziegesar

Welcome to Cobble Hill. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Gossip Girl series, a deliciously irresistible novel chronicling a year in the life of four families in an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood as they seek purpose, community, and meaningful relationships—until one unforgettable night at a raucous neighborhood party knocks them to their senses.

In this eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood, private storms brew amongst four married couples and their children. There’s ex-groupie Mandy, so underwhelmed by motherhood and her current physical state that she fakes a debilitating disease to get the attention of her skateboarding, ex-boyband member husband Stuart. There’s the unconventional new school nurse, Peaches, on whom Stuart has an unrequited crush, and her disappointing husband Greg, who wears noise-cancelling headphones—everywhere.

A few blocks away, Roy, a well-known, newly transplanted British novelist, has lost the thread of his next novel and his marriage to capable, indefatigable Wendy. Around the corner, Tupper, the nervous, introverted industrial designer with a warehose full of prosthetic limbs struggles to pin down his elusive artist wife Elizabeth. She remains…elusive. Throw in two hormonal teenagers, a ten-year-old pyromaniac, a drug dealer pretending to be a doctor, and a lot of hidden cameras, and you’ve got a combustible mix of egos, desires, and secrets bubbling in brownstone Brooklyn.

Collected: Past + Present, Volume No 2 – Sarah Richardson

Get inspired by a new compilation of crave-worthy spaces and places curated by HGTV star and award-winning designer Sarah Richardson, following on the bestselling success of Sarah Style and At Home: Sarah Style.

Collected by Sarah Richardson is a series of books that contains an ever-changing mood board of soulful design—from interior and exterior spaces, to products, places, and creative people. Filled with striking photos from Sarah and her team, along with top designers from the global scene, each volume is filled with diverse looks and perspectives, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Evolving Vegan – Mena Massoud

The Evolving Vegan cookbook celebrates both flavors and stories from a wide array of plant-based eateries all across North America, proving that a plant-friendly diet is truly accessible to all! Some of the recipes you will learn to make include:
-Sausage Shakshuka in a Skillet from the restaurant Chickpea in Vancouver
-Young Coconut Ceviche from the restaurant Rosalinda in Toronto
-BBQ Pulled “Pork” Jackfruit Sandwiches from the Butcher’s Son in Oakland, CA
-Indian Tofu Curry from The Sudra in Portland, OR
-Boston Cream Pie-Cake from Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, MA
-Plus authentic Egyptian dishes from Mena’s mother, and many from Mena’s own SoCal home kitchen

It’s an incredible list and I’m certain that every one of you reading this post could find one or maybe several (or all?) of these books perfect for yourself or someone on your list this holiday season. As for myself, I’ve just started reading Holidaze and can say that if you love those Hallmark-style holiday movies, you’ll enjoy this read! I’ve also given away one of the books so far to a friend as a little bit of holiday cheer!

To enter to win this entire book selection from Simon & Schuster Canada, just fill in your name and email address in the form below and click BEGIN! Then just leave a comment on this post sharing which book in this post interests YOU the most, and you’ll be entered to win the whole lot!

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