Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere

Book Description: 
From author of The Christmas Hope series, which has enthralled millions of readers, comes a new inspirational novel about an unlikely friendship between two women, but one that will change each of their lives forever.

Gretchen Daniels has recently moved into an apartment with her two children to be closer to her mother, Miriam. She and her children are building a life together in a new community when a mysterious young woman, Melissa McCreary, moves into the apartment next to them. She has few possessions, little personality, and keeps to herself. One day, a local landlord who is looking for Melissa knocks on Gretchen’s door for assistance. Melissa’s mother has died and in the coming weeks the landlord needs Melissa to empty her mother’s apartment. Gretchen reaches out and offers to help, but the apartment is a gut wrenching shamble of a home. There is little worth saving except for a few photos and a note that is discovered on the crate beside the bed. It is unfinished but in the two scribbled lines, Melissa discovers she has a brother and a sister that she never knew about. Even more shocking, she begins to uncover family secrets that show her who she really is. Can two very different women embark on a journey that explores a long-buried need for forgiveness, hope, and redemption?

My Review:  It's THAT time of year!  The time of year that I begin reading Christmas stories.  Why?!?! You, may, ask?  Simply because I can't read all the great stories before Christmas and these great reads get me into the holiday mood.
So, this year I'm beginning with a new to me author, Donna VanLiere.  Actually, last year someone told me what a grand read The Christmas Hope was to them.  But I missed that read.
I absolutely love the cover of this book and so I began reading.  Gretchen Daniels lives with her two children in an apartment, trying to restart her life but yet give her children the joy and stability they need.  Their neighbor, Melissa, moves next door.  
Melissa is quite closed mouth, rather shy and barely meets a person's eyes as she passes.  Gretchen doesn't know what to think of this new neighbor but feels compassion for her.
One day Melissa is gone and a local landlord comes to Melissa's apartment-she is out, so he stops at Gretchen's place to leave a message for Melissa.
This is where the story takes heart.  Melissa's mom has passed away and she must go clean the place out.  Gretchen offers to help Melissa and together they enter Melissa's mother's abode.  Not much to salvage but there is a note that changes everything!
The reader is captured by the feelings that overcome Gretchen and Melissa.  Seemingly two opposite peoples, yet so alike!  
A fantastically, heart warming,!
So glad I chose this as my first holiday read!  Don't miss this story of forgiveness, love and friendship.
Isn't this what the Christmas spirit is all about?
Don't miss this great Christmas read!  
*This book was provided review by BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishing*

About the Author:
Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) and premiered it December 2009 to stellar ratings as well. Donna's non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.
Donna is the recipient of a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women's and family events, including select Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.
Donna's latest book, The Christmas Journey (October 2010) is a retelling of the story of the Nativity told through Donna's signature voice and accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered watercolor illustrations throughout. The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.
Look for her brand new novel entitled "The Christmas Note this fall (2011).
Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David.
Learn more at


  1. I like the sound of this one.

  2. Another book that sounds good, I can relate to Melissa's personality, it's easy for me to slip into reservedness (is that a word?)and to appear shy or stuck up (words used to discribe me in the past by other people who didn't know me very well.) How did I get on this subject? Any way I like the premise of this book so it will go on my list.☺