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Book Scene: What's better that a signed Christmas book? Three

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Inklings Bookshop is lucky enough to have not one, not two, but three signed Christmas-themed books this year, with two of them by local authors. Here is a little bit about the authors and the books they wrote, from the publishers and authors themselves:

“Miracle Christmas Creek” by Krista Jensen (Shadow Mountain, $15.99)

Krista Jensen writes historical and contemporary romance, and fantasy. She has lived in Oregon and Wyoming, but Washington is her beloved home state where she now lives with her husband and kids in the Yakima Valley. She likes to choose familiar settings for her stories, and says she is grateful to have such inspirational places to choose from.

Her newest book, “Miracle Christmas Creek,” focuses on Riley and Mark. Riley escapes to the sleepy mountain town of Miracle Creek after her relationship with an A-list actor ends badly. At least for a time, she hopes her new job as a high school art teacher will bring her the peace and quiet she is looking for.

Mark was a firefighter until he became trapped in a wildfire and suffered third-degree burns on his face and body. After a year of recovering, Mark is trying to piece his life back together but struggles both emotionally and psychologically. He’s a recluse until he forces himself to attend his niece’s school play and sees Riley. Immediately, Mark feels a connection to her. Maybe it’s the kind way she greets his niece or the way the art she created for the school play is reminiscent of his late mother’s artwork. Either way, Mark feels driven to get to know her — but first he’ll need to build up the courage to talk to her.

When Mark asks Riley to work on a special Nativity, he finds himself falling for her, particularly because Riley doesn’t seem bothered by his scars. Is her affection for him real or is she simply overcompensating, pretending he’s not different? One thing’s for certain: In a small town that views Mark as a fragile hero, it’s hard to pursue a relationship without everyone up in his business. And although Riley has sincere feelings for Mark, is she really ready to risk her heart?

“Counting up to Christmas” by Jennifer Elwood (Jennifer Elwood, 19.95)

Jennifer Elwood lives in Yakima. She is a lover of Jesus, wife of Tom, mom of three, and bonus mom and grandma of many. Going to Israel for the first time in 2015 sparked her desire to write and she has not stopped since. This is her first book.

In these pages you will count up to Christmas by following Jesus through the Gospel of Luke and open a gift from Scripture each day. Our savior left us lavish gifts in his word to soothe raw nerves and bring harmony to the way we celebrate this season. Each day you can open the gift and savor it through an inviting, full-color image, teaching, prayer, a few minutes of Christmas quietude, and a worship song recommendation.

Each December since 2009, Elwood has anticipated reading a chapter per day of the Gospel of Luke. The idea for this book came the year she forgot to start on time. Reading the entirety of Luke in one sitting birthed the desire to share this practice with women who need the peace of Jesus during the Christmas season.

“Mistletoe and Mr. Right” by Sarah Morgenthaler (Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99)

Sarah Morgenthaler writes sweet contemporary romance and romantic comedy set in Alaska, with quirky, fun-loving characters who fall in love despite their best efforts not to. She is a geologist and lifelong science nerd.

This book focuses on Lana and Rick. Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska, can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs — even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And really, how hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast — and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong ... together.

Anne Zastrow works for Inklings Bookshop. She and other Inklings staffers review books in Thursday’s SCENE section every week.

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