Friday, October 23, 2009

Over the Holidays by Sandra Harper - Blog Tour

The best holiday traditions are meant to be broken.

It's only December 1, and Vanessa Clayton has been dreading Christmas since she spotted tinseled trees at her local mall in September. Thankfully, she and her husband, JT, can't afford to drag their twin boys across the country to New England for the annual celebration at her stuffy sister-in-law Patience's home. Not that Vanessa has prepared a proper Christmas for her family in years, and she has less time than ever since she agreed to consult on the script of a local play. Her older sister, Thea, is no help -- she'd rather make art and flirt with surfers than babysit her nine-year-old nephews. Then Patience drops a holiday stress bomb: Her family will come to California instead.

In between "baking" cinnamon rolls for the school potluck and overbearing Patience testing her patience, Vanessa can't stop thinking about the difficult but charming playwright at work. Meanwhile, Patience's teenage daughter, Libby, obsesses over a college boy she has met by the pool, and Thea searches desperately for the meaning of Christmas -- for her latest installation, of course. As their holiday plans go comically awry, these four women discover the true spirit of the season is hidden in every festive surprise. From Publishers Website

Holidays can be the most stressful time of the year. There's the money issue, the "how do I get it all done" issue, and, oh yeah, the "how the heck am I going to deal with the visiting family that drives me crazy" issue. Vanessa hoped to avoid dealing with her in-laws by using the money excuse, but imagine her surprise when they decide to visit her instead. Her sister-in-law Patience is so uppity and perfect with her sweater sets and perfect mom gig that Vanessa doesn't even know how to get along with her. Not only that she is already dealing with her own sister Thea who lives close by and never helps with her kids and just lives the single artist life. To top it off she is working with a new play writer and some of her thoughts certainly are not about her husband JT anymore. Should she follow these desires or stay in the arms of the husband she knows she loves? Little does Vanessa know each of these women in her life are also dealing with their own problems.

Patience has always defined herself as a mother and now her daughter Libby is going to be leaving for college. She desperately wants to spend time with her, but Libby can't seem to stand her. She spends much time dreaming about the past and longing for a future where she and Libby are close again. She doesn't want to visit California for Christmas and leave New England's white Christmas and her usual holiday transitions. Mostly, she just wants to feel needed, loved and appreciated again.

Thea is an artist in her 30's, but is having a serious block on new art ideas. She is tired of having Vanessa talk to her about not being married or wanting to spend time with kids. She thinks she is happy the way she is, but why does she keep thinking about "the one that got away" and trying to figure out if her entire life is in a rut.

Libby loves her mom but OMG can she get off her case already. She is almost going to be going to college and doesn't want to hang out with her or wear sweater sets. Give her a cute tee and a hot boy please! She is excited to visit California, and even happier when California introduces her to a boy that stirs things her seventeen year old body has never felt before. Could he be her first sexual experience? Should he be?

This book is about growing up, loving who you are, loving your family with all their faults, and most of all SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS.

I found Over the Holidays to be a quick, fun read. There is a bit of sex and foul language, but nothing completely over the top. If you are feeling like the holidays can't get here and get gone soon enough this is the book for you. It reminds you that yes it is hectic, but good can come out of it too. Really though, anyone would love the wit and the honesty presented. Most of us don't want to admit we can't stand our sister-in-law or are attracted to another man. This book puts it all out there. There is a reading guide at the end, and a short interview with the author.

Thanks to Sara at Pocket Books for providing this book for review. Listed below are the other blogs hosting this book on tour today.

Frugal Plus:
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object:
Drey’s Library:
Wendi’s Book Corner:
Opinionated? Me? :
Me, My Book and the Couch:
Libby’s Library News:
Bookin’ With Bingo:
Books, Movies, and Chinese Food:
Psychotic State:
That’s A Novel Idea:
All About {N}:
Starting Fresh:
A Sea of Books:
Just Another New Blog:
Blog Business World:
My Friend Amy:
Cheryl’s Book Nook:
One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books:
I Read:
So Many Books, So Little Time:
Keep on Booking:
Reading at the Beach:
Found Not Lost:
Brizmus Blogs Books:
Book Reviews by Buuklvr81:

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