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Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb

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Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb offers a refresher course on the importance of the Christmas Spirit.  Not familiar with Sharon McCrumb's ballad series, I am now curious about them and will start reading them.  Containing two parallel stories, this book takes place on Christmas Eve.  McCrumb's talent as an author is evident in her ability to tie both unique stories together.

The first story involves Nora Bonesteel and her "sight ability." Possessing a peculiar gift, Nora is often the center of inquiry for mysterious events that take place.  A couple, who believes that their home is haunted, asks Nora for her expertise.  Nora is able to use her gift to contribute to the couple's enjoyment during Christmas.

The second story involves the local sheriff and the sheriff deputy.  Due to unlikely twists of the plot, the sheriff and deputy demonstrate exactly what the Christmas Spirit is all about.  Ironically, the lesson begins with the pursuit of a criminal and an arrest warrant.

Initially as I read the book, I wasn't quite grasping the overall gist of it.  Yet, with each turn of the page, I was drawn more and more into the story.  I would definitely recommend this book.  I think everyone should add it to their TBR list.  Check out mine on

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Praise for Sharyn McCrumb & her pervious bestselling “Ballad” novels

“Ms. McCrumb writes with quiet fire and maybe a little mountain magic... She plucks the mysteries from people's lives and works these dark narrative threads into Appalachian legends older than the hills. Like every true storyteller, she has the Sight.” —The New York Times Book Review 

“There are few writers today who are able to blend past and present, tradition and law, legends and headlines in a wholly credible fashion—Tony Hillerman springs inevitably to mind. Sharyn McCrumb is another; her widely acclaimed Ballad series is one of the finest being written today.” —Bookpage 

“McCrumb provides fresh evidence that there is no one quite like her among present-day writers. No one better, either.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“True to the language and culture of its time and place...the Ballad series could be headed for bestsellerdom.” —Library Journal 

“With fluid writing and sensitive telling, McCrumb presents her Appalachian series as perfectly as dogwood in the spring.” —Houston Chronicle


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