Winter Blogfest: Sara Ohlin

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

My Bookish Christmas Traditions

One of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions has to do with books. Of course!! Over the years as I have moved so many times, I have spent a few Christmases alone. But I feel like, because I love books so much and the journeys they take us on I’ve always had a cozy place to visit between the pages of great novels. I think that’s why I love stories that include food & family and the communities we build around those, because even when I have been alone or lonely, I can sink into a fictional world of holiday tradition and togetherness. 

I remember one Christmas I spent alone in Seattle. On Christmas Eve I met my future husband at a bar, although I didn’t know it at the time. But I was smitten. He put a smile on my face that lasted…well, it’s still with me eighteen years later.

But that actual Christmas day, I made myself a favorite charred broccoli & feta pasta, dripping with olive oil and garlic, paired it with a buttery Chardonnay, cozied up on my couch alone and re-read Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice. Pilcher had a way with setting and emotion that always drew me right into her stories. The bitter wind of the English winter landscape, hot tea served with scones and clotted cream, heartbreak from losing a precious loved one. And the beauty in finding love. 

The last words on her Winter Solstice book jacket perfectly sum this up. “Once again, Rosamunde Pilcher reminds us all that friendship, compassion, loyalty, and love can come together and renew us all—even when the days seem darkest.”

I love the power of books to comfort us! I’d love to know some of your favorite holiday book memories!

Salvaging Love

Animals aren’t the only thing that need rescuing when a sexy veterinarian encounters a hot-headed attorney…

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Intrigued by Ellie, hot-shot defense attorney Jackson gives her one month to convince him not to put his gentrification plans into progress. Attraction soon sizzles between them, but when Jackson makes his desires known, Ellie’s vulnerable heart doesn’t know what to think.

She wants to trust the sinfully handsome Jackson, just as he wants to gain her trust, but finding their way to love isn’t easy when her traumatic past and his criminal clients could sabotage their relationship for good.

Can the enchanting veterinarian and the brooding attorney fight the demons from the past…and build a new future?

Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher and Salvaging Love.
She has over fifteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.
If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her two kids and amazing husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story.
She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart. You can learn more on her website

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  1. Debra K Guyette says

    Every Christmas Eve I used to read my kids Twas the Night Before Christmas. They all looked forward to it. Now my grandchildren are enjoying the same tradition.

  2. I too love creating communities, since many of my favorite writers seemed to invite me into their worlds–Rosamond Pilcher, Elizabeth Berg and Maeve Binchy to name a few. I still savor the books of my youth, when I befriended characters like Pippi Longstocking and Beany Malone and Jo March. Christmas vacation was always a time to discover new books and revisit familiar ones–and even today when holiday shopping and chores are done, or nearly done, opening a book is like opening a gift to myself.

  3. When my children were little I always gave them a stack of books for Christmas. They are both adults now and still love to read.
    Merry Christmas!

    • Rita, mine are the same (not adults yet) but we give them books every year. Yesterday my daughter said, “I wish it was Christmas already so I could have a new book to read!”

  4. Thanks for hosting me on your awesome blog again! So happy to be here today.

  5. When my children were little, we always read ‘ was the Night Before Christmas before they went to bed on Christmas Eve. My children have continued the tradition with their children, and my oldest granddaughter will be reading it to her newborn son tonight. 🙂

  6. I always give my Grandchildren books for Christmas. A couple are old enough to read on an eReader but there is just something about holding the actual book in your hands.

    • I love that tradition, Joye. I read mostly on ereaders these days because my vision is so bad and I can make the font bigger, but when I had my first two books published this year I couldn’t wait to hold the actual book in my hands, just as you said, there’s something so special about it!!

  7. My love for reading started when I was in elementary school and stumbled upon The Babysitter’s Club. I remember one Christmas, instead of a toy or doll, I asked for this complete guide to The BSC, with all their biographies, map of the neighbourhood, their own journal entries, etc. to supplement the regular series! It’s funny how they’ve rebranded the books for a whole new generation to enjoy.

  8. We open books Christmas eve 🙂

  9. Being a mostly non-fiction reader, I’ve loved the world of books you’ve exposed me to over those last 18 years. To our life in books, cheers!

  10. bernie wallace says

    My family likes to read Mickey’s Christmas Carol every Christmas season. We all really enjoy reading it.

  11. Books are a wonderful way to escape into new worlds or exotic places. We always received a book or two for Christmas. I loved to read. My children’s favorite book is The Story of the Nutcracker. I read it to them every Christmas.

  12. I love The Story of the Nutcracker, Karen! I love seeing it on stage too.

  13. Diane Sallans says

    I’m always on the lookout for special books to give the kiddies at Christmas – I’ll buy them any time of the year and save them for Christmas gifts.

  14. Mysti Holiday says

    For the first ten years or so, I gifted a Christmas book to my daughter that we read each Christmas Eve. She still has them all, and I like to think she treasures the memory. It definitely instilled a love for books–she currently has 6 bookshelves in her room filled with just over 400 books!

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