Jennifer Sienes, known for her compelling storytelling, brings us “Tangles and Tinsel,” a heartwarming novella that explores the complexities of human relationships against the backdrop of the holiday season. If you’re familiar with her work, you’ll appreciate the same quality of writing in this novella.
Kimberley Saint John is the main character in the story. She wants peace and happiness during Christmas, especially because her father is now sober. She dreams of building a family, ideally with her childhood friend Jax Jenson, but his past loss poses a challenge to their budding romance.
Sienes’ portrayal of the characters is genuine and relatable. Kimberley’s past struggles and Jax’s hesitations are convincingly written, making their journey all the more engaging. The return of Kimberley’s estranged mother adds an interesting twist to the story, intensifying the emotions and character dynamics.
The novella carries a subtle message of faith and trust in God’s plan, even in the face of pain and uncertainty. “Tangles and Tinsel” isn’t an extravagant holiday tale; it’s a sincere exploration of the human spirit and the power of love.
As I immersed myself in the story, I found myself connecting with Kimberley and Jax. The narrative is rich in emotion, and their journey feels authentic. If you’re looking for a heartfelt, faith-driven story that captures the essence of Christmas, “Tangles and Tinsel” is worth a read. Jennifer Sienes’ skill in crafting lifelike characters and compelling narratives is evident. It’s a great choice for a cozy holiday read.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a positive review.
Tangles and Tinsel is on Tour with Celebrate Lit.
Author: Jennifer Sienes
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Christmas Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and Southern Fiction
Release Date: November 21, 2023
Why didn’t her life get the memo regarding Christmas being about peace on Earth and goodwill to men?
For the first Christmas in years, Kimberley Saint John may actually get that peace on Earth she’s been dreaming of. Daddy has been sober for going on two years (a record), and if he stays that way, she might have a chance for a life of her own. Maybe even a family. And between you, her, and the fence post, she’d love it if that family included her childhood friend Jax Jenson and his kids.
Except he’s still mourning the loss of his wife.
Jax doesn’t understand why no one has snatched up sweet, beautiful, and funny Kim. Then again, the way she carries hurt and betrayal around like battle gear might have something to do with it. And he is not knight-in-shining-armor material. His wife could’ve told her that.
Kim’s dreams are shattered when Mama shows up, after a twenty-year absence, sending Kim into a tailspin of worry for her daddy. Desperate, she turns to the one man who gets her—Jax.
What will it take for Kim and Jax to untangle emotions that keep them from trusting in God’s sovereignty and find purpose through the pain?
Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.
Enjoy An Excerpt from the Book!
Why was it people made such a fuss over the holidays? Seemed to me, even if you had a perfect family, which I surely didn’t, it was still a crazy time when everyone one-upped each other. It was kind of like playing holiday poker. I’ll take your worries over how to seat twenty of your closest relatives and raise you one need to order a pre-cooked meal because I can’t even find time to shop. Of course, the shame of not having a homemade Thanksgiving supper raised the ante quite a bit, so I generally won.
Because Daddy and me would have a couple of kids with us this year, I vowed things would be different. I was even willing to shop, cook, and bake, which was the trifecta of disaster as far as I was concerned. I had nothing against shopping—it was part of my everyday life. Hunting down great deals on vintage furniture was in my job description. But food? Only as a source of survival. Spent too many years cooking for Daddy after Mama left us, and baking was downright messy and time consuming. I’d never be held up as a great example of a Southern lady. But I’d push through it for Nora and Chandler. And if I was going to be completely honest, maybe a little for their daddy, too.
Never could see myself with my own children. For one thing, though it might stretch the imagination of most to believe it, I was a traditionalist. Even if I hadn’t stepped foot into a church since I was fifteen, there was an order to life and love that shouldn’t be forsaken. Since I hadn’t been on a date for more months than I could count on both hands, it wasn’t likely I’d be getting married anytime soon. Might be my lack of culinary skills played into that some.
For another thing, I’d heard a couple of the older ladies in my apartment complex refer to me as a spinster. It would appear, unless God miraculously plopped Mr. Perfect-for-me on my doorstep this very day, I’d be too old to have kids even if I ever did get married. At thirty-five, I was already stretching the limits of my biological clock. Add to that a year or two of dating, then a proper engagement, and I might as well accept my lot in life—once I figured out what that was exactly.
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