Sunday, October 13, 2019

"Once Upon a Christmas" by Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, & Jaycee Weaver -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Once Upon A Christmas
Author: Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, Jaycee Weaver
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2019
PrintEmbrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.
Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.
Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.
A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.
Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.
A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

My Thoughts

I liked how all the stories fit so many elements from the original story into the retellings. Things like similar names to the originals are fun nods to the fairy tales. Like the hero's last names being King, Noble, Royal, etc. I was only familiar with Toni Shiloh and Angela Ruth Strong, so it was nice to get an introduction to some new to me authors. Some specific thoughts follow...
 Upon a Dream by Andrea Boyd-- I liked this adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. I never knew there was a "sleeping beauty" illness. It was very interesting to read about and see how it would affect someone's life. How shocking would it be for someone with KLS to fall asleep not realizing they were pregnant and wake up with a baby bump? I liked Talia and Philip. I liked seeing character growth and the desire to do God's will. I wish that I could go see a production at the Grand Rose Theater!
Claim My Heart by Mikal Dawn-- I haven't ever read a Mulan retelling before, so it was interesting to see it done in a modern setting. I enjoyed reading the story and seeing the interactions between Li Na and Colin. There wasn't a big faith element, but it was a clean read. I got the feeling we should know some of the secondary characters the way that they were mentioned, but aside from one couple, it doesn't appear that any of the others were from previous books. The story had a nice flow and had many situations that had me laughing.
A Snow White Christmas by Toni Shiloh--  It was really interesting to have Snow White done in a modern setting. I liked Amala and Marcus. They seemed realistic with believable feelings and reactions. They want to do the right thing and sought to do God's will.
Christmas Ella by Angela Ruth Strong-- This was a fun adaptation of Cinderella. In some ways, Ella was 'Cinderella' and in some ways Paxton was, so it was an interesting mesh of the traditional role. I loved the scene where Ella meets Paxton for the first time. If I am understanding Paxton's relationship to Reese and Rasheil, they would be his half sisters, not stepsisters since they have the same mom. There isn't really a faith thread in the story, but is a clean read. I liked the secondary characters (well, some of them, anyway) and would love for Avery to get her happily ever after.
A Splash of Love by Jaycee Weaver-- The Little Mermaid isn't as common to find in a retelling, so it was fun to be able to read this one. It was fun to read lines that brought to mind Disney's Little Mermaid movie. I like Brie and Derek. They were realistic and believable.  There was a faith thread in the story which was nice. I look forward to reading more books by Jaycee Weaver.

About the Authors

AndreaBoydAndrea Boyd Author–Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at

MikalDawnMikal Dawn Author - Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.
Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at

option2Toni Shiloh Author - Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at

Angela Ruth Strong Author - AngelaRuthStrongAngela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon bestsellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Visit her at

JayceeWeaver smallJaycee Weaver Author - Jaycee Weaver is a wife, mother, and substitute teacher living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jaycee writes contemporary Christian romance with lifelike characters in everyday situations who always get their happy ending. Visit her at

More from the Authors

Dear Readers,
Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Once Upon a Christmas. We are so excited to bring you this Christmas collection. All of us had a lot of fun writing it as we delved into the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid.
What we discovered when writing is that in the heart of every girl is the desire to be a princess. Now, I’m not talking about dressing up in a beautiful gown and wearing a crown while twirling around (although I, Toni, admit I would do that in a heartbeat). No, we discovered that in the heart of every girl (sister, mom, daughter, etc) is the desire to be loved and accepted.
Can Talia find someone who can accept all of her, including her health issues? Can Amala find someone who will love her for her and not her money? Can Li find acceptance for who she truly is and not the façade she presents? Will Ella find a familial kind of love? And Gabrielle, can she find a love so powerful that all her dreams will come true?
As the heroines of our stories journey down their path to love and acceptance, they all come to realize a deep-seated truth. They are loved. They are princesses. They have a love of a King who laid down His life for theirs. A King who is preparing a home for them. A King who sees who they truly are and loves them without hesitation.
As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.
Andrea, Mikal, Toni, Angela, and Jaycee

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads , October 2
Activating Faith, October 2
Genesis 5020, October 3
Among the Reads, October 4
Quiet Quilter, October 6
Stories By Gina , October 7
Batya’s Bits, October 7
Cordially Barbara, October 7
Melissa Henderson, October 8
Connect In Fiction, October 8
A Diva’s Heart , October 9
A Reader’s Brain, October 10
Maureen’s Musings, October 10
Remembrancy, October 11
She Lives to Read, October 12
Texas Book-aholic, October 15
janicesbookreviews, October 15


To celebrate their tour, the Once Upon a Christmas authors are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

"Once Upon a Christmas" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (September 26, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1693553155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1693553158
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1624 KB
  • Print Length: 437 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1693553155
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07VQN13BM

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.


Toni Shiloh said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the retellings! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Andrea Boyd said...

Thanks for the review!

Faith Creech said...

Thanks for the chance to win. Love reading Chribooks!

Mikal Dawn said...

Thank you so much for the review, and for being part of this blog tour! It means the world to us! <3

Deana said...

Wonderful review.