cover image NO PLACE LIKE HOME


Fern Michaels, . . Pocket Star, $6.99 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-5795-8

High-quality, homegrown story-telling has long been Michaels's stock-in-trade, and this story is a holiday treat for readers seeking classic country Christmas atmosphere and an extra helping of romance for all; by the end of the tale, even the protagonists' dogs find true love. The touching, if melodramatic, plot line revolves around gutsy Loretta Cisco, the founder of a flourishing rural candy company. Loretta has been committed to a nursing home against her will by her son, a widower under the malevolent influence of his fortune-hunter fiancée, but Loretta's irrepressible 20-something grandchildren are determined to spring their grandma and bring her home for the holidays. What makes the tale uniquely charming isn't plot as much as its warmth and the wealth of evocative details that bring the broken family's Allegheny mountain celebration to vivid life. Bursting with humor and high holiday spirits—unlike last year's inspirational but dark What You Wish For—this warmhearted confection is as soothing as a cup of hot cocoa. (Nov. 5)

Forecast:Booksellers should have no trouble moving copies. Michaels's fans are legion, and a soft-focus cover image depicting a cottage and a Christmas tree will beckon browsers.