Catching Christmas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Reading this during the Christmas holiday was a wonderful escape from the pressures of the holidays. Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock was just the right mix of love, friendship, holiday spirit, and romance.  With the holidays I am under a lot of pressure just as many are, so escaping to Sydney, a busy lawyer  and Finn, former chef, current taxi driver, world was just what I needed.  Add in a grandmother in a wheelchair with maybe dementia and believe it or not you get a wonderful story.
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Catching Christmas tells the story of Finn - a well-meaning cab driver who befriends Callie - an old lady with dementia who needs his help, and Sydney - Callie's busy first-year associate niece. Having Callie in their lives teaches both Finn and Sydney something that they need to learn. She enriches their lives in the most unexpected ways.

The novel is perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, having the twinkles of the Christmas lights in the background. It's uncomplicated in its message and plot, but this only makes it sweeter.

The great thing about this novel is the growth the characters go through. They really change throughout. Personally I didn't like much any of them at first, but that's good - this only means that there is room for development and that's what books are about. Even the holiday ones.

If you are a fan of festive reads - you'll enjoy this one! Just bear in mind that it's not like a Hallmark romance. The romantic element is there, but it's not really the main plot line, which offers way more depth than a typical romantic novel.

I have kindly received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson in exchange of a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I have never read Blackstock before but my oldest daughter highly recommended her.  A little predictable, but still a fun read over Christmas break.
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“Catching Christmas” is a very touching holiday read. With well developed and relatable characters, and scenes that really draw you in, I found it difficult to put this book down.
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Enjoyable Christmas story by Terri Blackstock. Would re-read it again during next Christmas holiday season!
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A short sweet enjoyable Christmas read. I enjoyed getting to know Callie, Finn and Sydney. I was pleasantly surprised that it is set in my hometown of St. Louis, that was probably my favorite element of the book. Its quick pace and switching back and forth between Sydney was a little much for me and I would liked a little more backstory on the characters but all in all I did enjoy the story. The ending was nice and believable and it’s perfect for a quick easy read over the holidays. 

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher and was not required to post a review. All thoughts are my own.
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Catching Christmas, by Terri Blackstock, is a truly memorable holiday tale with endearing characters, relevant themes, and a sprinkling of humor and romance. It is an engaging story of faith, love, choices, and second chances. Touching and well-written, this story is entertaining from the first sentence to the last.
Writing in the first person point of view, Ms. Blackstock ensures that that the reader experiences the story through the perspectives of the characters themselves. This narrative style makes the story relatable and engaging. The characters are believable, they are likable, and they make the story shine. Their struggles, insecurities, fears, and beliefs are authentic and moving. Even though they endure real struggles that test their assumptions and their faith, the light of God’s love breaks through with the restorative power of grace and second chances. With warmth and heart, this book also places a significant emphasis on family and friends, and the ways in which they support, encourage, and provide for one another.
Our lives can certainly be full of interruptions, and these interruptions are almost always inconvenient. However, interruptions can be viewed as obstacles or they can be valued as opportunities. Catching Christmas explores the reality that inconvenient interruptions are often opportunities to help others, to practice compassion, and to extend grace in difficult circumstances. 
Catching Christmas is a meaningful work of fiction that explores the importance of priorities and purpose during the bustle of the holiday season. It is a story that entertains, uplifts, and inspires. I could easily enjoy re-reading this book in the future and sharing it with my friends too. I sincerely recommend it to all readers.
*I received a copy of this novel through the author, Netgalley, and Celebrate Lit. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
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Terri Blackstock takes a break her typical mystery and their Christian series to do something a little lighter and she does amazingly well. Catching Christmas was the tale of a taxi cab driver, a woman suffering from dementia and her granddaughter who is a lawyer, trapped in a job she hates. The story is about family, love, searching for something more and just figuring out life. I loved the story and characters.
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Can they help an elderly woman get her Christmas wish?

To say that I am only used to Terri Blackstock's suspense novels would be an understatement. I had NO idea that she ever stepped out of that genre. But, when I saw that she was the author of Catching Christmas I thought I would take the chance and step out of my usual limit on reading only a select few holiday-themed books during the season. I'm glad I did.

Catching Christmas is sweet, funny, poignant, and a bit of a tear-jerker. Believe me, you'll run the gamut of emotions at the hands of Terri Blackstock's delightful characters. And if you've ever loved someone with dementia etc. this book will be particularly touching. 

The characters in this book are truly something else. I fell in love with the blunt wanna-be-gruff-but-is-really-a-softy Finn right away. Sidney took me a little longer to warm up to but just about anyone can understand the sheer pressure of caring for an elderly relative while trying to hold down a demanding full-time job. And then there's Callie, your heart just goes out to her as she faces declining health while trying to remember “where are my manners?” She's a sweet lady with a faith as big as the ocean, a faith that reaches out and touches the granddaughter she loves and the hurting cabbie she takes into her heart. 

Catching Christmas is a fairly quick read but it's a story that will linger long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the twinkle lights have been put away for another year...

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
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Catching Christmas is a beautiful and awesome read for the Christmas season – or anytime, for that matter, because it’s message of hope and redemption knows no season. Terri Blackstock has written a gem of a book – quirky, emotional, romantic, and downright funny at times – and totally different from anything I could have ever expected. Jesus is clearly seen in this story.

“Callie has made herself a daily fixture in my life. She’s like gum on the bottom of my shoe. There’s no way to get it off without making a mess.” (Finn)

Catching Christmas revolves around three characters: Sydney, a young lady with a stress filled, thankless job at a cutthroat law firm; Finn, the reluctant hero, a gourmet chef turned taxicab driver; and Callie, Sydney’s grandmother. Callie is the heart and soul of this story, and when Finn responded to the dispatcher’s call that sent him to Callie’s home, there’s no way he could have anticipated what a pivotal moment in his life that would be.

In the hands of Blackstock’s skilled writing, a story that has the potential to be sad doesn’t come across that way at all. There’s a good balance between humor and poignancy, with some delightfully funny moments – such as the day Finn took Callie shopping. 

“I feel like I’m getting to know Callie’s Jesus a little better, even though I’m doing all the talking. But he speaks volumes in the way he listens.” (Finn)

An anonymous quote that I’ve frequently heard so aptly applies to Callie: “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” Catching Christmas reminds us of what’s most important in life, the value of savoring relationships, and of the far-reaching testimony our everyday interactions with people can have. 

Normally a writer of suspense, this is Blackstock’s first Christmas story, and I hope many more will follow. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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This is a novella, it took me about 2.5 hours to read.  It has a good lesson to it, but it made me depressed.  Finn is a taxi driver who is angry and ornery.  Sydney is stressed  with her job and afraid she might lose it.  On top of that stress, her Grandmother Callie is not well.  Callie is the best and most likeable of all the characters.  She is sweet, if not somewhat confused.  Finn is drawn into helping Callie.  He takes her to the doctor and shopping, etc.  Sydney doesn't realize how bad things are with her grandmother and she is wrapped up in work.  

The writing is easy to read, but when bad things happen to so many of the characters, it's hard for me to want to read it.  Finn is angry and has issues he hasn't dealt with.  Sydney is facing a boss who is using her as a scapegoat, a client who expects her to do illegal things to get his spoiled son out of trouble, and then trying to care for her sick grandmother.  In the end, there is a nice lesson, but overall the book is sad.  I don't like sad.   That's the biggest reason I gave it only 3 stars.  Otherwise, the lesson of the story, the writing, and such are Hallmark worthy.
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I adored this book. This was the perfect heartwarming story to read during the Christmas season. I loved how the characters were developed, flawed and truly human.  And the storyline had me laughing and in tears. I couldn’t put this book down, &’ fact, I finished it in a matter of hours. I definitely recommend this book!
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There is something so tender and sweet about this story. I loved getting to know Miss Callie and fell in love with her. She may be elderly but she has a heart of gold. Miss Callie is forgetful at times and has started to depend on a cab driver named Finn. What will the doctor discover is wrong with her?

It wasn't by accident that Finn got the call to pick Miss Callie up one day. You can feel his frustration as he realizes Miss Callie can't tell him much about where he needs to go. Finn has a special place in his heart for Miss Callie who reminds him of his mother. Does he feel guilt over his mother's passing? When he finally meets Miss Callie's granddaughter there is a bit of animosity towards her. 

Sydney is doing her best trying to keep her job as a first year law student and taking care of her grandmother. The author does a great job of allowing readers to understand the desperation each character feels. Sydney is doing the best she can, while Finn has suddenly become Miss Callie's personal driver. I loved how Finn has become attached to Miss Callie and I know there is a reason he has been brought into her life.

When I get to the part in the story where the doctor explains to Sydney and Finn what Miss Callie has, I dropped the book. Oh how I cried because Miss Callie has become like a family member to me. Miss Callie is a woman everyone loves. She has a generous spirit and loves God. It will be hard not to think of her because through this story, she has opened my eyes to Christmas. Her compassion for others is seen throughout the story and her connection with a stranger will change his life in many ways. Sydney can see how much her grandmother loved her. Will she find a way to be happy and follow her heart? It has been an honor to read a book by a very gifted author that has shown me that people do care.

This has been a very well written story with characters that seem like family. I loved watching how Finn grew in his faith and how Sydney realizes what her priorities need to be. This story is set at Christmas time but I think it could be read anytime of the year. The message of love, compassion and the gentle spirit of a special woman makes this story one that you won't forget.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock is a fabulous feel-good story with humor and romance. I absolutely loved it. Finn is funny and so relatable. What woman wouldn’t fall for a guy who is kind and generous to an elderly woman suffering from dementia? Sydney is such a sweet woman doing her best to just keep up with the demands of work and elderly caregiving. Best of all, Miss Callie is so lovable I felt like I could reach through the pages to touch her. Such an amazing story of expectations turning into blessings unimaginable. Terri Blackstock never fails to deliver a great book and Catching Christmas is a perfect example of that.
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I will admit it started a bit slow for me but after the first couple of chapters this laugh out loud book had me flipping the pages, just to see what in the world Miss Callie would do or say next.

Tackling some tough issues, especially at Christmas, Catching Christmas really did come across as warm and genuine. Life isn’t always easy but God is able to work through us, even in the hard times. And humor can always be found. Let me state that in no way did I find this book depressing. It was thought provoking, sometimes sad, but I always felt that redemption was just over the horizon so there was hope.

Ms. Blackstock’s characters were very well developed and in need of help, as most of us are. This made them realistic. We learned about priorities, and making time for our loved ones. It was difficult to read sometimes as I wanted to shake Sydney and wake her up to that truth. But to see her grow was as a person was really nice.

With light romance and much laughter, I can highly recommend this book as a sweet Christmas read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
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I received my copy of Catching Christmas a few months back, but have purposely waited until this week to read and review it.  I figured it would put me in the right frame of mind for the holidays, and I assumed correctly.

Reading about the last days of sweet, old Miss Callie put a sweet, holiday smile on my face.  How she constantly worries over her granddaughter, Sydney, and the beautiful bond she creates with a lonely cab driver named Finn.  No, this is not an action-packed story by any means, but it does remind not only Sydney and Finn, but all of us, what is really important in life, when life is all said and done.  

Miss Callie's character is sweet, sassy, and bittersweet all rolled into one.  Reading about her decline in health brought back painful memories of my own grandmother's decline before she passed away a few short years ago.  Watching a loved one having to go through something like that when there is not much you can do is one of the hardest things to endure, and poor Sydney has to learn this lesson all alone, all while trying to juggle an incredibly demanding job that is hanging on by a thread.  

Finn is one of those characters that is rough around the edges, but has a heart of gold.  Being a huge Gilmore Girls fan, when author Terri Blackstock describes Finn as a Luke lookalike, for the rest of the book I could envision Luke, which made me fall in love with Finn all the more!  I also loved how Miss Callie's faith was not pushed on either Sydney or Finn but lived out, which is how faith should be!

All in all, I really enjoyed Catching Christmas.  The writing was good, with an easy flow, which made it a quick, easy read, the characters were likable, and going with the Christmas theme, though having a sad note, put you in the right heart for the season.
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Catching Christmas was just the right little Christmas story to read at this time of year when trying to manage the busyness of the season and to still feel the holiday cheer. Author Blackstock takes a situation that is sad and can ultimately be depressing and turns it around to a story filled with hope, love, and a reason to live. This was also a story of second chances, but not quite in the way you might think.
Filled with subtle humor, bittersweet moments, and the frenzied rush of life and just trying to make a living we get the two alternate viewpoints of Finn the cab driver and Sydney the granddaughter of a woman wheel chair bound and suffering dementia by the name of Miss Callie.
Finn unsuspectingly gets drawn in to Miss Callie’s strange requests as he drives her around town to her Dr.’s appointments, social calls that includes matchmaking for her granddaughter, and her Christmas shopping. Finn, so many times wants to walk away from her seemingly craziness but he is in Callie’s words, “a sweet boy” and finds himself unable to leave her on her own.
Sydney, a lawyer trying to keep her job, her bosses happy, and to win a case that is so ridiculous that even she herself is against her defendant, is really juggling too much, especially when her grandmother needs her care so much more now.
I really enjoyed this little witty Christmas story of life and love and joy and look forward to a reading it again and again. 
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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I wanted to read a story set at Christmas and this was. It was not what I expected, but maybe just what I needed during this holiday season. Callie has to go to the doctor, but her granddaughter cannot take her, so she arranges to have a cab take her. Finn the cab driver, although he seems gruff, takes her to the doctor, wheels her in to the office and leaves for his next fare. His conscience gets the better of him and he goes back to the doctor's office to check on her and the story goes from there. We get to know Callie, a sweet older woman, who's only wish is to give her granddaughter, Sydney, a memorable Christmas. This was a sweet story that shows the true meaning of Christmas.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This will now be one of my favorite Christmas stories ever.  Callie had me laughing and crying throughout.  It was nice to see how Callie helped to get Finn and Sydney together once she met Finn.  I did not want to put this book down until I was finished.  I understand what it is like to learn that your family member doesn’t have long to live.  You want to lash out like Callie does.  This book really hits home.  I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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I really enjoyed Catching Christmas!  It was so easy to identify with Syndey and Finn: two hardworking people doing the best they can do in tough situations.   I recommend reading this sweet Christmas novel.
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