Cover Image: Catching Christmas

Catching Christmas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
What makes the perfect holiday read?  Warm feelings, maybe romance?  A shift in perspective?  Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock is the perfect Christmas read.  Every year, I look for at least one new holiday read to help put me in the Christmas spirit.  Catching Christmas is one of the best Christmas reads of the year.  Terri Blackstock is an excellent storyteller, whether it be in writing a thriller or a dramatic novel.  This book is a treasure that you definitely want to add to your library and read whenever you need a shift in perspective yourself.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
While there are heart-wrenching moments, this book left me feeling encouraged about life. God arranges and rearranges life for us to grow more, in different ways, and different places. The biggest take away was cherish those you love.

The style of the story-telling was interesting. We read in first person, through the eyes of a taxi driver, who is called on to help a very elderly, frail lady. Then in the next chapter or two, we see the story in first person through the eyes of a busy professional woman, who is the granddaughter of the same frail, elderly lady. It's an interesting format and I like to see the two points of view.  One has deep regrets from the past, the other is developing deep regrets, there is an interesting parallel in both their lives that helps move the story along.

For those of you who want a happy christmas story, with hot chocolate and peppermint sticks, it's not this one. But I can tell you, it's well worth reading ... (Just saying: tissue warning!!) But there are funny moments that made me laugh and sweet Christmas-y moments also.

I received this book as a gift. I am not obligated to provide a positive review and I received no compensation, except a very good read.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely adored this book that gives out all the feels for this Christmas season. Finn is a cab driver and takes Sydney's Grandmother, Miss Callie, to the Doctor once and now she calls for him everyday. Miss Callie is very sick but she is on a mission to see that Sydney has a boyfriend so she won't be alone after Miss Callie is gone. And that's only one part of this wonderfully written heartwarming story. I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this great book.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a total Hallmark movie: gruff cab driver (think Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls—he even looks like him!), overworked young lawyer, matchmaking grandmother. For me, the best part was watching cab driver Finn interact with grandma Callie. Their relationship ended up being so sweet! Callie was so spunky and fun, and I'm glad that the majority  of the story was about Finn driving her around.

For me, the romance between Finn and Sydney was just so-so; nothing wrong with it, but it moved a little quickly for my taste, and I didn't really sense the chemistry between them. (However, this did add to the Hallmark-like feel of the story; those romances are almost always rushed.)

Sydney's job at the law firm was a little difficult for me; her job was terrible, and the client she was defending seemed too awful to be believable.

Blackstock is a great writer, so even though I had some issues with certain things in the book, I enjoyed reading it. It's a great way to spend a few hours right before Christmas.
Was this review helpful?
I am a fan of all the Hallmark Christmas movies and this book, "Catching Christmas," is a definite candidate for a possible future movie. 

The characters include an over-worked first year attorney Sydney, Finn, a former chef who is now driving a cab and a delightful yet forgetful grandma Miss Callie. Each of them is struggling in their own way to deal with their current lives and the story centers on how those lives become intertwined.

Woven into the story are the themes of fighting demons from the past, fighting for your dignity and fighting for your life. Somehow all three come together to make this a heartwarming yet poignant Christmas story. 

Take the time to read this book and give yourself a Christmas gift. You will be warmed by the love you will find on the pages.
Was this review helpful?
Terri Blackstock is one of those suspense authors that I try to read each and every one of her books. I eagerly anticipated the reading of this one.

When I actually started reading it, I was immediately captivated by the story, but I also realized that it was not at all what I'd been expecting!

No...if you are looking for suspense, well, this is not the one. It's not a mystery or suspense novel, like Ms. Blackstock's usual stories. But it is a highly entertaining, intriguing Christmas novel.

The main character, Finn, is a taxi driver, and found himself stuck with transporting an elderly lady, one who seems to be suffering from dementia, to various locations and appointments...much to his dismay. He hadn't bargained for this when he first took the job.

Full of Christmas Spirit. Love. Second chances. And so much more.

Catching Christmas is a poignantly sweet Christmas story, and if you are looking to catch some Christmas spirit, then I highly recommend you read this one!

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Was this review helpful?
Get the tissue box ready! 
While Terri Blackstock is known for her romantic suspense and thrillers, this book is neither a suspense nor a thriller. Catching Christmas is a humorous, yet heart-breaking Christmas romance. I laughed, and I cried, then I laughed and cried again. From the chef-turned cab driver to the overworked lawyer to the fragile old lady on an important mission, this book reminds us of the beautiful truth that death is not the end for a child of God. 
Finn is a bitter cab driver, who suddenly finds himself the personal chauffer of Callie, an old lady with a very short memory. A trip to the doctor leads to Christmas shopping which leads to husband hunting for her single granddaughter… Finn must learn to forgive the past if he’s ever going to be happy again.
Sydney is a first-year lawyer assigned the dumbest case of the year and unfortunately her entire career hangs on its outcome. She’s struggling to balance everything and in her frazzled state is unaware exactly how sick her grandmother has become. 
I loved the unfolding mystery behind Callie’s many stops around town. I thought the ending was perfect and beautiful. 
This book is written in first-person with both Finn and Sydney as Point of View characters. It is more Finn’s story than Sydney’s, he has longer narratives and really a larger part in the book. I’m not a huge fan of first-person but I settled into the rhythm of the book easily and was able to follow along without any problems. 
Catching Christmas reminds us of the most important things in life. This is the kind of book that could either bring healing to a grieving person or be more than they can handle. I enjoyed this story very much and recommend it to lovers of romantic dramas and stories that make you cry.
Was this review helpful?
A hilarious romp through small-town America, this story will keep you reading just to see what craziness happens next.

If you were ever a fan of the Gilmore Girls and remember the character, Luke Danes — the cranky-but-lovable cafe owner — you’ll have a fair idea of the hero’s personality in Terri Blackstock’s Catching Christmas. Picture Gilmore Girls‘ Luke as a taxi driver stuck with the sweetest — if a bit mischievous — little old lady suffering from severe memory difficulties and a tendency to nod off in the backseat without telling him where he is supposed to take her next, and you have a fair idea of the comedy involved. Terri’s hero, Finn, just wants to do his job, talk as little as possible, and pay his rent on time. No muss, no fuss. But his softy-heart and a guilty conscience just won’t let him push kind-hearted Miss Callie into the “somebody else’s problem” category. At one point likening the sweet old woman to a parasite that won’t leave his mind alone, Finn finds himself driving Miss Callie all over town while Miss Callie’s granddaughter fights to save the job that is footing Miss Callie’s bills. When the hero and the heroine finally get together, their mutual concern for Miss Callie’s welfare cause both an immediate clash and a common bond. Following along as Miss Callie leads them to a Christmas they’ll never forget, was such a pleasure, this book deserves a place on every reader’s bookshelf.
Was this review helpful?
Great little read for Christmas!  Fans of Terri Blackstock will not be disappointed...she delivers another skillfully written novel!
Was this review helpful?
Although this wasn't totally the "lighthearted" Christmas book I was expecting, I loved it!

Callie is what we all hope to be as we grow old.  Her spunk and her love for all was apparent and made you remember what Christmas is all about.

The love story that blooms was sweet and funny at times.  Great characters, great read!
Was this review helpful?
A sweet, fun, quick read for Christmas! The characters of Finn, Sydney, and especially Miss. Callie are quickly endured to you. Each are dealing with their own life issues but their lives expertly intertwine by a divine hand just when needed. They are easily relatable to our everyday lives and you can picture yourself or someone you know in them. 

While I feel there are a couple of different themes running through the book, the one that touched me was the importance of taking time for others. We most make the most of the time we have here on earth with those we mean the most. Even though the story is touched with sadness, you are left by a sense of wonder at the beauty of Miss. Callie. 

Just like Ms. Blackstock’s suspense books, I was unable to put this one down. It was a perfect reminder for the holiday season! I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book!

I laughed and cried.

I also appreciated that is was a quick read that I could squeeze in when I had a few free minutes and get a lot read.

The characters are well developed and the story line will rip at your heart, the tough decisions that need to be made and the ultimate reason for Christmas, love.

Miss Callie made me miss my own grandparents who have been gone for a long time. This book will definitely remind you to appreciate those older then you and take time to sit down and spend time with them.

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very different Terri Blackstock novel if you’re  only familiar with her romantic suspense novels. Yet it’s equally mesmerizing on a completely different level. The author brings together an older fragile woman, her ambitious lawyer grand-daughter, and a grumpy, guilty, fatigued cab driver who used to be a chef in this Christmas story of love, family, dreams, regrets, and the grace of God. 

Sydney is the grand-daughter trying to juggle a demanding job, a ridiculous court case on which her job security rides, and an ailing grandmother with no other family members nearby. She’s totally burnt out and out of luck but tries so hard to scrape by. Finn is the cab driver, trying to get through the Uber craze and the Christmas season without letting his bitterness and feelings of guilt break him apart. They are drawn together by Sydney’s grandmother Callie who keeps calling Finn to help her get to places; Finn, despite his gruffness, resigns himself to taking care of Miss Callie and his tender protective side emerges. As Sydney and Finn grapple with what life throws at them, they also start to understand Callie’s faith and on Whom they can lean. It’s a powerful story of redemption, forgiveness, and letting joy and peace rule even in the midst of darkness. It’s not a light and fluffy Christmas feel-good story. But it is a beautiful Christmas story that will challenge you and have you pondering many hours after you’ve finished the book. 

I was given a copy of the book by Thomas Nelson Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Finn Parrish prefers making runs in his cab between the airport and hotels, so he is less than thrilled when he has to take an old lady who seems to have dementia and is wheelchair-bound to a doctor's appointment.  Still, she reminds him of his mom before she died, and he feels duty bound to help Callie since her own family obviously didn't care enough to take Callie to the appointment themselves.  Sydney Batson is a first-year law associate.  She was supposed to take her grandmother to the doctor, but when her law firm schedules a meeting to announce layoffs at the same time as Callie's doctor appointment, she sees no choice but to arrange a cab to take Callie to her appointment.  

This was a short book, and I think the characters suffered for it.  The only characters who weren't one dimensional were Finn and Sydney.  It was different seeing a Christian story where the unbelievers sort of accidentally fall into having a relationship with God, rather than making a conscious decision to do so.  I wonder how often it happens that way in real life.  Overall, this book just felt like it was lacking for me.  The plot could have some potential but just wasn't executed well.
Was this review helpful?
What a lovely way to spend an afternoon - a cup of coffee, the Christmas tree lights and a wonderful story. The author has done a masterful job of keeping us in the dark as to the wishes of Miss Callie. The hustle and bustle of the busyness of life, obligations and Christmas just don't seem to mix for those close to her. Can she possibly stop her granddaughter long enough so she can catch the Christmas spirit and once again realize what is important?
I received and ARC of this fabulous book from NetGalley and CelebrateLit. All impressions and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
My book club always picks a Christmas-y book for our December discussion. And since Terri Blackstock is one of our go-to authors, we knew we had to read Catching Christmas. And while this novella is not her typical romantic suspense, Blackstock fans will not be disappointed by the sweet story of second chances. Recommended!

Sydney is an overworked first year attorney facing an impossible case. Finn is a former chef turned cab driver who lives with lots of regrets. The two are brought together by Sydney’s adorable grandmother, Callie Beecher. Callie may be ill and not always in the present, but she does know a lot about love and faith. As Sydney and Finn wrestle over Callie’s care, they learn just what is important in life.

I really liked Catching Christmas. Filled with laugh out loud scenes and poignant moments, this story is true to life — there are plenty of people in this world struggling to make sense of missed opportunities, life-changing mistakes, and the need to connect with others. Callie is the best of characters. She epitomizes the impact a person of faith can have on those around her. The action takes place in the days leading up to Christmas, and the reader can feel Callie’s urgency to beat the deadline for bringing happiness into her granddaughter’s life. Finn and Sydney are very relatable in their disconnected lives. Catching Christmas is a great reminder of what is really important. A fast-paced read, you’ll finish this book in no time, but be prepared for a bit of sorrow in leaving this wonderful story.


Audience: adults.
Was this review helpful?