Countdown to Christmas

Holiday Countdown Series Book 1

Fiction - Holiday
183 Pages
Reviewed on 10/01/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very young, but it wasn't until I was sitting in bed one day, crying because my kids no longer cared about Christmas, that I finally pushed to complete my first book.

Every character in Countdown to Christmas experiences the emotions I felt, from the parents whose kids are now 'too grown for Santa,' to the parents who work too much, to Grace herself, who is desperate to hold on to the family she loves.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers' Favorite

In Countdown to Christmas (Holiday Countdown Series Book 1) by Dianna Houx, after the doctor tells her this could be her granny’s last Christmas, Grace is determined to make Christmas something special and she will do whatever it takes to make it the best one ever. While planning and organizing the big event, Grace enlists the help of the entire town to help her pull it off. Her plan is big and she’s trying to keep it a secret from Granny Josephine. As a result of her plan, she meets Hunter, a New Yorker in town for the holidays. Grace is more than a bit interested, but Hunter is out of her league. While rummaging through Granny’s memories to find clues to help make things special, Grace finds herself on a journey of her own. Her own memories and realizations invade what is meant to be the happiest time ever. Along the way, Grace and Granny both meet new people, find new interests, and discover things that will affect both of their lives. Can Grace pull off the big surprise for Granny in time? Will she find love in the process? More important, will she find herself?

Countdown to Christmas is a subtle romance intertwined with a heartwarming drama with multiple interesting characters. Dianna Houx presents a quintessential Christmas story with all the twists and turns needed to keep you intrigued. While Grace struggles to make life happier and easier for others, she discovers a lot about herself and finds more than she expected. Dianna delivers a well-paced, well-written story with believable and interesting characters. The story unfolds in a way that keeps your attention and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. Dianna reminds us of the goodness and kindness in people and how important the people in our lives are. This book was not what I expected from the description, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is heartwarming, charming, clever, and original.

Nino Lobiladze

Christmas is just around the corner. Countdown to Christmas by Dianna Houx, the first book in a series, is an uplifting read for those who cherish the Christmas spirit and crave Christmas miracles. Grace dedicates herself to caring for her elderly grandmother, Josephine. Grace's parents died when she was a child, and Granny Josephine became her only family. But Granny's health declines, and she loses zest for life. Grace decides to lift her spirits by reviving the Christmas celebration as it used to be in Granny's childhood, remembering that it may be her grandmother's last Christmas. So, Grace plans the 'Old-Fashioned Christmas Experience' for paying guests in their big, beautiful house with the involvement of the whole town of Winterwood. Grace will face obstacles as Granny keeps a secret. Will her new friends and a handsome New Yorker named Hunter help Grace celebrate a unique Christmas?

Countdown to Christmas is a cozy holiday read full of surprising twists. Dianna Houx invites us to a small mid-western town where everyone knows each other, and the mayor is also the pastor of a local church. Winterwood is a perfect example of a town that used to know better times. Now, young people leave it to try their luck somewhere else. Winterwood is dying, but Dianna tells us that there's always hope and that we can create our happiness with our own hands. I appreciated that Dianna didn't sugarcoat her story. Grace is insecure financially and emotionally. She is not sure what the next day has in store for her. But she has a noble goal to achieve. Grace's determination and big heart inspire us to be more compassionate to the people around us. The author narrates Countdown to Christmas with a good pinch of humor and offers us a beautiful love story. Dianna emphasizes the meaning of family in a touching subplot regarding one of the guests named Carl. I highly recommend Countdown to Christmas to fans of holiday fiction, family drama, and romance.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

There are only twenty days left until Christmas. This may be Granny’s last Christmas and Grace is desperate to find something to make it a special event for her. In Dianna Houx’s novel, Countdown to Christmas, Grace notices Granny brighten up when sharing stories from her past. That sparks an idea to create a Christmas like Granny remembered from years gone by. Only, it was going to take the entire town to help out, not just herself and the grand old mansion in which she lives with Granny. It’s amazing what small towns can do when they come together and start planning. Even if money is short, there’s still lots of spirit to share and that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it?

Dianna Houx’s novel, Countdown to Christmas, is the first book in the Holiday Countdown series. It’s a sweet, gentle story about caring, family love, making new friends, community spirit, and all that makes Christmas such a special time of year. The plot follows Grace as she nurtures Granny, her sole remaining family member. They share stories and Grace concocts a plan to create a Christmas wonderland in her entire community, one that will spark precious memories from Granny’s past. Only, her plan blossoms beyond her expectations of pleasing her grandmother. In the process, her love and attentive spirit bring a struggling small-town community together as well as those strangers who take the opportunity to share a unique, old-fashioned Christmas at Granny’s house. It’s definitely a win-win situation, but not without some stumbling blocks along the way. And with only twenty days to go; now nineteen; now eighteen …. Full of the true meaning of Christmas, this is a cozy story for the holiday season, one that will warm the hearts of all readers.