Monday, November 8, 2021

Unpacking Christmas by Beth Vogt Blog Tour

About the Book

Book: Unpacking Christmas

Author: Beth K. Vogt

Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction

Release date: November, 2021

Johanna, Jillian, and Payton’s excitement about the Christmas holidays is upset when their parents announce they’re selling their long-time family home. Soon the sisters find themselves facing a variety of unexpected changes, including a serious health scare for their dad. Instead of putting up holiday lights and decorating the family Christmas tree, the Thatcher sisters are helping pack up their childhood home. Along the way, they share treasured memories as they try to hold onto valued traditions, discovering the struggles they’ve endured pale in comparison to the love they share with each other.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a good novella for readers who want to catch up on the Thatcher family, previous novels Vogt has written. Woven into a Christmas theme is the very serious issue of change. Why do we fear change? Why do we like to have things stay the same? Why are we frustrated, like the oldest Thatcher daughter, when we cannot control circumstances? We readers certainly get a good dose of family struggles when daughters are faced with life change decisions made by their parents.

While this novella reads pretty well on its own, it would best be appreciated by readers who have been reading the Thatcher family novels. The personalities of the sisters and the relationships they have are presented well by Vogt. There are some good issues to think about even if the previous novels have not been read.

While this is an engaging novella, I did have an issue with the changing points of view. Some of the scenes are from the mother's point of view and are in first person. When there is a scene with the sisters, the point of view is third person. When a scene changes from exclusively sisters to adding the mother, the point of view then changes. While there is a little holly leaf separating the scenes, I did find the change in the POV distracting.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored ten contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, released May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at

More from Beth

What’s going on with the Thatcher sisters?

Readers have asked me this question so often since The Best We’ve Been, the third and what I considered final book in the Thatcher Sisters Series, which released in May 2020. In the series, Payton, Jillian, and Johanna each had their moment center stage. Some readers told me they’d come to understand and, yes, even like older sister Johanna. Quite a feat, considering how she annoyed readers in book one, Things I Never Told You.

I ended the series with the trio of sisters in a good place – the best they’d ever been. The circumstances of their lives weren’t all tied off in nice, neat bows, but then real life isn’t like that, is it? And as the author, I was content to leave the sisters there and let readers imagine what happened next.

And then 2020 disrupted life for all of us. For me? Writing didn’t happen. I promised myself I would dive back into story in 2021. What better way than with a Christmas novella? So many readers love Christmas stories. And what better time to revisit Payton, Jillian, and Johanna and answer readers’ question: What’s going on with the Thatcher sisters?

I wasn’t sure myself. Part of the fun of writing is rediscovering well-known characters as you discover a new story. Set against the backdrop of Christmas? That was just an added blessing.

It’s been Christmas time for me throughout 2021 – a time to enjoy family traditions and face some unexpected changes. Welcome back to the Thatcher family!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 8

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 9

Texas Book-aholic, November 10

Livin’ Lit, November 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

lakesidelivingsite, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 14

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 15

Genesis 5020, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 16

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, November 17

SusanLovesBooks, November 17

deb's Book Review, November 18

Spoken from the Heart, November 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Christian Chick's Thoughts, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 20

Through the fire blogs, November 20

She Lives To Read, November 21


I received a complimentary digital copy of this novella through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)


Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks for participating in the blog tour and for your review. I appreciate it.

Stormy Vixen said...

Congratulations on your new release, Beth! I enjoyed reading the excerpt and Unpacking Christmas sounds like a splendid book to read during the holidays! Good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks for brining it to my attention and have a magical holiday season!

Stormy Vixen said...

Thanks Book Reviews From an Avid Reader for sharing your review! Have a magical holiday season!

Deana said...

Really enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing and being part of the tour,

megana said...

I appreciate your honest review!

slehan said...

Good book for holiday reading.
Thanks for the contest.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your review of this story, I love the cover and synopsis and am looking forward to reading this book and series

Cindy said...

I didn't know this book existed! Thanks for sharing!!

Debbie P said...

This sounds like an excellent Christmas read. Thank you for your review.

Denise Turner said...

Love reading your reviews.

Amy Woolard said...

I can't wait to read this one over Christmas break!