Monday, November 12, 2012

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts

Merry Ex-Mas (Life in Icicle Falls)Cass Wilkes, owner of the Gingerbread Haus bakery, was looking forward to her daughter Danielle's wedding—until Dani announced that she wants her father, Cass's ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously? Even worse, it appears that he, his trophy wife and their yappy little dog will be staying with Cass….

Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She's just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant, Zelda's. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren't easy for Ella O'Brien, either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Isn't it?

But watch as Christmas brings all kinds of surprises….

Merry Ex-mas, ladies!

Shelia Roberts
Sheila Roberts 2It took Sheila Roberts a while to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. Before becoming a published writer she did many things, including playing in a band and owning a singing telegram company. But in the end, she wound up doing what she loved to do most as a child: writing. Sheila has been published under different names in both fiction and non-fiction and seen her books translated into several different languages. Her novels have been selected for book clubs and optioned for film. She lives on a small lake in the Pacific Northwest and has three children and one long-suffering husband. When she's not playing with girlfriends or on the tennis court Sheila can be found writing about those things dear to women's hearts:family, friends, and chocolate.

Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed Books and have been published in several languages. Her book Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009 and her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (

Her latest book is Merry Ex-Mas.
You can visit her website at
Visit her on Twitter:

Guest Post:
What would a woman do if she had to share the holiday with her ex-husband?

By Sheila Roberts

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. But I know that for many of us this time of year can be hectic and crazy.

It can especially get crazy when dealing with family. Although we all want that Norman Rockwell kind of holiday, sometimes family issues can make it more like a Mad Magazine holiday. Throw in dealing with exes and stepfamily and life can become downright stressful. I don’t have an ex (the only way my poor husband is going to escape is if he dies), but I’ve seen how tricky this can be watching other people deal with the challenges of sharing kids. I’ve watched one young family make the rounds on Christmas, eating three dinners in a day. Now, while I love the idea of getting three slices of Red Velvet Cake in one day, I have to admit I think that might be too much even for me. Well, at least for my hips.

Thinking about how challenging it can be making peace and goodwill toward men a reality over the holidays when dealing with former spouses inspired me to write “Merry Ex-mas”. I couldn’t help asking myself, what would a woman do if she not only had to share the holiday with her ex husband but if she had to share her house as well? Hosting your ex and his new wife for the holidays? Yikes! Throw in a Christmas wedding and, well, there’s enough chaos for anyone. So, that’s how I came up with one of the story lines for the book.

I also heard about a divorced couple that was stuck sharing their house until it sold. How awkward. How hard. What would happen if I stuck a divorced couple in the same house for the holidays? And what if they were still really in love with each other? How fun!

Needless to say, in this book, my characters have a lot to work out, and I had a great time helping them do it.

Of course, it’s easier to work out the problems of fictional characters than it is real life people. But in real life, I know it can be hard. So, if you’re bracing yourself for holiday stress, here’s my advice. Make sure you make time for lots of stress relief. Plan some silent nights where you can take a bubble bath, watch your favorite holiday movie or read a good book. We women get so busy taking care of everyone else at this time of year we sometimes forget about ourselves. You have my permission to give yourself a merry Christmas, too. I hope Santa brings you a whole sleigh full of chocolate!

My Review:
          The minute I read the title of the book, I knew it had to be a great book. Merry Ex-Mas? I wasn’t disappointed. Having long been a fan of Ms. Roberts, I expected no less than a great story and she delivered it - on a Christmas Platter.

“Once in a while, if a woman is really lucky, the perfect day she envisioned turns out to be just that.”

          What I liked about the book? I loved the town’s name – Icicle Falls. And, just as you’d expect, the places in the town follow suit, Gingerbread Haus Bakery, Zelda’s, and Breakfast Haus (pancakes). Ms. Roberts paints a picturesque town that comes to life as you are transported to the town through her words. The cover of the book is also captivating.

“…ex-husband. That man, that self-centered, undeserving rat who’d tried to lure the kids away this weekend with a trip to Vail, who…No, no. No thoughts about…”

          The author creates family drama that leaves you laughing and crying. Imagine a close-knit town, with a close circle of women friends, either unmarried or divorced, all with exes. Imagine again, the drama that ensues when they all show up on the prospective doorsteps of their women, hoping to woo them back. All over town, doors can be heard slamming, words being yelled, drinks flying, dishes breaking. Just thinking back to the scenes makes me laugh.

“…hard with her ex-husband strutting around town, pretending to be the world’s best dad. It was going to be hard to greet his bimbo trophy wife with good cheer. And she didn’t even want to think about dealing with her ex-mother- and sister-in-law.”

          And, in the midst of all the chaos, a daughter announces her engagement and plans a wedding, complete with her mom’s ex and his bimbo wife being guests at her house. Throw in some dog poop, and ice falling off roofs on to guests and the excitement begins. And, once it begins, you just never know where it will end.

“…kitchen when a cold gust of wind blew in the door. She looked up to see who the latecomer was and received a shock that made her heart jump and the tray slip from her hands, sending dishes and glasses to shatter on the floor. Oh, no. It couldn’t be…”

          What I didn’t like about the book? Well, it ended (stomping feet here). I need more – as in another book.

“We brought vitamin C,” Samantha said, handling over a holiday box of Sweet Dreams Chocolates. Chocolate, the other Vitamin C, and a girl’s best friend. “This takes care of me. I don’t know what the rest of you are having,” Cash joked.”

          From a technical standpoint? The book boasts a wonderful winter wonderland of a town with great, well developed characters and plot lines  The book had a great beginning and had plenty of excitement throughout to keep you guessing and turning the pages, before it wrapped up nicely – but leaving you wanting more.

“Food. It was the centerpiece of life. From dinners of state to family gatherings, sharing food was an essential part of human connection. And it was the spice of love. How could you not fall in love when you were gazing across the table at someone?”

          Merry Ex-Mas is full of chaos, love, laughter, betrayal, and tears; and we all know that makes for a fantastic read!

If you found my review helpful, please consider voting "yes" on Amazon by clicking the link below. Thanks!! 

Merry Ex-Mas is available at Amazon


Merry Ex-Mas Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Wednesday, November 7
Thursday, November 8
Book Review at Inside BJ’s Head
Book Review & Guest  Blogging at Always With a Book
Friday, November 9
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Book Review Club
Monday, November 12
Book Review at My Life in Stories
Tuesday, November 13
Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Book Review at By the Broomstick
Wednesday, November 14
Character Dear Santa Letter at Literarily Speaking
Book Review by By the  Book
Thursday, November 15
Book Review at The Book Hoard
Friday, November 16
Book Review at Miki’s Hope
Monday, November 19
Book Review at Thoughts in Progress
Guest Blogging at Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and More
Wednesday, November 21
Book Review at Bless Their Hearts Mom
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23
Book Review at Hanging Off the Wire
Monday, November 26
Book Review at My Devotional Thoughts
Wednesday, November 28
Book Review at From the TBR Pile
Friday, November 30
Book Review at The Christmas Spirit

As per FTC requirements: My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon. A small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above link. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and fair review. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. Guest Posts are offered so authors can share their writing with my audience for their enjoyment.

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Now, this one sounds like fun....or is that counter-intuitive, since it is full of exes and conflict? LOL Great review, you made it sound quite intriguing!

    1. It was a fun book. Took more guts than I have to let an ex stay at my house. If I told you the funny things, I'd give it away - but the yappy dog of the bimbo trophy wife enjoyed the wedding cake! lol

  2. Thank you for your wonderful review, Donna!

    1. It was quite easy. I enjoyed the book. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Yes Donna a good review: I was transported to Icicle Falls and on to the Gingerbread bakery, Zeldas Breakfast Haus.(I can taste the pancakes, When I was young I sat Quietly at this table, it was a learning curve and good times), and of course the ex That self centred man, the undeserving Rat! who tries to lure the children away and of course his "Bimbo" I just love this word but it may be a bit unkind? carrying more than her share of blame.I loved the way she (the author) threaded the emotive words together. Cold gust of wind! Sweet dreams chocolate! That takes care of me.
    I look forward to reading this book.
    I know it's a tad early? but I send you seasonal greeting from my family to your family, from my children to your children and from me to you and your husband be well and a merry Christmas to you all, Agman

    1. Thank you for the holiday wishes. Back at you. I hope your family has an enjoyable holiday as well. A hint - "Bimbo" gets resolved.

  4. Great review!

    Ive been hearing great things about this book, - its on my to be read list.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I hope you enjoy the book. Please stop by and let me know what you thought of it.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it! I read each and every response, and I love hearing thoughts and opinions from fellow bloggers, readers, and authors. If you have a blog, please leave a link so I can visit you back. Thank you.

I try to answer most comments, so if you would like to read my response, please visit often. Or, just click the "Email follow-up comments to [...]" box before publishing, to receive notification of new comments.

If you have to leave a comment anonymously, don't leave one at all. I will delete it. Own up to your thoughts.