I cannot imagine a Christmas season without a new Christmas novella by Melody Carlson. Often poignant, these stories nevertheless leave me with hope for humankind and always pleased by how the story ends.

A Christmas By the Sea was another soul-satisfying read by Ms. Carlson. I loved the characters, especially Caleb, Wendy, and Jackson who seemed to belong together from the start. I loved seeing Seaside, Maine through their eyes and could almost imagine myself there with them. Although the story was not preachy, I loved seeing God at work in the lives of these precious characters.

If you have not read any of Melody Carlson’s Christmas novellas, A Christmas By the Sea would be a good place to start. You might just find yourself collecting them like I do.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Wendy couldn’t believe she was standing here discussing toilets with a perfect stranger. Not
that he was perfect–although he
was rather attractive. But he was obviously enjoying her discomfort a bit too much.

He eased the bulky box from the shelf and onto the floor, leaning it against his leg. “So . . . you’re new in town?”

“Not exactly.” She watched as he easily picked up the container. Was he trying to be friendly or actually hitting on her?

When Wendy Harper inherits her family’s beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. Her twelve-year-old son Jackson sees it as an exciting new start in a life that has grown rather gray without his father.

Before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. Wendy and Jackson move in–temporarily, she reminds him–in order to fix the place up before Christmas. But the charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on Wendy. She knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea–and a fresh start–is hard to resist.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at