Audiobook blog tour | “A Heavenly Christmas” by Patrice Wilton (narrated by Rita Page)

Posted Sunday, 5 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Heavenly Christmas” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular audiobook interested me:

I personally love curling up inside Christmas Romances as soon as the chill starts to dip into the air, Thanksgiving starts to approach and the holiday seasons kick-off properly starting with Halloween! This particular period of the year is my favourite – Autumn and Winter, have personal joys wrapped inside nostalgic memories. The reason I like reading Christmas stories is because it helps bring the holiday season into your mind and heart. Each story has its own appeal – I try to find new authors and stories to read each year, thereby expanding the collection of holiday stories I can return too once I find the ones I love the most to re-visit. This was a new tour which alighted into sight right when I was trying to decide ‘what to read’ for the holidays this year – as unlike last year, this Thanksgiving and Christmas felt a bit ‘lighter’ as they approach — yet similar to last year, this was going to be a year of thankfulness and blessings received.

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Audiobook blog tour | “A Heavenly Christmas” by Patrice Wilton (narrated by Rita Page)A Heavenly Christmas
Subtitle: Can the magic of Christmas mend a young woman's heart?
by Patrice Wilton
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Rita Page

Jennie Braxton and her two small children are traveling to Philadelphia for Christmas with her family. Car trouble lands them in a magical town called Heaven, PA. Everything about this sweet place seems too good to be true, especially Nick Ryan, a local chef with a heart as big as her own. His sensual smile tempts her from mourning the loss of her husband, to look into the future. Can her dreams of finding happiness again come true, or will her heart hide safely in the past?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B01LYGP90H

Also by this author: A Heavenly Christmas

Also in this series: A Heavenly Christmas


Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by Self Published Author

on 15th September, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 11 minutes (Unabridged)

Self Published Audiobook

A Heavenly Christmas series:

A Heavenly Christmas (Book One)

Someone to Love (Book Two) (Synopsis)

Christmas Wish (Book Three) (Synopsis)

Formats Available: Paperback and Audiobook

About Patrice Wilton

Patrice Wilton

Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.

Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.

She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters and one grandson, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.

She has twenty-five books published on Amazon, and is a NY Times and USA Today best selling author.

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my review of a heavenly christmas:

A woman feels anxiously confused about ‘where’ she is as we arrive in this audiobook because she’s feeling disconnected about her surroundings – not to mention, the condition of ‘how’ she’s able to function in this ‘place’ she doesn’t quite understand. Jennie finds herself unable to focus – especially when a man she doesn’t know, suddenly refers to her being in ‘Heaven’. She could tell she was injured – her throbbing ache of pain stemming out of her head was a substantial clue – but it was how ‘this Heaven’ felt different from the ‘Heaven’ she knew of was quite startling! Until – of course, she was told about how this was Pennsylvania – all the panic which assaults your senses after major trauma went through Jennie. Her initial fears were about her children – who despite the snow, were happily fairing better than she was at this moment.

Nick wouldn’t allow Jennie talk him out of being taken to the hospital – it was too similar to another tragedy which could have been prevented. Jennie found herself skirted off to the local hospital, in a towne which has a homey appeal – where community togetherness is evident by how willing Nick was able to take care of everything she needed – without being asked – whilst curiously finding herself unable to do anything more than to worry about whether or not she was injured more than she felt despite finding herself staying over for observation.

Despite finding herself unable to sort out how she ended up in this situation – Jennie was reluctantly settling into realising – this night was going to prove to test her patience. She wished she didn’t have to be delayed here, but at the same time, the accident was providing her with a ‘pause’ to sit back and take notice of things she hadn’t noticed previously. Thankfully, her parents were not too far away – as soon as they arrived at the hospital, Jennie felt instantly reassured about how this event might affect her daughters and parents. She was already affected by how her parents were overcoming their health afflictions – worried how their health issues might be limiting what they could do; thereby bringing to surface how fragile life can become overnight. This latest trauma notwithstanding!

Her parents reminded her about how difficult her life has been this past year, whilst mindful of how their conversation was keeping Nick from his restaurant – he was a local Chef, who wanted to introduce Jennie to Heaven (the city). Nick felt her and the girls would appreciate the small towne atmosphere, hopefully finding spending time here might give them a better ‘start’ to their holiday plans – especially given how it felt like they couldn’t quite patch things back together after such an unexpectedly difficult beginning! Jennie had caring parents who loved being grandparents – something I liked seeing – as sometimes grandparents in fiction aren’t always interested in their grand-children’s lives. In this way, this story had an appealing tone inside it – as it’s like alighting inside a passage of one family’s story, where emotions are still stinging from past losses.

Nick had his own secrets – he was especially grateful for the position he had established at the restaurant – where his staff had his back, watching out for the customers who would soon be seated and enjoying his foods. His mind though – was drifting back to Jennie and her daughters, where he was noticeably a bit shaken as he couldn’t help but notice how Jennie’s parents were a bit pushing forward a train of thought he was considering himself: Jennie was in need of finding a life partner, but he wasn’t the kind who was in need of one himself. He appreciated the fact Jennie was nice enough, even her girls, but what he didn’t want was something which would complicate his life in such a fast way! He was comfortable in his life – where the past had had its hardships but where in his present, he was successful and comfortable; no complications or strings of attachments. Not even with a steady girlfriend – his world revolved around his food, which suited him just fine.

You could tell Nick was your typical bachelor who didn’t want to entangle himself into the regular affairs of home, hearth and parenthood. He even had a bit of angst inside him for the holiday season – giving out nothing to his customers, despite questioning his own motives for why he’s keeping Jennie a secret. Nick found himself drifting back to checking on Jennie the next day – something that seemed a bit surprising even to me, as he was critical of his intentions (a lot of self-reflective moments had gone on between when the two were last seen together) whilst his offer to give Jennie’s parents and her daughters a chance to have breakfast at his restaurant was giving her unneeded emotional strife. Jennie was growing frustrated being cooped up in the hospital – something I could sympathise as getting discharged is a test of patience!

You could sense something was pressing itself on Jennie’s spirit – she reveals about what happened to her husband, but it felt deeper than just this singular loss. Jennie was struggling to transition – not just through this anguish of loss but there were other moments of difficulties she hadn’t quite yet found a way to ‘let go’ of to where she could feel freer in the present. Nick on the other hand – never quite felt he was someone who could blend in with others well, nor find that he fit with everyday society. Despite their personal obstacles, Nick had a ready idea about how Jennie and her family could carve out a passable experience in Heaven before continuing onward with their established holiday plans – the plans, this moment in Heaven had altered from their course.

There are overtures of spirituality as Jennie tries to find reconciliation as she owns to the fact she has needed a place where she could knit out new memories during this time of the year. This respite she was granted in Heaven not only allowed her the breathing space to consider things she had tried to transition through but it also gave her the chance to get ‘caught up’ in the randomness of how everyday joys can give you sparkles of light and a sense of wonder; feelings you might not have allowed yourself to feel or experience since you were a child yourself, before the woes of the world engulfed you. It was here, where Jennie felt herself relaxing and finding herself feel a bit more like herself, before everything started to consumer her past what she knew she could handle.

As Jennie and Nick find themselves unable to shake the feeling they were feeling pulled together for a reason, their time spent with each other allowed them to share things they generally would have held secret from someone else. They could each turn to each other in a confidential way which surprised them both equally for how comfortable they felt in each others’ presence, but sometimes, you meet someone who just ‘gets you’ without having to feel like you need to validate your actions. Nick in turn, felt surprised why he was growing more attached to being around Jennie – he felt guilty as it were for the accident itself but this was different. He wasn’t used to feeling like he needed someone else in his life like he felt like he needed to be near Jennie.

The special part of listening to this story was seeing how well fleshed out the secondary characters were who added to the joy of the back-story and changing perspective of Jennie’s own story: herein, I refer to the grandparents. I truly felt without Jennie’s parents, this story might have felt like a different story altogether – they not only grounded Jennie’s journey firmly in your mind, but they added to the life lessons threading into the background. They were very well developed and without their presence, I think I might not have celebrated the ending as much as I had – they simply felt necessary to the fabric of the story – allowing age and wisdom to help guide Nick and Jennie towards the conclusions they were taking time to realise were true for them.

Fly in the Ointment: Language & Content:

There were some off-colour humour moments about who wants to sleep with whom whilst there were some sexual innuendo which although I’ve come across in other Romances, this time round felt a bit more superficial. Almost as if there were certain bits of dialogue or sexual references being sprinkled through the story for reasons I wasn’t sure were justified as the main threads of the story were moving in a different direction. This felt more like a homespun small towne Romance but it was being levelled into more of a Rom-Com like atmosphere or a traditional Chick-Lit narrative – both of which I’m more critical of reading because they don’t always track the way I prefer a Romance to be. So there were a few awkward moments where I was questioning what I was hearing — but then, the story evened out again.

There was a secondary issue – where the stronger words felt a bit out step with the personalities of the characters, whilst it seemed strange – there were moments where the author said “cursed under their breath” type references but then, exchanged this ‘off-camera’ observation to a direct word being placed into the narrative – which seemed counter-productive? I wasn’t sure why some words were ‘eluded to’ being heard whilst others were spoken plain? Blessedly these were minor blights and not the mainstay.

Third – I couldn’t sort out why some of the descriptive pieces were a bit common – where things you wouldn’t necessary say out loud were being spoken about – for starters, I have no idea why bathroom breaks have to be spoken about in the manner they were in this story.

On the contemporary writing of ms. wilton:

Despite the few things which wrinkled my brow as I listened to the story, one thing I liked about how Ms Wilton writes her Contemporaries is how she writes gentle stories of where her characters need to come to a personal awakening or fork in the road where they can sort through the things they are allowing to prevent themselves from moving ‘forward’ in their lives. She has a particular style I generally enjoy reading – even if there were a few things which I felt took my joy away here or there, I found myself rooted into the story-line. She’s taken a small towne atmosphere (which I love!) and populated it with a small cast of characters who make this towne called: Heaven come to life! It’s similar to how those tv movies set in small townes give you the impression you’ve spent time there yourself by the time the story ends. In this, the best part is getting caught up in how Jennie and her daughters (along with her parents) find that sometimes the things your thinking your seeking out of life might not be exactly what you need – sometimes, life has a way of switching up your plans in order to give you something to consider you hadn’t thought was necessary.

I also loved how she focused on the foods Nick liked to cook or eat – it’s a very Foodie inspiring story from that perspective – you could nearly ‘taste’ the foods being showcased throughout the novel! I love finding food represented in a food-focused story because it gives another lovely layer of insight into what motivates the characters; especially in this case, as Nick is a chef! If you love both comfort foods and gourmet concoctions, you’ll have plenty to appreciate in what Nick is drawing your eye towards noticing!

This is a light-hearted story despite the dramatic obstacles facing Nick and Jennie – even though I had my brow wrinkling here or there, one thing that was lovely was seeing how layered the story had been written – how there were realistic reasons why Jennie and Nick were having trouble sorting out their futures. The story ambled through their transitions – of allowing the reader time and space to understand why they couldn’t see the future they wanted as readily as you might have hoped they could have realised sooner – there was a lot of growth stitched into this novel and the author gives you plenty of insight into why Nick and Jennie needed the ‘extra time’ to resolve what conflicted them.

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Rita Page

Rita Page

Rita Page was always the first to volunteer to read aloud, whether it was Bible verses during family devotions or stories to her classmates in elementary school. Now as a freelance videographer and voice talent, Rita is passionate about using her God-given talents and tools to produce stories that reach the heart.

She also loves horses, beach volleyball and creating healthy, colorful and tasty meals with whole fruits and veggies.

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Listening Habit:

I decided to listen to this one straight-through whilst taking notes rather than focusing on colouring and listening to it prior to writing my thoughts down. Sometimes I find myself altering my patterns of how I listen to audiobooks – I even found playing Solitaire card games can be just as beneficial as knitting or colouring; something I did during part of this audiobook as well.

Number of Narrators:

There was only one – however, she created a unique ‘voice’ per each supporting cast character who entered into the story-line. Thereby making this audio feel more expansive than keeping her voice steady into one voice of narrative dictation.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is the first time I’ve listened to a story by Rita Page.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Jennie: Her voice was soft-spoken with a faltering sense of confidence as the accident had disrupted her plans. She felt a bit off kilter by how the accident was affecting her schedule – she felt like everything was a bit upside down, which comes through well by how Ms Page approached vocalising her story.

Nick: His voice was refreshing – it had a laid-back sound and vibe to it, which seemed to fit the community he lived and worked.

The children: The children voices were a bit squeaky but you could understand their tone a bit because they were upset about the accident. One thing I couldn’t sort out though is why the ‘girls’ sometimes seemed to sound more like ‘young boys’ than ‘young girls’.

The parents: I loved how Ms Page narrated the parents – she seemed to do well with adding ‘age’ into her voicing of her characters, as the parents sounded exactly how I felt they might sound given what was being disclosed about them. You didn’t question who they were because they just felt ‘right’.

Nick’s staff: I loved the lightness in Nick’s staff’s voices because it reminded me exactly how you are greeted in a restaurant where the wait staff loves their jobs & make you feel right at home.

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

I felt this story had a good balance between being theatrical and narrative – it’s a style I’ve started to notice is being used in most Contemporary stories on audiobook, lately. It’s one that makes it easy to soak into the background of the ‘setting’ whilst focusing on where we are inside the characters’ journey.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

Ms Page took great care of making sure how she’s talking about the narrative bits and shifting into the character’s portions to have a distinguished separation. There was a smoothness to how she approached these transitions and I appreciated feeling ‘involved’ in the lives of the characters rather than finding any abrupt segues – sometimes this can happen, but thankfully, Ms Page has good instincts on how to off-set spoken dialogue, narrative overlays and shifts from lead to supporting cast focuses – to where you feel the audiobook brings the story to life just as it was meant to be found in the print version.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

This is a solid production of the story.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I think I might enjoy listening to this story a second time with the print book in hand – perhaps finding a few things I might have overlooked whilst listening to it the first time round. I like being able to go back over audio versions with print copies because sometimes it deepens your understanding of the same story but seen through a different portal of comprehension.

In closing, would I seek out another (narrator) audiobook?

Yes, I definitely would seek out more audiobooks narrated by Ms Page! I liked the sound of her voice – loved how she brought everything to life – plus, I felt due to the breadth of how the story altered between the past and the present – as both Jennie and Nick were going through an upheaval of personal transitions, Ms Page handled everything with such an ease of narration, you felt instantly able to alight into the flow of the sequences without feeling muddled.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Audiobookworm Promotions Event Host badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

Whilst participating on:

A Heavenly Christmas blog tour by Audiobookworm PromotionsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Heavenly Christmas”, book synopsis, author & narrator biographies, photographs of Patrice Wilton and Rita Page as well as the Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 5 November, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction




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