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The Christmas Bus [Kindle Edition]

Melody Carlson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The people of Christmas Valley always celebrate Christmas to the fullest extent. The mayor plays Santa, every business is holiday themed, and there's a nativity for the kids each Christmas Eve. This town knows Christmas.

But this year nothing goes according to plan. Shepherd's Inn is full of strangers, Mad Myrtle is causing problems, and a young couple with a baby due any minute rolls in to the middle of town in their Partridge Family-style bus. It's hardly the holiday Christmas Valley wanted--but it may be just what they need. This charming novella is sure to become a new Christmas tradition for readers who love a great holiday story.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

FRONT FLAP Amy skimmed the brochure. "It sounds like the town decided to capitalize on its name-Christmas Valley-and turned into a tourist town where everything is about Christmas." She looked out at the pine trees. "I guess it does look kind of Christmassy up here. Look, Collin! It's really snowing." Collin just muttered, "Uh-huh." He didn't know a lot about engines or mechanical things, but he knew they weren't going to make it over the mountain pass tonight. "Maybe we should check out this town," he said. "Could we?" she exclaimed. "Why not?" And so it was that a rather large and brightly painted bus rolled into the quiet little hamlet of Christmas Valley. BACK FLAP Melody Carlson is the prolific author of more than 150 books for women, teens, and children. Carlson's work has been awarded the ECPA Gold Medallion and the prestigious Rita Award, among others. She lives in Sisters, Oregon.

From the Back Cover

Welcome to Christmas Valley-Christmas Capital of the Pacific Northwest! It's only two weeks before Christmas, and Edith Ryan is disappointed to learn that none of her children are coming home for the holidays. Her large house, which doubles as The Shepherd's Inn the rest of the year, will feel so empty without them. And it's too late to open the inn for Christmas reservations--surely everyone else has their plans made by now. In a town where Christmas is a way of life all year long, going through the holidays alone is just about enough to bring her to tears. Suddenly, Edith knows what she has to do-she'll invite strangers to book those rooms usually reserved for family during the week of Christmas. When the guest list shapes up to include a cantankerous old woman and a mysterious young couple with a broken-down hippie bus and a baby on the way, Edith wonders if she made the right choice. Will it blow up in her face? Or could she be entertaining angels unaware?

Product Details

  • File Size: 314 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800718798
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AKHM7E0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,646 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will You Be Ready? October 16, 2006
Other than the info on the book jacket, I had no clue what to expect from The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. This is the story of a sixty-something pastor and his fifty-something wife, empty-nesters who have learned they will soon experience a Christmas without children or grandchildren. Edith, who operates their family-owned bed and breakfast, can not bear the thought of no little faces and feet running through their home. She laments this possibility until she hears profound words of wisdom delivered in a sermon by her husband, and then she knows what she must do. The bed and breakfast, which also serves as their home, will be open for business during the Christmas holidays - and the excitement, chaos, and confusion of the holidays will not elude their home, even if their children have chosen to do just that.

What follows is a subtle story about an odd collection of people who decide a Christmas stay at The Shepherd's Inn is exactly how they want to spend their holiday. By the end of the story, the residents of quaint Christmas Valley have experienced the true meaning of Christmas, and Edith has answered the question posed in Hebrews 13:1-2, "Will you be ready?"
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Holiday Fare November 28, 2006
During the holidays this voracious reader likes to find special holiday reads to make the season brighter. I took a gamble on Ms. Carlson's book as I had not read her before, but the cover art caught my eye and I took a leap of faith. Imagine my happiness when the book turned out to be a wonderful story of a minister and his wife taking in strangers to their bed and breakfast when their children cannot come home for the holidays. An eclectic bunch convene upon Pastor Charles and Edith ready or not, making the story so funny, yet touching. I will now have this book as a yearly read along with Capote's "Christmas Memory" Karon's "Shepard's Abiding," Gulley's "Christmas in Harmony" and many others that I treasure and love.

I highly recommend this uplifting read.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
THE CHRISTMAS BUS is a sweet tale by prolific author Melody Carlson that entertains while encouraging readers to embrace the true spirit of Christmas. Edith Ryan is the cheerful, glass-half-full owner of Shepherd's Inn in the quaint town of Christmas Valley (population 2,142). Her husband, Charles, is the local pastor of Christmas Valley's only remaining church. After 25 years, Christmas Valley has revitalized its economy by becoming the "Christmas capital of the world," complete with Mrs. Santa's Diner (don't miss the "Blitzen Burgers") and the North Pole Coffee Shop. Tourism rules.

So it's a problem when Collin and Amy, a young married couple expecting their first baby, roll into town in a psychedelic broken-down bus nicknamed "Queenie" and detract from the carefully-staged ambiance. With no money and the birth of the baby imminent, it's only the kind heart of Edith Ryan that turns the town's hostility toward the young couple around --- and changes Amy and Collin's view of Christianity.

But Edith has her own set of problems. For the first time, her adult children and young grandchildren won't be making the trip to the B&B to spend Christmas with them. In a fit of inspiration, she decides to offer a discounted Christmas package for those folks who need a place to stay --- and people to be with --- over the holidays. The inn soon fills up as it attracts a motley assortment of lodgers for the holidays. Lauren and Michael Thomas are a pleasant, 30-something couple who have problems that seem insurmountable. Jim Fields and his wife Carmen constantly squabble. Divorcée Leslie and her young daughter Megan are a pleasant addition to the cast of characters, giving Carlson a chance to throw in a little romantic intrigue.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read November 27, 2006
Edith Ryan (wife of local pastor Charles) is disappointed because none of her children will be returning home for Christmas this year. Determined to have a full and joyous home, she decides to keep The Shepherd's Inn (her bed and breakfast) open during the holidays. She believes that God will send people (especially children) that need just what she and Christmas Valley (where Christmas is a year-round experience) can provide.

What Edith gets is cranky church members and townspeople who think they know what is best for Christmas Valley. Then there's Myrtle, a bossy know-it-all; a young mother and daughter who are alone; an older man who wants to be left alone; a squabbling husband and wife; and a multi-colored bus that breaks down in front of The Shepherd's Inn--complete with a very pregnant woman. Amy and Colin, owners of the bus, are struggling to make it to San Diego before the baby is born. But without funds, it looks like they're stuck in Christmas Valley.

The old saying is: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Edith's house is full, but it's not going as she thought it would. Perhaps there's something bigger and better going on in the background. Time will tell.

The Christmas Bus is a lovely Christmas story of the wonderful way in which God works in our lives, if we step out of the way. It's a reminder that appearances are deceiving and one never knows if and when they are entertaining a soul in need, the angels or the Lord Himself.

Armchair Interviews says: The Christmas Bus entertains, while reminding us all of the true spirit of Christmas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, quick read at Christmas time.
This was a nice, easy read with a good message. Especially good for entertainment at Christmastime. The easy flow and low drama made for a peaceful story.
Published 2 days ago by Aubreygirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was pretty much what one would expect, story wise. And okay holiday read.
Published 3 days ago by motherinthekitchen
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing read
Endearing, sweet, easy, feel good read. So use to reading murder mysteries, I kept expecting someone to die! :)
Published 1 month ago by kitkat824
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, enjoyable holiday reading
This is a light, enjoyable holiday read full of quirky characters. The novel is set in Christmas Valley, a small town that decided to reverse its decline by capitalizing on its... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steve Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read it this Christmas, and next year`s and the other`s.
Published 3 months ago by Red
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
its a cute christmas story...a quick read.
Published 3 months ago by MelindaJoy926
5.0 out of 5 stars SWEET TENDER STORY
Lovely story for the tender hearted reader. Easy reading at a busy season.
Published 3 months ago by Kath Doerr
4.0 out of 5 stars A good light read
I enjoyed this light read. It had moments of humor and life situations.
Published 3 months ago by Amy Hazlett
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was okay.
Published 3 months ago by Sunday R Glover-Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
I loved this book during the holidays. It shows that there are some good small town people with good hearts. Read more
Published 5 months ago by peanut22
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More About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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