Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Re-release Review: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings by Nell Iris

From The Blurb:
Young couple Ellis and Casey’s Christmas is set to be a lean one. Struggling financially, they’re only able to manage the most basic needs for their holiday celebration. They can’t afford luxuries like a turkey. Or decorations. Or presents. Between the recent death of Casey’s beloved momma, and Ellis’ estrangement from his family, all they have is each other. 
When Ellis finds the saddest looking Christmas tree south of the Mason-Dixon line thrown outside his workplace and brings it home to Casey, things look up. Because what more do you need to have a Merry Christmas than enthusiasm, ingenuity, and someone to love?

Karen's rating:

It's the gifts from the heart, that are truly priceless...

'Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings' is a re-release from 2017's DSP Advent Calendar. Other than a new cover I'm not really sure how much if anything has changed. The story seems to be about the same length as it's previously release.

Casey and Ellis may not have much but they know how to make the most of what they have and appreciate it. It hasn't been the greatest year for Casey. He's lost his mom and she was the one person aside from Ellis, that he knew he could count on and who approved of his relationship with Ellis without reservation.

While the author did a super job of giving us a fair bit of Casey and Ellis's background through their memories...especially Casey's. I would have enjoyed it even more if there'd been a bit more story that happened both before and after the holiday...specifically after. I would have loved finding out how things went when Casey started his new job and maybe something more between Ellis and his sister. While her gift to them was sweet, I would have enjoyed seeing more...what can I say when it comes to short stories it's quite often the story of my life I want more. It's also indicative of the fact that I'm liking what I've gotten since I'm saying 'I want more' rather than 'the best thing about this story was that it was short'.

"Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings" is not my first time reading a story by this author and the one thing that I can say about all of her stories is that she creates characters that I would love to have more of.  From Iggy and Wilkin in 'Awakenings and French Songs to the men in 'Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings' or 'Promises Me We'll be Ok' and now here in 'Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings', Nell Iris has created characters that are interesting and memorable, leaving the reader wanting more...not because the story's incomplete but because it captures both the attention and the reader's heart.

From the Charlie Brown Christmas tree to their heartfelt Christmas gifts to each other. Casey and Ellis's story is a warm and heartfelt reminder for us all what the true blessings of the season and every day of the year should be.


A copy of 'Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

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