Catching Christmas

Catching Christmas

by Terri Blackstock

Hardcover

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Overview

The first Christmas story from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Terri Blackstock.

“The feel-good Christmas book of the year. Blackstock’s tale of love and redemption wrapped in a holiday bow will leave you smiling. Don’t miss Catching Christmas.” —New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hauck

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is paying his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild-goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

“Blackstock’s Catching Christmas is not your average romance. Darling and laugh-out-loud cute, it makes the reader think about the important things in life. I read it in one gulp and wished there was more. Highly recommended!” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Hope Beach and Lavender Tides series

“Terri Blackstock’s latest offering touches tender places with its quirky characters and stirring plot. Catching Christmas explores what happens when the paths of a disenchanted taxi driver collide with that of an overworked attorney. Blackstock weaves a compelling, romantic tale that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!” —Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams and The Convenient Groom

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310351726
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 90,793
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Finn

I'm not a violent man, but I have a dozen reasons for pulling my cab over and throwing the chattering man in my back seat onto the curb. His cheesy Christmas outfit is one of them. His love affair with Uber is another.

"Not trying to insult you or anything," the man says. "But I don't see why any of you are still working for cab companies. The Uber model is the wave of the future, don't you think? I mean, seriously, it's so convenient for consumers, with the app charging your credit card and everything. And you don't have that blasted meter staring you in the face ..."

I look at the man in the rearview mirror. "You got money or not?"

"Of course. What do you mean?"

"You sound like a guy who has a problem handing a credit card or cash to an actual human being. You'd rather put it in an app where who knows who in India or China or somewhere is saving all your data."

The man's laughter is defensive and unnatural. "How old are you?" he asks. "You don't look old enough to be suspicious of the Internet. You look like that guy Luke on Gilmore Girls. My wife would love you. You probably get that a lot."

"Never heard of the guy," I say, even though I get it at least once a week.

"The way he looked at the end of the series."

The older version, of course. I'm feeling older all the time, even though I only turned thirty a month ago.

I'm getting close to the guy's destination, something I know since I have intimate knowledge of the St. Louis street map without a GPS, so it isn't worth responding.

But the guy loves the sound of his voice. "I only took a cab because it's raining and it's rush hour. Uber spikes their prices up at times like this. And there you were, sitting at the hotel where my convention was ..."

Now I have to respond. "So you'd rather ride with some dude who hasn't had as many background checks as I have, who doesn't have to pay the same license fees and taxes, who doesn't know how to get where you're going unless he's looking at his phone while he's trying to drive, who might have been working in a lab for his day job, where he handles live viruses and doesn't believe in washing his hands —"

"Come on," the guy says. "That's ridiculous."

"Most ride-share drivers don't do it for a living, pal. I know the shortcuts —"

"But you don't take them. Come on, you know cabs go out of their way to run up the bill. Those drivers may not do it for a living, but they're good enough. And I usually know where I'm going. I can tell them how to get there."

"You know," I cut back in, "that's another thing. Good enough is really what you want? How about excellence? You watch TV on six-inch devices, you read your news on blogs, you eat fast food rather than cooking. You're happier with two all-beef patties than you are with fine restaurants or — here's a concept — homecooked meals."

The guy leans forward on the seat, and I fight my urge to shove him back. "What is your problem?" he asks. "What does my diet have to do with driving a cab?"

Nothing, but it has everything to do with me. I'm seriously losing it. I'll never make it through this Christmas season.

I reach the guy's destination, and pulling over to the curb, I check the meter. "Eight bucks," I say. "Do you want a receipt?"

The guy doesn't move. "I asked you a question."

I turn and look back at him. "You want me to keep that meter running?"

The guy shakes his head, pulls out his wallet, and hands me a ten. "Give me a receipt, since I don't have it on an app."

I'm pretty sure the guy doesn't intend to tip me, so I fish two dollars out of my pouch and hand them back to him with a receipt. The guy snatches them and opens his door.

"Want my card?" I shout after him.

He slams the door, and I chuckle as I drive away.

You run into jerks in every line of work. Unfortunately, I meet more than my share, especially this time of year, when there are Christmas parties every single day.

My radio crackles, and my dispatcher comes on.

"Finn, where are you?"

"Northwest," I say. "What you got?"

"Someone in that area called for a cab. Address is 113 Sensero Drive."

I groan at the address. "Come on, LuAnn, that's a residential neighborhood. I was going back to the airport."

"You're the closest. I was supposed to book this earlier, but I didn't."

Why didn't the person call Uber? It's getting rare for people who aren't accustomed to looking up a phone number to call the cab company. And they love to watch the progress of their Uber drivers on their phones, which I consider another way the government can keep tabs on us. Just sign up to drive for a ride-share company, and you, too, can be tracked anywhere and everywhere.

Most of my fares these days are airport or hotel fares, and those are the easiest. Sure money, sure pickups, and not a lot of time lost waiting for someone. As irritating as those fares can be if they've been drinking, they pay my rent.

But occasionally we get a call from an actual house. It's usually someone who doesn't know how to use a smartphone. Those can be the most irritating fares.

I do what I hate and type the address into my dashboard GPS, since I refuse to do it on my phone as a matter of principle. I follow the voice guidance as I drive.

It's a white ranch-style house that looks like it needs a good coat of paint. The grass could use a mow. They probably aren't big tippers. Great.

I tap my horn and watch the door. There's no sign of anybody, but I see through the screen door that the front door is open. As I wait, I turn on the radio and scan through "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Santa Baby," and Michael Jackson's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It's been all Christmas, all the time, since Thanksgiving. I wonder if these oblivious station managers really think that if they take a break and play a Top 40 song people will flee in search of more "Jingle Bells."

Time is wasting. I'm going to the door. Try getting an Uber driver to do that.

I straighten my backward baseball cap and go to the screen door. I make sure my knock conveys my impatience. When no one answers, I move closer to the screen and look inside.

An old woman sits in a wheelchair, her head tilted forward. Either she's sleeping or she's dead. Great.

I look back at my cab. I could tell LuAnn that no one came to the door, which is true. I could just drive off, but the woman will probably wake up and call back and complain that no one came.

I knock again on the screen door. "Hello?" I yell.

The woman jolts awake. "What?"

"Did someone here call for a cab?"

The woman looks around, as if she doesn't know if anyone else is there who may have called. "Yes ... uh ... oh yes. Thank you so much."

"Do you need help?"

"Yes, please. That would be so nice."

I open the screen door and step into the small front room. Her purse sits on the table, so I point to it. "Do you need your purse?"

"Please," she says.

I wheel her out the door, carrying her purse. "Should I lock it?"

"Yes, thank you."

I lock the doorknob and pull it shut.

The woman reminds me a little of my own mother in her last days, and that familiar bitter acid burns my stomach. I roll her to the car.

"Uh ... can you stand up or walk?"

"With a little help," she says. "My name's Callie. What's yours, honey?"

"Finn," I say, folding up her footrests so she can reach the ground. I help her up. She's very weak as she takes one step, then falls purposefully onto the car seat. I wait for her to pull her feet in, but she just stays there with them hanging outside the car. Sighing, I bend down, pick up her feet, and put them into the car.

I close her door and load the wheelchair into the trunk. When I get behind the wheel, I start the meter, wishing I could add the fifteen minutes it took me to get her into the blasted car. "Where are you going, ma'am?"

She doesn't answer, so I look back at her. She's already asleep again. Unbelievable.

So where am I supposed to take her? I call LuAnn back on the radio. "Hey, this fare I just picked up at 113 Sensero Drive? Did she tell you where she wanted to go?"

"Yeah," she says. "She wanted to go to a doctor's appointment at St. Mary's Hospital. Her appointment is at two."

"Okay, thanks." I look back at her again and realize she isn't belted in. She'll probably fall over when I start moving. Sighing, I get out and go around the car, hook her seat belt.

I pull away from the curb. At the first intersection, I glance in the rearview. She does fall forward, but the belt holds her body up.

Is she sick? She looks as frail as a toothpick, and she has to be in her nineties. What kind of family would leave her to get to the doctor on her own? Isn't there someone who could have done this for her?

It only takes a few minutes to get to the hospital. I go to the clinic wing and pull up to the entrance. She's still sleeping, so I go around to her door. I bend over and unclick her seat belt. "Ma'am? We're here."

She comes awake and looks up at me with vacant eyes. "What?"

"We're here."

"Where?"

"The doctor's office. You have an appointment at two. This is the place, right?"

"I ... I'm not sure. Heavens, I don't know where my manners are."

"Your manners?"

"Yes. I'm Callie. And you are?"

"The cab driver."

"Oh," she says.

"It's six-fifty," I say a little too loudly, assuming she's hard of hearing. "I'll get your wheelchair."

She has ten dollars in her hand when I come back. I shove it into my pocket, then help her into the chair. "Ma'am, can you get yourself to the office?"

"What office?"

"The doctor's office. This is the clinic where your appointment is."

She looks toward the building. Zero sign of comprehension. Nada. She could be going into a movie theater for all she knows.

"Can you wheel yourself? Or do you need me to push you in there?"

"That would be so nice," she says. "I'm Callie. And who are you?"

"Finn." I slam the door a little too hard and lock it even though it's still running. My luck, some patient doped up on painkillers will hijack it and try to fly with it. Hopefully I can get back before someone lobs a brick through the window.

I roll her through the doors. "Do you remember who your doctor is?"

Of course she doesn't. She looks confused and opens her purse, sifts through for something.

"Ma'am? Your doctor?"

When she doesn't find whatever she's looking for, I push her toward the check-in desk. "Ma'am, what's your last name?" I ask her.

"Callie Beecher," she says.

"I'm Finn," I say quickly before she can ask me again. I have to wait in line as patients before me sign in with the slowest scrawls I can imagine.

Callie gradually comes alive as she looks around at all the people in line. She taps the young woman standing in front of her. "I used to have hair that color." Her voice is loud, commanding attention. "Red on the head, they used to say. Do they say that to you?"

"No, ma'am."

"My granddaughter has hair that color, but she dyes it blonde. My daughter's wasn't red, though. Hers was naturally blonde, thankfully."

Past tense. The woman must have outlived her daughter.

"She cried when her baby had red hair," she drones on. "She said redheads are hideous. I tried not to take it personal."

The girl looks graciously amused. "She said that?"

Callie's expression goes blank for a moment, and I'm pretty sure she's lost her train of thought. She looks around, then her gaze settles on the girl again. She stares at her for a moment, as if it's the first time she's seen her. "You won't be winning any beauty contests, but I think you're pretty."

"Thank you." The girl clearly has a sense of humor — she grins at those gasping and chuckling around her. In spite of my irritation, I can't help grinning, too.

A nurse who hasn't missed many meals comes out a side door and calls to the next patient.

Callie notices her, then looks over at the redhead. In a voice way too loud for the room, she says, "Are my thighs that big?"

The nurse turns, fire in her eyes, but when she sees that the person insulting her is older than Methuselah, she just shakes her head. Everyone around us stifles a grin.

"No, ma'am," the redhead giggles.

"I used to have cable TV," Callie goes on, "and I would watch that show about the chubby nurse. What was her name?"

The girl is losing control of her giggles now, and tears are surfacing in her eyes. "I don't know."

"She had a pretty face, though."

I don't make eye contact with Callie for fear she'll try to pull me into her lunacy.

Finally, the person in front of us is finished, and I move to the front. The bored receptionist looks up at me. "Help you?"

"Yes, I have Callie Beecher here to see the doctor."

"Which doctor?"

"I don't know."

"We have thirty doctors here."

I lean over the desk. "Can you look her up? She's having some memory problems."

The woman types in the name. "Her appointment is with Dr. Patrick. Wait over there and they'll call her."

"She might be a little hard of hearing, and she falls asleep a lot, so you might need to go get her when they call her."

The receptionist looks like she couldn't care less, but she gives me a noncommittal nod.

I push Callie to the waiting area, lock her wheelchair, and bend toward her. "Ma'am, here's my card. If you need me to come back and get you when you're done, just call this number."

The middle-aged woman sitting next to her looks at me like I'm pond scum. "You're leaving her alone?"

"Lady, I'm just the cab driver."

"Oh."

"Her name's Callie Beecher. Would you keep an ear out for them to call her?"

"Yes, if they don't call me first."

I look down at Callie. "Ma'am, you put that card somewhere where you can find it again, okay?"

She tucks it into her purse, then turns to the woman next to her and says, "I don't know where my manners are. I'm Callie. And you are?"

I take that opportunity to slip back out to my cab.

CHAPTER 2

Sydney

My hair is driving me nuts. My bangs are too long and falling into my eyes, but I don't have time to go to the hairdresser. I should probably just whack it off myself, but that has ended disastrously before, usually when I'm stressed. When I was a teenager studying for my SATs, my dad hid every pair of scissors in the house so I couldn't scalp myself.

"Yes, I'm holding for the doctor ... No, he can't call me back, because I'm going to be in a meeting. Please, can I just speak to him now? It'll take five minutes ... Okay, one minute. I can talk fast."

I glance through the glass wall into my law firm's conference room. Half of the meeting's attendees are already there, though they're hardly aware of each other since most of them are focused on their phones. I hear voices up the hall, and I see the partners walking in a pack toward me — just as a woman picks up at the other end of my call.

"Hello, this is Sandra, the nurse. The doctor's in with a patient. Can I help you?"

"I've already talked to you, Sandra," I say, lowering my voice to almost a whisper. "I asked you to have him call me, and you didn't."

"I'm sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you."

The partners are lingering at the door, not three feet from me. I have to get in there now. "You already have a message from me to give him. Please give it to him. If he calls me I'll try to answer. Please. It's important I talk to him as soon as possible."

I click off the phone, plaster a smile on my face, and greet my bosses as I slip into the room. I take my place among the other first-year associates, who suddenly look engaged as the heavyweights enter the room. My friend Joanie has saved me a chair next to her, too close to the Christmas tree decorated by the priciest interior decorator in town. The heat of the incandescent lights is going to make me sweat.

"Did she get there?" Joanie whispers behind her hand as I sit down.

"Who knows? If the cab company didn't send someone, I'm suing them."

"I covered for you at lunch. They don't know you were late."

"Thanks. I had to get her dressed. She was still in her pajamas."

"You have got to get help for her."

"I know, but I can't afford it."

The meeting comes to order, and I try to focus on the senior partner who's presiding — the Southerby in Southerby, Maddox, and Hanes. But my mind keeps wandering to my grandmother who was staring into space last night in front of her hours-old Meals on Wheels lunch, which she hadn't touched.

Her decline in the last few days has been so rapid. Maybe it's just some virus that has made her seem worse than she is, or maybe she isn't sleeping well. I was going to take her to the doctor today myself, but then the partners called this meeting for the exact same time as the appointment. I couldn't risk missing it.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Catching Christmas"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Terri Blackstock.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Catching Christmas 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the cover! It caught me from the first and having read the story, it's definitely a cue to the quirky fun of taxi driver Finn! Capably captivating writing of a pro, {see below} my laughter rang loud and my tears flowed generously. A do.not.miss for this season's reading! Thank you! ~ Terri Blackstock You didn't miss a beat
Nanna51 More than 1 year ago
This is the best feel-good about Christmas book that I have ever read. The story of Callie, the octogenarian who is determined to create a happy holiday for her overworked granddaughter Sydney, is both heart-warming and realistic. The unexpected character in the story is Finn, the cab driver who is tasked with driving Callie around town so that she can “catch Christmas.” Callie is well aware that she is old and not able to take care of holiday errands, so she is delighted to find a helper in Finn. He’s like a reluctant Christmas elf, driving Callie all around town and seldom getting paid for his troubles because the elderly lady keeps forgetting to pay him. The humor in the book was light but was always present, as was the feeling that time was short for Callie. The theme of valuing time with those you love was well expressed, as I was quickly drawn into the story of Sydney rushing from work to caring for her grandmother, back to work, etc. Finn was my favorite character because he gave his time reluctantly at first, blaming Sydney for her lack of care for her ailing grandmother. When Finn and Sydney finally get together, Callie finds her happy Christmas. It’s their getting together that is the heart of the story and Callie’s ability to see the good and love in both young people is touching and realistic. I loved this timely Christmas story from one of my favorite Christian authors! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
A charming story with a timeless message! Loved "Miss Callie" and her quirky ways. Putting her concern for her granddaughter's happiness above her own needs, she has a wonderful outlook on life, with a heavenly perspective. Her legacy of faith and hope brushed over everyone she met, and was truly inspirational. I enjoyed watching Finn's transformation and his growing friendship with Callie and Sydney. I laughed and cried with them. The message of valuing time spent with loved ones over the busyness of life was a good reminder, especially over the holidays. Recommend for readers who enjoy an inspirational story with a bit of romance, set around Christmastime. ( I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
JulieKMcComas More than 1 year ago
Looking for a typical Terri Blackstock novel? Well, you’ve found one. Just replace the suspense with Christmas, and read away. Although, this isn’t your typical romantic-comedy Christmas; this one is about real life situations. The story is told from two different points-of-view. Finn and Sydney are quite lovable characters, as is Miss Callie. I can picture several grandmas that would try to set their granddaughter up at Christmas. I do not know of any granddaughters that would hire a cab to take their grandma to the doctor though. And, I certainly have never heard of a cab driver staying to wait on the grandma without being asked to. It either shows that there are really good people out there that we just don’t stop to recognize, or we wish there were. In my opinion, there are great people out there and we just fail to see the good they do. I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of long chapters. I find myself counting the pages until the next chapter, and I don’t tell myself just one more chapter. But, Terri (I hope she doesn’t mind me just calling her by her first name) keeps these chapters short. You can “just one more chapter” yourself through the whole book rather quickly. That’s good and that’s bad. Good because you found out how it ends, and bad because it ends. I’ve been trying to figure out who should play Miss Callie in a Hallmark Movie version of this book. Any ideas? I really think they should make a movie out of it. Spoiler Alert, if you can call it that: There is a happy ending. The only thing sad about this book is that you have to leave the characters behind.
Debb Hackett More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely Christmas read in the real spirit of the holiday. We meet Finn, a grumpy cab driver unexpectedly saddled with a grandma who appears to have dementia. Initially Finn is very annoyed at the inconvenience Miss Callie brings, between needing help in and out. of the taxi with her wheelchair and being pushed to appointments. Meanwhile Callie's granddaughter, beleaguered first year attorney Sydney is barely getting by. She's struggling to survive at work and keep an eye on her grandma, who keeps escaping! Despite ripping in to Sydney and refusing drive Callie anymore, Finn's gruff exterior starts to dissolve as he works with Sydney to give the lady one final Christmas. It was beautiful to see Finn's character start to heal and care again and although he seemed an unlikely match for Sydney, the two complimented each other well by the end as she had reordered her priorities and he had thawed his heart. Compelling, heart-warming and well written, I wiped a tear away by the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One++of+the+best+books+I+have+read+in+a+long++time
PrincessGlor More than 1 year ago
A short sweet enjoyable Christmas read. I enjoyed getting to know Callie, Finn and Sydney. I was pleasantly surprised that it is set in my hometown of St. Louis, that was probably my favorite element of the book. Its quick pace and switching back and forth between Sydney was a little much for me and I would liked a little more backstory on the characters but all in all I did enjoy the story. The ending was nice and believable and it’s perfect for a quick easy read over the holidays. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher and was not required to post a review. All thoughts are my own.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Can they help an elderly woman get her Christmas wish? To say that I am only used to Terri Blackstock's suspense novels would be an understatement. I had NO idea that she ever stepped out of that genre. But, when I saw that she was the author of Catching Christmas I thought I would take the chance and step out of my usual limit on reading only a select few holiday-themed books during the season. I'm glad I did. Catching Christmas is sweet, funny, poignant, and a bit of a tear-jerker. Believe me, you'll run the gamut of emotions at the hands of Terri Blackstock's delightful characters. And if you've ever loved someone with dementia etc. this book will be particularly touching. The characters in this book are truly something else. I fell in love with the blunt wanna-be-gruff-but-is-really-a-softy Finn right away. Sidney took me a little longer to warm up to but just about anyone can understand the sheer pressure of caring for an elderly relative while trying to hold down a demanding full-time job. And then there's Callie, your heart just goes out to her as she faces declining health while trying to remember “where are my manners?” She's a sweet lady with a faith as big as the ocean, a faith that reaches out and touches the granddaughter she loves and the hurting cabbie she takes into her heart. Catching Christmas is a fairly quick read but it's a story that will linger long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the twinkle lights have been put away for another year... (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Catching Christmas is a beautiful and awesome read for the Christmas season – or anytime, for that matter, because it’s message of hope and redemption knows no season. Terri Blackstock has written a gem of a book – quirky, emotional, romantic, and downright funny at times – and totally different from anything I could have ever expected. Jesus is clearly seen in this story. “Callie has made herself a daily fixture in my life. She’s like gum on the bottom of my shoe. There’s no way to get it off without making a mess.” (Finn) Catching Christmas revolves around three characters: Sydney, a young lady with a stress filled, thankless job at a cutthroat law firm; Finn, the reluctant hero, a gourmet chef turned taxicab driver; and Callie, Sydney’s grandmother. Callie is the heart and soul of this story, and when Finn responded to the dispatcher’s call that sent him to Callie’s home, there’s no way he could have anticipated what a pivotal moment in his life that would be. In the hands of Blackstock’s skilled writing, a story that has the potential to be sad doesn’t come across that way at all. There’s a good balance between humor and poignancy, with some delightfully funny moments – such as the day Finn took Callie shopping. “I feel like I’m getting to know Callie’s Jesus a little better, even though I’m doing all the talking. But he speaks volumes in the way he listens.” (Finn) An anonymous quote that I’ve frequently heard so aptly applies to Callie: “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” Catching Christmas reminds us of what’s most important in life, the value of savoring relationships, and of the far-reaching testimony our everyday interactions with people can have. Normally a writer of suspense, this is Blackstock’s first Christmas story, and I hope many more will follow. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it really makes you think about yourself, and to make time for the people you love because you never know when your time runs out!
Ourpugs More than 1 year ago
Catching Christmas What a wonderful story. It was such a blessing to read this book. It is in first person and sometimes that makes a book confusing. This one was not. Each chapter had the character name at the beginning, which I definitely appreciated. Callie, Finn and Sydney were all special characters. Finn is a cab driver, who meets Callie when her granddaughter arranges for a cab to take her to the doctor. I so enjoyed Callie, she was determined to find someone for Sydney. Callie said exactly what pops into her head. Sydney is trying her best to keep her job but has lot to learn. Then there is Finn, I think a lot of people can relate to him. I always wandered how the title of the book comes from. If you read the book, you will figure it out like I did. This is definitely one of those books that will stay with me. I received an complementary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this book! Catching Christmas is a sweet story that reminds us of the importance of family, the necessity for faith and the comfort that comes from believing in God. The characters are also very believable. There is Callie, an adorable, elderly woman who grabbed my heart from the beginning with her desire to find someone that her granddaughter can lean on once she is gone. Her granddaughter Sydney Batson is challenged by being a first-year law associate in danger of losing her job and trying to find time to care for her very ill Grammy. And, of course, there is Finn Patrick. Finn is a once-successful chef who is now a cab driver and he reluctantly gets caught up in Callie's efforts to find that perfect man for Sydney. Finn could almost be labeled a Scrooge until you realize that he has a heart of gold. As hard as he tries to keep from getting involved, as much as he wants to move away from the situation, he can't because Callie is such a special person! There is humor in Catching Christmas and Callie is like many older people who have no filters on their speech and reactions. As I was reading it, I made some notes about some of the funny sayings that Callie utters and some of her insightful thoughts on religion and I named them "Callieisms". I was right on track because eventually, near the end of the book, the word "Callieisms" is actually mentioned in the plot. Callie is very ill and she struggles with dementia but readers are very aware of Callie's deep faith. In one episode Finn mentions that Callie seems to be talking to Jesus and Sydney replies "She loves Jesus and she talks to him a lot, right out loud. She did this even before she had this...confusion." Callie herself shares that "I can just imagine Heaven being a mountaintop experience every day...every hour, just as much as you can stand, till your heart just can't hold anymore." Oh, to be as wise and as devout as Callie! Callie wants to give Sydney the perfect Christmas and it is heartwarming to watch Finn as he finally decides that Christmas is worth having. I believe that Terri Blackstock has perfectly captured his reluctance and ultimately, his acceptance of the true meaning of Christmas. Catching Christmas is the perfect book for the Christmas season. If you read it before Christmas it will help you get in the Christmas spirit; if you read it after Christmas it will help you prolong your Christmas holiday! I recommend it to all who enjoy a faith-filled story filled with romance and the spirit of Christmas. I received a complementary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but a favorable review was not required.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My guardian angel brought me to this book at the perfect time for me! Thank You Terri Blackstock!
RobbyeReviewer More than 1 year ago
Oh, my! How can I do this story justice? I did not know what I wanted to do with Finn Parish, a cab driver fighting the Uber takeover. The beginning did not disclose this seemingly anti-hero’s character. I wanted to shake him, read him the riot act and scream at him, “Have a little compassion, man!!!” I sympathized and was also frustrated with Sydney Batson. Seriously, how many women, even single women, juggle with trying to do too much while riddled with guilt? Nonetheless, there are responsibilities that can’t and shouldn’t be dropped! Then, my goodness, there was the unflappable, thoroughly loveable and genial Miss Callie! How I loved this beautiful woman, grandmother to Sydney. Her wisdom and Godliness resonated throughout the entire story. Catching Christmas is not your typical Terri Blackstock novel. I truly wasn’t sure what to expect as Blackstock’s books are usually in the faith-filled suspense, thriller genre. However, Catching Christmas focuses on the days before, and leading up to Christmas from three very unique perspectives. I treasure Catching Christmas, a book I will read and relish for years to come and not only during the Christmas season. I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
There is something so tender and sweet about this story. I loved getting to know Miss Callie and fell in love with her. She may be elderly but she has a heart of gold. Miss Callie is forgetful at times and has started to depend on a cab driver named Finn. What will the doctor discover is wrong with her? It wasn't by accident that Finn got the call to pick Miss Callie up one day. You can feel his frustration as he realizes Miss Callie can't tell him much about where he needs to go. Finn has a special place in his heart for Miss Callie who reminds him of his mother. Does he feel guilt over his mother's passing? When he finally meets Miss Callie's granddaughter there is a bit of animosity towards her. Sydney is doing her best trying to keep her job as a first year law student and taking care of her grandmother. The author does a great job of allowing readers to understand the desperation each character feels. Sydney is doing the best she can, while Finn has suddenly become Miss Callie's personal driver. I loved how Finn has become attached to Miss Callie and I know there is a reason he has been brought into her life. When I get to the part in the story where the doctor explains to Sydney and Finn what Miss Callie has, I dropped the book. Oh how I cried because Miss Callie has become like a family member to me. Miss Callie is a woman everyone loves. She has a generous spirit and loves God. It will be hard not to think of her because through this story, she has opened my eyes to Christmas. Her compassion for others is seen throughout the story and her connection with a stranger will change his life in many ways. Sydney can see how much her grandmother loved her. Will she find a way to be happy and follow her heart? It has been an honor to read a book by a very gifted author that has shown me that people do care. This has been a very well written story with characters that seem like family. I loved watching how Finn grew in his faith and how Sydney realizes what her priorities need to be. This story is set at Christmas time but I think it could be read anytime of the year. The message of love, compassion and the gentle spirit of a special woman makes this story one that you won't forget. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved reading this book! Could not put it down!
Kathae More than 1 year ago
Finn was just trying to make a buck to pay his rent. Sydney was doing the best she could on her own. Callie needed to make her doctor's appointment. Callie brought Finn and Syndey together in ways they would never have expected. Callie was a force to be reckoned with, when she wasn't sleeping in the back of Finn's cab. This was a fun book to read, as the characters were very real, and the perspective went back and forth between Finn and Sydney. It's a lighthearted, yet very touching contemporary read that I really enjoyed and highly recommend. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
I will admit it started a bit slow for me but after the first couple of chapters this laugh out loud book had me flipping the pages, just to see what in the world Miss Callie would do or say next. Tackling some tough issues, especially at Christmas, Catching Christmas really did come across as warm and genuine. Life isn’t always easy but God is able to work through us, even in the hard times. And humor can always be found. Let me state that in no way did I find this book depressing. It was thought provoking, sometimes sad, but I always felt that redemption was just over the horizon so there was hope. Ms. Blackstock’s characters were very well developed and in need of help, as most of us are. This made them realistic. We learned about priorities, and making time for our loved ones. It was difficult to read sometimes as I wanted to shake Sydney and wake her up to that truth. But to see her grow was as a person was really nice. With light romance and much laughter, I can highly recommend this book as a sweet Christmas read. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
KimPotter More than 1 year ago
Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock is a Christmas short story. Sydney Batson is a first-year law associate with a pressing court case. So, when her grandmother needs to go to the doctor, she arranges for a cab to take her, since she can’t leave court. Flynn Parrish responds to a call never expecting to pick up a sick, little old lady with dementia. As Flynn drives Carrie around on her errands he begins to care about her. Carrie’s greatest Christmas wish is for her granddaughter to be happy. This was such a sweet story. The only draw back was that it was written in first person; and skipped back and forth between Sydney and Flynn too often. The story-line caught your attention and held it throughout. Never forget the people in your life. Take care of them, spend time with them. Just be there for them. One day you may find that they are no longer here on earth and you don’t want to have any regrets. Make each day count. I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.
CherryPie0420 More than 1 year ago
I received my copy of Catching Christmas a few months back, but have purposely waited until this week to read and review it. I figured it would put me in the right frame of mind for the holidays, and I assumed correctly. Reading about the last days of sweet, old Miss Callie put a sweet, holiday smile on my face. How she constantly worries over her granddaughter, Sydney, and the beautiful bond she creates with a lonely cab driver named Finn. No, this is not an action-packed story by any means, but it does remind not only Sydney and Finn, but all of us, what is really important in life, when life is all said and done. Miss Callie's character is sweet, sassy, and bittersweet all rolled into one. Reading about her decline in health brought back painful memories of my own grandmother's decline before she passed away a few short years ago. Watching a loved one having to go through something like that when there is not much you can do is one of the hardest things to endure, and poor Sydney has to learn this lesson all alone, all while trying to juggle an incredibly demanding job that is hanging on by a thread. Finn is one of those characters that is rough around the edges, but has a heart of gold. Being a huge Gilmore Girls fan, when author Terri Blackstock describes Finn as a Luke lookalike, for the rest of the book I could envision Luke, which made me fall in love with Finn all the more! I also loved how Miss Callie's faith was not pushed on either Sydney or Finn but lived out, which is how faith should be! All in all, I really enjoyed Catching Christmas. The writing was good, with an easy flow, which made it a quick, easy read, the characters were likable, and going with the Christmas theme, though having a sad note, put you in the right heart for the season. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
SouthernGalLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
Terri Blackstock has long been one of my favorite authors with her stay-up-all-night suspense. I was quite intrigued when I saw that she had jumped genres and written a much lighter Christmas romance in Catching Christmas. But I was delighted with what I found in her newest book! Catching Christmas is fun and it is bittersweet. Finn, Miss Callie, and Sydney are brought together through some pretty unexpected circumstances, with the results being just what each of them needs. Getting to know the characters is a joy and leads the readers through a near Hallmark Christmas movie kind of story. But there is also a deeper level to the story, an important one about finding out who and what are really important at Christmas and every day. Don't wait until next Christmas to read this entertaining story. Grab a copy and extend your holiday a little longer! And you may find the author's note in the back of the book interesting as she explains the inspiration for the story. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Catching Christmas was just the right little Christmas story to read at this time of year when trying to manage the busyness of the season and to still feel the holiday cheer. Author Blackstock takes a situation that is sad and can ultimately be depressing and turns it around to a story filled with hope, love, and a reason to live. This was also a story of second chances, but not quite in the way you might think. Filled with subtle humor, bittersweet moments, and the frenzied rush of life and just trying to make a living we get the two alternate viewpoints of Finn the cab driver and Sydney the granddaughter of a woman wheel chair bound and suffering dementia by the name of Miss Callie. Finn unsuspectingly gets drawn in to Miss Callie’s strange requests as he drives her around town to her Dr.’s appointments, social calls that includes matchmaking for her granddaughter, and her Christmas shopping. Finn, so many times wants to walk away from her seemingly craziness but he is in Callie’s words, “a sweet boy” and finds himself unable to leave her on her own. Sydney, a lawyer trying to keep her job, her bosses happy, and to win a case that is so ridiculous that even she herself is against her defendant, is really juggling too much, especially when her grandmother needs her care so much more now. I really enjoyed this little witty Christmas story of life and love and joy and look forward to a reading it again and again. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
5643437 More than 1 year ago
If you want a book to make you laugh, cry, shake your head and more, then “Catching Christmas” is the book for you. With an 80-year old feisty grandmother, a first-year law associate and a cab driver, this book offers something for everyone. It focuses on Jesus and the reason for Christmas without becoming preachy. I also love how the characters come alive through the pages of the book. Having a grandfather who died from asbestos exposure, this book spoke to a lot of what our family went through during his last days. Moreover, with two parents who were both only children, I could relate to Sydney and all that she went through during her grandmother’s last days. Growing up, my father was consumed with his work so I could see how Sydney became so focused on doing the right thing for her job, even if it was at the detriment of her relationship with her grandmother. Finn, a cab driver who becomes tasked with driving Sydney’s grandmother everywhere she wants to go, fights tooth and nail against driving Callie Beecher where she wants to go. He refuses to just abandon her even though many cab drivers would have. The mention of Uber and an Uber driver having to rescue Sydney and Finn after his cab gets a flat tire and the spare is flat, provides a level of amusement to the story. The amazing force Callie is reminded me of other elderly women I have known. Her ability to just say what she wants to without any filter also reminds me of some of these individuals. Rather than spoil any part of the book for you, I will just conclude by saying this book is one not to be missed. Truly, it conveys the heart and spirit of Christmas and having a true relationship with Jesus Christ.
SunnyCarolinaGirl More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read a story set at Christmas and this was. It was not what I expected, but maybe just what I needed during this holiday season. Callie has to go to the doctor, but her granddaughter cannot take her, so she arranges to have a cab take her. Finn the cab driver, although he seems gruff, takes her to the doctor, wheels her in to the office and leaves for his next fare. His conscience gets the better of him and he goes back to the doctor's office to check on her and the story goes from there. We get to know Callie, a sweet older woman, who's only wish is to give her granddaughter, Sydney, a memorable Christmas. This was a sweet story that shows the true meaning of Christmas. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
E_Espinoza More than 1 year ago
Catching Christmas, by Terri Blackstock, is a truly memorable holiday tale with endearing characters, relevant themes, and a sprinkling of humor and romance. It is an engaging story of faith, love, choices, and second chances. Touching and well-written, this story is entertaining from the first sentence to the last. Writing in the first person point of view, Ms. Blackstock ensures that that the reader experiences the story through the perspectives of the characters themselves. This narrative style makes the story relatable and engaging. The characters are believable, they are likable, and they make the story shine. Their struggles, insecurities, fears, and beliefs are authentic and moving. Even though they endure real struggles that test their assumptions and their faith, the light of God’s love breaks through with the restorative power of grace and second chances. With warmth and heart, this book also places a significant emphasis on family and friends, and the ways in which they support, encourage, and provide for one another. Our lives can certainly be full of interruptions, and these interruptions are almost always inconvenient. However, interruptions can be viewed as obstacles or they can be valued as opportunities. Catching Christmas explores the reality that inconvenient interruptions are often opportunities to help others, to practice compassion, and to extend grace in difficult circumstances. Catching Christmas is a meaningful work of fiction that explores the importance of priorities and purpose during the bustle of the holiday season. It is a story that entertains, uplifts, and inspires. I could easily enjoy re-reading this book in the future and sharing it with my friends too. I sincerely recommend it to all readers. *I received a copy of this novel through the author and Celebrate Lit. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.