Featured Book – The Gift Counselor by Sheila M. Cronin

Do all gifts have strings attached? Yes!, believes pert, inquisitive Jonquil Bloom as she sets out to counsel gift givers at a local department store. As a single mom and UCLA graduate student in psychology, gifts fascinate Jonquil. When are they sincere? When are they not? Skilled at helping customers choose the ideal gift for any occasion, she soon discovers that her elegant theory doesn’t apply to every situation, leaving her to wonder: what are true gifts? Ten-year-old Billy Bloom is her son and center of her life. Billy yearns to have a dog but Jonquil has told him repeatedly that she is allergic to them. Instead, his bedroom is crammed full of toy animals, each demonstrating her misguided attempts to distract him. Billy, a generous and hopeful boy, refuses to give up hope. Into their lives enters Claude Chappel, a native French Canadian and general contractor. Claude, eager to settle down, is instantly captivated by Jonquil. Past traumatic losses make her wary of him, yet his charms are irresistible, if impetuous. After a bumpy start they begin dating. Claude cannot help but notice that the gift counselor has denied her own son what he most wants. This troubling paradox spurs him to action. A romantic and touching story filled with humor, insight and drama, The Gift Counselor will warm your heart all year through, and become the ideal gift for family, friends and co-workers.  Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award.

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