Wednesday, September 21, 2022

CHRISTMAS IN BLUE DOG VALLEY By Annie England Noblin @avonbooks @aenoblin @WmMorrowBooks @harpercollins

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Avon (September 20, 2022)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 20, 2022

For anyone who ever loved All Creatures Great and Small, Annie England Noblin’s newest novel—about a big city vet transplanted to a small Wisconsin town—is pure delight as we meet aging alpacas, stump-tailed cats, goats in tutus, a vagabond border collie named Kevin, and the people who think they own them. And through it all, Goldie McKenzie, DVM, navigating the small town of Blue Dog, Wisconsin.

Welcome to Blue Dog Valley. Home of the Fighting Elk. Population 3,411.

When Goldie McKenzie, DVM, vet to the L.A. pet stars, arrives from Los Angeles to Blue Dog Valley she realizes three things.Never agree to upend your life when you’re hungover
Pot-belly pigs are not true farm animals
She’s going to need a warmer coat

At first Goldie is nothing more than a fish out of water, with few clients and few friends. But after a less than pleasant encounter with a man whose dog is suffering from a possibly fatal case of bloat, she’s finally earning the trust and goodwill from her fellow Blue Dog Valley citizens. Her clientele grows to include the many farm animals in the town, including a horse named Large Marge, a cape-wearing therapy alpaca, and a yardful of sweater-wearing goats. Add in Kevin, the “worst sheepdog in Blue Dog Valley,” and a Sphinx cat named Airport, and Goldie is having the best time a vet can have. . . aside from the annoying attractive town grump, Cohen, who seems intent on making sure she always feels like an outsider.

With her newfound goodwill, Goldie comes up with an idea to reinvigorate the once flourishing Blue Dog Valley: a Christmas carnival. A petting zoo, pictures with Santa, a baking contest, what more could they want? After only some brief resistance from Cohen and his father, they begin the great plan to reinvigorate Blue Dog Valley.

Will Christmas be enough to salvage this dying town—and be enough to bring Goldie closer to a certain grumpy man?


Picking up an Annie England Noblin novel is like getting embraced by the warmest and softest blanket during a cold winter's night. I love this immersive and escape feel-good read perfect for a nice week-end read or for winding down after a stressful day.

I picked up my very first Noblin book, St Francis Society for Wayward Pets two years ago, and Maps for the Getaway last year, both of which I loved and warmed my soul. I had been looking forward to reading CHRISTMAS IN BLUE DOG VALLEY, and I absolutely loved it!

I am from Los Angeles and a city girl and often wondered what it would be like to live and relocate in a small town. So the premise of this story intrigued me. Noblin wrote a romance read that had all the feels and write the character of veterinarian Marigold "Goldie" McKenzie so well, along with the funky residents of small town Blue Dog Valley - the alpacas, potbelly pig, goats in sweaters, and of course, Cohen. 

I adored how Goldie acclimated to the town and how slowly but surely, the town enveloped her with love and affection. The story is so heartwarming, complete with a bit of Christmas magic and the motley crew of animals that will surely bring a delightful smile to your face. Fantastic!


Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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