Thursday, November 19, 2020

CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING


CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING: AWAKENING THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS by Pearl S Buck, adapted by David T Warner. What a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is about. The back cover blurb says it all, "The true joy of Christmas is to love and to awaken love." The story of the little boy surprising his father is heartwarming. Then to have the same boy, now a man, do something similar for his wife just completes the circle beautifully. May we all do something to show our love to those around us.

:) :) :) :)

In this adaptation of "Christmas Day in the Morning," Rob looks back on his boyhood and remembers giving an unusual gift of self—a gift that filled him with Christmas joy. Now, fifty years later, Rob realizes he can still give a gift from his heart.

The original Pearl S. Buck story, published in Collier's magazine in 1955, concludes with the older Rob writing a letter of gratitude and love to his wife. As he does, Christmas joy is awakened in him once again. The final pages of this book provide a place for you to write your own letter of gratitude and love—a letter that will naturally be included when you give this book to a family member, neighbor, or friend. As you do, you may experience what Rob learned as a boy, and then again as a man: the gifts most likely to rekindle Christmas joy are not just the presents we give with our hands, but the gratitude we express from our hearts.

Richard Thomas, Emmy Award-winning actor of stage, television, and motions pictures, first presented this story in the annual live Christmas concert of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. As a young man, Mr. Thomas came to international acclaim portraying the eldest son in The Waltons, a television series about a large family struggling to support itself on a farm during the Great Depression.

The Walton family was much like the family in "Christmas Day in the Morning," and the character played by young Mr. Thomas was not unlike the boy Rob himself. As Mr. Thomas joined the Choir and Orchestra on stage, he entered a re-created farmhouse kitchen. In that setting, his warm, familiar presence reminded many of their past family Christmases. Audience members young and old were also reminded of their own childlike desires to be good, and to find their hearts bursting with Christmas joy.

Friday, November 13, 2020

THE SANTA BOX MOVIE

THE SANTA BOX 

What a great way to begin the Christmas season. I watched this with my family, and all but my two-year-old (he lasted about 15 minutes which for him is a LONG time) sat through the entire thing. Afterward, my oldest admitted that it almost made him cry in a couple of parts. The story did a great job at showing what the giving side of Christmas is like and how a person can grow by looking for ways to help others. It also gives a good glimpse into bullies and how to possible get along with them, as well as what can happen when people don't take the time to get to know someone before making judgements. I love that we have this movie to add to our Christmas movie collection.

:) :) :) :)

For 12-year-old Kallie Watts, Christmas is anything but merry. For the last five years, the tinsel-strewn holiday has spelled disaster for her family, so when an apartment fire leaves Kallie and her widowed mother homeless just in time for the holidays, it comes as no surprise. There’s only one logical conclusion: Kallie is cursed by Christmas.

When her mother finds a new job in a small California town, Kallie steps out of the moving van and into her worst nightmare: a real-life version of “Whoville,” overflowing with holiday decorations and brimming with Christmas cheer. Forced to navigate the complicated ins and outs of her jolly new surroundings, Kallie is shaken out of her gloom one day when she discovers an ornately carved wooden Santa box on the porch, addressed to her. The moment she lifts the lid, Kallie’s life is changed forever as she rediscovers the true magic and meaning of Christmas ...


TRAILER:


https://youtu.be/J1Kh_idg3ug




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Thursday, October 29, 2020

THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF by Sarah M Eden

THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF by Sarah M Eden. This is a continuation of the penny folds from the story THE LADY AND THE HIGHWAYMAN that I so loved (review here). I absolutely love stories that weave together. I really enjoyed the penny fold stories in the addition. So it's really three stories in one. Hollis and Ana are perfect for each other. It shows that not everyone is as they seem, and to not judge a person by who they appear to be. There are many reasons people behave and do what they do and if we make quick judgements, often we are wrong and miss out on the potential of wonderful relationships with others. I really enjoyed seeing Ana come out of the shadows throughout the story. I loved how Hollis found his footing as well. I would highly recommend this story to one and all.

:) :) :) :) :)

A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night.

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

Friday, October 9, 2020

#bookadayaz #review

THE HIGHLANDER'S HIDDEN HEART by Julie Bennon

This was a very fun, clean read. I loved the Scottish brogue and could hear it clearly in my head. I loved Lady Elizabeth and the strength she developed throughout the book. The only thing I would have liked more about it, is to have more of the setting in Scotland rather than England, although I'm not sure how that would work with the plot. I just love the Highlands of Scotland. :)

Be sure to enter the give away below. It's going on through the 12th.

A duke's daughter. A Highland warrior. And a love worth fighting for.

Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke of Barrington, has done her best to secure an advantageous match, but a shy nature, combined with a stutter, hasn't helped her cause. After two Seasons, her father won’t wait any longer and promises her to a man she despises. There doesn’t seem to be anything Elizabeth can do beyond wish for a freedom she’ll never have---until a charming Highlander appears and makes all her dreams of a love match seem within her reach.

Alec Ramsay unexpectedly inherits an earldom and must leave his beloved Scottish Highlands to present himself in London and settle the estate affairs. After meeting his new neighbor, Lady Elizabeth, he feels a connection to her that he’s never felt with any other woman. Alec makes every effort to further their acquaintance, but soon finds out that Elizabeth could be swept out of his reach before they have a chance to explore the feelings between them. With everything at stake, can he risk all for a chance at love−−before it’s too late?

**Originally a novella in the Timeless Romance collection, now a full-length novel with new twists, turns, and romance!

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

DRAGONWATCH 4: CHAMPION OF THE TITAN GAMES


DRAGONWATCH 4: CHAMPION OF THE TITANS GAMES  by Brandon Mull. This is a series I wish I had complete before reading. Alas, we have to wait another year for the next one. When that day comes, I will be sitting down with FABLEHAVEN and DRAGONWATCH and bing reading the entire series. This story was wonderful. I enjoyed being in Crescent Lagoon and having characters reunited. I loved the games. I loved the new friends, and I loved the action and twists and turns. It is an amazing addition to the DRAGONWATCH series and I cannot wait for the next one. I highly recommend it to everyone.

:) :) :) :) :)

The war against dragons intensifies. Will Kendra and Seth find the help they desperately need from the Giant Queen? This fourth book in a five-book series leaves the underwater dragon preserve of Crescent Lagoon for a gladiator-style arena at Titan Valley—the magical realm of towering giants and enslaved dragons. Our two young heroes have never felt so small or faced a challenge so ... giant!




Friday, October 2, 2020

Spotlight--The Highlander's Hidden Heart


THE HIGHLANDER'S HIDDEN HEART by Julie Bennon

I'm a sucker for Scotland. I'm excited to spotlight this book. It looks like a good one. Watch for my review hopefully next Friday, and be sure to check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.

A duke's daughter. A Highland warrior. And a love worth fighting for.

Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke of Barrington, has done her best to secure an advantageous match, but a shy nature, combined with a stutter, hasn't helped her cause. After two Seasons, her father won’t wait any longer and promises her to a man she despises. There doesn’t seem to be anything Elizabeth can do beyond wish for a freedom she’ll never have---until a charming Highlander appears and makes all her dreams of a love match seem within her reach.

Alec Ramsay unexpectedly inherits an earldom and must leave his beloved Scottish Highlands to present himself in London and settle the estate affairs. After meeting his new neighbor, Lady Elizabeth, he feels a connection to her that he’s never felt with any other woman. Alec makes every effort to further their acquaintance, but soon finds out that Elizabeth could be swept out of his reach before they have a chance to explore the feelings between them. With everything at stake, can he risk all for a chance at love−−before it’s too late?

**Originally a novella in the Timeless Romance collection, now a full-length novel with new twists, turns, and romance!



Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thursday, October 1, 2020

#bookadayaz

 Okay. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I'm still figuring out the best way to do this. I think it'll be a week at a time. So here's catching up for the last week and this one.



We love the Old Lady books here. I tried to find this one on Amazon and it's not there yet, but it IS in the Scholastic Book Clubs. Great, fun way to learn, teach, and reinforce sequencing. 


I really enjoyed this book. It gives an insight into the current President that the media has not allowed. It was very enlightening to see his ideas in 2000 and what he has done in his presidency. Whether you agree with everything or not, it is a very informative read that I would recommend.
 

The America We Deserve is the essential book for anyone who wants to understand the core of Donald Trump's political thinking. In this book, written as he first considered running for president in 2000, Trump offers no-nonsense, populist, provocative, and dramatic solutions to issues that continue to resonate with voters today.

In this book, Trump lays out a vision for America that is strong, optimistic, and founded on core Republican principles of self-reliance, limited governance, economic growth, and equitable taxation. Striking for its similarities to President Trump's current initiatives--but also fascinating in its differences--The America We Deserve reveals a man who is fully engaged with the nation and cares deeply about its future. Readers and voters will discover Trump's ideas on:

*Foreign policy and relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Israel
*How to fix our broken and underperfoming education system
*Reducing regulations on business to help create jobs and economic growth
*A dramatic one-time tax on the super-wealthy to close the national debt and fuel tax cuts for the middle class
*Immigration, crime, terrorism, and more

The America We Deserve is essential reading for Trump-watchers, voters, Republicans, Democrats, and anyone interested in how Trump the businessman became Trump the president.



I love Clair Poulson books. This one was not my favorite. There were so many different elements to the mystery and so many different people involved that it felt like too much. I love a good red herring, but this had several that all twisted together. Of course, it could be that I feel like my live at the moment is twisting in so many different directions that reading a plot this involved was too much for me at the moment.


Lauralyn LaPlant and her sister, Bridgette, could not be closer. Their shared passion for adventure draws them to scale a sheer cliff one fateful day, but despite their experienced precautions, Bridgette suffers a terrible accident and plummets to an untimely death. Shattered by grief, Lauralyn soon makes a sobering discovery: this was no accident—her sister's climbing rope was cut. But who wanted Bridgette dead, and why? It's up to Lauralyn and her grieving brother-in-law, Dade, to uncover the truth, even if it means putting themselves in the path of a ruthless killer. As their search for clues leads them deep into the heart of Gold Country, they discover that in the world of prospecting, greed knows no limits.


I look forward to reading this one. These types of books always take me longer to get through as I find I can't speed read through it. I have to take my time, and time is not something I always have.


We often talk about our Savior Jesus Christ and God the Father, but how much do we really know about the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead? On the other hand, can we imagine doing anything in the Church without the guidance or influence of the Holy Ghost? The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in every aspect and facet of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is, for example, a revelator, teacher, testifier, comforter, agent of the new birth, sanctifier, and sealer, to mention only a few of His roles. Unlike more inspirational explorations of the Holy Ghost, Robert L. Millet’s The Holy Spirit focuses on the person of the Holy Ghost and examines His varied assignments in a way that is both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging. Nothing has been written for decades about the Holy Spirit with so much breadth and depth.

In The Holy Spirit, you’ll find:

               *Sound doctrine about the Holy Ghost that is in harmony with scripture and latter-day prophets.

               *Personal experiences and inspiring stories from our history to help us both understand and draw upon the Holy Ghost in our lives.

               *A helpful reference of prophetic teachings about the Spirit and His role in our lives.



This was a cute read that I had forgotten I'd already read. It's a sweet romance that has life getting in the way of two people. I did enjoy the cute ending and it's a great read for anyone who loves a sweet romance.


Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities.

As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.



Good, fast paced read, but it felt under-developed. I would have liked more from one of the plot lines. Halfway through the book I said to myself, "It's finally hitting it's stride." The plot lines merged and then fizzled out. I'd love to see another to round out the story.


Jamie Madero's summer internship turns out to be anything but ordinary when he discovers the truth about The Freemen Foundation. Now outnumbered and outgunned, Jamie and his fellow Insiders must stay one step ahead of their enemies to survive in this high-stakes novel of intrigue and deception. This perfect adrenaline rush of a book is suspenseful, surprising, and packed with action. You won't be able to put it down.


Fantastic beginning. I loved the characters but to me it was an odd read. I would have liked Poe to grow enough to let someone else in sooner than she did. There was some back story, but to me, it felt like there needed to be a little bit more to understand both sides more clearly.


Who do you become when you have nothing left to lose?

There is something Poe Blythe, the seventeen-year-old captain of the Outpost’s last mining ship, wants far more than the gold they tear from the Serpentine River.
 
Revenge.
 
Poe has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. But as she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine and realizes there might be a traitor among her crew, she must also reckon with who she has become, who she wants to be, and the ways love can change and shape you. Even—and especially—when you think all is lost.



Fascinating read. I loved how she wrote the book through lunches with her friends and taught the reader, along with her friends, the principles of investing. It is an empowering book that will leave you wanting to take control of your financial freedom. Highly recommend it.


Written by Kim Kiyosaki - -the wife of bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki - RICH WOMAN is for women who insist on being financially independent – without depending on a man, family, company, or government to take care of them. In her book, Kiyosaki applies the same moneymaking strategies that have made RICH DAD POOR DAD one of the great publishing success stories of all time – but in a voice that is aimed directly at women. No matter what your financial background is or your current job situation, RICH WOMAN provides the essential road map for any woman who aspires to be financially free.


My 4th grader asked me to read this book with him. I had started it before and never finished it, so he gave me the motivation to move through them with him. I found the war scenes with the dragons a bit on the gruesome side. Throughout the first half or so of the book I wondered what kids saw in the story. As it progressed, I saw and understood though. I've read through the first story arc (books 1-5) and have to say the last two are my favorite. I do love the characters, and I know my son loves them. You can't ask for more than that.

 
Clay and his friends have grown up under a mountain, secretly raised by the Talons of Peace to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The five young dragons are destined to end the war that's been raging between the tribes of Pyrrhia -- but how they'll do this, none of them knows.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. When one of their own is threatened, Clay and his friends decide to escape. Maybe they can break free and end the war at the same time -- or maybe they'll risk everything ...


I love Jennifer's books. Every one is amazing and this is no exception. I can't believe what people did to keep books around and the risks they took. It would be good for us to remember the true sacrifices people made in order to preserve words on a page. Highly recommend this one.


Danger is never far from Audra's family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian -- they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous.

In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra's parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.

As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents?