Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: The Christmas Break-In DVD

Post 2 of 2

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas season! To help your family celebrate, I'm posting a reviews of two new Christmas DVDs perfect for the whole family! I'll post one today and the other on Wednesday.


Make sure to read to the end so you can enter to win both movies!


Movie Description: The Christmas Break-In


The children in Millie’s family can’t wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world, and then slip that wish into the apron’s pocket. Then, on Christmas morning, those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But then eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can’t afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings’ faces: nothing to open on Christmas morning. Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so that someone else’s can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.



My Review:

The movie starts with a bit of Home Alone-style slapstick, but not to worry, it's not ALL that way (though that is where they hide the humor). The Christmas Break-In is a perfectly clean (no swear words! REALLY!) family-friendly Christmas movie for when you want to sit back as a family and enjoy spending time together. There are some good morals taught, and if you can get past the idea that an elementary student would be left alone outside in the middle of a blizzard waiting for a ride after school and the principal and teachers all take off (believe me, this would never happen), it's a cute flick. My family enjoyed the show, and my favorite part were the outtakes that accompanied the end credits. It was pretty cool to have Danny Glover in it. He was amazing and the little girl was cute.



The Christmas Break-In

is available on DVD

(click the image for a link to the store).




Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: The Christmas Apron DVD



I hope you are enjoying your Christmas season! To help your family celebrate, I'm posting a reviews of two new Christmas DVDs perfect for the whole family! I'll post one today and the other on Wednesday.


Make sure to read to the end so you can enter to win both movies!


Movie Description: The Christmas Apron


The children in Millie’s family can’t wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world, and then slip that wish into the apron’s pocket. Then, on Christmas morning, those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But then eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can’t afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings’ faces: nothing to open on Christmas morning. Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so that someone else’s can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.




My Review:

Watching The Christmas Apron together as a family is a great way to start the Christmas season! The thing that impressed me the most was how beautifully shot and artistic this film is. The light is amazing and the actors perfect for their roles (though dialogue is maybe a little stiff at times). While it is, perhaps, a little expected for a Christmas story during World War II, that makes it a great way to help children understand the time period. A great uplifting, feel-good movie with a fantastic moral. Though I do wish there'd been mention of the Savior as the reason for Christmas... if He was even mentioned, it was minimal because I don't remember it. This movie focused on service to others, so it may have appeal to a larger than Christian audience.



The Christmas Apron

is available on DVD on Amazon

(click the image for a link to the store).




Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review of THE FORGOTTEN CAROLS Performance in Boise, Idaho


Description:

THE FORGOTTEN CAROLS

by Michael McLean


The Forgotten Carols stage performance tells the story of Connie Lou, a nurse whose empty life is changed when Uncle John, a new patient she is attending, recounts the story of Christ’s birth as told by little known characters in the nativity story. The accounts from the Innkeeper, the Shepherd, and others help the nurse discover what the world has forgotten about Christmas, ultimately encouraging her to open her heart to the joy of this special season.

My Review:


I am a huge fan of musicals. I LOVE live performances. And this one is one of the best. I love that it is family friendly. I love that it is clean and spiritual and uplifting.

I count myself lucky that I've had the opportunity to watch this show two years in a row! Last year, I attended the performance of The Forgotten Carols at the Wagner-Noel Performing Arts Center in Midland, Texas. When I went, I had very little idea what I was getting into other than the word of several personal friends who talked about how much they liked it. I, too, enjoyed the show, though I was thrown off by the interactive encore. However, the music and staging was amazing, and the story and tunes stayed with me throughout the holiday season, and I was so glad I went!

This year, I was thrilled to attend the performance in Boise, Idaho, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it last year, I found it even more amazing this time! The music is so fantastic, I went to download it today so I can keep the tunes and words with me throughout the Christmas season. The lyrics of more than one of the songs brought tears to my eyes. I love how Michael McLean helped me ponder more aspects of the birth of our Savior that I maybe hadn't thought of in a while. As my husband said after the show, "It made me want to be a better man."

The set and production are beautiful; the performers top-notch. I can't imagine a more talented cast. Connie Lou was fantastic! Our seats in the Morrison Center were perfect, but we were only a few rows from the front. My in-laws' seats were near the back. They still loved the show and said they had a good view. As they are a little older, they had a little trouble distinguishing some of the words over the volume of the music, but I didn't notice any problems. In fact, I loved how careful the performers were with diction and felt that I heard every word, even in the songs. I did think it interesting that when Connie Lou starts looking through the scrapbook, she starts in the front but the dates get older as she flips pages; I wonder if it might be better if she were to open the scrapbook in the middle at random and flip backwards toward the front--but my husband and I might be the only strange people to notice such minor details. I love the banter between the nurse and doctor. They are so perfect!

The Forgotten Carols is beautiful and spiritual and funny. I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed my date, I drew closer to my Savior. Attending the performance is worth it, and a tradition I hope to have every year. I still found myself uncomfortable during the encore, but I suppose introverts are like that if you pull them out of their own little bubble of security. I did enjoy singing "Silent Night" as a group though.

If you get the chance to attend--in Idaho or Texas (actually, it looks like they won't be traveling to Texas this year) or anywhere in between--take the opportunity! You will love it! I went with my husband and in-laws, and all four of us were glad we went!

If you'd like to see where

The Forgotten Carols

will be coming to a theater near you

or to purchase your own tickets,

click on the image below.








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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright


Book Description:

Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's

by Julie Wright


The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.
The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?
The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.

My Review:


I was supposed to have this review up a week and a half ago, but life got in the way, but I'm so glad I took the time to read every word before posting my review.

Ever since I heard there would be another book by Julie Wright in the same style as Lies Jane Austen Told Me--a novel I absolutely adored and cheered out loud when it won the Whitney Award--I've been looking forward to this book. It definitely did not disappoint! I adored this book! The plot and storyline are great--nothing could have made them better--but the best part is Julie's wit. I love her humor! The characters are sassy and fun, and reading was a delight. There are several movie references, some of which I got, and others, I had no clue, but I don't think it was a problem at all. Little Easter eggs of fun if you got them, but Julie didn't make you feel lost if you didn't. Before reading the book, I took the time to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's since I've never been a fan of old films and had never seen that one, and I'm glad I watched it, but it wasn't exactly necessary to know the plot or references. I especially enjoyed the appearances of the character Emma from Julie's Lies Jane Austen Told Me. Overall, the romance was sweet, the plot well planned, the journey completely worth the read!


Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's

by Julie Wright

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

(click the images below to jump to each store).






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Friday, November 9, 2018

Countdown to the Christmas Season with Sweet Romance Books!



Home for the Holidays

Maria Hoagland


Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook

Spending Christmas vacation with her father is part of Avery Baumann’s plan—right between graduating with her MBA and starting her first real job alongside her successful boyfriend, Hayden. But when Avery’s idea of vacation involves building a house and Hayden believes his time in the beach town shouldn’t have anything to do with nail guns, they start to second-guess their compatibility.

Architect Keenan Perry wants to design a plan of his own—one that includes Avery. If only it wasn’t for their rocky history, secrets he thought were buried, and that pesky boyfriend she brought along.

As Avery and Keenan work side by side to rebuild a friend’s home before the holidays, it may take more than Christmas wishes for them to patch the past and build the future of their dreams . . . even if it isn’t what they had originally planned.


The Carpenter's Christmas Romance

Erica Penrod

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook

Needing a miracle, Mandy Williams headed to Milwaukie where she hoped to find a stable job and a place to raise her two-year-old son. What she didn’t expect to find was Blake Jessop, her first love. His violet blue eyes still captivate her heart and his peaceful soul is like a siren to her troubled heart. But she broke Blake’s heart and he looks at her like she’s the Grinch who stole his Christmas spirit. 

Blake, a MyHeartChannel star, enjoyed his quiet life mostly behind the camera on the hit channel Tori’s Taking Over. Their latest project, a B&B in Milwaukie was humming along until Mandy showed up as the new manager. Mandy was the girl. The girl he measured every other woman by, the one who haunted his heart. 

Blake and Mandy can’t deny the feelings between them and get caught up in a holiday romance. But is the magic of Christmas strong enough to heal the past and take on the future? 



One Winter Night

Heather Tullis

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook and paperback

Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals.

Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?




Christmas Future: Inspired by A Christmas Carol

Valerie Ipson

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook

Celebrating 175 years since the Dickens classic was published

While Scarlett Ambrose works her PR magic landing Alaska on the nice Christmas spirit list, her wedding plans and a longing for Arizona’s heat have to wait. But when the wait’s too long will a warm-hearted doctor in town for his own reasons be just the prescription for lifting her cold, Scrooge-like spirit?




Hope for Christmas

Holly Stevenson

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Available in ebook

A broken ex-Marine, a yoga instructor in danger . . . will a little Hope and a Christmas miracle mend their troubled hearts?

Hope Sullivan’s fame as MyHeartChannel’s most popular yoga instructor leads her to teach at an exclusive mountain resort in Pine Ridge, Colorado. Her goal is to help others relax, but when she’s confronted by a stalker during class, the situation is more than just uncomfortable—it’s dangerous. Before Hope can call security, a handsome stranger defuses the situation by pretending to be her bodyguard boyfriend.

As a former Marine, Owen Davis is used to rescuing others. But in his effort to help Hope, he signs himself up for a week of work on his vacation. Scarred by the trauma of his life and convinced he’s a broken man, he tries to keep her at arm’s length to protect her from the demons of his past.

As the lines between real and pretend begin to blur, their growing attraction for each other is undeniable—but can they overcome his broken past and her guarded heart? It just might take a Christmas miracle . . . and a little bit of Hope.


A Taste of Home

Annette Lyon

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook and paperback

From USA TODAY bestselling author Annette Lyon comes an enchanting Christmas novella: Claire Jennings is headed home to spend Christmas with her family, riding the train with Will Rhodes, who grew up across the street. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years.

At the rail station, Claire learns that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She’s stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. Will stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

A TASTE OF HOME was first published in the SILVER BELLS COLLECTION from TIMELESS ROMANCE ANTHOLOGIES in 2014.


Her Fake Christmas Eve Billionaire Boyfriend

Chelsea Hale

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Available in ebook

She hired a fake boyfriend for the holidays because her ex got engaged to her sister. He wants to find someone who isn’t after his money. Sparks fly, but can they build a real relationship from a fake one? 

Emery Worthington has worked for a year to get over her cheating ex. Not having a boyfriend has paid off with a promotion and a bonus. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to go home for the holidays and be around her ex who is now engaged to her sister.

She didn’t mean to tell her mom she was going to her boyfriend’s house for Christmas, it just slipped out. When her mom calls back later with news that her grandpa isn’t doing well and wants to meet her boyfriend, Emery knows she won’t disappoint her grandpa.

James Bordeaux is successful in everything but love. Gold-digging women have taught him to be careful when it comes to trusting others. He won’t risk getting attached to someone who only loves him for his net worth. But when James’ best friend asks for a favor to help a coworker, James jumps at the idea. Until he realizes that she wants to pay him to be her boyfriend and spend Christmas with her family. He doesn’t need the money, but he wants to help a friend.

Emery only wanted to introduce her “boyfriend” to her grandpa and leave, but soon they find themselves staying for a full week. James is thrilled, Emery is not. As the lines between fake and real blur, Emery knows that she wants to build a real relationship. But will the secrets James is holding onto keep them apart?



The Gift of a Child

Donna Weaver

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook

**A Novelette**

Recently widowed Rae Cavanaugh just survived the worst birthday of her life. She and her two young children must now face a holiday season filled with so many reminders of what they've lost. But when a coworker who’s raising his young nephew moves next door, Rae discovers that the support of a good friend, and the gift of a child, can bring back some of the joy of the season.



Snowdrift

Debra Erfert

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook and paperback

A widowed sheriff of two small girls, a lonely artist desperate to reach her dying mother, and the Wyoming blizzard that traps them together.

Artist Abigail Carson crashes off the deserted highway during a Wyoming blizzard while driving to reach her dying mother. Carbon County Sheriff Jackson Reynolds rescues her, leaving her Jeep in the snowdrift as the storm becomes a whiteout. They’re trapped at his ranch for the week leading up to Christmas, along with his two young daughters, a protective mother-in-law, and a bitter memory of his dead wife.

Tensions rise as Abby’s attraction grows for the tough sheriff. She must crack through his emotional wall before the storm breaks or lose her only chance for real love. But if the storm doesn't stop soon enough, Abby may lose her opportunity to ask her mother's forgiveness for running away almost ten years before.

Snowdrift is a story about love, faith, and forgiveness.



Claire's Christmas Dance

Rachelle Christensen

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook

Claire has always dreamed of dancing at the Fielding House Christmas Ball, but she never dreamed she might dance into the arms of a gentleman not of her class. 


The Fielding House Christmas Ball is for everyone, including servants. This Christmas Eve a lady’s maid, Claire Walden, plans to attend for the first time, but when Mrs. Fielding’s grandson shows up unexpectedly the dance may take a different turn. Edmund is a gentleman of the upper class, but with a questionable background. When he shows an interest in Claire, she doesn’t want to risk her heart, but over time, Claire comes to know Edmund. As the Christmas Eve ball approaches, Claire wonders if love might be able to cross the lines of servants and high society. If she saves a dance for Edmund, will he steal her heart forever?



The Great Christmas Contest

Lucy McConnell

Buy Now on Amazon
Available in ebook

When the owner of Three French Hens Department Store, an icon for Christmas in New York, wants to retire, she opens a MyHeartChannel Christmas Contest. Five employees will give away $25,000 before Christmas Eve and the winner will own Three French Hens and become a millionaire.

Twenty-six-year-old Samantha Noel works in the Women’s Department at Three French Hens. Her life hasn’t turned out exactly like she’d planned thanks to her unconventional father. But, she’s chosen to be one of the five contestants in the Great Christmas Contest, and is thrilled at the opportunity to finally get out from under the shadow he casts.

But, when a military wife makes a wish too big for Samantha to fulfill on her own, she's forced to enlist the help of her mysterious and handsome coworker, Christian Malone. As they work together to make a mother’s Christmas wish come true, Samantha develops feelings for Christian. Christian's holding tight to a secret and she has to wonder if she’s fallen for a man who is no better than her father.

As the clock ticks down to Christmas Eve, Samantha's torn between keeping her heart safe and risking it for the man she loves. If she can't find a way to trust, then her Christmas miracle will pass her by.


Accidentally Engaged for the Holidays

Amberlee Day

Pick up your copy Now!
Available in ebook

She’s a former socialite and MyHeartChannel host who wants her life back. He’s a philanthropist and shameless flirt. Both have plans and neither wants a relationship, but the magic of Christmas in Victoria, Canada, might just make all their secret wishes come true.
Alyssa Jones-Blakely had it all—wealth, a place in high society, and a popular MyHeartChannel showcasing her impeccable sense of fashion and globetrotting lifestyle. Loss of the family income sent her tumbling to the bottom of the social ladder. While she’s long since righted her own wrongs, she remains shunned and sharp-eyed for an opportunity to get back where she was: living a fabulous life. 
Ex-Marine Dean Stallings went through rough times after his war-zone injury. Years later, he’s spending his life creating tiny house villages to help people experiencing homelessness. He’s happy as a single bachelor, flirting and keeping things light on the dating scene. A relationship would only slow him down, especially to a shallow ex-socialite.
When Dean stumbles into Alyssa, he sees a beautiful woman to flirt with and she sees a ticket back to her old life. Will Dean’s belief in second chances include the woman who may break his heart? And will Alyssa open her own heart to discover that the best things in life don’t come with a designer label?