Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review: "Jane & Emma" DVD

I'm super thrilled to share my review of this movie today and offer you a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Movie Description: Jane & Emma


JANE & EMMA is based on the life of Sister Jane Manning, one of the first black Mormons. She
returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated. Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the prophet as a whirlwind of loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward. Through the long night, Jane wonders if the prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him.

The film explores the possible events of that night, including Jane’s endeavor to remain amongst the Mormon people and Emma’s struggle to cope with her heartbreaking loss. Poignant issues of racism and polygamy threaten to break their bond of friendship. In the end, will Jane and Emma have the courage to follow the path each believes they must take?




My Review:

Professionally acted and masterfully constructed, Jane & Emma is an amazing movie. It made me laugh. ("Brother James? I ain't come for your tithing" when she calls the man she will eventually marry by the more formal title.) And it made me cry. But more than that, my heart was touched. ("I am a child of God, just like you.") This movie is well-written, giving the audience much to think about. I love how it shows sisterhood, mistakes, forgiveness, and faith. The music is moving and hauntingly beautiful. This is one powerful movie I will watch again and again.



Jane & Emma

is available on DVD

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

Jane & Emma is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: Sarah Eden's "Healing Hearts"


Book Description:

HEALING HEARTS

[A Proper Romance] by Sarah M. Eden


Wyoming Territory, 1876
As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.
When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara's message had gotten turned around. He didn't want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.
But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam's arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally to protect Miriam from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.

My Review:


Okay, I seriously LOVED this book! It was fun returning to Savage Wells, Wyoming, and seeing the characters from The Sheriffs of Savage Wells. I was thrilled that the character Gideon that I connected with in that book got his own love story in Healing Hearts. Miriam is the perfect one for him. Their journey to love was a fun one to be on. More than the romance, though, I appreciate how Sarah Eden is able to make history so interesting! The whole medical aspect was probably my favorite part of the story. I will read this book over and over.


Healing Hearts

A Proper Romance by Sarah M. Eden

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

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



If you enjoyed Sarah M. Eden's sweet romance with a medical twist, you would also love Maria Hoagland's Her App, a Match, and the Billionaire available for pre-order today and ready for release on March 7. Click the image for more information.







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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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