1225 Christmas Tree Lane

September 29, 2011

1225 Christmas Tree Lane
By: Debbie MaComber
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks

I love  reading Debbie Macomber book, but I especially enjoy her Christmas stories. They are always brimming over in Christmas Spirit.  She has continually taken me away for a delightful visit with the characters of Cedar Cove.

This story takes place during the Christmas holidays.  The story centered around  Beth Morehouse who owns and operates a Christmas Tree farm. After going through a heartbreaking divorce, Beth had relocated to Cedar Cove and purchased the farm and continued the business of raising Christmas trees. She also trains dogs and has been involved with rescued dogs. This year someone has dropped a litter of 10 puppies on her doorstep. Christmas is the perfect time to find owners for these puppies- so she thinks.

The reader will be amazed at where and how these puppies find homes. Beth's two daughters, Baily and Sophie arrive to spend the holidays. Along with them Beth's ex husband is also arriving. The memories of wonderful family Christmases had been drifting through her mind as she prepared to see Kent. These went from rosy warm to ice cold with the arrival of Danielle Kent's "friend". But fear not her mischievous daughters had plans for mom and dad and they didn't include dad's friend.

Throughout the story you  drop in and discover  what has been going on in the lives of some of the characters from other books in this series. From the cutting of the Christmas trees to Christmas Day dinner it is a wonderful visit.  But it wouldn't be Christmas without gifts and surprise. Both are sprinkled lavishly throughout the story.

This is the last book in the Cedar Cove series. I have enjoyed this series immensely and will miss the charming characters.  However I am anxious to see what new reading delights Debbie Macomber will share with us.

Sleeping Beauty

September 12, 2011

Sleeping Beauty
By: Charles Seddon Evans

A Queen's dream to have a child comes true. While a kingdom celebrates and bestows gifts, a recluse brings a curse. Does the Princess die or fall asleep? Is she the only one? Read the story the Disney classic was based on. What was kept and what was kept out.

The story opens with the Queen longing for a child of her own. A magical frog appears during her bath and predicts that by the following year she will be holding her own baby. Sure enough, a beautiful girl is born. The Royal parents name her Briar Rose and celebrate her arrival with a christening a few weeks later. Lords and Ladies, Princes, Ambassadors from foreign countries all come bearing gifts for the beloved infant. While the kingdom's fairies all bestow gifts of virtues upon the infant, the lone recluse fairy shows her anger by giving the gift of death. she declares that on her 15th birthday, Briar Rose will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die immediately. During all this, one fairy has remained hidden, but comes forth to give her gift. She can't undo the horrible spell, but she does alter it: the Princess will sleep for 100 years, at which time a Prince will come to awaken her.

Sure enough, come her 15th birthday, the spell comes true despite burning every spinning wheel. However, it isn't just the Princess who falls asleep for 100 years, but everyone within the castle. 100 years later, and numerous failed attempts by other Princes, one Prince unfamiliar to the castle and it's spell asks about it. He sets out to be the one to break the spell and does.

I thoroughly loved reading this fairy tale. I thought Disney stayed pretty close to the story and what they did change made sense for the audience they were targeting. I thought I knew the story, but was pleasantly surprised to read the whole castle- with everyone & everything in it- fell asleep for 100 years as well. It was so interesting to read how the outer castle was taken over by plant and thorn growth, but only for so far. When the Prince tackles the thorns and plants he wasn't the only one surprised by the beautiful vegetation and castle found with in the growth- just there sleeping.

I look forward to sharing this fairy tale with my daughters once they get older. I have no doubt that I will read this one numerous times.

Rating: Buy It! Though it was a free ebook for the Kindle

Fairy Tale Reading

September 7, 2011

Like countless children before me, I loved fairy tales as I grew up. Thanks to Disney, many have been brought to life, with a new twist, and for generations to grow up with. But, what were the movies based on? I've often wondered and now I set out to find out. I recently found a handful of fairy tales to read. While I'm well aware of the fact that they may not be the original story, I am still curious to see how they were told.

I have decided to go on a little fairy tale adventure and I'm taking all of you with me. I've picked out 4 fairy tales to read, all of which I've seen the popular movie to. I'm going to read & compare the stories to what I grew up knowing of them. Here they are:
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp
Here's to Once Upon A Time...

A Marriage Carol

September 3, 2011

A Marriage Carol
By: Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman

A Couple is on their way to sign their divorce papers. The snow storm causes their accident & life is never the same again. A Christmas Carol applied to a marriage. Can a look to the beginning, present, & possible future keep a once loving family together?

Marlee and Jacob Ebeneezer have been married for 20 years. Over the last couple of years, they haven't been happy. Life has taken them into different directions: she to her children, he to his work. Somehow, over the years, the spark burned out. After numerous tries to change the course they were on, they decide it would be better for the kids if they got divorced. As the story begins, they are literally driving to the lawyer's office to sign the papers. However, the snow storm they happen to be driving puts a kink in their plans when they get broadsided by a truck.

Marlee comes to and can't find her husband anywhere. She stumbles out of the car and sees a light off in the distance. Once there, she is welcomed by an older man, Jay. Turns out the house she came to is a marriage retreat. Jay tells her of three golden pots he says will change her life. As snow from outside melts within the pot, the holder is given a look into the past, present, and future. Marlee watches her relationship with Jacob go from dating all the way to marriage. She's given the a shock when she sees what the pot for the future shows her.

Marlee meets Jay's wife and is stunned to realize the woman and Jay are actually her and Jacob many years from now. She rushes out into the storm in the attempt to find her husband and Jay. Not only does she find them, but she almost crashed into them.

When Marlee comes to again she finds herself in a hospital bed surrounded by her children. Turns out,  all these visions occurred while she was unconscious in her hospital bed with a concussion. Together Marlee and Jay realize the accident was a blessing the Lord sent in disguise, because had it never happened they would have become divorced. Instead, they both realize that they want to take as long as it takes to recapture what they had.

A phenomenal read! I loved A Christmas Carol, so when I read about this book, I was immediately curious. I love how they were able to tell this story. So touching, so poignant. I felt this was a story that was not only relateable to many, but very well told. Once the story is over, there is a guide that follows it. I didn't read that, but was gripped by the story. I hope you read it and enjoy it as well. 

Rating:Borrow From The Library/Buy It

Blame It On The Mistletoe

September 1, 2011

Blame It On The Mistletoe
By" Joyce Magnin
320 Pages

Something is going on at Greenbrier Nursing Home. One patient is riding a tricycle all around the place- complete with handlebar tassels & a bell she loves to ring; some are acting like lovesick teenagers. What is behind it all?

I am saddened to say that I wasn't able to get into this book. The description sounded cute and the story sounded so interesting. However, I just wasn't able to immerse myself into the story. I think the characters being much older than I am is a big reason- I'm not the target audience. I hung in for as long as I could, but I just couldn't stay interested. The main reason I read the book was to see if My Mom and her friends would like it, but I wasn't able to finish.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

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