Review/ Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Review/ Starry Night by Debbie MacomberStarry Night by Debbie Macomber
Published by Random House on November 21st 2013
Pages: 272
Goodreads

Perfect Christmas women's fiction from international bestseller Debbie Macomber.'Tis the season for love and second chances ...Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge first: Carrie must score the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.Living in Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a bestselling book about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone, and no one even knows exactly where he lives. With her career at stake, Carrie sacrifices her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she expected. And soon Carrie is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

I have to admit right from the beginning that I have never read anything by Debbie Macomber before reading Starry Night. I have to thank my friend, Jennifer for introducing this author to me. I really enjoyed reading Starry Night.

This was the year that I really got into reading Christmas themed books and I think that was due to the fact Jennifer passed on so many great books to me. I have to start off by saying that I loved the cover of the version I had and it was the glittery Starry Night that hooked be as I try to avoid reading what the book is about. I love going into a book not knowing what its about.

I was hooked into the story right away and I practically read this in one sitting which says alot about the book for me. It had all the right things I love about a book. I love when I book hooks you in right away and there is enough action, suspense and love to keep you into finding out more.

Carrie is a reporter for the Chicago Herald. She loves where is she is working but is getting tired of writing for the society page. When push comes to shove she goes into her bosses office and basically says she wants another position or she is prepared to leave there all together. I love Carrie and her determination to move forward with her career because she knows what she can and can’t do.

Her boss tells her if she wants to advance she must score a exclusive interview with the famous author Finn Dalton. Finn has never given any kind of interviews or been photographed since his book has become the best seller. Every reporter has tried to locate him and none has been successful until Carrie comes along. Carrie is determined to find him and heads to Alaska to begin her search.

Finn has made it his mission to basically remain out of the spot light and hidden away. No one knows who he is and he probably could be walking beside you and you wouldn’t even know it. So needless to say he isn’t happy when his friend drops Carrie off outside his cottage in Alaska. His actions let Carrie know she isn’t wanted around and as soon as the storm clears she is on a one way ticket back home.

As the story progress you can see that both Carrie and Finn are breaking down the walls and they are both starting to develop feelings for each other. Will they be able to live apart knowing that Finn wants nothing to do with the city life? Or will their love be enough to overcome that?

If your looking for a fun clean read then I highly recommend this book. Its the perfect holiday read in my opinion.

 

The Broke & The Bookish Secret Santa (Reveal)

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This is one of my favorite Secret Santa exchanges that I take part in pretty much every year.  With the exception of missing one year.

In the secret Santa you have a few options that you could select a) 1 book and a small gift/candy b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies or c) 2-3 books and goodies and I opted for c and I was matched with someone who requested the same thing.

I was lucky enough to receive my gift Friday afternoon and I was going to wait to open it but then decided that I was because it was a rough week.

A photo posted by @cindysloveofbooks on


As you can see it arrived all nicely wrapped. I almost didn’t want to open it. The candy canes were yummy. 

My Secret Santa is a fellow Canadian and her name is Kelsey and she blogs from her home in Ottawa region (which is super close to me roughly about two hours away from me and her blog is Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf . If you click on her button it will take you directly to her blog. I invite you to go and check out Kelsey’s blog and say hi.

Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf

A photo posted by @cindysloveofbooks on

Here is the lovely goodies she sent me. The candy canes were yummy as was the chocolate “C” which I managed to hide before anyone got home. I wasn’t as lucky with the jelly beans though. I thought they were hidden some what on the desk but someone spotted them. Not included was the Christmas card she sent because I hung it up already.

The books were all books I have posted on wishlists which Kelsey said was a huge help to her.

  • The Boy With The Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset (This is book 2 in the Otherworld Series)
  • Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood (book 2 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles)
  • Sister’s Fate by Jessica Spotswood (book 3 in the Cahill Witch Chronicles)

I am super excited to read these fantastic books.

Thank you Kelsey I love my package. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Holiday Gift Guide Day 16 & Blog Tour-Review/ The Sparkle Box

Holiday Gift Guide Day 16 & Blog Tour-Review/ The Sparkle BoxThe Sparkle Box by Jill HardieChristine Kornacki
Published by Ideals Children's Books on 2012
Pages: 18
Source: Book From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Christian, Christmas & Advent, Holidays & Celebrations, Religious, Values & Virtues, Young Adult

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift -- a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's parents explain that the things that they've been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus -- for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. This heartfelt story will inspire readers to adopt this faith-centered tradition in their own homes, using the included Sparkle Box.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am super excited to share with you today a book I received for a blog tour I am on today called The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie and Illustrated by Christine Kornacki.

I have to saw right away that I love the cover with the embossing and glitter box. The illustrations inside the book are beautifully done they are vibrant and beautiful to look at. The images are very realistic looking.

Before I begin my review I should share with you the website for The Sparkle Box all you have to do is click on the book title and it will take you to the page.

Sam is a young boy who is excited about Christmas, like any other child is during the holiday.

This isn’t going to be your typical Christmas book. Its not going to focus on Santa Claus or about the presents that Sam wants and will probably get instead the story will center around caring and helping others in need during this time of the year and about Jesus.

The story begins with Sam’s mother having a sparkly box on the mantle that catches Sam’s eye. He questions his mom about the box and all she will tell him is that they have to fill the box before it can be opened. As time goes on he keeps asking him mom about the box. She tells him there is something int he box but they can’t open it yet because they still need to add things.

Throughout the book the story is showing us the family is helping the less fortunate with dropping off food and blankets to a shelter, how the father’s company has donated to a village in Africa and how Sam’s school has a tree and they decorate it with hats, scarves & mittens.

I loved this book and the message behind it and what I loved the most was the author showed us that Sam who is young notices things in the world that most ignore and he took it upon himself to help someone in need without being asked to.

Finally Christmas morning arrives and they can open their presents. As much as Sam is excited to open his presents its the sparkly box that attracts him the most. When he opens the box he notices small pieces of paper inside with things written on them. He is puzzled at first but then begins to read them.

Mittens and a candy bar given to someone in need.

Warm blankets and food for the homeless

A well in Africa that will provide clean drinking water.

His mother explains that they are the gifts to Jesus in honor of his birthday. This confuses Sam but his mother explains that when we give to others or help others we are giving it to Jesus.

I think this is the perfect book to give children this year and I highly recommend it. The book also include a box to make in the back of the book and I think we will be filling it up this holiday season. This would also make a fantastic family tradition in families that are just starting out who want to teach thei

There were so many things I liked about this book. First, Christmas was being celebrated with all the decorations and special traditions, but that was not the emphasis. The focal point was Christ and the less fortunate. It is quite the opposite nowadays as else is highlighted by all the worldly activities and Jesus is pushed aside.
I also liked the fact that Santa wasn’t mentioned once. His image as grown to such proportions that he takes the place of Christ. Not only in celebrating Christmas but sadly in the hearts of children. Little ones love to give and this book introduces them to the idea of how to give gifts to Jesus by helping the needy.
I was surprised and delighted to see in the back of the book was a Sparkle Box to put together! You can start your own family tradition of giving gifts to the One Who gave all to us! A must have for anyone that has children or works with children! It is a book to be treasured through generations!

 

2015GiftGuide

Holiday Gift Guide Day 4 & Review/ The Twelve Days of Christmas In Canada

Holiday Gift Guide Day 4 & Review/ The Twelve Days of Christmas In CanadaThe Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada by Ellen Warwick
Published by Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated on October 6th 2015
Pages: 32
Source: Book From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Canada, Christmas & Advent, General, Holidays & Celebrations, People & Places, Young Adult

O Canada, in Christmastime! Come with Juliette and her "crazy Canuck cousin" as they take a holiday trip across the country, all the way from Prince Edward Island and vieux Québec to Winnipeg and Vancouver. Along the way Juliette gets really cool Canadian gifts—like 8 bears a-swimming, 6 Mounties marching, and a loon in a maple tree!

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Today I have another picture book for you as you know I love picture books and so does Michael.

I did not realize that The Twelve Days of Christmas In… was a whole series of books. It covers places such as New York City (you know I want to get that one), Illinois, New England, Texas and so many other places.

I loved that there was a map included at the front of the book so you could see and trace the root Juliette took in the book. The book is told in a letter format that Juliette writes to her mom and dad back at home. Juliette has been invited to spend Christmas in Canada with her cousin Theo.

Juliette’s journey begins in Charlottetown, PEI on Day 1 and for the next twelve days they travel across Canada by boat, plane, train and car. Hitting various spots in Canada.

Once you begin reading the  book you realize that certain things are mentioned that you know are purely Canadian and you associate them with Canada, such as a loon, fiddlers, bagels, Mounties (RCMP), sled dougs, and so many other things including hockey because you know that has to be mentioned.

If you want to know more of what is included then you have to get the book. It will bring a whole new meaning to The Twelve Days of Christmas.

This is such a fun and cute book to read over the holiday season that kids of all ages will enjoy.

I love that it took place in Canada and I love that at the back of the book there is a little Canadian facts such as some totally amazing Canadians (Mike Meyers, Jim Carrey, John Candy and so many others), Canadian Inventions ( the snowblower, basketball, goalie mask etc), Cool Canadian Records, Wacky Canadian Landmarks, Astounding Canadian History and Glorious Canadian Nature.

I should also mention that both the author and illustrator are Canadian which I love. Its nice to read Canadian books and expose Michael to them as well.

2015GiftGuide

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3 & Review/ Over The River & Through The Wood

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3 & Review/ Over The River & Through The WoodOver the River & Through the Wood by Linda Ashman
Published by Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated on October 6th 2015
Pages: 32
Source: Book From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: General, Holidays & Celebrations, Young Adult

Pack up the pooches and load the van. We need to leave by eight! There's so much to bring. Do we have everything? Come on, we can't be late!   The classic song gets a fresh new twist! The fun begins when Grandma and Grandpa send invitations to their far-flung, modern, and multiracial family: Come to our house for the holidays--and bring your favorite pie! Off everyone goes, driving down snowy roads, riding the train, boarding a plane . . . even sailing along in a hot-air balloon. As each family faces an obstacle that delays their trip, they learn that sometimes the most old-fashioned form of transportation works best . . . NEIGH!

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One thing I love about Christmas time is the books especially picture books.

Today I am going to be talking about Over The River & Through The Wood by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kim Smith.

I loved the illustrations in the book and the diverse characters in the book. It was nice to finally see that in a picture book for kids.

Over The River & Through The Wood is set to that classic tune and your suppose to read the book in that tune. I admit I had to google it to see how it went as its been a long time since I heard it. The story is about a diverse family that has been invited to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Each member of the family has to overcome a traveling disaster such as the car running out of gas, a flat tire and so much more but in the end they all meet along the way and help each other out to arrive at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

This is such a cute book and I think it would make a perfect gift.

2015GiftGuide

The Mailbox Post December 22nd to 27th

Its hard to believe its that time of the week for another mailbox post.
The hosts of the mailbox memes are:

Tynga's Reviews

Tynga’s Reviews is the host of Stacking the Shelves and the other host is Mailbox Monday which now has its own blog.

Mailbox Monday will no longer be hosted monthly by different bloggers.

Its hard to believe that this is the last Mailbox Post/Stacking the Shelves for 2014. Wow its crazy how fast the year has gone. Did anyone else find that it just flew by?

Alright so as promised this is actually going to be a huge gigantic mailbox this week. There might be a few things repeated in my mailbox post so don’t worry they aren’t doubles LOL

This is basically all the books we got for Christmas that I bought and for the 12 days of Christmas countdown.

Something that I did get and I don’t think I included was:

themazerunner

I got the DVD and book about two weeks ago.

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This is what we got for Christmas:

  • Thea Stilton The Chocolate Sabatage
  • Thea Stilton and the missing myth
  • Lego Architecture The Visual Guide
  • Lego Things that Go
  • Lego Amazing Places
  • My Life as a Joke by Janet Tashjian (fourth book in the series)
  • Lego City Snow Chaser! A Christmas & Activity Book  with mini figure
  • Lego City Sticker Storybook Merry Christmas Lego City
  • Contaminated by Em Garner
  • The Fallout by S.A Bodeen (2nd book in the series)
  • Searching For Sky by Jillian Cantor
  • Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner (Excited for this because I loved Skinny)
  • Spirit Animals Book 5 Against The Tide by Tui T. Sutherland
  • Make Up Your Life Guide To Beauty, Style and Success online and Off by Michelle Phan

 

 

 

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Now the above books were purchased in the last month or so because I wanted to do a picture book advent calendar style countdown but sadly I couldn’t find the few other books we currently had for Christmas so I ended up just doing the last 12 days. I am trying to find a picture I took of them all wrapped up but I think it might have accidentally got deleted. Oh well this is the lot of them. If you want titles I can include them but I think you can see what they are from the picture. The last two ended up being favorites of ours.

Did you get any books for Christmas? Did you give any books?