Thursday, December 13, 2018

~ BLOG TOUR STOP SILENT DAYS HOLY NIGHT ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'SILENT DAYS, HOLY NIGHT'  --
AUTHOR PHYLLIS CLARK NICHOLS
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author Bio,
Unique Guest Post by Author & Giveaway~
Silent Days Holy Night blog tour

Let's all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

silent days, holy night Title: Silent Days, Holy Night  
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols  
Publisher: Gilead Publishing  
Release Date: October 30, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas  

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house...  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

GUEST POST BY THE AUTHOR:

--Little-Known Facts About the Book Shared by the Author:

We writers are always revealing so much as we write – descriptions of places, depictions of characters, and timely revelations to keep the reader interested. But there are always a few secrets that we keep to ourselves. I suppose now they won’t be secret anymore.

1.)  I drew heavily from my experiences in learning sign-language from a friend who was deaf-blind. Like young Julia, I so wanted to communicate with her that I was drawn to learn her language. Learning tactile sign language was quite an experience.

2.)  Emerald Crest is the green mansion on the hillside in a fictitious, small West Virginia town. I imagined every room in the house, even to drawing a floor plan and placing furniture. I feel that I knew every creaking board and could feel the marble countertop on the kitchen island. I could hear the piano’s resonance against the stone walls and marble floors. I could smell the wood shavings as Henry and Julia carved birds. It was a magical place to be while I wrote the book.

3.)  My research taught me much about woodcarving and all its tools.

4.)  Writing the story in first-person, and in the voice of a ten-year-old was quite a challenge. I was grateful Julia was such an inquisitive and loquacious child. She kept me awake many nights with her oh-so-decisive voice in my head.

5.)  Because I’m Southern to my “bless-my-heart” core, there is always food in my books. I so enjoyed the afternoons spent in the kitchen making cookies and deciding which cookies Grancie would have really made. The reader will find two of her favorite cookie recipes in the book.

6.)  One of the most difficult passages to write was the story that young Julia wrote about the King on the High Mountain. Telling the story in her voice was much easier than writing a story she reveals in the book. That story was shredded several times and then again.

7.)  The story opens present-day with the main character remembering a past Christmas in the first chapter. The remainder of the book is about that Christmas sixteen years ago. But since I knew the end of the story had to be present day again, I worked at weaving present-day scenes throughout the book. Tying those scenes together with her memories was challenging.

8.)  Another real challenge was how to present visibly the sign language taking place between the characters so that the reader would understand. Italics to the rescue!

9.)  There is always a cardinal or two in my Christmas books! They’re my favorite birds.

10.)  The cover of this book is my favorite book cover of any of my books.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis-Publicity750x1000

Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.  

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter

silent days, holy night giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):
  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

~ RELEASE DAY BLAST 'A ME AND YOU THING' ~

~ RELEASE DAY BOOK BLAST ~
--  'A ME AND YOU THING'  --
AUTHOR TAYLOR DEAN
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio & Giveaway~

   
  

ABOUT THE BOOK:

~THE DEEPEST HEARTACHE IS THE ONE YOU DON'T SEE COMING.~

Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family. 

When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn’t expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything. 

Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love. But fate isn’t done mixing things up in their lives. 

When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can’t be ignored: “What happens now?” A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship. 

  
   
Praise for A Me and You Thing: 

Wow! This heart-tugging romance blew me away. It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride of epic proportions…so prepare yourself. My heart soared up into the heavens, then was dragged into the bitter misery of h***, like being dragged behind a pickup truck for a mile or so. Ouch! But I got my happy (actually, glorious!) ending, so I loved it. The ending was so much more fulfilling because of what my heart went through to get there with the characters. This story is unique and refreshing—not your run-of-the-mill predictable romance that doesn’t stick with you when you finish. No! This one is made of super glue, and will be stuck in your heart forevermore. ~Author Charissa Stastny 

Here's my recommendation. Don't read the summary. Don't read any more reviews. Order this book now! Clear your calendar and plan to spend the day reading. You'll be thanking me if you do. ~Kathy Habel 
  
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up. 

 
GIVEAWAY:
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/28/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO A '12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' EVENT PRESENTED BY THE READERS & WRITERS OF CLEAN FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP. 



YOU'LL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD TO ATTEND BECAUSE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLOSED GROUP TO PARTICIPATE. HERE'S THE LINK TO THE PAGE SO YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE MODERATOR'S THREE QUESTIONS AND BE APPROVED AHEAD OF TIME.  LINK TO READER & WRITERS OF CLEAN YOUTH FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP

πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š ~ I WILL BE THE FEATURED AUTHOR ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE EVENT, THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH! PLEASE JOIN ME FOR SOME FUN ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL AWESOME MIDDLE-GRADE & YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK PRIZES! I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. BEST WISHES, JUNE ~πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š


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Monday, December 10, 2018

~ BLOG TOUR MY BROTHER'S BRIDE ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'MY BROTHER'S BRIDE'  --
AUTHOR RACHAEL ANDERSON
~ Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio & Giveaway~
  
 


ABOUT THE BOOK:
     

Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. 

When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams. But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments. Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.  





   

Praise for My Brother's Bride:  

I haven't read a book by Rachael Anderson that I didn't absolutely love and this awesome book didn't fail to meet that grade. ~Vicki 

Enjoyed reading this book. The characters, dialogue, and plotline kept me entertained. Highly recommend this book to those who enjoy clean romances. ~Michele 

This is the first full-length novel I've read by Rachael Anderson, but it definitely won't be the last. I really enjoyed the story--the writing was really good with no annoying parts or awkwardness, the plot was interesting, the characters were endearing (I loved the banter between Brigtson and Abby!), and this book was just really good. Highly enjoyable. Great choice for those who like clean, well-written Regency romances. ~AE2 

 This forbidden Regency romance was excellent! Once I started, it was hard—almost impossible—to put down. The characters—Abigail and Brigston—were super well done. I became invested in their lives, their troubles, their hearts really fast, and the author did a superb job of not letting me go. The plot twist was unique. ~Charissa

A lovely, well-written story. Highly recommended. ~Linda I always enjoy Ms. Anderson's books! This one is wonderful, filled with great story and characters. Beautiful story of love, family and forgiveness. ~Nichee 

I can not praise this author's books enough. I have loved every single one. I love the characters! I love the development of the romance! I love the story line. I love the fun dialogue. I know when I start one of her books I will have a hard time putting it down until I am done and then I am sad the book is over. I love that each story is unique. ~Nari 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

   

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
       

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/1/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*****************
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO A '12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' EVENT PRESENTED BY THE READERS & WRITERS OF CLEAN FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP. 



YOU'LL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD TO ATTEND BECAUSE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLOSED GROUP TO PARTICIPATE. HERE'S THE LINK TO THE PAGE SO YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE MODERATOR'S THREE QUESTIONS AND BE APPROVED AHEAD OF TIME.  LINK TO READER & WRITERS OF CLEAN YOUTH FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP

πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š ~ I WILL BE THE FEATURED AUTHOR ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE EVENT, THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH! PLEASE JOIN ME FOR SOME FUN ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL AWESOME MIDDLE-GRADE & YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK PRIZES! I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. BEST WISHES, JUNE ~πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š


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Sunday, December 9, 2018

~ MMGM A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY PEANUTS®
CHRISTMAS FEATURE ~
--  'A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS':
THE TELEVISION SPECIAL FROM 1965  --

 A photo of my personal copy of the video of
'A Charlie Brown Christmas'


~In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' on television on December 9th, 1965, I researched and wrote the following article. I hope you enjoy reading about the Peanuts gang as much as I enjoyed writing this essay.~

My personal collection of Peanuts® ornaments circa 1982.


~A Golden Charlie Brown Christmas~

©June McCrary Jacobs, December 2015, December 2017, December 2018.

December 9, 1965, was the premier airing of a unique television feature developed for children. The golden anniversary of  'A Charlie Brown Christmas' will soon be upon us, and many baby boomers have fond memories of the first time he or she watched the animated special that magical evening fifty years ago. These eager viewers had no idea they were watching a groundbreaking chapter in television history.

The anticipation of seeing a new animated feature was great in those days before videos, DVD's, video games and computers. Baby boomers had to make a trip to a movie theater to view full-length movies, and regularly-running television cartoons such as 'Bugs Bunny,' 'Underdog,' and 'The Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote' were not in the same category as this brand new holiday special featuring the Peanuts Gang!

Coca-Cola sponsored the special which was broadcast on CBS and its affiliates at 7:30PM on Thursday, December 9, 1965. There were almost 36 million viewers, and the show was an instant success. Letters poured in to Coca-Cola's office, from adults as well as children, thanking the company for sponsoring such a well-done family show. The show would not have been created had it not been for the inspiration and creativity of the Peanuts comic strip artist, Charles M. Schulz.

Charles Monroe Schulz was born on November 26, 1922, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two days after his birth, he was nicknamed 'Sparky' after the racehorse 'Spark Plug' in the newspaper comic strip, 'Barney Google.' He served in the Army during World War II. In 1950, Schulz signed with United Feature Syndicate and his strip title of 'Li'l Folks' was changed to 'Peanuts'.

On October 2, 1950, the first Peanuts daily strip was run with the first Sunday strip being published on January 6, 1952. In total, 17,897 strips were fully written, drawn, and lettered entirely by Charles Schulz. (The Complete Peanuts, Introduction by Gary Groth). The final original Peanuts strip ran on Sunday, February 12, 2000. Mr. Schulz died in his sleep just hours before the Sunday papers ran this last strip.

In his book, A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition, author Lee Mendelson relates the history of this innovative Christmas special. After a feature about Charles M. Schulz and the Peanuts gang was the cover story of an April 1965 issue of 'Time' Magazine, Mendelson was approached by John Allen from the McCann Erickson Agency in New York. Mr. McCann wondered if Mr. Schulz would be interested in producing a half-hour Christmas television special for Coca-Cola. (A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition, page 14) Up until this time, Mr. Schulz had hesitated to allow his comic strip characters to be used in this other medium. Therefore, this would be the first time the Peanuts characters would be animated.

In response to learning of the proposal, Mr. Schulz was very specific about which elements he wanted to include—if he agreed to the project. This would be the first Peanuts television special, and Mr. Schulz wanted the show to include the true meaning of Christmas. During their discussion, Mr. Schulz stated, "If we're going to do a Christmas show, then we ought to talk about the true meaning of Christmas . . . maybe have Linus read something from the Bible." (page xii in Forward by Bill Melendez). This idea came to fruition with Linus's recitation of the Christmas story from the Gospel according to St. Luke toward the end of the special.

The remaining requirements placed on the table by Mr. Schulz were the inclusion of scenes with snow and skaters. There would be a Christmas play. A mix of jazz music with traditional music would comprise the score. "He wanted no exaggerated animation, such as when animals chase each other or hit each other over the head. He wanted less movement, in keeping with his daily strips." (Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz. Page 81.)

Mendelson, Schulz, and animator Bill Melendez worked diligently on a story outline as they did not have much time to submit it before the deadline set by John Allen. They heard back from Mr. Allen three weeks after their outline submission that Coca-Cola had agreed to buy the special. The corporation wanted the show ready for airing in early December, 1965. This was a tight deadline which meant the team had only a few months in which to produce the animation, voice track and musical track.

The team set to work immediately. Lee Mendelson and his wife had read Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Fir Tree' to their own children and made the suggestion that something about a tree be included in the special. Mr. Schulz agreed, "We need a Charlie Brown-like tree." Another trendsetting element, the use of children's voices instead of adults trying to sound like children, was requested by Mr. Schulz. The team auditioned dozens and dozens of youngsters for the major roles.

It was essential to Charles Schulz to have the religious aspect of Christmas included in the feature. Mr. Mendelson shares, "This show contains the Midwestern values and tastes of Charles Schulz, both religious and musical." Bill Melendez observed, "A big part of Sparky's personality comes through in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.'

Since the production of a 1959 Ford television commercial, Bill Melendez was the only animator permitted to work with the Peanuts characters. On page 27 in the Making of a Tradition book, Mr. Mendelson explains: Ten thousand drawings are used in a half-hour of animation for a Charlie Brown special. Twelve drawings are photographed each second to give the illusion of movement. The drawings are first done in pencil, "then copied in ink on an acetate 'cel,' then painted on the reverse side." Bill Melendez and his team created all of the drawings for the Christmas special.

At Mr. Schulz's insistence, the then popular television laugh track was left out. Lastly, the team added the music composer/pianist Vince Guraldi had created. The entire special was finished a mere week before the scheduled original broadcast date.

When the special was previewed by the network executives before the broadcast, they worried "that the show was too slow, too religious, and too subtle for the world of commercial television. With its airing they were silenced. In retrospect, it was daring." (pg. 192—Good Grief). Charles M. Schulz stood by his choices for the special quoted in David Michaelis's 2007 biography, "There will always be a market for innocence in this country." (page 346). Mr. Schulz's belief in America's wishes was confirmed on the night of the original broadcast and beyond! Lee Mendelson wrote in his 1979 book, Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown, "…it was our first show, produced back in 1965, that still seems to have the greatest impact on viewers." (page 31)

Almost half the people watching television in the United States, roughly 15.5 million households, tuned in to CBS on the evening of December 9, 1965, to watch the show. The special finished second in the national television ratings behind the long-running family Western, 'Bonanza'. (page 31) CBS representatives immediately called and ordered four more specials. In 1966, the A Charlie Brown Christmas special won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program (Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz, page 83), along with the George Foster Peabody Award.

Vince Guraldi's sound track album for the television special sold over one million copies and is still one of the most popular holiday albums of all time. Mr. Schulz and his team went on to create forty-five television specials, four feature films, and eighteen Saturday morning shows.

Former curator of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, Jane O'Cain, related that in interviews, Mr. Schulz stated that he was proud of the ground-breaking nature of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. He cited using children's voices for the characters, the jazz soundtrack, including a religious theme, and the absence of a laugh track as important highlights. There was a personal side to this talented artist, too.

According to Ms. O'Cain, Mr. Schulz loved to buy gifts. She noted that as with many of us, the holiday traditions he practiced changed over time. The museum's director, Karen Johnson, mentioned in our telephone interview that Mr. Schulz loved the holidays with his five children.

Jane O'Cain reported that one of Charles Schulz's most important Christmas traditions was the annual ice show that he produced at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa from 1986 until 1999. He enjoyed being a hands-on producer, involving himself in every aspect of the show. He chose the initial themes and worked directly with these talented skaters right up to the last-minute dress rehearsal changes.

Two of the Schulz family daughters, Amy and Jill, performed in these ice shows. Amy appeared in the early shows, while Jill skated in many of the shows and even introduced in-line skating to the shows. Over the years gifted ice skaters such as Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamil, Robin Cousins, Toller Cranston, and Charlie Tickner participated in Mr. Schulz's show. After Mr. Schulz's death in February, 2000, the family continued presenting the ice shows until 2003.

The museum's director, Karen Johnson, mentioned in our telephone interview that Charles Schulz loved presenting this ice show because the community of Santa Rosa took the show into their hearts and made it one of their own Christmas traditions. Due to the schedule of the show's performances, the skaters were unable to return to their own homes for Christmas. Instead, they were invited to the Schulz home on Christmas Eve for dinner and a celebration. Mr. Schulz really enjoyed hosting the skaters at his home according to Ms. Johnson.

Author Lee Mendelson shares in his book, A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition, that Charles Schulz once told him, "Charlie Brown is the way I am and Snoopy is the way I wish I could be." In the 2000 book, The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas—50 Years of Holiday Comics!, Charlie Brown is quoted as saying, "Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It makes me feel good about everything." Well, Charlie Brown, your Christmas special makes your fans feel good, too!

In 1964 a book of Christmas sayings entitled, Christmas is Together-Time, was published by Determined Productions, Inc. of San Francisco. By 1967 the book had sold 125,000 copies. Here are a few examples of the sayings that Mr. Schulz penned for the book:

"Christmas is when you hug your little brother."

"Christmas is another box of candied fruit from your Aunt Agnes in California."

"Christmas is waiting for the grown-ups to finish eating so we can open the presents."

"Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone."

Millions of people around world feel Charles Schulz and his team definitely did 'a little something extra' for Christmas when they created 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. Including the annual viewing of this show in the family's holiday traditions has become a part of life for many families—including mine!

Happy Golden Anniversary, Charlie Brown! Merry Christmas to the Peanuts gang. Thank you for sharing your creative gifts with us, Mr. Schulz.

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Works Cited

Gherman, Beverly. Sparky. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 2010. Print.

Johnson, Rheta Grimsley. Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz. New York: Pharos Books. 1989. Print.

Mendelson, Lee. Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown. New York: Ballentine Books. 1979. Print.

Mendelson, Lee, with reflections by Bill Melendez. A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition. New York: HarperResource, 2000. Print.

Michaelis, David. Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. Print.

Schulz, Charles M. A Charlie Brown Christmas. New York: Random House, 1965. Print.

---. The Complete Peanuts. 1963-1964. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2007. Print.

---. The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas—50 Years of Holiday Comics! Kansas City: Hallmark Cards, 2000. Print.

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©June McCrary Jacobs, December 2015, December 2017, December 2018. 
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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO A '12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' EVENT PRESENTED BY THE READERS & WRITERS OF CLEAN FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP. 


YOU'LL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD TO ATTEND BECAUSE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLOSED GROUP TO PARTICIPATE. HERE'S THE LINK TO THE PAGE SO YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE MODERATOR'S THREE QUESTIONS AND BE APPROVED AHEAD OF TIME.  LINK TO READER & WRITERS OF CLEAN YOUTH FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP


πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š ~ I WILL BE THE FEATURED AUTHOR ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE EVENT, THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH! PLEASE JOIN ME FOR SOME FUN ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL AWESOME MIDDLE-GRADE & YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK PRIZES! I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. BEST WISHES, JUNE ~πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š


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Friday, December 7, 2018

~ BOOK BLAST 'FOR THE LOVE OF LAURA BETH' ~

~ BOOK BLAST ~
--  'FOR THE LOVE OF LAURA BETH'  --
A Korean War-Era Historical Romance
AUTHOR AUBREY WYNNE
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Excerpt & Giveaway~
  
   

ABOUT THE BOOK:

For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne  

The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts . . . 

Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse. 

The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy . . . for the love of Laura Beth.
   

Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth:

~Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive. Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. 
~Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!!
~An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story.  

EXCERPT: 
“Son, you’ve got some mail.” 

The tone of his father’s voice sent a chill through Joey. He looked over his shoulder, straightened up, and smacked his head on the hood of the Crosley station wagon. Rubbing his scalp then wiping oily hands on his overalls, he took the envelope with an official-looking seal in the corner. Joe held it as if it were poison. 

“Do you want me to open it, son?” 

 He shook his head, the pulse beating rapidly in his neck. With trembling fingers, he tore at the paper. The words blurred as he sunk onto the bumper of the pickup. “It’s a conscription notice,” he whispered, looking into his father’s terrified eyes. “I’m being drafted.” 

“It’s my fault.” Max let out a moan and lowered himself onto the bumper. “If I hadn’t spent your college tuition, you’d be in school right now.” 

“It’s nobody’s fault, Pa. You served your time, and now it’s my turn.” He waved the letter in the air. “Maybe we’ll end up with matching limps.” It was a bad attempt at humor, and he wanted to take the words back as soon as they left his mouth. Unlike many of his friends, Joe did not have any romantic ideas about soldiering. His father had been straight up with him about the horrors of war.

 “I just pray you come back, boy, and you don’t have to live through what I did.” The lines on his father’s face seemed to have deepened in the last five minutes. He swiped his palms at his eyes and squeezed Joe’s arm. “When do you go?” 

 “It says I report for my physical January 2 at ten o’clock.” Maybe he wouldn’t see active combat. He wasn’t chicken, but his father still screamed at night once in awhile. His mother had said they were night terrors left over from WWII. “I do have a skill, Pa. I’m sure they need mechanics.” 

“That’s true, son. Maybe they’ll have you keep those jeeps running for the generals.” He forced a chuckle. “Go on and get out of here now. It’s Friday night and you’ve got a purty little gal to take to the movie.” 

An awkward silence ensued as both men stared at the floor. Laura Beth. How would he tell her? It was bad enough they had to postpone their wedding, but now this? It was just plain bad luck. And they’d all had enough of that for one year. The thought of the tears welling up in those clear, blue eyes made his blood cold. She’d been their pillar these past months, and now he would break her heart. 

“I’ll get cleaned up, I guess.” Joe headed to the door then stopped. Without turning around he said, “She’s really gonna flip, Pa. I think telling her might be as hard as going.” 

In a thick voice, Max tried to offer some comfort. “The only thing worse than war was losing your mother, but Laura Beth is a strong young woman and loyal as they come. She won’t give up on you, and it wouldn’t be fair not to let her know right away. So go on now and get ‘er done.” 

        

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. 

Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. 

In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays.
  
   
 $50 Blast Giveaway Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash Ends 1/2/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO A '12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' EVENT PRESENTED BY THE READERS & WRITERS OF CLEAN FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP. 


YOU'LL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD TO ATTEND BECAUSE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLOSED GROUP TO PARTICIPATE. HERE'S THE LINK TO THE PAGE SO YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE MODERATOR'S THREE QUESTIONS AND BE APPROVED AHEAD OF TIME.  LINK TO READER & WRITERS OF CLEAN YOUTH FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP


πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š ~ I WILL BE THE FEATURED AUTHOR ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE EVENT, THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH! PLEASE JOIN ME FOR SOME FUN ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL AWESOME MIDDLE-GRADE & YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK PRIZES! I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. BEST WISHES, JUNE ~πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š


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Thursday, December 6, 2018

~ BLOG TOUR STOP REASON TO BREATHE ~

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'REASON TO BREATHE'  --
AUTHOR DEBORAH RANEY
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio, Author Interview & Giveaway~ 
Reason to Breathe_Blog

We are excited to introduce Deborah Raney's new 'Chandler Sisters' series with a blog tour and giveaway for book #1 - Reason to Breathe - hosted by JustRead Tours.


ABOUT THE BOOK

reason to breathe Title: Reason to Breathe  
Series: Chandler Sisters #1  
Author: Deborah Raney  
Publisher: Gilead Publishing  
Release Date: October 23, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction/Romance  

Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love’s plan all along. . .

At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuck—until her father’s protΓ©gΓ©, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical.

 To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she’s still reeling over her father’s hasty engagement to a younger woman? Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb-Raney-HR-9-17

DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her 30-plus books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA® Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer's disease and inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. A Vow to Cherish continues to be a tool for Alzheimer's families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers' conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2600-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb's novels—for life in the city of Wichita. They often travel to teach at writers conferences across the country and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

CONNECT WITH DEB: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

JUNE: Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Deborah. I'm thrilled to have you as my special guest for this blog tour stop. Congratulations on the recent release of 'Reason to Breathe'!

DEBORAH: Thanks so much! It’s great to be here.

JUNE: Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for 'Reason to Breathe'. Are any of the characters or their personality traits or physical descriptions based on people you've come across in your own life? If yes, what prompted you to include them in the story?

DEBORAH:  I chose to set my novel near Cape Girardeau, Missouri because our two daughters live in the area and besides being a beautiful part of the state of Missouri, I liked the fact that research would require me to go visit our kids and grandkids. Haha! My characters are never based closely on real people, but of course, the sisters in my story have traits of my own sisters, and all my heroes share qualities of my own hero husband, Ken.

JUNE:  Who is your favorite character in this story? Why is this person your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story who you do not like? Why not?

DEBORAH:  Quinn is my favorite character in this story. I love the way he takes all the sisters under his care and, in a sense, stands in as a father figure when their own father has failed them. There really isn’t a villain in this series, but certainly there are characters who aren’t people of integrity. Some of those people are “offstage” characters who we only know because of the havoc they have wreaked that carries through the years. I hope that carries a message that our actions can hurt others with long-ranging repercussions.

JUNE:  Your first novel, 'A Vow to Cherish', was made into a movie by World Wide Pictures. Please tell us how this collaboration came about and share with us how you were involved in the making of the film.

DEBORAH:  I can brag on the film because really, my only involvement was to have written the novel that inspired it. At that time, Bethany House had never had a novel turned into a movie, but after my novel was published, I asked my publisher's permission to send the manuscript to several film companies. 

I got a few very nice rejections. Hallmark Hall of Fame wrote that they’d seriously considered the story before deciding that it was too similar to another project they were working on. And World Wide Pictures also rejected the story. But a year later, they came back to Bethany House saying that they were looking to make a film on the topic of commitment in marriage and the administrative assistant to the head honcho at WWP just happened to remember that A Vow to Cherish had come across her desk and she’d read and enjoyed it.

My novel was one of 10 books or scripts they were considering. A few days later, they let Bethany House know that they had narrowed it down to seven and A Vow to Cherish was still in the running. The following day, they made their decision and it was my novel they chose! That was a day for dancing at our house!  

JUNE: Your long and growing list of published books and other works stretch across several genres--an historical holiday prairie romance novella, contemporary romance, your autobiography, and two books of children's sermons, just to mention a few. If you were not writing in those genres, what other fictional genres might you try? Would you ever consider writing more non-fiction? If so, what subject(s) would you like to write about? Does writing children's literature (picture books, middle grade, or young adult) interest you?

DEBORAH:  I’ve written a humorous essay about why Circle of Blessings was the first—and last—historical piece I will ever write! The research for that little novella about killed me! I’d much rather be playing with words than trying to find out what they called a purse in 1864 in the Dakota Territory! Haha! That said, I can see stretching myself and writing something different than I have before. I always think of great ideas for romantic suspense, but I’m not sure I could carry the plot through believably. I wouldn’t mind writing non-fiction, especially on the topic of the craft of writing. Children’s literature isn’t something I really feel drawn to, but I have worked with my husband to write some middle-grade books. He’s the creative one when it comes to kids! 

JUNE:  When you write a book, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a different way of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of your story before you begin putting things down on paper, or into your computer?

DEBORAH:  I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer…or as some prefer to call it, an intuitive writer. I like discovering my story as I write. I usually start with a cast of characters, a compelling setting, and a general idea of the dilemma of my story. From there, I just start writing and see what happens! I figure if I’m surprised by what happens, my reader will be too. I don’t always know the exact ending, but I usually know what the basic ending will be…and that it will be, if not completely happy, at least satisfying and hopeful.

JUNE:  On your website you share that you and your husband have four adult children and eight (and counting!) grandchildren. With the hope that all of you (or at least some of you) will be able to gather together to celebrate this holiday season, please share some of your family's favorite Christmas and/or New Year's traditions, recipes, church activities, decorations, etc., with us.

DEBORAH:  We almost always have all the kids and grandkids home and under our roof for about a week during the holidays. Since our kids are scattered all over the U.S., we look forward to all being together with great joy! Our house is filled to overflowing with sixteen people under one roof! It’s especially fun to see the cousins get to know each other.

Our kids are so great about helping out with the cooking and cleanup. We each have recipes we like to make…our youngest daughter makes her amazing cinnamon rolls for one breakfast, our daughter-in-law makes great Chicago style pizza with homemade crust, the kids all request my lasagna and homemade French bread, and we usually have a Mexican food night. When our oldest son lived in Berlin, he came home with the supplies to make us German Kaesespaetzle.

We are a game-playing family, so the afternoons and evenings are filled with board games like Mexican Train, Sequence, Qwixx, and other favorites, along with card games and jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes we decorate Christmas cookies, but a new tradition that the kids young and old enjoy is decorating gingerbread houses. We seem to make everything a contest in this family, so prizes are awarded in all kinds of categories, and the grandkids take turns serving as MC to announce the winners. It makes for such a fun evening with lots of laughter! 

JUNE:  Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Deborah. I truly appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us with us about your writing career. Best wishes for your continued success in your writing and public speaking endeavors. Happy Holidays!

DEBORAH:  It was my pleasure, June! Thanks so much for taking time with me!



reason to breathe giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY
(1) winner will receive (US only):
  • a print copy of Reason to Breathe
  • $15 Amazon gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 10, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO A '12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS' EVENT PRESENTED BY THE READERS & WRITERS OF CLEAN FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP. 


YOU'LL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD TO ATTEND BECAUSE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLOSED GROUP TO PARTICIPATE. HERE'S THE LINK TO THE PAGE SO YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE MODERATOR'S THREE QUESTIONS AND BE APPROVED AHEAD OF TIME.  LINK TO READER & WRITERS OF CLEAN YOUTH FICTION FACEBOOK GROUP


πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š ~ I WILL BE THE FEATURED AUTHOR ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE EVENT, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH! PLEASE JOIN ME FOR SOME FUN ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL AWESOME MIDDLE-GRADE & YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK PRIZES! I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. BEST WISHES, JUNE ~πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“š

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SPECIAL NOTE TO ALL BLOG READERS:  I HAVE SEVERAL GREAT GIVEAWAYS LISTED ON MY CURRENT GIVEAWAYS PAGE HERE ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC' WHICH WILL BE ENDING SOON. TAKE A MOMENT RIGHT NOW TO CLICK OVER THERE TO POSSIBLY DISCOVER A PRIZE THERE THAT INTERESTS YOU. HERE'S THE LINK:  CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

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~ BLOG TOUR STOP SILENT DAYS HOLY NIGHT ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~ --  'SILENT DAYS, HOLY NIGHT'  -- AUTHOR PHYLLIS CLARK NICHOLS ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author Bio...