Sunday, December 31, 2023

Into the Fire (Undaunted Courage #1) by Irene Hannon

ISBN: 9780800741884
Paperback | $18.99 US

My thoughts: 
Such an interesting book to read as it lets the reader peek into the intense and challenging world of fire investigators who look deeply into the bits and pieces left behind consuming fires and then decide if the fire is intentionally set by an arsonist or not. Then once it is determined that perhaps an arsonist is responsible, they find the criminal and see that the laws of the justice system take care of the misdeeds.

As Bri begins her new job, she inherits the left overs of a retiree who was captivated by a series of cold cases in the hot world of arson crimes. Nagging thoughts of connection between a series of fires unproven as arson but that might be arson by the same arsonist snag Bri's attention as well.

A series of events, mishaps, and relationships have Bri going deeper and deeper and unknowingly into the world of an arsonist and murderer with deep relationship mental issues.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Remembering, Honoring, Teaching via Wreaths Across America

Remembering and honoring those who served America's military - Wreaths Across America teaches the value of freedom

More than 2,000 people volunteered & helped lay wreaths at the Salisbury National Cemetery on Saturday morning, December 16, 2023 to participate in Wreaths Across America. It was a privilege for two of my daughters and I to attend and be a small part of this memorable day. My heart was deeply moved to see the rows of white headstones as they stood at precise attention to receive the salute of appreciative Americans. We lovingly touched the final resting place of my dear one. A day well spent and a memory to treasure.

Remembering..... Christmas through the eyes of a child - a long time ago

This is going to be a "republish" of mine from 2014. It still warms my heart when I ponder these memories of a time long gone. A time worth remembering. A time of good and joy and love.


Christmas through the eyes of a child on South 4th Street - a long time ago

I was born post-depression era and pre-World War II. I was the apple of my father's eye. His little "Shirley Temple" complete with smile and curls and the talent to dance a bit.

Dad was a pre-depression era Southern boy who fell in love with my mother and they married at the height of the depression. Children came along and the "child" in Dad bloomed. Dad was a man who loved hobbies. One of his was electric trains. These were not the narrow gage trains with small engines. They were the old Lionel trains. Dad created a city beneath the Christmas tree each year, and his trains rounded the tree regularly. Whistles tooting! Smoke from the engine's smoke stack. Village houses lite up powered by the same electricity that powered his trains. They were his pride and joy. Of course, not as much a  pride to him as his sons and daughter.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

✶✦ Orion and the Dark ✦✶by Emma Yarlett [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Orion and the Dark

By Emma Yarlett | Ages 3 to 7

Orion is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of the dark. So one night the Dark decides to take Orion on an adventure. Emma Yarlett’s second picture book combines her incredible storytelling and artwork with die-cut pages that bring the Dark to life.

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings about giving children books about fears that they are not experiencing. It could perhaps trigger an imagination that gives birth to the fear.... of the dark, of monsters, of whatever. However, much good can also come from light hearted stories that confront the fear. I believe that Orion and the Dark can be a helpful book. That being said, let's look at this delightfully engaging book.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Let It Snow - Giveaway Hop Dec. 7-28, 2023


Be sure you enter all the blogger's giveaways. Scroll down to access all opportunities.

Enter ❄️Let It Snow❄️Giveaways
Hosted by Listed Blogs.⬇️ Enjoy! Hope You Win!

Friday, December 8, 2023

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky from Bethany House PUblishing

My thoughts: 
Author Carrie Turansky writes beautifully. Gentle. Real. Sweet. Charming. Stirring. 

I approached this story looking for a pretty straightforward historical fiction set in England's charming Lake District. I am not overly fond of split timeline stories, but I thought I'd pursue Ms. Turansky's new venture.

I found it difficult to focus my attention being split between the story set in 1912 and the one 2012. A hundred years apart. Shouldn't be too hard, after all its not centuries apart (note plural). It is only 100 years. And it encompasses basically a timeline I should be able to comprehend - my grandparents and upward to my generation. But I found it difficult to keep it straight.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Candlewick 20-year anniversary editions - spotlight & Giveaways [USA/CANADA]

Celebrate three delightful books that have stood the test-of-time as endearing and charming reads for children.

The Tale of Despereaux Deluxe Anniversary Edition

By Kate DiCamillo | Ages 7-10

*Celebrating 20 years!*

Celebrate twenty years of Despereaux with a splendid anniversary edition—including a bonus original short story from Kate DiCamillo and a new piece of art by Timothy Basil Ering. Check out giveaway HERE - Ends Jan. 8, 2024)

Yummy Yucky

By Leslie Patricelli | Ages 3-7

*Celebrating 20 years!*

Learning about opposites has never been more fun — or funny — than with this winning board book. Yummy! Check out giveaway HERE - Ends Dec. 26, 2023)

Ten in the Bed

By Penny Dale | Ages 2-5

*Celebrating 35 years!*

My thoughts: This delightful retake on the much loved nursery song "Ten in the Bed" is absolutely charming. And it has stood the test of time. The illustrations are sweet, utterly delightful, and captivating. Lots of motion in the pictures. Lots of critters to delight. Lots of fun.

And the idea of ten in the bed goes back many years to a time when families were large, beds few and crowded, and space extremely limited. A bit of a jolly song not to make fun of the situation but to lend a light-heartedness to one of the facts of life as it existed at the time for many. 

So the little one said, "Roll over, roll over..... and...." 

About the book: Penny Dale’s cozy take on a classic nursery rhyme, in a charming paperback edition. Secret word: anniversary

There were ten in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over!” So they all rolled over and Hedgehog fell out . . .

One by one, nine friends roll over and fall out of a child’s bed with a bang, a thump, or a plop until . . . “I’m cold! I miss you!” the child says, and back in the bed they all go—Sheep, Rabbit, Elephant, and more. Thirty-five years after it was first published, Penny Dale’s endearing picture book continues to be a favorite—an essential rendition of a childhood song that is as warm and toasty as a feather bed.

Win a Paperback Copy
Enter below

Win 1 Paperback Copy of Ten In the Bed
Begins December 8 
Ends January 4, 2024 @ 12:00 a.m. ET
NO P.O. Boxes. Canadians must provide phone number.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.  Winner's prize copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Shivery cold winter days, snow to romp in, cozy warm beds, toddlers enjoying picture books that delight - Let It Snow Giveaway Hop❄️☃️❄️ [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Be sure you enter all the blogger's giveaways. Scroll down to access all opportunities.
We're letting it ❄️snow❄️lots of giveaways!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

250 cash giveaway to "Sleigh Those Bills"

Here's your opportunity to enter to win $250 Cash in the "Sleigh Those Bills"  giveaway hop. Hosted by "The Review Wire" and a slew of bloggers who are participants.

Visit all the entry options and learn lots about lots of good things. Plus..... maybe you will be a winner!

Featuring author Kate DiCamillo books that will delight young readers from Candlewick press & just in time for Christmas gifting [Giveaway USA/CANADA]

3 Book Giveaway

The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo

My thoughts:  As I sat alone in my grandmotherly chair with no children (and no adults) within hearing distance, I read aloud the first few pages of The Puppets of Spelhorst. I was immediately entranced by the beautiful writing that simply ebbed and flowed with the action and emotion of the story. Beautiful descriptive language evoked Mr. Spelhorst perfectly.

Kate DiCamillo has written a tale sure to capture your young readers' attention; and if you dare - and I do dare you - read it aloud to your children or whatever audience you can capture to listen.