Happy New Year!
My Top Ten Christmas Reads!
Merry Christmas, Everyone! With Christmas just days away, I’d like to share my top Ten Christmas Reads. There’s nothing I love more than curling up with a good book on a cold, wintery day (preferably with cozy Christmas socks, a warm blanket, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, soft Christmas music in the background, a Christmas candle burning…sorry. Going on a tangent!)
Anyway, here are my top picks for Christmas Reading!
1. Wind Chimes by Victoria Minks
(From the Website) Christmas is a day of forgiveness, love, God, and family, no matter where you live or when you lived. These stories will take you somewhere long ago, and yet much like today. With a touch of humor and a family-loving gentleness, these stories carry all the hope of Christmas.
Wow! This is one of my favorite Christmas reads! Published in 2015, this book contains six short stories that will take you back in time! There’s a mix of old American and old English stories. The settings are awesome and take you exactly where Victoria intends you to be. My personal favorites were: Wind Chimes and The Spinster. All of them were amazing. Click here for more information!
2. Winter with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
(From the Back Cover) The third book in the Moody Family Series continues to follow the life of a Christian, homeschool family. There is never a dull day in the Moody house. Baby excitement, homeschooling, grandparents, blessing neighbors, Christmas preparations, two big surprises, and more are packed into this book. Come join the Moodys for the winter!
This is not strictly a Christmas story but it does contain some Christmas scenes. This story is book 3 in a series of 10 (plus 2 Novellas). I highly recommend this series. Even if you haven’t read the first two books, you should be able to read this as a stand-alone, but it’s best if you read them all! They are addictive! Click here for more information!
3. Christmas Comes to Sunflower by Sarah Maxwell
(From the Back Cover) A surprise encounter at Sunflower’s Post Office gives Mollie an idea. Christmas is a special time of year, and Max, Mollie and Mitch are determined to bless Joey. Time is against them as they face multiple obstacles in their quest. Will they be able to make Joey’s dream come true in time for Christmas? Grab a cup of hot chocolate, curl up next to the fire, and find out what happens in Christmas Comes to Sunflower.
This book is a companion to Winter Days with the Moodys. Though it can definitely be read alone, it actually intertwines with Winter Days with the Moodys, thanks to a page labeled Reading Guide. This is a sweet story about blessing others at Christmas time, especially those who are less fortunate. Click here for more information!
4. Winter Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
(From the Back Cover) The Moody Family Series continues with the seventh book, Winter Days. Follow the Moodys as they experience excitement at the gas station, an encounter with their friend Mr. Gibson, Christmas preparations, their first banquet event, remodeling work, serving In Jesus’ Name, and a double surprise. Come enjoy the winter adventures of the Moody family! Be prepared to be encouraged in your walk with the Lord Jesus and motivated in your family relationships.
Okay, I have a thing for Sarah Maxwell’s books. My favorite scene is the banquet scene. It’s so funny! Just add this whole series to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They are great! Click here for more information!
5. Christie’s Christmas by Isabella Alden
(From the Back Cover) Christie’s Christmas is a delightful story. The Story has little to do with Christmas but everything to do with a sweet Christian girl, Christie, who spent a very unusual and eventful day sowing seeds of kindness. Little did she know how those seeds would grow and prosper. Even a child can live for Jesus, and Christie is an excellent example of such a life. Good story for boys and girls. The whole family will enjoy it!
If you’ve never read Mrs. Alden (or “Pansy” to many), You. Are. Missing. Out. She’s amazing! I don’t agree with the assumption that this story has little to do with Christmas. It’s drenched with the Christmas Spirit! Click here for more information!
6. The Mysterious Message by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
(From the Back Cover) The Great Detective Agency is at it once again, solving mysteries on the Nelson farmstead. Why is there a pile of rocks in the woods? Is someone stealing gas from the mill? How could a railroad disappear? You will have to read this second book in the Farm Mystery Series to find out.
I know, another book in a series This book can be read as a standalone and while it’s not about Christmas, it has a pronounced wintery theme and I love it! My younger siblings love a good mystery and this series is amazing! (It’s another 10 book series!) Click here for more information!
7. The Search for the Silver Eagle by Ed Dunlap
(From the Back Cover) No longer safe in Switzerland, Hans, Gretchen, and Papa settle in France using name changes to throw off the relentless pursuit of the Nazis. The family becomes involved in a daring rescue that could save France, their homeland – maybe even the free world. But the enemy covets the prize, forcing the three heroes and their friends into harrowing chases and narrow escapes.
Warning – this book will make you cry…or at least want to cry. It is part of a 3 part series, and can be read as a standalone, though a few things are implied from book one. But this book is amazing. I love how everyone works together to help the Ameri…never mind. READ THIS BOOK, especially if you love WWII! Click here for more information!
8. Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle by Sarah Maxwell
(From the Back Cover) Christmas is right around the corner in Sunflower, and life is full of surprises. Some good, some not. Mr. Gibson is at the root of them, but what can twelve-year-old Moses do? At the town hall meeting, Moses is proud to watch his older brother stand up against opposition, but the new piece of information is troubling. When their Christmas season turns into a crisis, can Moses handle what’s before him? Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle will tug your heartstrings in this incredible story of hope and love.
I have not yet finished reading this book, but even half way through, I’m loving this. It’s set in modern times and shows what life is like for the Moody family…later in life It’s great so far. I got it for my youngest sister and we are both really loving it! She always begs for “One more chapter!” of the Moody books! Bonus! This one just came out this month! Click here for more information!
9. Letter of Love by Amanda Tero
(From the Back Cover) Edward Dixon is convinced that life is cruel, and he is not willing for anything to change his mind from that. A letter from his sister, Marie, reveals that she views life otherwise. Will her letter, filled with love and forgiveness, make a difference in Edward’s life? Or will he stubbornly refuse to change before it’s too late?
This book was a surprise. It’s a short story sequel to Journey to Love. That being said, you really should read Journey to Love first. (Note: This is not a romance. It’s about an orphan finding a family, but that’s all I’m saying!) It’s amazing and I personally like it the best. Don’t get me wrong, they are both very well written! Ms. Tero reminds me of a modern Isabella Alden, writing stories with deep messages that most very often ignore. My only hang up with this book (Letter of Love) was an old timey term that I personally do not prefer using. Otherwise, this is a gripping story that will present a very realistic part of life, even if it is set in 1902. Click here for more information!
10. Coffee Shop Christmas by Ryana Lynn Miller
(From the Back Cover) While for some, Christmas is a time of pleasant memories, for others, it is a reminder of past tragedies. Police widow Katherine Shannon is one such person. Since the death of her husband a year ago, she has made ends meet running a coffee shop across from the town police station. But as time goes on, she’s questioning whether she should keep the shop open or if maybe God has something else in mind for her. Can a cup of coffee really make a difference in this world? Can a coffee shop be used for God’s glory? Can God use burnt cookies and salted caramel lattés to open a door for Christian service? Or an overheard conversation to touch a heart? (Mark 9:41) Through a series of God orchestrated events, she will find her answer. Come along and join Katherine as she finds God’s will for her life. Once you visit The Coffee Shop, you’ll never be the same.
Shameless self-promotion, y’all, but I honestly love this story. It really touches a tender spot in my heart and I hope it will touch others as well. If you love Christmas, Coffee and the sacrifices our Policemen make, you need this book! And if you like a touch of music, writing and WWII, grab it! It won’t be a waste of money, I promise!
Click here for more information!
I hope you pick up a few or all of these books! They are amazing. I know there were a lot of series books in there…sorry, I need to expand my Christmas collection J
Something to think about: So you like Christmas books? Pull them out and reread your top favorites. Share them with a friend. If you are a blogger, let others know what Christmas/winter reads are on your reading list.
Happy Birthday, Jesus?
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Time for a party? Oh, I love parties! Who’s the birthday person? Jesus? Oh, how wonderful! How are you celebrating His birthday? How are you decorating? Oh, well, yes, snowmen are nice and I’m sure Jesus would like the snowmen. Oh, who is that? The man in the red coat, yes him. Oh…well why is he here? It’s not his birthday? Oh…he’s popular with the children? What about the Birthday Boy? Where is He? Oh, in the kitchen? Oh! Let me see! Oh…the nativity is so small in that little corner…you can barely see the manger. (Sigh)
Ever feel like that when you visit someone’s house for Christmas? It’s sad that so many people take the emphasis off of Jesus…and it’s HIS BIRTHDAY! But that’s nothing new to Him. In fact, He is “shoved in the corner” multiple times a day. Why should His Birthday be any different?
Oh, but it should be different! So many people these days leave Christ out of Christmas, and sadly it isn’t just the world that does this! It’s Christians too! What a shame! I always make a point to say “Merry Christmas,” when someone tells me “Happy Holidays!” And it makes me sad when I see an X at the beginning of Christmas instead of “Christ” written on something. Taking Christ out of Christmas is the accepted mode these days. It should not be this way.
I once heard a song that went, “All of us Children will gather around and daddy will read us the story of Jesus. And how He was born there in Bethlehem Town. We’ll never leave Christ out of Christmas. Oh, please don’t leave Christ out of Christmas!” This should be our battle cry! And we should start in our own homes! Why do we condemn the world, when our own homes don’t recognize the true meaning of Christmas?
I’m grateful that I live in a family that saturates our house in the true meaning of Christmas! We have nativities everywhere! And the story from Luke 2 is read all through the Christmas season!
But as I said, Christ isn’t just ignored on His Birthday. He is ignored by thousands every day. They reject the free gift of Salvation He offers to them over and over. How sad He must feel to be rejected over and over.
Let’s make a special effort to witness to those around us this Christmas season. Leave tracts in the bathroom at Wal-Mart (We’ll all go there before the season is over…more than once!). Leave a tract at the restaurant, put them in your Christmas cards…whatever, to get the Word out there! And please, tune in to FBN during Christmas. We play Christmas music, programming and cantatas every day! Tell everyone you know!
Happy Birthday, Jesus. I’m so glad its Christmas. All the tinsel and lights and the presents are nice, but the real gift is You. Happy Birthday, Jesus. I’m so glad its Christmas. All the carols and bells make the holidays swell, and it’s all about YOU! Happy Birthday, Jesus. Jesus! I Love You!
Soldier Life: Joining Up
Hello! Searching the internet for specific information can lead to dead ends and frustration at times. When I was writing my Civil War series, there were times when the internet failed me. I had to hunt and peck through stacks of books to gather small bits of relevant information. So, for those that are writing in this time period or just have a general interest, I have compiled some information about the War Between the States in this article. Hopefully this will be a help and you won’t have to spend as much time hunting as I did! So without further ado…
Soldier Life: Joining Up
Ever wonder what it was like for a soldier during the War Between the States? Well, let’s find out! We’re gonna start off by looking at what all went into joining their respective army. Let’s go!
It’ Spring, 1861 and how the news has been flying! Secession, Ft. Sumter being fire on, Lincoln declaring war…what would a young man do?
Well, if he is an able bodied man, more than likely, he will join the army. But what made him want to join? There are a number of reasons. Let’s look at a few…
The list could go on for quite a while, but you get the idea. That’s Step One: A reason to join. Now it’s on to Step Two: Where does he go to enlist?
Just like today, to the nearest recruiting station.
This might be his local courthouse, sheriff’s office, church, school house, etc. Wherever the army is, that’s where he will go.
Step Three: What happens next?
He will give his recruiter his name, date of birth (if he knew it), where he was from and like information. He signed the muster roll of the company he was joining and then swore an oath of allegiance to his country. In some places, especially at the beginning of the war, a physical examination was given to make sure he could stand up to the rigors of soldier life. As the war continued, the requirements were winked at.
Now, his supplies were issued. It usually consisted of:
Some items were brought from home; Others didn’t receive all of their equipment, thus major uniform confusions on the battlefield of First Manassas.
Following his enlistment and fitting out, he was shown to his camp’s headquarters. If he was from the South and got lucky, he got some drilling before going out to fight. But more than likely, he went to Manassas with a basic knowledge of marching orders and a good aim he learned at home. If he was in Stonewall’s Brigade, he was well set as far as the movements of the bayonet and drill. But most Southerners went into Manassas with minimal knowledge of proper military procedure… and we still won that battle!
Of course, if he were a Union soldier, he was pretty well trained by the time he got to Manassas. Of course, no soldier is ready for everything after only 1-2 months, but overall, the Union troops were better prepared for battle than the Southerners…but they still weren’t able to take Manassas.
Hope this was a help to you. I know I needed an article like this when I was researching!
Until next time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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