Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things to Ponder For the New Year

It is always exciting to me to begin a new year. It's a time to put the mistakes of the past year behind me and renew my vow to be a better person in the coming year, to live my life better than I did last year. How grateful I am for that opportunity. My motto has always been, and always will be, "Make the world a better place because you are here and leave everyone and everything you come in contact with better because of it." Of course, like most, I always fall short, but what's important is that we keep trying, keep reaching higher when it comes to the important things in our life. And always remember to be grateful for all we have been given, both the seen and unseen blessings. Feeling a deep sense of gratitude in all things will automatically make us better than we were. It's all about living the best life we can, remembering where our blessings come from, and never taking anything or anyone for granted.
If we can all keep these things in mind and act on them, oh what a happier people we will be!
Happy New Year!

Tooting the Nook Horn!

My amazing husband got me a Nook for Christmas, so I am officially a Nooker now! I'm am totally loving it. It's like having a portable library in my purse, and it's pretty easy to use, which is awesome since my overloaded brain can only take so much:-)
To find out more about the Nook, log onto barnesandnoble.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Wishes

First, I'm excited to let you know that The Wishing Hour is now available in paperback, as well as ebook format. Order your copy from my website, Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, Offthebookshelf.com and Barnesandnoble.com!

I like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter, and oodles of great things!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jewel's Christmas List of Must Reads Continued

Christmas Thoughts

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."
-- George Matthew Adams (The Christmas Heart)

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display-so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again."
-- Anonymous

Suggested Reading

Book:The Gift
Author: Richard Paul Evans

The Book
Nathan Hurst hated Christmas. For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight, and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.

Book:The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis

The Book
C.S. Lewis' classic series is now available in an attractive streamline paperback volume that includes the complete text of all seven books. A Pauline Baynes illustration pulled from the original 1950s editions graces each chapter, and the unabridged text is presented in C.S. Lewis' original spelling and punctuation. Now adults can enjoy the entire series as much as the next generation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Taking Time For Christmas

Sometimes you just have to wonder what kind of madness takes hold of people at this, the most wonderful and supposedly Christlike time of year. People drive crazier, lose their patience easier, show less care for their fellow man, care more about trampling people over to get that last gift that their child just has to have. What has gone wrong? It madness!
Then when you think all is lost, someone turns to you in the mile-long line you've been patiently standing in for eternity, smiles and starts up a cheerful conversation. Or the person in front of you in the mile-long line makes it to the register, smiles at the stressed out cashier and says, "Wow, I'll bet you're pretty beat," showing empathy for the worker who can now smile back in return because he or she has now been shown kindness instead of impatience. It is so easy to let ourselves become overwhelmed by the business of the season, trying to do everything that needs to be done and take care of everything we need to take care of, but in doing this we sometimes lose sight of what is truly important. We lapse in our knowledge of what this season is truly all about.
We need to make sure Christ is truly in our Christmas, that He is the focal point of our celebration of the season, His birth, His life, and His sacrifice. Christ is who we worship, and He is the reason we are here, and because of His gift to us, we know this life is not the end, it is only the beginning.
If we remember these things, our Christmas will indeed be a blessed one, There is no way it cannot be. And as Linus says to his friend after relating the story of the nativity, "That is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

More of My Must Read Favorites

Book: Grace
Author: Richard Paul Evans

She was my first kiss. My first love. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

As I begin to write, a part of me feels as if I am awakening something best left dead and buried, or at least buried. We can bury the past, but it never really dies. The experience of that winter has grown on my soul like ivy climbing the outside of a home, growing until it begins to tear and tug at the brick and mortar.

I pray I can still get the story right. My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.

Book: The Twilight Series
Author: Stephanie Meyer

This stunning set, complete with five editions of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, makes the perfect gift for fans of the bestselling vampire love story.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, The Twilight Saga capture the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sun Tunnels and Secrets

Want an LDS mystery that is also a fun read? Carole Thayne Warburton's new novel Sun Tunnels and Secrets is the book for you. The Book
On a trip to the Sun Tunnels in the Utah desert, Norma and her sisters find a body on the side of the road. But this awful discovery turns out to be the least of their problems. Norma's husband just passed on, and she learns he kept a secret from her for sixty years. LaRue is keeping a secret from Norma. The sisters' young friend Tony is keeping a secret about his famous father, and Tony's mother is keeping a secret of her own. Tony is secretly in love with his friend Kelli, who recently escaped from a polygamist cult. And who is the mysterious young car thief with whom Norma feels a special connection? Everything converges in Grouse Creek at the Fourth of July celebration. Will secrets prove everyone's undoing?

There is no way you can not love the characters in this story. Norma, LaRue and Mabel are three crazy sisters who remind me of some of the older southern ladies I knew in North Carolina. They are kooky, but you can't help but feel for them when hurtful things once hidden come to light. And Tony and Kelli's romance is unconventional, but they are equally lovable, despite their cluelessness at times and you long for their happiness.
Sun Tunnels and Secrets is a lighthearted mystery you're guaranteed to love. It is available to order on Amazon.com
To learn more about Carole and her books, as well as the contest she and her publisher have going in connection with this book, visit her blog at carolethayne.blogspot.com