Friday, December 5, 2014

Wonderland Weekend with June McCrary Jacobs

Wonderland Weekend is a feature where I pick a topic about how stories take us to "another world." Each month I have a new topic and will write about it every weekend of that month or just one or two weekends (whatever I feel like/have time for/can come up with). I would love for you to join me, so feel free to write about this topic at any time throughout the month and link it back to me - just have fun with it!
(These will usually be bookish posts but sometimes they'll be more of a discussion post)

December Topic: This is the wonderful and magically miraculous month of December where the spirit of love, hope, joy, and faith fills the air! Therefore, December Wonderland Weekend's will be filled with all things Christmas and books!
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I am delighted to welcome June McCrary Jacobs the author of 'A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom' a wonderful short story that encompasses the true spirit of Christmas, to start this month out. Welcome June, and thank you so much for your time!
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By June Jacobs McCrary
Holiday Greetings, Lakin! Thank you for inviting me to share with your readers for this Wonderland Weekend feature on your blog. 
I've been a voracious reader since before I was in Kindergarten, and I've always loved the Christmas holiday season. The combination of the two has led me to read many Christmas stories. I've even been known to read holiday stories in the heat of summer when the thermometer outside is hovering around 105 degrees! Whatever the season on the calendar, I'm always interested in reading a great Christmas story.

I've discovered through talking with people and by reading holiday fiction and non-fiction that a person either loves the Christmas season or strongly dislikes it. There doesn't seem to be any lukewarm feelings about it. 

I was inspired to write my first novella, 'A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom,'  because I wanted to write a story about the holiday season that might touch and inspire people to feel good about the true meaning of Christmas—the gift of love.

I'm always mindful of others in our community, our nation, our world, for whom things are not going so well. They are struggling economically, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. I wanted to write a story illustrating that the true meaning of Christmas is not necessarily about the shopping, the gifts, the decorating, the baking, or the entertaining. Those activities can be fun and can bring people and families together. In its purest form, Christmas is about God's great gift of love to our world.

I've heard from many reviewers, bloggers, and readers that they enjoyed my book because it reminded them to share their holiday spirit with others. It helped them to feel more enthusiastic about reaching out to others who are in need.  

Some Christmas stories are plain, old-fashioned fun reads. Some touch us on a deeper level and spur us on to action. Some are painful because of the memories they evoke in the reader for things lost or things never possessed such as a close, loving family or good health or even the basic necessities of life. 

Here is a list of some of my favorite Christmas books categorized by genre. Perhaps you'll find a story here that will touch you during this most wonderful of seasons. 

Christmas Fiction – Adult:
Author:  Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’
Author:  Debbie Macomber,  ‘Starry Night:  A Christmas Novel’, ‘Call Me Mrs. Miracle’, ‘1225 Christmas Tree Lane', The Christmas Basket'
Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray, ‘Peace’, ‘Christmas in Sugarcreek’
Author:  Tricia Goyer, ‘A Christmas Gift for Rose’
Author:  Sandra R. Bricker, ‘Once Upon a Jingle Bell’ (the first story in a collection titled ‘Merry Humbug Christmas’)
Author:  Liz Curtis Higgs,  ‘A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella’
Author:  William W. Johnstone,  ‘A Rocky Mountain Christmas’, ‘A Lone Star Christmas’
Author:  Martha Rogers,  ‘Christmas at Holly Hill’
Author:  Cindy Woodsmall, ‘Christmas in Apple Ridge'—a 3-in-1 story collection.
Author:  Wanda E. Brunstetter, ‘Amish White Christmas Pie’
Author:  John Grisham, 'Skipping Christmas'
Author:  MK McClintock, 'A Home for Christmas'—a 3-in-1 story collection.
Author:  Jennifer Beckstrand, 'A Perfect Amish Christmas' (the third story in a collection titled, 'An Amish Christmas Quilt'
Author:  Sandra Dallas, 'A Quilt for Christmas'
Author:  Vanetta Chapman, 'A Simple Amish Christmas'
Author:  Barbara Cameron, 'Annie's Christmas Wish'
Author:  Louisa May Alcott, 'Little Women'

Christmas Non-Fiction – Adult:
The birth of Jesus according to the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Bible
Author:  Amanda Murphy, ‘Modern Holiday’ (Christmas sewing projects)
Author:  Ree Drummond, 'The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays'
Author:  Debbie Macomber, 'Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook:  Favorite Recipes and Holiday Traditions from My Home to Yours'

Christmas Fiction – Children:
Author:  Rumer Godden,  ‘The Story of Holly and Ivy’
Author:  Margery Williams Bianco, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’
Author:  Jim Aylesworth, ‘The Gingerbread Man’
Author:  Jan Brett, ‘The Gingerbread Baby’, ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’
Author:  Clement Moore, ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’
Author:  Laura Ingalls Wilder, ‘Little House in the Big Woods’
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If you or your readers have any recommendations for good holiday books not included on my list, I'd love to hear from you! My email address is:  junemccraryjacobs [at] gmail [dot] com or readers can connect with me on my website (www.junemccraryjacobs.com)  and on my Author's Facebook Page.

Lakin, I'm sending you and your readers all my best wishes for a meaningful Christmas season filled with new memories, fun, and lots of love! All my holiday best, June

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Thank you so much June, what a wonderful post! I love Christmas books too, and I can sometimes be found reading them in the middle of summer as well!  Thank you for the wonderful book recommendations, I'm always in the search of good ones, and I will definitely be adding these to my to be read pile. 
We at Wonderous Reviews wish you a merry Christmas filled with blessings and an abundance of true Christmas spirit!

*For those of you who may be unsure of contacting authors - rest assured, June is very kind and like she said she would love to hear your book recommendations, so make up that list (I'm sure it's a long one), and let others enjoy them too! Please add them in the comments below as well, so we can all read them and be infused with Christmas joy!

And don't forget about this wonderful giveaway!