Tag: Christmas

Gather Round the Sound (from Audible)

Gather Round the Sound: Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
Reviewed By: Jessica

Date Listened to:  December 5, 2018
Length: 1 hour 12 minutes
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Audible’s 2017 holiday collection includes:

Zip Code 12345

This mini-documentary centers around a peculiar holiday tradition at General Electric’s headquarters in Schenectady, NY. For two decades, GE has been receiving thousands of letters from kids – children who think they’re reaching Santa Claus. And every year, a handful of GE employees give up their December lunchbreaks to respond to each and every letter.

An Aussie Night Before Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison, performed by Magda Szubanksi

This rollicking rewrite of the famous old poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas gives the original version a hilarious Aussie twist. Magda Szubanski, Australia’s most trusted personality, caries this incredibly fun romp. Kangaroos pulling the sleigh, a beer for Santa, and all the over-the-top Australian lingo, it’s everything you’d expect.

The Music Coming from the House, by Paulo Coehlo, performed by Daniel Frances-Berenson

In this magical story from the author of The Alchemist – the master of the modern parable – a disguised king visits a poor village, and what he sees through the window of a house changes his life, and those of the occupants.

The Signal-man, by Charles Dickens, performed by Simon Callow, Dan Starkey, and John Banks

For literature lovers, the holiday season needs a little Dickens. We dug up a story of his that you may not be familiar with, originally published in the Christmas edition of a Victorian short story periodical. Of course, ghosts are involved in this 19th century work told by Simon Callow (Outlander) and Dan Starkey (Dr. Who).

A Very Improvised Holiday Musical

What would the holidays be without some carols? Vern, a New York City-based improv troupe, performs a few improvised holiday songs

Jessica’s Review:

Gather Round the Sound was free on Audible and there was a good reason for that:  It really did not need to be made into a compilation of short stories/performances.  This one was a big miss for me.  The best short was Zip Code 12345: I really enjoyed it and wish it had been expanded. If this had been the whole ‘book’ that would have been fine with me! 

Apparently I am not a Dickens fan as The Signal-man wasn’t for me.  When it was over I had no idea what had happened. Maybe it was the narrators with their accents that ruined it for me.  The ‘musical chapters’ were also subpar. They were meant to be funny and entertaining, but were far from that. 

I cannot recommend this compilation: I say listen to the first chapter Zip Code 12345 and skip the rest. I hate saying this, but it just did not deliver.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Blog Blitz: Him with the Beard

Today I share my review for the short story Him with the Beard by Pernille Meldgaard Pederson. This Blitz comes at the perfect time of year as we are all thinking about Christmas and Santa. Which begs the question: Do YOU remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.

Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets.

Christmas is at risk!

And there’s only one person who can save it.

Author: Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen
Published: October 10, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 23-24, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review

This is a short story with a family coping with nine year old Mille not believing in Santa anymore, which is what every parent dreads. One parent is having a harder time dealing with it than the other.  Then there is a twist: which throws everything for a loop.  The twist did not personally work for me, but it is all part of the story.

This is a story that shows the magic that is Santa: Is he real or not? What does Santa mean to you? This story can show the magic that the Christmas season has!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Kobo
I-Tunes US
I-Tunes UK

About the Author:

Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.

Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.

She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.

She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.

From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.

She’s also a professional daydreamer.

She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.

Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.

Contact Pernille:
Website
Twitter @Pernille56
Instagram

**International Giveaway!**

Win A Cosy Christmas Pack:
One Jim Shore Santa Claus Ornament

Santa Claus Marshmallows
A Chocolate Advent Calendar
A Pretty Christmas Storage Box
A Signed Copy of Him With The Beard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Blog Tour: Christmas Spirit by Nicola May

Today I share my review for the novella Christmas Spirit by Nicola May.  This is an enjoyable one that will help get you into the Christmas Spirit! There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks.

A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

Author: Nicola May
58 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 31-November 1, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This was a quick read to get you into the spirit of Christmas! Christmas can be such a crazy time and we can forget what the true meaning of Christmas is about: Helping others.  This story focuses on the helping of others while helping Evie to grow herself. She starts off the story without a job and left by her boyfriend.  She feels pity for herself, but the invite to volunteer at a homeless shelter was just what she needed.  (And yeah, ok, Greg is nice to look at too!)

Evie meets a homeless man Yves who she helps and in return he helps her!  This is a great short story that has a happy ending. This will be sure to help you get into the Christmas spirit! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Nicola May lives near the famous Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.  Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.

Nicola likes to write about love, life and friendship in a realistic way, describing her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick’.

She has written eight novels, with Christmas Spirit being her first novella.

Contact Nicola:
Website
Twitter @nicolamay1
Instagram

**International Giveaway!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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