Monday, December 17, 2012

Books, Cheeses, Wreath & Pecans

IF you’re wondering (or maybe not) WHAT these items have in common — ALL are connected with Christmas (really).

The books are holiday-themed reads selected at random from the library where I volunteer regularly, re-shelving books. IT gives me a chance to “find” books that I might not have selected to read. xmas reads (5)
The only author I’ve read in this group is Patterson who writes with so many co-authors that it’s like reading different ones each time. The remaining books are first-time reads by these authors. What’s great about reading a holiday book is that it’s usually not one in a series. Not sure HOW many I’ll read — 2 so far, but as the return date is mid-January, there’s still lots of time.

The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo — a widow (Gaby Summerhill) decides to re-marry on Christmas Day at her Massachusetts farm. But the bride's choice of a groom is a mystery as she won't tell her family or even her potential husband, one of three suitors who have proposed. Gaby decides,then sends a DVD to her four adult children inviting them to attend. She is sure the mystery will bring them home for the holiday.
A Covington Christmas by Joan Medlicott — the new pastor at the Cove Road Church in Covington learns that a former pastor (from 40 years ago) was not an ordained minister, and not qualified to marry people. This means that the longstanding marriages of five congregants are invalid and it’s decided the couples will remarry on Christmas Eve. The church needs repairs and funds are lacking; can it be fixed in time? 
Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke — Cookie store owner Hannah Swensen finds her neighbor with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo near an upended box of Hannah's Gingerbread Cookies. She discovers a list of potential murder suspects as long as her holiday shopping list.
Fellow blogger, Rebecca, Shenandoah Gateway Farm, is a big fan of Ms. Fluke’s mysteries, which are titled after desserts AND contain cookie and dessert recipes. Check out the Lovely Lemon Bar Cookies recipe posted on Rebecca’s blog, as well as other tasty recipes.
Tidings of Great Joy by Sandra Brown — Architect Ria Lavender is enjoying her success when at a Christmas party, she meets handsome, charming Mayor-Elect Taylor MacKensie. Ria never imagines that they will leave the party together and get caught up in the magic of a snowfall and champagne that results in her becoming pregnant. She persuades Taylor to marry her (temporarily to give the baby a name, then falls in love with him. She fears his prime concern is protecting his career and vows to keep her distance; unforeseen events teach them both a lesson in miracles and love.
An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor — Dr. Barry Laverty is looking forward to his first Christmas in the village of Ballybucklebo, but learns that his sweetheart might not be coming home for the holidays. He has little time to dwell on his disappointment as he and his senior partner deal with an occasional medical emergency, seasonal ills, and new competition in the form of a patient-poaching physician whose quackery threatens the townspeople’s health. The two doctors play Santa to a struggling single mother who has a sick child and no money. (This is the largest book to be read last.)cheese gift (7)

THESE cheeses (all 3) are from friends, Barbara and John, who live in the other VA near Washington, DC. This holiday treat, which has been arriving for the past several years, is MUCH appreciated and enjoyed. Barbara is a long-time online friend (pre-blogging). We have only met once, yet not only do we receive this holiday treat, but they refuse any in return (we have tried). Barbara told me that our Friendship is her most important gift.

pine wreath (2)This wreath hangs on our front door, a handmade gift from a new neighbor, Angie, and made from assorted pinecones and pecans, locally gathered. It’s a lovely adornment and also much appreciated, but Angie told us it would not be a “keeper” because of the natural materials.

THIS week, I have been busy preparing gifts — pecans. They are always the perfect size and color and enjoyed by many !pecan shellingHow about YOU — Surprises Received and/or Planned ?


Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

I got a dear sweet surprise from you!!! You know how much I love your photography that you made into cards. They are just too awesome to give out, I want them all for me! THANK YOU Dear Friend!!! Your friendship means so much to me.

The pecans look yummy. I have been pricing them the prices have gone up~! The picture of cracking the nuts sure takes me back.

Praying you have a blessed and SAFE Christmas and talk to you soon.

Country Gal said...

Oh all these books sound great . I will have to look out for them ! Thanks for sharing ! Nothing planned just go with the flow of country living ! Have a good evening !

Elaine said...

Christmas is always a busy time. I love the wreath your neighbor made for you and the cheese looks very good too. We've got tins of nuts (pecans, almonds & hazelnuts) coated with a sweet and spicy mix all prepared to give to friends, and I've got baking to do this week. The special treat for Christmas is my grandmother's coffee kugan. Yes, she was German, and it's sweet bread dough topped with cinnamon and sugar and cream that forms a custard on the top when it's baked. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the book info. I love to read during the dreary winter months. Your cheese gift looks delicious. I grew up having pecan trees in the yard and I love them so - especially buttered, salted and toasted!

Anvilcloud said...

Very nice post. It looks like you've discovered some good books.

Daisy said...

Looks like you've got some fun reading ahead of you. Those pecans look good. They would make a great pie! Yum!

Sandra said...

i like patterson and all his co authors, this one sounds good

Anonymous said...

No surprises here, no planned and no received.

That murder history sounds interesting :-) I have lots of murder histories to read this vacation, most of whom I've never heard before. I buy comic magazines and swap those with my brothers who buys books :-)

Have a great day!

DeniseinVA said...

It all looks wonderful, great reading and great snacking for the holidays.

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Great sounding books! What a wonderful gift to give. Pecans can be used in so many ways! I am just getting things in order and looking forward to Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, you can't beat those sharp, stinky cheeses! Just a little goes a long way, but they are much better than Velveta! And being a gift from a friend just makes them that much better. You can think of your friends each time you take a little taste. Merry Christmas!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Books galore and always room for more. I like your assortment on the page, here and there, this and that. Here today we are whited out and the photos I tried to post from my phone will not go thru to Facebook. Sorry Grenville is under the weather there but he has it down pat, prone position. Sounds like that dogged cold we had late Sept after our PA trip, mine hung on for weeks. I have so many inside projects, keeping me from keyboard.

Charlotte Wilson said...

How Blessed you are to have such sweet and generous friends!
Your pecans look wonderful!
I just ordered The Christmas
Wedding from our public library.
I see that we have a love of reading in common.
I just finished The Winter of our Discontent by my favorite, John Steinbeck.
Have a lovely, joyful and peaceful Christmas holiday!

Claire King said...

Loved this post.

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