Friday, March 26, 2010

Finklehopper Frog

Last night I read Finklehopper Frog by Irene Livingston to my sons. We've read the story many times, from ages 3 to 11 they all enjoy each word.
It isn't just an adorable story with fun, bright pictures and characters, Finklehopper Frog also teaches children about diversity and how to celebrate our individuality. I'd highly recommend you read it to your children. It'll make them laugh and hopefully think.
Monday, March 22, 2010

Helping Children Love to Read

My oldest son is addicted to reading. I started reading to him in the womb and he won't let me stop. He's eleven and we always have a book that we're reading together. He also reads several novels on his own each week.
My second son - different story. He likes it when I read to him, but the only books he's read on his own are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (not my favorites). Is it because he's a math mind like his father that he hasn't latched onto books or because he's only seven or did I do something different with him than my oldest?
My youngest also loves stories. He knows the one way to stop Mom from cleaning or writing is to say, "Read me a story."
Here's a list of ideas to help you and your children read more. Hopefully if I employ all of them with my middle guy and youngest we can turn them into readers like their older brother.
  1. Read Aloud - Start reading aloud when they are infants and don't quit. When they're teenagers and no longer want you reading to them, maybe you could read the same novels and discuss them. The best time for us has always been bedtime. We have our family scripture study and then my husband and I each take a younger boy and read to them until they fall asleep, then I read to our oldest for at least half an hour. I have no idea how we're going to work it out with a fourth child. My sister-in-law rotates with younger children and older children so at least a couple of nights a week they get mom or dad reading to them. Any suggestions from those who have large families?
  2. Make the library and bookstore special treats. We started walking to the library every week when my oldest was a baby and still make our weekly excursion. I love that place. We also make the bookstore into a reward. The boys earn books for extra chores or good deeds and on special days and holidays they get a book as a present or get to pick out their choice of book.
  3. Have books everywhere. The only room in our house that isn't loaded with books is the kitchen and that's only because we try not to ruin our books and because we need to actually talk to our oldest once in a while without his eyes glued to a book. I often walk into a room and find my boys laughing over a favorite book.
  4. Find attractive books. I found this tip on Gomestic and thought it was interesting. I love so many different kinds of books I'd never stopped to think about the attractiveness of a book influencing my desire to read it. Though I know from a marketing perspective it does make a difference. Here's what this article said, "Books are available in many forms nowadays and various kinds of materials. Singing books or read aloud books where you can hear the book talk or making noise when certain button in the book is pushed, and also picture books are usually attractive for preschoolers. Older children will usually love pop-up books or lift-the-flap books. You can even introduce books to babies. Books for babies is rather different, it has no word in it, just pictures in cheerful color and usually made of plastic, fabric or board paper."
  5. Be a good example. My husband isn't a reader, but I remind him often to have the boys see him reading the newspaper or his scriptures or pretending to read one of my books (the romance is a bit hard on the tough guy). If your children see you finding joy from reading, they will usually want to explore that themselves.
  6. Read age-appropriate books. I think this is one of the mistakes I made with my second son. My oldest and I were having so much fun with chapter books that I would read my middle son's books quickly and then settle down to read for hours with my oldest. My middle guy would usually stay with us during story time, but I'm not sure he got much out of it. If you can, try to set aside a time to read to each child on their level. It's also okay to read a bit above their level, but plan on explaining words or situations they don't understand. When we read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas it took us months, but my son still enjoyed it. We also enjoy reading below their level sometimes. Every one of my boys still laughs at Junie B. Jones and Berenstain Bears will never stop being a favorite.
  7. Read what they want (most of the time) - I try to let my boys pick out their own books, but I also pick out one I want to read to them. They have to give my book forty pages. If they hate it, we quit. And sometimes I have to grit my teeth through their books, but that's part of being a mom.
  8. Keep it fun - I always ask the librarian or bookstore employee for humorous kids' books. We also come back to some of our favorite funny series over and over again. The Fudge Series by Judy Blume and Chickens in the Headlights by Matthew Buckley make us laugh no matter how many times we read them. I would love to hear about your favorite children's series, funny or not.
Please don't think because I shared this list that I think myself an expert on the subject. Every child is different and every family is different. But reading is such an essential part of development and success I hope each of us can find the best way to instill a love of reading in each of our children. Please share what works for you and your family.
Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review - Wrong Number by Rachelle Christensen

“I THINK YOU HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER.”

When Aubree Stewart answers her cell phone on the way to work one day, she isn’t prepared for her life to change. Someone dialed a wrong number, a simple mistake. But the call changes everything when Aubree overhears information about the murder of a government official. Now she must run for her life as the caller tries to eliminate her. Aubree is placed in the witness protection program, but when the FBI’s protection fails, she heads out on her own. She soon realizes she’ll never stop running until she can solve the mystery behind the wrong number. Unable to trust anyone but herself, she’s cautious about accepting the help of a Park Ranger named Wyatt Erickson. As she struggles to keep herself hidden from the enemy, she finds it harder to protect her heart. Teeming with government plots, a dash of romance, and plenty of intrigue, Rachelle J. Christensen’s Wrong Number will have your heart pounding the next time the phone rings! For a sneak peek of the first chapter of Wrong Number, click here.
I was instantly pulled into Aubree's life and felt a great deal of compassion for her. She answers a phone call, it seems fishy so she calls the police, and then her life is tossed out the window. This book really hit me hard because Aubree was expecting her first baby. I can't imagine being in the witness protection program pregnant and then with a newborn.
I loved the different settings in this book, especially when Aubree came to Bear Lake, Utah where we often vacation. The author does a very good job of describing the setting and making you feel a part of the story.
I made one mistake in reading Wrong Number. I fell in love with the wrong hero. This was not the author's fault, I take complete blame for my misdirection. I'm going to have to read the book again and fall in love with the right guy. If you're looking for a great suspense novel with a very interesting premise, I'd recommend you read Wrong Number.
Friday, March 19, 2010

Book signing - Borders

I'm signing copies of The Sister Pact at Borders in Logan, tomorrow from 12-2 p.m. If any of you are in the area, it would be wonderful to see you. I'll be signing with Michael Young, author of The Canticle Kingdom and Rachelle Christensen, author of Wrong Number. We're all doing fabulous prize drawings every half hour. Should be lots of fun!
Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway - Band of Sisters

When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring. Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression. Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her emotionally abusive husband. Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter. And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home — and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.
Knowing the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives every week to share lunches and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort. But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust. And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters.
When I choose a novel, suspense and romance are always the top requirements. Band of Sisters had neither element. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't put the book down. It is a touching story of five women, who felt like my next-door neighbors, dealing with their husbands' deployment and the awful terror that these men might not come home.
It was an honor to be inside this tough band of sisters and catch a glimpse of what life would be like when the person you love and the father of your children is far from home and safety. I recommend this book to anyone who is a wife or mother. It will make you laugh, cry, and truly appreciate how blessed you are and how amazing the families are who serve our country.
Win your free copy of Band of Sisters
Must follow this blog to enter
1 entry - Leave a comment
2 entries - Share this contest on Twitter or Facebook with a link back to the contest
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Contest open to residents of U.S. and Canada
Contest closes April 5, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010

Author Interview - Rachelle Christensen, author of Wrong Number

Wrong Number is my first published novel, but my second is close on its heels. My nonfiction book, Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage for Latter-day Saints will be released in May 2010.

What inspired you to write Wrong Number?

I wanted to enter a chapter into the first chapter contest at LDStorymakers in 2007. I came up with the first chapter of Wrong Number, it won second place, and then I went on to write the rest of the novel.

What books or authors have influenced your writing and what do you like to read?

I like to read a wide variety of books from children to YA to adult. I really like a good romance, but nothing too detailed. And yes, I love romantic suspense. It’s hard to pinpoint a certain author because I go through phases where I’ll gobble up everything I can by an author and then move on. I love Agatha Christie, Shannon Hale, Clair Poulson, Mitch Albom—and many more. A favorite book of mine is Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. You can check out my goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1663930 list of favorites and repeat-offenders to see more all time favorites.

How do you come up with ideas for your novels?

Lots of ways. News stories sometimes tickle my brain and I think…Hmm, that would make an interesting story if… I’ve also been inspired by dreams. Some of my working scenes are from actual dreams I’ve had where I feel like I’m the onlooker taking notes as to what these people in my dream are doing and why. The novel that I just finished writing began from a single sentence that popped into my mind just before I fell asleep. So the ideas seem to come from all over at any time of day or night, so I try to make sure I jot them down before I forget them!

Do you have a quote that motivates you?

I love quotes! I actually started doing a Thursday thought post on my blog recently. Here's one of my favorites from there "Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future and he inherits his own past. --H.F. Hedge

I thought the heroine from Wrong Number was extremely gutsy. Do you see yourself in your characters? Do you think you'd be that brave?

I do see a bit of myself in my characters. Hard to know if I'd be that brave, but I'd definitely do my best to figure things out and I think I'm willing to take risks to solve problems.

What’s coming up? I’ve got a few things I’m working on. I’ve finished an inspirational romance that I love, called Wind Song and I’m enjoying writing my WIP-working title Caller ID, so I guess we’ll see what comes up first on the docket.

Do you have any advice for other authors? If you’re serious about writing, attend writers conferences and classes, join a great critique group, read novels in your genre of interest, and write, write, write! Also, learn how to take criticism and know when to apply it to your writing and when to chuck it out the window.

Where can we find your books? Anywhere books are sold. If you don’t see it, ask for it and they can order it in. Available wherever books are sold, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon

If you’d like to get a sneak peek at Wrong Number, check out the book trailer—it’s awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg5X0T59a9E Stop by my blog, www.rachellewrites.blogspot.com to see what I’m up to. Thank you so much for this interview! Happy reading and writing.

Read a sneak peek of chapter one here at Rachelle Writes and you can watch the book trailer here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Office Box and Wrong Number Giveaway

I wanted to remind you about the great giveaway of the Office Box and Wrong Number. The preliminary drawings end March 15th, you can enter at any or all of the following blogs. Good luck!
Saturday, March 6, 2010

Book Review - Embracing Your Freedom by Susie Larson

While our culture places great emphasis on comfort, security, control, and success, there are deeper rewards for those who take hold of God’s promises and reach out in the Name of Christ. Adventure, faith, miracles, and a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is what Susie calls her readers to realize.
Embracing Your Freedom is a book that will transport you away from the petty insecurities of our society and call you to greater things.
As Helen Keller said, "Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." (As quoted in Susie's book.)
As blessed Christian women we can't stand hidden in our lovely homes and pretend there isn't suffering and need throughout the world. Susie's book helped me to see that I need to rise above my insecurities and frustrations and work towards more lofty goals. Susie says, "Now is not the time to be caught up in the petty dramas common among women." We must rely on the Lord to become free of our own weaknesses and then help free others.
"Obviously we are not called to live in a Christian bubble, totally removed from a lost and dying world. In fact the Bible states we're to be in the world not of it." Susie Larson
To me, being in the world but not of it, means we can't partake of the distractions and indulgences of the world, but we must go out and help those who need us.
But how can we help? Susie offered some wonderful suggestions:
Pray - pray to know what you can do to help as well as pray for those who are enslaved physically and spiritually
Learn - there are many wonderful organizations who help protect and support children - International Justice Mission, Human Trafficking Project, Mothers Without Borders, World Vision - these are just a few, please research for yourself and see which organization best fits your beliefs and need to help. I am blessed through my church to be able to contribute to what we call the Humanitarian Aid Fund. Because our church is 100% voluntary, all the contributions go straight to the people who need them. As you're researching, it is smart to ask how much of the funds raised or donated go to administration and other costs.
Mobilize - bring your community, school, or church into the effort
Give - Share your means, time, and/or talents
Lead - Bring your family into the effort
Advocate
Incorporate
I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to read this book. Fighting against human trafficking is an issue that has been close to my heart. I'm thankful to Susie for giving me new ideas to fight and for helping me to focus on increasing my faith and becoming free myself so I can help to free others. I would encourage everyone to read this book.
Susie is donating 50% of her royalties to the International Justice Mission.
Friday, March 5, 2010

Love Your Body - Review and Book Giveaway

It's such an honor for me to review Brooke Parker's book, Love Your Body. Brooke is a registered dietitian, but as I read this book she spoke to me like a food psychiatrist bringing up many issues I have struggled with for years and helping me to find positive solutions to them.
I loved this book. Brooke has a fabulous attitude and it shines through as you read the book and do the exercises. I believe every woman should read this book, it will change your life for the better.
Win your free copy:
We will be giving away 5 copies of Love Your Body: A Diet-Free Approach to Balanced Eating as part of the online book book tour. The contest will close on March 5th at midnight, MST.
Entering the contest is easy--all you have to do is blog, tweet, follow, or comment about the book or blog review then fill out the form here.
1. Become a follower of our reviewers blogs. You can follow one of our reviewers or you can follow all of them. Remember that each blog you follow gives you another chance to win, so why wouldn't you choose to follow them all? But what if you are already following them you ask? Well lucky you because you get an entry for that too.
2. Post a comment on the reviews.
3. Blog about the contest or one of the reviews. Spread the word. Just remember that the blog post either needs to link to the contest or to one of the reviews.
4. Tweet about the contest or one (or all) of the reviews. Yep, 144 characters or less is all it takes to enter.
5. Follow us on twitter. Maybe you use twitter, maybe you don't. But if you do, you should follow us.
http://twitter.com/walnutspringspr
http://twitter.com/brookeparkerrd
http://twitter.com/valerieipson
http://twitter.com/nicholegiles
http://twitter.com/Rachellewrites
http://twitter.com/LDSWBR
http://twitter.com/camichecketts
6. Post about the contest on Facebook.
7. Become a fan of Love Your Body on facebook.Brooke is constantly updating her fanpage with articles, recipes, and helpful hints.
8. Anything else you can think of that will spread the word. If you mention it on goodreads, shelfari, google buzz, or any other social media site, or make it your status on gmail chat, MSN or yahoo messenger let us know. We want to reward your creativity with an entry.
Here's that nifty little form again that you need to fill out to be entered,here.

The Office Box & Wrong Number Giveaway

The Office Box Giveaway & Wrong Number Book Launch

The Original Scrapbox has a brand new piece of organizing furniture and you have a chance to win it! Introducing the Office Box... And we're celebrating the launch of Rachelle J. Christensen's suspense novel, Wrong Number, with a chance to win an autographed copy! The Office Box was created as an addition to the line of incredible scrapbooking furniture The Original Scrapbox has to offer, such as The Workbox and The EZ View Craft Desk. I'm hosting a preliminary giveaway with an awesome prize: The Sister Pact by Cami Checketts

Must be a follower of my blog to enter. Please leave a comment as instructed below.

You can enter to win my prize and on March 16th, I'll announce the winner who will then go on for the grand prize drawing of The Office Box and a copy ofWrong Number.The Grand Prize Winner will be drawn on March 19, 2010 at RachelleWrites. She will select a winner from the 25 finalists to receive one Office Box (Value $895.00) in their choice of color and an autographed copy of Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen. Giveaway open from March 5, 2010- March 15, 2010 at 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time. Open to addresses in the contiguous United States only. Giveaway Rules:

* You can only enter under one name

* It is possible to win more than one preliminary prize, which means it’s possible to be entered into the grand prize drawing more than once.

* All winner’s addresses must be stateside US addresses

* You must complete the required entry to be eligible to win

Here's how to enter:Please leave details in your comment of how you entered with required links. I'll put all entries into a spreadsheet and useRandom.org to select the winner. * Required entry: You must visit The Original Scrapbox website and leave a comment telling me your favorite item. Extra Entries:
  • Tweet the contest with linkback in your comment and use the hashtag #officebox or #scrapbox in your tweet.
  • Facebook the contest with linkback in your comment
  • Add the contest button(pictured above) to your sidebar with a link to this contest
To receive 15 extra entries, you must do the following 5 things together on your blog post and please leave a link back to your blog post with your comment (only one comment required, but you must leave a link so I can check your post.)
  1. Blog about the contest WITH a picture of The Office Box and Wrong Number in your post.
  2. In your blog post link the phrase "The Office Box " to http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=138
  3. Link the phrase "The Original Scrapbox" to http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/
  4. Link the phrase "Wrong Number" to http://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Number-Rachelle-J-Christensen/dp/1599553643/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1
  5. Post the Wrong Number book trailer from You Tube on your blog
There are 25 different blogs participating in this giveaway. Each blog is giving away a preliminary prize and a chance to win an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing. Stay tuned for reviews on Wrong Number and author interviews as well! Here's the list of blogs where you can enter: The Mommy Files Cricut Christmas Little Birdie Secrets Priscilla Styles Mommy Mandy RockinMama RachelleWrites Alvor-Dare To Dream Diony George Heather Justesen Queen of the Clan Scribbled Scraps Anne Bradshaw Rachel Rager Tristi Pinkston Cami Checketts Nichole Giles Wendy Paul Marilyn Bunderson Ronda Hinrichson C.L. Beck: Write Up My Alley Christine Bryant Ali Cross Jenni James Annette Lyon *Results of contests are final. Participants will be eliminated if entry rules are not followed correctly.
I hope one of my followers wins the Office Box Giveaway. Thanks for entering!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book Giveaway - The Doll in McCallaway's Store by Kevin Krogh

It was cold, but the stove held no fire.
Molly's schoolbooks were not by the door.
Once again she had stopped to admire
the doll in McCallaway's Store.
Thus begins Jacob Kikkert's narrative poem, a poem written in grateful summary of the events that restored his faith in a loving Heavenly Father who intercedes in His own way in the lives of His children. The Doll in McCallaway's Store's two tales become one as you follow the extraordinary series of events that bring three families together through a little girl's prayer and the porcelain doll she wants for Christmas. I invite you to become intimately, even spiritually, acquainted with a palette of compelling characters, some of whose lives continue to teach and inspire in my second and third novels, The Willow Switch and Because He Makes Her Cry.
Chapter Fourteen
“I don’t think you know where you’re going,” accused Mark wryly from the passenger seat. “I hope we find it before it starts raining again.”
“I know what I did wrong,” answered Camille. “I should have turned at the last light, that’s all. We’ll just go to the park and start from there.”
She had not paid close attention to their route two nights earlier when Jacob, Ann, and Molly had driven her home, but she knew she could retrace the route she and Jacob had taken on foot from the park entrance. As they drove past the pullout, she smiled as she imagined what might have happened when Dave’s father opened the trunk of the Jaguar, but her smile was short-lived as she also pondered what might have been had God not seen fit to intercede by sending Jacob to her rescue.
She glanced at her doll—she had dressed her in her favorite outfit, the green dress with off-white lace—and then at the carnations she had purchased for Ann, both lying on the seat between them, and she forced her reflection to the more pleasant events of that memorable weekend. Her smile returned.
Camille had been quite taken with her handsome rescuer. Her knight in shining armor was everything she hoped the man she would someday marry might be: chivalrous, handsome, kind, devoted to his family, and, best of all, prayerful and receptive to the promptings of the Spirit. It was just her luck that he was already married. Not only had he saved her virtue but he had also restored her faith in manhood in the moment that faith had been most vulnerable. She needed the assurance that there really were good men in the world, and Jacob had given it to her.
She had also been delighted with the other members of the family.
She was particularly captivated by Ann’s deep blue eyes. They were her doll’s eyes, and although she did not understand why, she hoped desperately that Ann would accept her as her friend. She had likewise marveled at another similarity, by how much little Molly’s hair was like the doll’s, whose name both she and her mother shared.
Carmen had returned with the car shortly after she and Jacob had arrived at the apartment, but since Ann had loaned the car to Carmen to use both that evening and the next morning, she had to go upstairs for the keys. This gave Camille a few minutes alone with Molly, who was thrilled with the chance to show off her dolls. They sat together on Molly’s bed.
“This one is Ruthie; she’s the oldest. This one’s name is Katie; she fell and broke her arm. And this one is my favorite. Her name is Nancy. La abuela gave her to me.”
“They’re wonderful, Molly,” Camille exaggerated. She was totally smitten. “Maybe someday I can introduce you to my doll.”
“What’s her name?”
“Well, strange as it may seem, her name is Molly Ann.”
“Really? I like that name.” Molly laughed. “What does she look like?”
“Well, she has beautiful dark curly hair like yours, and a pretty smile and blue eyes like your mother’s (“astonishingly like your mother’s,” she thought). Someday I’ll bring her by, if you’d like.”
“I’d like that very much,” said Molly, nodding excitedly, and she gave Camille an unexpected hug. “You promise?”
“I promise.”
Camille hugged her back. She was now even more determined to further foster this new friendship with Jacob, Ann, and Molly, good people who personified her dreams for her own future, and she was glad she now had an excuse to return. Perhaps Molly would be the little sister she had always hoped for. Perhaps the similarities between Ann and Molly and her Molly Ann were far from coincidental.
Her parents had not expected her home from the library so early, and she had made it almost halfway up the squeaking attic stairs before being detected.
“Is that you, Camille?” her father called from the study where he and her mother were reading.
“Yeah, it’s me. I’ll be down in a minute,” she called back.
She changed her clothes, put on her other pair of glasses, gathered her thoughts, and then slowly descended the stairs to talk with her parents. She had wanted to wait until Sunday, but her cut lip and scraped cheek were more than reason enough to not wait. It was the right time too for other reasons. It was late enough that Mark was in bed asleep but early enough not to infringe too much on her parents’ bedtime. Besides, she was anxious to have it done with. She would sleep much better with her burden lifted. She took a deep breath and entered the study.
She started crying even before her glance found her mother’s eyes. She embraced each of her perplexed parents for several moments before finally controlling her emotion. She signaled for them to sit back down on the love seat under the window, and she moved one of the chairs from the front of her father’s desk so that she sat facing them, her knees almost touching theirs.
“Mom and Dad, I love you very much. I know I have your love also,” she began. “And I know there’s nothing I could do that would cause you to stop loving me. But tonight I need something more than your love; I need your understanding and your forgiveness. I need you to listen. You mustn’t interrupt. I’ve a story to tell you, a story that begins badly but that has a very happy ending.”
She told them everything; they listened intently and tenderly. Tears flowed unrestrained down the cheeks of both mother and daughter while masculine eyes held most of them back, but obviously only through great effort. Love was expressed, forgiveness given, and a kneeling prayer of gratitude offered together with her father as voice.
Camille slept well that night, free at last from the secret guilt that had alienated her from those she loved, grateful to again be a daughter who had learned well and applied the lessons her parents had tried to teach her, and all the more certain of a Father in Heaven who hears and answers prayers and guides the lives of his children.
Sunday had dawned bright and beautiful. Camille had always found great strength and comfort in sitting with her family in church, and that morning those feelings were intensely magnified. The sacrament was especially meaningful to her, and she listened carefully to the talks and found personal significance in almost everything that was said.
Her father called Jacob early that afternoon and thanked him profusely for what he had done for Camille. Jacob extended Monday night’s dinner invitation to the whole family, or to as many as could come. Her father regretfully declined due to an engagement he and her mother were committed to attend. The director of urban forestry was retiring, and a dinner was being held in his honor.
Camille knew that her father was anxious to both meet Jacob and further demonstrate his gratitude, so a date was set for brunch the following Sunday—Thanksgiving leftovers at the Harrisons’. Jacob accepted. That same Sunday evening they would also all attend her mother’s concert, the last and most important of the three that the university had scheduled for her. Camille, who was in the study with her father during the call, hanging on his arm and his every word, was thrilled.
“You’ll fall in love with all of them from the moment you see them,” she promised, “especially Molly. She’s so cute, and she and I are practically already sisters.”
“Who’s Molly?” asked Mark, feeling unfairly left out.
Her family’s Sunday-night call to her grandmother ended with great news: She was coming for Thanksgiving—Camille had already dropped the letter she had written that afternoon in the corner mailbox. Although their two separate dinner appointments and only one car required a bit of strategic planning, the whole family would be free to welcome Annabelle at the airport at 11:30 P.M.
So far, all had gone as planned. Camille had dropped her parents off at the restaurant for their dinner at 7:30 so she would have the car. She and Mark were now on their way to the Kikkerts’ apartment. They were not expected until 8:30, but they had left early both to buy flowers and to be sure they could find the way. The plan was to leave the Kikkerts’ place just before 10:30, then pick up their parents on the way to the airport.
From the park’s entrance they continued down the hill along a street lined for several blocks by tidy, well-kept bungalow houses and large mature ash trees, the edge of the large Hispanic neighborhood known to the locals as “little Mexico,” even though there were probably more Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin than Mexican living there.
Camille turned to the right and then continued for another three blocks to where the road intersected with the main connector that, if followed to the left, eventually led back to the university. It began to pour again, very hard; the sound of the rain against the car echoed and amplified inside.
“Wow! Cool!” enthused Mark. “It never rains like this back home.”
“Cool, nothing,” retorted Camille. “I can hardly see…here’s where I should have turned the first time,” she explained, as she waited for the light to change. “Another five blocks straight through this intersection and we’re there.” She looked quickly at the clock on the dash. “And right on time,” she added.
The light turned green. She glanced again at Molly Ann and smiled in anticipation—she could hardly wait to see Molly’s face when she showed her—then accelerated through the intersection.
Win your autographed copy of The Doll in McCallaway's Store
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Contest will end March 22, 2010.
Please check Kevin's website to read the first 100 pages of any of his novels.

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The Resilient One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

Running from the Cowboy: A Snow Valley Romance

Spring in Snow Valley

Oh, Come On - Be Faithful

A Touch of Love

Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology

Protect This

Blog This

Redeem This

Fourth of July

The Colony

The Broken Path

Poison Me

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Dead Running

Dying to Run

Full Court Devotion: A Christmas in Snow Valley Romance

Christmas in Snow Valley

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