Wednesday, November 11, 2009

REVIEW - A FOREVER CHRISTMAS





A Forever Christmas by Missy Tippens
Publisher: Steeple Hill Love Inspired

Release Date: November 1, 2009






Devastated by the loss of her favorite student to cancer, kindergarten teacher Sarah Radcliffe returns to her hometown of Magnolia, Georgia, to spend the holidays with her parents and try to ease the pain of this recent loss. When Sarah arrives in Magnolia, she finds her friend Donna Rae in the last stages of her pregnancy and directing the children’s Christmas play at church. After receiving doctor’s orders to stay on best rest for the duration of her pregnancy, Donna Rae pleads for Sarah to take over the director position. Even though Sarah does not want to be around children so soon after young Peter’s death, she reluctantly agrees. From the first time Sarah met the children in the play, one little boy stands out. Well, he stands in the back of the group and rarely says a word, but his quietness speaks to Sarah. His name is Hunter Jones, and he is the oldest son of Gregory Jones, Sarah’s high school sweetheart. The boy who broke her heart into a million pieces.

Gregory Jones is living a very hectic life. After his ex-wife walked out on him and their two small boys a few years ago, Gregory has been mother, father, provider, and so much more. Owning his own business, Gregory is putting in a lot of extra hours to buy the gifts his boys want most for Christmas and hoping that will make up for a mother they never see. As he rushes into the church building to pick up Hunter and Chase from the Christmas play practice, Gregory never expected to run smack dab into Sarah Radcliffe. It has been at least a decade since Gregory had been this close to Sarah, and she is more beautiful than he remembered.

Forced to spend a significant amount of time with Gregory’s boys because of the Christmas play, Sarah heart quickly belongs to these two little boys and she realizes Gregory is working himself to the bone to provide toys for Christmas when all that Hunter and Chase want is to spend time with their father. Sarah soon comes up with several fun activities for the Jones family to do together, such as decorate the Christmas tree and deliver cookies to several homebound individuals. When Gregory finds the boys’ letter to Santa, which reads “Dear Santa, For Hunter – a whole day playing outside with Dad by myself. For Chase – to sleep in Dad’s bed for a week. For both of us – Miss Sarah as our mom.”, he realizes his boys just want him for Christmas, and a new mom too! But Gregory is not sure that he and Sarah can forgive each other for the transgressions of the past.

This is such a sweet Christmas love story. Personally, I have always loved stories where former loves are reunited, and when Christmas is involves it makes it extra special. This is a wonderful story of young love remembered, forgiveness, and not only loving another person but loving an entire family. I really enjoyed seeing Sarah show Gregory that spending time with family is the most important thing. Like most other people, I live a very busy life, but the message of this book spoke loud and clear to me. Spend more time with the people you love! So my family and I have started back on family game night and movie marathon night. Thank you, Missy, for reminding me what is most important!!




~ Buffie

37 comments:

  1. Buffie and Missy, this sounds like a wonderful story. And such an adorable cover. Definitely on my to-buy list.

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  2. Buffie~ Although I don't hunt down Christmas stories, this sounds like a wonderful book, and I will be on the look out for it.
    I also like books that reunite old loves.
    I remember growing up we had 2 family nights. Wednesday night was game night, and Friday night we watched T.G.I.F. as a family. Does anyone remember T.G.I.F? They used to have good shows. Family shows, like Family Matters, Full House, and a couple of others that I can't think of right now.
    Another thing my family did (when I was in 1st grade) was every night as a family we would watch M*A*S*H (I love Hawkeye!) Night Court (does anyone remember Night Court?), and then we would finish up the night with Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    Now with my own family and us all running in all different directions I know the trouble my parent went through to make sure we had "family time". I'm my oldest son's Cub Scout leader, and my daughter's Girl Scout leader, and I'm home with my youngest all day, but there are times when I don't feel like we get to spend enough time together. So we try to make sure that we spend 1 day a weekend doing nothing but family stuff. Sometimes it works, but sometimes not. Our family day used to be Sunday's, but my son's cub scout meetings are on Sunday after noons now, so we try to make Saturday our family day.'Another thing I do with the kids is story time. Just about every night (at least 4 times a week, although we try for 7) we read a story right before bed. My older 2 sometimes read instead of me, but we spend that time together and that's what matters most.
    Well, I guess I've taken up enough space here. Sorry. I'm off to bed.

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  3. Trish, it is a wonderful, sweet story.

    Dorothy, you will have to let me know what you think of the book. Yes, I sure do remember TGIF. There were so great shows on there. Not too many of those now! I wish Hollywood would make more family tv shows (and movies for that matter). I totally understand where you are coming from -- my family is always on the go. We do scouts too. Plus soccer and band and it seems everything in between. But at least we make time for game night and marathon movie night.

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  4. Awww, what a sweet story and a wonderful review, Buffie. This sounds like a story I would LOVE. And I couldn't agree more -- spend time with those you love. This is exactly why my family and I have so many activities we do together: Family Movie Night, Family Game Night and we always eat dinner together.

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  5. Buffie, I really love the sound of this story. And the message couldn't be more important. Spending time together as a family is THE most important thing. Time goes so quickly and before you know it, the kids are grown and gone. My oldest is a junior in high school! I swear I don't know where the time has gone.

    Dorthy, I love M*A*S*H!! We used to watch that when I was younger. I still love to watch the re-runs. :)

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  6. Buffie, what a great review. This book is now on my To Buy List. Love Inspired books are good at getting the Message across. I have not read Christian romances in awhile and this may swing me back.
    I do search out Christmas stories. It's my fave time of year and I enjoy reading a Christmas tale any time of the year---even on a hot summer's day.
    I'm really enjoying TRD. You're all doing a great job!

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  7. Good morning! Buffie, the site looks great!

    Thanks so much for a wonderful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. And I'm thrilled you're reinstating family night!

    We had such a nice dinner together last night, and my husband commented on how much he enjoys that. We need to make sure to do it more often! :)

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  8. Hey, Trish! Thanks for adding it to your list! I love the cover, too. They did it exactly like I described on my art fact sheet. Plus, they added the window frame, that outside-looking-in feel. That was just perfect for how Gregory felt in the story.

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  9. Dorthy, your story time sounds wonderful! I'm sure your children will always remember that. And it's great practice for the older ones!

    We do a game night around here every now and then, but not nearly enough. I'm thinking we might need to do one this Friday! :)

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  10. Andrea,

    Good for you for always having dinner together! We try so hard to do that. And I guess we do it most nights a week. But it seems we go on stretches where we miss several nights in a row. That's what we'd had recently. Last night was so nice! Plus, I actually cooked something healthy! And miracle of all miracles, my son ate it! :)

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  11. Gannon, I so agree about how quickly it goes. My oldest is a sophomore in college now. When he went back to school in August, I grieved all over again. I'm wondering if it'll ever get easier. I just love it when everyone is home!

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  12. Andrea, I really think you would enjoy this book. Don't you just love family game night?! And yes, eating dinner together is a big thing. Most of the time we do that too. But there are occasions when we are running to one field or another and have to eat on the way!

    Gannon, every single day I am reminded that my kids won't always be in my house with me. As they get older, I find myself saying "I only have XX years left with them". So we really must make every day count.

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  13. Deb, I'm so glad you enjoy Love Inpsired books! And I'm glad to hear there are readers who like to read Christmas stories year round. This was the first holiday story I wrote, and I had so much fun with it!

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  14. Deb, it has been a long time since I have read christian romance too, but I think the Love Inspired line will draw me back into it. I hope you pick up this one and give it a try.

    Thanks for the compliments on our site. We are so happy it is going well and everyone seems to be enjoying themself.

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  15. Hey Missy!! So glad you could stop by. Isn't family dinners just great. Just this past week we started back on something that we dropped over the summer -- a short bible study after dinner. It only takes about 10 minutes or so (depending on how much the kids talk), but it is something we really enjoy doing.

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  16. Buffie, that's a great idea! We should try that. It might keep my kids from asking to be excused before my hubby and I are even done eating. :)

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  17. Buffie, I haven't read this, but I think Missy is a wonderful writer. This sounds like another heart-warming, uplifting story, perfect for the holidays.

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  18. Hi Nancy! Yes, Missy is a great writer and this is a wonderful story. Just what you need to get you in the mood for the holidays.

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  19. I like the sound of this and I love Christmas stories. I have a collection that I start reading right after Thanksgiving, I seriously need to add this book to the collection.

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  20. I, personally, am not a big fan of the "reunited lovers"-theme, but this sounds like an absolutely adorable story! And, my, how sweet that Christmas wish is, the "Miss Sarah as our mom"-part almost brought me to tears! (I know, I'm such a ninny!)

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  21. Hey, Nancy! I'm glad you stopped by. I hope to see you at the next GRW meeting.

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  22. Thanks, Dianna! I hope you like it.

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  23. Thanks, Dianna! I hope you like it.

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  24. Lisa, I hope it brought you to tears. It's supposed to! :) My goal is to make readers laugh and cry. It's what I love to do when I read a story. :)

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  25. Dianna, yes you need to pick this one up. It's great.

    LisaK, this is one adorable story. Those two little boys really add to the story. It may be that I'm partial to two boys :-)

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  26. Thanks for a great review, Buffie. I have this book on my tbr and I'm looking forward to reading it - even more so after reading your review!

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  27. I love Missy's books!!! I'll have to grab this one!

    Tami

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  28. Thanks, PJ. I think you will enjoy this book too.

    Hey Tami! Yes, do grab this one up when you are at the book store. You won't be disappointed.

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  29. Thanks, PJ!

    And thanks, Tami!

    I'm glad you both stopped by.

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  30. This looks like such a wonderful story. Family is very important to me. I'll have to read this one!!

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  31. Ok, so probably stupid question, but is this book out on shelves yet? I hit 2 book stores while in town today and neither one had the book on the shelves. So I figure it is either sold out already, if so CONGRATS!
    OR its not on shelves yet.

    Thanks for the help

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  32. Dorthy, thanks so much for looking for it! Yes, it's on the shelves since Nov. 1. I hope it sold out! :) But Love Inspired went from 4 to 6 books a month in July, and not all stores are picking up all 6 books. So you may have gone to a couple that didn't have it. I've heard from several friends who've seen it at Walmart, K-mart and Kroger. Of course, it's also online at Amazon, B&N, e-harlequin, etc. I hope you can find it! :)

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  33. I bought it this weekend, read it yesterday, and really liked it! Very nicely done, Missy. I'm going to go back to the store and pick up the other books in the series.

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  34. Hey Deb!! I'm so glad you got the book and enjoyed it.

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  35. Just finished this book of Forever Christmas and I liked it. What a nice book to read this time of year. Sarah and Gregory gives us all the real reason for the Season and tells us to love our family and those close to us even more.
    Thanks Missy...

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