Books in the Burbs News
I love this time of year, when bloggers are hosting a lot of their end of year giveaways. This is also my 5 year blogger anniversary, so it seemed rather fitting to have more than one giveaway this month. While many of the giveaways end this week, you still have time to enter and win some fantastic books. I’m hosting quite a few, so take a peek and see which ones interest you the most!
Choose from 3 Gift Packs!
Giveaway ends December 18, 2014
Giveaway ends December 20, 2014
THE PEANUTS GANG: BOOK ‘EM THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
IN CELEBRATION OF 50 YEARS ON TV FOR A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Hard as it is to believe, but this year marks the 50th annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas!
To celebrate the occasion, ABC will air the special twice: Tuesday, December 2 at 8:30PM ET/PT and Tuesday, December 16 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Meanwhile, Peanuts Worldwide is offering a host of great holiday books guaranteed to get you in the mood for the big television anniversary.
GIFT SET #1:
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: THE MAKING OF A TRADITION
This lushly illustrated tribute to the television classic takes readers behind-the-scenes of the Peanuts holiday special. Including the script of A Charlie Brown Christmas, more than 200 full-color pieces of original animation art, Vince Guaraldi’s original score, and a look at the making of feature from producer Lee Mendelson and original animator, the late Bill Melendez, fans of Charles M. Schulz, the Peanuts gang, and A Charlie Brown Christmas will treasure this beautiful keepsake volume for years to come.
Available at amazon.com and major book stores nationwide for $19.99.
I grew up watching Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. I especially love the cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas! So, this is a real treat for my blog to offer you so many great books to read, buy, and possibly win! This book is the perfect gift for someone who grew up watching the Christmas movie! With attention to detail, skits, sketches, and dialogue from the actual movie, the Peanuts fan will love this book! It’s very well made and gives a behind the scenes look to the movie!
BE JOYFUL BOOK
This charming little book filled with Peanuts inspirational wisdom is the perfect stocking stuffer! The book highlights the simple joys of friends, life and goodwill through a collection of heart-warming quotes and illustrations from the Peanuts classic comics. Available at amazon.com or wherever books are sold for $7.95.
This is definitely the perfect gift for someone who loves to read little quotes from the Peanuts gang! It’s quite colorful with simple quotes from your favorite characters, that will definitely make you smile and feel a bit nostalgic, too!
GIFT SET #2:
PEANUTS: A SCANIMATION BOOK BY RUFUS BUTLER SEDER
Charlie Brown and the football, Snoopy’s happy dance, Schroeder at his toy piano—cherished characters and iconic moments come to life through the magic of Scanimation. Created by Rufus Butler Seder, an inventor, artist, and filmmaker fascinated by antique optical toys, Scanimation is a state-of-the-art six-phase animation process that combines the “persistence of vision” principle with a striped acetate overlay to give the illusion of movement. It harkens back to the old magical days of the kinetoscope, and the effect is astonishing, like a video without a screen. It is Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts—funny and wise and beloved, forever a part of our lives—like you’ve never seen before. Available for $14.95 at workman.com, amazon.com, Powell’s Books, Barnes and Noble, and independent book stores nationwide.
This is the kind of book that any little reader will love! The scanimation design is pre-electronics, but still is just as entertaining. With a little storyline, each page has the scanimation that gives movement to each character and scene. It’s a hard book that is a great size for small hands. It’s a book that will be a great introduction in to the Peanuts gang, which will be a childhood favorite for your own little one, too!
BEST FRIENDS PLAY-A-SOUND BOOK AND CUDDLY SNOOPY
This play-a-sound book comes with its own adorable mini-Snoopy plush—essentially making it two gifts for the price of one! Aimed at the toddler on your list, the book spotlights the topic of best friends from the Peanuts point-of-view and features three buttons that highlight a different sound from the story when you press them. Available for $11.99 at Toys R Us or wherever books are sold.
Any little child will love this book! With coordinating buttons to cue each page, your little reader will love to hear the sounds form the Peanuts Gang! Along with a plush, stuffed Snoopy, this will be a great treat for little ones! The book is small enough for little hands, hard pages to prevent bending and tearing, and the sounds really encourage the reader to look for sight words and press the button to hear the sounds. This is an excellent book that will make a great gift for any occasion!
GIFT SET #3:
GOOD GRIEF, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!
The Peanuts gang believes in “growing up without growing old” and that’s the message behind this hilarious book filled with famous celebrity quotes paired with artwork from the classic Peanuts comic strip. Among the celebrities quoted are George Burns, Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, and of course, Charles M. Schulz himself! Perfect for anyone on your list celebrating a birthday in December and beyond. Available at Target or wherever books are sold for $9.66.
This book is perfect for any person, as you celebrate that special birthday! I love the quotes that correspond with each Peanuts character. Each quote makes you smile, laugh, reminisce, and will definitely make a great birthday gift for a loved one!
CLASSIC PEANUTS PAINT-BY-NUMBER KIT
For the budding artist, The Classic Peanuts Paint-by-Number Kit provides everything you need to make five paintings of iconic Peanuts moments. From a group shot of Charlie Brown and the gang to Snoopy as Joe Cool, bring the charm and nostalgia of the classic comic to the canvas. Inside the box, you’ll find five paint-by-number canvases and stands, 10 acrylic paints, paintbrush, and a book exploring the comic’s great moments. Available for $15.25 at Barnes and Noble or wherever books are sold.
This is the gift that is perfect for any person that loves to paint! I was quite impressed with the quality of the paper, which has numbers corresponding with the paints. Of course, any artist can deviate from the suggestions! I also love the little book enclosed! This makes a great gift for the artist in your life! After each page is painted, the hard back pictures can easily be framed!
We all love Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang, especially if you are child of the 80’s/90’s. However, this is a fantastic way to introduce your beloved cartoon characters to your own children, grandchildren, friends, students, etc. Books in the Burbs is quite excited to introduce these fantastic gift ideas, as well as offer a few giveaways!
US entries only.
When you fill out the form, your information doesn’t appear on my blog. It is sent to me directly. The 3 winners chosen will have their addresses sent directly to the publisher, who will mail the gift sets directly.
Giveaway ends December 18, 2014.
I suppose every reader has a guilty pleasure. For me, my guilty pleasure is reading “Chick-lit”. I first started reading Chick-lit books with the Bridget Jones Diary series, and from there would pick up a book here and there, to read. It’s not a genre I read all the time, so when I do, it has to be a book that really calls my attention. There are just so many books out there, so how do you choose, right?
They synopsis was quite interesting in New Money, which I read about a year ago. I love the Cinderella themed novel, and Savannah is a character I really liked. You can read my review here.
I am also a huge fan of sequels and trilogies! I love a great book series because I have a chance to read more about my favorite characters and their adventures! So, I am quite happy that Lorraine decided to write the sequel to New Money: Independently Wealthy. She has graciously given some of her time for an interview, for you all to read! There is also a giveaway, because you know…we all love a free book!
Savannah Morgan had high hopes. She dreamed of becoming a writer and escaping her South Carolina town, where snooty debutantes have always looked down on her. But at twenty-four, she’s become a frustrated ex-cheerleader who lives with her mother and wonders if rejecting a marriage proposal was a terrible mistake. Then Savannah’s world is shaken when she learns the father she never knew is Edward Stone, a billionaire media mogul who has left Savannah his fortune on the condition that she move to Manhattan and work at his global news corporation. Putting aside her mother’s disapproval, Savannah plunges into a life of wealth and luxury that is threatened by Edward’s other children—the infuriatingly arrogant Ned and his sharp-tongued sister, Caroline, whose joint mission is to get rid of Savannah. She deals with their treachery along with her complicated love life, and she eventually has to decide between Jack, a smooth and charming real estate executive, and Alex, a handsome aspiring writer/actor. Savannah must navigate a thrilling but dangerous city while trying to figure out what kind of man her father truly was.
1. Independently Wealthy is the sequel to New Money. What do you hope readers will enjoy most about this sequel?
Lorraine: I hope readers will enjoy the evolving relationships between the characters and seeing that by the end of the story, many of these characters have changed a great deal from who they were in the first book. I also hope readers will enjoy that a big part of the story takes place in a wonderful setting—NYC during the holidays.
2. In what ways do you think Savannah grows more in this novel?
Lorraine: In New Money, Savannah was abruptly thrown into a situation that was very fortunate, but it was also filled with treachery, conflict, and hard feelings. Being a wealthy heiress in Manhattan was completely foreign to her, so she didn’t always know how to navigate this world filled with people who want to take her down. In Independently Wealthy, some time has passed since she arrived in NYC, so she has become more comfortable with her new circumstances. But the way in which Savannah grows most is through her relationships—especially with her half-brother (Ned) and half-sister (Caroline). In New Money, Ned and Caroline were devastated that their father left his fortune solely to Savannah, and they were understandably resentful toward her. Toward the end of that story, Caroline had reasons to soften toward Savannah, and their relationship continues to grow in Independently Wealthy. Ned’s relationship with Savannah slowly changes throughout Independently Wealthy—and both of these characters change, too.
3. Which character did you most resonate with?
Lorraine: I think authors generally resonate most with their main characters—probably because we spend so much time with them! So I would say that I related most to Savannah. Despite her glamorous life, she really is just a regular girl!
4. What would you like your readers to learn most from your novel?
Lorraine: Readers interpret literature based on their individual personalities, values, and taste—so I think everyone will view the story and characters uniquely and learn something different from my book. However, a main theme in this series is that people are often quite different from how they appear on the surface—and it’s important to understand their circumstances and background before judging them.
5. Prior to this sequel, you wrote your first novel: Other Words for Love. How different was the writing process for you this time?
Lorraine: My writing process was the same, but the style was different. Other Words for Love is quite introspective and somewhat literary, while New Money and Independently Wealthy are more fast-paced. The time period is also different, as Other Words for Love takes place in the 1980s, and the New Money series is set during the present day—so when writing each story, I had to make sure the real-life references, characters’ values, etc., accurately reflected the time period.
6. How challenging is it for you to write a book knowing that it will be sequel? Does that impact your writing the first novel: New Money?
Lorraine: The challenge of writing a novel that will be followed by a sequel is being sure to wrap up all the storylines in a way that is satisfying to the reader but leaves enough room to continue the story.
7. For aspiring writers: what is the one piece of advice you would like to share with them?
Lorraine: Aspiring authors should always keep in mind that writing is extremely subjective. Just because an agent, an editor, or anyone else tells you that he/she doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean it isn’t good—it just means the reader didn’t make a connection. When that happens, don’t allow it to discourage you or make you doubt your abilities. Listen to people’s criticism, take from it what you think is valid, and discard the rest. Don’t allow criticism to stop you from writing or make you give up trying to become a published author. Some people might not care for your work—but there might be many others who will love it. Just keep looking for those people, and always keep writing.
8. Paper/pen or computer: Which method do you prefer when writing?
Lorraine: I write all of my novels on a computer—but when I’m not in my office and ideas pop into my head, I reach for the paper/pen to write them down.
9. Day/night/afternoon: Which time of day do you feel most productive when writing?
Lorraine: I usually write during a 9 to 5 schedule, but I do work a lot of nights and weekends. I have often felt that I am most productive very late at night. It’s easier to become absorbed in a scene when it’s quiet and there are no interruptions.
10. How do you best prepare for writing a novel?
Lorraine: It’s really just a lot of thinking—and listening to music helps, too. Music is very inspirational and can also evoke the emotions that I want to capture in particular scenes.
Thank you for time!
You are welcome! Thanks so much for having me here.
About the Author:
I was born and raised in New York City, where I went to high school in Queens at St. Francis Prep:
www.sfponline.org. I graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa: www.usf.edu with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. I also earned a Master’s degree in English, with a concentration in American and British Literature, from Northern Kentucky University: www.nku.edu, which is located just across the bridge from Cincinnati.
When I’m not writing, I like to read, work out, and spend time with my husband. I also enjoy keeping up my lifelong hobby of being a devoted TV & film buff.
Follow Lorraine on Twitter!
Win 1 copy of Independently Wealthy
Add your email and answer this question in the comment section:
What is one interesting tidbit you enjoyed from Lorraine’s interview and/or the synopsis for her new book?
US entries only.
Giveaway ends December 20, 2015
“The queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” —Los Angeles Magazine
Syrie James is the bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Jane Austen’s First Love, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, Nocturne, Dracula My Love, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages, awarded the Audio Book Association Audie, designated as Editor’s Picks by Library Journal, named a Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association, a Discover New Writer’s Selection by Barnes and Noble, and Best Book of the Year by The Romance Reviews and Suspense Magazine.
Syrie is a member of the WGA and a life member of JASNA (the Jane Austen Society of North America). She spent many years as a screenwriter and enjoys writing both novels and screenplays. Syrie writes practically every weekday. She says, “Many people can’t wait for the weekend to arrive. It’s the opposite for me. I truly love my jam-packed weekends, but from the time I turn off the computer on Friday evening to the moment I’m back in my chair on Monday morning, I’m anxious to get back to the characters I left in limbo, who are just waiting for me to continue their story.”
Syrie was named after a character in a radio show that her mother listened to as a girl. Today, Syrie is thrilled that her name is pronounced the same as Siri, the iPhone personal assistant–even if they spell the name incorrectly. :)
Syrie was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and moved west at age one because her father didn’t like shoveling snow. She has lived most of her life in California, if you don’t count the two years as a child when she lived in France.
Connect with the Author:
1) What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve learned during your research for this book?
When I first proposed to write about Jane Austen’s romance with Edward Taylor, the young man upon whom she had admittedly “fondly doated” in her youth, I couldn’t find much information about him. Jane refers to Edward Taylor several times in her letters with affection, and I learned that he was heir to Bifrons Park, an estate in Kent—but that was it. Austen biographers didn’t seem to know any more than that. They referred to Edward Taylor as the “shadowiest of Austen’s suitors,” and most (I later realized) got his age wrong, apparently copying inaccurate data from one text to the next. I worried that I was going to have to create a back story for him entirely out of my imagination, which didn’t satisfy me. I wanted to know the real Edward Taylor. Who was he? Why had Jane Austen been so fond of him?
I spent many months buried in research, looking for nuggets about Edward Taylor. I found his actual birth date, the date of his marriage, the college he’d attended at Oxford, and the fact that he’d served in the army (unusual for a first son and heir). This only piqued my curiosity even more. Then, quite unexpectedly, I came upon The Taylor Papers (1913), the memoirs and letters of his brother, Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Taylor, published many years after his death. It was a gold mine of information which revealed that Edward Taylor was a member of a large and remarkably accomplished family who had spent most of their formative years living and traveling on the continent, where they were all educated by private masters and became fluent in five languages. No wonder Jane Austen fell in love with this extraordinary young man! It was thrilling to know that I’d discovered something so precious that was unknown to Austen biographers, and exciting to bring the real Edward Taylor to life in my novel, Jane Austen’s First Love.
2) If someone has never read Jane Austen, what book of hers do you recommend they start with?
I adore all of Austen’s novels, but I recommend that newcomers begin with Pride and Prejudice. Austen called the book “my own darling child,” protesting (in jest) that it was perhaps “too light, and bright, and sparkling” —and sparkle it does. There’s a good reason why it’s Austen’s most popular work. It begins not with Austen’s usual introductory prose, but with a lively, charming conversation that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. The story arc is so brilliantly constructed that it’s been endlessly imitated. The characters are so memorable and so beautifully drawn that they are some of the best-known and most-loved in all of fiction. Mr. Darcy has become a fangirl phenomenon, and even Jane Austen adored her heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. As she confessed in a letter to her sister, “I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.” Price and Prejudice is fun and funny, it tugs on your heart strings, and it’s almost impossible to put down. What more could one ask for in a book?
3) Why do you think Austen’s novels continue to resonate with readers today?
Jane Austen was a brilliant craftsman who wrote with elegance and wit. I think her books are timeless because she created such clever storylines and characters who are so familiar to us. We all know an attention-seeking hypochondriac like Mrs. Bennet or Mary Musgrove, a handsome rogue like Willoughby or Wickham, and an imperious matriarch like Lady Catherine—and we sympathize with the heroes and heroines, who wrestle with social, emotional, and economic problems similar to those we experience today. Another reason Austen’s works are so beloved today is that, through the experiences and choices of her characters, she subtly shows us the right way to live, and how to be the best people we can be. Austen’s novels are funny but heartfelt. They provide a pleasurable way of connecting to a past era that we view as romantic. But ultimately, what attracts us to Austen now is probably what’s been attracting people to her for two centuries: anyone, at any time, can relate to falling in love. When we read an Austen novel, it’s easy to believe that there’s a great love out there for everyone, if only we are wise enough and patient enough to know how and where to look.
4) Jane Austen’s First Love almost feels like it was written by Austen herself. How do you channel her voice in your writing?
Thank you for the kind words! To keep Jane Austen’s voice in my head while I was researching and writing Jane Austen’s First Love, I re-read her novels and letters over and over again, and restricted my other reading to books about Jane or those written by other authors in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I also meticulously checked dictionary.com to make sure that every word I wrote had been in use in the English language in 1791, when the story took place. I may have inadvertently included a few anachronisms, but I did my best. I felt it was critical, in this novel as well as in my previous books, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, that the voice be as close to Austen’s as possible, so the reader could feel they were truly communing with Jane—and I’m delighted that you feel I’ve accomplished it!
In the comments section-
Include your email address and answer this question:
What is one aspect of the book or interview that interests you the most about this novel?
Giveaway ends December 19, 2014.
US entries only.
***Responses without emails can’t be included in giveaway, as I have no way to contact winner without email.
If you’ve been following this blog for the past few years, then you know how much I love e-readers. I’ve written posts about the different readers I’ve purchased, too!
Yep, so I am an e-reader junkie, and am not ashamed to say it.
I love e-readers because:
1. easy it is to buy a book (no more searching at stores or ordering online and waiting)
2. easy to download with the click of a button, it’s typically cheaper (as opposed to a paperback)
3. no book light needed (because of the lighting within the reader)
4. no more bulky carry on bags ( I used to have 2-3 books with me anytime I went somewhere)
5. More convenient and easier to find sales.
After many tablet changes and upgrading readers, I was finally at a point where the new readers just didn’t call my attention. UNTIL, I started to get really annoyed with my 1st version Kindle Paperwhite and the lack of page numbers and/or percentage information at the bottom of each page. Granted, it does give a location and percentage rate for books I have purchased from the Amazon bookstore. However, I typically read books sent to me by publishers and download them through NG and Edelweiss. Those are the books I read without any frame of reference to how many pages I have left, where I’m at in the book, and how far I should read as a way to pace myself.
I went to Best Buy, broke down and bought the 2013 Kindle Paperwhite. It’s 4 gb, as opposed to 2. It does give percentage rates for books downloaded from outside sources, and runs a little faster-so the pages are smoother. While at Best Buy, I did get to play with the other Kindle devices and even thought of purchasing a Kindle Fire 6. The Kindle HDX 7 is too bulky for reading, so I had no interest in it. The Kindle Fire 6 is perfect for readers because it’s about the same size as the Kindle Paperwhite, not much thicker or heavier. I also liked that you can check your emails and use many great Amazon apps. It even has text to speech! How cool is that? The reason I didn’t go for that one, even though it is only $99 is because I use my phone and ipad for pictures, checking social media, watching movies, etc. When I read a book, I don’t want to have to continuously charge the reader because I am using it for other things, too.
I looked at the Kindle Voyage. It’s a little lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite and does have the option to turn pages by pressing the device sides (like the older versions). However, it doesn’t have text to speech, doesn’t have 3g wifi (unless you pay extra), it still comes with ads (unless you pay extra), and is just priced too high above the Paperwhite that I couldn’t see myself paying that much more. I did like the landscape option to read your book, however it’s not that big of a deal to make the larger investment.
So, that is why I purchased the Kindle Paperwhite 2013 version. I still have my Nook Glowlight, which I use to read books I’ve purchased. I love to support small business, and in my opinion, Amazon is Goliath and Barnes and Noble is David. So, I tend to buy Nook books more than Amazon purchases. I also have a loyalty to Barnes and Noble because of their excellent customer service and anytime I have an issue, I can take my reader to the store and someone will help me with it. I don’t have to deal with online customer service support or calling someone. It’s just good ole’ fashion customer service!
While at Barnes and Noble, I did see the Samsung tablets and wasn’t impressed with them either. Again, the 7 inch for both Nook and Kindle seem to be bulky for reading. Since I read a lot, I need something that is light! Again, I don’t need the extra features because I don’t plan to use them.
I also went to the new Microsoft store in the mall and fell in love with the HP Stream 6. It’s small, easy to handle and you can add both Nook and Kindle apps to the device. You can read and write using Microsoft Tools (already installed), watch movies, and use it for anything really (aside from a phone). It is also only $99! That’s an awesome buy! However, I also know that my eyes are sensitive to back lights and no matter how dim I put the settings, my eyes will suffer. So, I had to pass on that one, too.
I’ve come to realize, less is more. I like simple. I just want a reader that I can use to read books. I don’t want all the extra gadgets. That’s what I have my phone for. I remember I used the Nook HD, before I switched to the Glowlight, and hated it. Why? Because the battery ran down quicker, my eyes hurt from the backlight (no more how dim I had it), and it was too big for me.
I have come to conclusion that I just like simplicity. Perhaps if I was younger and had grown up gadgets, it would make sense to get a tablet to use as a reader. However, I just don’t like things complicated, and tablets are complicated. I have my ipad and use it for everything except making a phone call and reading. I use my phone to text and take pics. I also use it look at social media. However, I love my e-reader because when I just want to get away and read, I can leave my phone and ipad behind and just read undisturbed!
I’m the one with multiple gadgets, but each serve important purposes. I have accepted the fact that there isn’t a device at there that will suit all my needs, and that’s okay, too. For now, I am the one toting devices around, rather than books and loving every minute of it!
Which device do you use and what do you love most about it? I look forward to reading your comments!
I was downloading some freebies onto my Nook and came across so many children’s books that are free right now! I haven’t read them, can’t endorse them, but they are free! If you have the Nook Tablet, Nook HD, or any other colored Nook device, you should be able to download them!
As always, before you download them, make sure the price is still “free”. Sometimes these books are free for a very limited time, and I don’t know when that will change for each book. I am not an affiliate and do not receive any points or compensation.
Lots of great books! Simply click on the book cover and you will be directed to Barnes and Noble for that particular book.
Welcome to the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!
I love participating in hops! It’s my way of giving thanks to you, for stopping by to read my humble, little blog. This is an easy hop, so I hope you will stop by other blogs and enter those book giveaways, too!
The accident was just that — an accident. It was dark, it was raining, ALISON had two drinks in her, and the other car ran the stop sign. She just didn’t get out of the way fast enough. But now a little boy — not her own — is dead, and Alison finds herself trapped under the twin burdens of grief and guilt, and feeling increasingly estranged from her husband . . .
CHARLIE, who has his own burdens. He’s in a job he doesn’t love so that Alison can stay home with the kids (and why isn’t she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city each day. And the only thing can focus on these days is his secret, sudden affair with . . .
CLAIRE, Alison’s best friend. Bold where Alison is reserved; vibrant where Alison is demure, Claire has just had her first novel published, a thinly-veiled retelling of her childhood in South Carolina (which is also Alison’s, in a sense). But even in the whirlwind of publication, Claire can’t stop wondering if she should leave her husband . . .
BEN, an architect who is thoughtful, kind, and patient. And who wants nothing more than a baby, or two — in fact, exactly the kind of life that Charlie and Alison have . . .
Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: everything is about to change.
My review can be found here.
To enter, please read the rules and then fill out the form below.
- Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog.
- You do not have to be a follower of my blog or become a follower, although if you like my blog I hope you will! You can follow by email or through different social media sites, that you can find on the right of my blog bar.
- There will be one winner.
- You need a US address.
- Fill out the form below. You can enter the giveaway until Wednesday November 5th. I will close the giveaway when I turn on my computer on November 6th (Central time).
- Tweet about the giveaway for ONE extra entry. Use this text: Win Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline @booksintheburbs, in the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by @Leeswammes. http://booksintheburbs.com/2014/11/01/the-literary-blog-hop-november-1-5-2014/
- I will notify the winner by email. The winner need to answer my email within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner.
- That’s it! Good luck and thanks for playing.
Now start blog hopping!
For more giveaways check out these blogs. There are some real treasures out there for grabs!
Giveaways are worldwide, meaning people from most or all countries of the world can enter, unless mentioned otherwise.
I don’t know if it’s due to the economy, road construction, or more people moving down South, but there has been an increase of homeless people on the corner of almost every big street. As a family, it is our rule to never give money to panhandlers. However, we donate money and items to shelters and organizations that help different causes we believe in: homeless vets, women and children, school drives, etc.
Yesterday, my husband, daughter, and I went to a cafeteria for dinner. It was a little late and we were in a hurry to get our daughter home for bedtime. As we pull into a parking lot, my husband notices this man slowly walking towards a dumpster to sit down. E and I talk about it briefly, and agree for him to invite this person to get a plate of dinner with us. The man, whose name is Ron, is hesitant and apprehensive. However, he takes a chance and goes inside with us. We have never invited a homeless man to come eat with us, but we weren’t driving anywhere, the place is pretty public, and E felt spiritually led to invite him for a meal.
The minute Ron enters the building, everyone turns to stare at him. He is dirty, has flip flops so worn and weathered, that they almost meld with his skin. He looks overwhelmed and wants to leave, but we let him know that he is our guest and will be okay. He has never eaten at this place and doesn’t know what to expect. As my husband guides him through the line, the workers don’t know how to approach him, until they realize he is with us. As soon as I get nervous, two police officers come in behind us to order, too. It was reassurance, but also showed us that God was in control and we were to do His will, not ours.
Ron asked what he should eat, and E told him what he typically orders, so that is what was ordered. He didn’t want to sit with us, because he felt he was imposing, but we encouraged him and let him know he was safe. So, he ate with us. We prayed, and ate our meal together. During the meal, E and Ron had their military service in common. Both were in the Army, both worked in communications in the service, and E was stationed in the city that Ron used to live at. We talked about his mom, his only child-a son, and about his dreams and past. We laughed, talked, and shared a lot. Through the course of our conversation, it really moved me to see that this was a young man: 52 years old, who served our country, is homeless, has to panhandle for money to help with food, has a lot of health issues that prohibit him from getting a manual labor job (no formal education), and the shame he feels because of his homelessness. That night, he was treated as all should be treated: with dignity. He was amazed by the customer service and was shocked to see the waitress refill his drink, give him a cup to go, and just made him feel at home.
Before he left, we gave him a gift card so that he can go back and get a meal. We talked to him about what to expect from service there, and what he can get while there. He was amazed to know he could use their restroom, too. He has a little AM/FM radio and loves to listen to the Houston Texans. So, we told him to go on Sundays to watch the game and enjoy a meal, and to enjoy his time there. He almost cried when he saw the card, and told us that no one has ever given him something that nice and without expectation.
We asked if he had any prayer needs, and he requested prayer for his prostate. He goes to the VA and gets his meds and treatment. Please keep Ron in your prayers and that he feel surrounded by God’s peace. He felt safe after we were finishing up dinner to tell us where he camps, in case we wanted to go by and visit him. So, we walk back to the vehicle, he gives a hug, tells us thank you, and watches us drive off. We told him we were honored to call him friend and he smiled and was so happy. He said that maybe next time he will be the one to treat us with a cup of coffee, and we said we would love that. It gave him so much joy to know we plan to visit him again.
I wouldn’t recommend picking up a homeless man to offer him a meal. However, if you see one, it would be nice if you stop to give them some fries, a drink, maybe even a smile. Don’t be unsafe, but always follow the nudge of the Holy Spirit, because we never know who God wants us to meet. Ron truly felt that it was God led, as we did too, because he has a oncology appt. next week and last night we were able to pray for him. We don’t know what will happen, but we do know that for that hour, we all got to laugh, reminisce, and enjoy friendship, over a delicious meal.