Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Newsletter Part Four

Holiday Fun:

Here are some fun blogger holiday memories!

My grandmother thought she was genius one year and conned my dad into transposing music geared towards the different instruments my family members used to play (or at least play less frequently) so that we could play Christmas carols. It started off as a present to my grandfather (I'm sure he's happy to be going deaf now when the holidays come around) and turned into tradition. Let's just say that we maybe meet once - usually not all of us - to practice and then it's the big performance. I play the glockenspiel - which is basically a bells set. Always makes the holidays a hoot around my house.

Play It Out:

This is where we make a playlist for a book we read. If you want to make one email Ashley or Laina.

Title: Breaking up is Really Really Hard to Do
Author: Natalie Stanford

The tunes:
1. Without You- Hinder
2. Fearless- Taylor Swift
3. Here comes Goodbye- Rascal Flatts
4. If I Were a Boy- Beyonce
5. Seventeen Forever- Metro Station
6. Love Like This- Natasha Bedingfield
7. Missing You- Black Eyed Peas
8. Give me the Meltdown- Rob Tomas
9. Meet me Halfway- Black Eyed Peas
10. Feelings show- Colbie Caillat


Please welcome new crew member, Chase.

This month, I’ll be spotlighting 2 books that will be adapted into movies in 2010. Enjoy!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

The Lightning Thief
is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Ever since this book was released, it’s been getting rave reviews. So it doesn’t really come as a surprise that it would be made into a movie someday. Filled with action, humor, and tons of pop culture references, this book is sure to appeal to readers. I absolutely love the film poster because I thought it was homage to the book cover. Well, sort of...

The Last Song

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Summary: Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father... until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels - first love, love between parents and children - that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

Now who doesn’t like a good ol’ love story? (Well, some guys don’t, but personally I think they’re just pretending to hate it when in fact they read romances under their covers with a flashlight like me) Nicholas Sparks brings us another coming-of-age tale that is sure to rival, and possibly surpass his previous works. The special thing about this novel is that it was written after Sparks wrote the screenplay for the film, which is imagined as a star vehicle to introduce Miley Cyrus to older audiences.

Author's Say:

10 Reasons I Love Christmas by Laura Wiess

  1. Tis the season to wear velvet, fa la la la la, la la la la. (Soft, plush and luxurious: I indulged in a funky, black velvet maxi coat this year and I swear I'm going to wear it until falls off of me in rags.)
  2. My sister's Christmas cookie extravaganza. (She bakes - I'm not kidding - something like 35 different kinds of cookies, with like four dozen each. And then she gives them all away! I love my sister.)
  3. Snow on Christmas Eve. (Okay, that's never a sure thing but there was snow last year and it was magical, so I'm hoping it happens again.)
  4. Donating to my favorite charities, including the Humane Society, assorted animal rescues, the local soup kitchen, and the Salvation Army bell-ringers standing outside of the stores. (I never miss an S.A. basket. I figure if they can stand out in the freezing cold for hours on end, trying to help people, then the very least I can do is oblige them.)
  5. Scoring what I hope is the perfect gift for someone, then watching them open it, and seeing that yes, it really was.
  6. Christmas carols and church bells. Both make me cry. So do holiday movies. I'm a total sap this time of year, and I love it all. Especially this one: here
  7. Walking into my parents' house calling, "Merry Christmas!" and hearing my family call back. (I love the happy welcome and the smiles in their voices.)
  8. Family, friends, kindness, laughter and Santa. And the jingle horse.
  9. Decorating the tree, and the memories that come with each of the ornaments
  10. A crisp, clear, night sky full of stars, a fireplace with a crackling fire, cats curled up sleeping, a tree with twinkling lights, laughter, fresh coffee, good music, a heart full of joy, peace and gratitude, and a wish that everyone and everything everywhere is warm, well-fed and loved. Happy holidays!


Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Such a Pretty Girl, Leftovers and most recently How It Ends. Visit Laura at or for more info.

Win one of 3 of her signed books for the 25 Guests of Christmas. The link for the contest is

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