Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
01/13/18
Happy New Year
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 2:42 pm

We had another snow storm last night. I just finished shoveling the sidewalks as well as a path for our dog, Lucas, to do his business behind our home. It is totally beautiful looking out at the winter wonderland but the wind makes it feel soo cold when out there. I’ve been inside for more than half hour and my bones still feel cold!

I realize my New Years greeting is a bit late. Are any of you still trying to keep your New Years Resolutions? This is the first year I did not make one, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort since I never kept one more than a few weeks anyway. I am what I am and that’s the way its going to be.

Since my December blog, I’ve been busy, though my family and friends know that ‘busy’ is sort of my middle name. My interview at WPSU was aired on Sunday morning, December 27th. If you are interested in listening to it, here’s the link:  http://radio.wpsu.org/post/bradford-author-pens-christmas-novel 

Also Pressure Cooker Christmas received another five star review from a Story Circle Reviewer:

                            _____________________________________________________


   

Pressure Cooker Christmas
by Ann McCauley



Willow Lane, 2017. ISBN 978-0-999-34150-6.
Reviewed by Diane Stanton
Posted on 01/08/2018

Fiction: Spirituality

(click on book cover or title to buy from amazon.com)

Remember those heart-warming Hallmark Christmas scenes? You know, the ones with the tall tree nicely trimmed, a variety of Christmas cookies frosted and sprinkled, Christmas presents neatly wrapped and stacked, and the extended family gathered closely before a roaring fireplace. I sat down to read Ann McCauley’s Pressure Cooker Christmas one week before Christmas in a family room sorely lacking in such Hallmark ambiance. I hoped this book would provide me with some insight, maybe some humor with which to approach my Christmas to-do list.

Marlene O’Malley is a working wife, mother, daughter, and grandmother. There is husband Bob who is a self-confessed curmudgeon. There are adult children: two daughters and a son and their respective mates and children, as well as a sprinkle of great grandparents. Each adds their own flavor of stress and complications. From a pending divorce to a wedding to addiction recovery to unforeseen accidents, Marlene maintains her cool under pressure. She strives to maintain a schedule that will enable her to celebrate the holiday with family the traditions that make it so special. It’s a juggling act we all try to sustain, but Marlene offers an example of how to do so with humor. It’s not the funny ha-ha kind, but there’s plenty of good humor that supports loved ones and friends with flexibility, grace and dependability.

This is a feel-good book and highly recommended as a realistic window on a contemporary woman trying to do it all.

________________________________________________________________________________

The week after Christmas I purposely took time to unwind, reading and relaxing with a toasty fire, visiting family and friends and no book promotions at all. We saw the movie, The Greatest Showman, it was wonderful! There were lots of previews for good movies that will be released in the coming weeks but mostly all the movies available to see in our area were geared to a far younger audience than us. We did finish binging on Longmire, season five and now we have to wait until season six is released. We love that show and can hardly wait!! The actor who plays Longmire, reminds me so much of my brother, Mike, that I sent him season one for Christmas. He loved it!

I received and read several good books for Christmas:

Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini, Historical fiction. A good book, I learned so much about the political intrigue of that era, in some ways –not so different from today’s politics! This author is an excellent writer, and researcher. She makes history come to life. Socialite Kate Chase had it all and then made a marital choice that turned her life upside down. The reader sees it coming and wants to shout into the pages, “NO, no…don’t do it.” But of course it doesn’t work that way. I highly recommend this book. It was a much appreciated Christmas gift.

Finding Refuge in World War II by Penelope S. Easton. Memoir. A wonderful slice of Americana, the writer was over 90 when she wrote this book. Her recall of details from so long ago is amazing and the adventures she shares makes this a must read slice of history to savor. Penelope’s positive attitude helped her cope with challenges. Her small-town common sense and values gave her the confidence to demand respect for her skills and knowledge. This is her second memoir, an extraordinary book. It was a much appreciated Christmas gift.

Promise Me ,Dad, by Joe Biden. Memoir. I loved this book. I have always been an admirer of the way Joe Biden has lived his life, his resilience through tragedy, and the depth of his family values. (I was a bit afraid this book would be all politics. Something I try hard to avoid!) I was happily surprised that politics were only a backdrop and it was a touching story of family love. It was a much appreciated Christmas gift.

Winter’s Tales, by Isak Dineson. Anthology- fiction. I haven’t quite finished this one yet, the author also wrote Out of Africa. I like the diversity of the characters in the stories I have read so far. It is nice to read a complete story or two during a short break. It is a very good book.  Another much appreciated Christmas gift.

Saints for All Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan. Historical fiction. I loved this one, I felt it was delicious and I couldn’t read it fast enough to see what was going to happen to the characters during all the plot twists…and then I felt disappointed when I finished the book. I did not want the book to end! I liked this writer so much, I looked her up online and ordered her other three novels. Another much appreciated Christmas gift.  

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan. Fiction. This novel was layered with multiple unique characters whose  depth and diversity kept me turning the pages, and oh the plot twists! It was complicated to follow, BUT worth the effort. I admire this young author who is so talented skilled. I bought this one myself. (Today her other two books arrived, so you can guess what I will be reading next!)

**BLOG READERS:  In an effort to start 2018 as professionally as possible, I have two requests:

1. IF you would prefer NOT to receive this blog each month, please reply back and say PLEASE REMOVE MY NAME FROM YOUR LIST.

2. I am starting a Willow Lane Newsletter that will be emailed monthly through a news feed. If you want to receive this Newsletter, please send me your email address. All who receive the monthly blog will NOT automatically receive the Newsletter. Only those who sign up will receive it. Pressure Cooker Christmas was the first in the new Willow Lane series. 

That’s all for now, please keep reading my friends!

Ann



One Response to “Happy New Year”

  1. Rebecca Ryan Says:
    I enjoyed the book Pressure Cooker Christmas very much. Our life in retirement no longer has the pressure cooker aspect that I had when the children were at home, our parents were living and I was teaching full time but I certainly remember trying to create a Hallmark Christmas. My Christmas decorations now are a collection of those things I truly love and the Christmas cookies are from John Williams unless the children are here. We also enjoy Christmas party evenings with our friends. We still like to entertain with a Christmas Tea and Carol Singalong and another evening with a few friends for dinner. I love to have the children here to open their gifts and enjoy a weekend of cozy fireplace days of laughter and fun. Like you I treasure those long, quiet days of watching the snowflakes fall and enjoying a good book. I found an article in Horizons, the Presbyterian Women’s Magazine about the Christian aspect of Louise Penny’s books. With this in mind I am re reading Still Life. I will put a copy of the article in the mail for you.

Leave a Reply