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.
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11/30/20
Merry Christmas wishes to all…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 7:35 pm
I hope each of you are well and safe, and that everyone who wanted a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving had one to eat. We had an unusually quiet Thanksgiving dinner for three, with just us and a dear friend whose family was unable to travel home for that holiday. I’m so thankful for the technology that allows us to see family through Facetime, Zoom, etc. I especially missed the little great-grands so much but their phone hugs on Facetime were sweet. Their boundless energy kept my daughter’s house hoping instead of ours!

We’re wearing face-masks as we’ve been for the past several months, practicing social distancing and washing our hands till they are almost raw. But still Covid has raised its ugly head in our extended family. So far they’ve recovered, one after a week of ICU and the other after a few days at home feeling miserably sick. It is what it is, sums up the situation we all find ourselves living through.

My daughter encouraged me to decorate early for Christmas. I’d never decorated until the day after Thanksgiving before and decided to try it this year. I love it, the days after Thanksgiving were much more enjoyable since the decorating was already completed. I love the pretty decorations and all the cheerful lights. I think we’ll decorate early from now on. 

I have Good News and Bad News. First I’ll share the Bad News: my writing friends and I have mutually agreed to stop our three author/one book project. We remain dear friends but realized it was becoming more challenging the further we advanced the book. We learned why three writers don’t write one book. At first it was such fun, then the more we built the story, the more it felt like we were trying to combine three different books into one. So the Good News is that’s what we are going to do. We will each take the characters we developed and each write our own book, much like we’ve done in the past with our other books.

Okay, I realize this is a bit unusual, BUT since it is my blog and my book - I decided to mention my Christmas novel, Pressure Cooker Christmas, 2017. I know that many of my blog readers have already read this book. I’m also aware that there are those who haven’t taken the time to read it yet. I’m proud of this novel and I encourage you to take time this Christmas season to read it. We all have more time to read this December than any previous ones… since there are no parties to attend this year. It’s available online or through any book-seller. Below is one of the many excellent reviews:
 
  Pressure Cooker Christmas is a charming Christmas story of a large extended family who
celebrates the holiday together.
  It is
centered around a mother who wants to make Christmas perfect until the
pressures of real life affect the family. Choices are made, love is given, and
families unite while finding the true meaning of love, family, forgiveness,
resiliency, and the hope of Christmas. 
This book makes you think of your own holiday expectations and the
pressures women can put on themselves to have that Norman Rockwell portrait of
the perfect family, while living in an imperfect world.  It is a great read for Christmas or any
season of one’s life.”            
Deborah Tippett, Ph.D., Professor, Meredith College,
Raleigh, NC

Pressure Cooker Christmas: Willow Lane, Book 1

 
*I’ve a found a new place to buy books Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, they have a great selection of books, none published this year, but many recent bestsellers are available at rock bottom prices.They have a great selection of high quality children’s books. I’d heard of Ollie’s for years but only recently discovered it for myself. Check it out, you won’t be sorry you did.

My review of Saving Irene has been posted on Story Circle.org. Written by prolific writer Judy Alter. Fiction. 2020. It was a hoot! I loved it. Unforgettable characters, mayhem and plot twists. Please read the entire review by clicking this link:  https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/saving-irene-a-culinary-mystery/

My review of My Name is Layla has also been posted on StoryCircle.org. I also mentioned it on my October blog. You can read the review at this link: https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/my-name-is-layla/
I read a few good books:
All I want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia. Fiction. 2014. I bought this as a Christmas gift for a young adult granddaughter. It is a sweet Christmas novel that will be sure to put readers in a happy mood. (I always read the books I give my grandchildren, so that I can talk to them about the book after they read it, sort of our own little book club.)

Noel Street by Richard Paul Evans. Fiction, 2019. This novel dealt with stubborn family pride, the working poor, wealth, PTSD, racial issues, forgiveness, romance, reconciliation and, of course, Christmas. If you are Richard P. Evans fan, you will love it, if you haven’t yet read one of his books, you should try this one. It is one of his best.

The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere. Fiction. 2014. It’s another sweet Christmas read with great characters, tears, laughter and plenty of plot surprises. This writer has written dozens of Christmas books and each one that I’ve read is wonderful. I urge you to find one of her novels and find your Christmas glow this December.

How to Make a Life by Florence Reiss Kraut. Fiction. 2020. (Sent to me for review from Story Circle.)This is a fabulous family saga, starting in Ukraine in 1905 and ending in New York City in 2012. It’s an emotional journey that’s worth the time, unforgettable characters who deal with tragedies, triumphs, mental illness, adultery, poverty to riches. The writer takes us on a memorable well-researched and well-written journey through the 20the century. I highly recommend this novel.

We’ve seen three good movies this month:
We watched Let Him Go at our local movie theater. We were the only ones there, so we had a private showing. It was a dramatic western with lots of depth and well developed characters, set in the Dakotas in the1960s. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane starred in this movie. It was a bit dark in content but very good.

On DVD, Gettysburg,1993. many top ranking actors starred in this movie about the most famous battle of the Civil War. it  showed the travesty and heartbreak of war.

On DVD, One Christmas, 2009. Starring Katherine Hepburn and Henry Winkler. It was a sweet movie, “A timeless tale of love and impossible dreams.” We watched it after dinner on Thanksgiving afternoon.

We’ve also watched several Hallmark Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I can start a movie late and go to bed in the middle of the next one because I can always figure out what happened and how it will end. There are no surprise endings on the Hallmark movies! And they show so many re-runs that the same movies keep popping up over and over. But they’re great for unwinding when life gets too stressful.

Till next time, please stay safe and well.
Keep reading and try to enjoy this most special time of the year.

Later, Ann

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