Saturday, December 26, 2015

Poppyseed Chicken (Or Turkey!) Casserole

Today is Boxing Day, and I have no idea what Boxing Day is....truly I don't.  Enlighten me if you want.  I even read a few English blogs, but I still don't get it.

Moving on.....

I have an easy and wonderful recipe for you especially if you have lots of leftover chicken or turkey. You are probably tired of the kitchen like I am.  It seems like I've been living in there for the past several weeks....actually I have been!  :/

Most Southerners have a Poppyseed Chicken Casserole in their family cookbook.  It's a great dish to take to potluck dinners, or for families who need a "mercy" meal.  Some folks use cream of chicken or cream of celery soup.  I prefer cream of chicken and mushroom, but it's truly up to your taste.



Sorry for the dark photos.  The weather hasn't been cooperating!  



Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:

3 - 4 c chopped chicken (I use 4)
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 16oz container sour cream (I use Daisy)
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild and I grate it myself)
3 T Poppy seeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed while still in sleeve
1/4 c butter, melted (sweet)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Spoon into a lightly greased 11 X 7 inch baking dish. Top with crushed crackers. Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand ten minutes before serving.

Serves 6 hungry people.

NOTE:  I like to start with the BEST chicken.  Recently when I hosted book club, I served this dish. I used chicken my husband had cooked on the Big Green Egg (it was a drunk chicken).




This is the best, most juicy chicken ever!  Just look at that browned skin and French herbs.  Yum!


When I made it yesterday, I used a chicken I'd roasted on Christmas Eve.  I have the best recipe for roast chicken, and it is so simple.  I will post instruction for that soon, but in the meantime, you can use all that leftover turkey you have in your fridge!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, December 25, 2015

Mini Gingerbread House Cupcakes




Merry Christmas!  I hope you are having a wonderful day.  We've been busy with many family activities and parties with friends, and I wanted to share with you what I thought would be a Pinterest fail.....but actually turned out okay.

Shanley Belle and I decided to bake Mini Gingerbread House Cupcakes and assemble the little house toppers.  Here is the original pin:







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Mini Gingerbread House Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cans creamy white frosting
24 Gingerbread Cupcakes  (see recipe below)
Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cookies or other chocolate covered peanut butter wafer cookie
Honey and oats chewy granola bars (make sure they are chewy!)
Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats
Chocolate wafer cookies
Variety of white dusting sugar and other decorative sugars
Fresh thyme sprigs
Decorative dragees 

Directions:

Set aside 1/3 cup of the Creamy White Frosting. Frost tops of cupcakes with the remaining frosting.

For houses, cut 2-inch pieces from chocolate-covered peanut butter wafer sandwiches. At top of each piece make an angled cut on each side to create a place to attach roof. For each roof, cut two 3/4-inch pieces of granola bar; gently press onto angle cuts on a wafer sandwich piece. If necessary, attach with frosting.  Frost roof as desired.  Cut a small 1/2 " X 1/8" piece from chocolate wafer cookie for chimney and attach to roof.  It works best if you cut it at an angle on the bottom where it meets the roof.

Add shredded wheat for doors and dragees for doorknobs, using frosting to attach.
Carefully place houses on cupcakes. Decorate with fresh herb sprigs as desired, using rosemary sprigs for evergreen trees and thyme sprigs for garlands. 

If desired, sprinkle tops of cupcakes with edible glitter for snow. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.



Gingerbread Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 package 2-layer-size vanilla cake mix
1 tablespoon Penzey's cake spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup molasses (I used Plantation brand Black Strap Molasses)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, except omit one of the eggs. Add cake spice and ginger to the cake mix. Add molasses and vinegar with the eggs. Fill muffin cups; bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

NOTE:  I replace vegetable oil with grapeseed oil when a cake mix calls for vegetable oil.




This one is a little mill house!  ;P






These cupcakes are truly the most delicious and moist cupcakes I've ever had.  I hope you try them!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


Merry Christmas 2015!


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Luke 2:11

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.


Merry Christmas, My Sweet Bloggy Friends!



Until next time...

Christmas Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Advent Day 24

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's tradition is in honor of Mr. Art @ Home who hails from New Orleans.  In Louisiana, residents build bonfires on the levees of the Mississippi River so Père Nöel can find his way to good boys' and girls' houses.


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Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Advent Day 23

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

In Sweden, the Yule Goat is one of the oldest Christmas Traditions. The goat has a connection to Thor as it was said he rode through the sky with a herd of goats pulling him. "The Yule Goat was originally said to be an ugly creature that frightened children, and demanded gifts at Christmas. In Scandinavia, people thought of the Yule Goat as an invisible creature that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that the Yule preparations were done right. During the 19th century its role shifted towards becoming the giver of Christmas gifts."

Some Swedish towns have huge goats in their town square, and families decorate for Christmas with them.  They are traditionally made from straw.
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1 John 3:7-8

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.



Until next time...
Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Advent Day 22 *plus* Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Recipe

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Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's tradition comed from Peru.  Hot chocolate joins panetón, lechón and turkey in Peru’s canon of Christmas foods. However, this is a bit strange, as Christmas falls in early summer in Lima. As María Pía Barrientos writes in El Comercio, “Hot chocolate is a marvelous, thick and warming beverage capable of heating you up if you’re about to step out into one of the earth’s poles. No one questions its exquisite flavor. But does it really make sense to drink it when the sun finally comes out and we begin to suffocate in the heat?”  Surprisingly, hot chocolate is not a popular drink during winter in Peru!



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Romans 5:10-11

10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.



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Recipe for Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

1/2 c milk
1/2 c heavy cream
1 heaping T Penzy's Spices Hot Chocolate Mix
1 1/2 - 3 t Williams-Sonoma Gingerbread Syrup

Procedure:

Whisk milk, cream, and hot chocolate mix together in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium-low heat until it begins to bubble.  Add syrup and whisk well.

Pour into mug and add whipped cream if desired.

Serves One.



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Gingerbread mug topper is from Anthropologie



Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent Day 21

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

In Spain, children open some presents on Christmas Day, but most are opened at Epiphany. Some children believe that the Kings bring presents to them at Epiphany. They write letters to the Kings on Boxing Day, December 26th, asking for toys and presents. And on Epiphany Eve (January 5th) they leave shoes on windowsills or balconies or under the Christmas Tree to be filled with presents. Gifts are often left by children for the Kings, a glass of Cognac for each King, a satsuma and some walnuts. Sometimes a bucket of water is left for the camels that bring the Kings! If the children have been bad, the Kings might leave pieces of coal made out of sugar in the presents!



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John 20:30-31

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.




Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent Day 20

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.


In Bolivia workers get double or three times the normal salary in December! This is called 'El Aguinaldo' and is a government law and has to be paid for by the employers. Many workplaces also give a 'Canastón de fin de Año' or 'End of the year basket' to their employees. It's a large basket or container full of things like grocery items, a bottle of cidra (non alcoholic sparkling cider) and a panetón (sweet fruit bread).




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John 18:37

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Advent Day 19

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

I would love to try this fun and *sweet* Welsh tradition:  Taffy-making.

This is how families whiled away the dark hours of Christmas Eve's night, leading up to the Plygain service. Toffee was boiled in pans on open fires and - this is a nice twist - dollops were dropped into icy cold water.

The taffy curled into all sorts of shapes - like letters. This was a way of divining the initials of the younger, unmarried family members' future loves.

In the dark hours on the morning of Christmas Day, before the cockerel crowed, men gathered in rural churches to sing. They sang mainly unaccompanied, three or four part harmony carols in a service that went on for three hours or so. That's Plygain.

This is a tradition which still thrives in parts of mid Wales.

~from the BBC



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Colossians 1: 15 - 20

He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For. . . all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, December 18, 2015

Advent Day 18 *plus* Literary Friday: The Bark Before Christmas and The Christmas Promise

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

My friend Barbara posted this fun tradition from Iceland on our book club page on Facebook.  The information is from Free Range Learning's FB page:

In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, and you spend the rest of the night reading. People generally take their books to bed along with some chocolate. How cozy and wonderful does that sound?

I think I love this one!  This is the *perfect* tradition for Literary Friday, and I want to adopt it! Plus I happen to have the perfect recipe for hot chocolate.  Just click on the featured post at the top of the sidebar!


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John 17:25-26

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”




LITERARY FRIDAY






This week I read The Bark Before Christmas, a Melanie Travis mystery, by Laurien Berenson, and The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere. 

from Goodreads:

“If you like dogs, you’ll love Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mysteries!” —Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling authorMelanie Travis has her hands full with her two young sons, a part-time job, and a half dozen Poodles to her name. But even with the busy holiday season approaching, she still has time to sniff out a Christmastime killer…

There’s nothing lovelier than Christmas in Connecticut, but Melanie can scarcely find a moment to enjoy the festivities. With her youngest son approaching toddlerhood, she’s decided to return to her old job at Howard Academy, a posh private school attended by the children of Greenwich’s well-heeled gentry. Balancing work, motherhood, and the hectic dog show circuit takes some fancy footwork, especially when the headmaster taps her to be the chairman of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.

The Christmas Bazaar is Howard Academy’s biggest and most important fundraiser, so Melanie feels the pressure to make it a huge success. She even enlists her longsuffering sister-in-law Bertie to help with the Santa Claus and Pets Photo Booth. But everything goes awry when a prize show dog goes missing and Santa turns up dead. The dog’s owner is one of the school’s most perfectly pedigreed alums, and she enlists Melanie to help find the purloined pooch. But just as Melanie starts pawing at the truth, she digs up a sleighful of sinister secrets that leaves everyone feeling less than merry…

The prize show dog that goes missing just happens to be a Westie named Kiltie.  Y'all know how much I love that breed, and Kiltie's owner, Sharon, is a horrible person.  She keeps her Westies far away from the house in a kennel.  Westies need their people!  I hated that part of the book, and I seriously considered giving the book one star because of it!

But this is truly a cozy Christmas mystery although the main character Melanie lives an exhausting life which is made even more complicated when she's held responsible for Kiltie's disappearance.  I did enjoy many of the characters, and Melanie's aunt who's a guru in the Standard Poodle show world, is so much fun!  I really did love her, and I'd read more books in this series just for this one character.  

One interesting side note is that the death/murder of the Santa Claus seemed less important than Kiltie's disappearance.  Or maybe it's just me....


Have you read any of the Melanie Travis mysteries?  I'd love to hear from you!






from Goodreads:

Each Christmas we are given a promise from heaven.  And each year on earth we make promises to each other. 

This is a story about how a promise from one person to another shows us the true meaning of faith, remembrance, and love.  Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely.  Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died.  Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need.  Whether it's a young mother who can't pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way. Miriam is a thorn in Gloria's side.  Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it's the ultimate test of patience and faith. 

Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson's Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he's made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. 

In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

This is one of the best Christmas books I've ever read.  Gloria is a mother after my own heart: She never gives up on her son, and she doesn't succumb to grief and despair.  Instead she tirelessly helps others in dire need.  Everything she does is in response to a Christmas promise she made many years ago.

Chaz's story was so touching.  He is one of the most developed characters I've ever read which is amazing considering it's a fairly short novel.  I would love to read another book about him!  Scripture says that a little child shall lead them, and the love of Donovan, the child of a co-worker, led Chaz out of a very dark place.  

I am impressed how VanLiere weaves several story lines together to merge into one Christmas miracle.  Christmas is a time for hope, redemption, and new beginnings.   The Christmas Promise reminds us how prayer can not only change our circumstances, but can change us, too.  I will probably read this book again.  It's definitely one for the keeper shelf, and it is my newest Christmas tradition.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent Day 17

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

In the Czech Republic, unmarried women stand in front of doors facing away from them.  They throw a shoe over their shoulder, and if it lands with the toe pointing towards the door, then they will be married within the year!



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Jeremiah 31:31

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah."


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent Day 16

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's tradition comes from Ireland.  January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, is traditionally when the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as Nollaigh na mBean in Irish (Women’s Christmas).  Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up, have a day out and treat themselves.  Methinks I like this tradition, and I do have some Irish blood.  Are you reading this, Mr. Art @ Home?



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John 17:18

18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our Hot Chocolate Bar *plus* Other Christmas Random

It's been a long time since I've posted a "normal" post other than Advent and Literary Friday posts, but we're finally home with no organized activities planned for several days.  YAY!!!!!  *doing my happy dance*

Pinterest and bloggy buddies' posts about Hot Chocolate Stations encouraged me to put one together for my family.  I made it on the large low bookcase behind our sofa facing our kitchen.  Here are some highlights:





I was standing in the kitchen facing out family room when I took this photo.




I received an early Christmas present:  Hot Chocolate Pot from MacKenzie-Childs.  The sugar caster holds vanilla sugar.







My sorority sister Fran gave me some delicious goodies for the Hot Chocolate Bar.  She also made me an ADORABLE scarf in Zeta turquoise!




We have hot chocolate spoons, a selection of sprinkles, peppermint, variety of marshmallows, and sugars for our cocoa concoctions.  




I added the tray in case of spillage.  I don't want to ruin our cute red and white ticking runner!










I decorated the bookcase, too.







Hot Chocolate Bars must needs cookies!




Ellen came to book club and brought me this sweet hostess gift.  She knows me very well...




and she brought me tea!!!







Arrangement for book club




Our sweet neighbors Chris and Nicole came over last night and brought us these delicious cookies.  I love the box, too!




Fat Santa just chillin'















Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Advent Day 15

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Some of my long-time followers know how much I love K-dramas, so *of course* I must feature South Korea on this year's Advent Calendar!  There are more Christians in Korea than any other Asian country (30% are Christian).  Koreans enjoy celebrating Christmas, and even non-Christians attend church during the Christmas season!  Sometimes Korean Santas wear blue rather than red. They also enjoy ordering Baskin Robbins Christmas ice cream cakes for their Christmas celebrations.


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John 10:10

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent Day 14

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, Canada is one of the oldest and largest Santa parades in the world! It started in 1913 when Santa was pulled through the streets of Toronto.  Everyone loves a parade, and a parade with a Santa theme?  *fun*



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Scenes from the Santa Parade



Hebrews 8:12

12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."



Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Advent Day 13

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's tradition is from Australia.  It's the beginning of summer during the Christmas season, and children are out of school from mid-December until mid-February.  On boxing day, Aussies enjoy visiting friends and having barbeques on the beach.  What a fun way to celebrate the season!



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Hebrews 8:6

6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Advent Day 12

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Although Germany is usually credited for giving the world the Christmas tree, the first Christmas tree was actually displayed in Riga, Latvia in 1510.  I love Christmas trees, and if you follow my Instagram feed you'll notice my love for them!



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The first half of my calendar is filled!



Hebrews 8:1-2

The High Priest of a New Covenant

8 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, December 11, 2015

Advent Day 11 *plus* Literary Friday: The Bridge

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's featured tradition is from China.  Only about one percent of Chinese people are Christian, and it's ironic because so many Christmas trees and decorations are manufactured in China,  and the folks making them have no idea for what purpose they serve!  

A tradition that's becoming popular on Christmas Eve is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called 'Ping An Ye' (which means quiet or silent night) and the word for apple in Chinese is 'Ping Guo' which sounds similar.



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Hebrews 2:14-15

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.


*********************************************************************************


Literary Friday





This week I read The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury.  It is a Christian novel with a Christmas theme.  It is our book selection for our book club this month, and The Hallmark Channel has made it into a movie.

from Goodreads:

Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships. Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

I want to preface my review with the fact that I rarely read Christian fiction.  I do read quite a bit of Christian nonfiction on a daily basis through Bible studies and devotionals, and I tend to be hyper-critical of Christian fiction.

I like The Bridge, both the novel and the bookstore.  I would love to have an Indie bookstore close to our home like this fictitious one located in downtown Franklin, Tennessee.  I love Franklin.  We lived in nearby Brentwood when we were newly married, and I went to graduate school at Belmont, so I enjoyed reading about Molly and Ryan's time at Belmont.  The flood in 2010 was devastating and so sad, but Franklin has bounced back.  One of the few problems I have with the book is the lack of responsibility shown by Charlie and Donna.  They had little savings, and even less insurance.  I also believe that if The Bridge was as special as it was depicted in the novel, then sales shouldn't have been that low.  In spite of the amazing deals and free shipping offered by Amazon Prime and the convenience of eReaders, people still like to buy local, and there will always be those of us who need the feel of a book in our hands (not to mention the smell of ink).  For these reasons, I have a harder time sympathizing with and relating to Charlie and Donna's plight.

I love Molly and Ryan's story.  They share a love for music and nineteenth century British literature, especially Jane Eyre.  Both quote the novel often which I find ironic because Jane is outspoken and speaks her mind.  Molly and Ryan are silent and do not speak up when they should, and this causes them both heartache.  

Told from multiple points of view (Molly, Ryan, Donna, and Charlie), Kingsbury gives us insight into what motivates these characters into making (sometimes) drastic decisions.  I was especially intrigued by Charlie's point of view.  Overall, this book's story is excellent and its Christmas message is sweet.  I also think it's a great read for anyone who appreciates special Indie bookstores, too.  




I must say that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED with The Hallmark Channel.  I couldn't wait to watch The Bridge, but it was only Part 1 will be aired this season.  We have to wait until Christmas 2016 for Part 2.  STUPID HALLMARK CHANNEL YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!



Here is the trailer for Part 1


What have you been reading lately?  I will not have a link party this week because I will be out of town at a horse show.  The link will be up next week, so I hope you'll link-up then!


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill