Posts Tagged With: christmas

My Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies

a winter holiday 2017-001Anyone that’s been following my blog lately knows I had a codename for ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES while it was in progress.  (The codename thing standard practice for me, for various reasons.)  In this case, the codename was HALLMARK.  What did that mean?  Well it referenced not only my addiction, but also my inspiration while writing.  That would be those holiday movies Hallmark Channel airs (on both channels… or is it three now?  I don’t get Hallmark Drama, sadly so I don’t know).

#1- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Can I start by admitting I love Henry Winkler?  That right there made this movie a must watch for me when I first ran across it.  But as I watched the story unfold, it was just so fun.  One problem after another presents itself.  And yes, they fall in love too fast.  Yes, they solve everything nicely, quickly, and neatly.  But, there’s no unnecessary drama and no characters that are the ones making themselves miserable.  There are so many warm fuzzies and funny moments.  It has so many plot elements we see in the holiday movies all rolled up into one, in a super enjoyable package.  This one is on my DVR for repeated viewing.

So what’s this one about?  A single mom is stressed out and wants Christmas over.  On the bright side, her favorite uncle is coming to spend it with her, her adorable son, and her super stuffy boyfriend.  On his way to her, the uncle meets a world traveler that ends up stranded as snow cancels his connecting flight.

#2- Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle
I love my holiday magic and stranger in town changes everything stories.  And I know people say that sequels are never as good as originals, but this one (and the second in the Brendan Fraser THE MUMMY series) beats the original!  How many are in this series?  Depends.  This is the second one with Doris Roberts as the star.  But there is a third movie with Robert Morrow, where he’s “Mr. Miracle.”

The low down on this movie is simple.  He’s trying to have a real Christmas while his father/boss/owner of the department store is trying to avoid it at all costs.  She’s looking after her enlisted brother’s son (because he’s off fighting in the war) and trying to have a career.  Mrs. Miracle shows up and mixes them all together for a happy ending, eventually.

#3- A Princess for Christmas
I wanted to put Christmas in Connecticut on the list here, but it seems Hallmark has stopped showing the Barbara Stanwick classic.  So I picked the movie that is terrible (scripting is stilted and sudden jumps in character development), but somehow it worms its sappy, sweet way into your heart.  Unless I watch this, it isn’t Hallmark Christmas movie season.  Plus, the actress of Lena Luthor of Supergirl is the main character!

The plot is simple.  The Jules takes her niece and nephew, who are under her care because her sister and brother-in-law died, to her brother-in-law’s family’s castle.  Her brother-in-law had been cut off for marrying a commoner and, now that he and his wife are dead, his father wants to connect with the grandkids.  Dreary castle gets new life and holiday spirit from the Americans!

Honorable Mention: Help for the Holidays
To be honest, this isn’t one of my favorites.  But I felt it bared mentioning because the plot is definitely the closest to my story ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES.  This movie stars Summer Glau (I know her from being in that too-soon-canceled, awesome sci-fi show FIREFLY).  She’s an elf sent to help a family find their Christmas spirit once more.

I do have other favorites from other channels and there are also my DVD standbys too.  However, if I started listing those, we’d be here all day!

So, please tell me.  What’s your favorite holiday movie?
What’s your favorite Hallmark holiday movie?
What’s your favorite holiday story?

Interested in WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017?
Print $18.99 * Ebook $4.99
Please Note:
“Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.

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“Rocking Christmas Wishes” Soundtrack

  When I chose to write a story based on a rock band I decided there had to be some music involved!  Here are the real songs, in the order they appear in and why I picked them.

Track 1- Ozzy Osbourne “Crazy Train”

Ok, I know this isn’t very Christmas like.  But this is the first song officially played in the story.  I chose it after doing some research and finding out this is a hard song to play and something that would be impressive.

Track 2- Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo”

When I think of rock and roll Christmas music, this is the gold standard for me.  Man, to this day I remember holiday shopping at the mall and passing by the Warner Brothers Store and this playing on the multi-monitor display in the center of the store.  Heck, I have the DVD and the CD, so I kind of couldn’t avoid putting it in here.  

Track 3- Radiohead “Creep”

Okay, not so Christmasy once again.  This time, I wanted a song that could explain La’s and Kris’ relationship. While often categorized as a song about stalking, I felt it reflected his “specialness” (being Santa) in contrast to her generally feeling like an outsider.  

Track 4- “Silent Night”

She plays this song twice in the story.  The first time is by herself after everything has gone wrong.  The second time, isn’t as sad (not spoilering).  I just wanted a traditional holiday staple, which was slow to reflect these moments where things got quiet.

So there you have it!  The four songs of “Rocking Christmas Wishes,” one of the stories is A Winter Holiday 2017.

a winter holiday 2017-001

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

Which was your favorite song on my list?
What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
How about favorite rock song?

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

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New Release: WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017

a winter holiday 2017-001.jpgText messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

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Guest Post by Caren Rich

Everyone say hi to the ever awesome, Caren Rich!  She’s blogging today as I recover from my daughter’s party last night.  She has a new book out, Tales of Christmas in the South.  Check it out! 

Thank you, Gloria, for letting me guest post today. I have been a Christmas freak since birth. I usually start decorating the day after Halloween and every surface is covered. My poor husband. I’ve even trained my children to help convince him that lights on the house are a necessity. At last count we had at least 30 strings of lights on the house, trees, shrubs, and Nativity. You could land a plane in my yard.  It’s only natural that Christmas has invaded my writing as well as my reading.

Most of my favorite Christmas books are children’s books. They’re fun and make me happy. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss is brilliant. Who doesn’t like a story where the villain becomes a hero? I’ve had a copy of When Joy Came: The Story of the First Christmas, by Pauline Palmer Meek, since I was old enough to beg my parents to read it to me. I still read it. If I come across a book with a hint of Christmas, I will read it. Genre is irrelevant. If it’s a picture book, I can’t part with my money soon enough.

gifts

In an adult fiction book with a Christmas theme, I like a mystery. I sat down to think which three were my favorites– it took a while. It felt like trying to pick favorites among friends. Each one had something to offer and is special in its own way. Even the bad ones are good. After much thought and chocolate I picked the ones that left an imprint on me personally. Whether it exposed me to something different or I fell in love with the characters, I was better for reading it. This is what I settled on:

1. Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, an anthology edited by Otto Penzler. This is a great collection of Christmas themed mysteries by some of the best mystery writers. Stories range from the dark, I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus, by Ed McBain to the light-hearted, What’s in a Name?, by Mary Higgins Clark. I’ve never been to the Mysterious Bookshop (New York), but I need to go. It’s on my bucket list. The shop is real even if the stories are fiction. It’s just great fun. Over a dozen short stories all centered around Christmas and a book store!

2. Blue Christmas, by Mary Kay Andrews. It’s Mary Kay! It’s Southern and funny.  One of my all-time favorites. This is a short read centered around one of my favorite characters, Weezie Foley. Only in the South can a grown woman be named Weezie. She owns an antique shop in Savannah and wants to win the window display contest. Things get ugly when someone sabotages her display. It’s a fun quirky ride through Christmas in Savannah.

3. The Spy Who Came For Christmas, by David Morrell. This breaks my happy rule, but it is a great suspense read from the guy who gave us Rambo. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s Christmas Eve and a desperate man seeks refuge with a tiny infant. It’s full of suspense, action, and intrigue. I could not put it down.

Now, it is October and a holiday list would not be complete without mention of a great Halloween book. I will admit, I haven’t read a Halloween-themed book that I love. If I’m going to read a scary book, I’m going to the Queen. Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire is the best contemporary fiction book on vampires. I read it in high school and fell in love. I’m positive if my mother knew what I was reading, she’d have taken it away. It was brilliant. Rich, complex characters in amazing cities with a story that spanned decades. I read most of the series between high school and college. Loved every one of them. I still think of vampires when I visit New Orleans.

About Caren

CarenCaren Rich grew up in a small town in coastal Alabama. The swamps and bayous have fueled her imagination and inspired her writing. Her short stories may cross genres, but they are rooted in the history and culture of the South. She lives on the coast with her husband and two daughters. All three are a constant source of inspiration. Her new release, Tales of Christmas is the South, is currently available at Amazon.

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Tales of Christmas in the South by Caren Rich

CarenBookRelease Date: October 1, 2015

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Blurb: Tales of Christmas in the South, is a collection of three short stories. All three stories reflect different aspects of the holiday season. Enjoy laughter, tears, and the magic of Christmas in one volume.

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You can connect with Caren at:

CKRich.com

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Tales of Christmas in the South is available from Amazon. $0.99

Includes the never before published, Miniature Desires. Spinster Ms. Stallworth has a hard time with the modern world. Bombarded with tacky blowup Santas and inconsiderate children, she dreams of being part of the Christmas village she displays each holiday season.

The Christmas Gift, is a bittersweet Christian short story of love and loss. Laurel faces the first Christmas without her husband. In her search for decorations she discovers a gift left by her deceased husband.

What holiday season is complete without fruitcake? The Fruitcake, is a humorous short story about the dreaded holiday classic. Retirement’s not what Robert expected. His wife feeds him twigs and is afraid of mailbox bombs. If that’s not enough a fruitcake shows up on his doorstep. Fruitcakes may be a Southern tradition, but it’s one Robert can do without. Find out how he deals with the holiday classic.

Tales of Christmas in the South is a quick read just in time for the Christmas season.

CarenBio: Caren Rich grew up in a small town, in coastal Alabama. The swamps and bayous have fueled her imagination and inspired her writing. Her short stories may cross genres but they are rooted in the history and culture of the South. She lives on the coast with her husband and two daughters. All three are a constant source of inspiration.

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