Friday, November 23, 2012

A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid (Plus Giveaway)

Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer.  Laura, like Todd, has disabilities, but her struggles are more physical than developmental.  Their friendship is sealed when Todd - with the help of a his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas - trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown.  Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity.  The local government is struggling to meet it obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd's boss delivers the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.

But what will happen to the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approached, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs.  Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn.  All of this seems overwhelming unless you've got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you.  In which case, nothing is impossible.

There is something so unique and special about Christmas, that I'm willing to broaden my mind and pick up a book I wouldn't normally.  I don't know if it's the overly sentimental frame of mind that Christmas puts me into, but for about a month, I'm willing to read a book that exists to exploit every single one of those good feelings.  I don't mind when the book I'm reading is so saccharine that my teeth could fall out at any second.  It's not a reading experience that I enjoy at any other time of the year, but I almost crave it as Christmas time.  Now I'm not saying I want to read a lot of it, but one or two books a season seems to be okay.

With A Christmas Home, Greg Kincaid has created a community that seems to come straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  Granted it would require those lifelike paintings to experience some hard economic times, but I think you get the idea.  Of course the fact that this book takes place in a small town in Kansas, the state I currently live in, helps that narrative idea along.  His town is filled with earnest characters who are trying to their best to keep their town afloat and to do the right thing by all those involved.  They are warm, loving characters that most of us would love to be around.

Since this is a Christmas book, and a Christmas book about dogs, you should probably be able to guess that everything works out in the end.  It may not be what the characters envisioned the solution to be in the beginning, but it's a conclusion that enriches the lives of all those involved.  Now I'm just going to have to wait for the ABCFamily Channel movie to be made.  Maybe next year, during their 25 Days of Christmas.

Thanks to the lovely people at Crown, I have a copy of this book to giveaway.  All you need to do to enter, is leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas movie.   You also need to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.  You must be a US resident, sorry guys.  The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 pm CST, on 12/2/12.  I'm cutting this one short in order for the winner to get it by Christmas.  I will use to pick the winner.

Challenges:  CS


Simcha said...

I also get in the mood for these kind of books every so often. It's just nice to read a book that you know will wrap up with a happy ending, with a bit of romance along the way (I'm assuming there's a romance in this book, although you don't mention, because almost every such book does). Hope you still had some teeth remaining by the end ;)

Alexia561 said...

Love your comment about stories that are so sweet your teeth could fall out! Know exactly what you mean though, as every now and again I crave a sweet book that I know will make me cry before the HEA ending. Lovely review!

lag123 said...

I absolutely love Ernest Saves Christmas!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Staci said...

At this time of year I'm always good with reading books where I know that all will turn out well!!

In the Bookcase said...

I saw the movie of "A Dog Named Christmas" when it first came out. I absolutely loved the movie---it's my favorite Christmas movie now! Then I starting reading Greg Kincaid's books... which I absolutely adore!! I just found out that he is releasing this new book this year, and I'm quite excited to read it.
inmybookcase at yahoo dot com

traveler said...

Wonderful post and giveaway. Many thanks. My favorite movie is A Christmas Carol. Very meaningful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Bookfool said...

I am embarrassed to say that my favorite Christmas movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I don't care how much everyone else hates it; I didn't see it till I was at least in my 20s and haven't burned out. I love it.

I've just finished book with a Christmas title but it's not really about Christmas at all - The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas. It's really about how a stray cat helped break through a child's autism. Lovely true story, but not exactly what I expected!

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Great review, Ryan! You know, I was coveting this book and the Nutcracker book you received for review and not too long after that, the publisher contacted me and asked me if I wanted to review them. Of course, I said yes. I just hope I have time now with all that's going on. I can't wait to read this one. I LOVED the movie on Hallmark Channel, "A Dog Named Christmas" based on the first book. I want to read that one too and I think I own Christmas with Tucker. I'll have to check. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. Please don't enter me, as I already have it. =O)

Bookfool said...

Forgot to leave my email. bookfoolery at gmail dot com. Sorry 'bout that. Hope you're feeling better!