Tag Archives: Christmas

A suspenseful and emotional Return to Christmas

Returning from combat deployment is no vacation and it sometimes leaves the soldier feeling like no one understands him except for his battle buddies. While life goes on, the readjustment is difficult for many. In Return to Christmas, post-deployment is difficult for Chet as he attempts to readjust to behind home with his family and having difficulty finding and keeping employed. It as not until he meets a quiet autistic child that he begins to open up.

The behaviors of Chet are familiar to me, as I work with wounded warriors full-time. I’m not a social worker, but sometimes I wonder if that’s the next chapter for myself. Regardless, this story of Chet and his family and their journey to Christmas is emotional, heart-breaking, hopeful, and enlightening. In my experience with working with the wounded, ill, and injured service members post-deployment, their conditions are not always physical, but rather behavior health with chronic issues with sleep, anger, depression, headaches, and more. 

Chet seemed to do his best when it came to caring for his child. This is one person who wouldn’t judge him nor does he feel judged. This is often the case with returning soldiers from combat-deployment. They seem to focus on their children. Maybe it’s because they have seen the value of life, or maybe it’s because they want a better life for their own child, whatever the case, their children seem to ground them, particularly if the child is young, like Chet’s.

This story lightly touches on the effects on the home life for many who return from combat-deployments. An easy and light read, yet heart-warming and touching storyline, Return to Christmas by Kathi Macias shows a fairly typical story of post-deployment soldiers. The support of family and friends is important, even though the soldier may not want it. The changes in behavior are typical for soldiers who have deployed to Operation Eduring Freedom and Opeartion Iraqi Freedom, resulting in isolation and difficulty to reintegrate into civilian life.

I am honored to have the opportunity to read and review this book that shows even a small glimpse of life with a wounded warrior. This book was provided complimentary for an honest review. I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows a recently deployed soldier or maybe just a military love story. 

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails: fun, festive, & fantastic!

Reflecting on Christmas past isn’t always easy. We have moments we think are normal then moments we would rather forget ever happened. There are those quirky things our family does that drive us crazy and then those things we wish would last forever. Add some cocktails to the mix and it’s loaded with more excitement and interesting chatter, right?

Well, I have found this book full of short stories of Christmas past along with fun little cocktails, mainly a recipe for one! It is so well written, I feel like I’m right there, taking up space in Vicki Lasage’s super tiny apartment in France where the Christmas tree gets knocked over every time you turn! And I can understand the family quirks as my own family has our own.


Personally, I can’t see myself ever sharing about family quirks or life during the Christmas season. It actually sounds boring to me, but in Christmas Confessions & Cocktails, even the mundane seems exilerating! You know a writer is amazing when what may be boring suddenly becomes a sitcom.

Add in some cocktails to enjoy during the read is so much fun! If I was able to actually enjoy a recipe or two while reading, we’d have a much more entertaining review, I’m sure! 

I am thankful for the chuckles I had while reading this book by Vicki Lasage. Wow, and to think there’s more where this came from! Awesome!

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails was provided complimentary from Reading Deals for an honest review.

How Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas (Book 1 & 2) Review

Grandma and Grandpa are those clever people who love on their grandchildren. They smother these little ones with love and snacks and gifts. When Santa Claus is in need of assistance, why wouldn’t Grandma and Grandpa help save Christmas?

Book 1

One year, the elves were busy making toys from their “hands and heart” for all the good little boys and girls. Suddenly the sun shined through the windows and the elves got excited to play outside. They decided to take a snowball break and go outside to play. Mrs Claus insisted they put on their coats just in case. However, the elves felt it appeared warm and wouldn’t need their coats.

Needless to say, the temperatures dropped and the wind blew fiercely. All the elves were shivering without their coats. When they finally made it back inside, each elf was sneezing, coughing, feverish, and needed rest. But what would happen to the toy making? How will all the toys be made before the short deadline of Christmas?

Santa and retired elf Joe decided to seek the assistance of all the grandmas and grandpas who were once little boys and girls. With the help of all these loving grandmas and grandpas, could all the toys be made with “hands and hearts” before Christmas?

Book 2

howgrandmasandgrandpassavedchristmas2

The sequel to this series begins when Santa arrives from delivering all the toys to the good boys and girls on Christmas morning. When Santa, Joe, and the elves meet to discuss the next year’s toy making projects, they realize the children are now looking for electronic toys. These electronics the elves have not been trained to operate.

Santa, Mrs Claus, and a few elves go to South America to attend an event full of machines that make electronics. They order a handful of machines and request they get painted with candy cane stripes. Several weeks later, the machines arrive and the elves realize they do not know how to operate these machines and some machines require special electrical sockets or cool down water.

How will Santa and the elves ever get these electronic toys made in time for Christmas? Do you think Santa will depend on the grandmas and grandpas to assist to get these machines running and make the electronic toys for the good little boys and girls this Christmas?

About the book

How Grandmas and  Grandpas Saved Christmas was written by Richard J. Gausselin, in collaboration with Christopher Gausselin and Mary C. Gausselin. My six year old son and I both enjoyed these books. The suspense of how Santa would accomplish his toy making in both books had us both at the edge of our seats. My son especially liked that it was the grandmas and grandpas that saved Christmas as  he imagined his own grandparents going to the North Pole to help make his own Christmas presents if Santa needs the help.

Complimentary copies of both books have been provided for this review. Reviews are also posted on GoodReads and Amazon.