Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride

Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

The Christmas Joy Ride 
Published September 1st 2015
 by Revell 
ISBN: 0800719670
4 Stars

Melody Carlson has written a delightful story with a touching message that's so appropriate for the upcoming holiday season. 
I was told as a child that it was better to give than to receive, but as a child I felt the receiving part was the very best.  Of course that's the nature of a child and as I got older I learned the truth of the statement.  Now that my children are older I still feel the same, but with the loss of my mother, I came to realize the Christmas season is also about making new memories and sharing past memories.  When this road of life we travel gets difficult we can pull out those memories and briefly be transported back to a special time or place.  
In this book we meet Joy Jorgenson and Miranda Fortner who have been neighbors for the past 8 years.  Joy is an 85 year old lady, who is full of life, that runs her own web page, Christmas Joy, with the occasional help from Miranda.  With declining health Joy has made the decision, along with her sons, to move to a retirement village in Arizona to be closer to family.  When Miranda finds out that Joy is planning to drive a RV by herself all the way to Arizona in order to deliver prizes  won on her web page she becomes concerned enough to volunteer to help Joy with her move and this trip. 
I loved both characters.  Joy is so full of spunk and has such a giving heart.  Miranda is a very caring person to put her life on hold to help her friend, but learns powerful lessons about life and herself on this trip. Joy and Miranda's friendship is conveyed in a very genuine way.  There's good pace and flow that keeps the reader's attention.  The first few pages readily drew me in.  This story brings a message that anyone can relate to.  
I would recommend this book to anyone. 

*I received this book from the publisher through their blogger program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions's 16 CFR, Part 255.

My husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two �re-homed� pets to make life more interesting�our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.

My writing studio is in a separate building next to our courtyard (a garden area that�s off limits to the voracious deer). The window behind my desk looks out into the ponderosa pine forest, where I see deer, squirrels, rabbits, and an occasional raccoon. The other windows in my office overlook the courtyard which is frequented by numerous hummingbirds in the summertime�one August evening we counted nearly fifty of the little hummers.
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