Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: A Christmas Home (A Dog Named Christmas #2) by Greg Kincaid

Title: A Christmas Home
Series: A Dog Named Christmas #2
Author: Greg Kincaid
Genre: Family, Holiday Fiction
Published Date: October 30th 2012 by Crown
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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 of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd -- with the help of 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 its 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 all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, 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 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.
A Christmas Home was a wonderful, heartwarming and family oriented book that I will never forget, it also shows us the struggle that the family had when the economy was really bad in there town. Todd McCray is now twenty-four years old and working at the animal shelter, he also finds a new friend Laura that has a disability as well but hers is more physical than developmental. Todd and Laura friendship grows when he and his trusted dog Christmas trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her. Everything seems fine for Todd with his family and job, but the family's in his home town are struggling with the bad economy so the put there house up on sale and abounding there pets. So the animal shelter is getting full. But there is major bad news for the animal shelter Todd boss tells them by the beginning of the new year the animal shelter has to shut down, because the shelter is in poor conditions and need a lot of repairs. Which the town's government can't afford to repair the shelter so they have to close it down. Todd has to find a new job and also too find homes for all the dogs in the shelter. Plus he has to figure about his friendship with Laura that probably there friendships is growing into something more! I absolutely loved and enjoyed A Christmas Home you read how Todd grows more responsible and independent adult and he starts making decision for himself of course with the help of his family and friends. But he still makes his own decision for himself what to do next in his life, it could be a hard decision to choose but he will always choose what he feels is right for him and his life. Todd family and friends are always there for him and support him in every way they can, but sometimes it could be a hard too make big life changes for themselves. Especially for Todd's parents! Now I totally love the family dynamics of this book series, I have read a lot of books with great family dynamics but this one stands out the most for me. I have no idea way it stands out more for me maybe because it is a holiday and animal book or maybe it is because it shows the real struggle with family and community's but whatever the case is it just does stand out more for me. I will try to read more books by Greg Kincaid because I absolutely love his concepts and plots in his books and I totally love his writing style. But I will most definitely read more books during the holidays which I never do but I did it last December and I totally love and enjoy reading holidays books during the holidays!

Growing up, my mother read to me and my sister every night and soon both of us were very good readers. I spent my childhood floating down the Mississippi with Tom and Huck, helping Atticus Finch defend Tom Robinson, and exploring Middle Earth with Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins. It was a rich time. When I wasn’t reading, my dog and I wandered for miles along stream banks, just pretending--the childhood precursor to adult creativity. 

In 1982, I started to work at a large corporate law firm. It was often tedious work and I wasn’t particularly enthralled with  the nuances of corporate law. Needing an escape, I returned to my old friends. I never had a book far away. I started writing my own stories. When my children were born, I combined reading and storytelling to keep up the family tradition of story time. Eventually, I returned to that small farm in Kansas where I grew up, now legally representing people with very different problems. Many of these clients were children in trouble. When I visited them in jails, halfway houses, and treatment centers, I was shocked to see one thing consistently missing from their lives and homes. Books were all too often nowhere to be seen. It was not a hard leap for me to know what these children were missing.

I have spent the last twenty years writing and advocating for literacy.  

During this period, my children suggested that I should write my stories down. My first book was Death Walk at Acoma, a young adult novel published in 1993. Although the book had little commercial success, I kept at it. Over ten years later, with a few unpublished novels in between, I wrote A Dog Named Christmas. It was made into a movie released by CBS as their Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation in November of 2009 and was viewed by over 12 million viewers. The movie won a Genesis Award for raising public awareness for sheltered dogs. The prequel, Christmas with Tucker, was release in November, 2010 and went on to the be one of the highest viewed original productions on the Hallmark Movie Channel in 2013.  I finished up this series of Christmas books with the 2012 book, A Christmas Home.  

In our culture, most of us don't have easy access to our own personal guru--a person that helps us to find and stay on a healthy spiritual path.  For myself, this meant spending the last twenty years with my nose buried in various spiritual and psychological texts trying to make some sense out of life on the planet Earth!  I'm not saying that I figured it out,  but I did want to share that journey with my readers that are interested in such things.  With this in mind, I spent over ten years working on my most recent novel, Tantric Coconuts.  It's the Cliff Notes to life, with a love story and dogs thrown in it to boot!   

Today I remain busy working at my law practice, writing, and advocating for childhood literacy and for a more humane world for our fury friends. I still live on that family farm, too!







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