Blame It on the Mistletoe (Bright's Pond Series)by Joyce Magnin, Joyce Magnin Moccero
Welcome back to Bright 's Pond, where strange happenings are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. Strange even for Bright 's Pond. The residents suddenly act like kids again riding trikes, climbing trees, and of all things falling in love. Some of the townsfolk blame it on the crooked new gazebo, or its builder, a
Is There Really a Fountain of Youth in Paradise?
Welcome back to Bright 's Pond, where strange happenings are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. Strange even for Bright 's Pond. The residents suddenly act like kids again riding trikes, climbing trees, and of all things falling in love. Some of the townsfolk blame it on the crooked new gazebo, or its builder, a quirky little man who quotes Don Quixote, collects water from the fountain at the Paradise trailer park, and disappears on a regular basis.
While Chief of Police Mildred Blessing investigates the mystery, Griselda and her friends deal with a luau Thanksgiving, preparations for the Christmas pageant, and maybe even an upcoming wedding. Only, in Bright 's Pond, nothing ever really goes as planned . . .
"What's better than Bright's Pond? Bright's Pond at Christmas time. Magnin hasn't just created characters--she's created friends you'll love spending time with. You'll love every page of this quirky delight, and when that last chapter is read, you'll be ready for more of Griselda and the rest of the Bright's Pond residents." - Jenny B. Jones, Award-winning author of romantic comedies such as "Save the Date" and A Charmed Life series
"The queen of quirk does it again. With her signature wit and charm and penchant for surprise, Joyce Magnin takes us on a leisurely read through Bright's Pond, where uncannily loveable chaeracters reside -- God in the midst of them. I want to move there." - Nancy Rue, author of The Reluctant Prophet"Creative and fun, a visit to Bright 's Pond for the Holidays is just what the doctor ordered. Who can resist spry octogenarians in hot pursuit of the Fountain of Youth or romance in trouble But it is the endearing thread of love and sympathy that runs through the characters that makes readers return." - Cathy Gohlke, Christy Award winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Read an Excerpt
Blame It on the Mistletoe
A Novel of Bright's Pond
By Joyce Magnin
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2011 Joyce Magnin
All rights reserved.
It was the tricycle parked outside of eighty-seven-year-old Haddie Grace's room at the Greenbrier Nursing Home that gave me cause for concern. I first saw it when I had brought Ivy and her dog, Mickey Mantle, to the nursing home for the pooch's weekly Visit of Convalescence. It was a candy-apple-red tricycle with colorful streamers hanging from the handlebars and a note taped to the seat: "Do Not Touch." A round, silver bike bell—the kind you operated with your thumb—was attached to the handlebars, although just barely.
Mickey Mantle loved to visit with the old folks. Ivy said he enjoyed making them smile, and she enjoyed watching their eyes light up when he let anyone scratch behind his ears. And the fact that Mickey Mantle only had three legs on account of an unfortunate bear-trap accident seemed to endear him even more to the residents, a few of whom were missing limbs themselves.
"The best part," Ivy had said, "was when Mickey Mantle was able to help that nasty, cranky Erma Crump find her nice side. Too bad she died just a week after. Only a week to be nice— imagine that."
Ivy Slocum was a good friend. Never married, she was bit on the plump side and was prone to wear oversized sweatshirts to disguise her more than ample bosom.
I've gone on three or four of these visits with Ivy and watched how Mickey Mantle sits and lets the folks pet him and converse with him just like he's a person. I think he would sit there all day long if he could, soaking up the attention and returning the love. The pooch had become privy to many a family saga and secret. But nursing homes have their rules, and Ivy was only allowed to bring Mickey Mantle one day a week—usually on a Wednesday unless otherwise decided. And that particular Wednesday was no different—except for the tricycle and giggles coming from Haddie's room. Haddie Grace weighed all of ninety pounds it seemed to me, a tiny slip of a woman with nearly translucent skin.
"Would you look at that," I said. "Now what in tarnation is a tricycle doing at a nursing home?"
Ivy scratched her head. "Beats me, Griselda. Maybe it belongs to one of Haddie's grandkids."
"Haddie never had children. Never been married as far as she remembers."
"Then I reckon this is strange," Ivy said. "Maybe someone else's kids left it there."
I asked Nurse Sally about the little red trike when I saw her at the nurses' station. Nurse Sally was head nurse at Greenbrier, and we had become quite friendly since Agnes went to live there.
"I just don't understand it," Sally said. "Haddie Grace has been riding that thing down the hallways like she was three years old again. Scares me half to death. She can't afford no more broken bones. I think she slipped her rocker but good this time around."
"No fooling?" Ivy said. "That's odd, don't you think? Why do you let her?"
"Well, here's the thing about that," Sally said. "The residents can pretty much do whatever they want, and Doctor Silver thought that taking the tricycle away might be more harmful. You know, up here." She tapped her head.
"Maybe she should see that head jockey, Doctor Julian," I said. "I think that's his name. The doctor they made Agnes talk to."
"She has an appointment later on today. But I'm worried it might be something serious like a brain tumor making her act like a child. It can happen you know."
"Oh, I know that," Ivy said. "Brains ain't made to have growths growing inside of them. Delicate instruments they are. Why I remember when Bubba Knickerbocker got his. Made him fall down and lean to the left like one of them telephone poles out on the highway."
"That's right," I said. "Poor Ruth had a dickens of a time keeping him upright."
"He was much larger than her," Ivy said. "Kind of like a Chihuahua and a Saint Bernard going out for tea."
"I hear that," Sally said. "Funny thing is that every time I check Haddie's vitals she's sound as a Swiss watch. Can't find a thing wrong—even her blood pressure is good. It's almost like she's getting healthier."
Mickey Mantle let go a low, grumbly growl. Not a fierce, angry growl. He was only letting Ivy know that they had rounds to get on.
"Guess we better be on our way," Ivy said. "Mickey Mantle gets upset if he misses seeing his regulars. Gordon Flegal always has a Milk-Bone for him and that nice Mr. Tracy let him chew on a lollipop last week."
"That's fine, you go on without me this time," I said. "I need to stop in and see Agnes. Why don't you bring Mickey Mantle by her room when you're done?"
"Okeydokey." Ivy gave a slight tug on her dog's leash. "Come on, boy. We better get to Gordon before he conks out for the day."
I lingered by the nurse's station a minute. "How's Agnes doing these days?" I asked.
She fussed with some papers on a clipboard. "Agnes? She's doing quite well. I wish she'd get out of her room more, but she seems content."
My visit with Agnes was not what you would call "usual." I found her sitting in her wheelchair staring out the window. I loved my sister, dearly. Everyone knew that—even Agnes. Although to look at her you might wonder about us. Agnes weighed nearly seven hundred pounds when she checked herself into Greenbrier. Life had gotten too hard for her. Just getting from her bed to the bathroom was chore, and I usually had to be home to help her. But looking at her now I can see how the nursing home was helping. They estimate that she had dropped almost sixty-five pounds in the past several months and was well on her way to losing another sixty-five. I wish I could say her clothes hung on her like the skin on a hound dog after losing so much weight. But no, she still wore muumuus and housedresses—sometimes with pretty flowers and other times just white or pink.
She was wearing a beat up pair of slippers with the heels bent in, and her brown hair had been cut short for ease of handling. Her right arm rested on the arm of the wheelchair and the skin kind of dripped off the edge like expanding foam. But I noticed a sweet smell, like magnolia, wafting around the room, and it did my heart well to know that she was being cared for.
"The leaves are pretty this year," I said from the doorway. "All that rain and then that blast of sunshine and heat in August really helped."
Agnes turned. "Griselda. I'm glad you're here."
I moved closer. "Really? Why? Is something wrong?"
Agnes pushed her chair closer to me. "I'm not sure. I'm not sure at all, but something is strange."
I thought of the red tricycle. "You mean like Haddie Grace's trike?"
"You saw it then."
"Yeah, Ivy saw it too. She came with Mickey Mantle. I asked Nurse Sally about it. She says Haddie has been riding it through the halls like she's three years old."
Agnes slapped her knee. "Land o' Goshen, I know! She rides that trike and rings the bell. If it ain't a sight to see."
I sat on the visitor's chair. "Sally said they're having that psychiatrist check her out."
"I know, I know. Thing is that I don't believe that Dr. Julian will find anything more than simple elderly senility stuff going on."
"Well, Sally did mention something about a brain tumor."
"Brain tumor?" Agnes slapped her thigh. The fat under her housecoat rippled like sea waves. "I doubt that. I get the feeling what's going on around here has nothing to do with tumors or diabetes or senility. Because it isn't just Haddie. It's other folks also. There's something more going on. Something stranger than all that."
"What are you talking about? You mean there're more tricycles? More strange happenings?"
"Look out that window and tell me what you see."
"Grass, trees, a gazebo—when did they put that in? I hadn't noticed it before." It was a large octagon-shaped building with a crooked railing and a cedar-shingled roof with a crooked cupola on the top, and on top of the cupola was a rooster that seemed to be crowing to the west. "It's nice, a little cockeyed but nice."
"Never mind the crooked. Look at what, or I should say, who is in the gazebo."
I stood and moved closer to the window. "Who is that?"
"That, my dear sister, is Clive Dickens and Faith Graves. They've been out there swaying around and dancing with each other like they was sixteen years old again. I tell you, Griselda, it's like that scene in The Sound of Music."
"Ah, that's OK. Old people can fall in love too."
"I suppose so, but those two? I hear that old man hasn't been out of his room in three years except when they make him go to the barber or the doctor, and Faith Graves is, well, let's just say she has one foot in and one foot out. We've had more code reds on that woman in the last six weeks than anyone. But now, all of a sudden she's up and dancing like a teenager."
"Well, yeah, that's what we call it when someone walks into her room and can't tell if she's dead or alive on account of she lays there still as an ironing board and just as stiff. She is, after all, ninety-two years old."
"I guess it does seem strange, come to think about it. What do you suppose is causing this?"
Agnes shook her head and clicked her tongue. "I'm telling you. It's like a magic spell has fallen over Greenbrier. A spell of rejuvenation."
"Is it really such a problem? Maybe it's a good thing."
"But why? What happened to all these people to make them start acting like they were sixteen years old again, or in Haddie's case, three?"
I patted Agnes's hand and filled her water glass from the pitcher. "All what people. You're talking about three people."
"Then explain that." Agnes pointed to the window.
I looked in time to see Jasper York, who was Greenbrier's most recent reluctant resident, shimmy up a tree—or at least try to. He slid back down and sat on the ground.
"OK, that's weird," I said. "Jasper York would never act like that."
"What do you suppose is causing this?" Agnes asked.
I couldn't begin to imagine. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. It's autumn. The holidays are coming. Maybe folks are just feeling the holiday spirit. Maybe it makes them feel young again."
"I suppose that could be it, except I have this gut feeling that something ain't right around here. Not right at all."
"Try not to worry about it. You'll make your blood pressure go up or trigger an asthma attack."
"Oh, don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I just kind of wish a little of whatever virus bit them would bite me."
"Um, no, let's hope not, Agnes. That would not be fun."
But I had to laugh when I heard Haddie Grace whiz past Agnes's room singing her ABCs and ringing her bell. "Or you might be right. It could be something more than the holidays."CHAPTER 2
I visited with Agnes for nearly an hour. It wasn't that we had a whole lot to talk about except, of course, Cliff Cardwell. It seems that ever since that pilot fella landed in Bright's Pond, he and I have been the talk of the town. It's probably because I started taking flying lessons from him and now everyone naturally assumes we're an item or something.
"You still involved with him?" Agnes asked with a bit of a grin.
"Who? Cliff? I keep telling you and everyone else that Cliff and I are just friends and he is only teaching me to fly his airplane, nothing else."
Agnes peered out the window. "Uh-huh, I suppose there can be more than one connotation to the word fly."
"Agnes. That's ridiculous. Just because Zeb and me broke up again doesn't mean I'm flying—that kind of flying—with Cliff Cardwell."
Zeb Sewickey and I had been dating on and off since high school. I would have married him a long time ago—I think. But he always had one excuse or another. It usually had to do with his business. Zeb owned and managed The Full Moon Café in town. It was kind of a diner and looked a bit like a solid steel train car with windows. Zeb was also the chief cook and bottle washer, as he always said. Or he would use Agnes as an excuse to break up. But that was back when Agnes still lived with me. Except, he still finds ways to blame Agnes. I suppose everyone wants to blame things on something or someone besides themselves.
"But you do like Cliff," Agnes said. "And you did break it off with Zeb."
"I just got sick and tired of the way Zeb smothers me, and orders me around like I was one of his waitresses. I need space, room to breathe. And up there, in the clouds, is where I have felt the freest. It's like being almost weightless."
"Now that fat Agnes isn't taking up your living room," Agnes said in her best little-girl voice.
"I didn't say that, but I am not going to lie and tell you or anyone that I haven't enjoyed living by myself." I looked into her beady little round eyes. "But that isn't to say I don't miss you. I love you, Agnes. I do miss you. Many nights I wish you were still at the house, and I was making tuna sandwiches for you."
"You do make the best tuna salad in Bright's Pond."
I patted her hand. It felt warm—too warm. "Maybe I'll sneak one in the next time I come."
"Will you? That would be scrumptious."
"But I don't want to mess your diet up too much. You look like you're losing some weight.
Lots of it. Seems just last week that wheelchair was a snug fit."
Agnes moved her butt in the chair. "It does feel a bit roomier. My rear end doesn't rub so much on the sides."
"Pretty soon you'll be up and running down the halls."
"Nah, not me—not unless whatever bug bit Haddie bites me too."
I was glad we had gotten off the subject of Cliff Cardwell and Zeb Sewickey.
"Well, look Agnes," I said. "If you don't need anything else I should be getting back to town. I'm taking Ruth into Shoops to shop for Thanksgiving." I saw the change in Agnes's countenance.
"Thanksgiving? You having dinner with Ruth?"
"Me and a few others. But I'll be coming by to see you. I promise to bring you a plate. I doubt even Nurse Sally would deny you Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings."
Agnes didn't say a word. The look in her eyes was enough to tell me that missing Thanksgiving at home would be hard. I patted her hand and then hugged her the best I could. "I know it's hard. But look, I'll come by the nursing home with Ruth and Stu and Ivy and whoever else wants to come along. We'll make it a party—just like old times."
Agnes pushed herself toward her bed. "It'll be nothing like old times. No matter how you slice the pumpkin pie, the fact remains I'm here. It's not home."
She was correct. People are supposed to go home for Thanksgiving. "We'll make the best of it. You'll see."
"You ever eat nursing home food?"
"No, well, at the cafeteria—a little. It was pretty wretched."
"Imagine Thanksgiving nursing-home style."
"It's not all about the food."
Agnes looked up at me. I watched her eyes glisten with tears. "I know that, but good food goes real well with good friends, like hand and glove, Starsky and Hutch."
"We'll find a way for you to have both." That was when Ivy appeared at the door with Mickey Mantle. "Hey, Agnes," Ivy called with a wave. "I saved the best room for last. I always said you have the best view."
"Howdy, Ivy. Bring that pooch over here."
Ivy dropped Mickey Mantle's leash and the dog trotted in his own three-legged style to
Agnes. She held his snout and looked into his big brown eyes. "What a good dog. How've you been, Mickey?"
The dog licked her cheek.
"Maybe you can bring Mickey Mantle for Thanksgiving." Ivy looked at me.
"I was telling Agnes about our plans for the holiday. I told her we'll all come by her room on Thanksgiving and bring her a plate of food and pie and we'll have a party, right here."
"Oh, s-s-sure, Agnes. You got that right. Wild horses couldn't keep us away from Greenbrier on Thanksgiving."
Agnes smiled. "What time? What time will you all be coming?"
"Well, I can't say. Not just yet," I said. "I'm not certain what time Ruth is planning dinner.
But I'll let you know. We still have a week to work it all out."
Agnes's mood deflated again. "I had no idea it would be such trouble."
"It's not trouble. It's just a matter of coordination and timing. But we'll be here with plenty of time to celebrate—good friends, good food, our many blessings."
Excerpted from Blame It on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin. Copyright © 2011 Joyce Magnin. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Joyce Magnin is the author of several books, including The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, named one of the "Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009" by Library Journal. Her short fiction pieces and articles have been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children and one grandson, and is mom to a neurotic parakeet who lives with her in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I found this author by accident and I am delighted to have read several of her books. I thought this book was good and tied all the characters in - however, I do wish I had read Griselda takes flight first - then the story would have tied together more neatly. Overall, I thought it was filled with fun, humor and was an easy read. The residents of Bright's Pond suffer the same issues as everyone - many are noisy, settled, exploring, and discovering that their life is all they want it to be. I think this book and series are delightful and am looking forward to reading more.
If you have followed the series then you will enjoy this book very much; the characters have grown on you. I think it was the best book in the series. If you have not read the previous books in the series then the characters may exasperate you.
Humorous. Good story, but somewhat abrupt ending.
The residents at the Greenbrier Nursing Home have been acting strangely. The residents are suddenly riding tricycles, finding themselves caught under the mistletoe and even needing the police to end a scuffle. Top it all off with a suspicious police woman named Mildred as well as an unusual Hawaiian Thanksgiving dinner…things are about to get crazy!! A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: Joyce Magin provides the reader with a light-hearted novel that is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Put out your stocking, deck the halls, sip your hot chocolate and hang the mistletoe because you will be ready for the Christmas season after reading this book! You will find yourself chuckling as you turn the pages of this novel…who couldn’t giggle when reading about the crazy residents that have found a little spunk around the Christmas Season! (Be sure to also check out the other books which are part of the Bright’s Pond series.) MY RATING: 4 (out of 5) pennies *I received a complimentary copy of Blame it on the Mistletoe from Abingdon Press for my honest review*
"Blame it on the Mistletoe" is a delightful book that begins the week before Thanksgiving and continues on through the Christmas holidays. Readers of the previous books in the series will not be disappointed, as this one brings all the quirky characters we love together. The residents of the Greenbrier Nursing Home seem to have found the fountain of youth, Griselda is still struggling to make up her mind about marriage, and as the holidays quickly approach, there's no telling what can happen in Bright's Pond! I am a huge fan of this series. These eccentric and zany characters have become my friends and I surely hope there are more Bright's Pond escapades awaiting us in the future!
Blame It On The Mistletoe Joyce Magnin Book Summary: Is There Really a Fountain of Youth in Paradise? Welcome back to Bright's Pond, where strange happenings are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. Strange even for Bright's Pond. The residents suddenly act like kids again riding trikes, climbing trees, and of all things falling in love. Some of the townsfolk blame it on the crooked new gazebo, or its builder, a quirky little man who quotes Don Quixote, collects water from the fountain at the Paradise trailer park, and disappears on a regular basis. While Chief of Police Mildred Blessing investigates the mystery, Griselda and her friends deal with a luau Thanksgiving, preparations for the Christmas pageant, and maybe even an upcoming wedding. Only, in Bright 's Pond, nothing ever really goes as planned . . . Review: Filled with loveable quirky characters that take on a life of their own throughout the story interwoven into that is characters from other books written by the author. This is a story about people who are given a second chance at life to do things and act without the adult perspective heightened self-awareness. It did take some time to get used to a book about older people. I did enjoy the realness of interaction between the two sisters and the giving of self in visiting people that are unable to get up and go on their own. While slow moving at the start it was worth wading through all the ‘getting to know you’ phase to dig into the mystery of why did all these people seem to be getting more youthful. I would like to thank Net Galley and Abingdon Press for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
I very seldom don't finish a book I've started but, sad to say, this was one of them. I made it through several (about 5) chapters before I called it quits. In fact, I completely erased it from my Nook.
The elderly residents of Greenbrier's Nursing Home are simply up to no good! No good in the eyes of the residents of Bright Pond that is. Now that Hattie Grace who is almost ninety years old is now riding a tricyle like a three year old, and another couple is kissing like teenagers under the newly built gazebo on the property. Just what is really going on? As Police Chief Mildred Blessing attempts to investigate all the angles on this strange dilemma, along with the nursing home doctor, they believe that someone is putting something in the food or water that the nursing home residents are drinking. Ever since Leon Fontaine has come to town and begin building things around Bright Pond, the residents here, are now acting a whole lot stranger than normal. In the novel, Blame It On Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin, the reader is introduced to some of the quirky residents living in Bright Pond. From a beloved woman named Ruth who is prepared to out do all the previous Thanksgiving festivities that have been hosted at others homes, by offering a Thanksgiving Tropical Luau and making it definitely one that will be talked about for years to come. Griselda is at her wit's end trying to decide if she is in love with Zeb, the diner's chief cook extraordinaire or her new aviation teacher, Cliff. Now if only she could discover what love really means while both are doing their very best to try and impress her. I received this book on my Kindle compliments of Net Galley and Abingdon Press for my honest review and this one is just perfect for not just Christmas but anytime. You can't help but fall in love with the amusing characters of Joyce Magnin's Bright Pond series, and this one is no exception! I rate this one a classical 5 out of 5 Christmas stars!
A gazebo is discovered and some of the residents at the Greenbrier Nursing home are regaining their youth, start doing odd things, like riding tricycles and dancing like they are teenagers, and other odd behaviors. The group sets out to find the truth. To add variety to a typical fare Ruth plans a Tropical Thanksgiving. Go on soaring adventures with Matilda, listen in while the Yuletide committee discusses the upcoming Christmas agenda, meet new characters and stay in touch with familiar ones. This novel with capture your heart and make you smile! All the charm and entertainment for the upcoming holiday season done up Brights Pond style! Although this is a part of a series it could easily stand on it's own. Very entertaining and a joy to read, I highly recommend this book. It challenged my faith as I kept turning the pages, quite hard to put down! Thanks so much to Abingdon Press and Netgalley for my ARC for my review.
Wishy washy Griselda is a librarian in a small town. The book kind of bounces around a mysterious fountain and never successfully linking the plots and characters together.
This is an interesting story with some quirky characters! I liked that Griselda is taking some risks, from learning to fly a plane to wondering if she should stay with her long-time on-again, off-again boyfriend. A new man in town complicates the situation, which was interesting. There's a bit of a mystery with the antics at the nursing home. Then there were the odd events, from a blessing of a fountain to the tropical Thanksgiving. Things felt a bit too rehashed in the story and I found myself wanting more to happen that interested me. I felt a little lost, too, since I haven't read any of the other books in the series. Check it out if you like quirky small-town life and unique Christmas stories. I received this book free from Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review.
I am pretty sure this is my first time reading one of the books in the Bright’s Pond Tales series. Now that I have read the book, I don’t understand how it could have that title. The book had nothing to do with mistletoe. I don’t even remember mistletoe being mentioned. I thought there could have been more faith in God embedded in this novel. To me it was simply a feel-good-story with everyday problems people face. The characters were described very well. I could close my eyes and imagine what Agnes looked like or see Haddie Grace riding her tricycle in the hallway at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. You don’t need to read the other books in the series to enjoy and understand this one. If you enjoyed the other books in the series, then I am sure you will enjoy this one too. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Blame it on the Mistletoe, by Joyce Magnin, for free from Abingdon Press. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
I didn't realize when I signed on to review this book that it was part of a series. (The publishing world as whole needs to be better about advertising this! I love series, but I love to read them in order MORE.) *sigh* Oh well. This isn't the first time I've complained about this and I'm sure it won't be the last. :) It took a few chapters to get into the book and hooked into the story, despite the fact that it really does open with a very curious red tricycle in the nursing home. I think it was because there was a lot of references to the previous stories. Catching the reader up on the back story to set up the new one. That's normal, necessary even. And when you've read the earlier books, you don't tend to notice it, because you're not wondering what the characters are referring to. Once I got in a few chapters, I began to enjoy it more. The characters are all very quirky! I'd say Bright's Pond was a town all it's own, even before their fountain was rebuilt by the odd little man who's come to town. Griselda Sparrow (what a name!), the main character is caught between two men, not sure of her true feelings for either, all while trying to experience what it's like to live on her own and not care for her sister Agnes. That's hard for her to do when Agnes keeps calling her at the drop of hat to come to the nursing home. Tack on this funny little mystery of what's making the nursing home inhabitants act so strange, and Griselda has her hands full. It was an enjoyable read with a unique cast and setting, but be sure you read the earlier books first!
Joyce Magnin in her new book, “Blame It On The Mistletoe” Book Four in the Bright’s Pond series published by Abingdon Press takes us into the life of Police Chief Mildred Blessing. From the back cover: Just married Is There Really a Fountain of Youth in Paradise? Welcome back to Bright’s Pond, where strange happenings are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. The folks have suddenly grown younger, happier, and even a bit friskier thanks to Leon Fontaine, the newest Paradise Trailer Park resident. But Mildred Blessing is suspicious and sets out to investigate while the wedding to end all weddings is being planned. Only, in Bright’s Pond, nothing ever really goes as planned . . . Welcome to Bright’s Pond. I did not read the first three books in this series, A mistake that I plan to correct quickly, however I was quickly drawn into the characters and did not feel that I was missing anything. Leon Fontaine, a new resident at the Paradise Trailer Park, has rebuilt the old fountain which leans a bit, similar to the way he does. Since then the residents of the Greenbrier Nursing Home are behaving in a younger manner. It’s either the water or drugs and Mildred Blessing, who is also new to Bright’s Pond’s and the one and only police officer which, of course, makes her the chief of police. Get ready for a Hawaiian Thanksgiving, a wedding and a Christmas Pageant like you have never seen before. There is a lot going on, all of it is fun and all of it is entertaining. You will find yourself laughing out loud as you enjoy the going on in this delightful little town. All of the characters are fun and Ms. Magnin has a way to really keep you interested in this story as you keep flipping pages wondering what will happen next. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press for this review. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK Welcome back to Brights Pond and the characters we love so well there. The Holiday’s will be different for Griselda this year since Agnes is in an assistant living place. Agnes seems to adjust well at the Greenbriar Nursing home except for one thing, and that is, something strange is going on around there. The patients seem to act younger all of a sudden. Like one of the older, and smaller ladies riding around on a tricycle? What on earth is happening there? Well, like me, you will need to read this book to find out all about it. And in reading Blame it on the Mistletoe, you will laugh and sometimes cry as these characters live out their story. This is a really great read, and I thoroughly enjoyed Griselda and all of her family and friends as she changes her traditions this Christmas. And is love in the air for Griselda? Seems she is still uncertain who will be the guy for her, her old time faithful friend she has know for so long, or newcomer air plane pilot that is giving Griselda flying lessons? So many questions, and they are all answered in this wonderful, fun, funny, and exciting Christmas story. I really want to encourage you to enjoy Blame it on the Mistletoe, and while you are at it, check out the other books in the Brights Pond series. I received this book from the publisher Abingdon Press to read and review. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.
After finishing Blame it on the Mistletoe, I was very upset. Why you ask? Because I realized it was part of a series, and it wasn’t the first. I loved it so now I have to buy the other three Bright’s Pond books by Joyce Magnin.
If you'd like a little humor and romance with your Christmas novels, this one could be just your cup of wassail (non-alcoholic, of course). I certainly enjoyed it. Odd things are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. Old folks have begun acting like youngsters. Ol' Haddie's been peddling a trike around the halls at top speed, and Faith and Clyde (equally old) have been smooching on the gazebo. Speaking of which, the gazebo is a little off kilter too. Sort of like the odd little man who built it. Leon Fontaine rebuilt the old fountain at the Paradise Trailer Court too, and the fountain also leaned a bit. It seemed to be his trademark. Somehow, folks were getting the notion that the water had youthful qualities. Some think that odd little man is providing drugs to the Nursing Home. Griselda has her hands full trying to help Chief of Police Mildred find the elusive Mr. Fontaine, deciding whether she loved Zeb or Cliff, taste-testing Ruth's exotic Thanksgiving dishes, and lining up someone to play Mary in the Christmas Pageant. Oh--and trying to pacify her sister Agnes who can't come to either the Thanksgiving dinner or the Christmas pageant.