Holiday in Your Heart

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Teenaged singing sensation Anna Lee has realized her dream of performing a holiday concert on the fabled stage. Yet her happiness is clouded by thoughts of her grandmother, stricken with a serious illness back in her native Mississippi and unable to see her beloved granddaughter triumph at this special time of year. It takes the lessons of an older country singer, a musical legend now past her prime, to show the young woman that if you carry a holiday in your heart all year round, you'll always know which things ...
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New York, NY. 1997 Hard cover First edition. First printingl. New in new dust jacket. First Edition. Bottom of spine has a very small tear. Dust jacket in mylar cover. Sewn ... binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 119 p. Audience: General/trade. Free USPS Tracking. Read more Show Less

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Teenaged singing sensation Anna Lee has realized her dream of performing a holiday concert on the fabled stage. Yet her happiness is clouded by thoughts of her grandmother, stricken with a serious illness back in her native Mississippi and unable to see her beloved granddaughter triumph at this special time of year. It takes the lessons of an older country singer, a musical legend now past her prime, to show the young woman that if you carry a holiday in your heart all year round, you'll always know which things really matter, which songs are the ones you have to sing.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Fourteen-year-old singing sensation Rimes pens the story ofsurprisea young singing sensation. The twist here is that this is a Christmas storyjust think what Richard Paul Evans's The Christmas Box hath wroughtin which the little star learns a lesson.
Kirkus Reviews
A child country-music star, forced to choose between family and success, is guided by an angel in this music-video-on-paper that's been cobbled together by (surprise!) a child country-music star and her adult helper.

It's yuletide in Nashville, and 14-year-old Anna Lee is in town to appear at the Grand Ole Opry—having become a sensation her first time around. Daughter of a blue-collar, part-time musician and veteran of nine years on the small-town bandstands of Mississippi and Texas, Anna appreciates the fact that the record- company meetings scheduled for this visit can make or break her career. Yet, when her father's favorite country singer from the '40s, now in serious decline, invites her to kill a day touring the town with her, Anna can't resist. The next morning, though, while Anna's waiting for her new friend ("I can't tell her name"), she receives a call saying that beloved Grandma Teeden in Mississippi is in the hospital with serious heart trouble. Can Anna rush to her granny's bedside? Guiltily, she claims that business concerns force her to stay where she is—and then she rushes off for her day on the town. Strangely, though, Anna's new friend shows her not only the famous old musicians' hangouts but such grittier "musicians'- life" locales as the bus station through which the failures shuffle back home. Anna even finds herself on a bus headed out to the countryside, where her companion tells her of a blizzard that once buried an entire busload of people, including herself, for days. The moral? Well, a chastened Anna, filled suddenly with family loyalty above all else, is eager to go back to Grandma and home. But when Anna tells her dad who she spent the day with, he claims that that singer has been dead for years. . . .

Consumer product more than creative work, with copyright held not even by an author, but by LeAnn Rimes Entertainment, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385490870
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/13/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1982 in Pearl, Mississippi, LeAnn Rimes now lives at home with her parents in Dallas, Texas.  Her phenomenal rise in the music industry began with her debut album, Blue, which almost immediately went to Billboard's Top 10, making Rimes the youngest country singer ever to debut that high.  She is the only country artist ever to have won a Grammy for Best New Artist; she is also the only artist (country or otherwise) to have had a Top 10 hit on the Billboard charts in the country and pop categories at the same time.

Tom Carter has cowritten more bestselling celebrity memoirs than anyone else in the past decade, having collaborated with George Jones, Reba McEntire, Ralph Emery, Glen Campbell, and Ronnie Milsap.  Before he worked with Nashville's royalty, he was a writer for People and Time magazines.  He lives in Nashville.

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Read an Excerpt

Many little girls dream of becoming a princess.

My pretend throne wasn't a giant chair surrounded by busy servants with ivory combs. I never imagined a handsome prince on a white horse riding with me into the sunset and happiness forever after.

I'm a singer who dreamed of performing on the Grand Ole Opry. The Nashville music business people call it country music's Carnegie Hall. Somebody said that a country singer making it to the Opry is like a baseball player making it to the World Series, but I think the Opry might be a bigger deal. A baseball player has eight teammates on the field. There is a band and background singers on the Opry, but it's just you out front--standing alone where everybody in country music has stood.

I had stood there a thousand times in my dreams before I stood there in real life.

I used to pretend I was singing on the Opry when I was five years old and first sang in front of people outside of my family. My dad let me sing with his band. He wouldn't play in places that served alcohol because the law wouldn't let me sing there. He gave up a lot of income he could have earned in honky-tonks, just so I could sing with him at the family places. I wonder now how the other band members felt about that.

My dad has perfect pitch, and together we have what some folks call "bloodline harmony." Either of us can sing melody and the other the high part. Our voices fit like gloves.

One of my favorite pastimes is to watch home movies of my dad and me on the bandstands we played around Mississippi and Texas. My head doesn't even come to the bottom of his guitar. My face is thrown up to look at his face, leaningover his guitar, looking down at me. We watched each other's lips and sang every part of every word at exactly the same time. The people loved it.

I had to hold the microphone in my hand because it was too tall on the stand, even when the stand was lowered as far as it would go.

My favorite memories about Dad and our music come from singing in the car. We sang everywhere he drove, whether we were on the way to a show or the grocery store. Dad drove old cars that always had a hump on the floor of the backseat. I asked what was under the hump and he told me the "singing monster." He said the monster ate little girls who sang off-key. I just giggled. He eventually told me the hump covered the car's driveshaft, whatever that is.

I preferred the monster story.

I remember standing many times with my feet spread over that hump, my arms and chin resting on top of the front seat. Dad drove and we both sang to the windshield. Mom rode in the front passenger's seat and requested songs. We played a game where she put her hands over her ears if she thought she heard a sour note, or if the tempo dragged, or any other mistake.

Near the end of those days, the only place Mom ever put her hands was together--to applaud for Dad and me.

Dad sold oil field supplies for a company where Mom worked as a receptionist. He worked with his hands and sometimes didn't get all the grease off his skin. His soiled fist gripped the steering wheels of our old cars as tightly as a ship's captain. To me, his workingman's hand looked as big as a roast beef with fingers. I can still see his grip shaking with the vibrations of the steering wheel. Our cars always shook because the tires were out of line from Dad's driving into the oil fields. Daddy's grip was strong and sure. To me, he always had those old cars--and his family members' lives--firmly under control.

After our shows, I'd get sleepy and curl up on the floor of the backseat and put a pillow on top of that hump. I could rest secure knowing Dad was at the wheel with Mom by his side. Dad drove through the summer nights with the windows down to save gasoline the air conditioner would have required. The rush of the wind into the car blended with the static from the faraway country music stations in the rural South that Dad tried to get on the radio. I curled into a tighter ball and fell asleep to the wind, static, and hum of the highway speeding under the car. The last words I always heard were from Mom, telling Dad not to talk because he would keep me awake.

I've never felt more safe.

I shared some of those childhood memories with entertainers backstage at the Opry. Many of them talked about the times they visited the Opry as children. Their eyes took on a faraway look as they recalled their first experience there. Most saw their first Opry performance at Nashville's old Ryman Auditorium. That was where the Opry was for thirty-six years before moving to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974, eight years before I was born. I remember the date because it's written on a gold sign that's so shiny, I used it as a mirror before going onstage. I wish it had been a real mirror; then I wouldn't have gotten my lipstick higher on one side.

I have a new dream today.

I stopped dreaming about playing the Opry in the fall of 1996 when the dream came true. I walked onto the platform of the seventy-two-year old radio show, the world's longest-running live broadcast. (I found out because the announcer kept saying it.) A cameraman from a television news show was behind me. So were my daddy's pride and my mama's tears.

I took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of the hot dogs in the lobby. A parade of people streamed to the footlights to take my picture. Hundreds took snapshots from their seats. There were so many flashes that it looked like strobe lighting inside the auditorium. Old men and women smiled at me, some through missing teeth, and little children stood in their seats to sing along.

When I was little, my relatives used to tease me and say that my first kiss would be my greatest thrill. They were wrong; playing the Opry was much more sensational. My first kiss gave me a tingle, but only because I cut my lip on the boy's braces.

I've heard grown-ups talk about "sensory overload." That's when you enjoy something so much it seems like it isn't really happening because you can't absorb it all. It must be like sleepwalking through a dream. I think I had sensory overload the first time I played the Grand Ole Opry.

My wish of becoming a princess had come true. My throne was a brick building with a balcony, a high ceiling, and Coca-Cola for sale.

I talked to a lot of the Opry's old performers that night, but not as many as I would have liked. I was at a loss for words when I sat backstage, face-to-face with people whose records I'd listened to for as long as I can remember.

I think the thing I liked most was that the entertainers talked to me. I know they knew I was nervous. All these famous performers who had all these hit songs were asking how they could make me comfortable. Me--the new kid on the block. They had their own dressing rooms, yet many came to mine just to say hello and to walk lightly into my dream.

I returned to Nashville a couple of months later, in November 1996, to play again at the Grand Ole Opry House. I was pleased to be on the program so close to Christmas.

Between shows, my mom and dad and I walked around the giant Opry grounds. I've traveled all over the United States and Canada during my short life. I've been to New York City at Christmastime. But I've never seen anything like Opryland during the winter holidays.

Imagine a hotel with almost five thousand rooms and an electric candle in every window. Imagine spruce trees so tall you have to bend your back to see the top and so heavily covered with lights, you can't even tell they're green. There are hundreds like that on the grounds.

I felt like I was someone in the Bible when I walked through the place that represented the birth of the baby Jesus. There were live camels and men dressed like the three wise men, and they knelt before a manger with a real baby.

I asked my mom why the baby didn't get cold. She asked a security guard, and he said the infant was under an electric blanket on top of hay that was heated. Its real mother was close by, but she wasn't in costume, so everybody thought she was one of the tourists. The guard said they took the baby out of the manger and put in another one about every thirty minutes.

I asked if the babies were paid. The guard said yes, and I wondered if the babies or their mothers got the money. And if the babies got it, who signed their checks?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    best book that ive ever read

    this was an amazing book and it was very inspiring. LeAnn makes you realize that if you try hard enough you can follow your dream and make it come true all it takes is a little dedication.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2001

    A Warm, Cuddle-up-by-the-fire Book!

    This is one of my favorite books, because I Love heartwarming, Christmas-time stories. I read this book over and over again all year round, and enjoy snuggling by the fire on Christmas Eve to enjoy it one last time each year! Snow laying on the ground outside the window in a blanket of white cotton, and a cup of hot spiced apple cider in my hand is my favorite way to read this book. But for those times it's not like that, i also enjoy reading it at night in bed, anytime of the year! It is a truly tender and enjoyable book for anybody of all ages to read!

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