Christmas in Bonita Creek
Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!
Christmas is only TEN days away!!! Can you believe it?!?
Continuing through just after Christmas, I’m going to spotlight several Christmasy releases from 2022. Most days will have more than one post, just FYI. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
CHRISTMAS IN BONITA CREEK by June McCrary Jacobs
SERIES: Bonita Creek #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2022
After seeing more than two years of combat in the Korean War, will the homecoming of two men from Bonita Creek be filled with the joy and romance they are yearning for or will it bring them even more heartache?
It’s late summer, 1952, in friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .
Estelle Vincent is missing her older brother, Sam, and her fiancé, John Chaplin, who are far away fighting for the US Army in the Korean War. They’ve been gone for more than two long years, and she is feeling out of sorts.
When she has a frank discussion with her mother, Estelle realizes that she is not the only one who has been moody and bored with her uneventful life. Her mother’s words inspire Estelle and catapult her into action organizing a community holiday project for the children and teens whose parents work for Mountainside Ranch outside of town
As the story deepens, Estelle learns that several people close to her are harboring secrets—including her mother, her brother, and her best friend. She learns to be flexible and understanding as she looks outside of her own life and examines the impact of unforeseen events on those closest to her heart.
Join this intelligent, strong-willed hometown young woman as she navigates the obstacles and challenges of life with hope, perseverance, faith, courage, and love on her road to a brighter future filled with dreams come true.
‘Christmas in Bonita Creek,’ Book Three in the Bonita Creek Series, is a historical Christian military romance story which is completely clean in language and content.
My favorite historic homes decorated for Christmas
by June McCrary Jacobs, author of Christmas in Bonita Creek
I have loved history since grade school, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the past forty years visiting and touring historic homes in California and Nevada. Visiting historic homes gives me a glimpse of what living in the past was like. Looking at the photographs, ephemera, quilts, textiles, artwork, china, glassware, and toys and dolls displayed in these homes bring me a lot of pleasure.
I especially enjoy visiting these extraordinary homes when they are decorated for the Christmas season. The smell of the fresh greenery and trees, the vignettes of toys and dolls and trains set up under a family’s decorated tree, and a dining room table adorned with the finest china and crystal and silver are fun to explore.
It would be impossible for me to choose just one historic home as my favorite, so below is a short list. I was permitted to take photos of several of these homes which I have included below for your enjoyment!
The Hearst Castle in San Simeon is magnificent at any time of year, most especially when they deck the halls for the holidays. Visitors were not allowed to take photos of the interior of the Castle when we toured it back in the early 2000s, but trust me—the decorations are exquisite! The year we visited the theme was red ribbons and bows. You can imagine how lovely the large ribbon garlands looked cascading down the tree from the huge red bow at the top. Wreaths and pillar candles arranged on evergreen boughs with pinecones were hung or placed on every possible surface in the main home.
The Patterson Home at Ardenwood Historic Farm and the Shinn House in Fremont are examples of a country-style family Christmas at its best. The Stanford Mansion in Sacramento is elegant and opulent. The Meux Home in Fresno once had a unique Christmas tour with each room decorated in period décor based on a particular President of the United States. (i.e., the Theodore Roosevelt room was filled with teddy bears, flags, etc.).
The Weber Cottage in the Micke Grove Park in Lodi, California, is decorated for Christmas each year for the historical society’s Festival of Trees. Below are a two of photos of this modest home in its serene setting near a pond. The cottage is surrounded by a rose garden with an arbor which are spectacular when the roses are blooming in the late spring and summer.
In Galt, California, there are two historic home museums which are open to the public for tours during the holiday season. The McFarland Ranch is a beautiful ranch house (circa 1878) set on a sprawling 3,800 acre property filled with pastures and old oak trees. Here are a couple of photos of the exterior of the home along with a portrait of my old friend, Santa Claus.
The other home in Galt is the Rae House Museum built in 1868. It is a Queen Anne cottage-style Victorian Home which has been owned by several families. Below is a photo of the front porch of the home when it was decorated for Christmas. Notice that Santa is playing with his phone while he awaits visitors! Here is a portrait of Santa greeting guests at the door.
The last historic home I would like to share is the home of the government of the State of California—the Capitol Building. It was originally built in 1874. The beauty of the Roman-style architecture has always captivated me. The exterior and interior of this seat of the state government is decorated each holiday season. There is always a towering Christmas tree in front of the building which is decorated with handmade ornaments provided by children and adults alike. Below are photos of wreaths decorating the exterior of the capitol building and the greenery embellishing the light fixtures in the interior. The final photo was a shot I took from the inside of the Capitol looking outside to the Christmas tree I mentioned earlier.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into just a few of the beautiful homes I have been blessed to experience firsthand in California. Have you had a chance to tour any historic homes or buildings which were decorated for the holiday season?
Wishing you all a blessed and Merry Christmas shared with loved ones as you make new memories that become a part of ‘your’ history.
June’s debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest. ‘Robin’s Reward’, a Christian contemporary romance, is set in the Mendocino coastal region of California. It is book Book One in the ‘Bonita Creek Series’ and was originally released in 2015; the second edition of the book was released in July, 2022. The second book in the series, ‘Jorie’s Journey’, was released in late May of 2022. The third book in the series a Christian historical romance, ‘Christmas in Bonita Creek’, was released in early December, 2022. ‘Romance By Proxy’ is a later-in-life clean, wholesome romance set in Humboldt County on the Northern Coast of San Francisco which was released in August, 2021. June’s Christian historical romance short story, ‘Handmade Hearts’, was inspired by the true story of how June’s aunt and uncle met in New Orleans during World War II and was released in December, 2018.
June’s debut middle-grade novel, ‘RES-Q Tyler Stop’, a historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, was released in the spring of 2019. In early 2022 she published two short story collections for children entitled, ‘Carter’s Cookies & More Family Stories for Children’ and ‘Banjo & More Pet Stories for Children’. As a retired elementary school teacher and literacy mentor, June finds writing for children to be a rewarding and challenging experience. Visit her at her blog to learn more.
June McCrary Jacobs is offering an ebook copy of Christmas in Bonita Creek, plus winner’s choice of one additional fiction or sewing pattern book found here, to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Christmas in Bonita Creek by June McCrary Jacobs? Have you had a chance to tour any historic homes or buildings which were decorated for the holiday season?