Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)


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Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 51 pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Advent Bride , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 28, Sunnie rated it it was amazing. Here is a little about the series itself: Christmas is the time for love.

Each week leading up to Christmas, readers will be introduced to a new bride who is on her way to the altar, whether she knows it or not. Across the heartland of America, readers will experience old-fashioned Christmas traditions, sweet romance, and inspiring faith from 12 acclaimed Christian authors, including Mary Conne Advent Bride by Mary Connealy The Advent Bride is part 1 of a 12 part series of 12 Brides of Christmas.

My review: I received this sweet novella and enjoyed the simplicity and happy feelings that it brought to me. This book takes us back in time to November of Simon, whose father was a widower, was a real challenge in her life, almost as much as Mrs. Rathbone, in whose home she was staying. Her room was an unheated attic and Mrs. Rathbone expected her on time for dinner and gave her absolute grief if all her rules were not abided by exactly as she wanted. As much as she dreads the thought, she stays with Simon daily until his father arrives to take him home.

In her cold attic room, Melanie discovers a box. This small box gives Melanie ideas for a plan and she asks Mrs. Rathbone if she might have the box. I received this ebook from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. Dec 19, Lynn Spencer rated it liked it Shelves: inspirational-romance , novellas , holiday-romances. The Advent Bride , first of The Twelve Brides of Christmas novellas, appears meant to be heartwarming story of a schoolteacher reaching a difficult student and also finding love during the Christmas season.

However, it all felt just a bit too flat for me to truly enjoy it. An orphan without many choices in life, Melanie Douglas has come to Nebraska to teach school and hopefully build a life for herself. From the beginning of the story, readers can tell that she hasn't had a chance to do much in The Advent Bride , first of The Twelve Brides of Christmas novellas, appears meant to be heartwarming story of a schoolteacher reaching a difficult student and also finding love during the Christmas season. From the beginning of the story, readers can tell that she hasn't had a chance to do much in that whole "building a life" department.

As was customary at the time, Melanie boards with someone in the community. But, oh, what a someone. Poor Melanie gets stuck with widowed Mrs. Rathbone, one of the few in town with money and a sizable home. Unfortunately for Melanie, she is also possessed of a vicious nature, and constantly belittles and threatens Melanie as well as expecting her to basically act as a maid during her off hours.

And then there's the school. At school, Melanie instantly notices Simon O'Keefe, a motherless boy who has a gift for disrupting the entire class. Melanie has compassion for the boy, and tries to reach out to him. Since Simon's father, Henry, is the town sheriff and frequently working long after school hours, Melanie has ample opportunity to spend time with Simon since he gets left at school long after dismissal.

One thing I will say for this story: All of these tales of woe don't get wrapped up into an overly perfect saccharine-sweet ending. Sometimes the unpleasant things and people stay unpleasant; characters just get ways to deal with them. However, even with that bit of realism, the story still felt flat, particularly when read as a romance. So much of the story centers on the travails and Melanie and Mrs.


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Rathbone, and the ways Melanie finds to get through to her student Simon that little time is left for romance. This is a partial review. Jan 10, Rhonda rated it it was amazing. Imagine teaching in in a one-room school house in Nebraska in the miserably cold winter and having one very unruly student who attempts to keep everyone in the school from learning. Teaching is hard enough under the best of circumstances.

I speak from experience, having taught for fourteen years in public school.

Melanie Douglas has a tough living situation in the home of a cranky, rude elderly wealthy lady and then comes to the school to deal with a student who is more than cranky. Add to Imagine teaching in in a one-room school house in Nebraska in the miserably cold winter and having one very unruly student who attempts to keep everyone in the school from learning.

Add to that a father who leaves him at the school late in the afternoons and Melanie has a real dilemma. She finds a box with secrets of its own and it may just be the key to solving both problem of father and son. Will Melanie and Simon's father work together to correct Simon's behavior? Will both father and son learn new life lessons from the new school teacher?

I know that as a modern-day teacher, I did not have to arrive early to heat up the school.


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I did not have to rely on a cranky woman to allow me to take small bits of food for my lunch. I did not have an unpleasant living situation to go home to each night after a day of struggling to manage a serious behavior problem in the classroom. I felt that Melanie handled the situation admirably.

I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers. I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Sep 28, Jaquelyn Scroggie rated it it was amazing. It is a wonderfully written short story that can give even the most brokenhearted hope. Can Melanie find a way to get him engaged in his school work? How can she use this unique box to help? With prayer all things are possible when you call on God and Melanie is certainly doing that. Can Henry let go of past hurts and move on to the future God has for him?

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Will Simon see that everything Melanie is doing for him is out of love? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romances. Connealy does an amazing job! I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in return for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. Sep 29, Rebecca rated it liked it. What could possibly bring romance between a previously orphaned young school teacher and a bitter, grief-stricken young sheriff?

Try an impish young son, a grouchy landlady with an attic full of relics and a curious box with hidden drawers. Melanie Douglas battles Simon O'Keefe's antics in her classroom almost daily. Adding to her angst is the fact that he arrives early and stays late; thanks to the new job that his father has taken as Lone Tree, Nebraska's town sheriff. Melanie is at her wit's What could possibly bring romance between a previously orphaned young school teacher and a bitter, grief-stricken young sheriff?

Melanie is at her wit's end. Henry "Hank" O'Keefe, the boy's father, insists that she just doesn't know how to "manage" him and her landlady , Mrs. Rathbone, threatens to report Melanie's long hours at the school to the town's school board. But there is something about Simon that tugs at Melanie's heart, not to mention his handsome father.

When Melanie discovers a mysterious old box in the cold, dark attic that Mrs. Rathbone begrudgingly provides as Melanie's "home", things begin to change. It seems that many prayers are going to be answered this Christmas, in Lone Star, Nebraska. I was graciously provided this copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Dec 07, Carrie Schmidt Reading is My SuperPower rated it it was amazing Shelves: western-expansion , blog-reviewed , romantic-fiction , christmas-fiction , snowed-in , historical , s.

Melanie Douglas has two archenemies. One is her crotchety landlady. The other is a little boy who might be smarter than everyone else but he's also more trouble. When she finds inspiration in an old heirloom of her landlady's, the Advent box Melanie creates might just be the answer she's been seeking. The toys and trinkets she squirrels away for Simon to find aren't the only hidden rewards, especially when Simon's dad becomes involved in the game.

Mary Connealy's The Advent Bride wins my award for the funniest line in this collection! I literally laughed out loud at the opening words to her novella - "Being a teacher was turning out to be a little like having the flu. As a former elementary school teacher, this struck me as perfectly descriptive of my one and only year of full-time classroom teaching : The whole novella was full of great lines like that, as well as a very heartwarming story and sweet romance.

Sep 24, Kathy rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in The Advent Bride is a cute short Christmas story. It had a Little House on the Prairie feel to it. Melanie is a school teacher and spends extra time trying to get through to struggling student Simon. Through the use of an "advent box" she finds she is able to keep Simon on task at school and helps to reengage his father back in his life as well. Of course there is a little romance that blooms along the way. I was left wanting a little more development in the relationship between Melanie and Simo The Advent Bride is a cute short Christmas story.

I was left wanting a little more development in the relationship between Melanie and Simon's father. And I had a hard time envisioning how the Advent box was created to have so many hidden compartments. But overall this was a heartwarming title I don't regret reading. Rating: 3. Oct 01, Sarah rated it really liked it. The Advent Bride is a sweet, easy read. This first installment in the 12 Bride of Christmas short story collection is the tale of Melanie Douglas who teaches in a one room school building out on the Nebraska plains, and the student she has the most trouble with Simon OKeeffe.

After discovering a box with hidden compartments in the attic Melanie lives in, she uses it to hide tiny object to encourage Simon showing better behavior while catering to his love of woodworking. As with most short storie The Advent Bride is a sweet, easy read. As with most short stories, it's a very quick read, which honestly I was a little bummed how rushed the story felt. I'm excited to read the additional stories to this Christmas Bride collection.

Sep 25, Deanna Stevens rated it it was amazing. I liked this short story that was set in a one room school in Nebraska in the weeks before Christmas. Melanie has one unruly little boy who upsets the classroom constantly. When she discovers a mysterious little chest with a lot of drawers and knobs that open in mysterious ways she enlists Simon and his father to help her solve the mystery of opening each drawer to see whats inside. If he behaves he gets to explore the little chest after school.

She puts a piece of the Nativity Scene in each dra I liked this short story that was set in a one room school in Nebraska in the weeks before Christmas. She puts a piece of the Nativity Scene in each drawer leading up to Christmas to celebrate the Adven Season. But, the last mystery opening is a mystery even to Melanie. I received this e-book from Barbour Publishing for my honest opinion.

Oct 07, Dana Kamstra rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviews , christian-historical-fiction. The Advent Bride by Mary Connealy was such a fun read. Stories that involve little kids are often riddled with a certain amount of humour. While it has been a couple of years since I have been in a classroom, the character Simon certainly reminded me of some of the trouble makers I had dealt with!

Overall, this story has everything you could want in novella. It is a bit unique, the main characters have a bit of backstory, but not too much, and everything flows at a wonderful pace. I adored this novella! Oct 06, Ausjenny rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical. I started it and just couldn't put it down.

Its such a lovely story and typical of Mary's style. I feel in love with the main characters and love the premise of the story. I am so looking forward to the rest of this series which will be one a week. Lovely short story. Oct 06, Dianne Sidebottom rated it really liked it. Interesting characters in the story. I would like to ask Mary had she seen a box like the one she mentioned in the story or was that just imaginary.

Mrs Rathbone was a sour old lady still some like that around today.


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When to speak, when to be silent, when to stand up for oneself is a gift we all would like but only God can help most. There is always one student who is a trial to their teacher. Mar 19, BlueJeansAndTeacups rated it it was amazing. Lone Tree, Nebraska, Nov. Her bitter, old landlady demands even more each evening and weekend. Through it all, the lonely orphaned young woman clings to God, prayerfully seeking his guidance.

And He sends it in a very unique way. Hank O'Keefe has just taken a job as town sheriff so that he and his young son, Simon, can live in town during the harsh Nebraska winter. Now he will have to split his limited time between the town and running his Homestead with his cattle at his sod home. That leaves even less time with his son than previously, and that does not bode well with his son's teacher with the striking green eyes.

But God helps them work through their problems in a most unique way during the Advent season. Also part of the book Christmas Wedding Bell Brides with 3 other novellas Jul 15, Danielle rated it liked it Shelves: 3-stars , read , christian-fiction , reviewed , christmas , novella , a. Rathbone ruined this novella for me. It would've been so much better if she had either been removed or toned down by about ten, and stopped the accusations and demands.

Other than that I enjoyed it. I liked the ending, but would've liked Simon's take more than "marry us we love you. Sep 23, Angela rated it really liked it Shelves: anderson-library , christian-fiction , , barbour. I always enjoy Mary Connealy's trademark wit and charm. Melanie, an orphan, has found herself in the midst of Lone Tree, Nebraska teaching in a one room schoolhouse and trying to win over a very unruly little boy. With a mysterious little box filled with multiple secret compartments she manages to capture little Simon's attention and share the story of the Nativity.

Still mourning the loss of his mother, Simon learns from Melanie that there is still kindness in the world and Simon's father, Hank discovers that Christmas can bring his heart healing as well! Dec 20, Susan P rated it liked it Shelves: contemporary-fiction. Light, short, sweet easy read. Oct 05, Sarah Vanscoyoc rated it liked it.

I was bit disappointed. The beginning was very promising and I laughed at the very first line, but somewhere around the halfway point, I began t I was bit disappointed. The beginning was very promising and I laughed at the very first line, but somewhere around the halfway point, I began to lose interest. A fair amount of the plot revolves around a mystery box Melanie finds and ingeniously uses to keep Simon interested in his studies. Also, after the addition of it, the story became more of little snippets of days, letting the reader know what was found.

I wanted to know more about the characters, instead. I did like Melanie Douglas.

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I enjoyed her spunk and desire to care for Simon, even though he irritated her to no end. She surprisingly comes to care a great deal for the little nuisance and his father, who also drives her crazy. I actually found his attraction to Melanie a little strange, because he only just met her, but it worked okay for the sake of the story. I also found the ending quite farfetched. I received a free download of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given.

I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. Shelves: arc , historical-romance , loved-it , books-sent-by-publishers , christian-fiction , netgalley , novel-concept , short-story. The Advent Bride attracted me at first because of its cover which is so Christmasy and then because of the blurb which instantly hooked me. Set in a past time in Nebraska where Melanie Douglas lives and fights each day to brave the harsh cold, keep a roof over her head by never saying anything back to the obnoxious Mrs.

Rathbone who only has threats and complains for her and also tackle the rowdy and wild Simon O'Keeffe who is always hell bent on mischief- Melanie has her hands full. In a society where girls marry young, she has accepted her fate and being an orphan has only her job as a teacher keeping her happy. The story had all the ingredients of a lovely romance but still I felt the romance between Melanie and Henry was under developed.

Clearly, if the evidence of my local Christmas parade is anything to go by, it has now effectively eclipsed the Godless Girl Scouts, at least here in the buckle of the Bible-Belt. I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of musicianship is high as is the selection of music. The text consists of a series of mediaeval English poems, longtime favorites of mine, sung in the splendor of Chaucerian Middle English with a smattering of Latin. Who could ask for more? Christmas would not be Christmas without the Christmas shopping, of course, but even here I try to keep it local.

I make my purchases, wherever possible, from local small stores, such as the aforementioned country store and those other new stores which are beginning to reappear on Main Street, and I try to buy locally produced gifts. The country store, for example, is well-stocked with local honey, or locally-made cooking sauces, pickles, chutneys and chow-chow, as well as local cook-books and books of local history. Speaking of books, I try to buy books from small publishers and I try to buy them directly from the publishers or from local bookstores, resisting at least most of the time the allure of the Almighty Amazon.

The food we purchase for our Christmas feast will be local produce and, usually, local meat, including, when we have turkey, birds raised on a farm around the corner from where we live. The beer I drink will be locally craft-produced ale and, should I desire something stronger, the moonshine I imbibe will be made in the local distillery. If I want the family-owned businesses to return to Main Street, resurrecting the ghost towns, I need to spend my money in those stores when they begin to reappear.

And if this means that I have less to spend on the mass-produced junk from China on sale in Walmart, so much the better! And on that jolly note, I raise a glass of locally-crafted ale and wish you all a truly Merrie Christmas!

Advent Devotional Booklet — Grace Bible Church

This article first appeared in the Imaginative Conservative and is republished with permission. His personal website is jpearce. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U. I am happy to proclaim that Christ is very much alive in the heart of small town America.

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O Little Town of Bethlehem (Acapella) - The Living Stones Quartet
Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)
Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)
Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)
Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)
Once Upon O Little Town (An Advent Discovery)

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