Wednesday, December 1, 2010

‘Farley’s Five and Dime: A Dime Store Novel’ by Renée Riva – Book Review and Giveaway

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I really love reading a book that just warms the heart. I am still glowing and cozy warm after reading ‘Farley’s Five and Dime: A Dime Store Novel’ by Renée Riva!

Here is the synopsis of this wonderfully entertaining book:

A Charming Waltz Down Memory Lane. “There was nothing real special ‘bout Farley’s Five-and-Dime except that I was a Farley. That, and my family lived up above the store in what we called The Loft. And my daddy built a secret two-story slide beside the back staircase that went from The Loft right down into the store – which came in quite handy when my brother, Sammy and me were in need of a midnight snack…”
What more could an eleven year old girl who worked the soda fountain in a 1950’s five-and-dime store possibly want?
Nothin’ much…until the town of Hog Eye Holler announces their annual Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Waltz. By her upcoming twelfth birthday, Mazie Farley will finally be old enough to attend, but is she setting her sights a little too high? Best friend, Maybeline Zirkle certainly thinks so…
‘Mazie May Farley, you need to have your head examined if you think you’re going to get Billy Ray Baxter to ask you to that dance!”
But nothing stops Mazie from trying…and trying…and trying! Her comical, self-defeating schemes will keep everyone laughing and falling in love with this high-spirited, red-headed whirlwind. Crazy Mazie carries us along in a tale of warm Southern charm, gentle humor, and a touch of sweet serendipity.
“The best thing about life is…it’s never so bad that it can’t get worse.” – Mazie May Farley

Here is the biography of this author:

Renée Riva has been writing humorous, family and animal stories ever since she won her first writing contest in the second grade. A former greeting-card verse writer and popular speaker, Renée has also published three children’s books: Izzy the Lizzy, Guido’s Gondola, and Rudy the Runt, as well as a Young Adult Trilogy: Saving Sailor, Taking Tuscany, and Heading Home. Farley’s Five and Dime is her latest project about a fun and feisty little character named Mazie Farley.
Renée and her husband reside in Washington State with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and a baby box turtle named Buster.

This story, which takes place at the end of 1958 and the beginning of 1959, is written in the first person voice of the main character, Mazie May Farley. Here she is describing her family:

It was just me and Daddy and Sammy that made up our family after Mama went to heaven in 1956. I was only nine years old when she left us. I remember thinking she must have been needed pretty bad up there, ‘cause I sure needed her down here, but heaven got her anyway. (p. 10)

I love the tone; she seems like a neat little girl!

Mazie knows what she wants, and she has a plan to get what she wants:

The way I see it, there are only two things standing between me and Billy Ray. Two years, age-wise, and Emma Jean Jacobs. The first one I can overcome by January 30th when I turn twelve, and will be only one year behind. The second one will take some scheming. For starters, every girl in Hog Eye, Kentucky is in love with Billy Ray Baxter and wants to be the one he asks to the Sweetheart Dance on Valentine’s Day. So far, Emma Jean is the only one Billy Ray seems to notice though. That is gonna have to change by February 14th, and I intend to make sure it does. Lucky for me, Farley’s Five-and-Dime soda counter is the one place I can always count on Emma Jean to come looking for Billy Ray. And that is exactly where I plan to fight this battle. (p. 19)

God gets a message through to Mazie through her Sunday school teacher, Miss Tiffany; she was not too receptive!:

Sunday morning, I’m sitting in Sunday school at Holy Cross listening to Miss Tiffany talk about loving our neighbor during the Christmas season by doing kind deeds for them.
Good thing Emma Jean is not my neighbor.
“And who is our neighbor?” Miss Tiffany asks.
I’m thinking of old Mr. Martin, and how just maybe I’ll bake him up a sugar loaf for Christmas.  
“Our neighbor is anyone God brings along our path, and whether we like them or not, we are to show love to them.”
Oh, great. Not what I wanted to hear.
“This is the time to make things right. Right the wrongs of the past year, so we can spend Christmas with a joyful heart and a clear conscience.”
Can we just settle for the joyful heart?... (p. 31)

Mazie has great admiration for Nellie, a waitress at their favorite restaurant, Country Vittles:

I watch her every move when I’m here ‘cause I want to grow up to be just like her. I already practice my pony tail swing when I’m working the counter at the Five-and-Dime. My hair is just now finally long enough to wear in a super short pony tail. No more pixie-cuts for this cowgirl or I will never look like Nellie. (p. 44)

Mazie gives us a glimpse about life in a small town at Christmas time in 1950s America:

We walk home by way of the park tonight to see the living nativity that the town of Hog Eye puts on every Christmas Eve. The newest baby boy, born closest to Christmas Eve, gets to play Baby Jesus every year. This has caused some competition between some of the expectant mothers in the past as they have all tried to plan their baby’s birth around Christmastime. One year, two baby boys came along on the same day, but we couldn’t have two Baby Jesus’s, so they had to take turns and work in shifts. It’s quite an honor to be Baby Jesus in this town. You get your picture in the newspaper and go down in the Hog Eye Holler Museum of all Baby Jesus’s from way back. Some of the first Baby Jesus’s are older than the hills by now. For some folks in this town, that is their only claim to fame. (p. 47)

The end of the book is unexpected, but very sweet!:

There are times in life when everything once hoped for seems suddenly hopeless, and life begins to lose its shine. Then out of the blue, serendipity shows up and knocks your socks right off. I guess you could say this was one of those times. And we waltzed. (p. 148)

I have read one other book from Renée – ‘Heading Home’ (you can read my review here). It is truly one of my favorite books I have read this year – and I have read A LOT of books this year! I really loved her humorous and fun style. It seems really rare these days – or else I am just hanging out with the wrong people! But her writing just warms my heart. And ‘Farley’s Five and Dime’ is no exception! I really loved this book. Renée has a writing style that makes me want to read more and more of her work. I will be keeping my eye open for other books coming from her computer. I look forward to them with great anticipation!

This is a great gift for another or for you to read as a Christmas tradition! It is geared to a younger audience - therefore, easy reading - but enjoyable for one and all! You can order this book here.

This book was provided by StoneHouse Ink for review and giveaway purposes.
_______________________________________

I have one copy of this book to pass along to one of you; thanks to Aaron at 
StoneHouse Ink for generously providing this copy! 

There are several ways to gain entry:           

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me how God has helped you through a stressful situation. Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com. 

2) Follow me on Twitter; I will more than likely follow you back! If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect.

3) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect.

4) Become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect.

5) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect.

So there are five chances to enter! Please limit one entry per option, and please include your email address, or, sad to say, the Random Number Generator will have to choose a different winner.

This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Thursday, December 16, 2010 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!

70 comments:

Diane said...

At just the right time, God has someone speak a word of encouragement to me and it gets me through another day.

The book sounds great! :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Diane said...

I am also your facebook friend!

Andrea said...

Blessings,
andrea

Brenda said...

Seems like if I am having a frantic day, someone will smile or say a kind word, always helps alot. kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Brenda said...

I follow your blog on GFC.kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Martha A. said...

He sends a song on the radio or someone to call or a bible verse in the bible...to encourage me.
martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Jo said...

He gives me that peace that passes all understanding when I have gone through difficult situations.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Connie said...

Hi! This book sounds wonderful to read. Thank you for the giveaway! I silently pray to God to get through difficult days at work and usually he provides a sign that things will be okay. :)

aliasgirl1976@yahoo.com

Charlotte Kay said...

First, I have to say that Carman sent me!
I shared previously how God helped my family and me through life-threatening situations of my parents because we called upon His name and trusted Him to have His will!

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I follow you on Twitter; @CHAKASA58

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am an old follower of you as a Google Friend on this blog

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am an old Facebook friend.Charlotte Bushong Saltzman

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am an old follower of this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Cindy W. said...

My husband has a doctor's appt. for a lesion on his retina. When I went to leave work to pick my husband up so we could go to the doctor, I heard the Lord's voice as if He were standing right by me. He said, 'the doctor is going to tell you it is nothing but a scar." Well, after all the tests and pictures the doctor came in and said the exact words the Lord spoke to me. God is just so awesome.

This book sounds great. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a GFC follower.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am also a Facebook friend.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Molly said...

God always sends a friend my way, either through a phone call or an email, with words of encouragement. That's always the best sign to me that God is watching out for me! :o)

Thanks for this giveaway!

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Molly said...

I follow you on Twitter(@reviewsbymolly)

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Molly said...

I am a GFC follower.

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Molly said...

I am a Facebook Friends.

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Molly said...

I follow through Networked Blogs.

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Andrea Schultz said...

Thanks to everyone for the wonderfully heartfelt comments!

Blessings -
Andrea

Sandee61 said...

I'm a Google follower!

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

Prayer has got me through many difficult times, and the messages on Sunday morning that my Pastor gives always seems to hit home. I also have a verse taped on top of my computer that I read everyday -
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

Thank you for the entry in your giveaway. Renee's book sounds like a really fun book.

Many Holiday Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know about this book. I LOVE Renee Riva's books. I've read three of them now and this one looks like a keeper.

The Lord has helped me through many a stressful and crisis situation. He has provided a way when there seemed to be no way to make it through another day.

He provided the funds from many different sources (and without asking or telling many of our situation) what we needed to make it through some really, tough times. He gave my family and I the peace that passes all understanding. A smile on my face when I really had no reason to have one. I didn't know how this would all pan out but God did!! I knew it was tough but I wanted his will to be done in my life. He is the Great Provider and provides a way when there seems to be none!

Nora
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I'm your friend on facebook. I love the picture of you and your puppy!!

Nora
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I follow you on the Network blog

Nora
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I also follow you on twitter.

Nora
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I'm a follower of your blog on Google friends.

Nora
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Bluerose said...

The most stressful situation that God helped me through was my son spending 3 1/2 months in the NICU. There's no way we could have made it without God!

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Bluerose said...

I'm a follower.

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

rubynreba said...

When my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma 2 years ago I thought my world had come to an end. God helped me though this and answered my prayers. My husband'd cancer is now in remission.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)nt

rubynreba said...

I follow on GFC
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Maureen said...

I've been dealing with my Hubby's Parkinson's for the past 28 years. Last year my daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkins's Lymphoma. PTL she is cured. Don't know what I would do without my Rock! God is with me daily!

Maureen said...

I follow you on Twitter....Timmy1966

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I follow you on GFC.

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I was already your friend on Facebook.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

You're now following this blog.
I follow your NetworkedBlogs.

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cathy said...

I'm now a follower of your blog.

tckk1957(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cathy said...

I'm now a follower of you on Networked Blogs.

tckk1957(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cathy said...

I've requested you as a friend on FB.

tckk1957(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cathy said...

I'm now following you on Twitter.

tckk1957(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cathy said...

God is always faithful. In the past several months we have been living through some very trying times, but it seems when I hit bottom, He either gives me a particular verse or song to hold onto or a friend will say just the right thing I need to hear. I'm so thankful for His faithfulness.

tckk1957(at)yahoo(dot)com

apple blossom said...

God is giving peace in this stressful situation we are going through this week. My sister's son was in a very bad car wreck last week. He has brain injuries and God is Awesome. So much has happened in this week. thanks for the giveaway

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Susan Stitch said...

Oh, my, there is no end to the way God helps me through the many struggles I end up in. Maybe the biggest is the way he helped us adopt our twins through social services. After 9 months of their mother fighting her addiction to get them back (and continually losing that battle, unfortunately), He intervened in a miraculous way and she agreed to sign her rights away instead of having them forcefully taken away by the courts. It's a long story, but one made possible only by the prayers of hundreds of people.

I love reading the stories of God's hand in the lives of others in these comments! What a great testimony to God's love.

susan(dot)stitch(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

misskallie2000 said...

There have been so many stressful situations in my life but the one would be when I was going through a divorce. I just let him have his way and I should have gotten my own lawyer and got the gold mine instead of the shaft. I put up with him almost 23 yrs and we had a grown daughter and son that had just turned 16. I just wanted peace but I should have gotten my own lawyer. lol

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow via twitter(@misskallie2000)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Old GFC Follower

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Friend on FB(@Brenda Hill)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Patsy said...

Would love to read this book. Count me in on the giveaway. Thanks for the giveaway.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Judylynn said...

There have been several times in our marriage when we have been low on finances and just at the last moment (God's timing!) we have received what we needed from a friend or anonymous source. God is faithful to provide what we need!

Judylynn said...

I am a Twitter follower!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a Google Friend!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a Facebook Friend!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a NetWorked Blog Follower!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Jolee said...

God simply has been extremely FAITHFUL in very stressful situations...and he often gives me a Word that is so encouraging during that time. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

follow you on gfc. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Cathy W said...

Follow on twitter @cjwallace43
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Cathy W said...

Follow via GFC
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Cathy W said...

FB friend request sent (Cathy Wallace)
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Cathy W said...

Follow on Networked Blogs (Cathy Wallace)
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Cathy W said...

God is always faithful. We just need to listen. His blessings are too many to count.
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Kelly Massman said...

I could feel a sense of peace through the prayers of friends when I had a very stressful week (I had to have a bone marrow biopsy, my son was having tubes put in his ears, and my golden retriever died.)! Thanks for a chance to win a lovely book!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

Kelly Massman said...

I'm a new follower through GFC!

thanks!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I were pregnant at the same time. Such a blessing to be able to share this with someone. It reduced our worrying when we had someone to ask "is this happening to you too." I'm thinking it was a great benefit to our husbands!

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

God is always with me, most especially so this past weekend as I was in the hospital in a great deal of pain. God gave me the strength to hang on.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Twitter Follower
@NancyeDavis

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Facebook Friend

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Networked Blogs follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

 
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