Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review of Christmas at the Homeplace

Book Review of Christmas at the Homeplace

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

 “Christmas at the Homeplace” by William Leverne Smith
Publisher: Vision to Action Publishing

Category: Historical Fiction, Family Saga, Missouri Ozarks, General Fiction
Tour Dates: November 2013
Available in Print and Kindle: October 25, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1493510405


Will they all be home for Christmas? For the first time since their father died, Karen (Bevins) Winslow is expecting all her children in Oak Springs for Christmas 1996. This Christmas of homecomings offers some surprises as "The Homeplace Saga" continues. Will Staff Sergeant Travis Inman arrive home from Bosnia in time to see his baby daughter for the first time at Christmas? Will a life-long friend of the Winslow family move to Oak Springs permanently? Does Peter have a son? The boy's mother insists he does. How would this change the inter-generational dynamics in the family businesses in the Oak Creek valley of the southern Missouri Ozarks? Learn more by reading this latest addition to this continuing family saga.

Also, follow local veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Bevins and her young lawyer friend, Brian Kirk, as they temporarily lay aside their personal family history and genealogy research to work with City Librarian Judy Watson and others to form and create an Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society. Their hope is that be reaching out to the community they can locate additional local historical records on their families back to the first settlements in 1833 when Jennifer's McDonald ancestors were among those first arrivals in the valley. Learn what else occurs, before Christmas, as Jennifer and Brian devote their full attention to this new set of activities.

Series Information:

This page is an overview of "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories shared on multiple venues in print and online. These include essays, short stories, novels, novellas, this home blog, a developmental wiki and more.

"The Homeplace Saga" series of stories span the time period dating from 1833 to the present, in one location. Occasional stories may follow characters to other locations, but generally the stories all take place in the fictional Oak Creek Township river valley, in northwest Shannon County, Missouri, deep in the southern Missouri Ozarks.

NOTE: The latest major entry in the "Saga" is the 1996 novel, "Christmas at the Homeplace," to be released October 25, 2013.

"The Homeplace Saga" began with the publication of the debut novel of author William Leverne Smith in 2010, "Back to the Homeplace," set in 1987. This novel introduced the Bevins-McDonald family and suggested a rich history in the family farm business dating from first settlement in 1833 on the same land, in the same river valley. [See Book Trailer video, right sidebar, scroll down]


"Murder by the Homeplace," is a novella (half the length of a novel), a murder mystery-style story, that takes place in the months that immediately follow "Back to the Homeplace."


With the novel, "The Homeplace Revisited," we jump nine years to 1996, when three members of the next generation return to the valley as young professionals to seek out their place in the growing family businesses. Some readers have suggested this is two romance stories entwined with a story of intergenerational conflict. [See Book Trailer video, right sidebar, scroll down]

The novel, "Christmas at the Homeplace," focuses on the fourth quarter of 1996, as various members of the extended families settle into new roles following an active summer and fall. The theme is "homecomings," for many of our characters, as a couple of new, key characters are incorporated into "The Homeplace Saga." [See Book Trailer video, right sidebar, scroll down]

The developmental wiki, "The Homeplace Saga: Beyond the Books," continues as the "creative center" of the growth of "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories. These include character sketches, background on characters, families and businesses, and a base for innovations in both story lines and presentation platforms. You, the reader, are invited to participate, as well, as interest develops.

Short stories of various kinds have become the primary story-telling mode of choice. Three of these have been published in the regional Ozarks Writers League (OWL) annual anthology, to date, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. [The first two of these has now been shared on this blog, as well, beginning here, with "The Trek to the Homeplace."] We have begun to publish some essays and short stories on the HubPages platform, and at, as well. Other venues are added as deemed appropriate to reach new audiences.

Author Information: 
William Leverne Smith was born and raised on a Midwestern farm. A passion for family history and genealogy studies provides background for his writing.
He and his wife live in a cabin in the Missouri Ozarks.

 Information on Vision to Action Publishing:
Vision to Action Publishing designs and develops print, e-book, web, and video materials to support life-long learning and leisure activities. It is a family business with offices in Austin, TX, Teasdale, UT, and Hollister, MO, and does not accept author submissions or outside advertising.



Interesting homesy story continuing the saga of the Bevins-McDonalds family during the current Christmas gathering.  I am sure that some of the story would have made more sense if I had read the other books in the series, but I was able to follow fairly easily.  The story was a little folksy, but contained genuine emotion and love.

I enjoyed the desire of the matriarch to have all her family there for Christmas, particularly since the loss of her husband.  My family is experiencing something similar this year since my father died rather unexpectedly this year.  I wish I had read the other books in the series so that I had a better background to help me understand some of the nuances of the story.

I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, very much, Mindy, for hosting this review and post on the tour! ;-)