2017 Holiday Shopping Guide

Looking for that perfect gift to give for the Holidays?  Don’t fret, we’ve found some GREAT locally owned small businesses and artisans who have what you are looking for!  Browse our locally owned shopping guide and pick up a few gifts for friends…or yourself…and be proud in knowing you are helping support local small business!


Extraordinary Beards
We produce salon quality beard oils, beard balms, beard washes and grooming products to keep your beard looking extraordinary!
Available online at Extraordinarybeards.com

 

 


The Fugly Mug Company
The Fugly Mug Company is an online retailer of the most unique coffee mugs, gifts, and Colorado themed merchandise. We are a small family business based out of Parker, Colorado and can ship globally anywhere a little Fugly is needed!
Available online at www.fuglymugcompany.com

 

 


The Wine Barrel
Choose from fantastic bottles of wine, custom labels, wine accessories (openers, charms, bags, etc.) and artwork. Can’t decide on the perfect gift for the wine lover? Gift Certificates are also available! Visit our store at 11495 S. Twenty Mile Rd, #5, Parker, CO 80134

 

 


Cookieliciousness
Cookieliciousness specializes in beautiful and delicious frosted sugar cookies as well as decadent gourmet cookies including our best selling Salted Caramel, Cranberry Orange Oatmeal, and Double Chocolate Peppermint cookies.
www.cookieliciousness.com

 

 


Jennifer Skalecke Fine Art
Beautiful hand painted ornaments, custom glassware and acrylic on canvas paintings. Perfect pieces for gifts for special occasions, during the holidays, or adding gorgeous accents to your own home. Visit Jennifer’s Etsy shop to see examples of her gorgeous work and find something special!
www.etsy.com/shop/JenniferSkaleckeArt

 

 


Ro+Co Ltd
All-natural soy candles available in 15 amazing scents, infused with therapeutic-grade essential oils . All our candles are eco-friendly, Phthalate free and hand poured in Colorado!
Shop online at www.etsy.com/shop/ROANDCOLTD

 

 


Beautiful Art Picture Framing & Art Gallery
Our custom Picture Framing & Art Gallery provides custom framing for your Sports Jerseys, Limited Editions, Originals, Canvases & So Much More! Check our our Newest “LJ Gallery Moments” where we take YOUR photo/jpg and put them on Aluminum, Acrylic or Painted Canvas! We also have LOCAL Artists Artwork in the Gallery for purchase. Shop in our store located at 19501 E. Mainstreet, Suite 103 Parker, CO 80138 or online at www.BeautifulArtPictureFraming.com

 

 


Silver Aspen Studio
Specializing in hand-stitched beaded leather cuffs and wraps, metal etched designs, Sterling silver, gemstone and Swarovski Crystal and much more, Silver Aspen Studio has beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all budgets; all handmade in Parker.
Available by appointment or online at Silveraspenstudio.com

 

 


 

Bumble Brie Designs
We design and make handcrafted wooden signs, home decor, personalized glassware, custom apparel, decals and much more!
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/pg/queenbumblebrie

Little Bean’s Nut Shoppe
Offering delectable small batch Colorado Craft beer roasted and glazed nuts, perfect for corporate gifts, stocking stuffers and holiday parties! Find our product at The Local in Southlands or shop online at littlebeansnutshoppe.com

White hawk & Z
Hand painted wood signs for holidays and every day, ornaments, and more, often on reclaimed wood. Also offering custom designs.
Come see us at Rose Wild & Jane 399 Perry Street, Ste 100, Castle Rock, CO 80104 or shop on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whitehawkandz

Jojo’s Jungle
Specializing in all things vinyl products – mugs, wine glasses, ornaments, signs, t-shirts – creating handmade gifts for your friends and family.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/jojosjunglegifts

The Rusted Windmill
Local artists selling one-of-a-kind gifts and home decor. Available at their in-store location, located inside Elev.5900 at Parker Station on Mainstreet Parker

KTQTs
We make and sell one-of-a-kind hats, bows and headbands.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/KTQTs

The Smells Good Store
Specializing in body care products, home fragrances, and unique gifts. Available at The Smells Good Store – 313 3rd St., Castle Rock, CO 80104 and online at www.TheSmellsGoodStore.com

Living Designs
Customized decals for any wall, car, cup, tile, etc. Great gifts with endless possibilities! Available in store at 15791 E. Tufts Ave. or online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/LivingDesigns

Rollin’ With My Oils
Ready to Use Essential Oil Roller Bottle Blends that make using oils super easy, even for the most novice user.
Available online – www.etsy.com/shop/rollinwithmyoils

BBD Graphics, Inc.
Graphic Design and Layout, Logo Design, Screen Printed Apparel, Heat Transfer Vinyl Apparel, Car Vinyl Advertisement, Wall Vinyl Designs, Painted Signs & More! Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/BbdGraphicsInc

The Sassy Stitch By Erin
Beautiful handmade crochet items, specializing in custom designs.
Available online at www.Etsy.com/shop/TheSassyStitchByErin

Castle Rock Chalk
Custom designed chalkboards, perfect for seasonal decorating, unique everyday home decor and perfect touches for special events.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/castlerockchalk1

Natalie’s Twinkletoes and Bows
We create adorable baby barefoot sandals and headbands – perfect for gifts for the littlest ones on your list!
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/nataliestwinkletoesandbows

Rosabella
Add a little extra sparkle to the holidays with handcrafted sterling silver jewelry featuring Swarovski Crystals and Swarovski Pearls.
Available online at www.etsy.com/shop/myrosabella and by appointment in Parker

A Thing of the Past
I make hand-painted wooden signs using carefully chosen pieces of lumber, selected for its unique beauty. From there, it is cut and sanded by hand before being stained and painted for a piece that is truly one of a kind. I make many standard items, but also make custom signs. Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/athingofthepastllc

glow + gather
We create natural, handcrafted personal care products and home goods, as well as infused salts, sugars, and spice blends designed to help you embrace your inner glow and gather your friends & family to spread joy. Available online at www.glowandgather.com

Alison Kelley Designs
A self-taught metalsmith and jewelry designer, Alison enjoys making gemstone and crystal jewelry, as well as metal fabricated pieces made of sterling silver, gold, copper or brass.
Find great gifts from Alison Kelley Designs at Rose Wild & Jane 399 Perry Street, Ste 100, Castle Rock, CO 80104 and online at www.alisonkelleydesigns.com

CreativeCutes Jewelry Designs
CreativeCutes offers beautifully hand-crafted, stylish, Boho earrings, necklaces and bracelets, featuring fine Czech glass and gemstone beads, Swarovski crystals, leather and mixed metals in fabulous colors and current styles, all reasonably priced and locally crafted for your jewelry shopping needs. Free gift wrapping and local delivery are always offered! Available online at www.CreativeCutes.etsy.com

Wrought’n Apples Boutique & Gifts
We carry a large Selection of Unique Clothing, Home Decor, Fashion & Handmade Jewelry, Candles, Niki Biki Brand Basics, Children’s Apparel & Accessories, DownEast Basics, Footwear, Scarves, Colorado Clothing, Holiday Decor, Clothing & Gifts to Spoil Everyone Wrought’n!
Shop our store located at 10510 Dransfeldt Rd #106 Parker, CO 80134

Purgatory Cellars Winery
A Colorado winery with European charm making and sharing unique, award winning, locally made Colorado wines.
Visit Purgatory Cellars Winery at 18921 Plaza Drive Suite #100, Parker, CO 80134 or online at www.purgatorycellarscolorado.com

Desert Rose Designs
Unique gifts and custom creations, including shawls, scarves, hats, stuffies and more…the best items made from the finest materials. We also create fully customizable, woodburned art. If you can dream it, we can help you realize it. All items are handmade in CO. www.facebook.com/love.desertrosedesigns

The Embellished Rose
Fresh roses with words, logos even photos printed on them. Great for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions. We also offer a full range of handmade gift baskets. Visit our store, located at 133 County Road 17, #E1B, Elizabeth, Colorado 80107 or shop online at theembellishedrose.com

The Olde Willow Herbal Mercantile
We personally make our own hand-crafted herbal remedies for your physical and emotional well-being. Kim and EmmaLee are a mother-daughter team of Master Certified Herbalists using only the freshest of herbs, tried and true recipes and listening hearts. We would be blessed to help you! Visit us online at theoldewillowherbalmercantile.com or come see us at 45938 Sun Country Dr. Elizabeth, CO 80107

Spring’s Sticky Bling
Providing custom vinyl designs for work and play.
Shop online through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Spring’sStickyBling

Likewoah Crocheted
Cozy Crocheted Goods including wool blankets, warm beanies, infinity scarves, fringe scarves and more. Sales from products at Likewoah Crocheted benefit Planned Parenthood. Shop online at www.etsy.com/shop/LikewoahCrocheted

Mellivora
Locally made in Colorado, our leggings are made of recycled material. All designed from real photography & real adventure. Crafted to Inspire. Check out the amazing designs online at www.mellivoraco.com

World in Pencil
World in Pencil is a collection of quirky and wonderful Colorado wildlife drawings by award winning, local artist Christine Benson. Available this holiday season are notecards, Christmas cards, selected individually or in assorted holiday boxes, ready to be given as gifts. Other gifts include small framed prints and pencil sets. Contact the artist at high_altitudes@yahoo.com for more information or to place an order.

Angle K Farms
We make the finest herbal medicines on the market with proven recipes. Are products are made from the highest quality organic or naturally grown herbs and they are not diluted, allowing you to receive the maximum value of these wonderful herbs.
Shop all our products online at www.anglekfarms.com or visit us at 10490 Dransfeldt Rd. Suite 100, Parker, CO 80134

JC Custom Design Works
Eco friendly woodworking and boozy gifts specializing in locally sourced Colorado beetle kill wood.
Available online at www.jccustomdesignworks.com

Harry’s Toy Drive

A note from Mia Samora, Harry’s Mom

“Every day, all day, memories of my son flood my mind, but mostly my heart. Every day, all day I long to hold him once more. I long to look into his brown eyes that were as big as saucers when he smiled, and as big as the universe when he cried. People say, “I can’t imagine the pain.” They are right, they can’t. Losing a child is more painful than anything I had ever imagined, and much worse.

When you lose a child, you have to start your life all over. You begin with learning how to breathe again. It is the first step, and the hardest, because you just can’t imagine living without your baby. Step two: You have to learn how to talk yourself into getting out of bed to face another painful day. Third: You have to find something or someone that can make this life bearable. These are ongoing, daily steps that I, and every parent who has lost a child has to partake in.

When you lose a child, you lose a part of yourself. You have wonderful memories, and you try to concentrate mostly, on those. The sad memories are always there, always present, but you always try to replace that thought with a beautiful memory in an effort to make the bad one fade—sometimes it works.

Some of the hardest times for me have been to think of my son’s future. When you have a child, you dream of what they will become. How will they look in their tuxedo at prom? Who will be their first love? What will his voice sound like when he enters puberty? Will he pass his driver’s license test? Where will he choose to go to college? What will it feel like to see him graduate? How exciting will it be to watch him get married, better yet…have your grandchild? There are a million “what ifs and should have beens.” All empty questions, with no answers. When you lose a child, their future is no more.

My son lived for eight years and fifty one days. In that short time he loved helping others, loved caring for others, and especially loved to see other children smile. He was a funny boy, with silly jokes. He was a warm person, giving hugs at just the right time. At school, if a student became ill, Harry would take his work into the nurse’s office so that his friends would not be alone. His heart was huge. He was not perfect, but he was perfect to me. Just the sight of him filled my heart with love. His hugs sent me to the moon…and beyond. I can’t share a future with my son, but I can see his legacy live on. A legacy that will keep Harry’s spirit alive forever!

In an effort to honor my son, I created a toy drive on what would have been his 9th birthday. I gave a memorial birthday party and donated about 50 gifts to Children’s Hospital in Parker, in his name. Over the past years the toy drive has grown, last year we collected almost 1700 toys! I have not done this alone, as many businesses and schools have joined in, it has become a community effort, for certain. The toys are delivered just before Christmas, making the holiday a bit more cheerful for the children that are at Children’s Hospital. These toys bring smiles to hospitalized children. I am hoping when my son looks down, he will see those smiles, and perhaps it will make him smile, too.”

Toy donations can be dropped off at Waid Publishing,
12760 Stroh Ranch Way, Suite 202, Parker, CO 80134
For more information, visit their foundation website at
HarrySamoraMemorial.com

Parker’s Hometown Holiday Weekend

If you were to thumb through vintage issues of the Saturday Evening Post, you’d see covers featuring idyllic vignettes of small town charm and holiday tradition. Each November, Downtown Parker becomes it’s own little Rockwell-esque scene, with enormous trees forming a canopy of twinkling lights in O’Brien Park and up and down Mainstreet. Downtown Parker comes alives during the holiday season, and that all starts with the traditional Mayor’s Tree Lighting event. Saturday, November 24th, join Mayor Mike Waid, the Parker Chorale, performers from The Nutcracker of Parker and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, for a magical evening marking the start of Parker’s Hometown Holiday Weekend.

The holiday spirit will spread through the crowd as the event kicks off with the Parker Chorale leading a “Silent Night” sing-along, followed by the countdown to the lighting of the Town tree and park. Once the lights come on, the magic continues as you can stroll paths through the park to take in the festive ice sculptures, meet some favorite holiday characters with stories and activities to enjoy and maybe even spot the “Elf in the Tree” through the twinkling lights.

Adding to the enchantment of the evening will be caroling by local high school choirs as well as a performance from the beloved Nutcracker of Parker, which will open its 14th Anniversary production at the PACE Center on Thursday, December 14th. Treats from local food vendors will be available as well. Complete the experience with another Parker favorite, Holiday Carriage Rides through town.

Carriage Rides will be offered all weekend from the Douglas County Library in Parker. Rides will be approximately twenty-five minutes and will travel through downtown on Mainstreet, giving you a front row seat to all the splendor of Downtown Parker during the holidays. This year, carriage rides will feature larger vehicles, one additional vehicle in the fleet and extended hours. Rides will be offered Friday, November 24th-Sunday, November 26th from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. All carriage and wagon rides are free to the public, although participants will be required to reserve time slots in advance. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups will open at 10am, Wednesday, November 22nd, at www.ParkerOnline.org/CarriageRides.

While you are enjoying Parker’s Hometown Holiday Weekend, be sure to visit the Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park. Even if you don’t skate, head over to Discovery Park from 4 to 8 p.m. November 24th, 25th and 26th to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays. Watch a Snow Globe Acrobat, enjoy a story with one of Santa’s Elves or maybe take pictures with Elsa and Olaf!

Enjoy all there is to experience during Parker’s Hometown Holiday Weekend; the Mayor’s Tree Lighting, Holiday Carriage Rides and Parker’s own Ice Trail at Discovery Park and be sure to mark your calendar for the upcoming Holiday Carriage Parade on December 9th! For more on all these events, go to
www.ParkerOnline.org/HolidayEvents.

Turkey Day 5k Run/Walk

Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 23rd
8:00am
Parker Recreation Center
Register at www.parkerrec.com

If you’re looking for a little less “wobble” after you gobble, get out with your family and friends and join the the Parker community at Parker Recreation’s annual Turkey Day 5K Run/Walk. Held at the Recreation center, this “scaled down” version of the Town’s 5K race series is a non-sanctioned event and unofficially timed but participants will still receive giveaways and have chances to win prizes. All participants who register by November 15th are guaranteed to receive a commemorative item from this year’s event. The Turkey Day 5K runner’s course will be a loop through the community while the walker’s course will be an out-and-back route on the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. Little racers can get in on the fun too; strollers are welcome on the course but organizers ask that walkers and runners please leave their dogs, bikes and scooters at home for this event. Parking for the event will be limited so it is highly encouraged for participants to carpool.

The Turkey Day 5K will be held rain, snow or shine with no refunds issued due to weather. But hey, half the fun of outdoor events in Colorado is never knowing if you’ll be playing in the sun or snow! Early registration ($10) is available until October 15th, $15 pre-registration is available until November 21st at noon, and if you are a last minute racer, you can register as a walk-up participant on race day for $25. Race packets can be picked up from title sponsor RNK Running and Walking (13019 South Parker Rd.), on Wednesday, November 22nd, or at the event beginning at 6:45am on race day.

Start Thanksgiving Day off celebrating your health in the amazing town we live in and get out for Parker’s Turkey Day 5K! For more information on the Turkey Day 5K, additional sponsorship information and volunteer opportunities or to register to run (or walk) go to www.parkerrec.com.

The Yuletide Bazaar

One weekend each year, the Parker Fieldhouse transforms into a holiday wonderland and kicks off the season with the Mountain Pine Woman’s Club Yuletide Bazaar. Rows and rows of goods and wares to choose from winds its way through their spectacular set up at the Fieldhouse. The Bazaar is the annual fundraising event for the Mountain Pine Woman’s Club. The funds raised at this one day event help provide the scholarships, contributions and support throughout the community and extend to the Denver Metro area, National and International programs.

Mountain Pine Woman’s Club of Parker is proud to sponsor annual scholarships to encourage students to reach their educational goals. For nearly thirty years, numerous scholarships have been awarded in varying amounts, enabling many high school seniors to reach their educational or vocational goals as they continue their education. Applications for the 2017-18 school year are currently available; the submission deadline for this year’s applications is February 1, 2018. Eligible applicants should be graduating seniors with a GPA of 2.5-3.5 from Chaparral, Legend, Ponderosa, Castle View or Douglas County High Schools. Applications can be found online at
www.mpwcparker.org.

The Mountain Pine Woman’s Club club is non-profit, non-sectarian, 501 (c) (3), and non-partisan organization. MPWC members include teachers, business owners, professionals, homemakers and retirees. Although there is a considerable diversity in their ages, interest, and experience, these women are united by a dedication to community improvement through volunteer service.The organization received its certificate of membership from the Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs on January 25th, 1985, beginning its affiliation with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. GFWC is the world’s largest and oldest women’s volunteer organization. Through these organizations, numbering 8,000 clubs world wide, GFWC members perform community service in six areas:

  • The Arts and Culture
  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Home Life
  • International Affairs
  • Public Issues

The dedicated members of the Mountain Pine Women’s Club extend the warmest of invitations to the community to join them for their annual Holiday Yuletide Bazaar 9:00am-4:00pm, Saturday, November 11th, at the Parker Fieldhouse (18700 E. Plaza Drive – at the corner of Plaza & Dransfeldt)

For details about this event, scholarship information or how to become a member of the Mountain Pine Woman’s Club, visit www.mpwcparker.org

Douglas County Veterans Tribute

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” President John F. Kennedy

Nearly a century ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” This day was commemorated in numerous countries as Armistice Day and in 1938, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States. Years later, in the aftermath of WWII and the Korean War, Armistice Day legally became known as Veterans Day. A day dedicated to American Veterans of all wars.

During this time of remembrance, you may see people wearing a Red Poppy in their lapel. Red Poppies became symbolic of remembering those who have served after showing up in the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae after WWI. Lieutenant Colonel McCrae, after losing his friend and comrade, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in battle, was inspired by the sight of red poppies growing in the scarred battlefield and penned these infamous words in May of 1915…

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Honoring those who have served is an act that should be constantly present for all of us. On Saturday, November 11th, at 11:00am, the community is invited to come together to do just that, honor all who have served, at the Douglas County Veterans Day Tribute at the site of the Douglas County Veterans Memorial. The exquisite monument was designed and crafted by Mr. Bill Hueg. The magnificent eagle is 14’ tall with a stunning 8’ wingspan. Recently, Castle Rock Boy Scout Troop 780 pitched in to clean and wax the monument, in order to honor our service members and earn community service credit for their hard work.

Now that the monument is in place, the Douglas County Veterans Monument Foundation has been able to shift its focus, becoming a valuable resource for Veterans through their Veterans Assistance Grant Program. This program was created to assist with ADA home modifications, service dogs, transportation needs, funeral expenses – anywhere that a gap exists with Veterans’ needs. Donations towards these grants can be made through DCVMF’s website, dcvmf.org. By donating to the DCVMF, volunteering, attending the ceremony on Veterans Day or just taking the time to sincerely thank a service member every opportunity you are given, you are making a difference in the lives of those who are willing to sacrifice their own.

Douglas County
Veterans Day Tribute
Saturday, November 11th
11:00am
Veterans Monument Plaza
301 Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Get a Sweet Beard

It’s that time of year…when men of all ages put aside their razor and let their beard grow in honor of “no-shave-November” and embrace their inner lumber-jack. This annual beard tradition has origins that are a bit scruffy. Some use this opportunity to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer, while others believe this hairy right began as a protest of college aged men who didn’t shave during mid-terms. Whatever the reason may be, here are some tips on growing a man mane that your friends will be envious of and you would be proud to display.

THE SCIENCE OF BEARDS
First off you must understand that your facial hair is not the same as your head hair. Body hair is also called Androgenic hair. It is very different from the hair on your head and vellus hair, which are much finer and lighter in color. Androgenic hair is very much associated with levels of male hormones in your system. Because of this, typically men have more androgenic hair than women. Also, your beard hair tends to be much thicker and have a courser texture than the hair on your head. In addition, the growth cycles between active growth and dormancy of facial hair are much further apart. This is why your beard hair will never grow as fast or long as your head hair. The only things that affect these cycles of growth are your genetics and how much testosterone you have in your system.

STEP ONE
Most men who choose to not grow facial hair state that because of the “itch” associated with growing a beard they decide not to. The itch comes into play twice when growing a beard. It first arrives when you start to grow your beard out and the hair is pushing out of the follicles. This sensation is often described as itch. The second time is when the hair is long enough to “poke” back around at your skin. One simple remedy to eliminate or significantly reduce beard itch is to make sure and use good high quality beard oil (Extraordinary Beards is a favorite of ours) from day one. This keeps the hair softer and helps to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
STEP TWO
One of the most important factors for growth has nothing to do with your beard. Plain and simple, be healthy! Beard growth is a metabolic process, so if you are pounding your body with bad food, smoking, no exercise, etc. then your beard will respond (or not respond) to how your body is. Your rate of hair growth is pre-set by your genetics so if you want to grow at that level then you need to give your body everything it needs to be healthy. Cut out the cigarettes and start exercising.

STEP THREE
By far the most important aspect is time. Give it time, don’t give up. Your beard will grow and as long as you keep it healthy with beard oils and balms and keep your body healthy then nature will do what it does best and you will have a hair hedge to be proud of come November. Besides, your lady friend will appreciate your dedication and commitment, which are traits you should be proud of.

BONUS STEP
If you are blessed with a very active growth beard then make sure you keep it neat and clean as it grows. Oil it up at least once a day and use a good wood comb to help train your beard and evenly distribute the beard oil. Plastic combs are a no no, so stay away from them. Most plastic combs are injection molded and under a microscope you can see that the teeth have barbs and cracks that will grab your hair and pull it out. Natural wood combs avoid this and help provide a good look when used.

With some basic prep, good quality beard oil conditioners and patience you will impress your friends this November with a healthy hedge on your face. Who knows, come December you may decide to keep your furry friend and grow it out for another year and fully realize the respect and admiration that comes from having an epic beard!

Extraordinary Beards premium beard care products are available at Roosters Men’s Grooming at the NE corner of Parker and Lincoln or online at extraordinarybeards.com

The Bookends

The Lost Letter: A Novel
By Jillian Cantor

This historical novel, which spotlights love and survival, is inspired by true resistance fighters in World War II. We begin in Austria in 1938, as we follow Kristoff who is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. He begins to fall in love with Elena, the engraver’s daughter as the country is forever changed by the Nazi forces. We jump to Los Angeles in 1989 and get acquainted with Katie, a journalist going through an unwanted divorce and coping with her father’s declining health. Her father’s love of stamps and the collection he leaves to her brings her into the mystery that unites both places and times.

PAM I was intrigued when I read the cover of this book at our local library. As I began to delve into the story it proved to be a good pick and I couldn’t put it down. We begin in Austria, then quickly transition to Los Angeles as the author works to unravel the mystery from both ends. Were you lost in this story, Becky?

BECKY I really enjoyed the two storylines and different characters. The author seamlessly wove the different timeframes together for a beautiful tale that kept me intrigued. Did both stories come alive for you, or did one shine brighter than the other?

PAM At the beginning, I was more captivated by Kristoff’s tale in 1938. However, as the stories began to come together I was equally invested in both parts. The story begins as Kristoff begins work as an apprentice for a famed Jewish stamp engraver in Austria. Were you as intrigued as I was about this art? I had never learned about this art and enjoyed the descriptions of the process.

BECKY It was fascinating to learn more about the history of stamp making and collecting. I never really put much thought into that little square until this story. I had no previous understanding that the placement and intricate details could send a message to the recipient. The 1938 section will introduce you to the Faber family. We hardly get to know this family and the apprentice, Kristoff before their life is quickly altered by the German takeover of Austria. I am always amazed when I hear about resistance workers and their absolute dedication to their cause. Do you feel like the author created a vivid scene for this terrifying time in history?

PAM The author certainly illustrated the uncertainty of the time and how the people of Austria had little to no control in their lives. As events led to the separation of the family, there were no guarantees of reunion or safety. Elena was very passionate about the resistance and continued to push the limits, while Kristoff was a reluctant accomplice. Did you feel their different levels of commitment were due to their backgrounds and the fact that Elena’s family was Jewish?

BECKY Elena was more personally invested in the crusade due to her heritage but I think that it was ultimately her personality that drove her dedication to the cause. She was bold and fearless while Kristoff was led by love and in my opinion a bit of manipulation. However, they both risked their lives with the choice to alter the stamp making process. As we move over to the 1989 storyline we meet Katie. She is rediscovering her life as a single person and trying to manage her father as his memory deteriorates. Unsure what to do with her father’s impressive stamp collection she takes it to an appraiser to see if he has anything of value. An unopened letter, with an interesting stamp is among the collection and will tie these two timeframes together. Would you have been tempted to open the envelope and read the contents?

PAM I would have been so tempted! But, I loved the determination Katie found when she decided to try to find the intended recipient of the letter. She is struggling after her divorce and as she deals with her father’s deteriorating memory. Katie works for her ex-husband and must deal with this awkward situation on a daily basis. She feels stuck and is unable to move on and reclaim her life or find a new path. Did you feel that this letter and her mission to deliver it helped her find some of her self worth after the loss of her husband and her father (at least as she had known him)?

BECKY Katie is a journalist writing movie reviews. This is an easy job and below her level of experience but she is not ready for yet another change. Finding this letter was more than the desire to solve a mystery, it was tied to memories of her father and her childhood. I believe that it helped her find focus and anchored her while her life was spiraling out of control. Which eventually gave her some self worth and the strength to take the next step in her life. What resonated with me after reading this book was how much communication has changed. The author mentions in the Author’s Note that concentration camp prisoners were allowed to send and receive mail. When is the last time you wrote or received a letter? Texting, tweeting and email have taken over our communications. It is a quicker way to deliver information but I wonder if our older community feels the loss of connection due to our technology dependency. This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Join us next month as we read The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson. A small book club is struggling with the loss of one of the members. Her last Christmas gift will challenge each lady to grow in ways that will change them forever.

Local Author Spotlight

Sally’s hard day
By Christine Losciale-Thoemmes
Illustrated by Dr. Marissa Robinson

From the moment Sally woke up until she came home from school, she was having a hard day. Not know what to do with her negative emotions, she finally talks to her mama and learns new ways to help herself feel better.

About the Author & Illustrator

Christine Losciale-Thoemmes lives in Colorado with her husband and 4 children. She has Master’s degrees in both Psychology and Creative Writing and is a certified Life Coach. She enjoys teaching Yoga and reading to children.

Marissa Robinson lives in San Francisco, California with her husband. She has a PhD in Psychology, specializing in Art Therapy. She is a licensed therapist and teaches Mindfulness.

Sally’s Hard Day is available online atamazon.com.

 

Grannie Panties are Under Rated
By Gayle Erickson

Elle Martin has it all.
Handsome and successful husband. Check.
Daughter and son in an exclusive private high school. Check
Privilege, status and wealth. Check, check, check.

But there is more to Elle’s story.
Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle is thrown into a tailspin when a surprise announcement by her husband threatens to expose the truth behind her carefully constructed facade of perfection.

What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle finally be able to find her happy ending?

Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are Under Rated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page-turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they long to be.

For maximum enjoyment, be sure to listen to the Grannie Panties playlist on Spotify!

Grannie Panties are Under Rated is online at www.milehighpublishinghouse.com.

Trick or Treat on Mainstreet

As the air turns a bit crisper and leaves begin to crunch underfoot, it’s a sure sign that fall has arrived with the fall season comes one of Parker’s most beloved annual events. This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, and that means that Tuesday, October 31st,”boo-tiful” downtown Mainstreet will shut down for traffic, and open up for the 2017 Trick-or-Treat on Mainstreet!

Local businesses and community groups will be lined up and down Mainstreet, manning their trick-or-treat booths, ready and willing to make this year’s event the most Spook-tacular one yet! Trick-or-Treat Street on Mainstreet is a fantastic way for kids of all ages to visit and fill their bags, cauldrons and sacks to the brim with goodies. If you are interested in having a booth for your business or group to be one of those filling goodie bags, go to www.trickortreatonmainstreet.com to download the booth request form. Groups and businesses can hand out as much candy, goodies and promotional material as they’d like, but no retail sales are allowed at this event. A basic 10×10 space is FREE! Many sponsorship levels are also available; find out more about how your business can support Trick or Treat on Mainstreet by following the link from their website.

Volunteers are the key to running an event as popular and as large as this one. Adult and teen volunteers are needed before, during and after the event to assist with setup, take down, dressing as costumed characters for the event and general help where needed. The link to sign up as a volunteer can also be found on the website.

This free family event is hosted by the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club of Parker and presented by Rapid Housing Solutions. Be sure to head to Mainstreet this Halloween between 3:30 and 7:00pm; Trick or Treating on Mainstreet is so much fun, it’s scary!

For more information about Trick-or-Treat on Maintstreet, visit www.trickortreatonmainstreet.com or find them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/trickortreatonmainstreetparker