19 days until Christmas
RYAN RAPIER is an Arizona native who has lived his entire life (other than a two-year jaunt across the sea to England) in the desert. He is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and has recently begun the process of indoctrinating his children on the benefits of being a Sun Devil and the great life calamities that can occur should a person choose to attend the University of Arizona. Despite having come face to face with rattlesnakes several times, Ryan wouldn’t trade his life in the small corner of Arizona known as the Gila Valley for two reasons—good neighbors and year-round golf. When Ryan isn’t on the course or chasing after his five children, he enjoys writing as a release for all the creative energy that can get pent up in a corporate environment. The Reluctant Blogger is his first novel.
Please take a minute to visit Ryan at one of the links below:
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LDSWBR: What is your favorite Christmas song/hymn? Does it have special meaning to you?
RYAN: I’ve never been able to pick a favorite between O Holy Night and Silent Night. O Holy Night, I believe, captures the true majesty of the holiday and the idea of singing praises to our new born King. On the other hand, Silent Night speaks to the holiness and reverence of that actual event and, for me, makes Christmas very personal. Maybe that’s why O Holy Night sung by Michael Crawford and Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night in Gaelic) by Enya are the first two Christmas songs added to my iPod each year.
LDSWBR: Do you get together with friends/family to play board games on Christmas or New Year’s? What games do you like to play? Do you have a favorite game from your childhood?
RYAN: For over 15 years my wife and I have celebrated New Year’s Eve with the same group of friends, and each year, our New Year’s party includes a game of Trivial Pursuit between the men and the women. It just wouldn’t seem like New Year’s Eve without it. Our family also loves the games Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Cataan and Puerto Rico. However, if there truly is a Rapier family game, it would be Runs and Bunches (a rummy style game played with Rook cards). My mother taught me to play Runs and Bunches when I was about 12 years old and it continues to be a family favorite at any holiday gathering or reunion.
LDSWBR: If you could recommend only one book from those you read this year, what would it be and why?
RYAN: This is tough because I read some really good books this year. But if I were forced to pick, I would have to recommend Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. My stake president recommended it to me and it was incredible. Normally, fiction is my preferred reading. But when I can read a book detailing actual history that reads as quickly and with as much gripping drama as a novel, I will take it any day. I learned so much about that period of American history and came away with a far greater respect for Abraham Lincoln than I had going in. And I thought I respected him pretty well going in.
LDSWBR: Thanks, Ryan!
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The Reluctant Blogger
Dr. Schenk, I don’t know if what I’ve written amounts to a breakthrough or not, but I hope you know how difficult this was for me. I also hope this proves how serious I am.
Todd knows he is in a bad place. That’s why he went to a therapist in the first place, and that alone took a lot of doing. So when Dr. Schenk threatens to stop their sessions unless Todd puts in more effort, he grasps at the last available straw: a personal blog that will force Todd to confront his demons.
Ever since he lost his wife, Todd has not been the same. He’s been forced to Single Adult activities at church, and everyone seems to expect him to just forget Marci and get married again—especially when he meets Emily, who makes him smile and starts to bring him out of his depression. But dating again is hard when Todd has three kids of his own, not to mention an overbearing father and friends with their own problems.
This beautifully woven and emotional tale is both heartbreaking and humorous. Championing friendship, love, and family, Ryan Rapier deals adeptly with the everyday struggles we face as well as the strongest ties that keep us together. You’re sure to fall in love with this magnificent tale of redemption, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
What is your preferred version of Trivial Pursuit?
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**To enter the LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2013, leave a thoughtful comment below.**
Because this is a raffle-style drawing, commenting on each Countdown to Christmas 2013 post will give you more chances to win. Please click through to the website as only comments submitted directly on this post will be accepted.
Prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and the author-donated books listed below. This is raffle-style drawing where all entries throughout the contest period are entered into the same “hat” for all prizes. US only. 18 years and older please. See all contest rules and restrictions below.
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By leaving a comment and entering the Countdown to Christmas 2013, you agree to the contest rules below:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY; entrants must be 18 years or older; open to residents of continental US only; giveaway begins December 3, 2013 and all entries must be received by 12:00 Midnight December 23, 2013 Mountain Time; to enter, complete the required entry on each post and any additional entries of your choice if listed; LDS Women’s Book Review reserves the right to determine what is considered a thoughtful comment as per each post’s required entry; giveaway prizes include a $50 Amazon gift card and a variety of book prizes donated by featured authors; the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning; LDS Women’s Book Review is not liable for technical problems which may affect entry into the giveaway; winner identity will be verified by email address; winner will be selected December 28, 2013 by use of a sequence generator on random.org; winner will have until January 4, 2014 to claim their prize; if any prize winner forfeits or does not claim prize, prize will be re-awarded to next winner in sequence; all prizes will be awarded; limit of two prizes per entrant; this contest/giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified; by entering the giveaway you give LDS Women’s Book Review the right to publicize your name on the LDS Women’s Book Review blog; winner agrees to release LDS Women’s Book Review from any liability as a result of winning; email comments and questions to LDS Women’s Book Review – ldswbr (at) gmail (dot) com; giveaway subject to Utah regulations; VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
**Book Prizes (as of 12/6/13 – more to be added to this list!)**
- Rocky Road by Josi S. Kilpack (personalized copy)
- Shannon’s Hope by Josi S. Kilpack (personalized copy)
- The House at Rose Creek by Jenny Proctor (signed copy)
- Penumbras by Braden Bell (signed copy)
- The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier (personalized copy)
Previous Countdown to Christmas 2013 posts:
- Rocky Road and Shannon’s Hope by Josi S. Kilpack (12/3/13)
- The House at Rose Creek by Jenny Proctor (12/4/13)
- Penumbras by Braden Bell (12/5/13)