Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday - Shiny-Brite Ornaments

Shiny-Brite ornaments are a perfect example of Mid-Century Christmas decorations.  The great ad, above, is from 1966.  

These ornaments date back a little earlier, though.  The first Shiny-Brite ornaments were made in 1937 by Max Eckhardt.  He worked with the Corning Glass Company to produce them.  These ornaments were originally sold at Woolworth dime stores.

Shiny-Brites were popular during the 1940's - World War II vintage - because they were American made.  The 1940's box top featured Santa Claus shaking hands with Uncle Sam.

The ornaments were originally manufactured in New Jersey.  They were sprayed inside with silver nitrate and then they were lacquered so they truly had a shiny and bright appearance!

Not all vintage glass ornaments are Shiny-Brites.  You will recognize them by the Shiny Brite name on the metal ornament capper.  During World War II this capper was made of cardboard because of war time manufacturing restrictions.

Here is a glimpse of a 1950's box of Shiny-Brites:

This 1956 Sears catalog page features Shiny-Brites galore.  The variety of designs was fabulous -- balls, tear drop shapes, bell shapes, indents, birds, and more!

The company stopped production in the 1970's.  However, in recent years Christopher Radko has started producing Shiny-Brite ornaments, and his selection is always lovely.

Do you remember Shiny-Brite ornaments?  Were there any of these beauties on your childhood Christmas tree?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Murder Fir Christmas
(Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (December 1, 2015)

Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.

Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.

Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.

Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late. 

Christmas Recipes included!

My Review

I really enjoyed this Christmas cozy mystery!  Christmas Tree Valley was such a wonderful setting for a novel ... so cozy and perfect for the holiday season.

I really liked Bonnie as a protagonist.  Her work as a Federal Wildlife Agent was fascinating, and I especially enjoyed reading about her work.  As an animal lover, of course I loved the wolf pup!

The Lavenes are such wonderful writers, and this book is full of twists and turns and surprises that will keep the reader guessing. The Cherokee lore was an interesting addition to the story.

If you're looking for a perfect Christmas cozy mystery to read as a break from the busy season, Murder fir Christmas is a perfect match.  Highly recommended!
I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

About The Authors 

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links


Purchase Link

One lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.  (Ends 12/16/15).
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I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review - The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Book Synopsis
There can be only one mistress of Tall Acre . . .
The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--you will find it all in the rich pages of this newest novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz.

My Review

I love historical fiction, and enjoy books set during the early American years.  The setting of this book, just after the American Revolution, was very interesting, and the period details were perfect.

Both Sophie and Seamus were strong, kind characters, and I enjoyed watching their love story unfold.  Lily Cate, Seamus's daughter, is a charming addition to the story.

I enjoyed the twists and bit of mystery that this novel contained ... it made the read especially enjoyable.

This is my first read by Laura Frantz, but I enjoyed this book, and will certainly look for her novels again.  I recommend The Mistress of Tall Acre for fans of historical, inspirational fiction.  

About the Author
Laura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

I received this book from Revell Reads in exchange for an honest review.