"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic," Chicken Soup for the Soul, 400 pages, $14.95
Idaho native Teresa Ann Maxwell moved to Walla Walla 23 years ago with husband Richard. Taking an interest in writing, she enrolled in Walla Walla Community College classes that were taught by Shirley Pope Waite and Helen Heavirland.
"I began writing family stories for class assignments, and 'The Missing Stocking' is one such story. It was inspired by and written for my mother," Teresa said.
The results of her work resulted in publication in the well-known "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book franchise, which has cooked up heartwarming memories since 1993, a press release from the company in Cos Cob, Conn., notes.
The latest tome, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic," embraces reminiscences from 101 contributors, including Teresa's. Growing up in Idaho, she recalled her mother assembling Christmas stockings for her children for many years. Laid out on Christmas Eve, the stockings magically filled overnight and greeted the children in the morning, chock full of fruit, candies, small toys, nuts and trinkets.
Years later, Teresa discovered a friend furnished her own mother with a stocking. "That's when I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment." I realized my mother had not had a Christmas stocking for as long as I remembered. And, even worse, no one had noticed her stocking was missing."
Teresa and her sister conspired to start the tradition for their mom, Betty Ann Wagoner, that year.
When Betty Ann had passed out everyone else's and found that last one, addressed to her from Santa, Teresa recalled tears glistening in her mom's eyes. "Is this stocking really for me? It's been so long ... since I've had a Christmas stocking. Thank you."
"Seeing her reaction was the most precious gift of all. And once again, she taught me about the joy and wonder of Christmas ... that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive."
"'The Missing Stocking" is my first published piece, and I am thrilled to be a part of the 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' family," Teresa said.
The family still celebrates Christmas with their stockings -- mom included, Teresa said. Her mom and dad, Mac Wagoner, reside in Dubois, Idaho.
And when Teresa Googled "The Missing Stocking, she discovered it was picked up for "A Christmas Magic Exclusive," by Joel D. Amos, entertainment news editor at SheKnows Entertainment (www.sheknows.com/entertainment).
"The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of the Pacific Northwest," Thames & Hudson Inc., 208 pages, $40
The gorgeous new coffee table book, "The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of the Pacific Northwest" brings into focus many inviting inns, welcoming main streets and striking architectural gems, including sites we're familiar with in Walla Walla and Dayton.
From Albany, Ore., to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, author Joan Tapper and photographer Nik Wheeler capture vignettes of charm and beauty in the hardbound book.
The book's contents and 240 color images may spark explorers to check these places out for themselves.
Photos of this area include the railroad depot and restored Dantzscher Building in Dayton; the Gothic Revival stylings of St. Patrick Catholic Church and its parish house; and the ornate charm of the Max Baumeister Building and Liberty Theater and the Odd Fellows Temple facade that frames cultural artwork, all on Main Street in Walla Walla; plus a wagon and the wagon train ruts at Whitman Mission National Historic Site.
The book features a Places to Stay and Eat section, including for Walla Walla and Dayton. Unfortunately, about the time the book was finished so were Merchants Ltd., which gets a nod in the book as the "locals' favorite deli for breakfast and lunch," and CreekTown Cafe, cited for "fine wine country cuisine." Olive Marketplace & Cafe has since inhabited the deli site at 21 E. Main St., and South Fork Grill occupies CreekTown's old haunt at 1129 S. Second Ave.
Also getting mention in the book are Manila Bay in Dayton and T. Maccarone's, The Marc Restaurant and Whitehouse-Crawford in Walla Walla. To rest a spell, the author recommends the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center and The Maxwell House Bed & Breakfast in Walla Walla and The Weinhard Hotel in Dayton.
Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or afternoons at 526-8313.