- - Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Author Dennis Lehane is offering an unusual reward for the person who finds his family’s beloved missing beagle.

Mr. Lehane said he will name a character in his next book after whoever finds Tessa, who disappeared from the family’s home in Brookline, Mass., this week.

He said on his Facebook page that Tessa jumped a fence at the home, and even though she has been microchipped, she was not wearing her tags.

Mr. Lehane said Tessa is “smart, fast and immeasurably sweet.”

Mr. Lehane’s books include “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “Shutter Island.”

Jessica Simpson’s tweet seems to confirm pregnancy

Jessica Simpson’s daughter has the news all spelled out: “Big Sis.”

Miss Simpson on Tuesday tweeted a photo of her baby daughter Maxwell playing in the sand, the words “Big Sis” spelled out.

The 32-year-old old singer and personality has been rumored to be expecting again. The tweet appears to confirm the rumors.

“Merry Christmas from my family to yours” is the picture’s caption. Miss Simpson used a tweet on Halloween in 2011 to announce she was pregnant with Maxwell, who was morn in May. She is engaged to Eric Johnson.

One possible complication regarding her pregnancy: She is a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

Queen Elizabeth II delivers holiday message in 3-D

Queen Elizabeth II hailed the holidays in a new dimension, delivering her Christmas message for the first time in 3-D.

In the annual prerecorded broadcast, the monarch paid tribute to the armed forces, “whose sense of duty takes them away from family and friends” over the holidays, and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of enthusiasm for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The queen said she was struck by the “strength of fellowship and friendship” shown by well-wishers to mark her 60 years on the throne.

“It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago,” she said as footage showed crowds lining the River Thames in the rain earlier this year for a boat pageant. “People of all ages took the trouble to take part in various ways and in many nations.”

The queen also reflected on Britain’s hosting of the Olympic Games in 2012, praising the “skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes” and singling out the volunteers who devoted themselves “to keeping others safe, supported and comforted.”

Queen Elizabeth’s message aired shortly after she attended a traditional church service at St. Mary Magdelene Church on her sprawling Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Wearing a turquoise coat and matching hat, the monarch rode to church in a Bentley, accompanied by granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie. Her husband, Prince Philip, walked from the house to the church with other members of the royal family.

Three familiar faces were missing from the family outing. Prince William is spending the holiday with his pregnant wife Kate and his in-laws in the southern England village of Bucklebury. Prince Harry is serving with British troops in Afghanistan.

After the church service, the royals usually gather to watch the queen’s prerecorded television broadcast, a tradition that began with a radio address by King George V in 1932.

The queen has made a prerecorded Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957. She writes the speeches herself and the broadcasts mark the rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.

Her switch to 3-D was not the only technological leap for prominent British figures this Christmas.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York chose to tweet their sermons for the first time, in order to bring Christmas to a new digital audience.

In his speech, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he has been inspired by meeting victims of suffering over the past decade while leading the world’s 80 million-strong Anglican Communion.

Delivering his final Christmas Day sermon from Canterbury Cathedral, Archbishop Williams also acknowledged how a vote against allowing women to become bishops has damaged the credibility of the church.

Still, he said, it was “startling” to see after the vote how many people “turned out to have a sort of investment in the church, a desire to see the church looking credible and a real sense of loss when — as they saw it — the church failed to sort its business out.”

J.J. Abrams: ‘I’d rather be in audience’ for ‘Star Wars’

“Star Trek” director J.J. Abrams said in November that he wouldn’t be taking the reins of another intergalactic franchise: Disney’s upcoming “Star Wars” extension. But a new interview in Empire Magazine reveals that Mr. Abrams initially did entertain the idea of putting his stamp on “Star Wars.”

The “Lost” creator said that he and Kathleen Kennedy, the series’s new overseer, had “very early conversations” about how he might be involved in “Star Wars: Episode VII’s” development.

Ultimately, though, the longtime admirer of the films decided against picking up a light-saber of his own, Entertainment Weekly reports.

“I quickly said that because of my loyalty to ‘Star Trek,’ and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things,” Mr. Abrams told Empire. “I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”

“Little Miss Sunshine” screenwriter Michael Arndt has signed on to pen “Episode VII,” which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. “X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn was rumored to be in talks for the film last month.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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