About the Book
Book: Comfort & Joy
Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas
Release Date: October 16, 2018
The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.
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Story 1: Frost Heaves by Alana Terry
"A single mom. An Alaska state trooper. And more to fear than just the cold …When Jade’s daughter turns up missing, all suspicions point to the cult Jade escaped from when she was just a teen.Are members of Morning Glory retaliating against Jade’s child? Or are their intentions even more sinister than simply revenge?A fast-paced thriller set in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness from award-winning Christian suspense author Alana Terry."Alana has written a beautiful story of love, hope, and faith, seen through the eyes of Jade, an African American, single Mumma of daughter Dezzirae. This fabulous story had me at the edge of my seat right the way through, as I encountered the treacherous actions of some of the characters. An absolute 'must read' if you enjoy romantic-suspense-thriller stories. I would give this story 5 stars!
About the Author
Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shine through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com
Story 2: Deck the Shelves byToni Shiloh
"Kendall Jackson is the proud owner of Heartfalls’ bookstore, The Cozy Shelf. Her life is one straight out of the pages, except she’s missing that leading man. Although she has a crush on the handsome auto mechanic, Quinton Hendricks, Kendall wants an old-fashioned type of romance—the stuff swoon-worthy romance books are made of. But Quinton seems to need a little prodding.Something about Kendall sparks hope in Quinton Hendricks that love could be his again. Only being abandoned by his ex-wife has made him cautious to the point of non-moving. Can two people hesitant on second chances find love as they Deck the Shelves?"Here we have two lonely hearts, too shy to show or admit to their true feelings for each other. This is a sweet contemporary romance which would be enjoyed by any age group. Toni has developed her characters well, and as you read you can visualize them to the point where you feel you've known them for years. Both characters have a story as to why they find it difficult to be more trusting of each other. But will these two precious souls find the love they are looking for? You'll have to read the story to find out. Four Stars!
About the Author
Toni Shiloh: Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.comShe spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.
Story 3: The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson
"Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse and a hidden family heirloom. What more you could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance?Penny Anderson has a dream – she’s going to be an exclusive bridal gown designer, and she won’t be held back by dyslexia, a rural location or the doubts of others. Brian Michaels has waited seven years for Penny to see him as man instead of just a childhood friend. Can he work up the courage to speak before the tall, dark and handsome business consultant sweeps her off her feet?Aunt Violet is interested in only two things: Genealogy and quilting. As she chronicles the family history in a series of patchwork quilts, she comes to peace with her own past."
The title of this story didn't draw me in, however, once I got started I couldn't put it down. Cathe Swanson has weaved an interesting story here. We have romance, intertwined with family heritage and genealogy, and a young woman's dream to go out on her own and establish her own business, even though she battles with the frustrating complexities of dyslexia. I really enjoyed reading this story, and now I think I need to find more books by this author. A definite 5 stars!
About the Author
Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com
Story 4: The Ghosts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig
"Mitchell Bogaert hasn’t done much with his life in the four years since college, to which his negative-digits bank account and credit score will attest. So when news of an inheritance from a man he hasn’t seen in years arrives on the same day as his eviction notice, Mitchell considers the odd terms of the will to be a no-brainer.Sure, he’ll move into a building in the tourist village of New Cheltenham. Of course, he’d be happy to live there for a year as a condition of inheritance. And yes, he’ll suffer the humiliation of creating, entering, and presenting at the annual Dickens Ghost Story Competition. Free room and board for a year plus a rather substantial inheritance to boot? Who wouldn’t?But someone either doesn’t want him in New Cheltenham or doesn’t want him to receive that inheritance, because the more he works on his story, the more convinced he is that a ghost resides in the narrow building he now calls home.What’s a guy to do when the ghosts of his past converge on his Christmas present?"
Yes indeed, 'What’s a guy to do when the ghosts of his past converge on his Christmas present?' Chautona has once again, nailed it! You wanted thrilling suspense and intrigue - well, here you have it. I enjoy so many books by so many authors, but Chautona Havig is an author to be reckoned with. You think you've seen it all (or read it all) in terms of plot and structure, character arcs etc. but with Chautona's books, you often don't see what's coming next. This is a wonderful story as are the other three. 5 Stars, but only because there aren't more to give!
Each one of these books/stories would do well out there in the marketplace, and they are also perfect as they are in this fabulous collection. I haven't read any of the other Christmas Lights Collections, but I think that I just might have to now.
About the Author
Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.
Guest Post from Chautona Havig
Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?
“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”
Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.
No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.
So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”
If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”
Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”
“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”
He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”
Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”
“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”
I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”
“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.
But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.
“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesus’ birthday? Isn’t that backward?”
“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”
It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”
Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”
That brought me back to the original question.
“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”
This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.
“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”
What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?
Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”
Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.
So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.
Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming!
To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d62a/comfort
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Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 29
A Baker’s Perspective, November 29
Multifarious, November 30
Blossoms and Blessings, November 30
Bibliophile Reviews, December 1
Britt Reads Fiction, December 1
Vicky Sluiter, December 2
Remembrancy, December 2
Among the Reads, December 3
A Reader’s Brain, December 3
KarenSueHadley, December 4
Inklings and notions, December 4
Quiet Quilter, December 5
Lots of Helpers, December 5
God’s Little Bookworm, December 6
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6
Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)
Captive Dreams Window, December 7
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8
Mary Hake, December 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9
Janices book reviews, December 9
Carpe Diem, December 10
Bigreadersite, December 10
Kat’s Corner Books, December 11
Texas Book-aholic, December 11
Aryn The Libraryan, December 12
Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12