“Christmas Lights” was a delightful collection of Christmas stories. I really liked the variety of styles and settings between the stories while each kept to the meaning of Christmas. Each story was so unique and enjoyable that it would be difficult for me to choose a favorite. I actually have not read previous novels by any of these authors but I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for their books in the future.
The Heart of Joy seems to be a follow-up to a previous novel and features Joy, a grieving widow and her late husband’s best friend. I enjoyed this historical Christmas romance, especially the happy ending. I do hope that there will be another companion story to clear up the one mystery that remained unsolved.
Snow Angels was a more modern story that was rife with misunderstandings, especially concerning the true identity of one of the characters. What a fun but romantically sweet story! I felt like I got to know the characters quickly and would love to read more about them and their mission center.
Trip the Light Fantastic was not what I would consider a romance but that didn’t stop it from being entertaining. I loved the good-hearted yet bumbling Trip and all his exploits. What fun! I loved him and the three elderly characters featured in this story and how they all discovered the true meaning of the season. Yes, I would love to read more stories about Trip. Maybe he too might discover love in the future!
And then there was Christmas Stalkings! The crazy cat lady on steroids with a themed Christmas tree for each of her well-loved felines was another fun read. With an attractive but shy male neighbor on one side and a pretty grouchy single guy on the other, Wendy had hope that romance might develop between herself and the shy fellow but he ran every time she tried to strike up a conversation. On the other hand, cantankerous Neal always seemed to be underfoot and making Wendy feel inferior. As Christmas approached, it became evident that someone was entering her house while she was away but very little evidence was left behind. I enjoyed this one so much and although I had an inkling of how it would end, I still loved it.
I am delighted that I agreed to review this Christmas collection. I discovered some new authors and had a good time reading while being reminded of the real reason for the season. This would be great for those long winter evenings leading up to Christmas after the shopping and baking are done and the gifts wrapped. Take a well deserved break and treat yourself to “Christmas Lights”.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Four novellas in a variety of genres—that’s all they are. Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the Christmas season. Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need. You’ll be introduced to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed and is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people. You’ll meet April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery featuring an FBI agent, a con artist or two, and a few eccentric elderly people of her own. And you’ll find Chautona Havig’s Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, with a garnish of romance.
In the hope that through these Christmas stories your heart will be lightened and brightened, we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!
To purchase your copy, click here.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
|Vikki Kestell is the author of the acclaimed inspirational series, A Prairie Heritage—a compelling saga of family, faith, and great courage. Vikki’s contribution to this collection, The Heart of Joy, asks, “Can true, enduring love happen twice in a lifetime?|
|Cathe Swanson: Author of contemporary mystery and romantic suspense, Cathe brings us Snow Angels – an entertaining companion novella and introduction to her upcoming Great Lakes series.|
|April Hayman: Author of Heirlooms of Deception series, debuts with a novella featuring mystery, humor, and “divine intervention.”|
|Chautona Havig: Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie’s Inheritance, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona brings humor, stalkings, and stockings to this collection.|
GUEST POSTS FROM THE AUTHORS:
The Christmas Lights Collection formed in the spring of 2016 with the idea of bringing four novellas together with one unifying theme: light. After all, each author in this collection has one primary focus in life: Jesus. And in the book of John, He is called the “Light of Men.”
We thought we’d share what inspired our novellas and pray that these books are a delight and encouragement to all.
The Heart of Joy: This novella is a spin-off story from Vikki Kestell’s Prairie Heritage series and features one of her most beloved characters, Joy Thoresen, from book three, Joy on This Mountain. After three years of widowhood, Joy mourns not only the loss of her husband but the child someone has kidnapped as well. Only her faith sustains her through difficult days.
Vikki’s goal in writing is to provide FaithFilledFiction to Christians, and this novella is no exception. She worked to show that even amid our sorrow, the Lord brings good, hope-filled gifts to us even when we think we’re not ready for them. She also desired to fill in small, time-veiled gaps in Joy’s story. The Heart of Joy puts the finishing touches on Joy’s story.
Snow Angels: The idea for Snow Angels came to Cathe in slow increments. The idea of using homeless veterans originally prompted research into homeless shelters and programs, but the scope of those became too much for a novella. Still, those characters had stories Cathe wanted to tell, so she continued her research and became increasingly concerned with the plight of homeless veterans—particularly the women. For some reason, we often forget that women serve, get PTSD, and end up on the streets just like the men.
Cathe wanted to combine those realities with other misconceptions that often blind us to the person behind the façade. She wanted to demonstrate how people in otherwise normal lives also can be thrust into situations that trigger PTSD and how those people work through it. Of course, with such a heavy topic, Cathe chose to write the story with a liberal dusting of humor to lighten the mood as you read.
As her debut novel, Cathe introduces readers to characters we’ll see more of in her Great Lakes series and paves the way for her upcoming novel, Baggage Claim, releasing in early 2017.
Trip the Light Fantastic: April has been working on a mystery surrounding, of all things, Shakespeare’s inkwell! So, when she was invited to be a part of the Christmas Lights Collection, April decided to do an introductory novel to her Heirlooms of Deception series and Lance “Trip” Devereaux was “born.”
April admits to loving another character, Landry, just a little bit more than the others. Yet, he could never be a main character. He’s too much of a rascal and a mastermind, so he works best from the shadows. While this book wasn’t about him directly, it could be about someone similar—someone who works in the light but has lost his way and needs help from God and some new friends. Trip the Light Fantastic is a sideways introduction into a character that April hopes will entertain readers for more books to come.
April set her series in Mississippi where her grandparents lived, so the books are rich in southern manners, mannerisms, and manors! Well, there’s one plantation belonging to her irascible but charming con-artist. Watch for a book set at the Crawford house in Spilled Ink, releasing in December 2016.
Christmas Stalkings: A couple of years ago, Chautona was on a Facebook group and a young woman admitted to having seven Christmas trees. Intrigued, she named it the “Seven Tree Obsession” and wondered what kind of character would have seven trees—and why. Well, the more she thought about it, the more interesting it became. After all, what would happen if ornaments got moved around when she wasn’t looking? Who would do that? Why? And what could she add to complicate it?
So, when the opportunity to do the Christmas Lights Collection came, Chautona decided she wanted to do that story. It seemed easy enough to contain into forty-thousand words. HA! But she got in her car, turned on her trusty voice recorder, and in the three-hour trek to her ACFW meeting, she schemed, plotted, and laughed until her sides ached at the ideas she came up with. Half never made it into the book, of course, but that’s okay. Chautona has a prequel/sequel planned for it. Lord willing, New Year’s Revolutions will release on December 31. It’s the “Paul Harvey” version—the “rest of the story.”
While Christmas Stalkings does stand alone, Chautona wanted to explore Neal’s side of things a bit. So she is. It’ll be the fastest “write-to-publication” she’s ever done, but she just had to try. So, for NaNoWriMo, Chautona is off to try to figure out what’s up with Neal and why he’s such a crusty curmudgeon. He’s too young for that! And maybe, just maybe, he’ll embrace a “new life” in the New Year.
November 15: Bibliophile Reviews
November 16: blogging it out
November 16: God’s Little Bookworm
November 17: A Reader’s Brain
November 17: Blogging With Carol
November 18: Reading Is My SuperPower
November 18: Proud to be an Autism Mom
November 19: Daysong Reflections
November 19: Splashes of Joy
November 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
November 20: Christian Bookaholic
November 21: Bigreadersite
November 22: A Baker’s Perspective
November 22: A Greater Yes
November 23: Back Porch Reads
November 24: Blossoms and Blessings
November 25: Reviewing Novels Online
November 25: A Path of Joy
November 26: Bukwurmzzz
November 27: Raining Butterfly Kisses
November 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
November 28: Once upon a time
November 28: Carpe Diem