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.
About the Authors
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 shines 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
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.com
She 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.
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
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.
This is a nice collection of stories from authors who always write with compassion and love. Each story is different but suits the writing style of each author perfectly. I loved the variety of authors and how each one tells a story that grabs your attention. Whether you like intense stories, lighthearted ones, family values or ghostly tales there is something in this charming collection for everyone.
FROST HEAVES by ALANA TERRY
I have heard of abuse in churches and this story is one that brings it to the surface. When going to church you should feel safe around the pastor and elders. Jade and her family found that the church they attended was more controlling and the power was getting to their pastor and elders of the church. Jade goes through a traumatic event that causes the church to turn their back on her and her family. It is hard for Jade to trust people and when her daughter turns up missing from the new church she has been attending, her fears overtake her. Is the old church trying to punish her for the accusations she and her family reported to the police?
The author uses spiritual abuse to describe what Jade and her family went through. It is the perfect words to explain that even in a church there is evil waiting to take people down. It is sad to see that our spiritual leaders can fall but the enemy is all about destroying the church. The author writes a very intense story which she is known for. She doesn't mind controversial subjects and never backs down from telling a realistic story. The story is well written and filled with twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. Another great story from a very gifted author.
DECK THE SHELVES by TONI SHILOH
What girl hasn't dreamed of the perfect date and being swept off her feet? Kendall is infatuated with Quinton and the feeling is mutual. Now if one of them would make the first move, we could have a happily ever after perhaps. The story is lighthearted and reminds me a bit of a movie I saw once. The two people liked each other but were not sure if they should reveal their feelings. It's ironic that both characters come up with the same idea to let the other know they are interested.
I did enjoy the part where the characters were chaperons at a youth lock in . The spiritual aspect of the meeting was good and it made several teens really examine their lives. God has a plan for Quinton and Kendall. Bringing them together as chaperones opened their eyes to see that they were believers. The author brings up a good subject about men having accountability partners. It was refreshing to see it in a story and how positive it is for men to lean on each other. I'm glad the story was more than just a cute little romance It has some great biblical truths and reminds us that we all struggle in areas. We need to learn to be courageous and trust God. Do Kendall and Quinton get together? You will have to read the story to find out.
THE CHRISTMAS GLORY QUILT by CATHE SWANSON
This is a new author to me so I was excited to read her story. There are several things going on in the story, but the author has found a way to tie them all together. I loved reading about an adventurous woman starting her own bridal shop where she designs and makes the dresses. There is a little catch though.The shop is not really in town but off a beaten path in a house that once belonged to her Aunt Violet. Restoring the house into a beautiful shop is a big undertaking. I loved meeting Aunt Violet and reading about her heritage.
The author does a great job of describing how quilts are made and I could picture the completed projects that Aunt Violet made. There is a topic in the book I was happy to see. Penny is dyslexic and it did cause some issues when she was growing up. I liked how the author explained how Penny has been able to work around her dyslexia and become a successful career woman.
The quilts are definitely the star in this story with history behind each quilt and the love put into them by Aunt Violet. What a treasure to have such a cherished item made special for each person receiving it. The story is filed with family values and wonderful memories that have been passed down for generations. I would love to have a quilt made by Aunt Violet.
THE GHOSTS OF NEW CHELTENHAM by CHAUTONA HAVIG
I love a good ghost story and this one really grabbed my attention. What would you do if you had to participate in a Dickens Ghost Storytelling Competition as part to inherit something ? Mitchell finds himself in a very uncomfortable position when he finds out about the rest of the will . I snickered as a I read what he was expected to do. What a strange request to put in a will. Someone either has a great sense of humor or there is a real reason for this absurd request.
The author has my full attention now as Mitchell must decide what story he is going to enter the contest with. I loved the quaint little town and the shops are catchy enough for customers to notice with their clever business names. I feel like I have slipped back in time to a storybook town filled with a hometown feeling of family and friends. They are fun, quirky and full of life. The new addition to Mitchell's home is cute and cuddly. I wanted to take it home and claim it as mine. There is a slight problem going in the building where Mitchell is staying at. Who is stealing a brownie, making it feel like Jack Frost is living there and waking him up at night?
This story is a bit different from what the author writes, but she is still able to use a story to show us things we may have in common with a character. Do you have any phobias? Are you the type that get jealous ? Can you easily trust others? I found the story to be a great lesson in looking at ourselves and working on allowing God to help us with our fears.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
A Diva’s Heart, November 29
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
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