About the Book
Book: The Bells of New Cheltenham
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian fiction, Christmas romance
Release Date: October 15, 2020
Who knew that Christmas carols were love songs?
Justine Driscoll sure didn’t. Peace on earth? She’s heard of that. Holy and joyful? Something about that, too. But love songs sung by a bride about the birth of her bridegroom? That’s just weird stuff right there.
Weird or not, though, once Justine decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.
“But what do the words mean?”
Ken Torsney is used to fighting for causes he believes in. He just never imagined he’d go from Army “warrior” to spiritual warrior in the span of one question from a stranger. Justine is like no girl he’s ever known— hungry for the gospel even as she rejects it.
He’s falling for her, and that’s bound to break his heart.
Love is in the air in New Cheltenham this Christmas. Again.
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There is one thing that the author is consistent with in any book she writes. To me it is the most important thing for a Christian author to achieve. This author has always written a book that is faith filled and encourages readers to have a relationship with Christ. She achieves this by using characters who may struggle and walks them through forgiveness. Maybe she will have a character who doesn’t even know who Jesus really is. But the end result is when you finish one of her books, she has done what God has called her to do.
This particular story was a bit different but it still presented the truth and hope that God is real. Yes I cried when I met Justine. Some of us can relate to that feeling of being alone with nowhere to go. It was no accident that Justine found herself in this little quaint town. She is desperate to find a job and a place to stay. I did wonder what debt she needed to pay back so I knew I was going to read the book without stopping.
Ken is one of those men who is honest, caring and not afraid to share his faith. I liked how Justine ran into Ken and helped her gain confidence to enter a writing contest. I had heard Christmas songs all my life, but I think this is the first time I really started to understand their meaning. The author takes a song, and line by line opens the eyes of my heart to the real meaning of cherished Christmas songs.
As Ken shares the Christmas story with Justine, I felt like I was sitting in front of him listening as well. He does it in a way that is not forced but explains the meaning in a way that Justine was able to comprehend. Oh how fun it is to see a person find a relationship with God. I’m so glad that the author never rushes relationships in her books. She allows the characters to work through problems and gives them supportive people to surround them with encouragement and love. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like the book but as you can tell in my review I got what the author was wanting to pass on to readers. I understood the meaning of the birth of Jesus in a new light. Most of all I understand how important it is to never miss a chance to witness to someone.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona Havig
3 Things That Make My Christmas Heart Sing
I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.
The message popped up in my messenger at exactly the moment I sat down. This is significant, because I get dozens of Facebook messages every day, and often, they get buried when a new one supersedes it. So, as you can see, it’s a near miracle that I ever saw the message at all.
The message offered me a spot in a collection of novellas—a Christmas collection. Yep. Not a ghost of a chance.
Still, I tried to be responsible, you know? After all, I had quite a few books due at the same time already. Bookers on the Rocks, The Last Gasp, my Christmas Lights Collection “noella,” and my CrossRoads Collection “noella.” And those didn’t include anything I wanted to write in spring or summer.
Then she added another layer of temptation. This collection had a theme. That theme? Christmas carol inspired romances.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love music, Christmas, and specifically, Christmas music?
The other authors in the set had already made their carol selections. She sent a list of those that had already been claimed. I read them with great trepidation. See, I already had two carols I’d want to use in the story for this collection that I hadn’t even agreed to participate in yet.
No one had chosen “The Holly and the Ivy” or “The Bells on Christmas Day.”
That ghost slowly transformed into the ghost of my resistance.
All that remained was for me to come up with a story idea. I mean, why join a collection if you can’t even decide what to do with it?
That’s when it happened.
There’s always this moment when the first idea germinates, sprouts, and pushes up through the fertile soil of my imagination. My favorite moment. And it hit me. What if the theme for the collection was my story idea? My character could enter a contest that requires a short story based on a Christmas carol.
And once I had that idea, the rest came in a whoosh! Mitchell, from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham could be sick to death of this annual ghost storytelling contest and decide to create his own contest. And then… well…
The Bells of New Cheltenham was born.
If you’ve not read The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, you’ll follow this “noella” just fine. It is meant to be a stand-alone. However, if you want a richer reading experience, I recommend reading The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, followed by the companion short story, “The Ghastly Therapist” first. Both are available through Kindle Unlimited. Additionally, if you send your receipt (or a screenshot of the final page of the eBook from Kindle Unlimited) for the Melodies of Christmas Love collection to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll send YOU the bonus short story—the one Justine Driscoll writes in this “noella.”
But I promised to tell you three things that make my heart sing at Christmas.
- The way people are often just a little kinder and a little more giving and understanding.
- The joy that seems to fill every part of life—family, friends, parties, presents, church services, reading, singing…
- The music that plays everywhere—and often sings of a Savior’s love.
What makes your heart sing at Christmas?
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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.