About the Book
Book: Home for Christmas
Authors: Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Jaycee Weaver
Genre: Contemporary Christian Christmas Romance
Release date: October 21, 2021
Settle in with your favorite beverage, a Christmassy snack, and get ready for all the feels with these four heart-warming, military-honoring Christmas novellas.
The Christmas Lights Collection is back, and this year’s collection is better than ever. Full of love, joy, and hope, this year’s collection offers the celebration of freedom, sacrifice, and the greatest Gift ever given.
These novella features two veterans and two active servicemen and their stories.
The Stars of New Cheltenham (Chautona Havig): When a woman arrives at the Marine recruiting center, livid that her brother is ready to sign up tomorrow, the recruiter takes her on a journey through Rockland in hopes of showing her why her brother wants to serve.
Most Wonderful Time– Gabe loves Christmas, so when he discovers that his new co-worker Shanée wants nothing to do with the season, he makes it his mission to show her the true meaning. But he never expected feelings to develop for the Air Force veteran. Will he take a chance that she feels the same way or miss the best gift of all?
The Road Home: ally has tried to leave her military history far in the past, but she’s not ready to go back to her former life, either. Can an old army buddy help her find a new road home?
Now and Forever Christmas: The past eight years as a professional musician for the US Army prepared Tobin McGhee for his new job as high school band teacher. They didn’t prepare him for how he’d feel seeing an old girlfriend again. This time, though, he won’t make the same mistakes. Can they make holiday music together and rekindle the friendship they once had, or will romance ruin everything… again?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Authors Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Jaycee Weaver are about as different geographically and personally as you can get—except where they’re not. What they all share is a love of books, writing, and Jesus. Their great diversity is what makes their books so complementary and what makes the Christmas Lights Collection an eagerly-anticipated set each year.
More from Chautona
Picture it. Sweaters, fuzzy socks, a gas fireplace, and laptops. Cathe Swanson and I had been invited to join author Brenda Anderson for a writing retreat at her timeshare in the Wisconsin Dells. So, I flew out (and arrived in Minneapolis in the middle of riots! EEEP!) and we drove over to the Dells. There we were both determined to get a ton of writing done. And we did.
While Cathe worked on Home Run, (and I sneaked peeks at her recent release, Long Shadows), I finished up Penelope’s Pursuit and wrote a significant amount of Adoring April.
I also had a genius idea while I was there. I kind of freaked out poor Cathe a bit, running into the room where she was working and blurting out all the idea-ness (for a video of that, go HERE), but still… guys! Military! Woohoo! Here’s a video of us brainstorming:
It was perfect on so many levels. So, Cathe zipped messages off to Jaycee and Toni, and we all began planning what we’d do to honor our military in this collection.
Look, it’s been a hard year for our military families. Folks are grieving and there’s just so much uncertainty. So, all of the authors of the Christmas Lights Collection would like to dedicate this collection not just to the men and women who have and are currently serving in our armed forces, but also to the families who make their own sacrifices in giving up time (often years) with their service men and women.
In this collection, you’ll find a Marine recruiter, a struggling veteran, an Army musician, and an Air Force veteran now working a nice prosaic bank job! See how each author ties Christmas and these heroes together!
Whenever I find a book that is a collection of stories from several authors I get excited. Each author beings their unique style of writing where readers can experience the gift each author has.This collection has some of my favorite authors and I couldn’t wait to start reading. The theme this year is perfect and honors the military.
The Stars of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig
I enjoyed reading about Avie and Gareth and how they grew in their relationship. Avie is such a great character and her unconditional love for her brother stands out. It is scary for her to think about her brother enlisting to serve his country. Gareth taking Avie on a journey that includes her favorite books was genius. We get to explore the various books while enjoying how Gareth continues to try to convince Avie that her brother is making a good decision.
There is humor in the book that only the author can achieve as the characters try to dissuade each other from proving their point. I couldn’t wait to see if Gareth would win Avie over or would she persuade her brother to find another career that didn’t involve combat. The dates they go on are adventurous and filled with laughter and literature.
The best part of the story for me was when Max and Avie talk, I mean really talk. Max shares how he has always felt like a misfit and needed this chance to fit in somewhere . Serving in the military is very important to him. Thanks to the author we are reminded how important it is to support our military.
Most Wonderful Time by Toni Shiloh
I liked the way the author showed us what happens when someone is injured and has to retire from the military. Even though the accident wasn’t from an official battle it still forced Shanée to retire. It is easy to understand how angry she is and not too happy about her new career. Getting to know her was nice and I loved seeing how Gabe brought a smile to her face. She is trying so hard not to like him, but he is a charmer.
Gabe is a great character with a big heart. I sensed that he isn’t really satisfied working at the bank with his father but for now he is just coasting by. I love his siblings names and how close the family is. I adored his parents and their love for family and each other. Gabe is my favorite character in this story because he is caring and always wants to make everyone feel welcome. He may be a bit shy of relationships but I have a feeling he may just find what he has been looking for soon.
It broke my heart to here that Shanée thinks that God doesn’t care about her. I could see Gabe’s face as she said those words. I loved how the author used people from the Bible to illustrate how they suffered but learned that with God anything is possible. As I write this review I am sitting here in pain from my back as well. I have a big hurdle ahead of me to overcome this issue but with God it is possible. The author delivers a wonderful story about trust, healing and showing that our friendship helps others to know that God cares. I loved how forgiveness is explained in the story in a way that leads you to understand about God’s unconditional love for each of us. Do Gabe and Shanée start dating? Well that will be for readers to discover in this beautifully written story.
The Road Home by Cathe Swanson
This story is one that I really was anxious to read. You don’t hear much about women who were nurses in the military during WWII. Iris has seen a lot in her years but now that she is older she misses the days when she was always busy taking care of wounded soldiers. I loved getting to know her better.
Tally was a medic in Afghanistan and now lives with Iris. Tally had a rough couple years when she returned from duty but maybe there is a reason she found a place to stay with Iris. After all they do have similar backgrounds and I’m sure they have stories to share about their deployments.
When Christopher was introduced in the story I knew we would soon find out more about Tally. Something happened when they were both stationed together and now Talky seems to want to hide from everyone. Having PTSD is difficult to deal with and Tally has found ways to avoid dealing with it mostly.
The setting of the story is nice because it highlights community shelters and how they help anyone in need. I loved how the author brought several people together that share a history of serving in the military. My curiosity was getting the best of me and I couldn’t read fast enough to get my questions answered. The ending is so good and I cried as I finished the last page.
Now and Forever by Jaycee Weaver
What a great story to end this book about the military. Can you remember your first crush you had? Oh I remember mine so well. He was this cute guy with curly blonde hair with sky blue eyes. We were a couple all the way until high school when he moved away. CJ and Tobin remind me so much of those days and I fell in love with their characters.
Tobin was in the army and served also in the military band. Now he teaches high school band where he runs into someone who know CJ. How would she react seeing him after all these years? Would there still be a spark between them? Poor Tobin has no idea why they broke up so long ago. He still has this problem with being accepted by others. I thought it was interesting that his dad was never proud of him.
This story is filled with past hurts and misunderstandings. When CJ and Tobin finally have a very serious talk, the pain that CJ has been carrying stumbles out in tears and words. The emotional scars that she has endured by someone has taken a toll on her. Tobin has such a compassionate heart and is there to comfort CJ as she starts to reveal her past. I loved how the author talked about emotional abuse and allowed readers to see that there is hope for those who feel unwanted. Does Tobin get his girl in the end? Pick up a copy of the book for the answer.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Lights Authors are giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.