…. it’s too early to start seeing Christmas stuff ….. but I want to help my author friends. And you don’t have to read them now, but I encourage you to grab them while they are on sale and then you have some nice cozy and intriguing stories to read during the Christmas season. Also, if you grab them during November, you’ll get two additional treats.
And now I present – Comfort & Joy: The Christmas Lights Collection 2018.
Featuring 4 novellas, each with its own special twist – for each I will give a quick, non-spoiler summary and brief review.
1 – Frost Heaves – (definition: “upward swelling in soil or roads during freezing conditions, caused by water expanding as it turns to ice”) This novella is written by Alana Terry. She lives in Alaska, so she knows ALL about things having to do with frost, and snow, and ice. This novel is more intrigue than mistletoe and holly. It gets quite tense, addressing some hard issues like cultic, abusive “churches”, so don’t expect “jingle bells” and skipping reindeer.
The spiritual values in this story are great, providing a sharp contrast to the way people with evil intent can use “church” as a means to their own end. The little girl in the story caught my attention, she made me laugh.
2 – Deck The Shelves by Toni Shiloh – A true book lover’s dream, to own a quaint little book shop in an old Victorian style house, living surrounded all day and night by books. But you can’t make a whole story out of that, so add a little romance, with some shyness on the part of both parties, add a good measure of spiritual challenges and growth, and Toni Shiloh creates a cozy story for a cold day.
Each chapter begins with a quote from a famous author, which I like, because it ties in a theme for the chapter. The romance part isn’t sappy or what I like to call “electric cheese”. …. and another cute little child 🙂
3 – The Christmas Glory Quilt – A story about quilting?? I had my reservations, but this was a very interesting story about a young woman developing a wedding gown business. Her heritage was still celebrated by her family, as well as her aunt, who made very special quilts. Interwoven into the story is the challenge of someone struggling with dyslexia, one of the many “hidden” issues that people struggle with quite regularly.
The story was sweet, in every way. I enjoyed reading about the start of a new business in a quaint little country home. And enjoyed learning about a family that celebrates their heritage, along with Christmas celebration. The concept of Aunt Violet’s special quilts for each family member, complete with a notebook that explains each square is beautiful. It was very interesting and I fear my comments here do not do it justice.
4 – The Ghosts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig – One of the lines in “It’s a Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is “There’ll be scary ghost stories” … so Chautona had to oblige. Imagine a guy with plasmophobia (fear of ghosts) moves into an old, creaky house, and has to live there for a year. Shortly after moving in, he has to participate and succeed in an annual Christmas story telling contest .. with the subject being ghosts!! This, of course, has to be done in order to receive an inheritance. Odd things happen … but apart from the odd things … there’s a nice young woman who lives nearby. Taking place in one of fictional Rockland’s suburbs with a very strong British vibe (completely olde London-type feel), this was a fun ride.
I enjoyed this story for the old style feel of the location and the mystery of what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Another young person captured my heart and was the kind of daughter I would loved to have had (even though she was a younger sister in the story). OH …. and there was a kitten, Pinkerton!!! Can’t go wrong when you add a cat!!
If you purchase before November 30th you can get two bonus items:
A Christmas Glory Quilt Pattern – click here for instructions regarding how to get the PDF of this pattern.
And The Ghastly Therapist (the short story from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham) – click here for instructions on how to receive this short story.