Fatal Memories – SLB – Giveaway

Fatal Memories Blog Tour Banner

About the Book

Fatal Memories

Series: Love Inspires Suspense
Genre: Christian, Inspirational, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: September 1, 2019

She was framed! Or was she?
If only she could remember…
Border patrol agent Jocelyn Walker has no memory of how she turned up unconscious with a cache of drugs—or why a gang is dead set on killing her. With evidence stacking up against her, Joss takes refuge with driven DEA agent Dylan Murphy, who guards—and suspects— her. But will finally trusting each other lead them into a trap they’ll never escape?

GOODREADS | B&N AMAZON

About the Author

Bio Pic -Tanya Stowe

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Author Interview

1. Here at Kat’s Corner books, we’re fans of cats, but love all pets. Do you have a pet? 

Not at the moment. While we were working in the Middle East our dog passed away. He was in the arms of our sons and loved, sitting on the grass while thier babies played around him. We knew that we would be selling our house and hitting the road in an RV so we opted not to find another pet, especially since we planned to do lots of hiking, museums and tours. I love cats too!

K: Aww. Losing pets is always so hard, but glad he was in a happy place. It makes sense RVing that a pet would be difficult. We have one cat, but would love to have a dog. One day, when we have a yard (shhh, don’t tell Sasha)!

2. Open your text message app. What are the first 10 words that come up automatically?

Look at our gorgeous little honky tonks in Tombstone. 

(Two of my grandchildren just graduated from high school and we are taking them on a graduation trip. We stopped in Tombstone and bought them both cowboy hats and I sent a picture back to thier mom, my daughter. They looked gorgeous!)

3. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?

Mom. Meemaw. Pickleball player. Full time RV’er.

K: Pickleball? I’ve heard of it, but had to ask Google. Anyone else curious? Click here.

4. What inspired the idea for Fatal Memories?

My husband retired and we moved to southern Arizona. I loved the area and needed to write a story about it!

5. What is your current WIP?

Killer Harvest. It’s set in Central Calilfornia. 

K: Oooo so many ways that story line could go!

6. What was the hardest character to write in Fatal Memories?

Neither Joss nor Dylan were hard for me to write. I felt like I knew them both very well. But finding a way to get these two driven characters together was a challenge!

K: Strong willed personalities do present a challenge, but they also give us sparks! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Review

This book made it onto Hubs Hot List. Ya’ll know how rare that is. That makes two books for Tanya, so you know she’s a great suspense author. He liked the non-stop action, from the opening pages to the big finish. I think this would make a great Hollywood action flick.

Hubs: “This book is enticing. The plot grows thick with twists and turns building on the edge of your seat. Specifically, I enjoyed learning more about the drug cartels/gangs in the Southwest and with all the politics taking place today involving this area of the U.S. it leaves some room for hope and reconciliation on both sides of the border.”

Giveaway

Fatal Memories Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway ends September  7 at 11:59pm MT.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Check out the tour schedule HERE.

The Enlightment of Bees – JustRead

Spotlight: The Enlightment of Bees by Rachel Linden

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey.

At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.

Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.

In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest need.

PURCHASE LINKS*: 
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook


“The memories are always with us, but sometimes we can ease the way for others. That is what we must do, use our pain to build understanding and empathy, not to build walls. Then it is transformed into a thing of beauty, then our suffering has value.”


MY REVIEW

I’m a book monster; at the top I dog ear pages to keep my place and at the bottom I dog ear for quotes I want to revisit. This book has a lot of bottom corner dog ears.

Rachel Linden has a way with words that will sooth your sole. It’s a combination of lyrical with hard truth forcing the reader to confront their inner-self without pulling the reader into the depths of despair.

This is the first of Rachel’s books I’ve read so I had no clue what to expect. I’ve been reading a lot of fluff lately and at first her style of writing caught me off guard (because, again, fluff ya’ll). But, I quickly realized I had missed falling into a book world where I feel wrapped up in a cocoon; one where I knew I was going to be challenged and face feelings I’ve been ignoring, but knew I would come out better for it on the other side.

I appreciated how Rachel brought her experiences in to give the story depth and meaning. International aid is one of those things that I know exists and I see on news stories, but not a topic I really KNOW about; it hasn’t touched me personally. Through this story I was able to touch that world and develop a deeper level of empathy towards those who struggle with the basic comforts of life.

I liked all of the characters. I felt for Ethan, who struggled with knowing what was familiar and what was the right call for his and Mia’s future. I can’t imagine the agony of wrestling with the decisions he made, and then Mia being strong enough to process through and move to where she needed to be. I loved Nana Alice and her beau who brought smiles and wise words. Rosie is an awesome best friend who also grows and I’m super glad she finds her forever love during the story.

And Mia. In some ways I could relate and in others what she was going through was totally foreign to me, but no matter what, I could put myself in her place and see why she was struggling with decisions, thoughts, and the world around her. I could relate to having long held hopes and the struggle of wondering if those are still meant to be or if what is a good life but different than what I imagined really what I’m supposed to do?

For inspirational readers you’ll see some faith themes woven into the story. However for those who prefer a clean read with some depth but without faith themes, this story is also for you. It speaks to the goodness of humanity and finding the purpose for your life but does not specifically get into the religious beliefs of the characters.

And lastly, here is my favorite quote. I hope one day, I too can find this place.

“‘Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain.'”

I received a copy of this book for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of LarksBecoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently, Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, Washington, where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage, and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Series Review – Family Blessings

The Dad Next Door

Lawman Joe Sheehan is desperate to bond with the daughter he’s just discovered he has. But as a virtual stranger to twelve-year-old Amelia, the task seems impossible. Until Claire Conley moves to town. A social worker renovating a mansion into a foster home, Claire is the first person to get through to Amelia. Falling for the single dad was not on Claire’s to-do list. But with Joe and Amelia around, the house finally starts to feel like home. Claire’s ready to fight to convince Joe that together they’ve done more than fix a house…they’ve built a family.

A Baby for the Doctor

After becoming a foster parent to a young boy, equine therapist Jordan Conley’s life gets turned upside down. Little Levi is in need of an exceptional pediatrician, which means seeking help from Dr. Ash Sheehan—a man that, despite her heart-pounding crush, isn’t her type. Her life is horses and hay, and she can’t imagine the suit-clad doctor in a pair of cowboy boots. As a confirmed bachelor, Ash has never been nervous around women, but there’s something about Jordan that flusters him, and working closely together doesn’t help. The last thing he’s looking for is long-term romance. But the more involved he gets, the more he wishes they could stay together…always.

Their Secret Baby Bond

He wanted roots. She chose career. Can a baby bring them back together? Wynn Sheehan planned to change the world—not return to Alabama alone and pregnant. Her life is in shambles, but at least she can help take care of Latham Grant’s ailing grandpa. Latham isn’t ready to trust the woman who eagerly left him and their small town behind. But can they ignore the spark rekindled by unexpected Family Blessings?

The Marriage Bargain

Family Blessings lead to new beginnings. Jules Sheehan will do anything to keep custody of the two orphaned girls in her care—including a marriage of convenience with their uncle. Cam Quinn crosses the globe as a travel writer, but he’s ready to settle down. Now tough, tender Jules is offering the home he’s secretly longed for. Can this marriage in name only become a family of the heart?

My Review

This series by Stephanie Dees focuses a family that has a big heart and passion for loving foster kids who need a home and a Savior.

The Dad Next Door: I read this book after reading book 2 in the series, so I had already connect with Joe, Claire, and Amelia, but I enjoyed reading about their start as a family. I admire Joe for the way he stepped right into fatherhood, even with some bumbling and learning, he was immediately steadfast and gave it his whole heart. At the end he paints a picture for their future that melted my heart. I promptly sighed and read it to hubs. A foster brood sounds about perfect to us too.

As a former foster mom, I admired the passion that Claire poured into renovating the house with the intention to foster a bunch of kids who needed love and God’s care, despite the hurdles that pop up. Having read the rest of the series, I know we get to see Claire more, and this aspect come out more and more.

A Baby for the Doctor: I LOVED THIS BOOK – by page 2. I connected with Jordan right away. As a former foster mom, I knew just what she was feeling throughout the book: the joy, the heartbreak, the face on the floor prayers. Ms. Dee did a fantastic job bringing the realities of foster parenting while also giving it the positive perspective that often lacks in fiction.

Ash was swoony and steadfast. His heart for kids will make you melt and smile. While I don’t live with diabetes, I do have a chronic illness, so I also connected with Ash, who was in a good place dealing with day in and out of life with a chronic disease while not letting it get the best of him. I appreciated that Ms. Dees also showed the side of him that got fed up, because we all have those days as well, but he didn’t let drag him down.

Their Secret Baby Bond: I already like Latham having read the first two books in the series and was hoping he’d get an HEA! I also knew something was up with Wynn when I met her in the 2nd book. I enjoyed this story about lost and returned loves, broken hearts and dreams, and God’s restoration. Ms. Dees approached a topic that isn’t often told from a faith perspective – that of an out of marriage pregnancy, but she uses the Sheehans and their community to show Wynn that God has not turned his back on her for her choices and that he can bring beautiful things out of them.

Latham shows us how we may have dreams, but when life happens it’s not an abandonment of those dreams, but a changing. He really made me think as I have dreams that haven’t gone as I imagined, but this story reminded me that God can still use those, just in an unexpected way.

The Marriage Bargain: Marriages of convenience are one of my favorite premises, but pulling them off in a contemporary setting can be difficult. I think Ms. Dees did a good job of a plausible story line giving the reasoning and feelings of both the hero and heroine and why they decided to dive in. While I may think it a bit far fetched having experience with the custody courts, if I was in the same position as Jules, I can’t say that I wouldn’t come up with a similar hare brained idea. I’ve also seen the courts make decisions opposite of what you think is best for the kids, but that’s where trusting God’s plan critical. Jules, like all of us do at some point, leaps forward to take the situation into her own hands.

What helped make this marriage of convenience more realistic for me is that there was an instant attraction. While relationships shouldn’t be based all on the physical, you can’t deny that love at first sight exists – it’s just a different type of love. A deeper long lasting love based on friendship has to grow with time and for Jules and Cam this love is show through a slow tantalizing burn.

We also get to visit with all the other characters from the series, which I loved, without feeling like you missed backstory. A satisfying ending to a series.

I received the series from the author but was not required to write a postive review.

Loving Her Texas Protector

UPDATE 1-10-19: Guys!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot to tell you about ALL THE KISSES!!!!! You know how I like kissing books. (Insert love and kissy emojies here.) Now back to the original post:

loving her texas protector

Title: Loving Her Texas Protector
Series: Garrison’s Law, Book 2
Author: Mary Connealy
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Jacie Moreau is a tough as nails security specialist who works with the Long Pine Texas police. She takes care of herself and doesn’t ask for help from anyone. Brett Garrison is an odd man out in the Garrison family. He’s a soft hearted veterinarian from a family of daring Texas lawmen. Jacie runs afoul of a hired killer and no one is there to step between her and danger but Brett.

Brett’s good hearted plan to care for the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen draw an assassin’s attention. Jacie never needs help, but Brett’s kindness when she is so vulnerable sneaks past all  the emotional walls she’s built around her heart. The killer keeps coming and their only hope is to run. And as they run they try and figure out who’s hired a killer, and why, and how to stop him.

If they hide well enough and live long enough, they might make it to the day they can fall in love.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


MY REVIEW

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas lawman, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man.

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas protector, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man. 

This story keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. While at first I felt the writing was a bit choppy, it smoothed out and faded as I quickly became lost in the fast paced fictional world running from a mad man. Jacie’s quick wit and sarcastic nature was a bit overwhelming, but it gave her a lot of room to develop into a “nice” person, and Mary takes full advantage of her character development potential. Brett reminds me of my hubs with his patience in the face of a fiery woman, smirking and provoking her with a twinkle in his eye, but loving her diligently.

If you enjoy suspense and strong female characters, this is definitely your read!

I was provided a copy of this novel for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mary connealy new

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of over 50 books and novellas.

Her most recent book series are: Garrison’s Law, High Sierra Sweethearts, Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, and Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas.

Mary has nearly a million books in print.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website | Facebook | Twitter | Seekerville | Petticoats & Pistols


garrison's law giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a $25 Amazon gift card (open internationally)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. A new entry option will be live each day for that day’s clues. Giveaway begins at midnight on January 8, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm January 15, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER HERE

 Be sure to stop on everystop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!


WORDS TO COLLECT: alpha Texas

Book Boyfriends 2018

Here’s a roundup of swoony heroes from my 2018 reads! In no particular order:

The Sheehan Brothers Stephanie Dees

The Sheehan brothers slid in in the last week 2018 and right into my heart. There is something about a man and his interactions with kids that make me swoon every time and Joe and Ash are great dads – even before they’re dads.

Jonathon Beckett – A Peculiar Courtship – Laura Beers

I love Jonathon while also wanting to inform him about women’s independence, but his boyish ways contrasting with his protectiveness win me over.

Barclay Pearce – An Hour Unspent – Roseanna White

Barclay. Swoon. I love him.


Noble Rynallt – The Lacemaker – Laura Frantz


Noble lives up to his namesake in this revolutionary tale.


Trace Riley – The Accidental Guardian – Mary Connealy

I relate to Trace’s desire to want to be alone, but I help but love him for the way he took on his three girls.

Graham, Lord Wharton – A Defense of Honor – Kristi Ann Hunter

I have to respect, admire, and swoon over Graham’s steadfastness. No floor is too hard, no sticky fingers too daunting. He pushes Kit to be a better version of herself while also giving her room to grow.

Cole “Tox” Russell – Warrior’s Seal – Ronie Kendig

Tox is your classic wounded hero. What I like about this series is that we get to see Tox develop beyond the initial romantic relationship onto a husband and father.

Adam Carrington – Freedom’s Kiss – Sarah Monzon

You can’t help but love a Carrington man. Plus, they’re hot.

Rudy Moser – Love in Three Quarter Time – Rachel McMillan

I love Rudy because he is such a different hero for a romance. This story is told from Evelyn’s perspective, but I would really love to hear it from Rudy’s!


Henry Wright – When You Look at Me – Pepper Basham

Because Henry is Mr. Wright after all (hardy, har, har). I also love Henry because he’s different than your typical hero. And his patience, oh my goodness, he’s so patient and gentle. Swoon.

I hope you found a few to add to your TBR pile for 2019! Who are your book boyfriends for 2018?

Comfort & Joy – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

About the Book

ComfortandJoy updated

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.

My Review

I was pleasantly surprised by my 99 cent purchase.  I’m always a bit skeptical of the “cheap” collections and usually expect and entertaining time, but I had a hard time putting the collection down to adult. Like, seriously guys, couldn’t put it down. I stayed up waaaayyyyy too late reading.

Deck The Shelves – Toni Shiloh – Once I started to read I remembered that a while back Toni had polled her readers about bookstore names and what their ideal bookstore would look like. Toni put all of the ideas together into a perfect bookstore with great characters, including an adorable little bit. I fell right in love with this prospective family.

The Christmas Glory Quilt – Cathe Swanson – This is the first I’ve read from Cathe, but it sure won’t be the last. A sweet romance with just a little bit of mystery and an Aunt who likes to mix things up a bit. This story has some good secondary characters as well the main characters and I felt like I could relate to most everyone.

The Ghosts of New Cheltenham – Chautona Havig – I LOVED this story. I really liked how we get a third point of view from Lauren, our tweeny detective, in addition to the main characters. Chautona can sometimes be hit or miss for me, strictly because I’m such a romance sap (her writing is always solid), but this story had great romance in it with some sizzling build up tension. For those of you who love the build-up of a relationship, you’ll definitely enjoy this story. I think I might I might find some mistletoe that needs “testing.”

Alana Terry – Frost Heaves – I appreciated Alana broaching a tough topic that I’ve only seen in a few Christian fiction books; that of spiritual abuse and cult churches. I think Alana handles it well, balancing the lies of the cult, countered with Biblical truth and showing the inner thoughts of woman who has been set free, but also struggles with everything she was taught growing up.

While I enjoyed the story, it was a bit jarring to me after the rest of the collection. I think if you know it’s more of a suspense story going into it, then you can focus on the story line; it just surprised me after a couple sweet stories and a cozy mystery. I like both Ben and Jade as characters and wish I could’ve seen more of their story as the end jumped into their relationship a little farther then what I felt was developed in the body of the story. I’d like to see a full length novel of this story that goes into more depth on their relationship.

About the Authors

Alana

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

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

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

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.”

“Yes.”

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.

Blog Stops

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

Giveaway

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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

Christmas Reads 2018 – The Christmas Heirloom

Today I’m exciting to be bringing you a blog post found only at Kat’s Corner Books! Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Becky Wade, and 
Sarah Loudin Thomas join me to talk about a special gift that they have received. In The Christmas Heirloom, four women are gifted a Luckenbooth Broach and find love at Christmas. Join me in sharing the authors’ stories.

Karen Witemeyer

Zucchini Bread recipe

Heirlooms can be anything that is handed down from one generation to another, but what makes them special is not the item itself, but the memories and emotions that item evokes. I have an antique washstand in my bedroom that once belonged to my grandmother on my father’s side and a small landscape painting that my grandma on my mother’s side painted. Outsiders would not see anything of particular value in these items, but they mean a great deal to me because they connect me to people I loved from generations past. One of my favorite heirlooms​, however, is a recipe for zucchini bread written in my dad’s handwriting. I lost my dad when I was only 16, so this is a prized possession. Not only is the recipe delicious, but seeing my dad’s handwriting brings back a flood of happy memories every time I take it out.


As for gifts I’ve received, the ones that mean the most are the ones that have heirloom potential. They tie into specific memories and emotions. A couple years ago, my husband gave me two such treasures. The first was a blanket made with a photo of my kids. My first child was leaving for college and the empty nest had begun. This was a way for me to snuggle with my kids even when they were gone. Love it! The other gift was a set of throw pillows made from pictures we had taken on a trip to The Netherlands. My Dutch publisher had brought me out for a book tour, and they allowed Wes to tag along. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken. We met so many wonderful people and saw so many amazing things. These pillows sit on my couch all throughout the year, and every time I see them, I remember that trip and smile.


I’m a cross-stitcher, so this time of year, the house fills with handmade items like stockings, ornaments, and wall hangings. I’d like to think that some of these will become heirlooms as my children start their own families and take a few touches of Christmases past to start their own traditions, but even if they don’t, they will still hold memories and joy for me every time I look at them.

Kristi Ann Hunter

BFFs Tendy and Scruffy

I didn’t often get the trendy toy of the year growing up. I never owned a Cabbage Patch Doll or a Furby, but when I was three I did get a Care Bear. TenderHeart to be exact. I loved that bear. I slept with it every night, carried it around the house, he was my constant companion. I called him Tendy. Over the years Tendy soaked up a lot of tears, got a lot of washings, and got hugged until he was pretty much smashed flat. Eventually, when I was in college, I had to admit that Tendy was getting a little too worn to be my constant companion. My father, who’d gotten me Tendy to begin with, went on a hunt for a replacement. At the time he was traveling around the world for work. Everywhere he went, he visited toy stores looking for the softest, cuddliest replacement for my beloved Tendy. I was twenty when I received Scruffy, a gray dog with floppy arms and legs and fluffy fur. Scruffy has since been replaced by my husband, but he and Tendy still sit together in a place of honor in my bedroom. 

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Being sentimental is my super power. My most prized possessions are the bits and pieces that used to belong to someone who matters to me. There’s the Brown Betty teapot that belonged to my neighbor Betty. The stitched wall hanging Aunt Bess made. The wooden butter mold Uncle Willis made for Mom. Dad’s shaving mug. 
Mom knows this about me (maybe instilled it in me?). Which means she knew exactly what she was doing the year she gave me my favorite book EVER. It’s the copy of Heidi that her own aunt gave her as a girl. Mom must have read it to me a hundred times.
There, inside the front cover, it says “To Nancy Cox, Christmas 1954.” And then she passed it on to me one Christmas. And some Christmas down the road I plan to pass it along to my niece–mom’s granddaughter. And hopefully, there will be a great-granddaughter to appreciate it one day–say in 2054? 
While the Luckenbooth in The Christmas Heirloom was a valuable piece of jewelry, what made it such a prized possession wasn’t it’s dollar value, but rather it’s link to family. My character, Fleeta, lost her mother when she was very young. Having that connection to her mother restored in a way was what gave the pin value in Fleeta’s eyes.
It’s much the same with my copy of Heidi. It’s not a book–it’s something my great aunt picked out and wrapped for my mother. It’s the memory of curling into my mother’s side while she read aloud. It’s a connection to people I want with me always. 
I’m so looking forward to sharing those connections on down the line . . .

Becky Wade

My great grandmother enjoyed a long and faith-filled life of laughter.  She had a wonderful marriage, numerous children, and even more numerous grand children and great grandchildren. When she passed away, my grandmother, her oldest child, inherited her gold wedding band.  Since my grandmother had two sons and no daughters, she chose to entrust her mother’s ring to her oldest granddaughter — me.  She gave it to me when I was still a teenager, long before I was in the market for marriage.  But, even then, I recognized the pricelessness of that ring.  I, like the characters in The Christmas Heirloom, had received a piece of jewelry that had been treasured and worn by my ancestors.  What a gift!   Years later, when marriage came my way, I had my great grandparents’ initials and wedding date inscribed inside the ring.  To this day, I wear it as my wedding band. I hope to pass it down to my own daughter one day.


Giveaway

Thanks you so much ladies for sharing your precious gifts and memories with us. To celebrate, I’m giving a gift of a Kindle ebook of The Christmas Heirloom. For the chance to win, enter via rafflecopter below. Please refer to my Policies. The giveaway will close at midnight of 12/10/18.

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