Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Colors of Christmas" by Olivia Newport

If the Hallmark Channel can show Christmas movies in October, then I can read Christmas stories in October, right?

Olivia Newport's Colors of Christmas novella collection features two sweet Christmas stories—and they're low on romance, so if that's not your thing, you can still enjoy them!

Christmas in Gold
When eighty-year-old Astrid moves into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up Christmas hope one more time.

Christmas in Blue
Angela just wants Christmas to be over. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration, and everything goes from bad to worse. Can she rescue Christmas for the town—and herself?

Release Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Christmas (novellas)

Christmas in Gold
This is a sweet novella about Astrid, a woman who moves into an assisted living community on the assistance of her children, and Carly, a physical therapist at the community who's desperate to escape her past.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Astrid and Carly, and I loved the looks back into Astrid's past as a child in World War II Germany. Though the resolution of Carly's problems was perhaps a bit too abrupt and neat, I did enjoy the story. 4 stars.

Christmas in Blue
This novella is almost a comedy of errors as grieving Angela tries to organize the town's annual Christmas festival—the festival that her best friend Carole always organized before succumbing to cancer. Everything that can go wrong does, and Angela is about to throw in the towel ... when a stranger arrives in town and helps Angela to not only organize the festival but also to regain her Christmas spirit.

It took me a while to get into Christmas in Blue, but once the stranger connected with Angela, I became vastly more interested in the story. In fact, it seems exactly like the kind of Christmas story Hallmark would make into one of its Movies & Mysteries films ... of course, they would add a hint of romance somewhere, as there's none in Christmas in Blue.

I'm sure I will quickly forget the particulars of Christmas in Blue—I read so much that only the books I've absolutely loved stick with me—but I'm sure I will long remember the concept of a Blue Christmas (also known as Longest Night) service. I'd never heard of this before, but it's held to acknowledge and help work through the grief many people feel during the holiday season. It's such a beautiful concept, and I'm glad Newport introduced me to it through her novella. 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.

Follow the Blog Tour:
Books N Baubles, October 17
Christian Bookaholic, October 17
Bukwurmzzz, October 17
Janices book reviews, October 18
Singing Librarian Books, October 18
Moments Dipped in Ink, October 18
A Simply Enchanted Life, October 19
G.O. & D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 19
Bigreadersite, October 19
Reader’s cozy corner, October 20
Have A Wonderful Day, October 20
Reflections from my bookshelves, October 20
Blogging With Carol, October 21
Just the Write Escape, October 21
Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 21
A Greater Yes, October 22
Mary Hake, October 22
Daysong Reflections, October 22
A Baker’s Perspective, October 23
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 23
Baker Kella, October 23
Smiling Book Reviews, October 23
The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 24
It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, October 24
Remembrancy, October 24
Carpe Diem, October 25
autism mom, October 25
Bibliophile Reviews, October 25
A Reader’s Brain, October 26
By The Book, October 26
The Power of Words, October 26
With a Joyful Noise, October 27
Pause for Tales, October 27
Splashes of Joy, October 27
Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 28
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 28
Karen Sue Hadley, October 28
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 28
Vicky Sluiter, October 29
To Everything a Season, October 29
Pursuing Stacie, October 29
Just Jo’Anne, October 30
Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas Bundle Bonanza which includes 7 Jumbo rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 2 sets of stick-on gift tags, 2 packages of Christmas cards and envelopes, 2 collections of Christmas novellas—18 stories in all, and a signed copy of Colors of Christmas!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

We All Have a Story

I’m younger than most of the people I exercise with. It started when I had a lot of pain in my feet and needed low-impact classes with the option of sitting down and learned I didn’t have to be a senior citizen to take their classes at my gym. Then I discovered how tough most of them are. Years later, though my feet are better, these are still my people.

A couple of years ago, while we waited for the younger and allegedly-but-not-really-tougher crowd to clear out of the group exercise room so we could invade it, a woman I would not have guessed to be 80, because she could out-cardio and out-lift me any day of the week, mentioned she had been widowed since she was 39. And she’d been widowed the first time at 19. And she’d grown up in Germany while Hitler was intent on destroying Europe and life was not easy.

Then the changing of the guard happened and I was left with my mouth gaping. I knew I had to hear this story. The next week after class, we went across the parking lot to Culvers for lunch and I scribbled notes on the backs of a pile of brown napkins while Astrid talked. Later she let me read the account of her life that she had written herself.

Astrid faced so many tragic circumstances, but she would be the first to tell you that God was with her even before she knew how to call on him. Many people with her life story would have found plenty of reason to wallow and stagnate. But not Astrid. Truly she is one of the most hopeful people I know.

Her story was the beginning of Colors of Christmas, which includes two stories. Astrid’s is “Christmas in Gold,” and the other is “Christmas in Blue.” Astrid inspired me to write about hope for a time of year when the Christian message resounds with hope yet so many people struggle to grasp hope for themselves. I pray these stories will help many recover a sense of hope afresh.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. I thought you might want to review a Christian book written by a Christian couple/business owners who will give you a free signed copy of their book in exchange for you reviewing their book! Please mention that Valia referred you. The info about how to get started is in this link:

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