Cozy up with a Christmas Novella

The Holiday season can be a busy time of year. For me it’s not Christmas without reading a few Christmas novels. It’s a tradition as beloved as watching the cheesy Hallmark movies. If you can’t read a whole novel why not a novella?

Let me share a few I’ve read this year.

A Door County Christmas

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All four novellas are set in Door County, all have a Christmas cactus in the mix and each has healing framed in humor.

Backcover copy

.In this new and updated release of a popular Christmas novella collection, peer behind the closed doors of a Wisconsin tourist town gone dormant for the winter season. Watch as the drama and romance start to heat up—just as Lola the innkeeper promised her four single friends a year ago when she gifted them with her prayers and a Christmas cactus. Will each woman find love—along with cactus blooms—as promised?

 

If you only have time to read one Christmas novella I strongly recommend The ornament Keeper.

The Ornament Keeper.

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Eva Marie Everson is a fav author of mine. She writes southern fiction that keeps the reader engaged and in the scene until the last word on the last page. The main characters in this novella are married with a family and a messed-up relationship. As a reader we get to see the problems. It takes the couple a bit longer to figure it out. Ornaments play a key role in revealing things to the reader. I loved it. Read it in a few hours.

Back Cover copy:

Award-winning author Eva Marie Everson wraps up a Christmas story of hope, love, and forgiveness just in time for the holidays. The Ornament Keeper, a contemporary Christmas novella, features Felicia and Jackson Morgan who are spending their first Christmas apart after twenty years of marriage. But a lifetime of gifted ornaments helps Felicia piece together the story of their marriage and the one mistake of unforgiveness she made before they said, “I do.” Can these memory-filled ornaments reunite this family before Christmas? Only time will tell.

For all my historical romance readers you’ll love Mary Conneally’s collection.

Three Christmas Novellas: Longhorn Christmas, The Sweetest Gift, and The Christmas Candle.

Three aweet stories that take you back to a different time and remind you of the true meaning of Christmas. I was particularly interested in The Sweet Gift as it is based on her great grandparents love story.

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Back cover copy:

Three previously released Christmas novellas.
Longhorn Christmas
Netty Lewis, a lonely young widow is saved from a raging mama longhorn by a passing cowboy who’s been wandering since the end of the Civil War.
She needs help surviving her rugged life and caring for Jeremiah, her young son. And that means rounding up a nice-sized herd of wild-as-wolves longhorns.
Netty and Roy, along with Jeremiah begin a journey toward Christmas, family, home and love.
And a herd of longhorns are making the way hard.

A sweet re-telling of The Gift of the Magi–with a happy ending
The Sweetest Gift
She longs for music. He needs a valuable horse to improve his herd.
When Christmas comes the gift they truly give is the gift of love.

The Christmas Candle
A lonely widower with a pair of out-of-control sons he never got to know while their mother was alive.
A woman with a love of nature and beauty and scent…and the little boys seem determined to destroy her way of life.
A feisty Ozark mountain granny who doesn’t put up with much nonsense.
The gift of a candle for Christmas and a Christ child who is a perfect match for this scent of heaven.

Grab a blanket, your favorite beverage and snuggle up with a Christmas story. Share in the comments your favorite Christmas novel, novella or collection. Maybe it will inspire someone for a last minute Christmas gift.

 

 

 

THREE WRITING GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS

The Christmas season is always a time of giving, and beyond the usual present buying and treat making there were other opportunities that God appointed for me this season. Two of them were annual occurrences with a new twist, and the third was unexpected. All of them reminded me that my writing talents come from Him.
Christmas Letter Shines
As I was praying over what to write in our annual Christmas letter, God directed me to other bloggers’ sites where I realized that as a writer I should be doing this simple task more creatively. Most family Christmas letters are in micro tiny font so all the news fits on one page. If the font is colored and in script a magnifying glass is needed. There might be another page of family photos attached.
Inspired, our annual family Christmas letter took on a new look. We used a newspaper format with headlines for each family member with photos and cut lines. It was a lot more fun to do and easier on the eyes. Using a newsletter format allowed me to use larger more readable fonts. Because it was eye catching, no one will mind that it is four pages.
Christmas Skit Inspiration
Next, I found myself writing another skit for our Christmas “Give a Gift to Jesus” annual Sunday sharing time. I have become the official skit writer for my church often not only writing but performing and directing, as well. Years ago I wrote them for my family to do together, writing each part based on the skill level of the individual. Eventually, other church members asked for parts.
This year was a little different. I hadn’t even thought about a skit idea when a woman at church approached me with hers. She wanted to wear a nice formal dress someone had given her and thought that a game show theme would be great. She could be the Vanna White character. She had confidence that I would create a skit that allowed her to show off her new dress. If anyone else had asked me to write something to showcase her dress, I would have rolled my eyes, laughed and walked away. But this special woman with her limitations has sung boldly—albeit flat, danced clumsy steps with a jubilant spirit, and participated in any act of service at the church with a cheerful heart. How could I refuse this request? God gave me the theme, and an idea began to form in my mind.
I knew that my husband and I would not be enough characters in our play. Enlisting the help from two couples who have been in our productions in the past, I wrote the skit. The great part about writing to fit your actors, the characters are always hysterical. In no time I had crafted a “Let’s Make A Deal” parody based on the three temptations of Christ.
Writing an Appeal Letter
The latest writing project, originally not on my to-do list, was writing an emergency appeal letter for victims of the typhoon that struck southern Philippines. This is an area of the world near and dear to my heart. Conducting Bible Training there and working with the Bernasol Educational Foundation gave me the insights necessary to craft the letter.
Three Gifts for the Season
As I look back on these three writing projects I find it interesting that I gave three gifts of writing this season. A gift of joy as I shared with family and friends through our newsletter. A gift of service as I wrote a script so my friend could have the desire of her heart. The gift of compassion as my appeal letters stirs hearts to help those in crisis.
Three Gifts for Me
The benefit for me seeing my skit performed enabled me to see any areas that needed changing, correct the blocking and tweak it for submission. There are a variety of publications looking for new skit materials. The skit writing stretches my writing ability and is always fun both to do and perform. The kudos from those who see it always encourages me. The newsletter is non-fiction, but it challenges me to share family news in a way that is fun to read. Both projects renew my writer’s heart. The appeal letters reminds me to carefully craft my words and not to waste them. I realize as I end this blog that not only did I give three gifts to God this season, but He has given me three gifts of encouragement in return.