Comfort and Joy: A Fantastic 4 Book Christmas Collection

ArynFamily16 Comments

Comfort and Joy is one of my favorite songs at Christmas. Comfort and Joy seem to go together so well! And yet, in today’s Celebrate Lit book review, each story pushes at least 1 character out of their comfort zone, in order to find Joy.

? Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience  If you make a purchase through one of these, i may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I also received an advance copy from the authors, though all thoughts are my own.

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About Comfort and Joy

Group of comfort and joy books in cardboard box cover isolated on white background Christmas Lights 2018: Comfort and 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.

NOTE: THE COLLECTION HAS BEEN DISBANDED, INDIVIDUAL BOOK LINKS ARE BELOW.

About the Authors

Comfort and joy author Alana Terry 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 Shiloh, Comfort and joy Author 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 Swanson comfort and joy Author 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

Author Chautona Havig 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.

My Review

Four stories of Comfort and Joy, unrelated, but connected by faith, love, forgiveness, and Christmas.
The first one has all the action. Spiritual Abuse. Kidnapping, Cults, Murder.

Frost Heaves

Frost Heaves: After an almost unending nightmare, Jade is doing the best she can. Then it all comes crashing in again. And as she leans on the strength of prayer, and on Benjamin’s kindness, learning to trust again might be within reach.
I had a hard time liking this book, probably because I have experienced spiritual abuse (on a much smaller scale) and I have little ones, so the thought of them going off with someone is terrifying.
Seens like that means it was really good, since it brought lots of emotions to the surface!

Deck the Shelves

With Deck the Shelves, I fell in love! Kendall is the second lead character this year that has me totally jealous of her home above a bookstore)
Watching Kendall and Q, both struggling to forgive past hurts and learn to trust again was emotional, and So well written!  That they rely on prayer and don’t let their fear rule them encouraged my heart no end! And the Cyrano gambit was genius!
*Note one scene has them snowed in, during a blizzard. I love how they handle it!
The importance of family, and the interaction in both families (Kendall with her mom, and the 4 generations of Q’s household) were well written and certainly encouraging.
The Comfort and Joy of this story is real!

Christmas Glory Quilt

In the third book, Penny inspires me with her dream of a full-fledged business, and not letting her fears, her limitations or her dyslexia hold her back. She’s learned how to cope and compensate-lessons I’m still working on, if for different reasons! She was very real in her selfish moments and tunnel vision, and lets her pride get in the way once or thrice.
Aunt Violet, well, I’ve always been the one to connect with those of another generation, and it seems fictional characters are no different. It’s s hard to go back to where you once lived and see everything changed. But her spunk and heart see her through. And her quilting method is amazing! I can’t do that with fabric, but maybe a photo book collection. Hmm… That would probably work. I’ll have to get back to you on that!

And then there’s Ghosts of New Cheltenham

A ghost story at Christmas. Yup. Told by a guy with a phobia of ghosts. To win a contest, and an inheritance.
I will say this book was the reason I signed up for the Comfort and Joy tour, though Deck the Shelves is now tied for best book in the set!
While Mitchell struggles with his phobia and social interactions, he has a running monologue telling himself to Adult already! (I have a bit of a morbid fascination with those of my generation and younger, who have no clue how to Adult. To choose responsibility, and think ahead, etc.)
He does finally grow up a bit, and the ghost he writes is actually fascinating! I got to read the ghost story as a preorder bonus, and the creativity here, well, its pretty believable! I could see this ghost story being true!
Brenna’s courage and hard work encourages me every time I think of her. I hate that she’s alone raising her sister, but what she’s made of it, Wow!
This collection of sweet Christmas fiction leaves you wanting more, though each story is complete. Comfort and Joy was a great Christmas red, and I hope you will give it a try.

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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.

Comfort and joy, Christmas Fiction for Christian Women

Comfort and Joy Blog Stops

Because what better way is there to get a bunch of Christian readers’ perspective on Comfort and Joy?

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 BrainDecember 3

KarenSueHadleyDecember 4

Inklings and notionsDecember 4

Quiet Quilter, December 5

Lots of Helpers, December 5

God’s Little BookwormDecember 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 reviewsDecember 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

BigreadersiteDecember 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The LibraryanDecember 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

Giveaway

Kindle Unlimited prize

To celebrate their Comfort and Joy 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 here to enter.

16 Comments on “Comfort and Joy: A Fantastic 4 Book Christmas Collection”

  1. Thank you for your review on “Comfort and Joy” and for being part of the book tour. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read these amazing stories in a book that is on my TBR list.

  2. How great to review books and be part of a book tour. These books sound great and will be adding to my list. I’m always looking for recommendations for books.

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