Monday, November 13, 2017

The Colors of Christmas

The Colors of Christmas
Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate
the Hope of Christmas
Olivia Newport
(Shiloh Run Press)
ISBN: 978-1683223351
October 2017/320 pages/$14.99

Celebrate the joyful hope of the Christmas season as characters find healing in the midst of heartbreak.

Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.

Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.


Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her husband and two twenty-something-year-old children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books.


I love Christmas novellas and eagerly accepted the opportunity to review this combo. The first offering, Christmas in Gold was my favorite. As a nurse who cares for senior citizens, I loved Olivia Newport's portrayal of Astrid and her family as they dealt with a situation so common today. Newport perfectly depicts the emotions and family dynamics that often accompany such a transition. The situation with Astrid's therapist adds intrigue and supsense, and Newport does a fine job of paceing both the danger and the interpersonal relationships. The second novella Christmas in Blue was less satisfying. While I liked the premise, the story dragged a bit and the mounting disasters were a bit much. The resolution and message conveyed were fine but I was a bit tired from all the upheaval by the time I finally reached them. Overall, this is an enjoyable combo set, with Christmas in Golde the stronger of the two. Check it out for yourself!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing, for a blog tour. I was not required to write a 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.”


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