Name of book: Colors of Christmas
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Contemporary Christmas
Release Date: October 1, 2017
by Olivia Newport
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?
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.
Two completely different novellas that celebrate the hope of Christmas. The first called Christmas in Gold takes place in an assisted living facility, where Astrid finds herself after she has fallen and injured her ankle. Her children decide she is no longer able to stay by herself and have packed her up bag and baggage, and she is supposed to learn to adjust. To make things harder it is only 10 days until Christmas. But Astrid has had many opportunities to learn about adjusting, having grown up in wartime Germany. She knows all about having neighbors disappear for no reason and even her own father was gone for a long time. She tries to become adjusted to her new surroundings and becomes interested in why her physical therapist carries a gym bag with her all the time that contains a baseball bat. She begins sharing her childhood with Carly and Carly learns about faith. And always when moving something dear always becomes misplaced and this is no exception. Three gold glass ornaments, all Astrid has left from her childhood are missing. They had survived the burning of their home and the journey from Germany to America only tobe lost when Astrid was forced to move out of her home. Will she ever find them? Will Carly be able to quit running from the guy stalking her and her four year old son? Will this be a Merry Christmas?
The second story is called Christmas in Blue. A story about a music teacher named Angela who can't wait for Christmas to be over. She is mourning the death of her best friend, who had helped her through one of the most difficult times in her life, the death of her young husband, who was killed by a drunk driver. Now many years later she has no one to help her through the death of her friend Carole. Carole who always made Christmas come to Spruce Valley, Carole who loved Christmas. Angela has inherited Carole's dog named Blitzen and the planning of the town's Christmas celebration, a job she definitely did not want. It seems as if everyone in town knew about this before Angela, and when she was told she only had 8 days in which to plan. Everything seems to fall apart. The decorations, which were stored in the church basement, were destroyed by a water pipe leak. The axle broke on the sleigh, the thousand candles needed for the Christmas Eve service were accidentally placed on a radiator and became a blob of wax. The lights also were determined to be useless. The list could go on and on. What was Angela to do now? Read this delightful story of how Angela brings her resources together and saves Christmas for the town of Spruce Valley, and discovers to enjoy Christmas.
Both stories were very enjoyable. Even though Christmas is a time of hope, all things do not go right at Christmas. But these stories teach us that Christmas is a time of hope and love, because of Whose birthday we are celebrating. I would appreciated the use of the King James Scripture when the Bible was quoted and because of this I couldn't give this book 5 stars, but only 4.
I received a complementary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
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.
Olivia Newport chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
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