When I was in high school, one of the jobs I had was preparing meals for an elderly man. As I think about it, I wasn’t actually preparing the meals, I think I just chopped things up for him and did some cleanup. It’s not a job I think about often and I couldn’t tell you much about the man himself except that he lived in a trailer park off Ball Road near the 57 freeway. Hmm. I wonder why I remember that detail!
Anyway, the job didn’t last very long at all. I had not been working there long when one day I showed up and no one was there. No note. No phone call. Just nothing.
I never did hear back from the man or his family and can only assume he ended up in the hospital. Sadly, as a teenager, I don’t think I really even contemplated this much beyond knowing I needed to look for another job.
God’s heart isn’t like mine was – and aren’t we all better off for that! He is full of love and compassion. And He desires us to care for those in need. To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick. When we do this, even to the “least”, He considers it as if we did it for Him. Wow!
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
by Terri Blackstock
Published by HarperCollins Publishing
Publication Date October 9, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Missouri Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time
As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.
The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.
“Terri Blackstock’s latest offering touches tender places with its quirky characters and stirring plot. Catching Christmas explores what happens when the paths of a disenchanted Taxi driver collide with that of an overworked attorney. Blackstock weaves a compelling, romantic tale that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!” —Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams
“Blackstock’s Catching Christmas is not your average romance. Darling and laugh-out-loud cute, it makes the reader think about the important things in life. I read it in one gulp and wished there was more. Highly recommended!” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Hope Beach series and the Lavender Tides series
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Oh my! I love the way that Finn was so reluctant to help Miss Callie, and yet was compelled to do so because of the kindness in his heart (partly guilt, but he wouldn’t feel guilty if he didn’t have a good heart, right?). He was so much fun and I loved the gruff exterior that hid his very tender heart. As much as he felt that he needed to be finding fares who weren’t ancient women so he could pay his rent, he was willing to turn off his meter and get out of his cab to take her to the doctor, to the mall, and even to bring her to lunch – which he paid for. He exemplified agape love towards her even though she was a stranger. In fact, I even love the way he called her granddaughter up and read her the riot act for not taking better care of her.
One thing I noticed that totally cracked me up was the way he kept exaggerating Callie’s probable age, almost like a fisherman telling the size of the fish he caught. First, she was in her eighties, then three hundred. I think at one point he even referred to her as being one thousand years old!
Sydney, said granddaughter, was in such a terrible place. She had insane pressure at her job and yet her heart was wanting to care for her grandmother. I felt so terrible for her as she was trying so hard to please everyone. And that just simply can’t be done!
Catching Christmas is the story of the struggles of a has-been chef and restaurateur who now spends his time driving a cab and arguing with fares about the superiority of Uber. Of a frail old lady who wants nothing more for Christmas than to give her granddaughter the best gift of all. And of a new attorney given the choice of taking on the most ridiculous case or losing her job. Of caring for her grandmother or losing her job. Of losing her self-respect or losing her job.
This story had me laughing out loud and holding back tears. It was so touching and tender while not being overly heavy. The spiritual aspects of the story were perfect. I was reminded of the books I’ve read by Angela Ruth Strong in the way that they are over-the-top funny – yet in a good way and they are also tender with a powerful spiritual message.
I know I’ve heard this author’s name for years and am wondering why in the world this is the first of her books that I’ve read. It will not be the last!
From Terri Blackstock
To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:
“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby
“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe
“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant
“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon
“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas
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To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.