The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig – Book Review

Posted November 12, 2020 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig - Book Review

The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig – Book Review

The Bells of New Cheltenham

by Chautona Havig

four-stars
Series: New Cheltenham Shopkeepers
Publication Date October 6, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Christmas, Clean Romance
Contemporary
Written for: Adults
Pages: 155

Synopsis:

Who knew that Christmas carols were love songs?

Justine Driscoll sure didn’t. Peace on earth? She’s heard of that. Holy and joyful? Something about that, too. But love songs sung by a bride about the birth of her bridegroom? That’s just weird stuff right there.

Weird or not, though, once Justine decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.

“But what do the words mean?”

Ken Torsney is used to fighting for causes he believes in. He just never imagined he’d go from Army “warrior” to spiritual warrior in the span of a simple question from a stranger to his little village. Justine is like no girl he’s ever known. She’s hungry for the gospel even as she rejects it.

He’s falling for her, and that’s bound to break his heart.

Love is in the air in New Cheltenham this Christmas. Again.

I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


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I have come to expect certain things from Chautona Havig’s stories. A deep spiritual message presented in a friendly, approachable manner. Quirky characters who warm my heart. Fun turns of phrases and perhaps a wordplay or two. And a plot that is interesting, perhaps with something unexpected thrown in to make me think.

The Bells of New Cheltenham is exactly what I expected and yet it wasn’t trite or boring. I loved being able to see Christmas and Jesus and spiritual things through Justine’s eyes. Though it seems almost impossible, I am aware that there are people in this country who have never heard the message of salvation and how it ties into Christmas. Ken did such a beautiful job of sharing the meaning behind the carols and the celebration!

And speaking of Ken, what a great guy! How do you not fall for someone who shows such kindness to a complete stranger? He showed the love of Jesus in his actions in so many different ways. Sure, he was attracted to Justine – but I like to believe he would have acted similarly even if that was not a factor.

It was fun seeing New Cheltenham through Justine’s eyes as well. Her observation as she sat in the “Jumping Pig” of the way the locals viewed the tourists reflected kindly on the people of the town and was quite profound as well.

Lovers of Christmas stories that are far more than just those that take place in December with snow and trees will want to read this delightful book that clearly shares the faith behind the holiday.

More from Chautona Havig

3 Things That Make My Christmas Heart Sing

I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

The message popped up in my messenger at exactly the moment I sat down.  This is significant, because I get dozens of Facebook messages every day, and often, they get buried when a new one supersedes it. So, as you can see, it’s a near miracle that I ever saw the message at all.

The message offered me a spot in a collection of novellas—a Christmas collection.  Yep. Not a ghost of a chance.

Still, I tried to be responsible, you know?  After all, I had quite a few books due at the same time already.  Bookers on the RocksThe Last Gasp, my Christmas Lights Collection “noella,” and my CrossRoads Collection “noella.”  And those didn’t include anything wanted to write in spring or summer.

Then she added another layer of temptation. This collection had a theme.  That theme? Christmas carol inspired romances.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love music, Christmas, and specifically, Christmas music?

The other authors in the set had already made their carol selections.  She sent a list of those that had already been claimed.  I read them with great trepidation. See, I already had two carols I’d want to use in the story for this collection that I hadn’t even agreed to participate in yet.

No one had chosen “The Holly and the Ivy” or “The Bells on Christmas Day.”

That ghost slowly transformed into the ghost of my resistance.

All that remained was for me to come up with a story idea.  I mean, why join a collection if you can’t even decide what to do with it?

That’s when it happened.

There’s always this moment when the first idea germinates, sprouts, and pushes up through the fertile soil of my imagination.  My favorite moment.  And it hit me.  What if the theme for the collection was my story idea?  My character could enter a contest that requires a short story based on a Christmas carol.

And once I had that idea, the rest came in a whoosh!  Mitchell, from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham could be sick to death of this annual ghost storytelling contest and decide to create his own contest.  And then… well…

The Bells of New Cheltenham was born.

If you’ve not read The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, you’ll follow this “noella” just fine. It is meant to be a stand-alone.  However, if you want a richer reading experience, I recommend reading The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, followed by the companion short story, “The Ghastly Therapist” first. Both are available through Kindle Unlimited.  Additionally, if you send your receipt (or a screenshot of the final page of the eBook from Kindle Unlimited) for the Melodies of Christmas Love collection to chautona@chautona.com, I’ll send YOU the bonus short story—the one Justine Driscoll writes in this “noella.”

But I promised to tell you three things that make my heart sing at Christmas.

  1. The way people are often just a little kinder and a little more giving and understanding.
  2. The joy that seems to fill every part of life—family, friends, parties, presents, church services, reading, singing…
  3. The music that plays everywhere—and often sings of a Savior’s love.

What makes your heart sing at Christmas?

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Blogging With Carol , November 11

Among the Reads, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, November 13

Batya’s Bits, November 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Worthy2Read, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Aryn the Libraryan, November 18

Lots of Helpers, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 20

She Lives To Read, November 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10359/the-bells-of-new-cheltenham-celebration-tour-giveaway

More Shareables

four-stars

About Chautona Havig

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

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6 responses to “The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig – Book Review

  1. Roxanne C.

    This review has made me excited to read Chautona Havig’s new Christmas story. The music and special stories are two of my favorite things about Christmas.

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