The Christmas Heirloom Collection by Multiple Authors – Book Review, Preview

Posted October 13, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

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To prepare you for this book, I want to share a brief portion of the description of a luckenbooth. While it is not necessary for understanding the novellas, this additional insight is interesting to me and so I thought it might pique your interest as well.

The enduring appeal of traditional jewellery is captured in our Luckenbooth designs. The Luckenbooth is one of the most romantic Scottish symbols of love, from the 17th century and often given as a token of betrothal, affection and friendship. It is usually in the shape of a heart or two entwined hearts, symbolizing love, with a crown, symbolizing loyalty, topping the heart(s). In addition, a couple may pin a Luckenbooth to their firstborn’s blanket as a good luck charm.

Celtic Studio

The Christmas Heirloom Collection by Multiple Authors – Book Review, Preview

The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations
by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade


Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date October 2, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: England, Texas, West Virginia, Washington Regency Era – UK – 1795 – 1837, Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900, Cold War Era - US - 1947 - 1991, Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 384

Synopsis:

In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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When I saw that two authors I know and love were a part of this collection, I knew I had to read it. All the stories are tied together by a beautiful luckenbooth that has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries.

Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter

England – 1827

When a lonely orphan becomes Companion to a Dowager Countess, she is snubbed by most of the family. I was enthralled by the way the author conveyed the distance the family placed between them and her using the giraffe piano that she was expected to play through their meals. And I cracked up at the way that Sarah was playing so distractedly, peeking around to see where in the meal she was and to make sure she didn’t miss the cake.

The rest was every bit as endearing. The contrast between Sarah’s thoughts and her meek demeanor when she was with the family made for amusing reading. But the way that she pulled out of her quiet ways to defend the dowager showed some of the fire that she had kept hidden. What a lovely person she was!

Randall was delightfully confused at his grandmother’s Companion. When he saw the spark of life in the mousy girl. Well! He was the third son, and therefore unimportant. He didn’t really care because he loved living on the family farm working the land and making it prosper. Despite his lofty upbringing, he was humble and kind.

Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Texas – 1890

When the lovely widow, Ruth, comes into Hope Springs, her hopes are no higher than having a chance to provide for her daughter. She is surprised by the warm welcome and deep friendship her new employer offers her.

Bo has been mostly a recluse due to an injury to his arm when he was just a boy that left it practically useless. In an attempt to not call attention to himself and his disability, he spends most of his time at home and his resort and sneaks through back alleys when he needs to travel between the two. He doesn’t have much trust in women – the only ones who had paid him any attention were only after his money.

The author uses Proverbs 31 references throughout to describe Ruth and it is very fitting. She had a deep faith in the Lord and worked hard to provide for her daughter. She was full of kindness and didn’t give Bo’s injury any thought other than with compassion, not pity.

I loved the way Ruth slowly wormed her way into Bo’s heart by simply being friendly and seeing him. And then when Bo discovered Maddie, Ruth’s daughter, in danger. Wow!

Gift of the Heart was warm and fuzzy (there was a cat in it after all!) and filled with the humor I have come to expect from the author.

A Shot at Love by Sarah Louden Thomas

West Virginia – 1958

Fleeta was as unusual as her name. Orphaned as a young girl, she now lived with her aunt and uncle and their passel of children. Having heard how her mother died of heartsickness and loneliness once her husband had died, Fleeta determined to never fall in love. She was more comfortable in pants than a dress and with a gun in her arms than with a kitchen pan. She was such a great shot, the men of the West Virginia town she lived in never hoped to win a contest shooting against her.

Hank was also a gun enthusiast. He was only in town a short time for work but while he was there, he saw in Fleeta something none of the local men had seen – that in addition to her tomboy ways, she was a beauty and was worth pursuing.

Though I am not anything like Fleeta, I could relate to the insecurities she experienced and really enjoyed reading her story. It was such fun to have a blue jay play an unexpected role. The writing pulled me into the Appalachian village and had me falling in love with the people.

Because of You by Becky Wade

Washington – Contemporary

I was hooked from the first sentence. I can’t even imagine how awkward it would be to have a crush on your best friend’s boyfriend, especially when the friend ends up marrying him. Ouch!

Maddie was a godly woman who had a heart of gold. I admired her sense of how to take charge of serving the single mother in need at Christmas. For her, it was much more than just a cause to write a check for. She poured her heart and soul into raising money and then shopping for the family to make sure they knew they were loved.

I’m hesitant to say much. I don’t want to give any spoilers here. I will say that Maddie had burdened herself with requirements that were not from the Lord, and she almost missed out on a huge blessing. However, her concerns about doing everything right and staying close to the Lord were so admirable.

My heart was deeply involved in this story.

Quotes from Legacy of Love

 

Quotes from Gift of the Heart

 

Quotes from A Shot at Love

 

Quotes from Because of You

 

 

Preview

Sarah's A Shot at Love Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • Actress Betty Field in the 1941 John Wayne movie The Shepherd of the Hills.
  • Custom Gunstock Carvings Patterns
  • Bluejay with blueberry.  My 'blue' phase!  > dee mills
  • Turkey Scouting 101 — Mastering the Basics for Success #turkeyhunting
  • Della Lind, 1937
  • Hank
  • piebald deer and normal
  • Piebald fawn
  • Fleeta Brady
  • Vintage Big Beam No.166 Flashlight / Lantern in Red and Chrome (c.1950s)
  • '44 Spring Frame "74 c.i." essential civilian use Indian Chief motocycle, too cool!
  • 1948 Ford F1 Pickup
  • Magnolia botanical by Georg Dionysius Ehret
  • Bird dog and the huntress...sweet!
  • Pretty Hunter Offers Free Pheasant Hunt for Female Hunters in Michigan
  • When Atticus was younger he was the best shot in Maycomb County. He had to shoot the crazy dog in the street.
  • Fleeta Brady
  • Bookmobile, Tennessee Regional Library Service, at the Wilson County Library.

Becky's The Christmas Heirloom Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • My novella, Because of You, will be available for sale as a stand-alone ebook (with this fabulous cover!) in the fall of 2019
  • My Christmas novella will be receiving a cover of its very own -- and it's so pretty.  Swing by the blog and let me know what you think! #Christmas #book #romance #story
  • A Bradford Sisters holiday novella -- now available! #Christmas #romance
  • The authors of The Christmas Heirloom work together to make a Christmas ornament inspired by the brooch which ties all four of our stories together!  #christmas #romance  #stories
  • Four Ways to Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas. #Tips #Christian #Christmas
  • The Christmas Heirloom novella collection is now available!  You'll be treated to Christmas tales of an heirloom brooch passed from mother to daughter for almost two hundred years.  Will the family legend claiming the brooch brings love to its recipient hold true for these women separated by years but bonded together by the ties of family? #Christmas #love #stories #sweet #romance
  • By Becky Wade in The Christmas Heirloom novella collection. #Christmas #reading
  • By author Becky Wade, from The Christmas Heirloom novella collection. #Christmas #books
  • Merryweather Historical Village was based on the DARLING Henkel Square Market in Round Top, Texas.
  • I was participating in Lisa Harper's Gospel of Mark study when I was writing Because of You. She was so warm, likable, and distinctive that envisioned the character of Kim looking and talking like Lisa.
  • Maddie and Leo work together on a Mission:Christmas ministry.  Their task?  To provide Christmas to a family in need.
  • Leo has a three year old son named Charlie.
  • Maddie and Leo attend a Christmas party complete with a buffet of desserts, music, and dancing.
  • During their visit to the Christmas tree farm, the characters sip apple cider.  I can almost smell it, thanks to this photo.
  • I used to visit a Christmas tree farm with my own family every year when I was growing up.  We'd choose and cut down our tree.
  • The Christmas tree farm in the story boasts a red barn.  This one is so cute!
  • Christmas tree farm outfit!
  • During one scene in the book, Maddie, Leo, and Leo's son Charlie visit a Christmas tree farm.
  • Leo loves to read.  God bless men who appreciate books!
  • The hero of Because of You, Leo Donnelly, is a history professor.  He's bookish and intelligent and steady and true.

About Becky Wade

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.

About Karen Witemeyer

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children.

About Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her books include the award winning Hawthorne House series as well as the newly published first stories of the Haven Manor series. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.

When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.

(Some of the fun stuff she also mentions on her site – be sure to check out her About page for more. Seriously, you have to learn more about her!)

  • I am a game junkie. Board games, strategy games, card games. If it’s got rules and a winner, I’m there.
  • I believe television is meant to be binge watched. Therefore I watch it in spurts. I have been known to go long stretches between spurts.
  • Teeny bopper movies and cheesy RomComs are my faves when it comes to movies. Fantasy is pretty awesome and I’ll go for the occasional action adventure movie as long as it’s liberally sprinkled with humor and light on the gore.
  • Music is my lifeblood. It plays almost constantly at my house.
  • I think I’m addicted to Chick-fil-A diet lemonade.
  • I once ran over my own ankle with a tricycle. I was in college. No, I was not drunk. No, I don’t know why I’ve chosen to put this under “fun stuff”.
  • Dark chocolate. Like 85%.
  • Oh, and squishy toys rock. Seriously.

About Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

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