Book: All Is Bright (Christmas Lights Collection 2019)
Author: Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, & Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 17, 2019
NOTE: I WAS GIVEN A COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN. LINKS IN THIS POST MAY BE AFFILIATE LINKS.
Four of your favorite contemporary romance authors join festive forces to bring you the fourth-annual Christmas Lights Collection.
Kari Trumbo- Merry and Dashing: Merry hates Christmas corporate greed. Jacob loves finding the perfect gift for everyone. When Scrooge and Santa volunteer at a local thrift store together, will the mix be Holly Jolly?
Toni Shiloh- I’ll Be Home: What could be worse than being laid off right before the holidays? For Starr Lewis that would include returning home jobless, single, and, oh yeah, just in time to attend her sister’s wedding on Christmas Eve… to Starr’s ex-boyfriend. In the midst of it all, her brother’s best friend soon has her wondering if she can take another chance on love.
Cathe Swanson- Season of Change: Charlea’s ready to sell Serenity Hill, but Drew is back in town, 15 years after their dream date ended in disaster, helping her mother and daughter turn the old commune into a commercial Christmas wonderland. Between poinsettias and sleigh rides, angst and romance collide in this Christmas second-chance romance!
Chautona Havig- The 12 Dates of Christmas : When Reagan runs into Alex, her high school nemesis, he is stunned to discover that’s how she saw him. It’ll take twelve dates and a lot of forgiveness on both sides to even hope for a Christmassy-ever-after.
Brighten your day with these four heart-warming novellas today!
As with all the other Christmas Lights collections, there were stories included that I liked very well, and some that I didn’t enjoy quite so much. With two of my favorite authors included in the collection each year, though, I don’t want to miss out on this collection!
The first book in the collection is Merry and Dashing, by Kari Trumbo. To be honest, I didn’t get much out of this one. Merry hates Christmas because of the greed and commercialization of the holiday. Her mother suggests that she do some volunteer work because Merry spent almost all her time at home by herself, so she went to the local thrift shop. Between that and her work as a web designer, she got to know Jacob. Could he help her learn to enjoy Christmas?
Toni Shiloh’s I’ll Be Home is next. I’m sorry, but I didn’t finish this one. I simply struggle with this author’s style. If you enjoy sweet romances with lots of kisses, you’ll enjoy this.
I believe that Season of Change, by Cathe Swanson, is my favorite in this collection. There is a romance in it, but it’s so low-key that I didn’t even pay much attention to it till late in the story. Other elements were much more important. I found the interactions between Charlea, her mother, and her daughter, the stresses between them, and how they resolved their issues, very well-done. I loved the setting of a lot of the story, too—a former hippie commune on which Pamela, Charlea’s mother, was the sole remaining resident. I really like Cathe’s writing style, and the thought and care she puts into her books. She spends the time to really make them shine.
The last book in this collection is Chautona Havig’s 12 Dates of Christmas. Reagan came home from her job with a film company, to spend a month with her family. Who should she run into on one of her first days but Alex, her nemesis in high school! She agrees to a date with him—only on condition that he apologize for something he did to her in high school, which means he has to remember something. Between both of them working through the offenses he caused (unknowingly for the most part) back then, and her challenges getting along with her older brother now, there are a lot of little gems about forgiveness in this otherwise fluffy book!
About the Author:
Kari Trumbo: Kari Trumbo writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart. Kari loves reading, listening to music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up with a fuzzy blanket, a book, and a hot cup of tea by the wood stove. She loves her make-believe people almost as much as the real thing. You can find out more about her and her worlds at karitrumbo.com
Toni Shiloh: Toni Shiloh writes ethnically diverse characters that could be your best friend. She writes to understand the Lord more and shares her lessons with her readers. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.
Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson, the author of the Great Lakes and Glory Quilts series, enjoys gardening, sewing, papercrafting, and kayaking on the beautiful Wisconsin rivers. As a child of the 60’s, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in her new Serenity Hill series.
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 at chautona.com
More From Chautona:
Christmas in “The Christmas City”
I wrote most of 12 Dates of Christmas in Noel, Missouri, otherwise known as “The Christmas City.” That’s kind of funny, because Noel isn’t pronounced No-ell. It’s “Nole”—rhymes with pole. As in North. 😉
By the time I’d finished, it was almost time to leave the little town and head home after nearly six weeks with old and new friends. I had to say goodbye to memories I might never visit in person again, and it was difficult to imagine.
So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I wrote a super-short story. It’s just over seven thousand words (including a bit of history behind different people, places, and things in the story), but it captured things near and dear to my heart—my mother’s house, the church I’ve loved for so many years, town traditions, and now characters I’m not sure I can let go of.
In fact, I am considering writing a full-length novella next year for the fifth-annual Christmas Lights Collection next year! I think Rob and Lissa deserve to have their full story told.
As my thanks to readers who purchase or read the collection on Kindle Unlimited, I’m offering this short story, “A Noel Christmas,” FREE. Just send me your receipt or a screenshot showing you’ve completed the collection and it’s yours. Visit https://chautona.com/bonus for more information or just zip an email to any of the authors in the collection. We’re all happy to send it on.
We all hope you have a very meaningful Christmas this year—one that offers bright spots in your days. May God richly bless you now and in the new year.
Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Chautona Havig
P.S. If you read the short story, do let me know if you think I should turn it into a full-length novella/novel. I’d love to know your opinion.