Merry Christmas and welcome to day two of 12DOC! Today, as a gift to you, I wanted to share a Christmas Short Story I wrote last winter. It will be in 8 parts, so be sure and check back for the next installment! Enjoy!
Based on the True Story of Elisabeth and Fritz Vincken
Part One: Will Papa Be Here for Christmas?
Christmas Eve, 1944 - Somewhere between Allied and Axis lines
Marta watched sadly as little Hilde pressed her button nose against the window pane. “Isn’t Papa coming home, Mama? He knows it’s Jesus birthday, ja?”
Marta smiled and came to stand by her little darling, all in the world she had left. “Yes, Hilde, my little angel, Papa knows. But remember, it’s not quite His birthday yet. You have to wait one more day. Maybe Papa is waiting until then to come, Ja?”
Hilde’s cheeks dimpled as she looked up at her mother. “Ja, Mama. He waits so he can be with us all day long!” Marta nodded and gently tugged on her five-year-old’s braids. The poor dear had no understanding of war and all the terrible things that went along with it.
Their family had never been touched by war…until 1938 when Gunther and their only son, Peter, had been called into the Wehrmacht, the German army. Marta had been given work in a hospital until she was nearly seven months pregnant with Hilde, their little surprise. Since Peter was seventeen, they had assumed they would not be able to have more children. What an unexpected blessing! How excited Gunther had been! A little girl! All other men may have wanted many sons, but not Gunther Engel. His dream had come true of having his own little girl, who adored him and waited at the door for him whenever he was on leave. Peter had written about wanting to meet his little sister very badly…
Marta forced a smile. Whenever she looked at Hilde, she saw Gunther: in her dimpled smile, her crystal blue eyes and her dark almost jet black hair…even the way she cocked her head to the side and grinned with mischief. She was Gunther Engel’s girl, that was easy to see.
But she couldn’t dwell on that now. She had to get supper on the table. “Are you hungry, Love?”
A giggle and bobbing black braids was her answer. Marta grinned and turned toward the fire place where their supper simmered in a large black pot. “Hmmm…Mama has got potatoes for her angel. And, oh! She found a carrot to put with it! And some mushrooms, too! Doesn’t that sound nice?”
“Ja, ja, Mama! Papa loves mushrooms. Me too!”
That was no surprise. The child loved anything her father loved.
“Will we have stollen this Christmas?”
Marta tried to keep her voice steady as she prepared to disappoint her daughter. “No, dear. Mother couldn’t get what she needed to make the stollen. Maybe Papa can find some and bring it. And if not, we’ll get some from Auntie Mem at New Years.” The bread-like cake was one of Hilde’s favorites.
Hilde pushed her bottom lip back and forth. “I really like stollen…maybe Auntie will make lots for New Years to make up, ja?”
Marta stirred their supper; it wasn’t quite ready yet. Hilde played with the doll her father had sent her last Christmas from France. It wasn’t a fancy porcelain one like he wanted to send her but it was sturdy and Hilde adored the cloth bodied doll as if it were a real baby.
“Well, I think the soup is almost ready. Shall Mama make some tea for our supper?”
Hilde clapped her chubby hands and giggled. “Ja! Ja, Mama!”
“Then tea we shall have, love. I just-”
Heavy footsteps from outside sounded near the window. Marta scooped up Hilde and blew out the candles on the table. Hilde’s smile disappeared as her mother tucked her between the bed and a stout trunk. “Not a sound, darling.”
The last thing Marta wanted was uninvited guests. A knock sounded. Marta took a deep breath. She prayed before opening the door. Lord, let it be Gunther.
Slowly, she pulled up on the latch and slid the door open a crack. She gasped.
And that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed part one! Tune in next time for part two! And don’t forget to swing by Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun!
Happy Friday everyone and Merry Christmas! As the title suggests, I am going to introduce you to the 12 Days of Christmas Blog party, hosted by Faith Potts at Stories by Firefly! So basically, if you come back here every day through Christmas, you will see a brand new post! That’s right! A Christmas marathon of sorts! And that’s not all! By clicking the link here, you will go to 12 Days of Christmas headquarters where you can read even more posts by participating bloggers! And there’s a giveaway! I’ll go ahead and put it here so you can sign up.
There we go, now, on to a special devotion to kick things off!
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
King James Bible
We’ve all heard the saying “Jesus is the reason for the Season!” but the season isn’t the only reason for Jesus. Let’s take a look at some other reasons for Jesus…
Jesus is the Reason to Love. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12
Jesus is the Reason to Live. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28
Jesus is the Reason to Witness. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:18-19
Jesus is the Reason to Give. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29
Jesus is the Reason to Sing. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Hebrews 2:12
Jesus is the Reason to Hope. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2
Jesus is the Reason to Believe. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 10:9-11
Jesus is the Reason to Stand. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; Joshua 24:16
Jesus is the Reason to Speak. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5;27-29
Jesus is the Reason to Pray! And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
JESUS is the REASON!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway and check out the rest of the fun @ Stories by Firefly!
Have a Blessed Day and Merry Christmas!
P.S. If you go to FBNradio.com, you can enjoy amazing Christmas Music and programing! Christmas Cantatas every weekday at 7:05 pm, 10:05 am on Saturdays and 9:05 pm on Sundays!
PS.S. Don't forget, through December 20th, I'm offering a free Coffee Cup Bookmark/gift tag with every purchase while supplies last! These are homemade by my younger sister and are so cute!
Hello everyone! I’m here today with a blog tour for a truly special story collection! And since two of the stories in this collection are World War Two stories, I felt it was the perfect day to post, since today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. May we never forget…
Happy release day to Miss Faith Potts! Her brand new book Behold, a Christmas short story collection was one of my three beta-reading projects this year, and oh! I so enjoyed it!
A collection of short stories honoring the birth of the Savior
From two siblings caught up in the harrowing days of World War II to separated foster
children in the US…
From a memorable road trip across the Southeast to the reunion of a war-torn family…
You’ll be swept into the Christmas spirit with the endearing stories tucked inside these
pages. The storylines range from family to romance to the bond of community, with
settings scattered across America and beyond.
Behold the beauty of the Savior’s birth with this gathering of stories that warm the soul
and bless the heart.
Saved by God’s grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living
with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s
not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or
studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy,
daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.
Now, for my review of the book…
Oh, Behold was so sweet and a perfect Christmas read. Now, that being said, I didn’t read one of the stories…she told me ahead of time it had some minor spoilers for another of her stories I haven’t read yet ? So with that in mind…I read three of the four stories and instantly fell in love with the characters.
Home for Christmas
She so needs to make this one into a full length novel! Basicly, it’s about a nurse worrying about her MIA brother in the midst of WWII, a journey home, and the healing that God brings through family and friends. Warning: There is some kissing/handholding towards the end of the story and I think some hugs. Not a whole lot, but just saying.
Told in the first person (a new favorite of mine) this story was short and sweet. It's modern, but I'll admit, I wish there was a little more to this story, as it left me with a lot of questions about these foster kids (a topic near to my heart.) But oh! The end, y'all! It was sooooooo good!
MY FAVORITE IN THIS BOOK! Again, this needs to be a full length novel! I just loved this story so much! I mean, who doesn't enjoy a WWII Homecoming?!? I could read WWII Christmas stories all day long...any recommendations, lol?
So, even though I can't say what I thought of the fourth story, since I didn't read it, these three stories alone make it so worth it! Miss Potts is a very talented writer and I've enjoyed getting to know her over the last few months!
And now, for an interview! *Applauds as Miss Faith Potts takes center stage, setting in the cozy vintage chair I have set out for her across from me*
Ryana Lynn: Good morning, Faith! So, lets talk about this book! What inspired you to write Behold?
Faith: I love Christmas stories, and every year since I started writing, I’ve written at least one Christmas story during the month of December. Compiling them into a collection to share with the ‘world’ was an idea that came to be a few months ago, and it’s hasn’t left my mind since.
RL: Christmas Collections are the best! And I always enjoy your short stories! Which story was the hardest to write?
FP: Oh, wow. Surprisingly, I’d have to say the final story, which is a sequel/spin-off to my novella, Dandelion Dust. I had previously been able to write these characters so easily, but between the time apart (18+ months) and no longer being able to relate to Charity quite as well, it was difficult to find my groove.
RL: That is certainly a very real challenge...One I know all to well. Where did the title for this collection come from?
FP: The title came from several Bible verses, particularly a few in the Christmas story, that speak of “beholding” and being in awe of God, His glory and power, and the beauty of the story of Christ coming to earth to be our Savior.
RL: Don't those verses give you chills? He truly is an amazing God! How long did it take you to write it from idea to now?
FP: Being a collection of short stories, I wrote Behold over quite a lengthy span of time—nearly three years. Each story individually, however, took only a week or two to write.
RL: Impressive! What do you hope people will take away from Behold?
FP: I hope the readers remember to slow down this Christmas. Don’t get so caught up in the craziness—the gift-giving (or getting), the food and celebrations, the lights and displayed trees—that you forget why we celebrate at all. Take the time to slow down and “behold” the Savior.
RL: Wonderful advice and so easy to forget! What better way to slow down than with a good book? Any lessons, spiritual or writing related, that you learned from Behold?
FP: That Faith isn’t as invincible as she likes to think she is? ;) Quite honestly, I got a bit stressed out about the release of this book, when the blog tour dates were rapidly approaching and many things had not yet fallen into place. God showed me, though, to not stress. To let Him have control. They are, after all, His stories anyway.
RL: I think everyone can learn a lesson from that, Faith! We get so stressed so easily these days. It's great when we can learn to just hand it over to God. Any Writing Advice you'd like to share?
FP: Don’t stop. Even when you think your stories don’t have a purpose, or they aren’t any good, or your message is stupid… Don’t feed yourself those lies. Writing is a gift from God, and someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.
RL: Wonderful advice! I don't know how many times those very lies pop into my head and then God sends someone to encourage me in my writing. This can also apply to any form of ministry you do for the Lord! Thank you so much Faith! It's been a blessing to have you here at Life of Heritage Corner!
And now for the giveaway!
If that doesn't work, click here!
And don't for get to check out Faith's blog for a list of other participating bloggers! (I would have linked them here, but when I copied them over, the links didn't work and...I didn't have time to relink them all. Sorry about that! #stillgettingthehangofthis
Until Next Time,
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
King James Version
Where did November go? Seems it just got here and now it's gone! Well, enough of that. Let's get into this post, shall we?
Whew! Where to begin! We started the month the way we ended last month, at the Ambassador Baptist College Missions Conference. Such a wonderful blessing!
We also were blessed to aide in a two week long revival at a Preacher friend's church in Liberty, N.C. My dad preached, we sang, and we got to see God move! It was extended twice! What a tremendous blessing!
For thanksgiving, we were able to attend a special service, sharing God's blessings and singing His praises! God is so good!
I know there were more meetings, but to be honest, my brain is tired and I don't have the calendar in front of me! #authorbrain!
The big event this month was getting to see all my siblings for Thanksgiving! Both my sisters and their families came in and we all got to celebrate together!
We've also started the Country Christmas Train ride at the Denton Farm Park! Come and see us! We're working at the Reid Plantation, giving tours and such :)
Oh! And just the other night, we got to go to a Drive-thru Nativity! It was so pretty, y'all! Very powerful!
Y'all. It happened! My Very first year of Nanowrimo and...
That's right! I won! I feel kinda dazed...all that writing and I'm still not finished with my story!
But that being said, I am officially moving forward with A Song of Home and am currently half way through October! YAY!
I read five books last month! Looking forward to some other lovelies I collected over November!
1. Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew #5) by Carolyn Keene 4 Stars
The mystery was satisfying, but there were several comments about boys that I did particularly care for. And a "historical" figure mentioned fell in love with an outlaw...yeah, not my favorite. Also, we are introduced to three characters we've never heard of, but the book is written as though we should know who they are! Umm...what?
2. Time to Share (Patchwork Mysteries #2) 5 Stars
This was another grandma detective mystery, with a Civil War twist, and I really enjoyed it. There was something in it that I didn't care for, but at the moment it escapes me...I forgot to take notes on this one. Overall, it was a cute read!
3. The Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew #6) Carolyn Keene 3 Stars
Mentions a "cult" that is a cover up for counterfeiters, girls save the day, but put themselves in grave danger in the process...not one of the better books. Not totally bad either, just not for me ;)
4. Even in the Grey by Laura Guenot 5 Stars
Y'all! This story was so sweet! I loved it so much! I "met" Laura through the blog and have really enjoyed getting to know her better over the last few months. I purchased the ebook last week and I loved it! Am I fangirling? Yes, I'm fangirling! There was a mention of hand-holding (and y'all know I'm not a romance reader) but that was a minor thing :) The message of forgiveness, the train, the WWII-ness of the story, crayons (I LOVE CRAYONS!), soldiers, snow! AHHHH! This whole thing was so beautiful! It did progress a little fast, emotionally, but, as stated, it is a short story and the pace doesn't take away from the set at all! It's just so...oh, just go buy it!
5. Heritage of Praise by Rebekah Morris 5 Stars
Another beautiful story! It hit me very hard, because we had just lost a dear elder lady in our circle of friends, just before Thanksgiving and we miss her so much. This story is about the Heritage left to us by those who have passed on. Miss Morris did a lovely job weaving this story and I love it so much! (And I love run on sentences apparently!) Again, get this book!
Well, here were last month's goals...
1. Post a Blog every week Check!
2. Write November and Most of December's posts before December 1st! Haha...no that didn't happen. Why do I even set this goal for myself? Lol!
3. Work on Revisions on A Song of Home (Maybe hit August or September on my book calendar?) CHECK! I surpassed this! I'm in October!!!!
4. Read 5 Books Check!
5. Work on Special Project Nope, not this month.
6. Re-read The Land of Cotton and Our Heritage to Save Nope to that one too. Next month?
7. Win Nanowrimo? YES!
Let's see how much I can get done in December.
1. Get to November with my A Song of Home Revisions
2. Post a blog every week (Plus participate in something super fun...more on that Dec. 14th!)
3. Read at least 5 books! (The Land of Cotton being one of them!)
4. Make Peppermint/Chocolate cookies with my younger siblings. (These are so good, y'all!)
5. Finish gift wrapping.
6. Read some Christmas stories to my siblings (And myself!)
7. Take time to reflect on the Reason for the Season. No need to get too caught up in the commercialism!
8. Do a Christmas craft with the little ones.
Throwing in some non writing goals!
Alrighty! Here are your Story Prompts!
And here are your story prompts...
That's all for now! Have a Merry Christmas and happy December!
Merry Christmas and welcome to the last day of our Christmas in July Blog Party! To celebrate an amazing month of giveaways, freebees and fun posts, I'm joining Amanda Tero in announcing that her newest short story, Finding Christmas Joy, is releasing today!
About the Book
Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5
Add to your Goodreads shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40309103-finding-christmas-joy
Anyone love a good Christmas read or an occasional Christmas movie? I do! The problem is, there aren't many good ones out there. Most are bogged down in cheesy romance and cliched, worn-out plot lines and "The Magic of the Holiday" that fixes all their problems.
Amanda Tero did not disappoint me with this story. I must admit, I was a little hesitant when I read that the story was about a girl jilted right before her wedding. In case you don't know me, I can't stand romance books :) So many of them focus on the physical aspects of relationships and create unhealthy thoughts in young ladies. Miss Tero didn't do that at all! It was not a romance, but rather, a story about how God can take all that is broken in our lives and weave it into His plan for our ultimate good!
Here's what I wrote right after I read it.
I got goosebumps! It was so simple, but so good. The scripture, décor descriptions, the Christmassy feel of everything was so charming and engaging and may I say…enchanting. It was simply wonderful. Where is Starlight Lodge? I want to go!
Even though he’s not in the story, I wanted to let Josh have it a few times, but I was glad that a sweet girl like Melonie didn’t get mixed up with him.
This story was different…a girl jilted right before her wedding day, and yet there was no romance. I mean, sure there were couples (married couples!) in the story, but this was nothing that would give it a PG rating ?
A couple of things I didn’t really care for were the references to a divorce and the Christian role model in the story wearing pants. I know there are Christian women who do and that is between them and God. But I personally felt uncomfortable with that. Aside from that, I have no complaints!
I love this quaint little Christmas story! It felt like a classic Christmas film, only way more substance! The Gospel message was very present, to the point and easy to understand. Sometimes it’s hard to write Gospel scenes without pulling you totally out of the rest of the story, but Ms. Tero’s flowed so well! Job well done!
I received a complementary e-copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, but I had no problem doing so! Read ALL of her books, people! She's one of my favorites!
Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of her piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)
And here are the other bloggers participating in Miss Tero's book tour!
July 28, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Read Another Page
Honey Rock Hills
July 30, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Writings, Ramblings and Reflections
Maidens for Modesty
July 31, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Literary Reflections Book Blog
Blossoms and Blessings
The World of the Writer
Life of Heritage Corner
Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Christian Fiction Author A.M. Heath
His Princess Warrior
Congratulations, Amanda, on another fabulous read! Thank you for providing wholesome reading for our generation! We need more of it!
Lord willing, I will have a 2-year-blogaversary post coming your way, everyone, so stay tuned!
Until next time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.