Cover Image: A Joyful Christmas

A Joyful Christmas

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Member Reviews

A Joyful Christmas is a compilation of six short Christmas stories by various Christian authors set in the 1800’s. Each story is unique and an excellent read on its own. Together they make a wonderful collection.
I loved reading these and even though it is early to think of Christmas they bring the joy of Christmas to today. I think this would make a great gift for someone special who enjoys reading Christian inspirational and romance fiction. I give this book 5 of 5 stars. 
I received an advance copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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A joyful Christmas 
This novella collection has six stories, which is more than most. The stories are all historical romantic fiction and all take place in the late 1800s and a couple during the Civil War.
I liked the uniqueness of these stories. They all were really different. There’s was a underground dugout house, a logging camp, a stagecoach driver and an artist war correspondent. 
It is a very nice collection for the Christmas season.
Thank you to NatGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. The opinions are entirely my own.
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A Joyful Christmas is a very nice collection of six Christmas stories based in the late 1800’s, written by six different authors. Each of them are a good length to read in an evening. The stories are all well written with good messages. The characters in the stories are strong, caring people. The theme of trust and faith run through the stories as well. They are good clean romance stories, often focusing on family and helping others. The stories are good stories to help prepare the heart for the upcoming Christmas season.

I enjoyed reading these novellas, despite having read three of them several years ago. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley. This is my honest review.
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A Joyful Christmas by Cynthia Hickey, et al. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Story Notes

A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
This story was a cute little novella about standing your ground and forgiving in the face of pure meanness. Annie is a plucky young woman determined to keep her land and make it thrive. I loved the way that she and Drake started their relationship with convenience and it grew to love.  4 out of 5 stars
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
When Cora Sinclair and her grandfather take in a wounded soldier, she will have to face the pain of her past in order to have a hope for the future. This was a really nice story that was well written and complete. The plot was not new but the fleshing out was original. I liked the tie into the Christmas star and the quiet romance between Cora and Jed. 5 out of 5 stars
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
This story was really good and I would love to see it expanded into a full length book. Jackson and Larkin were very well written and their quick relationship, though unusual was believable. I got so mad about the situation with Jackson's niece, Rosie, I wanted to smack Mrs. O'Keefe upside her snobby, selfish head. The ending was a bit rushed but complete in its telling. 4 out of 5 stars
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
This story was nice but a bit too short for my liking. I needed more backstory that was given for the main characters and the ending was too pat to be really believable. I liked the characters and the plot but it needed more page time to really be fleshed out right. 2 out of 5 stars
 
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
I liked the plot of this story a lot. Its not often that Civil War stories are about those that "report" on the battles that happened. I found the subject of a "war artist" to be fascinating and a refreshing take on that time period. And there was enough friction between the two main characters to make their relationship believable and the story enjoyable. 4 out of 5 stars
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
This was my favorite story of the bunch. I love stories that have a character that seems to "know" what they are supposed to do and be in life and then things happen to make them realize there is so much more for them. I can definitely identify with Beth and her desire to serve others as her family always had. And I really liked that Todd didn't give up on her even when she wasn't the most pleasant. Their relationship was perfectly crafted and very realistic. And the scene with the sheep going wild was HILARIOUS!!  5 out of 5 stars

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in order to provide a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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I have read three of the six stories before--all six were previously published--but I enjoyed getting to refresh my memory.  I am usually not a fan of formula historical romances, Thankfully my three favorites veered slightly away from the norm.

If you are looking for a good historical romance Christmas collection you will love this book.

 I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
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This book is a collection of sweet, clean romance stories by several different historical fiction authors. Each story depicts life in challenging times during the 1800's. It is excellent for quick reads during the always busy holiday season. Each story has a strong heroine and loveable man, both with strong faith in God, that she helps, partners with or tolerates. One that I particularly enjoyed tells of a female lead who knows in her heart that she must marry a certain man because of his career. The humor in the story is truly delightful.
Each story is set with Christmas day in the time period but can be read any time of year.

Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy of the book.
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This book is a wonderful Christmas historical read.  Cozy up with a hot beverage and a warm fire. The stories will take you back to lion the 19th century. All take place at Christmas. These are short sweet and clean stories.
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A wonderful collection of Christian Christmas stories written by different authors. Each story is set in the 1800s and is very well written with lovable characters and heartwarming tales of love and devotion. This book would make a great addition to your Christmas story collection!
Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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Today I'm featuring another Christmas story. Yes, it's that time of year already! At least where books are concerned.

All the stories take place in the United States. Two take place during the Civil War, and several take place in the Midwest after the war. While each one touches on Christmas and the Christmas story in at least a small way, only one had Christmas as the major theme rather than a setting. Most of the stories did have a strong faith message.

My favorite here was Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch. It was much more light-hearted than The Lost Lieutenant, which is the only other one of hers that I have read. This sweet story had a powerful message as Beth had to learn that the church is indeed a body and no member is more important than another. I loved Todd, the blacksmith, and the way he relentlessly pursued her to woo her and yet was not afraid to speak the truth to her to show her the error of her thinking.

As with many such collections, my ratings for the various stories differ, ranging from 3 1/2 stars to 4 1/2 stars. If you are intrigued by the sound of any of the stories in the collection, I encourage you to grab a copy - if a story isn't to your taste, there are many more to choose from.
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I am a HUGE fan of novella collections and since fall is thisclose to arriving, I’m totally skipping over all the pumpkin spice and busting out the candy canes and giving this collection a go!

While the novellas in A Joyful Christmas have previously been published, they are all new-to-me stories.  As much as I wanted to read each one, deadlines are a real thing, so I picked stories by two authors whose works I have read before and one I had not.

Care to hear my thoughts?  I’ll keep them short & sweet!  Here we go!

A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Adorable!  LOVED the ending!

Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
I don’t think this story could have been more perfect!

Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
This was my first time reading anything by Erica Vetsch and I really enjoyed this story!  I definitely laughed out loud for this one!

Once my review schedule allows, I would like to go back and read the other stories and update this post.  Based on what I’ve read so far, this book gets a solid recommend from me!  Fans of cozy Christmas stories that focus on the miracle and joy of Christ’s birth will enjoy this well-rounded novella collection!

A Joyful Christmas is available now!  Visit Christian Book or Baker Book House to purchase your copy!

I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley.  A positive review was not required.  Opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Super enjoyable!  Full review to come soon!

Thank you to Barbour Publishing for providing this review opportunity through NetGalley.
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I’ve read a few of the novellas in this collection so far. They’re really sweet stories and I recommend this collection. Sometimes I need a short story in between books, or just want to read novellas due to time. This one is a sweet collection with Christmas themes. Definitely one to enjoy!
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A set of historical novellas that each features a lady who ends up meeting a swoon worthy hero who was not in her view as a potential husband. They were all quick reads but felt complete with well written main characters and an interesting plot. Each story found its completion at Christmas time. Nice introduction to the Christmas season a wee bit early.
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The perfect pre Christmas read. Six heartwarming stories, clean, wholesome and full of festive spirit x
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A Joyful Christmas is a sweet, fun collection. I liked every story, with An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough being my favorite. I enjoyed the way the story progressed and the wonderful bond between Jackson and his niece. Any reader who loves Christmas romance tales should read A Joyful Christmas.
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These six historical romance stories are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.  They are faith based and very inspirational.  I especially liked Under His Wings. 
Many thanks to Barbour Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey - Drake and Annie are thrown together under unusual circumstances, but it is beautiful to watch their relationship develop as they serve each other. This was a beautiful story.
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson - Cora and Jed also met under less than ideal circumstances, but I enjoyed reading about their relationship as it grew. They were so sweet as they worked to serve each other and their love grew.
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough - Jackson is such a wonderful man and I was so mad at how things turned out for him in the beginning. Mrs. O'Keefe is a terrible person. Luckily love comes out of the situation. Larkin is a wonderful Irish lass and you couldn't help loving her and Rosie. I'm glad they all got their HEA.
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma - Noah and Adie are such sweet people in a really rough situation. This story reminded me a little of the gift of the magi. They were both willing to give up their dream for each other.
 
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky - Rachel and James are both sweet people. I enjoyed reading about their friendship budding through his recovery and finally becoming more. I can't imagine how hard it was for Rachel to see him return to the war. I'm glad they got their HEA.
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch - Beth is a very determined woman even though her priorities may be a little misplaced. However, I relate to her when it comes to delegating. I'm terrible at it. However, I'm learning that her grandpa is right and easier is not always better. I really felt for her though when things went south and imagine I would have said the same things. Lucky for her Todd was there and what a good guy he is. I liked him and how he tried so hard to show his love. He is just the man she needs.

I received this book from the publisher Barbour Publishing through Netgalley. This is my honest review of this book.
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An enjoyable and engrossing anthology of six novels set between 1860 and 1880.
All of them are well written and entertaining, I liked the well thought characters, the Christmas spirit and the vivid historical background.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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A wonderfully warm, joyful collection of Christmas novellas. All six novellas move along at a quick pace, but still manage to offer a satisfying story. I did enjoy some more than others, but none were a disappointment. I loved the time period and the simplicity of Christmas celebrations.  Each novella offers a sweet, clean romance, in addition to a message of hope and love. I thoroughly enjoyed this compilation and highly recommend it to all lovers of sweet, tender, romantic Christmas tales.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.
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A Joyful Christmas by Cynthia Hickey; Liz Johnson; Vickie McDonough; Liz Tolsma; Carrie Turansky; Erica Vetsch
Publication Date : September 1, 2020
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Description from NetGalley...
“A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom? 
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.
 
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?”
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Thank you to @NetGalley #barbourpublishing #barbourbooks for the digital ARC in return for my honest review.
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My thoughts...
Most of the authors were new to me. This is a Christian Christmas Romance anthology. Overall, the stories were quick and charming read. They were charming and uplifting. A couple of the stories had some difficult scenes, but all had good endings. It was sometimes hard to read when the women in the stories had to marry a man for safety, security and shelter. And then, had to learn to love each other after the fact. I would say to space out the stories to be more enjoyable, as they start to read the same if you don’t.
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Adorable and a quick read. Perfect for Christmas time with a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa. Allows for a nice bit of escape from the world. My favorites were A Christmas Castle and Christmas Service. 

I think one major problem I have been having with Christian fiction novellas in the past few years is the repeats. I've been reading in this genre since I was 13-14 years old so ~20 years and I have a lot of copies of these stories in other collections on my shelf. An Irish Bride for Christmas I just reread last month. I hope that moving forward they do work on getting new stories into the collections.
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