Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of ChristmasOlivia NewportShiloh Run Press / 2017 / Trade Paperback$8.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 71 Reviews
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Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Colors of ChristmasApril 1, 2018Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0
Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the towns celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secrethis real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.
My thoughts: Since Christmas in Gold is actually the first story in this book, I went into CHRISTMAS IN BLUE expecting women's fiction and not a romance and that is what it was. Women's fiction. I have read some reviews on this book earlier, trying to decide if I wanted to buy it or not and some commented how much they hated the second story. I LOVED IT. Yes, it was a bit slow and yes, it did start with a death and someone depressed, but it showed how one could overcome obstacles in the most unexpected ways if they are open to them. This was actually my favorite of the two stories in this book.
Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.
My thoughts: CHRISTMAS IN GOLD is a sweet novella about an eighty year old woman with memories and hope and a thirty year old therapist who has no hope. It was a good story and I enjoyed reliving Astrid's memories and her overtures of friendship with Carly, but it felt unfinished. Astrid's Christmas was sweet, but Carly's story is unfinished. I would've liked to have her story developed more and wrapped up for a HEA. This is not a romance, though, but women's fiction and rules are different. There is no romance in the story.
My overall thoughts: I enjoyed this collection of two novellas by Olivia Newport and recommend them to anyone who needs hope, likes women's fiction or loves Christmas stories.
I was given a copy by a friend (not the publisher or the author) and all opinions are my own.
CurledUpWithaBookThe MaritimesAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Colors of ChristmasJanuary 8, 2018CurledUpWithaBookThe MaritimesAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Two enjoyable Christmas stories that will warm your heart during the Christmas season.
Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A true gift of Christmas can be found tucked inside the cover of this exceptional book!January 3, 2018Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I don't know what it is, but I love a great Christmas romance! Something about the time of year inspires hope while romance is in the air. Olivia Newport is no stranger to romance novels and Colors of Christmas is a MUST READ! She combines two different story lines centered around Christmas, one Christmas in Gold and the other, Christmas in Blue. You can almost guess what will be the them of each. In the first, Christmas in Gold, an elderly German woman Astrid takes an unexpected spill down the stairs outside her home while carrying a full load and it prevented her from accurately seeing the steps. Now her son, Alex believes it is time for her to pack up her home, sell it and move to a retirement community where she can be looked after should something like this happen again. While it does offer independent living apartments, Astrid believes in her heart that it is time. After 40 years of dealing with the loss of her last husband and with family being busy with work and living a distance away, it is probably for the best.
Like all great novels, there has to be something more, and for Astrid, she feels that her physical therapist Carly is bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders. She knows she might not be able to do much, but sometimes just having a friend to talk to really helps. For Carly, she hopes that the man who has been trying to contact her, will finally lose hope now that she has obtained a restraining order against him. She only hopes she won't have to pull her son out of school and move again, meaning she would lose her job as well. But as God has a bigger plan in mind. "No two people suffer in identical ways, and we must not discount any suffering. The greatest gift we can give each other is to see suffering and name it as real. Always in suffering we meet fear. Always in suffering we must raise our eyes from darkness to light that awaits. There we will find others who have known suffering. Even God knew the suffering of His own Son."
In Christmas in Blue a long time resident that has always hosted the towns A Christmas to Remember event has passed away and the church committee members believe that the one who knew her the best would be the better choice at continuing the town's desired Christmas event. Angela was her dearest friend but has no clue where to begin or even what to do to make this happen and worst yet, the committee members have given her only 10 days to make it happen. Seems like it will take a Christmas miracle to make that happen and one by one, every single process is hampered in unexplained ways where she will be forced to make some hard decisions and running away is not one of them.
I received Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport compliments of NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. I found myself relating quite a bit to Christmas in Gold, because my husbands parents are now beginning to look at retirement communities now that they are having so many health issues and family is more than 4 hours away. They desire to stay independent and have no desire to move back to be closer to family either. I found myself sharing this story with my husband and found a common connection with Astrid's character. This is such a wonderful novel and you truly feel like you are getting two books in one. I savored each one for a different night. I didn't want to rush through them and was so glad I did. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and one doesn't have to wait for Christmas to enjoy them. A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this book which would make it a perfect book club selection.
KathleenMissouriAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Love lives inside colors of ChristmasDecember 6, 2017KathleenMissouriAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport, 2017
Two Contemporary Stories
Celebrate the Hope of Christmas
She had learned long ago that the oddest things provoked deeply buried memories.
--Colors of Christmas, 11
Sounds, smells, sights ~ an occurrence that jolts a long-hidden part so tangible you could reach out and touch it. Changes. But... an exciting place to be ~ for such a time as this. How our lives mesh with another when we barely realize the true impact we have made to encourage and bring a change to their life. Astrid has moved from her home to assisted living and discovers a sweetness she might have missed if her life had gone on "as usual."
This is a story of how a shared life can make a difference. Sharing from a lifetime of love chosen in place of despair and uncertainty to courage and fortitude. Astrid brings joy to this Christmas from the depth of her many days.
The value of keepsakes is the memory in them.
The hope of the world.
The hope of the despairing.
The hope of all who seek God's abundant life.
You won't want to miss this story of God's great Love brought to earth in His Own Son.
Christmas in Gold
This book has two Christmas novellas, Christmas in Gold and Christmas in Blue. The first one is rooted in the story of a real person, Astrid, an older woman I met at the gym. I first heard her story at a Culvers restaurant and scribbled notes on a pile of brown napkins. Despite tragedies and setbacks, she is one of the most faith-filled and hope-filled people you could ever meet. It brought me joy to bring her story to life in Christmas in Gold, with fictional framing. A few days ago I took copies to people at the gym who know the real Astrid and are eager to learn more of her story through my book. ~ author Olivia Newport (Credit)
No one with a musical bent ever regretted learning the piano, especially someone who did not yet know he would grow up to be a composer.
The J*O*Y we find in the future from the small things that become important later on...
Angela Carter finds that her repetition may just be the very thing that encourages another when they find they need it most. A memory interwoven that sparks and jolts today when it is least expected.
Teaching young students, she hopes to instill in them the melody of her heart ~ music floating on a breeze when it becomes so much a part of you that you are unaware when you come to the end of the composition.
A Christmas to Remember
~* the thrill was in the escape *~
Angela inherited Blitzen a half year past; her friend Carole's trusty companion ~ when he chose to stay in his supposed boundaries. Now Carole was gone. How would they survive a Christmas without her? A dear friend, exuberantly heading Spruce Valley's traditional Christmas celebration. How could Angela know that a tardy arrival at a committee meeting for this year's celebration would invade her envisioned silent Christmas? The least thing we expect could be just what was needed.
A surprise visitor becomes an essential part of Spruce Valley's Christmas preparation. I liked how suspicion is turned to J*O*Y. A Christmas not soon forgotten.
Christmas in Blue
Christmas in Blue was inspired by blue Christmas, an observance on the longest day of the year that recognizes that Christmas is not easy for every one, especially for people who have known loss in the preceding year. A man at the gym, who took one of my books because of Astrids story, said he just wants to get through Christmas and get it over with. I was able to tell him that Christmas in Blue was written for people who feel that way. I hope when he reads it, hell find new hope in the season. ~ author Olivia Newport (Credit)
*** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.***
Ruthi5 Stars Out Of 5Finding StrengthNovember 30, 2017RuthiQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Two completely different takes on Christmas...novels that give the reality of difficulties people suffer during the holiday season, all the while surrounded with others who are joyously celebrating. Although despondent, both characters persevere through the holiday finding that Christ covers them and answers their melancholy with situations that push them to reconcile their new situations.
What a beautiful take on John 1:5: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
Beautifully written; made me reflect how others might need a helping hand through the season, though they might find it difficult to ask. Be aware of others around and reach out to help them.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.