today’s book: Joy to the World
In case you missed it, yesterday I started my annual blog series spotlighting (over 50 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! (And I’m SO EXCITED about it!)
Christmas is still 35 days away, according to Google BUT after the ‘stink, stank, stunk’ year 2020 has been, I think we all could benefit from some extra Christmas cheer. ‘Tis the season when I really start craving cozy Christmas reads (even more than I do the rest of the year lol), so now is the perfect time to jump right into these posts!
Continuing through just before Christmas, I’m going to spotlight several new/recent Christmasy releases. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s featured book is a Regency romance collection by three fantastic authors – and I’ve got a fun Q&A with all three!
JOY TO THE WORLD
GENRE: Inspirational Regency Christmas Romance collection
RELEASE DATE: October 13, 2020
Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors
In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.
“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome both their obligations and their fears to find their way back into each other’s arms?
“Far as the Curse Is Found” by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?
“Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he’d fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.
I am so delighted to welcome Amanda Barratt, Carolyn Miller, and Erica Vetsch to the blog today to chat about Joy to the World and, of course, Christmas! All three are women I consider sweet friends as well as marvelous authors.
Q: Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Amanda: Hot chocolate. Especially when topped with whipped cream. 🙂
Carolyn: Hot chocolate! (What even is egg nog, anyway? Although, depending on the summer weather here in Australia when we have Christmas, maybe a nice bowl of cooling watermelon punch might be the ticket!)
Erica: Hot Chocolate…but not too hot, since I tend to burn my tongue on hot drinks and then everything tastes like burnt tongue… 🙂 I am not an Eggnog fan. At. All. I can barely drink milk, much less nog…
Carrie: hot chocolate for the win here too!
Q: Candy Canes or Fudge?
Amanda: Fudge. Whether peanut butter, chocolate, or peanut butter AND chocolate, fudge is the food definition of bliss.
Carolyn: Candy canes if they’re not too sharp-minty tasting or too hard, which really makes fudge the easier option, doesn’t it? Although this year I’m trying to be more conscious of my sugar intake, so maybe I’ll stick with cheese and crackers…
Erica: Candy Canes at Christmas, fudge other times of the year, because…chocolate! There’s just something festive and right about Candy Canes at Christmas. 🙂
Carrie: ok y’all – i’m gonna have to go with Amanda on this answer … unless it’s a cherry flavored candy cane & then all bets are off 😉
Q: Fancy wrapping paper or Find the gift bags from last year?
Amanda: There’s something about tearing into wrapping paper that encapsulates the joy and wonder of Christmas morning. Here’s my secret though—I usually buy it on after-Christmas clearance and in a neutral color, so it can be used for other holidays throughout the year.
Carolyn: As an environmentally aware human I like to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible.
Erica: Gift Bags! I am a ROTTEN gift-wrapper. If a package looks like it was wrapped by a drunk T-Rex…that’s mine!
Carrie: hahaha Erica, I am the same way, though I do love being given beautifully wrapped gifts!
Q: Open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Amanda: Christmas Day. I love the anticipation of waiting until Christmas morning.
Carolyn: It’s Christmas Day all the way for us! And then we get to do it the next day (Boxing Day) as well when we visit my hubby’s side of the family. Win, win!
Erica: Christmas Day! I used to get to open one gift on Christmas Eve, but it was usually the dress my mom made for me for the Christmas Eve service at church…a dress I already knew about because she’d pinned it to me during construction several times!
Carrie: We always used to open one gift on Christmas Eve but we got to choose which one to open. And then all the rest were Christmas Day. Now it’s just Christmas Day 🙂
Q: If you could spend one Christmas in the Regency era, what do you think you would love most about how they celebrate? What would you miss about how we celebrate Christmas in modern times?
Amanda: One of the Regency holiday traditions I came across in my research was Twelfth Night, celebrated on January 5th. In the Regency era, Twelfth Night balls and parties marked the final night of holiday festivities. On Twelfth Night, an elaborately decorated cake was served and every person in the household, even the staff, received a slice. Baked inside the cake were a pea and a bean. The man whose slice contained the bean became King for the night, and the woman who found the pea in hers was named Queen. Whoever received the special slices—no matter their social status—were treated as the guests of honor for the evening. What a fun tradition!
I would definitely miss decorating a Christmas tree. Though Queen Charlotte, the German born wife of King George III, had a Christmas tree in the drawing room at Windsor as early as 1800, Christmas trees did not achieve widespread popularity in Britain until the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert revived the tradition.
Carolyn: I think the Christmas food in the Regency era would be super amazing – I love a fabulous roast dinner with all the trimmings, and they knew how to do trimmings in Regency times! And the parlor games would be fun. And the fact that there’s a chance I could finally experience a WHITE Christmas (Summer in Australia doesn’t really allow for that).
Maybe I’d miss the sense of being really clean (haha) from modern times, and the fact that technology and transport means we can have my sister visit from Canada (although not this year, thanks, Covid 😥 ) and these days we can easily travel to great Christmas destinations – like the beach!
Erica: I think I would love the tradition of Boxing Day, where the alms box from the church was opened, and gifts were given to those in need.
I think I would miss Christmas trees and twinkly lights.
Carrie: I love those Twelfth Night festivities! And I also think Boxing Day and Regency-era Christmas sound perfectly fabulous. And I’m so glad someone else would miss twinkly lights too 🙂
Q: Which Christmas carol or song is your favorite & which is your least favorite?
Amanda: My favorite Christmas carol is Silent Night. I love the story behind its composition, the tender and profound lyrics, and how the carol has been woven into the fabric of history throughout the ages (such as when it was sung during WWI by soldiers in the trenches during the famous Christmas Truce). Singing Silent Night at the close of Christmas Eve candlelight service is one of my favorite moments of the holiday season.
My least favorite Christmas song? Hmm . . . probably Last Christmas. Whenever I hear it while out shopping, it gets stuck in my head, which drives me crazy. LOL.
Carolyn: I love O Holy Night, it’s such a powerful message encapsulated in a poignant melody, and a song I have sung at our local community Christmas carols for the past twenty years. It gives me chills to sing the line ‘Fall on your knees’ to a bunch of non-Christians chatting with their friends, and we watch the crowd quieten as the music and words echo around the main street of my town. It’s humbling and awesome.
Least favorite? It’s a toss up between the Little Drummer Boy and We Three Kings. Why? Because I don’t like the music, or the words, really (and they’re not exactly scripturally sound) 🙂
Erica: It’s so hard to choose a favorite! I do love Joy to the World, but I think my favorite is Silent Night. Or, O Come, All ye Faithful. Or O Little Town of Bethlehem. Or Hark! The Herald Angels Sing…see my problem!?
My least favorite? Can I say that Santa Baby sets my teeth on edge? Any version, any time. Or every version, every time.
Carrie: I also love each of your faves (and Erica’s eleventy bazillion lol) and I would wholeheartedly support petitions to forever abandon your least faves.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from your story in Joy to the World, and why do you love it?
Amanda: “But as time went on, I realized our circumstances are not a reflection of His love. In spite of everything, He is the one certainty we can cling to.” These words from my heroine ministered to my heart as I wrote [Far As the Curse is Found].
Carolyn: Ooh, tricky! It’s between the decidedly unromantic line ‘Edith’s grandmother, widow of a baronet whose death disappointed nobody, and long considered one of Wycombe’s most hospitable ladies’ – which I love, because it’s a nod to one my favorite author Georgette Heyer’s fabulous way of phrasing to convey so much in a few words – and these far more romantic lines: ‘His arms drew her close as their kiss continued in a symphony of wonder, of yearning, of restored promise, Heat cascaded through his heart, pounding against his chest, while around them the warmth and floral fragrance and birdsong enveloped them in nature’s embrace, as if heaven itself were sealing this moment with its blessing.”
It captures what [Heaven and Nature Sing] is about, weaves in the song title, and after all the angst, is a moment that gives all the feels. Ahhh…. 🙂
Erica: “Heaven rejoiced to spread the good news through some of the least-considered citizens of Bethlehem. God saw those shepherds. Knew their names, their stories. And He chose to bless them, the small, not the great, with the birth announcement.”
These words are spoken by the preacher [in Wonders of His Love] as he prepared his congregation for the Christmas Season. Hamish, our hero, struggles with whether God sees him, since his most fervent prayer has gone unanswered. But using the example of the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth, the preacher speaks truth into Hamish’s heart that your station in life has nothing to do with how God values you. It’s a good reminder for me when thinking about myself, but also, and more importantly, when I’m thinking of others.
Carrie: These quotes are all so good, ladies! I can’t wait to read Joy to the World!
Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan. Visit her at www.amandabarratt.net.
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Visit her at www.carolynmillerauthor.com.
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. Visit her at www.ericavetsch.com.
Erica Vetsch is offering a print copy of Joy to the World to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Joy to the World by Amanda Barratt, Carolyn Miller, and Erica Vetsch? Which author would your answers be most like if I asked you the same questions?
This looks like such a fun book and I can’t wait to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!
you’re welcome, Brenda 🙂
It sounds like a sweet Christmas read. I like that it is 3 different stories by 3 different authors. The cover is cute. Thanks for the chance. The blurb sounds good.
thanks, Lynn! I love that cover too!
i think so too 🙂
Your answers have created a Christmas mood, and I’m ready to read good Christmas stories like yours!
I think my answers are more like Amanda’s, especially the fudge part! LOL
yes and now i want some fudge 😀 lol
I love historical Christmas stories, love Regency, and love chocolate! Candy canes are great now and then, too. I’m with Amanda on chocolate, liked Carolyn’s favorite lines, and my worst Christmas song is “Grandma got run over by a reindeer.”
ew i don’t like that song either, Dana!
I have seen this book posted on Net Galley. It looks really good.
right?? i think so too!
Love the Christmas stories.
me too 🙂
Would love to add this to my Christmas reading lineup!
Omigosh! I love Christmas reads! And this group of authors…Awesome!! Thanks for such a great giveaway, Carrie!
aren’t they great? 🙂
Sounds like a great book! I don’t think I’ve yet read a Regency set at Christmas, even better to read it during the Christmas season! 🙂
I think a lot of my answers would be similar to Erica’s, including my one Christmas Eve gift growing up was a new church dress. This has actually happened a couple times since I’ve gotten married as well. My husband buys me a new outfit, then ends up having me open it on Christmas Eve so I can wear it to service! lol
haha love it!
Holly, we’re like Christmas sisters! 🙂
Who wouldn’t want to read this book by these authors? They’re all terrific : -) Plus, this would go straight into my Christmas book TBR pile!
Thanks for the giveaway chance to win Carrie!
you’re most welcome, dear Trixi 🙂
I enjoy reading books by these authors and also love Christmas stories!
me too 🙂
Enjoyed reading the Q&A and finding out who I answered the same way with. FUN!
“Joy to the World” sounds like a fabulous book. With Inspirational – Regency – Christmas – Romance in it’s description would be enough for me to want to read this book. However, with the author’s listed I know this is a book on my TBR list that I can’t wait for the opportunity to read.
I love the quotes! I don’t know why I’m more drawn to Regency Christmas stories more than any other.
i love Regency Christmas stories too 🙂
I really enjoy reading regencies and these authors are pretty incredible! I’d love to slip away to read this novella collection to forget about Covid and get into the Christmas spirit.
This was one of the best Q & A ever. All three stories sound wonderful, and this is one novella collection I want to read this Christmas. “Joy to the World” is my all-time favorite carol.
yay! i’m so glad you loved the Q&A, Roxanne! 🙂
A great collection of some of my favorite authors. Is fudge with small bits of candy cane on top too much? 🤪 I loved this interview, & would only disagree with Drummer Boy. How can you dislike For King & Country’s version? Thanks for sharing!! 🥰📚
i think fudge with candy cane sprinkled on top is a delicious compromise 😀 (Also – For King & Country’s version is hands down the best version)
This was a great set of questions. I grew up a Christmas Eve gift opener.
something so special about Christmas Eve 🙂
The cover makes me want to read the book. I also love Carolyn’s writing so I know it’ll be good!
yes! And the other authors are equally fabulous 🙂
I’ve read two of the authors before, and I love both Regency romance and Christmas, so I have to read it! I think my answers would be most like Amanda’s, though none of them matched me on song choices, and I love Carolyn’s quote because I’m also a Georgette Heyer fan.
well now I want to know what your song choices are, Debbie! 🙂
I love Christmas stories. Amanda, Carolyn and Erica are AWESOME authors!
Thanks so much for having us Carrie! (And just so I don’t get stoned by anyone, I feel I should say I LOVE For King and Country – and their version of the Drummer Boy is acceptable – bc, well, they’re awesome AND Australian! 😉 )
hahaha no stoning here 😀
Carrie, this was a tremendous amount of fun! Thank you for creating such an entertaining set of Christmas questions…where there’s no wrong answer…Except, possibly, Drummer Boy…because For King and Country… 😀
LOL you’re most welcome, my dear Erica 🙂
Thank you SO much for hosting us on Reading Is My Superpower, Carrie! You always ask such fun questions. And I totally agree with Erica and Carolyn about For King and Country. Their Christmas album is one of my faves. Their version of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is so beautiful it gives me chills.
ooo i’ll need to go check that one out! Thanks, dear Amanda 🙂
I have been really enjoying Erica’s Serendipity & Secrets series, so when I heard that her novella in this collection was connected to it, I new I needed to get my hands on a copy!
I absolutely love the cover!
Nice cover. I love Christmas stories. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.
Some of my favorite authors. They have to be great stories.
Besides the three ladies who wrote it, it’s Christmas and Regency. Win win!
I like historical Christian fiction and like to pass on books of the Regency period to my niece who likes that period.
This book has three of my favorite authors so the stories are bound to be good. I can’t wait to read this exciting book.
right?? Me too, Debbie!
I love 2 of the authors already and am excited when I discover a new similar author. Can’t wait to read this book!
Wonderful group of authors! I have heard some great things about this book. Thanks for the chance to win.
you’re welcome! 🙂
Thanks for the fun interview! I LOVE Christmas stories and Regency stories! Joy to the World Regency Christmas Collection sounds amazing! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book!
you’re most welcome!
Thanks for sharing These Ladies are amazing Authors!
Hi! I’m so excited to read this book! The cover is inviting and beautiful. Erica is my friend and I look forward to reading another great story by her! (: Thank you for the interviews!
yay! Erica is awesome 🙂
I want to read because I love Regency romances and Christmas! So this is the perfect combination. I also like the cover as well.