today’s book: A Picture of Christmas
Happy Sunday! We are continuing our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads! Christmas is only 27 days away, so… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and continue your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s first featured book is another Christmas visit to beloved Winter, Montana, and author Bell Renshaw talks about small town Christmas traditions!
A PICTURE OF CHRISTMAS by Bell Renshaw
SERIES: Winter, Montana #4
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Pine Mountain Publishing
RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2021
Rhett Bradley’s home for the holidays, but it’s not by choice. Faced with a potential backward step at his company in Seattle, he’s forced to take time off, but somehow being back in Winter, Montana isn’t the dead end he was expecting.
Olive Fitzsimons has a secret email friend who’s made her new job at the mayor’s office bearable. Still, putting her true passions aside for the political hubbub in Winter hasn’t been a step in the right direction for her. Sure, she can make her rent payments, but is she happy?
As Rhett and Olive continue to run into each other in the small town amid holiday festivals and sparkling Christmas lights, their once fiery opposition starts to settle into something more. But Olive’s interest in her email friend has grown into a crush and Rhett will be leaving Winter in in the New Year, won’t he?
Join the familiar cast of characters in Winter, Montana as the community joins together in the spirit of Christmas where hearts soften and a kiss between opposites is the perfect holiday miracle.
affiliate links used
Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Small Town Christmas Traditions
I grew up in a small town in Northern California and moved back a few years ago. One of the things I missed most while living in larger cities was the small town Christmas celebrations I’d grown up with.
When I started my Winter, Montana series, part of the reason for writing it was to relive some of those traditions in a fictionalized way. Working on Reba and Hoyt’s story (book 1), I knew I wanted to include a Christmas Festival similar to something we celebrate here in my home town. You can find it appearing in every book after.
Like its fictionalized counterpart, my town hosts a similar Christmas gathering on our main street. First, the large evergreen tree out in front of our fire department always has lights strung on its branches and during this “Light Up” event, the lights are turned for a crowd of spectators to start the night.
Local businesses have tables and tents set up along the closed-off street offering all kinds of things for purchase. There are handmade ceramic mugs, Christmas ornaments, decorative signs, clothing, and a host of other items that make great Christmas gifts. In addition, there are always yummy treats—from candied nuts and kettle corn to spiced cider and hot chocolate.
Often our local high school choir or smaller musical groups will carol throughout the night or there’s Christmas music floating around amid the sparkling lights. It truly is a night that feels magically filled with Christmas spirit.
Other traditions our town has are the beautiful lanterns and greenery they hang up over the main cross streets, wreaths on the light posts, and Christmas lights in almost every shop on the main street. There is also an amazing craft fair held at the fairgrounds. It’s one of the things I look forward to not only to find goodies for myself, but for Christmas gifts for all of my friends.
Also, just in time for Christmas, our church hosts a women’s Sock Exchange. Talk about fun! Anyone is invited to come together at a host house and asked to bring a treat to share along with a wrapped pair of Christmas socks. After we enjoy the food and fellowship, we play a ‘game’ with the socks that leads to each woman ending up with a new pair of Christmas socks for the season. You can imagine the laughter.
One of the other traditions I’ve considered adding to my books but haven’t had the chance to yet is Christmas light “looking”. This is a personal tradition for my family and I, started long ago when I was a kid. Every Christmas Eve, after dinner with friends and family, we jump in the car and drive through the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. We share what we like most about each house and have Christmas music playing in the background.
There really isn’t anything like a small town Christmas. The ability to host the same traditions each year and see familiar faces at every event is a special thing. Both of my grandparents on my father’s side are originally from this area with deep roots to the history of our county. I feel a sense of peace at taking part in something that has been part of the fabric of our family for generations.
Hopefully, as you read the Winter series, you can see some of those traditions and experience, in part, what it feels like to live in a small town.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
Bell Renshaw is a pen name for Emilie Haney who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has a love for the outdoors that matches her love for the written word. She turned her passion for stories toward writing at an early age, finding entertainment and adventure in made-up worlds fed by the books her parents read to her as a child. Now, she’s still getting lost in those worlds but they are of her own making.
You’ll find sweet romance under the Bell pen name and romantic suspense under Emilie Haney.
Connect with Emilie on her website: www.emiliehaney.com
Emilie Haney is offering a print copy of A Picture of Christmas + a Christmas bookmark of winner’s choice from her Etsy shop 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 A Picture of Christmas by Bell Renshaw?
I love Christmas stories.
This book sounds fun, I would love to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.
Sounds like a good read.
I 💕Christmas books. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for sharing. I love the book cover. God bless you.
Great giveaway, Thanks for your great generosity.
Sounds like a fun book.
I just really like the sound of the story.
Sounds amazing. Cover looks nice too!
It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.
I just love your blog! I want mine to look a smidgen that good.
I’d love to read how Emilie Haney puts her small town Christmas activities into her book. They sound delightful.
This sounds so fun! I love small towns at Christmas!
I love Christmas books, and this looks like a really good story.
I love the cover and synopsis, they make me want to read this book and the others in the series
The setting of the story sounds wonderful and Bell is a new to me author.
Great cover! Love it!
I just love Christmas stories.