It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Keeping Christmas, Volume 2 (+ guest post)

Posted December 9, 2022 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, contemporary, giveaway, historical, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2022, Melissa Wardwell, romance / 4 Comments

Keeping Christmas, Volume 2

Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!

Christmas is only 16 days away, according to Google, but of course it’s never too early for Christmas stories, and ’tis the season when I really start craving them (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 after Christmas, I’m going to spotlight several Christmasy releases from 2022. Most days will have more than one post, just FYI. 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!)

Melissa Wardwell, Jennifer Sienes, Tabitha Bouldin, Susan K. Beatty, Stacy T. Simmons
GENRE: Inspirational Christmas Novella Collection
PUBLISHER: Celebrate Lit Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2022
PAGES: 614

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

Escape to Greenaway (by Chautona Havig): She just wanted to escape another holly, jolly family holiday. Because snowbound in a castle B&B with one of Santa’s elves (or as good as) is so much better. With the help of the castle’s owner, Tonya plays matchmaker in a bid to get that Christmas-loving girl out of her hair.

The King’s Promise (by Tabitha Bouldin): In a world of airships and kings, a prince makes a promise that tears him away from his love. An ordinary baker’s daughter finds herself caught in the middle of a game where the winner earns the queen’s crown. They both want what they can’t have as they struggle toward a seemingly impossible happily ever after.

A Castle for Christmas (by Susan K. Beatty): Sadie Foster abhors wealth. Will Randolph, on the other hand, works for the uber-wealthy owner of an over-the-top castle on the California coast–Sadie’s father. When Christopher Foster leaves the castle to her, Sadie doesn’t want anything to do with it or his money. But what if Sadie and Will use the castle and her inheritance for the good of others—together?

An Irish Christmas Heart (by Jennifer Sienes): Will she choose love or an arranged marriage? In the midst of post-famine unrest, Eleanor Blake, daughter of an English nobleman, is thrown into a maelstrom of emotions. How will she escape the duty for which she was born and the confines of the ill-fated Menlo Castle of Galway, Ireland to find her true love?

Christmas at Curwood’s Castle (by Melissa Wardwell): A Christmas party at Curwood Castle should have been Angel Davis’ Cinderella moment. Especially when her dear friend Jimmy arrives. Instead, one obstacle after another threatens to break any chance at a happily-ever-after.

Christmas in the Cotswolds (by Stacy T. Simmons): She’s a paleontologist and ardent Jane Austen fan. He’s enmeshed in the exactitude of mathematics, can they find common ground? Do opposites attract, will the romantic castle, and dashing duke be the undoing of Victoria’s plans?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle in the San Gabriel Mountains of California all the way across the pond to the beautiful Cotswolds of England. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas in this second volume of castle Christmas novellas.


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Keeping Christmas through the Year

by Melissa Wardwell, author of Keeping Christmas, Volume 2

Back in August of this year, Celebrate Lit Publishing gathered several of its authors together and created the Keeping Christmas Collection. They consist of two volumes with twelve stories that are set during Christmas in castles from around the world and of the author’s imagination. It’s a fun collection that avid Christmas story readers are sure to enjoy.

However, I’d like to share with you some personal reflections about the holiday. I hope you will stay with me through this article.

A few years ago, I had one of those moments that shook me to the core and took me on a three-year journey to find Christ at Christmas. See, I came across Jeremiah 10 and the words made me pause as an internal battle began to rage in my heart. I’ve always loved Christmas—the joy, the laughter, the togetherness with family, and even the decorations. Yet, this passage was showing me that some of those traditions were not of God, and I only wanted to do things His way. This broke my heart to the point that my husband and I would go back and forth over whether to put up the tree and go as crazy as we had in years past with the decorations.

I lost the joy that I should have had during this time of year as everything became mundane and impractical.

Fast forward a few years and I am walking in our local grocery superstore, feeling more like the Grinch than a woman who loves the Lord. Down the center aisle, I noticed an elderly gentleman who sported long-ish white hair, a chest-length white beard, a twinkle in his eye, and rosy cheeks. As I observed him caring for his ailing wife, with adoration radiating from him, a little girl gawked at him in awe as she passed him. He turned to her and tapped his nose with a wink, putting a grin on her face and bringing me to tears as I stopped next to the apples.

You see, not only did I witness love and compassion, but I also saw the pure joy I had been missing (you know how they say you can pick a Christian out in a crowd by the love of Christ shining on them?). I was looking at the love and joy of Christ in this man who just happened to look like Santa, and it broke me.

After I loaded my groceries in my car, I sat there crying my heart out to God. “I want that back, Father. Show me where it went.”

I was then reminded of [Peter]’s vision in Acts 11 and how God was showing him that he was to stop calling impure what God made pure. Now, I understand that Acts is talking about what we put in our bodies but what I was pulling from this recollection was this…

I am a new creation in Christ. If I am not worshiping the decorations and the festivities, it isn’t a sin. It’s just pretty things to make the gloominess of my home look bright and festive. I should be holding the beautiful gift we acknowledge at Christmas in my heart ALL YEAR LONG. If I am keeping Christmas all year, then a 9-foot tree in my house is not a thing of worship for me and my family. That feeling like a kid when I see someone that looks like Santa isn’t a terrible thing. I worship the King and Him alone. Everything else is just fun.

So, my question for you to ponder is—what is your focus during Christmas? Do you find yourself condemning the imagery instead of focusing on the Gift like I was?

My hope and prayer for you this Christmas season is that you find the true Joy that only a life of keeping Christ at the forefront of all you do can bring you (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Even though I didn’t talk about the giveaway of Keeping Christmas: Volume 2, I hope whoever wins it will remember that the imagery of Christmas is nice, but Keeping the reason for Christmas in our hearts all year is where Joy can be found.

Merry Christmas!
Melissa Wardwell

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband and family. As the “nest” begins to empty, she finds more time to write, read, and enjoy life with her husband. When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she actively works beside her husband at their church or relaxes with a good book that will be reviewed on her book blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit

Melissa Wardwell is offering an ebook copy of Keeping Christmas, Volume 2 to one of my readers! (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.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Keeping Christmas, Volume 2 by Melissa Wardwell & the other 5 authors?

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