O Little Town
Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!
Christmas is only THIRTEEN DAYS away, according to Google. Are you as excited as I am??
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!)
O LITTLE TOWN by Janyre Tromp, Amanda Wen & Deborah Raney
GENRE: Inspirational Christmas Romance Collection
RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2022
Stories of small-town Christmas and the enduring love of God from three critically acclaimed authors
In the sleepy small town of Mapleview, Michigan, Christmas is always something special. In this charming collection of romance novellas, join three generations of Mapleview residents longing for love–and finding it–on the most wonderful night of the year.
“Hopes and Fears” by Amanda WenEmma Trowbridge is determined to give her students the Christmas pageant of a lifetime. The last person she expected, or wanted, to encounter in her two-room classroom is her childhood rival, Frederick Oberstein. He would rather be far away himself. He wants no part of cheer, Christmas or otherwise. Can they learn to see each other in a new light–and embrace a new season of hope and faith together?“
While Mortals Sleep” by Janyre Tromp
While World War II rages overseas, news reporter Eleanor Sweers returns home to Mapleview to face the repercussions of the death of her sister and her nightmare of Christmases past. But the homefront isn’t as far from the war as she thought: a bomb has landed in the middle of the U.S. Now Eleanor and family friend Gideon Braum may have to choose between the scoop of a lifetime and the love of a lifetime.
“The Wondrous Gift” by Deborah Raney
High school football coach Caleb Janssen and music teacher Rachel Hamblin bond when they both lose their jobs at a Christian school. But when they discover their plans for the future are mutually exclusive, the fallout threatens to tear them apart.
by Janyre Tromp, author of “While Mortals Sleep”
There is a core of who I am that is tangled in music. I grew up going to symphonies, playing in some of the best bands and orchestras in the state. I was through and through a clarinet-playing band geek.
My house has a nearly constant musical score running underneath.
Chris, my husband, is forever noodling on his guitars. My oldest does everything with earbuds in her ears, and my youngest is never far from a drum or our piano. I write to music and sing snippets of Broadway, Mother Goose, Louis Armstrong, VeggieTales, Simon and Garfunkel, and even “Uptown Funk” to my kids.
Music draws pictures and speaks words I cannot always form coherently. You know what I mean?
So imagine my joy when I got to write a story based on a song.
Even better, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is one of my all-time favorite Christmas carols.
There’s something about the shift from the wistful major key to the haunting minor key and back that perfectly illustrates the season:
The hope of Christ coming, the darkness of the world battering against the promise, and the fulfilled promise of relationship and freedom in Christ.
That essence of hope is not only one of the most beautiful things about my faith, it’s what I hope sets my writing apart.
The world is a dark place, but there is a more powerful light.
I never want to hold back on either truth. And so I ask hard questions and find the not-always-perfect answers.
My novella in the collection O Little Town is called “While Mortals Sleep” (based on the words in the second verse of the carol). And that’s the core question my main character Eleanor Sweers asks: Where is God in the darkness?
For those of you who don’t know me or my story, the question isn’t a philosophical exercise. We had a two-year period in which we nearly lost our daughter twice. That was wedged between a host of bizarre and terrifying medical issues for the rest of our little family.
It left us spinning and wondering: Where is God when our kids hurt? When our physical pain is overwhelming? Or like Eleanor, have we been so hurt by our past that we’ve learned to live on our own, expect nothing, depend on no one but ourselves?
Eleanor says, “Sometimes, I wished God would swoop in and take us all to heaven. But somehow, someway, I had to trust that the one who set the world spinning wouldn’t abandon the people he’d so lovingly crafted.”
And isn’t that what Christmas is?
The story of God stepping into the world, collecting us to him, and lifting us from the haunting darkness of a minor key into the light.
All that to say I adore “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist who spins tales that hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the best-selling author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and co-author of O Little Town. She’s also the chief chaos wrangler of her family and menagerie of pets. Grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open on her website: www.janyretromp.com
Janyre Tromp is offering a print copy of O Little Town 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 O Little Town by Janyre Tromp, Amanda Wen & Deborah Raney? What’s your favorite Christmas carol?