The Christmas Mission
Welcome back to our annual blog series spotlighting (over 60 again this year) new and recently-released Christmas reads!
Christmas is only twelve days away, according to Google. Time to double check those lists!
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!)
THE CHRISTMAS MISSION by Karen Malley
SERIES: Christmas Holiday Extravangza
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: White Rose Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2022
After being betrayed and abandoned by everyone in her former high-class life, Nicole is left to find her way on her own. She finds God while living in a homeless mission and vows to separate herself from the “ well-off” members of society.
Michael has known nothing but love and acceptance all his life, but when a series of fortunate investments lands him in the upper class, he has trouble finding a woman who cares for him more than his money.
As Nicole and Michael’ s lives intertwine during the busy Christmas season and through a surprising connection to the mission, will they be able to shake the pain of their pasts and find happiness together?
by Karen Malley, author of The Christmas Mission
As a writer, words are full of meaning to me, but one of the most powerful words is Christmas. That one word has the power to evoke so many memories, from taste, to smell, to sounds, to feelings. Almost everyone who celebrate Christmas has traditions, whether it’s attending a special church service, tuning to the Christmas station on the radio, donating time or money to charities, decorating the house, baking treats, braving the malls, or simply taking the day off of work and spending time with loved ones.
My husband and I started a tradition when we first married. Each year we’ve decorated a Christmas tree together. The first year, we each hung an ornament from our childhood trees, along with a “first Christmas together” ornament, representing our two separate lives becoming one. Since then, we’ve added to the tree with special ornaments representing that year. Some years were more somber than others – an American flag represented 2001, and in 2020, we actually bought a virus ornament. Last year we added a pink ribbon to commemorate my transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor.
Other years, the ornaments marked special events in our lives, such as buying our house or the birth of our children. Some years we have ornaments from special places we’ve traveled, or a championship win by a favorite sports team. I hung an author ornament a few years back to commemorate my publishing debut.
Each December, we add a few sentences to a book containing our ornament story. We read the description of the year, and we all take turns placing the ornaments on the tree. Our family takes this time to focus on both the treasured memories and the difficult ones. It brings us together and sets the tone for the season to come, for no matter what happens in the future, we always have our memories of the past.
For us, Christmas is about family, but more importantly, it is about taking time to celebrate the greatest gift of all, God’s amazing gift to us in His Son, Jesus. We are blessed beyond measure by His goodness, so each year on Christmas morning, we open His Word before opening any presents and remember that night so long ago when hope entered the world. Our tree of memories helps us to remember God’s faithfulness. He’s carried us through both trials and celebrations and never leaves us. This Christmas, I hope you’ll take some time in your own special way to remember what God has done for you.
In my latest Christmas novella, The Christmas Mission, the main character Nicole has had a difficult past. Here’s a short excerpt from the story when she steps into a home where Christmas is celebrated in a way unlike she ever experienced as a child.
Nicole filled the sink with soapy water while Michael finished bringing in the plates and putting leftovers in the fridge. He flicked on a radio to the local Christian station, and a Christmas tune floated through the tiny kitchen.
Hands up to the elbows in suds, Nicole made quick work of the dishes, rinsed them, and handed them one-by-one to Michael, who expertly dried them and placed them back in the cabinets.
“I’m surprised your family doesn’t have a dishwasher,” Nicole said.
“Mom never wanted one. She never had one growing up, so she saw no need to get one installed. This house was built in the 60’s.”
“I like it,” Nicole said.
“The house?” Michael asked. “It’s nothing special.”
“Oh, but it is, Michael. It’s not a house, it’s a home. You don’t realize how special this is.” Nicole handed him the last dish and drained the sink. “I’m sure they’ve gotten the fire alarm settled by now. I should go home and do my homework. Thanks again for rescuing me tonight.”
“A man is always happy to rescue a lady,” Michael said, taking a bow.
“Can I go thank your parents?”
“Of course.” Michael led Nicole into a small den where his parents sat watching a game show. A Christmas tree stood in the corner, covered with mismatched ornaments. Nicole moved in to inspect it.
Shannon muted the TV and joined Nicole by the tree. “This tree is full of memories.”
“I can tell,” Nicole said. “Are there handmade ornaments from each of your children for every year of their lives?”
“Practically,” Shannon said.
“I keep trying to get them to upgrade to some classier ornaments, but Mom refuses,” Michael said.
“Why would anyone ever want to change this?” Nicole said, fingering a popsicle-stick nativity set. “This is perfect. She swallowed against the lump forming in her throat. Yes, this was how a home should be.
Faith, Encouragement, and Happily-Ever-Afters. Karen Malley is an author of Christian fiction. She lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. She works full time as a scientist, but enjoys writing in her spare time. When not writing (with her left hand), she enjoys camping, hiking, playing board games, and especially reading! She loves reading faith-based stories, because we can all use a happy ending. Karen loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with her on her website: www.KarenMalley.com.
Karen Malley is offering an ebook copy of The Christmas Mission AND Saved by a Christmas Angel 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.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Christmas Mission by Karen Malley? Do you have an ornament that commemorates a special event in your life?