About the Book
Book: The Heart of Christmas
Author: The Mosaic Collection
Genre: Faith-Based Christmas Fiction
Release date: October 6, 2021
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“At Christmas, we always…” And thus a tradition is born. The rituals stay the same, but if betrayal, illness, unfaithfulness, or tragedy strike, can cherished traditions survive?
When unexpected twists throw life out of kilter for the people in these stories, will beloved, time-honored customs lead them back to the heart of Christmas?
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Mosaic Authors. The Heart of Christmas: a Mosaic Christmas Anthology III. 2021.
The Heart of Christmas is a delightful collection capturing many aspects of the Christmas season – both happy and sad. Each story points readers to Christ and the love we have for others. Some are hard to read and may bring tears as you read the stories. They may bring back memories or they may represent things going on in your life right now. These authors love their readers and have the ability to present holiday challenges in ways that will reach the reader’s heart.
“Broken Noel” by Brenda S. Anderson
Grief is difficult but I think especially so when the loss comes at the holidays. Anderson’s characters work their way through the death of a wife/mother between thanksgiving and Christmas. She understands what they are struggling with and tells the story in such a way that readers will emphasize with the characters. Those who have lost loved ones during the holidays may have their grief triggered but the story reminds us to focus on others, but especially on Jesus.
“No More Night” by Eleanor Bertin
What better time than Christmas to forgive a person who has wronged you. Lily’s was a terrible divorce years ago. In the past year she has cared for both of her parents as they died. Now her ex-husband is dying. Bertin has written a touching story about forgiveness and how God’s Word draws us to Him.
“Star Light” by Sara Davison
I love this story within a story novella. Felicity’s story contains a surprise at the end that I didn’t really see coming. The first Christmas story of Calla and Amiel is beautiful. I think Davison could pull that story out and use it to create a picture storybook for kids – it could even be marketed with a matching Nativity set. Star Light is a story of letting go and opening your heart to another who needs love.
“Hart of Noel” by Chautona Havig
This novella details another stop on Milton Coleridge’s journey as he stops at small bookstores along his path. Hart of Noel is set in Noel, Missouri at Christmas time. Milton once again works to save a dying small bookstore and in the process bring romance to the owner. Havig has a way of involving readers in the lives of her characters, making you want to read more.
“Caught in the Act” by Lisa Renee
When kids are involved anything can happen. Page is tasked with directing the Christmas play which turns into a fundraising event. Art is her passion and this job is a stepping stone to pay off school loans and move on to her passion. Dion is a single dad who adores his daughter and wants to see the theater returned to its previous glory. They work together for a successful event. I hope Lisa Renee has more stories planned for these characters as they are people I’d like to get to know better.
“Claus-trophobic” by Lorna Seilstad
Ever wondered what it’s like to be Santa’s child during December? Meg knows first hand – December has always been her dad’s busy season as he played Santa for department stores and parties. The year Meg is jobless, she helps her dad out and learns more about her dad’s motive and draws closer to him in the process.
While it is an anthology of stories for adults, most of the stories in The Heart of Christmas could be enjoyed by high school students. I think The Heart of Christmas would be appropriate for a k-12 Christian school library.
I am a member of the Mosaic Launch Team as well as serving on the Celebrate Lit Team. I received a complimentary copy of The Heart of Christmas. This is my honest review.
About the Authors
The Mosaic Collection launched in 2018 as an international community of independently published authors who approach life, faith, and writing together. Some have vast writing experience, others are somewhat new to the journey. Under The Mosaic Collection’s banner, they’ve published more than 20 novels and four anthologies.
With over 150 years of collective writing experience, Mosaic’s award-winning and best-selling authors are active leaders and members in prominent writing organizations. The goal of The Mosaic Collection is to encourage and uplift readers worldwide, offer hope in story form, and share the unconditional love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
More from The Mosaic Collection
The Mosaic Collection authors welcome you into our hearts, homes, and lives and offer you tiny glimpses into our families and our favorite traditions.
Janice L. Dick
Christmas is always a special time of year. I love the festive reds and greens, strings of colored lights and gift-giving, but there is much that distracts us from the real meaning of the season. How do we hang onto the genuine, historical truths of the Savior’s birth? One of the traditions in our family is to read the Christmas story before we open gifts, thus realigning our focus to the most precious gift God gave us in Jesus. Visualize a fire in the grate, family lounging on every available couch, chair, and floor space; and one of the youngest grandchildren reading from the Bible, his eyes following his finger across the page. Once again, the age-old story comes to life as we hear of angels, shepherds, and a young couple keeping watch over the Christ-child in the manger. Maybe this year we will come up with a new way to direct our thoughts to the greatest gift ever given. To the nativity.
The word Christmas immediately conjures up warm memories of church services, family, gifts, and food for me. The traditions my family engages in every year infuse this celebration of Christ’s birth with nostalgia and meaning. For me, one of the most meaningful traditions is setting out the nativity scene. Although the location has changed from mantel to coffee table to windowsill as we have moved from house to house, the little figures—the wise men, kneeling shepherds, Mary and Joseph gazing down at the manger with adoring looks on their painted faces, the cows and sheep curled in the corner of the straw-strewn wooden stable, the angel hovering above, the tiny baby in the manger—have never changed. I take my time setting up the display, slowly unwrapping pieces that have become a little worn and chipped over the years of being lovingly handled or played with by tiny toddler fingers. Each piece calls to mind another aspect of the beloved story in Luke 2. The nativity scene is the focal point of my decorations. In the midst of all the crazy busyness that can be the Christmas season, it grounds me and reminds me what this time of year is truly about.
Christmas is all about family for me – my nuclear family, grandkids, and in-laws, my family of dear friends, and the family of believers who rejoice at the birth of Christ. We’ve hung onto some traditions and welcomed new ones. As life situations change, we try to adapt and make the best of it, because regardless of what the holiday ends up looking like, it’s being with family that counts. So for me, Christmas is about celebrating the Christ Child with love, laughter, food and fun. It is indeed a time for celebration.
Our four children are still young, so my love for Christmas is quadrupled because of their enthusiasm. We begin the buildup with an Advent calendar starting on December 1st. Every morning until the 24th, they open the day’s box, read the little lesson, and do a treasure hunt.
More than any other holiday, Christmas lends itself so beautifully to teaching them about the loving all-powerful God who knows exactly what it means to be human. They understand and marvel at how Jesus, the creator and Lord of the universe, once needed a diaper and had to be potty trained. He had to learn to read, write, and spell just like they do. I love the reminder that one of his names is Immanuel: God with us.
Mom (a visual artist and farm-girl cook) and Dad (an imaginative storyteller of deep enthusiasm) made Christmas a celebratory holiday every year! Thanks to Mom, the food not only tasted fantastic, but the table and tree and household decorations were gorgeous. Thanks to Dad, our days were full of the magic of wonder (he actually climbed onto the roof carrying bells on Christmas Eve to herald Santa’s arrival) and the mystery of the Incarnation (reading the Luke story about the Ultimate Gift before a single package was opened). We were diligent church-goers except on holidays—including Christmas—when we would focus on family time and not attend the special services. Instead, following an afternoon of snowmobiling, and then mugs of rich cocoa around the fireplace, we five kids would wear our hand-sewn PJs, sing carols, and snack on expensive delicacies: Halva and roasted nuts and cheeses from around the world.
My favorite thing about Christmas is fellowship with family and friends. At the end of the year, we gather at our homes or church to celebrate the birth and life of Christ. Because He is at the heart of our love for one another, He is the One Who strengthens the bond of our fellowship. Whether we’re opening gifts, gathering around the table, sharing laughter over cups of cocoa, or playing board games, I feel His love abiding through and within my loved ones. And I feel the whisper of His promise that one day all Believers will be gathered around His table of fellowship for eternity. Christmas is only a foretaste of our glorious future with Him.
What I love about Christmas is seeing extended family come together in one place, sharing memories of the year over delicious food. Most of all, I love how the world stops to celebrate a significant event in history, our Savior’s birth.
Brenda S. Anderson
There’s so much to love about Christmas! Music, gifts, twinkling lights, snow, decorations, chocolate, family time. It’s all so bright and cheery, and the world is focused on Jesus. The world may not understand who Jesus is and what He did for us, but there’s no better opportunity to show Him to the world. The opportunities to serve are vast, and being God’s hands and feet is a beautiful way to shine His light. Really, showing other who Jesus is, apart from the trappings, is what I love most about Christmas.
When I was six years old and just learning to read, I unwrapped a package I’d received for Christmas but didn’t know what it was. Puzzling over it, my dad came alongside me. Slowly, painstakingly, I sounded out the word Slippers on the label. Patiently, so unlike his usual brusque way, my father helped me. I cherished the nearness of him, always fearful he would give up on me. But he didn’t. That is one of my most treasured memories of him. There are others, too, like the one eleven years later when after my rebellious stint, my heavenly Father patiently and painstakingly began a transformation in my heart. My dad responded with what I now realize was his best effort at encouragement. “I’m glad to see you’ve made some changes.”
Christmas is always precious to me because of the memories it holds of how the Word made flesh worked His Word in me. He has never given up on me despite my slowness of heart to trust and obey. In painful and pleasant ways, for over six decades, He has assured me of His bountiful forgiveness and lavish love.
Tree night in the Havig house is most definitely our family’s favorite tradition. Even our older children tend to come home for the annual trek to the lot, the annual argument over which tree, and the annual popcorn and cranberry stringing party. It all ends with the final decorating. You’ll hear, “Oh, here’s your train!” or “Where’s my baby’s first Christmas?” as everyone jostles to get their ornaments in just the right place. It’s chaos with popcorn all over the floor, Christmas songs belting out in our tiny house, and laughter. Tons of laughter. My personal favorite moment is when everyone has gone to bed and it’s just me in my dimly lit living room. That beauty, the memories, that laughter… it’s what I consider the Lord’s gift to me. I just get it early and it lasts a whole month!
Whether your family celebrates the Christmas season with special foods, a colorful light display, or a tree handpicked from a farm, I’m sure you have your own treasured traditions. Christmas traditions are one of the things I like best about the season. Our traditions make our families unique, and in a world where everything constantly changes, they remind us some things remain the same. There’s comfort in honoring Christmas traditions. They keep us connected to our past, help us rediscover our families, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
My children’s Christmases were very different than the ones from my own childhood. Sleds and ice skates could be found under our Christmas tree, a baked ham on the dining table, and snow-covered hills outside our door. My kids, raised in Florida, never received “winter toys.” A roasted turkey usually graced our dining table but grilling out was also an option. Yet our Christmases were also similar. I passed along to my children the tradition of opening our stockings first—and everyone in the family has one. As adults, it seems they anticipate the goodies hiding inside their stockings even more than the gaily wrapped presents under their trees. Most important, though, is that my children are now sharing with their children the truth that my parents shared with my siblings and me—that the baby in the manger is our Lord Incarnate and Savior of the World.
Thank you for celebrating the release of The Heart of Christmas. We pray the stories within this anthology will fill you with love and joy and prepare your heart for the greatest celebration this season—remembering the birth of our Savior. What a sacrifice! What a gift! What love.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8
CarpeDiem, October 8
For Him and My Family, October 9
deb’s Book Review, October 10
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11
Joanne Markey, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 12
Inklings and notions, October 13
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 14
Splashes of Joy, October 14
By the Book, October 15
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 16
Older & Smarter?, October 17
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 17
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 19
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20
Mary Hake, October 20
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 21
To celebrate their tour, The Mosaic Collection is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card, two copies of The Heart of Christmas in paperback, and a $10 coupon to Mosaic’s Etsy shop!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Mosaic Collection of Books
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If you are an avid reader, you need to check out Totally Booked: A Book Lover’s Companion. Totally Booked, a companion reading journal from The Mosaic Collection, is perfect for book lovers. As a paperback, Totally Booked travels easily and is a charming gift for mothers, sisters, girlfriends, book lovers, avid readers, book club members, influencers, bloggers, and book reviewers (description from Amazon).
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Sounds like a fabulous read.
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I’m excited to read this! Thanks for sharing!
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Even the “sad” stories will be heartwarming because of the meaning of Christmas.
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Good book for holiday reading.
Thanks for the contest.
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This sounds like the perfect collection for the holidays.
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Jane, Thank you for sharing your excellent review!
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