This week's author is Lynette Sowell, whose story Where the Love Light Gleams is included in the anthology, Big Apple Christmas. I just love the rich colors and gorgeous scene on the cover of this book, don't you? Leave a comment on this post to be automatically entered to win a copy. The winner will be announced on Saturday.
Here's a blurb of this beautiful Christmas anthology:
The anthology A Big Apple Christmas features four stories that capture the sights and sounds of Christmas in New York City. Christmas plans are set askew when a schedule-bound professional organizer meets a free-spirited poet. Holiday bustle is the means two tourists try to use to get lost in the crowds. The gift of the Magi comes full circle for two lonely Latinos. Romance is in the air from Fifth Avenue to Chinatown.
Where The Love Light Gleams features Gwynn, a widowed grandma whose children surprise her with a trip to New York City at Christmas time to see the family's tree on display in Rockefeller Center. Theophilus Stellakis, a set-in-his-ways professor, doesn't expect a house guest at Christmas time and is used to his quiet routines. When Gwynn's stay in New York is prolonged, they make a delightful discovery that sometimes love does come around a second time.
You can find A Big Apple Christmas at Amazon and also at Christian Book Distributors.
Lynette's favorite holiday memory:
The Christmas of Candle Glow
We never had "silent nights" during Christmas at my grandparents’ house in South Hadley , Mass. Gagnons always celebrate large and loud—just like our French Canadian family. Lights blazed in every room (occupied or not). The Christmas tree sparkled in front of the picture window with its view of snow-covered Mt. Tom .
One fateful Christmas night, someone cranked up the hi-fi stereo until it blasted out Christmas tunes. Then a helpful someone turned on the dishwasher.
We were plunged into darkness and silence. Grandpa Armand ranted and went to find some fuses.
Someone else rummaged for candles, and soon a soft glow filled the living room. Then we began to sing Christmas carols.
“Let’s pass a candle around,” one of the great-aunts said. “Whoever holds the candle has to start a new song!"
The house grew warmer as we sang. Everyone took a turn to lead a song and hold the special candle. My grandfather and one of my uncles worked on the fuses, but the delay didn’t concern the singers. Without a lit tree and without recorded music, the spirit of the season united us.
One photo remains from that night. My great-grandmother Pearl Majeau-Gagnon-Ringuette-Misek had buried three husbands in her lifetime, yet she still found it a merry Christmas. She held the candlestick in one hand, the other hand raised in song. Her mouth formed an "O" as she sang.
We were disappointed when the lights came back on.
Death, divorce, and distance have touched our family through the years. The old house on Parkview Drive was sold in the 80s. Time spread us farther apart, from Massachusetts , to Texas and California and other states in between. We’ve never been together that way since, but I will always hold the memories of Christmas ’77 on Parkview Drive close to my heart.
Electric lights and extra trimmings and digital music don’t make Christmas special. Take those away and what do you have? The silence of candle glow, the simplicity of voices singing age-old carols. An imperfect family, celebrating the joy of the season in a perfect way.
I’m married with my own family now. Each Christmas Eve we light a candle and fill the house with friends. We celebrate the Light that came into the world long ago. We make memories that will not fade, just like the Christmas when the lights went out.
Lynette Sowell is a Massachusetts Yankee who makes her home in the heart of Texas. She has written a cozy mystery series for Heartsong Presents: Mysteries, and authored four novellas for Barbour Publishing. Lynette is a former secretary of American Christian Fiction writers. Away from Deadline-Land and Writing World, Lynette works as a medical transcriptionist for a large HMO. She loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family.
**Contest disclaimer: Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents. Odds of winning depend on number of entrants. Only one book allowed per person throughout the duration of the event.