This short novella (154 pages), weaves together the lives of many people who attend Faith Community Church, especially those participating in the talent contest on New Years Eve. There is Samantha Spivey, age 11, whose mother goes to bizarre lengths to make sure her daughter’s sign dance will win. There is Kristee Fujima, whose Aunty Eunice is set upon turning her into Britney Spears so that she can win. There is Assistant Pastor Ted Hughes who, despite his mother’s valiant efforts to prevent this, seems to have fallen in love with the wrong woman. There is the young married couple, Jonathan and Mariel Spelling who, in the midst of everything, make “one of the most momentous discoveries of the decade,” and there is “that nice Joy Nelson” whose holiday is nearly ruined by a series of mysterious phone calls. Finally, there is the question: Who is the stranger wandering around town acting suspiciously? And why does he look so alarmingly familiar? A warm family story for the holidays.

More Than a Christmas Story

This is a “can’t-put-down” book! The story grabs you from the beginning, making you smile, shake your head at the antics of some of the characters, and cringe at the one woman who knows all. You root for the children and feel sorry for the Associate Pastor. You sense Christ’s presence through the whole book, and experience joy at the simplicity of the way Mrs. Nelson builds confidence in the children. More than a Christmas story, this is an everyday story that can be read any time of the year. The past, present and future are entwined in this truly page-turning book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a truly Christian story.

— L. G. Blankenship, author of the Sam Fields series

Great Story

This story takes place in a local church around the Christmas holidays. It is full of charm and mystery. I really enjoyed this book, although I detested some of the characters, but not because they were poorly written, for they were wonderfully developed. My favorite character to detest was Samantha Spivey’s mother Geraldine who is critical of everyone and everything. One of the intersecting stories concerns Kristee Fujima who loves to sing and finds her true voice by singing to the Lord.

I felt sorry for another character — Assistant Pastor Ted. 38 years old and still single, he dreaded going to his mother’s for Christmas because she would always have an eligible girl there in the hopes they would fall in love and get married.

The book also had a creep factor. Jonathan Spelling is a realtor and his wife Mariel works in the office. One day a man with a pock-marked face enters looking for a house. We wonder what he is actually looking for and why he is acting so strangely. I have really enjoyed this novella. I look forward to reading more by this author.

— Sandra K. Stiles, author of Steps to Courage