Christmas Carol Society is Live!

Did you see what went live this weekend? Christmas Carol Society is available in both Kindle and Paperback!

How did this book come about? Let’s travel back in time a bit to commence…

December 2013

That year, I spent most of December living with friends. One night, I sat on my bed in my little room, my laptop in front of me as I worked on the final rewrite of Journeys of Four. I hadn’t ever been away from home during Christmastime and while I worked, I analyzed what I missed about the traditions I had grown up with.

Toward the top of my list, I missed A Christmas Carol. I had neither book nor film with me. Mixing my thoughts with my work, I grew distracted, saw a white bunny and jumped down a rabbit hole. Which is to say, I stopped working and wrote down a new book idea that I titled Homeschooler’s Christmas Carol. Then, because I had a lot of work to do, I went back to work on Journeys of Four.

December 2018

Five years passed. Then, Sarah Holman asked if I wanted to write a novella for A Very Bookish Christmas. The idea sounded fun! I asked for A Christmas Carol and I got it.

It had been years since I even looked at my file, but the idea of spinning A Christmas Carol into a contemporary fiction story with no fantasy and a greater emphasis on the gospel had continued to intrigue me. How should it be done, however?

While December slipped by, January crept in. One afternoon, I made a hungry little person a grilled cheese and the character of Charlie Baker occurred to me. He wasn’t quite right – really, I pictured him about fourteen years younger – but I knew I had my starting point. I rushed across the room to write it down.

Possibly ten minutes later, I rushed across the room again, when Charlie grew into a man in my head, followed by the birth of Miss Dartmoor and the Christmas Carol Society. I could see them all so clearly, that I nearly forgot what else I had been doing. Only nearly.

However, by early 2019, if not before, I had begun struggling with my writing. While I still had moments of excitement regarding my stories, I struggled when I actually tried to write them. That didn’t stop me from trying, however, and I pushed on with my book, trying to grasp an elusive thread for this story that I knew just dangled beyond my reach.

Then, I went to Oxford, where the LORD allowed me to learn more than I could have expected. On my return, armed with lots of prayer, critiques on my first chapter, and a renewed vision, I began my book again on page 1. The LORD allowed first draft completion of my manuscript in six weeks.

I learned so much with Charlie. I’m still trying to absorb the lessons myself, as I am not fictional, and clearly, not as receptive as he is. I love this book and the characters. I thank the LORD for letting me write it.

I did have a single problem, however. Christmas Carol Society is not a novella. It’s a novel. Too long for the collection. The LORD provided there as well by letting me come up with and somehow find the time to write Gingerbread Treasures in a very short time. (Which, LORD willing, will be released with the other stories in the collection later this month!)

The end result is, that after six months of drafting the manuscript, typing it into my computer, letting it rest while I did other things, waiting on edits and readers, and finally doing the final edits and formatting – I get to present you with the completed novel in time for the celebratory season! I never have got over the awe of seeing the LORD allow a story that I wrote, reach the stage of publication!

I hope that my readers will enjoy Christmas Carol Society, will be blessed by the story within, and, ultimately, will be pointed toward the LORD in the reading.

To the KING be all the glory!

We Have a Release Date!

LORD willing, November 1st, Christmas Carol Society will be available for Kindle! Shortly followed by paperback. (All of my pushing has not managed a paperback version on the same day. LORD willing, that will be the following week!)

I should have posted this on Monday – but I forgot. I don’t know how, except I filled my entire day with editing. The good news is, Christmas Carol Society, is through with major editing and is just going through last read through!

Perry at perryelisabethdesign.com did a lovely job on my cover! I usually do my own, but I’m not sorry I decided to change things up. The cover makes me smile, just looking at it. It fits my modern story, while tying back to the original story of A Christmas Carol.

I can not pick favorites among my books. I haven’t ever had that ability. However, I do believe that Christmas Carol Society is very possibly the best book I have ever written. Miss Dartmoor proved to be a fascinating study for me, I had a lot of fun with Albert, and I loved Charlie. Then, of course, there is Ralph, Jessie, Ryan…

I have wanted to write a book that included A Christmas Carol for a number of years – and now I finally have one! And the release is oh-so close! We’ve got nine days and counting… I should go and work on formatting!

To the KING be all the glory!

Synapse – A Review

Synapse by Steven James

Released October 8th, 2019

Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe. Is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

My Review

Steven James is an exceptional writer. Never once did the story lag, even during long discussions of a philosophical nature. He knows how to weave together his words and story in a beautiful manner.

I enjoyed seeing from multiple perspectives, even from the criminals’ points of view, throughout the book. I rarely got confused – only with the NCB agents and that could be attributed to my not noticing their names when they first appeared on the page.

My biggest complaint about Synapse is the role of Kestrel Hathaway. Biblically, I don’t believe there is a role for female pastors. She didn’t act much like a pastor either, from what I could see, but as her character arch put her into a place of struggle, perhaps that could be expected. I did like how many times she called Scripture to mind, even though she couldn’t always say she knew her own thoughts on those Scriptures.

I would also include a warning regarding the violence of a few of the death scenes. As a thriller, one might expect deaths, but the level of detail, particularly for some of the murders, might disturb some readers.

I found the underlying premise regarding what Jordan, an Artificial, can and can not believe about God to be a fascinating topic and one that I want to think about more thoroughly. The discussions regarding existence, death, and eternity were well thought out and good food for thought.

Blog Tour

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 8

Just Your Average reviews, October 9

Emily Yager, October 9

amandainpa , October 10

Wishful Endings, October 10

Just the Write Escape, October 11

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 11

Pause for Tales, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

For The Love of Books, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Hallie Reads, October 15

Blogging With Carol, October 15

Remembrancy, October 16

Through the Fire Blogs, October 16

Simple Harvest Reads, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 18

janicesbookreviews, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 21

By The Book, October 21

About the Author

Steven James is the critically acclaimed, national bestselling author of sixteen novels. His work has been optioned by ABC Studios and praised by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books, and many others. His pulse-pounding, award-winning thrillers are known for their intricate storylines and insightful explorations of good and evil. When he’s not working on his next book, he’s either teaching master classes on writing throughout the country, trail running, or sneaking off to catch a matinee.

To the KING be all the glory!

~Empty Without Them…

It’s strange how memory works. Even when you’re 7.

We sat around the table, eating frozen pizza. The phone rang and my father answered it.

“WHAT?” his answer still echoes in my memory, louder then anything else in the house.

He slammed the phone down, urgency in his voice.

“Danny just died.”

My uncle hadn’t been expected to die.

Chaos. We covered our pizza with napkins. Jumped into the van. Daddy sped away from the house, my mother worried about his speed and the police.

We arrived at the hospital. My parents disappeared. My sister and I stayed in a room with family friends. Miss Stacey let me chatter to her for hours. She looked so sad.

They couldn’t get my uncle on the phone. They kept trying. No one could find him. Until they did.

He arrived at the hospital, went back to the room where his brother lay, and his grief seemed to break open a fresh layer all around me. Anguish and grief swirled around. My grandparents, my parents, my aunts, uncles, cousins…

We finally left the hospital. Everyone needed food. We went to Denny’s. The yellow glow of the letters signified grief and death for years afterword. I didn’t understand why we even went; I barely understood how to picture the world without Uncle Danny in it. How could I no longer have four living uncles? Shouldn’t I be grown up first?

We didn’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning. I felt sure I had never been up so late. I lay in bed, trying to understand how the world had changed. Like it had when Granddad died four years earlier. I couldn’t, and I fell asleep still trying to understand. Knowing a part of the world would forever remain empty without them both.

To the KING be all the glory!

Hope’s Highest Mountain – Spotlight

Hope’s Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

Released October 2019

When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.

 After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.

 Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ed1b/hopes-highest-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Tour

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13

Betti Mace, October 13

Blessed & Bookish, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 14

Genesis 5020, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

For the Love of Literature, October 16

janicesbookreviews, October 16

Mary Hake, October 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Connect in Fiction, October 17

Older & Smarter?, October 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18

Life of Literature, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

The Becca Files, October 19

Blossoms and Blessings, October 19

Splashes of Joy , October 19

Through the Fire Blogs, October 20

Moments, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 20

Simple Harvest Reads, October 20

Daysong Reflections, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 21

Joy of Reading , October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

For The Love of Books, October 22

Britt Reads Fiction, October 22

Lis Loves Reading, October 23

Bigreadersite , October 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 23

Live. Love. Read. , October 24

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, October 24

Hallie Reads, October 24

Remembrancy, October 25

Mia Reads Blog, October 25

To Everything There is A Season, October 25

About the Author

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.

To the KING be all the glory!