This is such a touching Christmas novella! The primary character, Liv, believes her Navy husband has changed positions and will be home for a good long time -- especially over the upcoming holiday. She is surprised by a pregnancy that she didn't think was possible, and chooses to keep it a secret from her husband and family until Christmas day. Then her husband gets called back to Afghanistan, almost immediately, and she is left to be a single mom to her four year old daughter yet again.
Cathy Bryant does a marvelous job of creating the characters in this story. The reader can really feel Liv's pain and frustration. Things get worse, of course, when two members of the squadron are missing and Liv has to go on bedrest.
I love the way Bryant wove the story of Christ through the novella as Liv told it to her daughter. This is a sweet Christmas story full of raw emotions and the true love of Christ.
I received a copy of the novella in exchange for my honest review. I honestly liked this story and I'm so glad I read it -- it got me into the Christmas spirit and I found it hard to put down!
Get a copy on Amazon - here.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
As the wife of a naval aviator in sunny Pensacola, Florida, Liv Tulley eagerly anticipates the first Christmas in several years with her husband, daughter, and extended family. Then her husband is unexpectedly deployed for an undetermined amount of time, smashing her white Christmas dreams to pieces. Can she find God's peace in the midst of life's pieces?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace. A born-and-bred Texas gal, she enjoys thrift-store shopping, spending time with her family, and romping in the great outdoors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find her up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project. Learn more at CatBryant.com.
Cathy was gracious enough to answer a few questions so we could get to know her a bit better!
1. In the story Liv is a Navy wife. You have really gotten a great perspective on the issues of military families -- have you lived this life? If not, what kind of research did you do?
I've never been in the military or a military wife, so I researched the topic via the internet. But my most productive research came from asking Facebook friends about their life as a military wife. One lady in particular could give a great perspective on Navy wives (and answer some of my specific questions), because her husband was a naval aviator and they'd been stationed in Pensacola! :) (Gotta love Facebook friends...)
2. I loved the idea of telling the story of Jesus through the entire Bible in a way a child could understand. When did you first hear this story in a way that was meaningful to you?
I was an elementary teacher in a former life ;) so I relate to kids really easily. I came across a book that takes children through the story from Creation to Revelation, and it struck me as the perfect way to introduce children to the big story of the Bible. As I worked on the story line of PIECES ON EARTH, I knew the overall message of the Bible would be helpful to a young woman searching for God's peace in life's pieces. Sometimes our issue isn't that we don't know the truth, but that we need the reminder. That was certainly true in Liv's case.
3. Christmas novellas are such a great way for a reader to get into the holiday spirit. What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
I love Christmas Eve candle-lighting services, full of music, the reading of the Christmas story, and lighting candles to remind us all that we are to be light-bearers to a very dark world.
4. Writers, I'm told, put a piece of their soul into each book they write. What character is most like you?
I do agree that each of my books has expressed a part of me, usually in a spiritual way. I'm definitely most like Liv in the story, though I'm middle-aged and have no children home. Though I'm not married to the military, I am married to the ministry, and in some ways, the two are very much alike. But the way I am most like her is in going through a time in my life when I wondered if I could experience God's peace in the midst of so many broken pieces.
5. You have written so many great books -- where do you get your inspiration?
Thank you. Inspiration is everywhere for me, but most of the story lines are centered around things that I've been through spiritually--either a lesson learned or a burden God has laid on my heart.
6. And what do you do on those days when your characters abandon you and you have writer's block?
My character's rarely abandon me, though they ALWAYS try to take over. (And I usually let them have their way, because it takes the story in a direction I didn't see coming.) As for writer's block, it's only happened a couple of times--usually when I'm grieving. But usually that grieving leads to some of the better story lines, which was the case for PIECES ON EARTH.
7. What is one question you wish someone would ask you? And the answer, of course!
Hmm, I'm really struggling with this one... I guess I'll take the easy way out and say: "What are your interests outside of writing?" And my answer would be that I enjoy rummaging through thrift stores (still waiting to find a Picasso hidden in a dusty corner) and mini-farming. We raise chickens, rabbits, fruits & vegetables!
Find out more about Cathy at her website - http://www.CatBryant.com