Let’s all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Silent Days, Holy Night
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house…
Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
GUEST POST: CHRISTMAS THIS OR THAT
CHRISTMAS TRADITION: For twenty-six years, one of my favorite Christmas traditions has been water-coloring 125 Christmas cards to send to family and friends. Usually around June, my artist husband would do a pen and ink drawing of a nativity scene and then have it printed on water-color cards. As soon as they arrived from the printer in July, we would spend many of our evenings painting. Dabbing water and color on those cards over several months kept us mindful of the Christmas story throughout the year. In a sense they were all originals with handwritten messages in each card. We so enjoyed getting notes back and even pictures from friends who had framed the cards and hung them in a group on their walls. Somehow, thoughts that these family and friends were reminded of Christmas throughout the year because of our cards warmed my heart. And, I still enjoy pulling out twenty-six framed cards and decorating our home with them every Christmas. Guests can find them in some unusual places.
ANOTHER TRADITION: I write a new Christmas story every year. It has become a tradition for it to be read at our family Christmas gathering. Now it’s quite fun to hear one of the grandchildren read the story.
MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Oh, honey, hand me my apron and my old-fashioned sifter I have to turn with a crank, and turn me loose in my kitchen. My house rocks with Christmas music for weeks, and I’m rocking in the kitchen. The house smells mouth-watering with cinnamon, chocolate, and nutmeg. I could write my own cookbook of cookie recipes. And I’m the proverbial odd family member who loves, loves, loves fruitcake. Never tried one I didn’t like, but I must tell you I have perfected the one I make each Christmas. The good news is I don’t have to share much of it. Oh, and my five-year-old granddaughter told me I could start a business with my chocolate fudge.
THE MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS: My absolute favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas music. I get out my favorite CDs on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and our home is filled with music until Christmas Day. Instrumental, choral, familiar carols- you name it, and I listen to it.
MY FAVORITE MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS: As a church musician, Christmas has always such a busy time in planning, practicing, rehearsals, and finally getting to share the glorious music of the Christmas season with our community. I’ve conducted choirs and instrumentalists, accompanied choirs and singers at the piano, and have been guest soloist for many programs through the years, but my favorite memory was of orchestrating the church’s FAMILY CHRISTMAS GATHERING and the Unrehearsed Christmas Pageant. Those gathered at church on a December Sunday evening in their Christmas sweaters enjoyed singing everything from “Jingle Bells” to “White Christmas” for just a while, and then we’d have an interlude of instrumental music to quieten the crowd and allow the children to gather in the foyer of our church. Precious and patient ladies were there with mountains of costumes so that every child could become a character in the Unrehearsed Christmas Pageant. As the congregation began to sing the familiar carols which I had ordered to tell the unfolding Christmas story, the children were helped to their places on the platform by some of our youth. Oh, we’ve had a “fallen” angel or two, and once in a while, we had a cow that wanted to be a sheep, or a Wise Man who lost his crown, but it was an intimate time where everyone could participate. It was such a favorite that it became a tradition at our church.
Although SILENT DAYS, HOLY NIGHT is a tender Christmas story, there are two recurring themes that I hope the readers will take away. First of all, although life is lived fluidly, we remember life in moments – those times when our minds take a picture that stays with us forever – that moment that you know will never come again. Some of those moments are life-defining moments.
SILENT DAYS, HOLY NIGHT is the story of a life-defining moment in the life of the major character, ten-year-old Julia Russell. When she first meets Mr. Henry Lafferty the Second, the direction of her life changes. She is so moved by this incredible man and how different he is from everyone else she knows. Her desire to learn to communicate with him motivates her to make decisions that chart the course of her young life and changes the lives of many others in the process. There are life-altering moments for other characters in the book. It is my hope that the reader will begin to look for those moments and to see how one’s life-determining moment can affect so many others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small-town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.
Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and co-founder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role, she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.
She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.
Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.
(1) winner will receive (US only):
- a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
- a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018, and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of the close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!