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Tag Archives: Christmas

Broken Angel (Unexpected Blessing)

IMG_9759As I handed the old box to my son, I neglected to mention how I treasure the contents. You see, a white ceramic nativity set (i.e. crèche) made by my Nonnie lies within, some of the figures in their original tissue paper which has yellowed with age. My grandmother died while I was in university, but the memories and the faith she gave me throughout my growing years is strong. This set represents all that to me in a tangible way.

So when my son came to me not long after to tell me he broke the angel, I tried not to over react. “I can fix it,” he spoke quickly, a young voice edged with worry after seeing my face.

Later, he came back to say the broken wing was hardly noticeable, and the angel was now secured above the scene with duct tape. Duct tape! My smile was weak as I went to see his handiwork (photo above).

What he had done amazed me, though not because of the angel. I had to look closely to even pick out which wing he repaired. No. It was the scene he arranged that strummed the cords of my heart and made me proud of my son.

Adults like me, who know how do to these sorts of things correctly,  normally arrange the people who visited the Christ child in an arch which opens the scene for the viewer who remains outside. What my child did was to crowd the shepherds, the kings, even the animals close around the baby. Every ceramic person vying for a place in the circle nearest to our Savior.

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Arrangement made over this year

My son captured a truth I had never seen before and showed it to me with the handiwork of a great-grandmother he has never met. How could it not have been like this? Especially after the angels told the shepherds the Good News? Even more so after the shepherds went around telling everyone they’d met about the Christ child’s birth.

God is with us. He’s finally here. Come see!  What was broken will be made new. What was lost will be found. This is “Christ”-mas.

May your holiday be blessed in unexpected ways this year.–Kristin

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 [b]For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 [c]“Glory to God in the highest
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

(Luke 2:8-14 NABRE Version)

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Kristin King is an author, publisher, nonprofit co-founder, and mother of four sons who break things on a regular basis. She has gotten much better at handling that than she used to be.

 

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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Christmas, Other

 

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12 Days of Christmas in Congo – Approachable Me

inside airportYears ago, I was traveling with my husband and an old Army buddy in Prague when a man approached me asking for directions. I tried to help with my map, at least get him headed in the right direction. My husband and his friend laughed afterwards at the way they both braced themselves, watching for a pick pocket maneuver or such.

In Antwerp when I went to get my Congolese Visa, a man approached me at the parking meter. I’d forgotten that I was in Belgium rather than the Netherlands and wasn’t sure my bank card would even work at the meter. The meter took change though, and I was relieved to get my parking pass. There was a printed pass already in there, though, which was very odd. Why would someone pay and leave the ticket? Then the man was asking me how to do the meter, and I figured he’d tried previously and not put in enough money.

Showing him I kept thinking of my husband who says “Be careful” and “Be safe.” What can I do when someone asks for help? If it is in my power to give, shouldn’t I give? I am reminded of the Bible verse that says, “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42). It is understandable that my husband worries as he stays home with our children and lets me go into the unknown.

He knows that in a sea of strange faces in the Ethiopian airport, of course the older gentleman looking for directions will approach my seat where I watch the arrivals for Jaime.

“Parlo Italiano?”

I respond, “Poco.”

“Poco,” he says and then asks where the toilettes are. This is a word I understand in at least 7 languages. In Addis these are located at both ends of the terminal. So I point and say, “Sempre dritto.”

He repeats, “Sempre dritto,” with only a little hesitation before heading toward the end. Sempre dritto means straight ahead, but it is also a joke in some Italian tourist sights that no matter where the visitors ask to go you always answer, “Sempre dritto.” I think this gentleman knows the joke.

For me, I go southeast to Rwanda, to turn west to Congo and that is the path that is “Sempre dritto.” Straight ahead on Christmas Eve.

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of the non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is spending the 12 Days of Christmas visiting the mission in the Congo.

 
 

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Tis the Season Reading: Poem 4 Gifts

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holidays are meant to be special, and one thing I like about my Maryland Writers Association critique group is that I get to see what folks creative with words do for these special events. For instance, our group once edited a contract with the devil for a soul.  That writer was going to a party as Satan and carrying a quite detailed, LOL funny, and a touch scary contract. Yikes!

 

As our December meeting, one participant brought us each a Christmas Tree cookie from Panera’s (yum!) to which she attached a poem about the season. Her name is Brenda Elmore, a poet, humorist, and essayist whose work you might catch in Baltimore/Annapolis area publications. She graciously allowed me to share the poem with you (i.e. used by permission).

 

Christmas © Copyright 2013 by Brenda Elmore.

 

It’s always the same thing, every single d***ed year;

I think Christmas is far off, then it’s suddenly here!

And nothing is done, not the shopping, the baking,

the cards, nor the wrappings, the cleaning! It’s taking

me all by surprise though I knew it was coming,

an I’m panicked and stressed, yet I find myself humming.

It’s the carols, the music that soothes as it chimes

through my heart, through my mind–

How I love Christmas time!

Special thanks to Brenda and to all my writers group pals. You guys keep me going and improving in terms of writing, editing, and reading for skill all year round. I hope my input is of benefit to you as well.

 

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Kristin King is a member of The Maryland Writers Association and the Romance Writers of America. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Christmas, Freebies Alert

 

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Tis the Season Reading: Indie Children’s Book

Yahoo photo smallerI “met” Barbara Ann Derksen through social media and have been impressed again and again with how professional and friendly an independent author she is. So when I discovered her Christmas children’s book, I had to reach out to see if she would like to participate in my blog series.

Of course she wanted to participate, AND she’s contributing a free copy for my Tis the Season Reading Giveaway launching this weekend. She is definitely one author hoping to hear from you; just check out her links to connect.

Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/MPPTst
Amazon.ca – http://amzn.to/K2flez
Amazon author page – http://amzn.to/KLEDab
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/GJcTCd
Click to see on Amazon

Click to see on Amazon

So without further ado, I present “Scruffles Finds a Home”. Here’s the gist:

Scruffles, a tiny field mouse, seeks warmth from the winter chills inside a large, red brick building. Once inside she encounters a number of characters whom she discovers are inanimate but … she also is chased by a large man in a red suit. What does he want with her? She scurries hither and yon but eventually he catches up. Find out what happens next in Scruffles Finds a Home.
What might motivate an author like Ms. Derksen? Check out her bio:
Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers is what drives author and speaker, Barbara Ann Derksen to write. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life.

With 17 books to her credit, Barbara works hard to develop a social media presence. Her books can be found on Amazon at http://amzn.to/MPPTst, at Barnes and Nobles, and on her website, http://www.barbaraannderksen.com.

Canadian born, Barbara is a member of The Writer’s Collective, and Christian Motorcyclists Association, USA.

I expect a little mystery for Scruffles as well, but you’ll have to find that out from the book. My thanks to Barbara and everyone joining in the Tis the Season Reading Series. —Kristin

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A stylist turns assassin in Better Off Dead, FREE short story (offer good till Dec. 22, 2013) http://amzn.to/1fCeVHN

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books)

 

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Tis the Season Reading: Maid for Romance

Click here to Buy

Click here to Buy

Samantha Lovern’s  “Maid for Martin” is a feature romance this month from the California Love Trilogy. It’s a twist on fan fiction in that the lead actor is based loosely on the author’s favorite actor, Martin Henderson who you might remember as the doctor from the tv series Off The Map.

You can enter to win this ebook if you sign up for the Tis the Season Giveaway launching this weekend.

In the story there is a bit of mistaken identity here that makes for a nice premise: The blurb says:

Martin Taylor is having issues with his live-in-love, Celia Carson. She’s not supporting his acting career and the upcoming Christmas party is stressing their relationship to a point of no return. On top of everything else he’s falling for the maid, Randi Sanders. Martin’s timing is always off, he never thinks things through, and to make matters worse, Randi has no idea he’s really Martin Taylor. She thinks he’s the limo driver. He hates to come forward with the truth because Randi’s making him feel like he hasn’t felt in years.

Do you watch book trailers?  Try this one via youtube link here

Here are what some of the reviews say about this 4 Star read:

“I couldn’t put it down.”

“You have double-entendres, cat and mouse pacing, and great character development.”

“It has a great storyline with a twist that will make it impossible for you to put this one down!”

“I love books that are a series of books – it allows the reader to better get to know the characters in the book – it is almost like a tv series.”

Buy “Maid for Martin” today or do what I did as an Amazon Prime member and borrow it for free. You can also listen to the audiobook while traveling this holiday by visiting this link at Audible.com.

The next two titles in the series look good as well: Surprise Engagement and Celia’s Knight. Find out more about the California Love Trilogy or view free chapters at SamanthaLovern.com. “Like” Samantha’s author page on Facebook here.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Book Reviews, Christmas

 

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Tis the Season Reading: Children’s Favorites

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 8.42.06 AMWhen the Christmas decorations came up from the basement, the one marked “Tree Only” held something unusual, our collection of children’s Christmas books. We place them under the tree, hence their location, and they are a gift every year that we enjoy as a family.

When I was growing up, there were two such books. A beautifully illustrated (Donald Mills art) “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “Santa Mouse” by Michael Brown, a delightful tale about Santa’s smallest helper. Oddly, neither of these titles is in the stack for my children.

Carrying on a love of furry creatures, though, I want to recommend three stories; one very new, one not so old, and one quite old indeed.

First, Merry Christmas Curious George based on Magret and H.A. Rey‘s character. This is always the first one my boys ask to hear. George goes tree hunting with the Man in the Yellow Hat and some how come to mischief in a children’s hospital.  Always a modern classic.

Second, Mousekin’s Christmas Eve by Edna Miller. After the family moves out, Mousekin finds he must go too in order to survive. He travels through all sorts of dangers outdoors but eventually finds  an inviting, warm haven in a hand carved nativity set.Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 8.40.13 AM

Third, The Friendly Beasts: an Old English Christmas Carol illustrated by Tomie dePaola, of Stega Nona fame. The music to the carol is included at the end. However, it is the olde time art work along side the poetry describing what each animal gives to the Christ child that makes this a heart warming rendition of the song.

Soon I’ll be posting about a new holiday favorite, (who doesn’t delight in the antics of Christmas kittens?). Meanwhile, I would love to hear what some of your favorite children’s books for the season are.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Book Reviews, Christmas

 

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Tis the Season Reading : FREE Christmas “Behind the Iron Curtain”

"Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden as a Boy" FREE here Amazon till Sunday.

“Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden as a Boy” FREE here Amazon till Sunday.

Today I am featuring a Christmas excerpt from the memoirs of an amazing woman. It’s Christmas 1945 behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany where the Russian Communists rule and send every scrap back to Russia. Here’s what Irene lived:

Fall passed and winter came. If we had not looked at the calendar we would not have known it was Christmas 1945. We had a few sacks of potatoes and very little else to keep us going, but the people in the city did not even have that. They were starving badly. Typhoid fever reached the epidemic stage even though everyone in the city was vaccinated.

I began scouting further from home in the hope of finding more food. With few rations available and money worthless, it took large sums to buy food in the black market. One pound of butter cost 200 Reichsmark, equivalent to fifty 1946 U.S. dollars.

Born in the same year as Anne Frank (who gave us 2 years of WWII), Irene Kucholick’s Iron Curtain Memoirs cover the whole war (Book 1), her 3 years spent hidden as a boy (Book 2), and her final escape to freedom from East to West Berlin (Book 3).

FREE through Sunday on Amazon is Book 2 of this incredible historical treasure. Why is it free? Because Irene needs 10 REVIEWS of this title on Amazon in order to qualify for affordable advertising. Give her your gift here, a read and review. Read the whole set in Iron Curtain Memoirs, the 3-in-1 book. There you’ll find out what Christmas was like before and during WWII as well as all the other incredible events of Irene’s life.

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Before the Iron Curtain: My WWII Childhood

Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden As a Boy

Escape the Iron Curtain: My Journey to Freedom

Iron Curtain Memoirs (3-in-1 with photos, maps, and timeline not included elsewhere)

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

Contact Kristin King for more information on Irene Kucholick’s books or to book an event.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Christmas, Freebies Alert, Story Bites

 

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