Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Book, An Agel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas

My Book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas


        I know this blog is usually about Disney. But, if you don't mind I'd like to share the story behind my book and a bit of the plans I have for my writing in the future.

        As you may have noticed a couple of days ago with a second blog post in one day I published a Christmas book. It is called An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas and is only available as an ebook. It is only available at Smaswords.com at this time but I hope by the end of next week at the latest it will be available on Amazon and Barns and Nobel sites as well as other ebook sites. It is in the process of being approved for inclusion on those other sites.

        I wrote a poem for Christmas 1994, it the poem Angle's Gift. It is about an angle seeing that people are not celebrating the birth of Christ. I used it as our family Christmas Card that year. My husband and I both worked at the same hospital and we gave the card to many friends that worked there. That card made it to the hospital foundation department where it was so appreciated they asked if they could use it as the hospital fund raiser. I have permission and it was sent out to thousands of people accompanied with a request to help the hospital continue to serve the community.

        Between the end of 1994 and 1995 I watched our daughter grow. She was born in November of 1994. I wanted something more than the standard rereading of the Biblical accounts of the birth of Christ to use in teaching our young daughter the importance of the Christmas season. I also wanted something that would bring the family together during that hectic time of year. I wanted my family to come together each day during December for a short reading that shared a part of the story.

        As stated the first poem is about an angel current day seeing people not remembering the birth of Christ. The next 25 stories are stories of different people who we either know or can suppose saw the events leading up to the birth of Christ. We know Zachariah, the High Priest was old when he became a father. Why is this important to the birth of Christ? The Jewish laws of that day said if a girl was found pregnant before marriage she was to be stoned to death. Why was Mary saved? It was the High Priests of the day that enforced the laws. Think about the face Zachariah could not speak after the angel came to visit. I can just see Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, Zachariah's wife talking in the kitchen. Zachariah walks by and hears Mary say, "Elizabeth, I did nothing wrong. An angel came to and told me I was to have a baby, the Son of God! The angel's name was Gabriel." I can see Zachariah not believing Mary's story until she said the name of the angel. It is the same angel that came to him! How excited he must have gotten. How hard it must have been for him not to be able to tell Mary he understood and believed her story. He had to be part of God's plan to protect Mary and Jesus. We know Zachariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph were part of the story.

         There are others that we "hear" from in the Bible. There are a few people that are mentioned and their actions told but their emotional response is not given. We know there was an innkeeper but other than the fact he let Joseph and Mary stay in the stable. Others must have witnessed the events. Mary and Joseph did not live in a bubble. People in Bethlehem must have seen them and gotten to know them. Before Mary had Jesus I'm sure she and Joseph had friends. What did their friends think about the events? How about their mothers? A Jewish mother of that day would have a lot to say about the situation! So I've added their voices to the story.

In 1995 & 1996 I shared my stories with friends and family and was encouraged to publish my stories. Pastors at several churches also encouraged me to publish and they used my Angel's Gift poem in part of the churches Christmas program.

        Since then I've tried several times to contact publishers and get my book published as a collection of advent stories. All the "traditional" publishers returned my manuscript unopened with a letter saying they do not accept anything from unknown authors. I stopped trying about eight years ago. Over the last 1 1/2 I've been looking at the stories again and working on them. I shared them with several people who had never seen them and they encouraged me to publish my stories. In fact they helped me proof and tighten them up. Rhonda and Paula's encouragement and help was the final part I needed to get the courage to push on. I looked into self publishing a paper book. The cost is high and the possibility of not getting anything back on the money invested was high. I decided to look into epublishing. In other words self publishing an ebook. This is the option I chose.

        After checking on my options and reading reviews I found Smashwords.com had a good record with CNet.com I decided to give them a try. What I like is they make no promises on selling books. They just make sure you book can get out to the public. It is up to me to get the work out about the book. They will also, if my book meets format requirements get my book onto Amazon and Barns & Nobel and other book seller sites. They also put my book into all the major ereader formats available today. All that Smashwords has done is at no upfront charge. They just take a small percent of my book sales (usually 10%).

        So the short version of the story behind my collection of Christmas stories is I wrote the book fifteen years ago and had no luck getting the book published until now.

        I have two more Christmas books in mind and I'm thinking of taking my blogs about the Disney Cruise and turing it into a book on what people need to know before going on the cruise.

        Now here is a list of the stories in my book and the first two stories. Enjoy.

Table of Contents

THE ANGEL’S GIFT ~ November 30 ~ A poem to remind you of the greatest gift of all.

GABRIEL REMEMBERS ZACHARIAH ~ December 1 ~ The angel, Gabriel remembers his visit with Zachariah.

ZACHARIAH ~ December 2 ~ High Priest, Zachariah remembers his visit with Gabriel, the birth of his son John and a visit with Elizabeth’s young cousin Mary.

ELIZABETH ~ December 3 ~ Elizabeth shares her memories of the events leading to the birth of her son John and a special visit with her teenage cousin Mary.

GABRIEL REMEMBERS MARY ~ December 4 ~ Gabriel reminisces about his time with Mary, the young lady chosen by God for an amazing task.

MARY ~ December 5 ~ Mary talks about an awesome God and the choices He made for her.

GABRIEL REMEMBERS JOSEPH ~ December 6 ~ Gabriel reports the night he told Joseph he was to be the earthly father of Christ.

JOSEPH ~ December 7 ~ Joseph reminisces about the days leading to his marriage and becoming a father.

DEBRA, MARY’S FRIEND ~ December 8 ~ Mary’s friend talks about her friend’s marriage and first son.

BENJAMIN, A FRIEND OF JOSEPH ~ December 9 ~ Joseph’s friend shares the events that changed Joseph forever.

MARY’S MOTHER REMEMBERS ~ December 10 ~ Mary’s mother shares the dark days and the great joy that came with the birth of her grandchild.

JOSEPH’S MOTHER ~ December 11 ~ Joseph’s mother shares the concerns she had when Joseph and Mary first married.

JOSHUA THE INNKEEPER ~ December 12 ~ Joshua talks about the strange couple with the beautiful baby that stayed in his stable.

RUTH, THE INNKEEPER’S WIFE ~ December 13 ~ Ruth remembers the family that stayed in the stable and the friendship built.

HANNAH, THE INNKEEPER’S DAUGHTER ~ December 14 ~ Hannah talks about the girl with the baby.

DAVID, THE SHEPHERD BOY ~ December 15 ~ A little shepherd boy remembers seeing amazing things.

ELEAZAR, A CITIZEN OF BETHLEHEM ~ December 16 ~ A citizen of Bethlehem remembers strange visitors and happenings to the city.

MICAH, AN ANGEL IN THE CHORUS ~ December 17 ~ An angel’s story of singing in the chorus.

ANNA’S STORY ~ December 18 ~ A tale of dedication to God.

SIMEON’S STORY ~ December 19 ~ God’s promise kept as a child is brought to the temple.

PHILLIP THE SHOPKEEPER ~ December 20 ~ Phillip talks about his friend Joseph.

ISAAC, THE SHOPKEEPER’S SON ~ December 21 ~ Little Isaac tells a strange tale of unusual visitors that are around a special little baby.

THE MAGI ~ December 22 ~ The kings of the East come to visit a young child and give gifts beyond measure.

THE MAGI’S CAMEL DRIVER ~ December 23 ~The Magi’s camel driver tells of a strange trip to a far off land with no direction other than “follow that star”

NAHEM’S LULLABY ~ December 24 ~ God’s smallest angel gives a wonderful gift.

I AM ~.December 25 ~ I AM Jesus.



         The house was dark. There was no Christmas cheer on this night of nights. No Christmas dreams filled little heads as they slept tight.

An angel of God saw this lonely sight as she was traveling round about. The angel remembered the Christ child’s birth and she wanted all to remember His worth. She found no stockings hung with care, no garland and lace or nativity set there. What could she do to show them the joy in remembering Christ’s birth in the simplest ways? She knew then she must remind them of the gifts God had given.

So off she went to the forest to find reminders to bring to their home. She called out to all living things be it bear, bird, brier or tree to bring things special to remember God by.

Beaver brought icicles: reminders of Christ’s tears with frozen rainbows of God’s promise inside.

Bear brought a garland of fruit: a symbol of the sweetness of God’s love.

The squirrels gave nuts: the hidden treasure of God’s word. Sometimes hard to open.

Sparrow found holly berries that looked like drops of Jesus’ blood, shed for man.

Mole brought an unbroken circlet of fine gold: the symbol of eternity in heaven with God.

A noble fir tree said, “Take me. Christ died on a tree and lived evermore just like I am evergreen.”

The angel took all these gifts and decorated the tree. When she was done she took a star from heaven and set it on top to remind of the Wisemen’s travel. Wisemen still seek Jesus today.

As she was entering the house God saw the gifts and added His own. Snow, pure and white to show the purity of His love for all mankind.

May you enjoy all the gifts that God has given you this day and always.

GABRIEL REMEMBERS ZACHARIAH

I knew I would have problems with this one from the moment I was given this assignment. He is in the service of the Most High, but his faith is so small! Well, God uses even those with little faith. He will need to grow and will have lots to learn to raise the herald of the Lord.

I was right about how little faith this one has. He refused to believe me when I told him he would be a father. How hard is this for the Mighty One to do?? I mean, He made the heaven and the earth. He made the first of their kind as well as mine. He loves them so much that He is coming as one of them to show them the depth of His incredible love. If He can do all of that then He can make one of them have a child in His time even if they think their frail bodies are not able to do so.

As he tried to hide I told him that his son would go across the country telling people that the Savior was coming, preparing His people for the Christ’s coming and for the salvation that He will bring. He kept saying that he could not have a child because he was too old and his wife was too old. All he could do was make excuses as to why “HE” could not have a child! He was not listening to me. He did not hear me say that GOD had heard his prayer and was answering it. That means God would take care of the birth of the child. The Lord would cause this child to be born. All Zachariah had to do was listen to His message and have faith.

Well, I finally was able to tell him about half of the message. He still kept saying he could not be a father. I was so tired of his excuses and disbelief that I made it so he was unable to talk! Maybe if he could not talk then he would listen! Maybe then he would believe. I told him he would not be able to talk until his son was born and the child had been named John.

I spent as much time as my other duties allowed watching Zachariah and his wife as they prepared for the child’s coming. Elizabeth, his wife, was shocked but happy when she found she was going to have a baby. She did not quite understand how this thing happened to her, but in time she will know all she needs to know. She will be a good support for the girl Mary, when the time comes.



        For a limited time you can get my book for free!! Go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9478 You can download it to your computer using Coupon Code SL62C. I will keep you informed with it goes on Amazon and other book seller sites.

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