Saturday, November 21, 2020

Book Review With a Giveaway: The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig

 About the Book

Book: The Bells of New Cheltenham
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian fiction, Christmas romance
Release Date: October 15, 2020

Who knew that Christmas carols were love songs?

Justine Driscoll sure didn’t. Peace on earth? She’s heard of that. Holy and joyful? Something about that, too. But love songs sung by a bride about the birth of her bridegroom? That’s just weird stuff right there.

Weird or not, though, once Justine decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.

“But what do the words mean?”

Ken Torsney is used to fighting for causes he believes in. He just never imagined he’d go from Army “warrior” to spiritual warrior in the span of one question from a stranger. Justine is like no girl he’s ever known— hungry for the gospel even as she rejects it.

He’s falling for her, and that’s bound to break his heart.

Love is in the air in New Cheltenham this Christmas. Again.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I am so glad I read this book.  It is oh, so Christmas-y, as Justine explores the canon of Christmas carols and Ken seeks to make them meaningful to her.  And he sings.  He's a caroler who goes about town with his ensemble.  New Cheltenham is all about Christmas, and this book will give you all the Christmas feels.

But there's more.  Christmas stories.  Redemption.  Reunions.  Handmade gifts.  Neighbors helping neighbors.  Kindness.  New beginnings.  This book has it all.

What was really interesting, was that coming from a non-religious family, Justine hardly had any framework on which to hang all the new information she was receiving about Christianity, through the carols.  It was amazing to eventually see all that come together for her.

This novel is second in a series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  Although, I would really like to read Book One, because it sounds amazing.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own. 

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona Havig

3 Things That Make My Christmas Heart Sing

I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

The message popped up in my messenger at exactly the moment I sat down.  This is significant, because I get dozens of Facebook messages every day, and often, they get buried when a new one supersedes it. So, as you can see, it’s a near miracle that I ever saw the message at all.

The message offered me a spot in a collection of novellas—a Christmas collection.  Yep. Not a ghost of a chance.

Still, I tried to be responsible, you know?  After all, I had quite a few books due at the same time already.  Bookers on the Rocks, The Last Gasp, my Christmas Lights Collection “noella,” and my CrossRoads Collection “noella.”  And those didn’t include anything I wanted to write in spring or summer.

Then she added another layer of temptation. This collection had a theme.  That theme? Christmas carol inspired romances.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love music, Christmas, and specifically, Christmas music?

The other authors in the set had already made their carol selections.  She sent a list of those that had already been claimed.  I read them with great trepidation. See, I already had two carols I’d want to use in the story for this collection that I hadn’t even agreed to participate in yet.

No one had chosen “The Holly and the Ivy” or “The Bells on Christmas Day.”

That ghost slowly transformed into the ghost of my resistance.

All that remained was for me to come up with a story idea.  I mean, why join a collection if you can’t even decide what to do with it?

That’s when it happened.

There’s always this moment when the first idea germinates, sprouts, and pushes up through the fertile soil of my imagination.  My favorite moment.  And it hit me.  What if the theme for the collection was my story idea?  My character could enter a contest that requires a short story based on a Christmas carol.

And once I had that idea, the rest came in a whoosh!  Mitchell, from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham could be sick to death of this annual ghost storytelling contest and decide to create his own contest.  And then… well…

The Bells of New Cheltenham was born.

If you’ve not read The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, you’ll follow this “noella” just fine. It is meant to be a stand-alone.  However, if you want a richer reading experience, I recommend reading The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, followed by the companion short story, “The Ghastly Therapist” first. Both are available through Kindle Unlimited.  Additionally, if you send your receipt (or a screenshot of the final page of the eBook from Kindle Unlimited) for the Melodies of Christmas Love collection to, I’ll send YOU the bonus short story—the one Justine Driscoll writes in this “noella.”

But I promised to tell you three things that make my heart sing at Christmas.

  1. The way people are often just a little kinder and a little more giving and understanding.
  2. The joy that seems to fill every part of life—family, friends, parties, presents, church services, reading, singing…
  3. The music that plays everywhere—and often sings of a Savior’s love.

What makes your heart sing at Christmas?

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9
21st Century Keeper at Home, November 9
Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 10
Texas Book-aholic, November 11
Blogging With Carol , November 11
Among the Reads, November 12
Artistic Nobody, November 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Inklings and notions, November 13
batya’s Bits, November 13
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15
Worthy2Read, November 15
For Him and My Family, November 16
Labor Not in Vain, November 16
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17
lakesidelivingsite, November 17
Aryn the Libraryan, November 18
Lots of Helpers, November 19
deb’s Book Review, November 19
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 20
She Lives To Read, November 21
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 22
Mary Hake, November 22


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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


  1. Great review, thank you. Sounds like a good book.

  2. This sounds like a really good read.

  3. Thanks for sharing about this books and author. I look forward to reading this series.

  4. Love this author! This collection is on my December TBR!

  5. Wonderful review, Kathy! Sounds like the perfect holiday read. Thank you for sharing.