Okay, a group of my friends is doing a fun thing! We're all coming together to make a surprise blog party for our mutual friend, Kellyn Roth. She's a dedicated writer and a great encouragement to all of us and is also the founder and manager at the Reveries Company author services group. You've perhaps read my review a few posts ago for "Souls Astray," which I really enjoyed, so for today's party I'm reviewing a short story of hers, "Kind."
Here's the synopsis:
Lt. Neil Hudson is sure to have a rotten Christmas.
How can he have anything but a rotten Christmas when he's stuck in war-torn Germany away from his family, friends, and all hope of a decent turkey dinner?
That's when the Slades come into his life.
Here's my review (which is overly short because the story is short):
Neil Hudson is the protagonist of the tale, and I instantly bonded with a lonely military man feeling growly about Christmas away from home. When he accidentally stumbles on a family in need, though, my heart went head over heels for him, and for what he did when he started reaching out to them. So many books automatically portray all Germans as bad, but this view is fresh and engaging; the German people were all too often the first victims of Hitler's regime. Here is a warm and Godly family trying to eke out survival after the total downfall of their society.
It was also refreshing to find a Christmas story that didn't focus on romance. I feel like the Christmas story market is highly oversaturated with Hallmark-style works (which have their place for light entertainment, but shouldn't be the only thing available) and that it leaves those who don't enjoy that style high and dry for the season. This book avoids clichés and is even set in one of my favorite time frames, WW2!
I read Christmas stories throughout the year, but if you're one that doesn't, perhaps you'd be in the mood to include this story in a bit of midyear "Christmas in July" in about ten days. It's free if you have a kindle unlimited account, and of this post is just 1.99 for the ebook purchase. I highly recommend it for personal reading and also family read-aloud.
Here's Kellyn's website:
Also, a lot of sweet folks wrote notes to Kellyn in a Google doc, but since I'm a serial misser-of-deadlines, I didn't get it added in time. So, Kellyn, here is my note of encouragement!
You're a huge encouragement to me as a writer and I strongly admire your commitment to excellence, even down to researching the small things of life in other eras, such as how people shopped, and even to stopping for a while in editing to get that one awkward sentence right. You take that a step further by mentoring other authors and even running a company to help writers get it right. You're one of my top favorite indie authors, and I'm glad and proud to call you a friend.