Monday, December 21, 2015

A Night Like No Other ...

Julie, here, and ‘tis the season for Christmas reading, and I have to say that I just finished one of the most important Christmas novellas I’ve ever read, eliciting both tears and wonder aplenty! In fact, I even cried when I posted and proofed the blog!

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce the author, bestselling author Kristin Vayden, who has also become a dear friend. Kristin has written what I think will be a Christmas classic for years to come, so grab a mug of cinnamon hazelnut coffee, spiced tea or steaming hot chocolate and settle into a comfy chair to hear the story of …

A Night Like No Other
By Kristin Vayden
Seriously, I don’t even know where to start with this. As an author, words are my thing. But with this book, I fall short. Every. Single. Time. I can’t tell you how many times I stared at the curser on my screen just trying to figure out how to make a feeling; some compelling emotion deep in my soul, come out on paper and not be flat.

Lifeless.

Or worse yet, cold.

Yet, at the same time, how do you take a foundational Bible story, one that shifted, changed and saved the world and walk the fine line of flesh, blood and bone but not go too far.

Because if there’s anything I know about love, it pushes the limits.

And this story is the love story of all love stories, the greatest romance, most passionate truth the world has ever been given.  

Almighty God, giving his Son to the world, that through him, the world may be saved.

With Christmas, the hero of the story is Jesus, as it should be. But it’s easy to dismiss Mary and Joseph’s life before the baby lying in a manger.  But Mary and Joseph? Their defining moments happened months before Jesus finally entered the world. 

A Night Like No Other; The true love story of Mary and Joseph gives insight into those defining moments though the lens of all the conflict, passion and temptation of when a boy loves a girl.

And like any epic romance, that love was fraught with obstacles, reasons to walk away and a million opportunities for failure. But it didn’t.

God created romance. 

And Holy cow, it is good.

I’m happily married and have five little ones—I can say that! And I’m blessed to be from parents who are still passionate about each other—going on 40 years. As a child it was one of my greatest comforts to know my parents loved one another. Not just saying it, but acting on that love.

As a parent, I’m thankful I can embarrass my kids when my husband tackles me and kisses me passionately in the kitchen! They might squeal, shout and run the other way—but they don’t wonder if momma loves daddy, or vice versa.

Why would God want Jesus to have anything less? I don’t think He would. And loyalty? Can only go so far. But love? Passionate, devoted, unconditional love? I

It moves mountains. And Mary and Joseph would have to do more than that.

So when people ask me about a romance between Mary and Joseph, my response is, “Why not?” I’m mean, what if… The greatest love started with the greatest love story? 

What if… 
It was more than just a cold, arranged marriage? 

What if… 
Joseph had adored Mary all his life, but never thought himself worthy? 

What if… 
Mary thought that Joseph could never see her as more than Caleb’s little sister? 

What if … 
It was nothing like you thought you knew… 

A child. 
Not his. 
Heart broken, rejection burning through him; eating him alive, Joseph faces the only option available. Divorce. The thought alone is worse than death. 

Alone, everyone convinced she’s a liar and carrying another man’s child. Sent away, rejected by the only one she had ever loved. Mary grasps onto the truth that no one else dares to believe… 

A love like no other. But like all truly incredible things, it was fought for, bled for, a love desperate enough to sacrifice everything for the hope of something greater. 

Someone greater. 

God kindled a romance that would be legendary…that would defy any obstacle in its path. Leading to the birth of the Savior of the World.

 “A Night Like No Other” looks at what it would be like, in context and culture, to be Mary and Joseph. For  historical accuracy I used several resources to make sure I was remaining true to ancient Galilean life, but more than the details, I wanted to be able to show the reader what it would be like to be in love in that culture. 

Because really, it starts with a boy who loves a girl. A girl who was destined to carry the Savior of the world.

We know that. But they didn’t. 

And the implications of being with child, not yet fully married… And not just the social implications, but what it would do to her heart, her childhood dreams of love and romance—and the choice she made to believe, when every one around her thought she was a liar.

But what about Joseph? Can you imagine how it would destroy a young man who adored his betrothed, only to discover that she carried a child—that wasn’t yours. You’d been faithful, kept your heart and body pure—even when you were tempted not too. And you find out she shared her body with someone other than you. How would that destroy you? 

I can’t tell you how many times I would re-read what I wrote and simply broke down in tears. Because these people—their struggle was real. Their obstacles? Monumental. But their love? Legendary.

But would you expect anything less from God? 
Me either.

And as I wrote it, I truly grasped a wider and deeper understanding of my Heavenly Father’s love and His glorious plans. Because while this is truly the event of all events, He didn’t stop there. Christ’s work is continuing through you, through me. 

WE are the legacy. Humbling, it’s it? Welcome to my world as I wrote this book!

Just as I said earlier, love pushes the limits. And being a romance writer—and one that tends to lean towards the more descriptive line of writing that passion—I knew I needed some help. Thankfully my Pastor, Toby, was more than willing to help me out. Which was truly my saving grace because I was given the peace of knowing that he’d be honest if I went too far. Here’s a small excerpt of one of the areas that had me worried, yet I know that love breathes passion. This is certainly the case…

EXCERPT:
        “Mary,” he whispered against her skin, warming it, branding it as his.
        Leaning back, she gazed up at him, memorizing the light flecks of amber in his gaze, the strong line of his jaw and the fierce love in his eyes as his gaze roamed her features before landing on her lips.
       She licked them; it was instinctive.
       Gently, Joseph lowered his head, his lips a breath away from hers. Closing her eyes, Mary gave herself over to the sensation of nearness, the sweet scent of spices that clung to his skin, the warmth of his flesh, so close. Softly, tenderly he pressed a light kiss to her waiting lips, barely sampling her.
        At first contact, Mary’s body hummed to life, immediately missing Joseph as he pulled away. But she didn’t miss him for long, for a moment later, he pressed another kiss to her newly moist lips, lingering a bit longer, allowing her to savor the sweet sensation, memorize it.
        A dove cooed in the distance, and Joseph pulled away reluctantly. His gaze was full of wonder as he searched hers.
        A wide smile broke through her lips as she reveled in the moment. Truly it was the most precious moment she’d ever experienced. One she would cherish for the rest of her life.
       “In all of creation, in all the beauty created by God, there is no one, nothing finer, more captivating than you, my sweet Mary.” Joseph lifted the hand he still held and placed it over his heart. “With every heartbeat, each breath… I live for you. Your smile… your kiss.” He whispered the last words as his gaze darted to her lips.

***

The love Mary had for Joseph was so powerful, that only her devotion to God could possibly trump it, leading to the most heart-wrenching experience a young woman can experience.
Rejection by the man you love.

Pastor Toby was also able to give me some additional cultural contexts that  made this controversy, this complex dynamic, even more pivotal. Not only that, but the Forward he wrote is the perfect set-up for understanding what follows in the story, and for that I’m truly thankful!

It is my deepest prayer that those who read “A Night Like No Other” will walk away with a new perspective of the Christmas Story. That it will change you, deepen your love for the One who was born to save you, save me, save the world. With that, I want to share a final excerpt, highlighting the mammoth undertaking of being the earthly parents of the Son of the Great I Am. 

EXCERPT:
        “It is finished.” she spoke quietly. “Rather… it is beginning.” She offered a small laugh, her expression light. Then, like a shadow across the sun, it clouded. “How are we to do this, Joseph? Everything within me wants to protect Him, hide Him from every evil, every pain in this world.” She shook her head as a tear rolled down her cheek.
        Joseph caught it with his callused finger, wiping it away. “I know not. But surely God will equip us for such an undertaking. He will not have us fail. And I think… perhaps we are looking at it wrong, my love.” He spoke the words as he thought them, a glimmer of understanding both chilling and overwhelming him with a slight understanding.
        “How so?” she asked, her fingers still trailing along Jesus’ face. The warm meal had lulled him into a peaceful sleep.
        “We must never forget, you my love, are holding the Messiah. Emmanuel. Jesus. God with us, the promised one. He will save us. We will protect Him, guard Him while young, honor God with every fiber of our beings as we raise Jesus to know of His Father… but in the end, He will protect us. He will deliver us. He will be…” Joseph gazed at his son, remembering the passage in Isaiah. “Wonder Counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace.” He shook his head in wonder as he reached out and grasped his son’s small hand. Tiny fingers gripped his in his deep slumber. “These are the hands that molded the earth, filled the seas — and were humble enough to be born… in a stable, to a poor man and his beautiful wife,” Joseph murmured.

***
The birth was only the beginning.

It’s been a true delight to be with you on Seekersville today! From my family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS and A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kristin


GIVEAWAYS!!
To celebrate that huge gift God has given us with the birth of His Son, Kristin and I would love to give some gifts too! I mean, it IS the Christmas Season, right? And it’s actually Kristin’s anniversary TODAY, and her daughter’s BIRTHDAY, so IT’S A GREAT DAY!  

So we’re having THREE GIVEAWAYS —  one lucky commenter will win a paperback copy of A Night Like No Other (domestic only) and two others will receive an e-copy (domestic and international). PLUS … because I believe in this book so much, I am doubling up each of the three giveaways with an e-copy of either my Irish Christmas love story, A Light in the Window OR Isle of Hope, so it’s TWO BOOKS PER WINNER!!

MORE ABOUT KRISTIN VAYDEN:
Kristin's inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook, or some mess to clean, but she loves every moment of it! In her spare time (ha ha) she loves to write, teach choir, and get lost in a good book!



A Night Like No Other
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1S355B0
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1H7OawM
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1QLp2xH
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1LkUegg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1LcsaM3
iBooks: http://apple.co/1OGX32Z
Kobo:
http://bit.ly/1QkNqqJ
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1SmUkcw

Kristin Vayden





119 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Wow. What a testament, Julie! I didn't read the excerpts because that spoils the story for me! And I'd love to win the paperback, because those are the best. Yes, I'm getting a paperback of Isle of Hope, too, sometime, somewhere.
Great post. Thank you!

Trixi said...

I never thought of the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary & Joseph (or of their love for one another)! The heart-wrench of what they must have gone through when they found out she was pregnant & what to do about it. Your words painted vivid pictures in my mind, bringing it more to life than just simply reading the story. Wow.....

One Christmas song I do love is, "Mary Did you Know". Because it too paints vivid pictures in my mind. I don't think Mary truly and fully grasped what her Son represented or the kind of life He was destined to. Gives me chills every time I hear it.

I would love to be in the draw for a copy of "A Night Like No Other". The excerpt immediately drew me in & left me wanting more! Your post is so timely & for me, it makes the Christmas story so much more real with a deeper meaning :-) Thanks for those wonderful pictures you painted! Have a very blessed & Merry Christmas. Also, happy
Anniversary to you and your husband & birthday wishes to your daughter as well. What a joyful month of celebrations for your family!

Just Commonly said...

Stunned. Captivated. Blessed. And that's only from reading this post and the idea it suggested in my head. How do we start with Mary and Joseph? How? Their lives were no longer what they had initially thought. They are Joseph and Mary. And to read about them in their rawness makes for one compelling story that will open our eyes and minds.

I also thought of the recent hit rendition of "Mary did you know?" The part where it said, "Mary, did you know that when you kiss your babe, you kiss the face of God," hits me the hardest. Jesus was borned from Mary. He is all man and all God. Even now it strikes me so profoundly.

I look forward to reading "A Night Like No Other," simply from this post, and the excerpts, Kristin's words wrapped me in.

Happy Anniversary Kristin & Husband and Happy Birthday to Kristin's daughter. Thank you, Julie for the introduction. Merry Christmas to all.

Annie

Cindy W. said...

Oh my! A Night Like No Other sounds like a wonderful book to read and cherish. I would love to be in the drawing.

May everyone have a very blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Years ago I read "Two From Galilee" and it was my first real experience thinking of Mary and Joseph as people experiencing the host of joys and problems inherent to their times and their situation.

Congratulations on your endeavors, Kristin, and welcome to Seekerville!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love "Mary, Did You Know?" because of course, how could such a young woman see or visualize the breadth of the commitment she was making? Thinking of that puts such perspective on the Christmas story....

And here's a link to "Joseph's Song" (Michael Card), one of my favorite Christmas and non-Christmas hymns... Joseph's Song

So many questions and so little information... but emotions are universal.

Jackie said...

Hi Kristin and welcome to Seekerville! And happy anniversary! And happy birthday to your daughter!

I'd love to be in the drawing for this story. I've always imagined Joseph loved Mary deeply because he treated her with respect when he learned she was pregnant. I thought he was heart-broken. And then to raise the son of God...he'd take backseat to Jesus and God. I can't wait to read your story!

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

kaybee said...

OH THIS IS SO COOL and a great way to start Christmas week. Yeah, I always "knew" Joseph must have loved Mary or he wouldn't have gone through with it. He would have cast her out in disgrace. But he didn't. Because he realized Who she carried. It gives me chills. Please enter me in the drawing.
Kathy Bailey
Awe and wonder in New Hampshire

kaybee said...

I also like Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven." Not so much about Joseph, but still full of the wonder and the terror and the immense responsibility she faced. Whew.
Ruthy, I also loved the Marjorie Holmes book and I believe she was the first to attempt putting this story into fictional form. It really is the greatest story ever told.'KB

Loraine Nunley said...

Wow Kristin! I got chills just reading the excerpts. What a wonderful story to tell. I am adding your book to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

Wilani Wahl said...

An important thing to remember this Christmas Season. Thank you for this post. I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas!

Bettie said...

This sounds like an amazing story! I would love win a copy in any form. I also love the song references in the above comments. They are some of my favorite songs that bring tears to my eyes.

Vince said...

Hi Kristin:

That a 'marriage of convenience' would evolve into one of lasting love should come as no surprise to those who love romance. That man was made in 'the image and likeness' of God makes me view each mother is a Mary and each child as a miracle.

I have always believed that the 'Holy Family' was conceived in love and that those of faith can share in that love now and forever.

Reading, "A Night Like No Other", for me may be more like preaching to the choir than it would be announcing 'breaking news'.

I've just downloaded, "A Night Like No Other", because I can't wait to read it (and see if I'm right). What a perfect book to read on Christmas Eve. This is just another example of why I love the short 'novella' format. Keep those novellas coming!

Vince

Missy Tippens said...

Kristin, welcome! We're so glad you shared with us today. I love hearing about how this book came about! I look forward to reading it!

Missy Tippens said...

Annie, "Mary Did you Know?" is one of my favorite songs!

DebH said...

wow. I'm excited to read about the love story between Mary and Joseph. One never really thinks deeply on just what had to be happening with Joseph (I do remember something about an angel visitation via dream to him to kinda help things). I'm so glad someone has tackled this. I would love to win a copy, but am headed to Amazon to put it on my wish list so I can remember to buy it should I not win.

Thanks so much for sharing this post. Loving the comments too. I agree with the "Mary do you know?" song. will have to check out Joseph's song as well.

GREAT week of Christmas starter, Seekerville! Y'all rock!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Welcome, Kristin. Your story sounds beautiful. I look forward to reading it.
Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

Julie Lessman said...

I'M LATE, I'M LATE ... FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE!! Been tied up with an Amazon delivery problem, so forgive the delay in welcoming my VERY GOOD FRIEND, KRISTEN VAYDEN!!

I'm smiling BIG at all the comments of awe and blessing I'm reading, because that is what your book did for me, too, my friend, bringing the true meaning of Christmas front and center!!

And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, you sweet thing -- you definitely have a marriage made in heaven, girl, which explains one of the reasons you write romance so well! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your little girl as well -- she's blessed to have YOU for a mama!

I'll be back soon ... till them, HAPPY COMMENTING!!

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome, Kristen! What a lovely, moving, and thought-provoking perspective on the Holy Family! Thank you for sharing these excerpts along with the insights you gained through the writing of this story.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Kristen. This is absolutely beautiful. How did this idea for this particular book come to seed and fruition??

Have a blessed holiday season and thank you for this wonderful present.

Dana Michael said...

Wow!Love the exerpt!Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks for this wonderful post for Christmas week. Happy Anniversary, too, Kristen. This story sounds wonderful. It reminds me of Marjorie Holmes' book Two from Galilee which I first read when I was in high school. Until then, I had never actually thought of what it would have been like for Mary to be pregnant and not married or how it would have made Joseph feel. I would love to read your story.

Julie, please enter me for either version of Kristen's story and for Isle of Hope as I already have Light in the Window.

joy said...

I love this. Please enter me in all drawings. Sorry I missed the earlier ones.

DebH said...

Nevermind about being in the draw. I'm a tad impatient as a little kid on Christmas morning. went ahead and bought it for my Kindle. have something to look forward to read tonight (or maybe tomorrow, I forgot I need to wrap gifts tonight *sigh*)

Oh the joy of anticipation of a good read!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, MARIANNE, I sure hope you win, my friend, because this a book that sets the mood for Christmas more than any other Christmas book I've read ... uh, except the
Bible, that is!

And thanks again, Marianne for reading and reviewing Isle of Hope -- your review remains one of my very favorites, so BLESS YOU!!

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

TRIXI SAID: "I never thought of the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary & Joseph (or of their love for one another)!"

Me either, Trixi, which is why this novella impacted me so much!! I will admit at the back of my mind many times, I often wondered WHY nobody ever went into the romance of Mary & Joseph, so when I read A NIGHT LIKE NO OTHER, I mentally fist-punched in the air, shouting, "YES, YES, YES ... FINALLY!!!"

TRIXI ALSO SAID: "Your post is so timely & for me, it makes the Christmas story so much more real with a deeper meaning :-)"

I totally agree, although I do wish I could have gotten Kristin on earlier in the month because this novella really DOES "make the Christmas story so much more real with a deeper meaning :-)"

And, OH, I absolutely LOVE "Mary Did you Know"too, my friend, ever since my daughter sang it in a church pageant at the age of 10, and now it's one of my faves as well.

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ANNIE!!! I felt exactly the same way, my friend -- "Stunned. Captivated. Blessed," so beautifully put, as usual!!

You said: "To read about them in their rawness makes for one compelling story that will open our eyes and minds."

It really does, or at least it did for me. :)

And the words of "Mary, Don't You Know" really pierces my heart, too, so like minds ... ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, CINDY W, it is, trust me, so here's to a win, my friend!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
JULIE

bonton said...

Welcome, Kristen - "Happy Anniversary" to you and hubby, "Happy Birthday" to your daughter!!

Thank you so much for your touching post - I loved reading of your experiences/thoughts in writing "A Night Like No Other", reading excerpts from the book brought tears to my eyes. I have always loved reading biblical fiction - it lends an extra depth to understanding/enjoying scripture.

I, too, have always believed Joseph loved Mary - how else could he have supported her situation, knowing the scorn, embarrassment, and possible danger in doing so?? I can't begin to imagine what they must have endured during the period of waiting for the birth of Christ, even less so - those 33 years as His earthly parents.

Such a beautiful, inspiring, heart-warming story to read any time, but especially during the Christmas season - I joyfully anticipate reading "A Night Like No Other". Thank you, Julie, for introducing us to Kristen and "A Night Like No Other"!!

Please drop my name in the drawing for a copy of "A Night Like No Other"!!

Julie Lessman said...

Okay, RUTHY, you just made me cry -- admittedly not a particularly hard thing to do for this CDQ, but WOW, Joseph's Song is WONDERFUL!!! Thanks for sharing, my friend.

I have never heard of "Two From Galilee," but I checked it out and it looks wonderful, too, so I may have to read that as well. :)

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIE, I know! I always figured Joseph had to love Mary deeply, too, but that's the extent of my thoughts on Him, which is one of the reasons why Kristin's novel is so important, I believe -- it fleshes the entire story of Jesus out for me! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
JULIE

Julie Lessman said...

It gives me "chills," too, KATHY BAILEY, so I relate!!

And I agree that this is the greatest love story ever told, AFTER God sending His Son! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Ooooo, KATHY, "BREATH OF HEAVEN" is one of my TOP faves, too! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, LORAINE ... "chills" seem to be the buzz word for A NIGHT LIKE OTHER, so I hear you!!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

Julie

Kristin Vayden said...

Marianne, I totally understand about the excerpt,sometimes I don't read them either..makes the anticipation sweeter! LOVE ANTICIPATION! And "Isle of Hope" is one of my favorite books, You can't go wrong with that one!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Trixi, I LOVE THAT SONG! It totally captures so much of the emotion that Mary must have felt, add some pretty awesome music and it's a masterpiece! I'm so glad that "A Night Like No Other" painted some word pictures for you! As an Author, that's a huge compliment, it's exactly what we hope to do!
Thank you for the warm wishes! It's going to be a great day!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, LANI, yes, it IS an important thing to remember this Christmas Season, which is why I am THRILLED to have Kristin here!

Merry Christmas to you, too, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!

HUGS,
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow Kristen what a powerful post. Thank you. And welcome to Seekerville. Merry Christmas and happy anniversary

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, BETTIE, move over, girlfriend -- those songs bring tears to my eyes, too, but you ain't seen nothing yet till you read A NIGHT LIKE NO OTHER!! ;)

HUGS AND GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Kristin Vayden said...

Annie, thank you for wishing us a happy anniversary and happy birthday to my little girl! Its seriously like a huge present to be featured here on Seekerville on such a special day for us! I love that line in the song as well; Kissing the face of God. Just this morning I was snuggling with my littlest ( she's two) and kissing her face. It's such a sweet yet simple thing, and Mary would have done the same thing...yet with a completely different echo. There's so much to think about, to absorb. It humbles me every time.

Julie Lessman said...

BLESS YOU, VINCE, for downloading ANLNO -- you won't be sorry! And I was never a novella reader before I started writing them, but you're right -- this IS the perfect book to read this week because it's so short, yet so powerful!

Hugs and HAPPY READING!
Julie

Kristin Vayden said...

Cindy W. Thank's for stopping by! I'm meeting so many new people, it's SO GREAT! HOORAY!

Julie Lessman said...

KRISTIN!!! WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, MY FRIEND -- EVERYONE LOVES YOU AS I KNEW THEY WOULD. JUST WAIT TILL THEY READ ANLNO!!!

I SO appreciate your time today because with five kids, a birthday and an anniversary, it can't be easy, so BLESS YOU!

I did chuckle over the line in your bio that said: "In her spare time (ha ha) she loves to write, teach choir, and get lost in a good book!" I doubt very seriously that you even know what "spare time" is, girl, not with five kiddos and a hunk of a husband! ;)

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Kristin Vayden said...

Ruth Logan Herne, I LOVE THAT BOOK! I was first introduced to the concept of a romance between Mary and Joseph with the same book and it forever changed me from that first page! I still read my well worn copy at Christmas. It was really important to me that when I wrote my own fictional recounting, I kept enough distance from her story! And Michael Card's Joseph song is one I've listened too at Christmas since I was really young! What a great song! Thank you for the warm welcome to Seekerville! Have a very merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

HI Jackie! thanks for the warm wishes! I'll be sure to pass the the birthday love to my little girl! Thanks for stopping by, it's great to meet you!

Kristin Vayden said...

Kathy Bailey ( Kaybee) I LOVE Breath of Heaven! So perfect! Have you heard of Nicole Normans "Real"? It's kinda similar, a great, thought provoking and beautiful song as well! So many great songs about such a great love! And I totally understand about the chills. I get them all the time when I just stop and think...
wow.

Kristin Vayden said...

Loraine Nunley, Thanks for adding "A Night Like No Other" to your TBR List! I hope you have a very special and warm Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Wilani Wahl, Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!!! Thanks!!!!! <3

Kristin Vayden said...

Bettie, I get teary eyed listening these songs too! Thanks for entering the contest! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Vince, I'm so glad you love the idea of Romance between Mary and Joseph! I hope you enjoy "A Night Like No Other." There's lots of romance in there... ;) Feel free to follow me on FB so you can let me know your thoughts after you're finished. www.facebook.com/kristinvaydenauthor
Merry Christmas!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Missy Tippens, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about "A Night Like No Other"! It was an amazing book to write! God blessed me so much through it, I hope it blesses you too!

Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

DebH, I couldn't agree more, SEEKERVILLE ROCKS!!! I'm so thrilled to be here! I'm glad that reading about "A Night Like No Other" opened up a new perspective of the Christmas story! Thanks for entering the contest ( and for adding it to your wish list!)

Kristin Vayden said...

Hi Jill Weatherholt! I hope your enjoy "A Night Like No Other"! I'm so happy to be here and meet you and everyone else! Thanks for such a warm welcome! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Julie Lessman, I LOVE YOU. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I hope everything works out with amazon...(it's always a love/hate relationship, isn't it?) Thank you for inviting me here to Seekerville, it's the most AMAZING way to start out THE WEEK OF CHRISTMAS! Seriously, it's like a early present! Thank you again and guess what I'm finishing up again..."Isle of Hope" LOVE THAT BOOK!

I'll be sure to tell my little girl happy birthday from you, and thank you for the anniversary wishes!!!!!!! IT's a GREAT DAY!!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Myra Johnson, thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Tina Radcliffe, I've always been fascinated with this idea, especially after my church did a play "Two from Galilee" Based on the book by Marjorie Holmes. From there, I always had the idea in the back of my mind. Last year ( it took me over a year to write this story, which for me, is super long, specially since it's a novella!) I started writing the prologue, and through each chapter I made it a point of prayer that God would just lead the story. It was surprisingly difficult to write a story based on a factual event. You'd think it would be easier because the timeline, ideas, characters and concepts are already established, but it was actually more difficult because of that! I kept several sources ( ie. my pastor) readily accessible so that I wouldn't get too fictional with my story, but at the same time, I wanted everything to be so deeply human. It was an adventure to say the least and, of all the stories I've written ( about 15 so far) this is the closest to my heart and the most dear.

Kristin Vayden said...

Dana Michael, thank you for stopping by!!!! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Sandy Smith, thank you for the warm wishes! It's a GREAT DAY!!!!!! and that is such a great book! I LOVE IT! I hope you have a great Christmas! Blessings!

Kristin Vayden said...

HI Joy! Thanks for stopping by! It's great to meet you! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

DebH, ahah! I get impatient too! thanks for picking up a copy of "A night Like No Other"! I hope you enjoy it, and have fun wrapping presents tonight ( I'm going to be doing the same!)
Merry Christmas!
Kristin

Kristin Vayden said...

Bonton! Thank you for your comment! I'm so blessed to know that the excerpts from " A Night Like No Other" touched you! That was my prayer through the whole writing process, that it would bless others and point them to Jesus in a fresh way. I'm a huge fan of Biblical fiction as well! Have you read any of Francine River's women of faith books? I LOVE Rahab and Bathsheba...ok all of them! Thanks for entering the drawing, I hope you have a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Sandra Leesmith, Merry Christmas to you too! And that's for stopping by and for the warm anniversary wishes!

Kristin Vayden said...

LOL, yeah....spare time...I had to look up the word in the dictionary before I could write it! Just kidding! My kids are great and give me time when I need to write...sometimes!! ahah! Right now I have "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" playing as my background music! The littlest two are keeping busy with that while I check in with all of you! It's been such a blessing to read everyone's comments, totally a present on the amazing day! I can't wait to keep checking back and saying hi and making new friends! Thanks for having me here Julie!!!!!!!!!!! BIG HUGE HUGS!

Jennifer said...

This book sounds so amazing!! Happy Birthday to your little girl! Then there is always that second book from Julie!! I love Julie's books!!!! 😉

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KRISTIN ... having to look up "spare time" in the dictionary ... I hear you, but my problem is from age, not kids ... ;)

SOOOOO fun having you here, my friend, and I just realized NOW one of the many reasons I love you so much -- you use as many CAPS and EXCLAMATION POINTS as I do!!!!!! LOL ... it takes a CDQ to love a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen)!! ;)

HUGS!!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, thanks, JENNIFER ... and my books "love" you, too, as do I!! ;)

Hugs and Merry Christmas!
Julie

Kristin Van Dyken said...

Jennifer, thanks for stopping by! I'll be sure to wish my little girl happy birthday from you! Thank you so much for stopping by. And yeah, Julie's books...holy cow. They are incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kav said...

Happy! Anniversary, Kristin and Happy Birthday Kristin's daughter!

I'm a romance lover so this novella has me really intrigued. What a beautiful way to bring the Christmas story to life in a meaningful way. A fresh perspective that will get readers pondering the significance of the nativity. And y'all have me singing Mary, Did You Know? now. Only I never remember all the words so it's sing three, hum four, sing two, lalalala a couple of lines. Luckily there's no one around to hear me butchering the song. Mark Lowry was truly inspired when he wrote those lyrics.

Janet Dean said...

Kristin, welcome to Seekerville! Your excerpts left me fascinated and eager to read A Night Like No Other! Like Ruthy, I read Two from Galilee years ago and ended up seeing Mary and Joseph through new and more realistic eyes.

Happy birthday to your daughter and Merry Christmas to your family and you! Know your story will bless mine.

Janet

Lynne Feuerstein said...

Thank you both so much for this post ,I really enjoyed it. I also want to thank you individually;Kristen,for writing this lovely story.So many people forget or are unaware of Mary and Joseph's story before Jesus came. I think it makes the Nativity story even more real and special to us! To Julie I want to say a special thanks for your recommendation of this story. I'm so glad I saw your review,after reading it was enough to make me buy it right away!Also a special thanks,Julie for all of your wonderful stories that add something special to our Christmas season. Merry Christmas to you both!!

Janet Dean said...

Trixie, I agree! Mary did you know? is one of my favorite carols!

Janet

Newbie Chronicles said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Please throw my hat into the ring. I love biblical fiction.

Anne Stevenson

Caryl Kane said...

Thank you for this very moving post! May your Christmas be filled with HIS PRESENCE! Expect MIRACLES during this season.... Blessings to you and your families.

Please put my name in for the drawing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you for sharing that, Kristen. Your explanation made me smile.

Deanna Stevens said...

Wow... I need to read this one.. thank you for a chance to win a copy :)
Happy Anniversary & May you have a very Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

HI Kav! I LOVE ROMANCE TOO! ok, so I might have shouted that a bit...but I DO! I LOVE IT! "A Night Like No Other" is super romantic ( I think) so I know you'll love that aspect of it! Thanks for entering! And I'm cracking up over your very descriptive lyrical singing! That's totally my husband, only he doesn't hum, he makes up his own words. Its sometimes painful, but ALWAYS hilarious! LOVE IT and SING IT LOUD!

Kristin Vayden said...

Hi Janet! Thanks for the warm wishes! I'm SUPER THRILLED TO BE HERE!!! YAYAYAY! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

Lynne Feuerstein, I'm so thrilled you were blessed by "A night Like No Other"! I loved Julie's review too, when I read it I half danced half cried because I was so humbled and blessed! And I totally agree, All of Julie's books are great additions to the Christmas Season, to ANY SEASON! HOORAY!

Kristin Vayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin Vayden said...

Thank you, Anne Stevenson, for stopping by! It's great to meet you! We'll be sure to enter you into the contest! Merry Christmas!!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Caryl Kane, Thank you! May your Christmas season be filled with joy, blessings and peaceful communion with your family and friends as we end one blessed year and begin a brand new one! Thank you for your warm wishes! Blessings!

Kristin Vayden said...

I'm glad Tina Radcliffe! I love reading all these comments, and thanks for asking such a great question!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Hi Deanna Stevens! It's great to meet you! I'm glad you're entering the contest! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!!! Thanks for the warm wishes on this special day!

Kristin Vayden said...

Everyone! This is so much fun! I love the community you have here! So special! I just got back from having a birthday lunch with my daughter and it was so fun! We ate at a restaurant by the water and finished with cheese cake. * sigh* Today is such a wonderful day, and it's only been made brighter by speaking with each of you! Thank you for all your comments, encouragement, well wishes and questions! I'm going to continue to be here, so feel free to ask away! Wish I could hug you all!!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Oh, and Julie, I'm on my second dose of Caffeine...BRING ON THE CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Such a beautiful post, Kristin. I just bought a copy. I think I'll go buy a stack of the paperbacks so I can share it.

This is a very powerful message today on Seekerville. Thank you for being here.

Mary Connealy said...

I read the comments and saw 'Breath of Heaven' mentioned. I went to Youtube and started it playing after reading the blog post!

Listening to it is one of the most wonderful Christmas moments for me.

Liz R said...

Happy anniversary and Happy Birthday to your daughter! I love holiday stories and Biblical fiction so this is an instaread for me! Especially with such high praise from the amazing Julie Lessman!

Kristin Vayden said...

Mary Connealy, Thank you! Your words of encouragement were such a blessing to read! I hope you enjoy "A Night Like No Other" And that it blesses you! I love 'Breath of Heaven' too, such a beautiful song! Have a wonderful, blessed and joyful Christmas! Thank you again!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Liz R, thank you! It's been such a special day! Thank you for the warm wishes! I LOVE Biblical fiction too!!! It makes the stories I've grown up with, and think I know so well, completely come alive in new ways! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Winnie Thomas said...

What an original idea for a book, Kristen! I'd love to win a copy, and I have Julie's book, Isle of Hope, on my wish list, so that would be wonderful also. Thanks to both of you for sharing your talents with us and for offering us a chance to win these books. I hope you both have a wonderful Christmas season and a great New Year!

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, LYNNE, you never fail to brighten my day, my sweet friend -- THANK YOU!! I am blessed that you and I have gotten to know each other recently, I think through Isle of Hope, right? Either way, you have been -- and continue to be -- a blessing of encouragement in my life.

Hugs and more hugs!!!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KAV SAID: "And y'all have me singing Mary, Did You Know? now. Only I never remember all the words so it's sing three, hum four, sing two, lalalala a couple of lines. Luckily there's no one around to hear me butchering the song."

LOL, Kav, you are TOO cute, my friend -- "butcher" away, girlfriend!!

And, girl, if you're looking for a way to mix true romance into your Christmas holidays, Kristin's novella is the ticket for you, my friend! I sure hope you win. :)

Hugs and more hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KRISTIN, I'm laughing at your response to Kav about your "tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes" who makes up his own lyrics -- creativity obviously flows deep in your family!! ;)

And "SECOND DOSE OF CAFFEINE"???? YIKES ... nobody would be able to stand me, which is why I stick to decaf after my initial dose of caffeine in the morning, both to preserve my relationship with my hubby (we both work at home) and my friends. ;)

I am SOOO glad you are having fun here today, my friend, because you honestly are one of the MOST FUN and MOST EXPRESSIVE guests I have ever had, which means everyone else is having fun too, so BLESS YOU!!

I hope you have a FABULOUS anniversary/birthday dinner tonight that you do NOT have to cook!!

MEGA ((((((((((HUGS!!!!!!!)))))))))) (Caryl Kane taught me that, so THANKS, CARYL!!)

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MARY!!! You are SUCH a doll, and a generous one at that!! Thank you for supporting Kristin because I can tell you right now -- you won't be sorry. The book is a Christmas keeper and destined to be a classic.

Hugs!!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LIZ R SAID: "Especially with such high praise from the amazing Julie Lessman!"

Well, I don't know about that, but I did LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it, so hopefully you will too, Liz, so here's to a win!!

And, WINNIE, thank you for putting Isle of Hope on your wish list -- here's hoping you'll win it here, so GOOD LUCK!!

HUGS,
JULIE

Walt Mussell said...

Wow! I love it when someone takes a Bible story and provides a possible extra context. (And when a pastor does it in church, it's one of my favorite parts of the sermon.)

Kristin Vayden said...

HI Winnie! I love your name! Is it short for something? I have a sweet student whose name is Anwynn and her nickname is Winnie, so that's why I'm asking. I love the name (hmm...maybe I should name a character that! ) Anyway, thank you for stopping by and saying hi! I love that my book is next to Julie's on your wishlist! Thats HIGH PRAISE! I Love Julie's writing, and Isle of Hope is an AMAZING STORY!!! sucks you in the first page and grips tight till the last. I know because I stayed up till 1am because I couldn't put it down! ( needless to say, I was one tired momma in the morning, but it was WORTH IT!) Hope you have a great Christmas! Blessings!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

AHAH, so I actually AM cooking tonight for our Anniversary! I don't mind though. I love cooking, baking--as long as I get to eat it after I'm done making it! I'm being selfless, and making squash and apples for my hubby. He loves it...I...DO NOT. But that's love right? So I'm making that, some duck ( we raised them over the summer...THAT was an adventure!) and baked potatoes. The kids are actually super excited bout the duck...go figure. I think it's the sauce? Oh well! It will be a fun night for all! Now if I can just figure out dessert... Chocolate? Ok. Talked me into it.

Kristin Vayden said...

Hi Walt! I LOVE it when my pastor puts stories in sermons too! Totally captivates me, draws me in deeper. I also love it when they give context, you know--the things that give depth to the story, the 'why' and 'because of' stuff. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! Blessings to you and yours!

Kristin Vayden said...

Mary Connealy, are you the author? Because if you are, I totally had a belated FAN GIRL moment here...Doctor in Petticoats and The Husband Tree...HOLY COWBOYS. LOVE THEM! Sorry, was never one to be able to play it cool... *side glance* Thank you for checking out "A Night Like No Other"! I hope you enjoy it!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Aw Kristin you sweet thing. Yes I'm the author. Seekerville is my home on the internet!

:)
The book sounds wonderful. I got the ebook and bought a paperback, too. So I can read it right now and maybe share the book later!

Missy Tippens said...

Yes, happy anniversary and birthday, Kristin!

Missy Tippens said...

Oops, said that wrong. Happy anniversary, and happy birthday dinner for your daughter! :)

Vince said...

Hi Kristin & Julie:

I must confess that I couldn't wait until Christmas Eve to start reading "A Night Like No Other".

So here I am happily reading until I get to 21% into the story when, presto!, I come upon this passage:

Heaven above Mary was flirting with him.

He could die a happy man.


This is just too cute by half! It stopped me in my tracks.

My question for Kristin:

Did you know that Joseph is the Catholic patron saint of a 'Happy Death'? I loved it! : ) (I bet Ruth would pick up on this.)

BTW: "A Night Like No Other" just passed my most basic romance test with flying colors! That test is this:

"Would this be a compelling romance story even if it was not about the bibical Joseph and Mary?"

Absolutely Yes! It's a 5 Star Page Turner just as it is as a romance!

Now back to reading the remaining 79%!

Vince

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE!!! You sooooo ROCK, my friend, not only for buying Kristin's book, but for making her feel SO welcome with a glowing mini-review -- you are THE BEST!!

I am soooo glad you are enjoying ANLNO and LOVE your take on Joseph's comment that he could die a happy man. Only you would pick up on that ... uh, and probably Ruthy!!

Hugs!!
Julie

Deanne Patterson said...

Welcome,Kristin!What a powerful post today, I love it and I see you come highy recommended by Julie Lessmann, quite a high compliment indeed ! Happy anniversary and Happy Birthday to your daughter! Wow, I need to read this. Merry Christmas to you and your family !

Deanne P.

Kristin Vayden said...

Thank you so much, Missy Tippens, for the warm wishes! We're still celebrating! Merry Christmas!

Kristin Vayden said...

VINCE! THANK YOU!!!! Your comment totally made me so thrilled! I love the line too! I could totally see in my my head, his expression, the tightness followed by elation in his chest...ahhhh!!!!! Dang it now I was to re-read it! I love it when you find a line, scene or something of the like from a book that just makes you sigh, giggle or something you just take with you long after the books closed! I'm so happy ANLNO passed your test! I did NOT know that about Joseph! I'll have to look into that! That's super interesting! Thanks for telling me! I hope you enjoy the rest of the book!!! Thanks for the wonderful 'mini review' as Julie put it! Totally blessed my night!

Kristin Vayden said...

Deanne Patterson, Thank you so much for stopping by! I know, when Julie said she wanted to read my book, I totally squealed! And that it blessed her? Yeah. My year was pretty much made! But truly, I'm just super humbled, and totally feel unequal to the praise. This book was nothing but a ton of prayer and tears, and I'm just thankful that it's pointing people to Jesus.
Thank you for the warm wishes! I'll pass along the happy birthday to my little girl! Thank you for thinking of us! Merry Christmas to your family as well!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Ok guys, I'm going to say good by for tonight, but I'll check in tomorrow just to make sure I didn't miss anyone! The hubby has put on music and we're having a dance party with the kids before bedtime! It's been such a special day, thank you for sharing such encouraging words with me, and for welcoming me to your amazing community! I've been so blessed today, it was truly like an extra special anniversary present! Thank you Julie, for having me ( I know I keep saying thank you, but really, THANK YOU) and I hope you all have a very wonderful evening! Huge hugs to all!!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow Kristen what a fun and busy day you have had. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. And like you and so many have said, it is a wonderful way to start Christmas week. smile

Thanks again for coming by.

Ben and Phyllis said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS and A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and all of Seekerville too :)

Julie Lessman said...

KRISTIN!!! It was SUCH a pleasure having you here, my sweet friend, and THANK YOU for being a great guest hostess and for your beautiful post and book.

I wish you and yours -- and all of Seekerville -- a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!

Hugs!!
Julie

Kristin Vayden said...

Thanks Sandra Leesmith! It was a fun and busy day!( today is looking much the same, I braved Costco...and rewarded myself with a hotdog!) I enjoyed myself SO MUCH! It was seriously SUPER FUN! I loved every moment and loved reading all the comments and interaction! Seekerville is an INCREDIBLE community! I'm humbled I was able to be a part of it! Have a wonderful Christmas as well, Blessings to you and yours!!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Ben and Phyllis, thank you! Merry Christmas to you and Happy new year as well!!!!!! TO ALL OF SEEKERVILLE!!!!!!

Kristin Vayden said...

Julie, again, THANK YOU! It was so much fun!!!! Merry Christmas to you and your family! BIG BIG BIG HUGS! and coffee!

ohiohomeschool said...

What a fascinating book idea! I am enthralled.
blessings,
Becky

ohiohomeschool said...

I just saw that you home educate! How fun. So do we.
Becky B