Favorite Friday Fiction: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

During the month of December, I’ll be sharing some of my most-liked Christmas books. For my favorite classic, I introduce an all-time beloved Christmas book and movie, A Christmas Carol. I’ve always been a big fan of Dickens’ works and, to me, this is a fabulous story. It’s whimsical, speculative, full of fantasy and wonder, and with a wonderful life lesson to boot. What more could you ask for in a Christmas classic? And for an added benefit, the one I share below is free on Kindle right now 🙂

Click to tweet: A Christmas Carol, classic Charles Dickens. #Christmas #FridayReads

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

A Christmas Mosaic by Karen Jurgens

Make sure you get this wonderful collection of Christmas novellas today. Here’s the link.

My friend, Karen Jurgens, wrote one of the stories…

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A Christmas Mosaic

Carlie Livingston is steering into her last year of college in Oxford, Ohio, confident that she and Lance Holloway are headed to the altar after graduation. Those plans are wrecked, however, by her dad’s infidelity, causing her parents to walk through a messy divorce. Will she have the same fate if she marries her college sweetheart who comes from a secular family? Her mother insists she will.

She tests God’s Word by letting Him take the wheel of her life. But if God is in control, why are all her close relationships crumbling?  Nothing makes sense.

Just when it appears hopeless, Clay McKinney two-steps into Carlie’s life, promising to provide everything she’s looking for. But if he’s God’s answer, why can’t her heart release Lance? Where will her final destination be on this journey of trust? 

KarenKaren Jurgens, a native Cincinnatian, has been a Texan transplant for thirty years and counting. Since retiring from teaching in 2014, she has begun a new career writing, blogging, and speaking within the context of Christian ministry.

Her first contemporary romance novella will be published in October, 2015. A Christmas Mosaic will be part of a multi-author anthology, Warm Mulled Kisses. The second novel, Desire’s Deception, is in progress with an anticipated release mid-2016.

She is a Crew Member at Jennifer Hallmark’s Writing Prompts, Thoughts, and Ideas blog and a member of ACFW. You can follow her blog about scriptural answers to life’s trials at Touched by Him Ministries: www.karenjurgens.com.


Working With Family

betty owensBy Betty Thomason Owens

While working at an engineering  firm, I met two brothers who co-owned a construction company and later moved into design/build. They ran a successful business, and got along very well. Being the mother of sons, I could appreciate their close relationship. I once asked them if they always got along so well. They glanced at each other and chuckled.

“Seriously, we believe in presenting a strong front,” the elder brother told me. “If we have a disagreement, we handle it away from the office or jobsite.”

This is wisdom. Dealing with family on a daily basis and blending personal life with professional can be dicey at times, but it can be done.

I’ve worked in two family-owned businesses. Both had problems. One only occasionally–the other, more often.

The first family-owned business I worked for was owned by a husband and wife. He was “president” — she was “secretary/treasurer.” Though obvious to me their marriage was stable, there were occasional problems, which made it uncomfortable for the other office person (me). Since they were a small business, they treated me like family. Upside: really nice Christmas gifts and cool souvenirs from their vacations. Downside: getting caught in the middle of their periodic arguments.

One of the most memorable episodes happened when he commented on her makeup. A big no-no, especially in front of the office help (again, me). She stomped out, he shrugged and slinked away to his office. Embarrassed, I kept my eyes on my computer screen.

Later, I went to work for another family-owned business. The family was larger and blended, several times. The stepbrothers were not fond of each other and everyone knew it. Most of the time, they tolerated one another. But when the owner of the business (their father) died, emotions were high and one day, resulted in a fist-fight.

I packed up my stuff and was on my way out the door when the older brother came in and apologized for their behavior. The situation did finally get a little better when the younger brother stayed home. Actually, he was fired, which is not an easy thing to do when it’s family. The business eventually shut its doors. I was very close to the owner’s wife and stuck by her as long as she needed me, but I was not really sad to see it go. Neither was she.

I recently participated in a collaborative novella in which the heroine works for her father. She’s in the position temporarily to assist him as he recovers from a stroke. In the story, she hits a couple of snags working for family. Tough decisions. Can she gracefully refuse the position he places her in, which takes her out of her comfort zone into the unknown?

cover of unlikely merger

Unlikely Merger

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?


Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the soon-to-be launched online magazine, Imaginate.

Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor, and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

Coming soon, a 1950’s historical novel inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth, book 1 of the Kinsman Redeemer Series (Write Integrity Press).

You can connect with Betty on her personal webpage, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and at Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!