Colleen L. Reece learned to read by kerosene lamplight in a home without electricity, dreaming of someday writing a book. God has expanded Colleen’s “someday” book into 150+ “Books You Can Trust” with six million copies sold. She describes herself as an ordinary person with an extraordinary God.
Breaking News: Colleen's Romance Quartet (Romance Rides the Range, Romance Rides the River, Romance at Rainbow's End and Romance at the Hacienda) will soon be available as audiobooks. Winged Publications recently issued Shades of the Old West Romance Quartet in both Kindle and print editions. Available from Amazon.
Welcome to my blog, Colleen. You have really accomplished a lot in your life. More than 150 books published is quite an accomplishment. Please tell us about this Christmas book: Patchwork Christmas?
An Heirloom Quilt Heals Tattered Hearts: Tying many lives together—literally—with the use of a beloved patchwork quilt led to this heart-warming title. When a homeless mother and a grounded pilot are most in need of healing, a treasured patchwork quilt appears to each, offering comfort, hope, and love.
Story 1: Remnants of Faith, written by Renee DeMarco
Natalie Thorsett and her two daughters, seven and five, are in desperate straits. Natalie's letters to her husband are returned marked "Addressee Unknown." Has Mark abandoned his family?
Story 2: Silver Lining, written by Colleen L. Reece
Major Gavin Scott, a U.S. Air Force pilot, is badly injured after a plane crash in the Middle East. Can his nurse-practitioner fiancée accept the grounded "white hawk?" Will Natalie and Gavin’s former teacher’s cherished possession fulfill her dreams concerning her beloved students? Can the couples, with the help of God and an old quilt, piece their lives back together and each find true love as they struggle to make it through a Patchwork Christmas?
Award-winning aunt-and niece team Reece and DeMarco combine their talents into a touching story of those who face adversity. Note: The story is fictional, Colleen’s mother, Pearl, made the quilt on the cover more than 50 years ago
You published a Children’s Christmas picture book that tells where some of our favorite hymns came from: Christmas Caroling Classics. Please tell us about this book.
Nine-year-old Dennis and seven-year-old Sarah love singing Christmas carols. Dennis wants to know where the carols came from and why they are called classics. Mom suggests that the children look up the answer to that question and report on the find in their family worships between then and Christmas. Dennis and Sarah eagerly agree and discover some surprising facts. A preacher who was considered one of the greatest of his time wrote over 700 hymns and psalms. However, he couldn't compare with another man who wrote over 6000 hymns! The children's favorite story is about naughty mice that may well have been the reason for one of the world's best-loved Christmas hymns. Suggested age range for readers: 6-10
Will you please give us an example of one of these hymns?
All Christmas Eve day nine-year-old Dennis and his seven-year-old sister Sarah talked about the special story Dad had promised to tell them at family worship that night. They sang as much as they could remember of “Silent Night, Holy Night” over and over, then got out their hymn books and sang some more.
At last it was time. Dad turned out most of the lights and threw an extra log on the fire. “I want you to pretend tonight,” he told the family. “Try and feel the way two men felt just before Christmas in 1818 in a little town in the Austrian Alps.
Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber looked at each other in despair. ‘How can we have a Christmas service without music?’ they asked each other. ‘The organ is old. It needs to be repaired.’
“They stared out the window into the village of Oberndorf. Thick snow blanketed the ground and made it impossible to get a repairman through the drifts.
"'Perhaps mice have been in the organ. Or maybe it's just too old to work properly,' they decided. 'What can we do?’
"Joseph Mohr continued to stare at the snow-covered village. Gradually the snow lessened. Into the young man's mind came the words, 'Silent Night, Holy Night.' The next morning, he handed the words to Franz Gruber, who soon hummed a simple melody for the song.
"What happened?" Sarah cried.
Dad smiled. ''The organ still didn’t work, but Franz Gruber played the melody in chords on his guitar. 'Silent Night, Holy Night,' or 'Stille Nact, Heilige Nacht,' the German language in which the song was written, was first heard in that candle-lit church."
"I wish I'd been there." Dennis sighed. "I kind of feel like I was." It sounded funny when he said it, but when the others nodded, he didn't feel funny at all.
"Since those early days many other wonderful hymns have been written," Mom reminded the children. "Every time we go to church and sing a Christmas carol we should remember how God inspires people to write and compose music that praises Him. The word carol in Old French means 'song of joy.' "
"Does it make God happy when we sing carols about Jesus?" Sarah wanted to know.
"I'm sure it does, especially when we mean what we sing. I believe such songs are prayers. We always need to listen carefully to the words we are saying," Dad said.
Dennis thought about everything they'd learned. When they all joined hands in a prayer circle, he thanked God for Christmas carol classics.
But most of all, that it was almost Jesus’ birthday.
What do you love most about Christmas?
Everything! Putting up decorations on December 1st, putting a lighted star in the front window. Hanging a Christmas flag that honors the birth of Christ outside my house. Decorating the mailbox and lamppost with big red bows. Watching inspirational classic movies on TV such as It’s a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Calling “Merry Christmas” to neighbors on my daily walk and clerks in stores. Listening to carols. Spending time with family and friends. Most of all, simply giving thanks for the gift of God’s Son.
Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?
Colleen L. Reece: Writing to Inspire and Entertain
Thank you for this wonderful Christmas Interview. I hope my readers will check out your books.