Thursday, December 15, 2016

Finding Hope at this Christmas by Michelle Styles

It is very easy to give into despair these days. Everywhere you turn the news bursts with horror stories  — from the fall of Aleppo to  the on-going problems with contaminated rivers rendering water unsafe to drink in China or the parts of the US to the plight of those suffering from AIDS, cancer or other illness (to name but a few). However sometimes individuals can make a difference. Operation Christmas Child which sends shoeboxes packed with small items donated from schools -- and churches across the UK  has been making a difference for over 25 years.This year they are concentrating on Northern Iraq and providing relief to people freed from ISIS there. In Flint Michigan thanks to the efforts of one mother Lee Ann Walters  the water supply is being cleaned. AIDS sufferers are  living longer thanks to the things like the Elton John Foundation 
This year  a friend of mine wanted to do more than send a shoe box to help the refugees in Syria so she and several friends created a book of poetry and  woodcuts done to illustrate the poetry which is being sold on Amazon. All proceeds are being funnelled directly to the Refugee Aid Network UK. Amazon with its self-publishing facility made it easy for them to do this with a lead time of only a few weeks. It is available all over the world.

But sometimes, you do reach an overload and you need substance  for your soul, a salve to help you go on. My husband gave me an early Christmas present this year – Neil Diamond’s Acoustic Christmas.
In his message to his listeners, Diamond writes it’s basic at the  heart of the matter for all the world’s troubles Christmas music is the perfect salve. Being alive always offers hope. At then end of the cd, he adds a bit about being kind. Kindness can go a long way in a dark world. The album is uplifting and does improve your mood (or at least mine). The album has rapidly become one of my faves and helped me finish my single title early Victorian romantic -suspence  ms which I have sent to my agent.

I also find reading Christmas romances at this time of year particularly good when combined with listening to Christmas music,  but thus far haven’t gotten around to it (story of my life recently…) does anyone have a good suggestion.

May everyone’s Christmas have a little light called hope in it.

In other news:
This is the cover  for my new Viking which comes out in February 2017.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romances for Harlequin Historical. Her next Viking set romance Sold to the Viking Warrior will be published in Feburary 2017 

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