It’s Christmas time once again and for many it’s a going home time of year. In Naomi’s newest book, PAINT ME ALTHENA, a young wife and mother living under an alias wonders if she can ever go home again. That’s what makes this novel perfect for Christmas reading and/or gifting. PAINT ME ALTHENA. It’s not about Christmas. It’s about going home.
Ava Day hasn’t been home for three years, even though home, where her estranged husband Ethan and their two little girls live, is on just the other side of the city. Searching for the girl she once was, Ava starts a new life as Althena and moves in with Dan, a biker who doesn’t know her secrets. But as her alias world comes crashing down, Ava’s heart yearns for the life she abandoned. Can she ever go home again, or have both she and Ethan moved on too far?
Ethan has carried on the best he could since Ava ran away. He’s become a popular artist and found real faith with the help of lovely widow Jackie Meyer. Then, just when he’s given up on Ava ever returning, she stumbles into their lives desperate for rescue. Ethan’s prayed for her –Lord how he’s prayed. But after what she’s done, can he ever truly forgive her? And what about Jackie? They’ve grown close, and she’s been like a real mother to his girls. Haven’t they endured enough?
Gracie, our little Christmas angel has been looking forward to this interview for some time. First of all, she wants to thank Naomi (who is a Grace Awards board member, by-the-way) on behalf of the Grace Awards for running things at the GA Facebook page and handling the marketing thread. Thank you girlfriend!
Gracie: What is your favorite Christmas carol and why? Do you have a favorite performing artist who performs that song?
Naomi: Tough question, but I love The Little Drummer Boy. The reason stems back to when I was a little girl watching that old Christmas cartoon by the same title. I was so moved, even at a young age, by the amazing images of Christ born to earth in a stable. I felt like that little boy, awed at the sight and having my heart stirred. I have a string of renditions I enjoy listening to. My favorite is by Glen Campbell, secondly the version by 4Him, and this year I discovered the a cappella version by Pentatonix.
Gracie: I discovered Pentatonix this year and all the other angels claim I’m addicted to Youtube. Well, I never. Can you imagine?
Gracie: Are you a Christmas fanatic…a real crazy? Or is your approach more down to earth and relaxed?
Naomi: I am definitely not a Christmas fanatic in the commercial or even decorative sense. We are pretty low key around here. A tree, a few lights, and Christmas cookie baking is the extent of my preparation. The biggest deal to me is having our family home. Now that my kids are all grown and some are raising and starting families of their own, I’m happy to just have them all come home, everybody talking at once, telling stories, laughing until we cry, eating fudge, watching old movies, hugging and teasing each other. We’ve had our share of ups and downs like most families, and I’m certain tough times will come around as long as we live, but we have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed to have each other. I’m so grateful and praise God for everything he works in our lives, even the discipline we need occasionally.
Gracie: Tell us about your fondest Christmas memory.
Naomi: One of my favorite Christmas memories involves going to find a Christmas tree with my dad. We always hiked around the woods searching for a tree, and our family still does that now. We rarely find a perfect tree, but a wild one. The particular year I’m thinking of was when my dad took along his .22 rifle to hunt rabbits while we searched for a tree. I loved hunting with my dad. It was as exciting as getting the tree. Thing is, I don’t remember even seeing any rabbits that day, but it was still an adventure.
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