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Unique historical novel: "The Christmas Victory"

Updated on November 17, 2017

My 5th published book--a unique historical novel:

I'm really so pleased to have, with the help of the good LORD, published my 5th book, which is a unique American historical novel, called "The Christmas Victory, A Gem of a Sermon All Wrapped Up in A Historical Novel." So, of course, I'm making this page to help in promoting my new book. So, I hope you will check out all the information here about it. (First read about how I came to write this novel In module below and why it is unique in the next text module), and if it seems pleasing to you, perhaps purchase a copy---or two or three (it makes a nice gift too!).

Actual size:

James M. Becher's new historical novel, "The Christmas Victory, A Gem of a Sermon, All Wrapped Up in a Historical Novel"
James M. Becher's new historical novel, "The Christmas Victory, A Gem of a Sermon, All Wrapped Up in a Historical Novel"
writer at work
writer at work

How I came to write my new historical novel:

Taken from the foreward:

First of all, I did NOT plan to write another book. With a Biblical novel, which I recently revised an expanded, a time travel novel and a self-help book under my belt, my only plans were for promotion.

Secondly, when I was in Seminary, circa 1974, The Lord began to give me insight into the meaning of Isaiah 7:14 from the use of language and context. I came up with a unique interpretation which I did not find anywhere else, but which I found to be extremely practical.

Thirdly, I wrote an article on my findings and published it in my ezine and on my Squidoo page.

Fourthly, two years ago in November (2012) I was given the opportunity to preach around Christmas time and decided to use my idea and preach on Is.7:14. I entitled the message “The Christmas Victory.” It was well received by many, but some thought it a bit esoteric, so last year (2013) I got the idea to rework it and asked to preach it again. I revised it to make it more understandable and preached it on Dec.15, 2013 at Faith Presbyterian Church in Pembroke Pines Florida. I had nothing but good comments this time. NOTE: If you are a preacher, you can use the sermon, because I have released the coyright on it, and the outline is in the back of the book.

Fifthly, as an illustration, toward the end of the sermon, I used Paul Harvey's bird story, of which he says he couldn’t trace the parentage. In case you're not familiar with it, you can listen to it below:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Julia Margaret Cameron
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Julia Margaret Cameron | Source

Sixthly, for the choir anthem, I had the choir sing “I heard the bells on Christmas Day,” and I gave a brief history of the writing of the song's lyrics, the poem by Henry W. Longfellow, which I derived from the internet. It's a history of triumph through tragedy, starting with the loss of his dear wife through a tragic fire. Then there was the war, which he had so hope would be avoided, and his son's disobedience in joining the army. Finally there was the terrible injury which his son sustained in the war. You can listen to the full story below:

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) | Source

Seventhly, while I was working on my sermon and the hymn history, a friend of mine with whom I was praying on the phone, asked me if I were writing another book. I told him NO, and asked why he had asked. He said he felt the Lord telling him to pray for the book I was writing. I told him again, I'm not writing any book and have no intention of writing another book.

Eighthly, BUT, the more I thought both about my sermon (and the fact that it needed to reach a larger audience) and the history behind that hymn (the story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and the bird story, I felt that these elements perhaps did have the making of another novel.

The clincher was when I saw an episode of the T.V. Show “Touched by an Angel” in which Mark Twain is affected by the Longfellow poem. I decided to try to tie all these elements together as a way of getting my sermon (which is found typed in all caps in Chapter 6) a larger audience by wrapping it up in a novel.

Book Haul: Historical fiction
Book Haul: Historical fiction | Source

What are Historical Novels?

Historical Novels, a.k.a. works of historical fiction, are novels which are based upon actual historical events or time periods and use fictional characters and/or fictionalise actual historical personages by giving them unique characteristics, words or thoughts. Historical novels also create fictional events or activities within a chosen historical time period.

My American Historical Novel

This is a historical novel which covers the years 1860 to 1909 and deals with the lives of H.W. Longfellow, his son, Charles and Mark Twain. What do the lives of Henry Wadsworth. Longfellow and Mark Twain have in common? The answer is that both of their lives contained terrible tragedies from which they eventually found real hope and spiritual meaning—at least in this novel. This book is about one little sermon and one, even littler poem, and how, fictionally, they may have influenced and given hope to, not only the author of the poem, Henry W. Longfellow, but also his son, Charles, and Mark Twain, whom Charles meets. Though suffering tragic losses, these all eventually find hope and spiritual fulfillment.

Why my new historical novel is unique:

My new historical novel is unique for several reason, not the least of which is that it just may be the only novel with a sermon in it--I don't mean one that preaches a sermon by the message it conveys--I mean an actual sermon literally typed as part of the novel. Is that unique or what?

In addition to that outstanding characteristic, my novel is also unique in that it takes real actual historical events and characters and fictionalizes them by surmising what MIGHT have happened to them which is not actually recorded in history. Thus, it is probably unique in that, as a reflection of the author's hope, it poses eternal salvation for certain historical personages, of which there is no actual historical record of their ever embracing Christianity.

Check your understanding: Take my little 3 question quiz:

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My new historical novel, "The Christmas Victory"
My new historical novel, "The Christmas Victory"

Reviews of my new historical novel:

I now have 2 reviews of my new historical novel, "The Christmas Victory." Here they are:

1. REVIEW By Jamie Polychrones

JAMES M. BECHER has an uncanny way of mixing history with fiction in The Christmas Victory. He takes famous individuals from the past and expands on some the actual events that occurred in their lives with fictional suppositions. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Mark Twain are major contributors to American literature. But their personal lives remain hidden in the past.

This historical fiction novel expertly weaves two genres together to create a tale that’s entirely possible. No one will ever know the true beliefs of these two men, but readers will enjoy James’ speculation about their everyday lives. With a spiritual slant, this book will enlighten and inspire readers and fellow writers to examine their own lives and contribution to history. Tragedy defines their future in this novel, as it does for many people.


2. Machelle Miller's review (Goodreads)

First of all, let me say that this is a must read!! The story line is mixed with just the right amount of historical information, which makes the book both a learning tool as well as a heart-warming experience. The sermon itself is one that I will always remember, and leaves no doubt that it can change lives. I loved the poem that eventually became the Christmas Carol "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day." When I heard vs. 4 it brought tears to my eyes, because for the first time I realize what the original context might have been. Thank you to James Becher for my signed advance copy, and the privilege of writing this review.

So, what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and get my new historical novel. I'm sure you'll love it, and it just may change your life. Click the link below to get the print or Kindle version from Amazon, OR for other eBook versions, click any of the Bublish links above and click the "Buy" link associated with the excerpt.

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    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      Great timing to come out with a historical novel about Christmas. In just a couple of months people will be looking for heart-warming material about the holidays. Sounds like a fascinating idea!