Friday, December 19, 2014

Because Christmas never goes out of style

Here it is, less than a week before Christmas and I'm just getting the last of my gifts wrapped and more importantly, unwrapping a

 new cover on a brand new book! The Season For Miracles is a story I wrote years ago for a holiday party our writing group was having. I read this short tale as part of our Christmas presentation with the rest of my group, Annette Briggs, Jeanette Fletter, Edward Knapp and his wife JoAnne. I'll never forget the warmth of the day and how wonderful to spend part of the season with such awesome writers and dear friends.

Without further ado....


One snowy Christmas Eve Victoria and her little dog spend hours wandering the chilly streets selling ribbons and peering through store glass windows at the grand gifts designed to fill boys and girls
Christmas wishes everywhere.
But Victoria has a wish of her own. A yearning for something she wants more than anything else in the world. And perhaps this year Father Christmas will find her and make all her dreams come true.

When a withered old storekeeper and his gentle wife find themselves in her company, they are at a loss. The couple has long forgotten the joys of Christmas spent with a child and the magic sure to follow when they open their home and their hearts to... The Season for Miracles.

I'm sure by now you know this is not my usual romance but a children's story. And despite the fact it is a Christmas story, I don't think it'll be available until after Christmas. But no matter because its a heartwarming tale that can be read anytime of year. In fact, I've read it at least twenty times myself just this week!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday with all those you hold dear!

Come inside for a sneek peek...




The Season for Miracles



          London, 1875

         Victoria followed the vender’s cart for several blocks trailing the scent of roasted chestnuts as it rolled along Brick lane before a bitter gust of wind and snow carried the wondrous smell away. The peddler stopped at the snow covered crossing.  “Tis frozen, I am,” he said, rubbing his hands together quickly. “Think I’ll be callin’ it a night, wee one.”

         “See ye’ in the morning, then.”  The little girl said, waving goodbye as he turned down the deserted street corner.  “I’ve got a few ribbons left. I’ll see if the old store keep has a need of ‘em.” 

         “Good’night, then,” the peddler replied, wobbling off beneath the twilight sky and into a dusty mist of snow.

        Victoria shivered inside her coat as she climbed the wide snow covered steps to Cranstoun’s shop and pushed open the heavy door. Buoyant snow swooped in after her until the door slapped shut, cutting off the fierce wind and a flurry of scattered snow.

        A gray haired man stood behind the counter, peering over his spectacles at her, notably at the small dog trailing at her heels.

      “See here now, I don’t allow animals in the store.”  The old man’s voice was laced with annoyance, his mustache dancing like a wooly mammoth above his mouth.  He absently wiped the counter with a damp rag.  When she didn’t move, he leaned down closer.  “What’s the matter, hard of hearing?”  This time he said the words slowly, “No…pets…in…the…store,” he enunciated, then reared back to his full height, which wasn’t very tall, the bend in his back prevented him from towering.  “Heard me that time, didn’t you?”

         “Are you Mr. Cranstoun?”

         “I am.” He puffed up a bit. “I own this store…and every thing in it.” He’d grown accustomed to the street urchins rushing into his store, grabbing what little they could and scrambling out before he could catch them.  He’d learned their type, dirty and homeless, hardened to the core, and not a trustworthy one in the lot. “What business do you have with me?”

         Her lower lip drew up slightly and began to tremble as she fidgeted with the bottom of her shoddy coat, draped loosely around her and held together with a single button.

        “I come to sell ye some ribbons,” she said in a squeaky voice, her tiny shoulders sagging in defeat.  She held out a handful of silk, a bountiful array of scarlet, emerald and blue ribbons that dangled wet in her palm.  Her golden locks of hair hung in a drenched mass of tangled strings as well, while the melting snow clinging to her shoes created a watery puddle on the floor.

         “I got ribbons,” he bellowed.  “Bolts of them.” 

         Her eye’s swelled with tears. 

        “Oh, for the love of Pete….” He muttered and hurried around the counter.

         “Did you say something, Cilas?”  A voice called from the backroom.  The sound was soft and warm, drawing the child’s gaze to the rear of the store.

         The dog let out a warning bark when Cilas squatted in front of the girl. 

         “Do I hear a dog?”  The woman entered the room through a curtained doorway. “Why, it is a dog!” she exclaimed.  “And a little girl too.”