Happy Thanksgiving to all

May you enjoy the bounty of good food,
comfortable warmth,
love of family and friends,
and good health
.

~~~~~


Thanksgiving dinner with her family was wonderful, but Davie was happy to get back to her own place for the rest of the weekend. Thanksgiving dinners were always a monumental event in her family and especially since her cousin and her new husband had just gotten back from their honeymoon, the family went all out this year. She seemed to remember that last year they had some special reason to go all out then too, just like the year before.

When she was little, she remembered helping her mother prepare wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving dishes. She loved the baking most of all, fresh apple pies, delicious cornbread and pumpkin muffins – her mouth watered just thinking about it. Her mom and all her aunts, and sometimes even her uncles, helped to make a cooperative feast that she was sure rivaled any that the Pilgrims might have even dreamed of. Even now, long after her mom was no longer around to make any contributions, the dinner was still a huge ceremony. Everyone agreed though that the sweet potato pie was never as good as Laura used to make.

She was put on the bus for the trip back home with a carton of plastic containers filled with leftovers. Luckily the bus was near empty, so the cardboard box had its own seat for the ride. By the time she had gotten back home, she was so tired she barely got everything put in the fridge before she climbed exhausted into bed.

Saturday morning she slept late…

Davie was startled when her doorbell rang. She wasn’t expecting company.

“Hi.” Adam greeted her when she opened the door. “I drove by last night and saw your lights on, but it was late.” He had worried that the family upstairs would think he was a prowler at that hour, especially if Davie hadn’t welcomed his presence. “May I come in?”

COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.
BUY LINKS

It’s a FREEBIE!

September is Library Card Sign-up Month
a time to remind everyone that a library card
is the smartest card of all.

It’s September 22 – have you signed up for your library card yet?
Whether you’re a student, parent, researcher, or just looking for entertainment and relaxation, a library card opens your world to a wealth of information. You can read many of the newest and hottest releases, local newspapers and magazines, and have access to some of the finest encyclopedia’s and reference books at your local libraries.
If you live in the Ramapo-Catskill library area (New York’s Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties) then you can also read FOR FREE 5 of my novels – ask about inter-library loans if your individual library doesn’t have the book on the shelf. The RCLS Library system has Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law, Final Sin and Courage of the Heart (CotH – original version).
Be sure to ask at YOUR local library if they carry my books – if they don’t (!), ask them to order them. Many libraries welcome patron suggestions.

What?! You say you live too far from your library to make use of its resources? There’s no such thing anymore. Many libraries across the country offer digital services as well. That’s right, if you have access to the internet (you’re reading this, aren’t you?), then you can download digital media like Audio Books, EBooks, Music and Video. (Ahem, ALL of my novels are available as EBooks!).

Find out the services your public library offers and you’ll find out just what a bargain the library can be!

Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero
Bartlett’s Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige’s love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient. (ISBN-13: 978-0979654534)
Forgotten by Chelle Cordero
Forgotten is an unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue. Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt. (ISBN-13: 978-0979654572)
His Lucky Charm by Chelle Cordero
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas… this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can’t afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn. (ISBN-13: 978-1935407577) *previously Forgotten
Final Sin by Chelle Cordero
Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger… (ISBN-13: 978-1935407133)
Within the Law by Chelle Cordero
Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the villain who took his love from him. (ISBN-13: 978-0982115046)
Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero
COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers. (ISBN-13: 978-1935407188)
Common Bond, Tangled Hearts by Chelle Cordero
Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. When Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. (ISBN-13: 978-1935407935)
Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero
Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood… An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…no, he is so much more. (ISBN-13: 978-1935407713)
A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero
Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered…and Ben was the prime suspect. (ISBN-13: 978-1935407263)

an interview by Kathryn Attalla

Author Chelle Cordero

as interviewed by Kathryn Attalla

Chelle has written some memorable stories over the years. Her books include Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law, Courage of the Heart, Hostage Heart, A Chaunce of Riches & most recently Common Bond,Tangled Hearts. Her murder-mystery thriller, Final Sin, was published in May 2009.

I was lucky enough to steal her away from her very busy schedule to answer a few questions..


How long have you been in the business?

  • It’s hard to decipher which part of “the business” started when. For a few actual dates, I had my first published newspaper article when I was just 18, but I didn’t pursue writing on a full time basis until I was pregnant with my first child; luckily since I freelanced I was able to work from home. I always said that I wanted to “grow up and become a novelist” but I didn’t have my first book actually published until 2001.

Are you a plotter or pantster?

  • Definitely a pantser – I’m much too unorganized and random to do anything by outline. Besides I have a tendency to allow my characters to make their own decisions and write their own stories.

Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing The End?

  • I usually have to do only grammatical and spelling edits on my manuscripts. Since my characters write their stories I find that I rarely have much to say, I just make sure it flows.

What’s a typical writing day like for you?

  • Very random. I always start my day (whatever hour that may be) by checking and responding to email. Next I move on to social networking and blog updates – this takes me a few hours between email and blogging. That’s when I finally start writing, but if I am working on a deadline (most often for my non-fiction work) I deal with that first. During the “work day” I go in and out of each project as the brain functions – if I am stymied in one project I move to another to keep the words flowing.

What kind of promotion do you do and why?

  • I blog, do social networking (FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and forums), send out press releases and participate in several events which promote writers as a group (hand-outs of promo materials like cards, brochures, etc.)

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life (i.e., day job, family, etc.)?

  • Ah, but that would be implying that I have balance in my life… Since my “day job” is a full time freelance writer, my romance writing fits in very well. As I said above I flit between writing projects as ideas strike. My husband’s work hours vary (he is a freelance photographer and AV technician) and my kids are independent adults and not demanding of my time – I can decide to “work” whenever I feel around the clock.

Where do you get your ideas for a romance novel?

  • Life. I look around me and observe people and I let my imagination run wild. I use my own daily experiences (not necessarily all romantic!) and build on little bits. I naturally like to embellish events and stories – if nothing else, everyday becomes very interesting.

How important is it for you to have a critique partner?

  • I don’t really work with a critique partner for the most part. I enjoy having someone I can bounce ideas off of – like my sister – because talking out loud sometimes brings that “aha!” moment.

If your book was made into a movie, which actors would you like to see play your characters?

  • I almost always cast my characters, especially my heroes, while I am writing because it helps me to focus on the person – in A Chaunce of Riches I would want Ben to be played by Galen Gering (he plays Rafe on Days of Our Lives) and Samantha by a young Mary Page Keller.

What do you know now about writing/publishing that you wished you knew before The Call?

  • I wish I had known more about marketing and promotion – my first book (the original version of Courage of the Heart) published in 2001 sold very few copies. I didn’t know how to get my name out there nor did I have a realistic expectation of what publishers and authors do to promote the stories. I’ve made it a point to learn and between my new-found knowledge and a very supportive publisher, I can certainly see the difference.
*******

*special note: Kat interviewed me on the Hudson Valley Romance Writers website in January 2010, she’s given me permission to re-post this interview here.

Thanks Kat!

Window Shopping

Imagine a lazy afternoon stroll down the aisles of your favorite bookstore ~ imagine seeing a book that interests you. Pick it up, flip through the pages, see if you like it…

Just imagine…

You can sample each of my novels – just like that. Click on the widgets below and read the first few pages. Take your time browsing… enjoy.

Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

www.bookbuzzr.com

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. When Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

A Chaunce of Riches

www.bookbuzzr.com

Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered…and Ben was the prime suspect.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

Hostage Heart

www.bookbuzzr.com

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood… An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems … no, he is so much more.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

Final Sin

www.bookbuzzr.com

Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger…
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

Courage of the Heart

www.bookbuzzr.com

COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

Within the Law

www.bookbuzzr.com

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

His Lucky Charm

www.bookbuzzr.com

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas… this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can’t afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

Bartlett’s Rule

www.bookbuzzr.com

Bartlett’s Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige’s love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.
Amazon – print
Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords – ebook formats

A CHEAP way to read my books…

If you live in New York’s Hudson Valley and use the Ramapo Catskill Library System, you can borrow FIVE of my books because they are in the catalogue:

Final Sin
Within the Law
Forgotten
Bartlett’s Rule

and an early edition of Courage of the Heart (doesn’t have the pretty cover!)

You can borrow these books from ANY RCLS member library

What?!?! You don’t live in New York!

Well, then take this list to your local library and
ask them to get my books for you…

Common Bond, Tangled Hearts by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-1935407935
A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-1935407263
Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-1935407713
Final Sin by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-1935407133
Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-1935407188
Within the Law by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-0982115046
Forgotten by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-0979654572
Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero ISBN-13: 978-0979654534

(all published by Vanilla Heart Publishing)

Of course you can always purchase my books from any Barnes & Noble info desk (a few stores even have my books on their shelves!), Amazon.com and several Indie bookshops carry my books on their shelves as well (2 locations in Rockland County – Raider Books in Suffern & The Arts Alliance in Haverstraw)

Hope you enjoy the read!
Chelle

It’s Read an Ebook Week – March 7 – 13

Smashwords rocks!

Smashwords: Read an Ebook Week Specials for March 7-13

We’re pleased to sponsor Read an E-Book Week for the second year,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. “Working in collaboration with Read an E-Book Week and other participating retailers and publishers, the initiative will introduce tens of thousands of new readers and authors to the joys of ebooks.”

Ebooks are the fastest growing segment of the book publishing industry. According the International Digital Publishing Forum, wholesale ebook sales in the United States grew 172 percent in 2009.

Vanilla Heart Publishing Read an Ebook Week Titles

25% off our regular low prices
during the entire promotion!

DISCOUNT CODE RAE25

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect at all costs. The two parents realize they can love each other, but when Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. Justin won’t give up until Layne is returned to him. Layne uses her new-found strength, courage and knowledge to defy Charlie’s ugliest demands.

A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero

The day that Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for some rich widow and her kid, he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most so many years before. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would see him again. She never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man over the man she had sworn she once loved. And she certainly never expected to find out that her rich husband had been murdered and fingers were pointing to her former lover.

Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood… An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…no, he is so much more.

Final Sin by Chelle Cordero

Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full… investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger…

Courage of the Heart by Chelle Cordero

Courage of The Heart shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.

Within the Law by Chelle Cordero

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.

Forgotten by Chelle Cordero

Forgotten is an unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue. Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt.

Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero

Bartlett’s Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige’s love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.

Happy Birthday to Del

I want to wish my sister’s hubby, Del, a very happy birthday today. Del is a great guy and an all-around terrific brother.

Del was also one of my “technical consultants” for my book “Courage of the Heart”, in his honor I’m featuring an excerpt from that book here –

excerpt:

Once again he read the memo from the pharmaceutical company’s management offices based in Indianapolis to the site laboratory where ‘589APPLE’ was being developed. The note made reference to potential undesirable effects as addressed in test result number 04783, “This test stresses the need for further research before we market this drug for the public’s use. However, this test result is to be excluded from results being submitted in the FDA package so as not to delay the approval for production. It is hoped that we will eliminate the concerns raised in number 04783 prior to the first sale.” Adam looked through the folder for the mentioned test result and cursed when he realized it was still sitting in his bottom desk drawer.

His cell phone rang shrilly and the librarian gave him a disapproving look. He picked up the contents of the folder and ran to stand outside the front door. Sondra, the girl in customer service who had replaced Davie was very agitated from answering customer’s complaints about service. She was calling to let Adam know that a traffic accident nearby had taken down cable and phone lines and disrupted service to a large area. They needed him back at the office immediately.

Late that afternoon he called Davie to tell her not to wait up for him that night. He ordered a couple of sandwiches in and looked at a long night ahead until his job would be done.

Hours later, the crisis was averted and all Adam wanted to do was put his head down somewhere and go to sleep. He reached into his bottom drawer and found the test result he wanted to read earlier. But he was so tired that he could barely make any sense of the long list of statistics that headed the paper, so he folded it and stuck it in his shirt pocket. He was heading home to his bed and to Davie.

When he came in, the TV set was on and Davie was curled up on the sofa sound asleep, she had obviously tried to wait for him after all. Adam turned off the TV and spent a moment watching her. This was the kind of memory he wanted to save forever. With all of the things in his life that had gone awry, Adam marveled at the good fortune he had stumbled upon the day Davie came into his life.

He bent over her and picked her up, cradling her in his arms. Adam tried to memorize every feeling, the scent from her hair, her weight in his arms, and the way she opened her eyes and smiled just before she wound her arms around his neck.

“Hmmm… what time is it?” Her voice was sleepy.

“After three.”

“How are you ever going to get up in the morning?”

He was amused by the way her words slurred. “I’ll go in late.” He walked into their bedroom and placed her gently on the bed.

Adam helped her while she fumbled into a night shirt and crawled under the blankets. Then he went to his side of the bed and stripped, leaving his clothing on the floor. He got under the covers and pulled her body up against his, he kissed her on the top of her head and whispered “G’night.” Before he reached to turn out his night table lamp, he stopped to watch her sleeping in their bed… another memory for him to store.

A special thank you to my brother (in-law) Del and his skill as a pharmaceutical chemist for lending me his knowledge of FDA drug testing and approvals;…” (from acknowledgments)

Happy Birthday Del!

HALF PRICE SALE on all of my e-books

This weekend ONLY – thru January 31, 2010, 11:59 PM MST

Readers get 50% off with code

see code at the bottom of this page

Chelle Cordero Fall 2009 Sampler Chelle Cordero Fall 2009 Sampler
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $0.00

Welcome to Chelle Cordero’s Fall 2009 Title Sampler! Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law, Courage of the Heart, Final Sin, Hostage Heart, and a preview of her yet-to-be-released A Chaunce of Riches. more…

Common Bond, Tangled Hearts Are Best Seller Common Bond, Tangled Hearts
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect… at more…

Courage of the Heart Courage of the Heart
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. Adam Sherman has remained quiet about his scandalous past and is comfortable with his reputation as a womanizing and dedicated bachelor. He is an expert in the field of computers including more…

A Chaunce of Riches A Chaunce of Riches
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

From Chelle Cordero, author of the Pushcart Prize Nominee title, Final Sin! The day that Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for some rich widow and her kid, he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most so many years before. Damn it all, more…

Bartlett's Rule Bartlett’s Rule
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

Bartlett’s Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige’s love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are “real”; they are human, t more…

Final Sin Final Sin
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

2009 Pushcart Prize Nominee! Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full with the investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife when he meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. He is immediately drawn to her and finds himself unexpectedl more…

Forgotten Forgotten
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

Forgotten is an unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue. Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt. The story of Brandon Price and Caitlyn Smythe and a love which su more…

Hostage Heart Hostage Heart
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents. An errand for h more…

Within the Law Within the Law
By: Chelle Cordero
Published by: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Price: $5.99

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rap more…

AllRomanceeBooks.com and OmniLit.com are offering all kinds of `book love’ this weekend only! 50% off every title this weekend only! Readers receive 50% off on all titles purchased on AllRomanceeBooks.com and OmniLit.com through this weekend using the code SBTBARe1.
The discount will appear once the code is entered in the shopping cart and the “Calculate Discount” button is clicked. This awesome offer expires at midnight, January 31, 2010, 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time.
~~~~~

Season’s Greetings & Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas Eve with the Prescott family

an excerpt from Courage of the Heart:

The Christmas Eve service was traditionally a candle-lit service. Members of the choir and vestry carried candles and other religious adornments to the front of the church in a processional. As a very young child she remembered sitting on her mother’s lap in the Episcopal Church her family went to and pointing to all the lit candles and holiday ornaments. She was spellbound by the candles’ twinkling and once or twice even disrupted the good Reverend’s sermon with her commentary to her mom.

Davie had asked Adam, on the way into church, about his religious upbringing. It was something they had just never discussed before. He told her that he had been born Catholic but his first, and only, communion had been the last time he remembered being in church except for friends’ weddings and funerals. His mother had made sure he attended religious classes until he was able to receive the holy sacraments. On the day of his communion, while all the other kids were having big family parties thrown in their honor, his mother took him out for an ice cream cone before depositing him back home and going off to her barmaid job. His father had gone on another drinking binge and had never even made the church service that day.

Adam had never had occasion to go to any church services after that, his mother was always working or sleeping with a new beau and his father was always drunk. It was just a few years later when his mother left town with a new lover. When his father heard from strangers that his wife had left town, he came home and beat Adam accusing him of keeping secrets. Adam hadn’t known anything about his mother’s desertion, he just knew that he was the only one left to suffer from his father’s wrath. All the good church people of his town turned their backs on him when he needed them. Going to church would have reminded him of his mother’s abandonment so he never bothered.

Davie admitted ruefully that she didn’t attend as often as her parents would have liked. Her family always included the church in every holiday. Davie could see that this was all new to Adam. She wondered how he was going to feel when she told him that not all her cousins had made it home yet and would be appearing tomorrow at her father’s house. The holiday tables, definitely in the plural, would be stretched from room to room and would still be overcrowded.

She chanced a look at Elizabeth sitting beside Albert and marveled about how easily she had assimilated into the Prescott community. Her father had been one of nine children and except for an older brother who hadn’t come back from Korea, they all lived in the area. Many of her cousins had also settled nearby to raise their own families. A few, like her, lived several hours away. On major holidays almost everyone who had claim to Prescott blood descended on Cape May County. Everybody who ever lived in their small town was either related to or a good friend with somebody in the Prescott family.

Reverend Williams was ascending the pulpit to begin his sermon. The choir was singing from Handel’s Messiah, she could hear her Aunt Rose’s voice. She had always wondered why Aunt Rose with the beautiful voice hadn’t become a professional singer. Davie noticed that Adam had been following along with all the prayers and hymns. She hoped that this Christmas was going to be memorable for both of them.

“Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.” The reverend spoke of the greatest gift, the love and the child; he said the story of Christmas was about the poor and the outcast. He warned the congregation not to hide behind “gruff exteriors or a mask of self-sufficiency” for that would only multiply feelings of loneliness and of being outcasts.

Adam squeezed Davie’s hand as the homily continued.

“Christmas is a story about all of us receiving that which we most want and need: love; deep, strong, unconditional love.” Reverend William wished everyone a wonderful Christmas filled with family, love and faith.

After the service was over, Adam and Davie were separated in the throng of activity. She caught occasional glimpses of Adam as he was introduced to other members of her family by relatives that had just met him an hour earlier. Davie was captured in embrace after embrace of relatives who exclaimed how long she’d been gone even though she’d seen most of them at Thanksgiving. Her aunts and uncles pulled her to the side to ask questions about Adam. Her female cousins took turns swooning over his good looks. Davie heard her dad and Elizabeth asked if there was going to be a double wedding in February.

They finally managed to reach each other and Davie grabbed Adam’s hand so they wouldn’t be separated again.

“I am sorry about that.” Davie apologized.

“Don’t worry, they are all kind of nice. It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to grow up with so much family around.” He leaned close to her ear and whispered. “How many of these people are actually related to you?”

Davie took her time looking around before she turned back to Adam with a grin. “The Reverend isn’t.”

For a moment Adam didn’t know whether she was mocking him or not. Then she laughed.

“Alright, there are a lot of people here who are related to me.” She shrugged. “It’s a big family.”

“Well, now I know where you got your people skills.” He put his arm around her shoulder and noticed that one older woman, maybe one of Davie’s aunts, gave a look of approval. “Uh, do they wear name-tags tomorrow by any chance?” He had no idea how he was going to keep who-was-who straight.

“The easiest way to sort it all out tomorrow is figure if they are in the house, they’re family. The oldest folks are grandparents, doesn’t matter who’s, middle aged are aunts and uncles, you know my dad and Liz. The people our age and teens are cousins, except for Robbie and Allan of course. The little ones are children of the cousins.” She laughed. “It’s really very easy.”

ISBN-13: 978-1935407188
in e-book formats

Sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.
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(originally posted on Lindsay’s Romantics)