Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas novella


A Montana Christmas is about bringing together two families, two worlds, for a holiday gathering with the hope of healing old wounds. Helene is convinced it is the season for just that while Phillip, once she explains her plan, is equally convinced it'll be a disaster. Can the Rocking H work its magic as it had in their lives? 

While the novella stands alone, From Here to There came ahead of it. The short story, Curly Learns a Lesson is at its end, and there is bound to be a future contemporary western romance as the Rocking H has more to say.

A Montana Christmas Snippet:


“I wish I could be there but…” Once again his tone had changed. She knew he was feeling his own pressure. He handled it well, or he wouldn’t be in high stakes finance, but it didn’t come without a physical cost.
“What I wanted to… Well it’ll be awhile longer before I can leave Uncle Amos. He really does need me here as much as anything to be sure he takes his meds and doesn’t overdo.”
The hesitation was brief. “I understand. When will you be back then?”
Having split their living between two homes, one on the ranch and the other in Boston, had a lot of complications not the least of which was going to be this year for Christmas.
“I don’t see how I can until the end of January.”
“No Tahiti then?” His voice was toneless, revealing none of what he was feeling. That was so typical of Phillip when he wanted to drop a barrier between others and himself.
“I’m sorry, love, but I just can’t do it to Uncle Amos. And with Rafe as he is, well they need me.”
“I need you too.” He wasn’t condemning her, but she still knew he’d gone into a defensive mode.
“And I need you, Phillip. I want a Montana Christmas this year with you here too. I know you planned for us to go to the islands again, but can’t you cancel that and come here instead, have a real family Christmas?”
This time there was a definite pause, but she waited before she added, “You know what Christmas means to me. I’ve told you how it always was.”
Phillip had told her what holidays had meant to him-- violent drunkenness from some of his mother’s boyfriends. It hadn’t improved as his sisters grew up and added their own chaos. His experiences had been far from Helene’s-- even though most of hers hadn’t involved parents but rather the ranch and her uncle and aunt. For her, Christmas holidays had been an escape from pressure. Up in the mountains at their ranch, she had always been rejuvenated. She understood how different it had been for Phillip, but she could show him another way if he would give her a chance.
“Please at least think about it,” she said. “I know I just dumped this on you but think about it. If you just can’t do it, well, we’ll work out something.” She had no idea what as she was not going to leave her uncle until he was fully himself again.
“Baby, I won’t say no to you. You know that. All right.” Now his voice definitely took on a humorous twist. “What does this business of a family Christmas—Montana style mean?”
“How soon can you get here? I could show you better than tell you.”
“Will there be any presents for me to unwrap?” he asked with that teasing tone.


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