Today's bonus post doesn't involve a giveaway, but I wanted to draw your attention to Christmas Gifts (Love Inspired Duet, November 2011), including the novella, Small Town Christmas, by my writer friend, Gail Gaymer Martin.
Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin writes Christian fiction for Love Inspired and Barbour Publishing, where she was honored by Heartsong readers as their Favorite Author of 2008. Gail has forty-nine contracted novels with over three million books in print. She is the author of Writers Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers, a keynote speaker at churches, libraries and civic organizations and presents workshops at conference across the US. She was recently named one of the four best novelists in the Detroit area by CBS local news.
About the book:
When the new second grade teacher, Amy Carroll, meets the precocious twin sisters, she knows she has her hands full, but when she learns they live on the street where she is staying with her grandmother and they have a single father who is handsome and needs help, Amy’s hands are beyond full. But Amy’s from Chicago and falling in love with a small town man is not part of her plan. Can God waylay Amy’s desire to return to the big city? Can Mike Russett open his heart to love?
Martin’s story contains strong characters and touching scenes. - Romantic Times
This duet novel also includes Brenda Minton's Her Christmas Cowboy.
The book is available in all fine bookstores and for online purchase via the following buttons:
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
“Mrs. Fredericks.” The office secretary leaned into the room. “Mr. Russet is here to see you.”
“The twins father.” A heavy sigh whisked the air. “Ask him to wait a moment.”
Amy took another step toward the door. No doubt the sigh signaled trouble.
“Please wait a moment, Miss Carroll. “The twins will be in your class. It might help you to meet the girls. They have a propensity for getting into trouble.” She motioned.
“They’re right across the hall in the cafeteria. It’ll give you a heads-up for Monday.”
Trouble. Amy swallowed. “I suppose that would be. . .practical.”
“Yes, and you’ll keep an eye on them while I talk with their father.” She chuckled and motioned her to follow.
Amy followed her across the hall and spotted the girls seated on each side of a cafeteria bench, cuter and sweeter looking than she’d imagined. Though not identical twins, their features were similar with bright Caribbean blue eyes.
The child with a tawny ponytail swung her legs over the bench. “It wasn’t me, Mrs. Fredericks.”
“Yes, it was.” The blonder twin slipped from her seat, her hair gathered into a ponytail on each side of her head. “Holly tore up my drawing in art class.”
“Please sit for a moment.” She gestured to the benches. “I want you to meet someone.”
They scrutinized Amy with a mix of speculation and determination. “Miss Carroll. This young lady is Holly.” She rested her hand on the one with honey brown hair and the deep frown. “And this is Ivy.”
Ivy gazed at her, curiosity written on her face.
Holly and Ivy? Amy wondered. She stepped closer. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Mrs. Fredericks eyed them. “Miss Carroll will be your new teacher on Monday.”
Holly’s ponytail flipped as she swivelled toward Amy while Ivy stared at her wide-eyed.
“I’ll leave you with Miss Carroll, and you can have a nice talk.” She turned to Amy. “I’ll be back shortly.” She strode away but paused before exiting. “When I return, I’ll introduce you to the girl’s father. I’m sure you’d like that.”
“Our dad?” Two voices rang in unison.
Amy wasn’t sure she wanted her first parental contact to be with an irritated father, but she offered a nod. When she turned, the twins were peering at her again, Holly with her arms crossed at her chest and Ivy with her fist jammed into her waist.
She slipped around the end of the bench and sat at the table. Behind those sweet faces, Amy sensed sadness. She looked from one girl to the other. “What are you doing in the cafeteria.”
Holly looked away. “Mrs. Fredericks made us sit here.”
“Hmm?” Amy tapped her finger against her cheek. “I wonder why?”
Ivy bit her lip. “Kids who misbehave have to sit in here and wait.”
Holly’s frown deepened. “I didn’t do anything bad.”
Ivy pressed her face closer to Holly’s, her look searing through her sister. “You tore up my drawing.”
“But you said it wasn’t any good.”
Ivy fell back to her seat. “If I wanted to tear it up, I would have done it.”
“That’s right, Ivy.” Amy focused on Holly, monitoring her tone. “What kind of pictures were you drawing?”
Holly’s shoulders relaxed. “Pictures of Pilgrims and Indians for our social studies.”
Amy nodded. “For Thanksgiving.” Blending learning with fun was good classroom planning.
“Uh-huh, and. . .” A movement by the door caught her attention.
“Daddy.” The girls shot from the bench and ran to a harried looking man who stood inside the doorway, his hands tucked in his jacket pockets.
Amy’s heart gave a twinge. A five o’clock shadow encompassed his lean jaw, his chestnut hair tousled as if he’d run his fingers through it many times. His straight eyebrows stretched above his caramel brown eyes, flashing with emotion.
He rocked on his heels. “You must be Miss Carroll, the new teacher.” He strode toward her. “I’m the girls’ father, Mr. Russet. It’s nice to met you.” Frustration winked behind his pleasant grin.
Amy met him halfway while the twins hovered at his side. She dropped her palm into his, aware of his warm grip. “Good to meet you, too.”
Behind him Mrs. Fredericks grinned. “I’ll see you on Monday, Miss Carroll.” She gave her a wave and vanished.
When she looked back, the man studied her with curiosity. “I’m sure we’ve met.”
Amy drew back. “Met?”
“Years ago at Ellie Carroll on Lake Street.”
“Yes, that’s it.” Amy’s memory gave a tug.
“We live across the street.” The twins voices melded together.
“She stood bewildered.
His grin widened. “Maybe eleven years ago.”
“I don’t think so.” Yet a memory shimmered in her mind. “I was eighteen then.”
“I was twenty-three, working as a handyman.” He grinned. “Maybe you’ll remember me as Mike.”
“Mike?” The recollection jarred her. “You dug out Grams old shrubbery and planted new ones.” She pictured him in the summer sun, his muscles flexing while his shirt hung on a deer ornament in the tree-sheltered yard.
Amy studied his face. His unruly hair hadn’t changed. She remembered how it ruffled in the breeze, his lean handsome face taut with concentration. She’d flirted with him. But when she went inside, her grandmother notified her he was newly married. Heat rose up Amy’s neck with the recollection. She hoped he didn’t remember she’d toyed with him.
Be sure to check out my interviews with Elizabeth Goddard, Susan Meissner, and Dan Walsh, below. Leave appropriate comments at the bottom of the posts to enter the drawings for a signed copies of their books. And don't forget to enter the drawing for His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is NOT, below!
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