Tag Archives: Christmas stories

A Christmas Kindness Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: A Christmas Kindness
Genre: First chapter reader
Author: Cheryl Malandrinos
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
ISBN – 978-0985266141

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Excerpt:
Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvW-tUyxDq8

Purchase your copy:

C.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com

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A Christmas Kindness Book Blast Schedule
December 4
Book review at IE Mommy
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Blooming with Books
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at 4 the Love of Books
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at My Devotional Thoughts
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Lynn’s Corner
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at The Story of a Writer
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Rose and Beps Blog
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Naturally Kim



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Book Review: ‘Christmas Romance: The Best Christmas Romance of 2013,’ by Casey Dawes, Danica Winters, Jennifer Conner, and Sharon Kleve

 

18749222 (1)For fans of inspirational love stories, Christmas Romance is a wonderful anthology to cuddle up with this holiday season. Written by four best-selling romance authors, these stories will warm your heart and leave you with a cozy upbeat feeling that will linger for days.

In “Christmas Wishes,” readers will meet Lee Llewellyn, who’s lost all hope of finding happiness due to her young son’s death and the bitter divorce that followed… until she meets a handsome stranger in the cemetery on Christmas Eve, and her life takes a bright, unexpected twist. A soulful story about re-claiming joy.

In “Central Bark at Christmas,” Tennyson has just been dumped by her arrogant and insensitive lawyer boyfriend. She swears to stay away from men, believing they’re nothing but bad luck. But then, while walking her dog she meets Par, who, aside from spending time with his dog, seems only to have time for work. But fate has plans for them. They find an abandoned dog and as they care for it and try to find him a home, their destinies become intertwined… Dog lovers will love this one.

In “Halo’s Wish,” undercover pet detective Halo Ann’s dream is to have a big family and a house in the country surrounded by pets, but she denies herself these things by focusing on her career – even if that means staying away from a sexy veterinarian who keeps bumping into her. While working on a case, things go terribly wrong and she ends up with a lump on her head, a broken ankle, a bruised hip, and a demolished car. The first thing she sees in the hospital when she opens her eyes is the vet’s face. Will Christmas work its magic and make her realize she can have both a fulfilling relationship and a career? This was such a cute story with endearing protagonists.

In “Christmas Hope,” Clara is trying to lift from the ground a tasting party business called The Perfect Place — not easy when her self esteem is low due to a failed marriage and various failed businesses. One day while watching TV she discovers Sam Richards, a fourth-generation farmer from upstate New York…and she has an idea that brings her to his very doorstep. There’s only one problem: he’s super grumpy and has not interest whatsoever in collaborating with her. Will Clara succeed in melting the ice from his Scrooge heart?

What I loved most about this anthology is that it’s full of pets: dogs, puppies, kittens. As an animal lover, I really enjoyed the way the authors incorporated critters into their stories, and how the animals, in a way, had a role in uniting the characters. The protagonists are sympathetic, their troubles and concerns ones that most women can relate to. The heroes are ones to fall in love with. There’s a generous share of humor as well. These four heart-warming stories are about moving forward and start living again, about the magic of the Christmas season, about trusting our hearts and having hope. Most of all, about believing and finding true love. Recommended!

Find out more on Amazon and Books to Go Now.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.

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Interview with Cheryl C. Malandrinos: “I have a basic idea and then I let things happen as they may.”

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.     

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.

 

About Little Shepherd

Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

Q: Thank you for this interview, Cheryl. Can you tell us what your latest book, Little Shepherd, is all about?

Thanks for having me here today. Little Shepherd tells the story of the first Christmas through the eyes of a shepherd boy in the fields outside of Bethlehem. Obed is tending his first flock when the angel appears. He wants to join the others to see the newborn King, but he’s afraid something will happen to his sheep if he leaves them alone.

Some wise words from his father help convince him, but Obed is anxious to return to the fields after meeting the Holy Family. What he discovers is that it is a night of miracles.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

There are really only two in Little Shepherd—Obed and his father. Obed is very responsible for his young age of five and is determined not to let anything happen to his sheep. He knows how much his family depends upon them for food and clothing.

His father and the others witness the angel’s appearance. He is the one who suggests they visit the newborn King. His actions that night surprise Obed a bit, but like a good son he obeys his father, despite his anxiety.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

In this instance, Obed is imaginary, but I can see Obed’s father having been the shepherd who said, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

Typically, when I’m working on something, I have a basic idea and then I let things happen as they may. My original idea is rarely what the finished manuscript ends up looking like.

With Little Shepherd, I knew I wanted it to be about a young shepherd who visits the Savior on the first Christmas, but the first draft had no conflict. I had to talk it through with a writing friend a bit to discover what Obed’s conflict would be.

Q: Your book is set outside and in Bethlehem. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

God dictated the setting for this one.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

It does because of the need for historical accuracy.

Q: Open the book to page 9. What is happening?

Obed is visiting with the Holy Family. He sees that everything is just as the angel had told them. He hears the wolves howling in the distance but none of the other shepherds, including his father, seem concerned.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Off in the distance, a wolf howled. Obed moved closer to his flock, scanning the hills for any sign of a pack that might race in and steal his sheep. His family depended upon the sheep for food and their wool for clothing. No sheep would be lost under his watch.

He shivered inside his cloak. While the days were getting warmer, the nights still chilled him. He walked over to the large fire blazing inside the pit. He rubbed his hands together and held them up to the fire to warm them.

Above him, the sky twinkled with millions of stars. Obed couldn’t remember a night so clear.

Suddenly, a bright light filled the sky.

Obed trembled. “Father, what is happening?”

His father dropped to the ground, his right hand blocking his eyes from the intense light.

Obed pulled the edges of his cloak closer to his face as he squinted up at the mysterious form hovering overhead. He shivered, but this time it was not because of the cold.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Cheryl. We wish you much success!

Thanks again for having me. I hope your readers will stop by my new blog dedicated to the book, which can be found at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.  There’s a video trailer for Little Shepherd in the sidebar.

Readers can also find me at http://ccmalandrinos.com/, become my friend on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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Holiday Memories: Shouldering the Cross at Christmas by Ellen Chaksil

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!


Shouldering the Cross at Christmas
by Ellen Chaksil

With the approach of Christmas, I confided a terrible, heartbreaking suspicion to my cousin, Ann. My son David had been staying with me temporarily, and he was planning to once more get an apartment of his own. I had undertaken the chore of helping clear out some of his things. In the process of doing so, I had come across an abundance of pills in one of his bureau drawers. Since it was not the first time I had found them, I really became alarmed, thinking, Could he possibly be addicted to those pills?

“Oh, come on!” Ann interrupted. “I don’t think so. You did say they’re prescription drugs. Maybe that old football injury is kicking up. Then, too, he’s had a few minor accidents since then, so he might need them for pain.”

After a bit more discussion, I was ashamed of myself for having shared that ugly suspicion with Ann. When she got up to leave, I felt even worse that I had burdened her, for I could see that she was becoming more and more incapacitated by her rheumatoid arthritis, yet I marveled at how she almost never complained or made reference to her pain.

After Ann left, I prayed, asking the Lord to give her the strength she needed to cope; especially with the Christmas season upon us, there was so much to do. I also petitioned the Lord, asking Him to protect David. I so hoped Ann was right in her assessment, that he couldn’t be addicted to those pain pills, yet I had my doubts, as for some time I had known that all was not right in his life.

During the Christmas holidays, I invited Ann to dinner. When we finished eating, we retired to the living room and sat before the blazing fire in the fireplace. At first its warmth and charm failed to alter her sad mood. With folded arms, appearing totally dejected, she stared down at her misshapen feet and sounded even unhappier, saying, “Ellen, thanks for inviting me over; if you hadn’t called I would probably be lying down, hoping I could fall asleep. It seems that’s all I want to do anymore.”

In an effort to change her mood, I responded, “Ann, please don’t talk that way; God had given you a beautiful family and they desperately need you.”

“Oh, come on, Ellen,” she answered, releasing a well of tears. “Just take a good look at me.” Almost inaudibly she added, “Sometimes, even though I know better, I feel God doesn’t even exist. Or if He does, He has forgotten all about me.”

Hearing her, I began to understand her quiet demeanor; she had kept all that pain buried within herself.

I responded immediately. “Ann, I know how drastically your life has changed because of this illness, but you can’t just give up on life or on God. With and in Him you can find the peace and comfort you need to carry on.” A shiver of determination went through my body as I reached for my Bible. “You may not be up to it right now,” I said. “But let’s see if the Lord has a Word for us, one to lift us up.”

She gave no sign of either objection or agreement, so I simply went ahead and randomly opened the Bible. My eyes fell upon Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 16; in briefly scanning it, I considered it a most appropriate passage for us in that moment in time.

Before I began reading, I silently thanked God, knowing the scripture had opened to that exact page only through the guidance of His Holy Spirit:

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow Me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lost it; but anyone who loses his life for My sake will find it. What then will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life?”

Reading from the accompanying reference notes, I added, “Ann, here we read that the word ‘life’ means the life of our soul as well as that of our person. Jesus is telling us that even if we possess the entire world, we are not able to buy an extra second of life on Earth. And that’s okay, because what we must be concerned about is the life of our soul, our spirit, because it lives on after physical death. And we cannot risk the loss of our soul by turning away from God.”

“In that Scripture reading, Jesus is telling us to accept our burden, to carry our cross, whatever it might be. He did, after all, lay out the pattern for us; we need only follow in His Way and we will find the strength we need to persevere.”

I could see the tears running down Ann’s cheeks and I handed her a tissue to dry her eyes. I also needed one for myself. It grieved me to see my beloved cousin suffering so much. After a few moments had passed, I said, “Ann, I know it’s difficult to accept this hope-filled message, especially when you are suffering as much as you are, but remember Jesus promised that when we accept and carry our cross, it will be lightened. C’mon, what do you say? Let’s continue getting together to pray, read, and learn about the Way He offers.”

I was so pleased when I saw her nod her head in agreement.

In the following months, I was even happier as I watched an almost miraculous change take place in Ann. While her physical condition continued to worsen, she no longer appeared to be depressed. Once again we could see her beautiful dimples, because she smiled more often.

ELLEN CHAKSIL (pen name for Helen Silvestri) is the author of “With God There Is Hope: Hope for Humanity.” She is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group in Scranton, Pa. She began receiving messages from God in 1978. She needed to share what she experienced with church officials. Her quest led her from her home in Northeast Pennsylvania to the Vatican. After numerous attempts, she was able to make contact. In 1992, she met Pope John Paul II and in 1996 she received official recognition that he had read her letter detailing the prophecy she received from God. Ellen also contacted Boguslaw Lipinski, Ph.D of Harvard Medical School. He provided hypothetical proof of the concept that when people gather to pray, energy is emitted. Now Ellen’s goal is to help unite the world in prayer to generate the power great enough to forestall catastrophe and enable humanity’s continued existence. She hopes her book will be an instrument to raise awareness of the power of prayer.

Visit Ellen’s blog at: catholiccharismaticprophecies.blogspot.com
Visit Ellen’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000344651305&ref=name

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Holiday Memories: Cats and Underwear by Ruth Hartman

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!


Cats and Underwear
by Ruth Hartman

In 1967, my father was pastoring a church in Richmond, Indiana. He had only been there eleven months, so we were all still settling into the church, neighborhood, and town. About a week before Christmas on a Sunday evening, my mom came into my closet-sized bedroom.

“Ruth, it’s time to change your clothes.”

“What for?”

“You’re going to sing.”

“I am?”

“Remember? We talked about this last week.”

“But Simon is waiting for me. He’s outside the back door.”

“Simon will be fine. He’ll be here when we get back.”

Panic set in. “But I don’t want to sing!”

“You won’t be alone. Chris, Mark and Keith will sing with you.”

“Noooo!” I threw my little arms around her neck. “Please don’t make me!”

She let out an exasperated sigh. “Ruth, come on. We’re going to be late. We need to change your clothes.” As she unhooked my grip of death from around her neck, she tried to coax me into getting ready. She grabbed my dark green velvet dress from the closet. Next came my white tights and black patent leather dress shoes.

I tried again. “But Simon-”

“That smelly cat will be fine for an hour.”

“He won’t know where I am. He’ll be scared.”

“Ruth, he’ll be able to see you walk to the church. He’s liable to follow you. It’s right next-door.”

I continued to wail and beg as my mom yanked my tiny white tights over my pudgy legs. “I don’t want to sing. Please don’t make me.”

“You’re four years old, Ruth. A big girl. You’ll do a good job for Daddy, won’t you?”

My tears stopped flowing as I looked into my mother’s brown eyes. I didn’t want my daddy to be disappointed. I didn’t want the church people to be mad at him.

“Okay. But only if someone holds my hand.” I rubbed my runny nose on the puffy sleeve of my green dress. My mom rolled her eyes.

“I’ll tell Chris that she has to hold your hand. And if she doesn’t, she’ll make sure one of your brothers does, okay?”

Then I thought of something else. “Why won’t you hold my hand?”

“Because I won’t be up there with you.”

“But why not?”

“Daddy thought it would be nice if just you kids sang some Christmas songs for everyone. You’ll do a good job. You’re a good singer, Ruthie.”

The time came for us to make the thirty-yard trek to the back door of the church. The journey seemed to take a year.

“Okay,” said Daddy, once we were inside the sanctuary. “Let’s get you guys on stage to see where you should all stand.” My sister and brothers trudged up the steps to the stage. I dragged my patent leathers. Maybe if I took long enough, they’d get tired of waiting and sing without me. All I succeeded in doing, however, was to catch the toe of my shoe on the carpeted step and land on the stage with my nether regions facing the sanctuary. I looked behind me. People were starting to file in. I looked down. Oh no! My dress had hiked up and my white lacy bloomers were showing. Those church people saw my underwear! God could see my underwear!

“Ruth, quit mooning the audience!” said Mark.

My sister helped me up and smoothed down my skirt. We all stood side by side, with me in between my brothers. I tugged on Keith’s hand. He reluctantly grabbed my sweaty palm and tried not to look disgusted.

I don’t remember any of the songs we sang except the last one. I was probably so petrified that I’ve blocked it out. All I remember now was singing, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to my patent leathers. If I didn’t look up, maybe the church people couldn’t see me.

After the traumatic episode was over, we were allowed to go home. I ran all the way. As soon as I got to the house, I picked up Simon. The stinky black and white tomcat smiled when I rubbed my face on the top of his dirty head. I sighed. Everything would be okay. I was back with my best friend. My confidante. “Oh, Simon, you’ll never guess what happened. It was awful. God saw my underwear! Do you think I’m in trouble?” When he purred, I knew God would forgive me.

Ruth J. Hartman is a published author and licensed dental hygienist living in rural Indiana. She and her husband share their 100-year-old farmhouse with two very spoiled cats.

Ruth can be reached at rghartman@aol.com. Or by visiting her website: www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com

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Christmas Memories: An Old-Fashioned Christmas at Pardee Square by Molly Roe

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!


An Old-Fashioned Christmas at Pardee Square
by Molly Roe

“A tree? In the house?” Pat and James laughed when I shook my head at the doings in the parlor. Mrs. Pardee had ordered the strongest servants to remove some heavy pieces of furniture to make room for a ten foot tree.

“The ways of the wealthy are strange, Katie. When you have too much money it scrambles your brain,” said James.

“Guess my senses will never be addled then,” I said.

“Mrs. Pardee imported all the decorations and candle-holders from Germany. Christmas trees are a popular tradition there,” said Pat.

“Here, here, get to work and stop gossiping about your betters,” said Mrs. Lane, who had only heard Pat’s last comment. Mrs. Lane directed the staff in decorating the branches with candles, glass balls, and tin ornaments. James’s towering height and long arms were needed to reach the highest branches. The candles sat on the boughs in cleverly designed pendulum holders that were balanced by weighted stars. With the candles lit, the dangling glass balls and tin ornaments reflected a soft radiance. Baby Frank reached out a chubby hand to grasp the colorful objects, but his nursery maid whisked him out of range. Once the evergreen was in place, I had to admit the piney aroma and cheerful appearance was a welcome change from the parlor’s usual stuffy atmosphere. A Christmas tree was a lot of work, but the finished product was lovely. As I stepped back to admire the effect, small fists tugged on my uniform skirt.

“Katie, Katie, look how I stayed in the lines!” Six-year-old Bart Pardee and his older brother, Izzie, were helping to decorate, cutting out Thomas Nast’s newspaper sketches of Santa Claus and coloring them. I complimented the boys and cut pieces of tinsel garland to tie their artwork onto the tree.

My favorite display was the three-tiered pyramid contraption on a side table. The draft created by small red candles moved wooden paddle blades, and a carved Nativity scene twirled before my fascinated eyes. I wished my sisters could see the delights. At least I was able to take the stubs when the candles were replaced. I would send them to Murphy’s Patch so a candle would remain burning in our window through the Christmas season.

One afternoon Mrs. Pardee announced a shopping trip to the Kristkindlmarkt in Pottsville. The outside fair would feature imported gift items for Christmas. German cuckoo clocks, Moravian stars, creche scenes, and intricate toys for the younger children were among the items for sale.

Mrs. P. planned to buy a large ceramic stein. She started planning a trip by train to the city. The most exciting news was that I would attend Mrs. Pardee and the children.

On the day of departure, we hustled to the station with enough luggage for several days. Porters carried the bags onto the train, but I would be in charge of everything once we were on board. A reddish-brown car with crisp gold lettering was already pulled up at the siding. I was more excited than Izzie and Bart since we were traveling in a luxury box with soft leather seats and plush velvet hangings for privacy. Our tickets gave us access to the lounge car and other exclusive areas that I had never seen before. To give Mrs. Pardee some quiet time, I took the two children for a walk through the cars to the observation deck.

“Oh, look at the horses in the field… and the hex sign on that barn.” I pointed out the green-glazed windows at highlights of the landscape to keep the children occupied. When we went back to our berth, we played counting and memory games until the children were lulled into naps. The lurching of the train stopping at Pottsville station awoke the children, and we gathered our possessions and left the car.

A coachman was waiting for us at the brick P&R station when we alit from the train amidst a cloud of steam, and he swept us by carriage to Pennsylvania Hall where a luxury suite was set aside for the Pardees. Visiting coal barons to the Schuylkill County seat always stayed in the hotel’s deluxe accommodations. Even my room, on the least exclusive floor, was delightful. I bounced onto the wide bed and giggled as I was almost launched off the other side.

I freshened up and had a cold luncheon before going to the outdoor market with Mrs. Pardee and her sons. The street scene was bustling with excitement. Large kegs at the intersections blocked out traffic to provide safe travel for pedestrians through small wooden booths and canvas-covered displays.

Mrs. Pardee examined and ordered many items. Some were to be personalized or created especially to her taste. The children wove between people in the crowd and raced each other from booth to booth.

“Boys, stop!” I chased them down a crowded lane and scolded them. “Your mother is looking for you.”

“Mother, can I buy something?” asked Bart, pointing at a toy display.

“Nothing for yourself, but you may purchase something for your brothers and sister.”

Mrs. Pardee took note of their choices for Christmas gifts. The long day was beginning to wear on the boys, and they started to push each other and bicker.

“Time to return to the hotel,” said Mrs. Pardee amidst complaints from her sons.

Once Izzie and Bart were settled with a maid from the hotel to oversee their supper, Mrs. Pardee and I returned to the market to choose items for the children. By five o’clock the vendors had fires and lamps lit to allow their customers to see their merchandise. The festive scene was very enjoyable and since I was wearing my warmest outer garments, including gloves and scarf, the bite of the cold air did not affect my pleasure. Every breath filled my lungs with the smell of chestnuts, pretzels or spicy sausages roasting on open grates. Candles, incense, toasted candied peanuts, gingerbread, and other exotic scents mingled in the air. Laughter and music met my ears. It was as much a social event as it was a market.

My employer smiled and discussed the merchandise with the vendors, but her good mood disappeared when time came to order. Spoiled by the constant pandering of merchants in Hazleton and Philadelphia, Mrs. Pardee was dumbstruck that she would have to wait for some of the items.

Turning to me with a stern look she said, “You’ll have to stay in the city two extra days to collect my purchases and ensure their quality.”

“Yes, M’am.” I answered in a demure way, but beneath my composed face I was delighted.

Annoyed that she would have to take the trip back without my help, Mrs. P. pushed a purse into my hands and gave me last minute instructions. The money was to pay for the orders, for cab fare and tips, and for the return trip to Hazleton. She and the children bustled off to the station to catch the train home.

Early the next morning I set out on my mission. One of the bellboys was especially friendly. He called a cab and refused the tip I offered.

“Sure you need the money more than I do, darlin’. Buy yourself something at the fair.”

The cab lurched off before I could refuse the bellboy’s generosity, but I had an idea of what I’d buy with the unexpected spending money. The leather seat sighed as I settled into it.

I paid the driver and stepped onto the slate sidewalk. I thought about what I could buy my parents and sisters at the market. The small drawstring bag in which I kept my money clinked as I jiggled it. I wished that I had more money. It would be difficult to stretch the funds four ways.

Just as the thought entered my mind, I had a brainstorm. The ticket! I searched through my bag and located the return ticket that Mrs. Pardee pushed into my hand last night. It was a first class seat! My emotions soared. I could exchange the expensive ticket for a cheap seat in a combination car. I didn’t mind traveling with the ordinary passengers and baggage, especially since it meant several extra dollars in my purse.

I sallied off to the street fair feeling like a wealthy capitalist. My first purchase was simple. I decided to purchase some fragrant spices and a cookie press shaped like an angel for my mother, the baker.

The next stall has wonderful three-tiered pyramids like the one at Pardee Square. The carving and paintwork on the tiny figures was exquisite, but the prices were far beyond my pocketbook. Fortunately a little farther along I came to a booth with small German woodcarvings. One piece, depicting a trio of girls playing Ring a-ring o’roses, reminded me of my sisters and me in early childhood. My father would appreciate both the subject and the quality of the piece, so I added that gift to my basket.

My sisters would be happy with some candy, but should it be fudge, sugar mice, parma violets, barley toy candy, or rock candy strings? Apothecary-style jars lined the open shelves in the rear of the stand with more choices than I had ever seen in one place. The colorful and tempting plate of broken candy for sampling helped with my decision. Red and green barley pops finished my shopping list.

I swung the string-wrapped parcels and imagined my family’s delight on Christmas morning. I collected the merchandise for Mrs. Pardee and returned to the hotel. Passing my friend the bellboy, I smiled and told him that my little sisters would appreciate his kindness on Christmas morning.

MOLLY ROE (pen name for Mary Garrity Slaby) is the author of “Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires” and a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School.” She is a veteran language arts & reading teacher at Lake-Lehman Junior Senior High School. Mary holds a Ph.D. in education from Temple University, and Pennsylvania teaching certification in six areas. She has pursued the hobby of genealogy for the past decade. Mary was born in Philadelphia, raised in Schuylkill County, and currently lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania with her husband, John. They are parents of two grown children, Melissa and John Garrett, cover illustrator of “Call Me Kate.” Digging into the past has given Mary newfound respect for her ancestors and a better understanding of history. Call Me Kate is the first in the author’s trilogy of historical novels loosely based on the lives of the strong women who preceded her.

Visit Molly’s blog at: conversationsfromthesideporch.blogspot.com
Visit Molly’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1504351498&ref

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Christmas Memories: He Touched My Hand by Leticia Pontoni

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!


He Touched My Hand
by Leticia Pontoni

One night, just before my 20th Christmas, I felt a soft touch on my hand when I closed my window. I knew that it was him, that the spirit of my father was there, near me, protecting me. My mother and I were alone in that enormous house.

Yes, I thought he was there that unforgettable night of Christmas.

In addition, that Christmas-night was nice. We spent good moments with our relatives. We ate yummy meals, we song nice celebrating songs. We spent good times with hugs, kisses for our aunts and cousins. In addition, we opened wrapped gifts.

Moreover, after Midnight had passed.  That night I recalled my father with my heart and my mind all the night. I don’t know why.

I missed him since his death…all my life. When someone dies rest of people thinks that maybe, we don’t have time to say good-bye. When I was a little child, I didn’t know that death existed. I thought that nobody would ever die. It was too difficult for me to understand the idea that one day I would never see anybody again.

Nevertheless, one day all people take that trip to other side. I was only 10 years old that day that I lost you.

The pain crashed into me, and broke my heart. Yet, there’s still that little girl in me will never forget the chocolate ice-cream you made just for me.

I never will forget your visit in that special Christmas night.

I was born in Argentina. I put my heart when I write and imagine. I write for children and for adults too. If you like to visit my blog, go to http://laflacaquevuela.blogspot.com a bilingual blog. In addition, my email address is lety_pontoni@hotmail.com

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