Hi, Y’all and welcome back for another holiday special. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Christmas specials I decided to make this a monthly theme. This month I chose Snow. (I haven’t gotten any yet, and chances are I won’t get much so I will enjoy it in books! ( no shoveling this way either).
I am kicking the Month off with A Christmas Stray by Rachelle Ayala.Everyone can get a copy of A Christmas Stray [ebook] free if they sign up for her Newsletter. Thanks, Rachelle! That’s Awesome!
I asked Rachelle her Top 10 things to do in the snow!
Make a snowman and snowdog!
- Snow angels
- Snowball fight
- Lick Snowcones? brrr…
- Sledding down a snowy hill
- Skiing and not falling too badly
- Shoving Snow down your boyfriend’s pants
- Kissing in a snowstorm
- Waking up to a winter wonderland
- The Silence while the snow is falling
A Christmas Stray
Length 106 pages
Publisher February 11th 2015 by Amiga Books
Juliette Martin does not ever want to celebrate Christmas again, not when it means reliving the last one after her six-year-old son, Jeremiah, passed away on Christmas Eve.
She and husband, Gabe, find themselves snowed in at a mountain cabin with a pair of strays. Juliette desperately needs a miracle to save her marriage and restore her faith in God. Can a stray dog and an orphan boy help her believe in the magic of Christmas and the power of love?
A Christmas Stray is a bittersweet story of loss and love. It makes us face reality in the fact that life isn’t always sweet. We have death and the pain of our marriages falling apart. I loved the twist of what happens when they are stranded. My heart went out to both Juliette and Gabe in different ways. I absolutely adored the magic of Peter and Puppy. If there is ever a story that embodies Christmas magic its this one.
If you love a bittersweet romance, orphans, elves, puppies and an allover fabulous holiday romance, you will love this one.
Here is a sneak peek at A Christmas stray
The little cabin was almost perfect. Remote, tucked beneath fir and pine trees, rustic, and private. Snowdrifts were piled on each side of the plowed driveway, and the snow-covered tin roof was sloped at a steep angle just like in the Alps.
As soon as her husband, Gabe, shut off the ignition, Juliette Martin pounced out the door of their Mercedes Benz. She hadn’t spoken to him the last two hours of the drive, not since he mentioned the Christmas tree.
Sure enough, there was a tree twinkling with lights in the window of the cabin. Juliette pulled out her cell phone to call the management company.
“Ah, it looks quite lovely, don’t you think?” Her husband massaged her shoulders.
“Lovely or not, I specified no Christmas decorations. They need to remove the tree.”
She spoke to the management company while Gabe retrieved the key from the lockbox.
“Let’s go in and warm up,” he said. “I still don’t see why you don’t want the tree. It’s not as if it has any of our own ornaments on it.”
A pang of grief caught in her throat. Gabe really didn’t understand. Either that, or he was tired of her being an emotional wreck. This getaway was supposed to revive their marriage. From the looks of it, it was more like the last gasp of a beached whale.
“I don’t want a tree. No decorations. Nothing.” She followed Gabe into the cabin. “I thought you told them.”
Which was why she was so angry with him. He’d meant for them to have a tree. He knew about it when he mentioned it two hours back, and darn it all, he knew exactly how she felt.
He feathered his fingers down the side of her neck and peered into her eyes. “Hey, I thought it would cheer you up. Us coming here to create new memories.”
Juliette melted, a little. Her husband was a kind man, a tad insensitive, but his forehead was creased with concern, and face it, he was as gorgeous as they came. Except nothing, but nothing would take away Jeremiah’s death. Nothing.
“No memories will replace Miah.” She lowered her face before he could see the sprinkling of tears in her eyes.
Last Christmas Eve had been Jeremiah’s last one—spent in the children’s hospital. He’d been so weak with leukemia he couldn’t lift his head when they trimmed the spindly little tree in his room. But he’d still smiled at the ornaments she’d made for him. And she’d been stupid and thought God would grant her prayers and give them a miracle.
She well remembered the star she’d placed on the top. One that she’d named the miracle star. It was a silly little thing, of course. One made of cardboard painted white and sprinkled with silver glitter.
“You’re thinking about the miracle star, aren’t you?” Gabe caressed her cheek, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
She tore away from him. She didn’t deserve his attention and care. Not when her heart was crushed under the weight of guilt. She hadn’t wanted Jeremiah when she first discovered she was pregnant. The time hadn’t been right. She’d actually hoped for a miscarriage. But by the time he was born, she was head over heels in love with her little Miah. Too bad God had other plans for him, plans that included striking him with leukemia when he was four and letting him linger two years before his body gave out the day before Christmas.
“Just get this crap out of here.” She attacked the Christmas tree, knocking the star from the top. “I will never, ever celebrate Christmas again.”
“Whoa, whoa, don’t break anything.” Gabe pulled her from the tree and into his arms. “We won’t celebrate Christmas, but you need to get control of yourself.”
“Let me hibernate all December and wake up after the New Year when all the trees have been composted and people are thinking income taxes instead of eggnog.”
Juliette couldn’t help the sobs of another impending breakdown. The last few days of Jeremiah’s life had been full of fake holiday cheer. He’d made his Christmas wish list, been greeted by Santa and his elves, all of them wearing face masks, and was even allowed to pick one gift to open.
He’d chosen a stuffed dog, a black and brown wiry one with pointy ears and large sad eyes.
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.
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Download a FREE surprise ebook by subscribing to her newsletter: http://bit.ly/RachAyala and find her books at online retailers Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Google Play, and Smashwords. Borrow her books at Scribd.
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Books by Rachelle Ayala
Intercepted by Love [Parts 1 – 6]
Jewells in Love