- N. N. Light
Finding a Christmas Miracle by @JanSelbourne is a Christmas in July Fete pick #romance #giveaway
Finding a Christmas Miracle
Anne Krist and Jan Selbourne
Two exceptional novellas featuring two men engulfed in a war no one understands or wants—Vietnam. They’re both hoping for a miracle with little expectation of finding it.
Jan Selbourne lends her award-winning writing talent to A Miracle in the Outback. Nick Saunders is in a hurry to escape a family argument and also to return to his Army base in Wagga Wagga. He doesn’t need another complication. Rachel Garth is a woman with a broken down car, a small girl, a deadly snake, and a baby on the way. She needs Nick’s help. He doesn’t know it, but he needs hers, too.
In award-winning author Anne Krist’s The Miracle of Coming Home, Army PFC Tom Stabler wins a trip to his parents’ Nebraska farm for Christmas. He needs the time away from the war. Lately, he’s been feeling lost and too alone. Trouble is, being home is almost as bad. Then Susan Swensen arrives, just as sweet and pretty as he remembers. Can Susan help him find himself again, or will it take a miracle?
Miracle in the Outback
Noelle’s face turned red as she let out another loud wail.
Ellie pointed to the crib. “Mum, Noelle’s crying.”
“I know, I know.” Rachel closed the sliding glass doors and pushed the hair out of her eyes.
Another louder squeal.
“I can hear her, Ellie,” Rachel snapped, and went to the sink to wash her hands. “The whole bloody street can hear her.” She picked up the little noise machine and felt the wet clothing. Pulling off the soaked nappy, she reached for a clean one to wrap around the squirming baby.
“Scream, feed, and pee,” she muttered as she opened her blouse. Like an alarm clock, every three and half hours, day and night. So different from quiet, placid Ellie and she was so tired. As soon as the little piranha finished feeding, she’d give Ellie colouring pencils and toys and try to snatch an hour’s sleep.
Rachel rested her head against the back of the sofa and reached over to Ellie. “You are such a good girl, come sit next to me. When we go shopping tomorrow, I’ll buy you a present for helping me with this noisy baby.”
Twice a week, she pushed the pram, with Ellie sitting on the toddler’s seat, to the shopping centre. Always early to avoid the heat and between feeds so Noelle would, hopefully, sleep. Then wash the pile of baby clothes and nappies. She’d take a few more dollars from her stash and buy more disposables.
Fifteen minutes later, Noelle had fallen asleep against her breast. She gently laid her in the crib, turned on the fan, and lay on the sofa.
A shrill noise jerked her awake. Blinking, she sat up and rubbed her eyes as the front doorbell shrilled again. No way was she climbing the stairs to see who it is. They can come back later when her mother was home. Probably the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Last week it was the Mormons and she’d told them where to go in very blunt language.
She lay back down and felt herself drifting off when footsteps on the side path made her sit up. Two men in suits were walking towards the sliding glass doors. They looked around the back garden before knocking.
Now alarmed, Rachel hesitated before opening the door a couple of inches. The two men produced ID badges.
“Rachel Garth?” The tall man with piercing eyes asked.
“Detective Thomas and”—his hand flicked to the man beside him—“Detective Jones. Sydney City Police. We’d like to talk to you.”
The Miracle of Coming Home
Susan Swensen flew into the small three-bedroom house she shared with Carol Buley and Mildred Hammersmith. “I won!” she shouted. “I won, I won, I won!!”
Carol stepped out of her bedroom and into the hallway, brushing her hair and already In her blue flannel pajamas. “Won what?”
Susan dropped an envelope on the scarred coffee table and threw off her wool cape, tossing it onto the used couch dressed up in a winter slipcover. A Christmas tree displayed prominently over the center cushion. Brightly wrapped gifts beneath a midnight-blue sky scattered with stars filled out the rest of the space. This was the second year the women had used it to hide the worn arms and cushions of the sofa, and it saddened Susan somewhat that it would be the last. The three would graduate from nursing school in June and go their separate ways.
She reached to remove the pins that secured her white cap to her blonde curls and then slid the bobby pins onto the edge of the cap before placing it carefully on the table. Then she picked up the envelope and removed the letter she’d read three times already.
“Susan Swensen. This is to inform you that your submission to the Home for Christmas contest sponsored by WCHI Radio Chicago has won one of seven prizes. WCHI has confirmed that PFC Thomas J. Stabler will be transferred from Saigon, South Vietnam to Norfolk, Nebraska (via Omaha, Nebraska) on or about December 16, 1970 until December 27, 1970. The Department of Defense is relaying this information to PFC Stabler’s commanding officers and to him. WCHI is happy to be a part of this Christmas homecoming. Thank you for your heartfelt submission. Merry Christmas! John Marbury, President, WCHI Radio.”
Susan looked up at Carol with a smile that felt like it might split her face. “Tom is going to be able to come home for Christmas.”
What I love most about the holiday season:
I like the sparkle and brightness that is everywhere, from the residential streets to the TV commercials to the streetlights and shop windows. When the holidays are over, everything seems a bit more blah. In many ways, being with people seems sweeter and folks are kinder. I just enjoy the whole season from Thanksgiving to New Year.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
Christmas is also the time of miracles, and our two heroes find theirs. In Miracle in the Outback, our hero comes home from Vietnam with serious injuries and must learn how to adapt. A child helps him where are the specialists couldn’t quite do the job. In The Miracle of Coming Home, a soldier loses the love of his life but in that loss he found so much more. Jan and I believe in miracles and that they come to we ordinary folk just when the need is greatest. We hope you enjoy!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 1.
Author Jan Selbourne:
Jan Selbourne was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and her love of literature and history began as soon as she learned to read and hold a pen. After graduating from a Melbourne Business College her career began in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, working in Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom. On the point of retiring, she changed course to work as secretary of a large NSW historical society. Now retired Jan is enjoying her love of travelling and literature. She has two children, a stray live in cat and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.
Author Anne Krist:
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website (www.nomadauthors.com). Fortunately, Dee’s high school sweetheart is the love of her life and husband to all three ladies! Once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.
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