Tag Archive | snow storm

My newest (old) Christmas novella

I’m pleased to announce the publication (for the second time) of my Regency Christmas novella titled A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness. 

Why is it being published for the second time? You see, the story originally appeared in an anthology published in 2009 by Cerridwen Press as part of their Cotillion line for traditional Regencies. About a year ago, the anthology went out of print, but fortunately the stories are now being released as stand-alone ebooks. I’m delighted that this story is available again.

A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness

The following paragraphs give an idea of what the story is about and also illustrate the significance of the woman depicted on the cover.

            An endangered kitten and a mysterious lady in red combine to lure Anna Marshall away from her home and out into the teeth of a ferocious snowstorm. After rescuing the kitten, Anna walks on through the falling snow, searching for a man reported missing by the lady in red.

This rather peculiar evening turns alarming for Anna when an encounter with a stranger on horseback results in her being unceremoniously “rescued” by the notorious Earl of Ashington, who was told by the lady in red that a female was missing in the storm.

Convinced he’s saving Anna’s life, Ashington insists on taking her home with him. Marooned on his country estate, the two discover a mutual attraction that both realize can lead nowhere. After all, he’s universally detested by his country neighbors and thus prefers life in London while Anna avoids the city because she has reason to dislike her aristocratic relatives who reside there.

But Christmas is approaching and with help from the ghostly lady in red, the two of them discover that by accepting love and forgiveness, they can possess the peace and joy that the season promises.

If you enjoy Christmas romances, I hope you’ll consider trying A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness. It will soon be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all venues for electronic books.

Reflecting on weather—and the kindness of strangers

It strikes me as interesting how some dates seem forever engraved on our memories while others simply evaporate. I’m thinking now of weather-related dates, and obviously that’s on my mind because I suspect this summer will go down in the record books as the hottest ever for many U.S. cities. Records have already been broken in several towns across Tennessee and in other states as well. I’m guessing that in the future, we’ll refer to this as “the Summer of 2012.”

Even though it’s still June, dead leaves litter the ground in our back yard. I’m trying to keep the birdbath cleaned out for our feathered friends, but as soon as I put fresh water in it, more leaves fall.

Another year that sticks in my memory is 1985 when we had the lowest temperature in history for Knoxville, Tennessee: 24 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. In fact, we could “brag” about having the coldest temperature in the United States that night. It was cold the following night, too, around 18 degrees below zero if memory serves me correctly. We had an indoor/outdoor thermometer in our house, and I recall feeling relief when I saw the outside temperature climb to zero. Even though it was January when most trees were dormant, many of the trees in our yard and even in the woodland behind the house froze. The following spring, many started losing their bark where they had frozen and thawed, and some even died. I spent a good many hours over the next three or four years trying to save trees by removing the loose bark and painting the trees with a wound dressing. I saved all but a couple.

Then there was “the Blizzard of ’93″—a huge system that dumped copious amounts of snow on many Southern states that are not accustomed to that much snow and are not prepared for dealing with it. Trees and limbs fell, knocking out power to many areas, and some people were without electricity for up to a week. Radio stations stayed on the air taking calls from people who had not heard or had not heeded the forecast and thus were without their medicine or other necessities of life. People with four-wheel drive vehicles volunteered to pick up baby formula, diapers, food, medicines, and so forth, and take those items to people who couldn’t get to the stores.

There are many other examples of weather-related incidents that have created havoc in our lives. Summer storms, ice storms, tornadoes: all can destroy property and disrupt lives. The common denominator in all of these is that people not seriously impacted by a particular weather event (or even those who are) will rush to help those who are in greater need. For example, when a homeless shelter put out a call for bottled water yesterday, folks responded with enough bottled water to last the shelter for months.

Which just goes to show you that no matter how bad the weather may get, the problems it creates tend to highlight the good that is inherent in most people.