Book Spotlight – A Williamsburg Christmas by Anne Greene

book spotlight owl graphic

Today in the spotlight we have Anne Greene’s holiday romance, A Williamsburg Christmas.

Book Description

A Williamsbrg Christmas cover artChristmas 1955 – Trent jilted Holly. Should she give him a second chance? Has too much time elapsed and is too much fire quenched for this romance to rekindle?

Holly falls in love with the sights, sounds, and scents of Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg during her first months living there. She’s a widowed mother raising 8-year-old twin boys by working as a waitress in a famous Colonial Williamsburg Inn.

Trent disappeared from Holly’s life ten years ago. Now he’s back and wants to marry her. Santa’s matchmakers complicate Holly’s decisions by bringing new men into her life. Will the competition prove too much for Trent?

Excerpt

1955, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Holly and Shirley trudged down Duke of Gloucester Street toward the buildings where each of them rented an apartment.

“What’s buzzin, cuzzin? Saw a ghost? You looked like something the cat dragged in this evening at work.”

Holly nodded. She needed to talk to help clarify this new situation in her mind. “It’s a long story. And not very pretty.”

“Those are the best kinds. Hit me with it.”

Holly drew a belly-up breath. Tonight, even the Christmas lights failed to cheer her. “You noticed the quartet that played this evening?”

“Sure. Their name’s Radioactive. Bunch of cool-looking cats with their pegged jeans, their black-striped shirts, and their ducktails. Played good too.” Shirley gave a thumbs-up, then winked. “Did you see that dreamy one who played that big brass horn? I could go for him in a big way.”

“Feel free. His name’s Trent Conway. We went steady during our senior year of high school.”

“Cool beans!” Shirley gazed at Holly’s face. “But no way I’d go out with one of your old flames.” She tugged at Holly’s red wool coat sleeve. “You saw a ghost from the past. I’m all ears.”

Holly walked a short distance. Why not? They had time before they reached their apartments. “Okay, you asked for it.” She forced a smile. “Start with two years after high school. My broken heart had almost healed when I met Vince. Haven’t thought about these high school memories in years.”

“That horn player broke your heart?”

“He did. I’d been expecting a proposal and a ring the summer I got a job and before Trent left our small town to attend Ohio State. He promised to write.” Holly tried to sound light-hearted. “But he didn’t. At all. I tried to contact him, but he’d left no address. After a year of mourning and moping, I left my job in West Liberty and found work in Columbus. I rented a room at the YWCA near Ohio State.” Holly gave a rueful grin. “Since we lived in the same city now, I started each day expecting to run into or hear from Trent.” She shook her head. “Neither happened. Like he’d fallen off the face of the earth.”

“Why would Trent do that?” Shirley’s blue eyes sparkled tears.

“I don’t know.” Holly smiled. “Then Vince exploded into my life like a superhero with a whirlwind romance and marriage. I almost forgot Trent.”

“Way to go!”

“I thought I’d forgotten Trent, right? Does a girl ever forget her first love?”

“You never saw Trent again—until now?”

“Right. The last time I saw him was the day he climbed into his 1941 Ford and left for college. He kissed me and said, ‘I’ll always love you, Christmas Girl.’”

Shirley’s blue eyes opened so wide she resembled an astonished child. “He called you that? How romantic!” She took several steps then stopped. “I wish a boy would call me something sweet.”

“Trent had several nicknames for me, but that’s the one he used the last time we saw each other.”

“Oh, Holly, you’re so lucky a boyfriend cared so much for you.”

The pain certainly hadn’t felt lucky. Or the years of wondering. Or the shock of running into him again with him looking even more attractive than he had in high school. “Nowheresville! I never want to see Trent again. Not now. Not ever.”

“Well, you’re lucky. Dream Boat Trent is not the one I set you up with.”

“Yuck!” Holly stopped dead and grabbed Shirley’s arm. “No!”

Shirley’s face sported a huge grin. “Yep. Mr. Clarinet Player…and all the guys…are used to girls asking them for dates after their gigs. Groupies they call us. Anyway,” Shirley’s bright smile dimmed for a second, “he turned me down at first…until I pointed you out. Then he asked, ‘When and where?’”

“You didn’t, please say you didn’t.”

“Honey, you need to get out of that apartment and see some nightlife. Santa’s bringing Mr. Clarinet Player to pick you up at seven. I’m babysitting.” Shirley flashed a genuine this-will-be-so-good-for-you smile. “His name’s Bob Robinson.”

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A Williamsburg Christmas is available from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author

photo of author Anne GreeneAnne lives in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas. Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet.

Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys family, friends, travel, reading, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”

Anne’s an award-winning author of twenty-three books. She loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. She hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart.

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New Release – Out of Her Element by E.A. West

I’m so exited to share this with you! Out of Her Element has just released on Amazon! *happy dances* Check out an exclusive excerpt below. Or read the first chapter on my website.

Book Description

Out of Her Element cover artLiving a life of luxury isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant Mira Hassan is dirt-poor and homeless when wealthy family friends give her the chance of a lifetime. The Montaigne family invites her stay with them in their mansion on a twenty-five acre estate in Dayton, Ohio.

The transition from the hills of rural West Virginia to high society is anything but easy. As Mira deals with prejudice and struggles to understand America’s class system she must find a way to fit in with her hosts without losing herself.

Excerpt

Unable to find a reason to stall any longer, Mira gave the hound in her lap one last scratch. “Sorry, buddy. I have to grab my stuff and go back inside. Maybe I’ll see you again later.”

She gave him a gentle shove, and he rolled off her with a groan. Despite all three dogs begging for attention, or maybe jerky, she collected her pack and sleeping bag and returned to the cabin.

She stole a peek at the room while she set her things on the floor by the door and hung her coat on the empty peg. Richard still sat at the table, but James stood at the counter, knife in hand, with the rabbits in front of him. Bill was conspicuously absent.

The way Richard kept assessing her made her nervous, so she joined James.

“What are you making?”

“I was thinking about rabbit stew.” He glanced at her. “If I put it on now, it should be perfect by lunch.”

Maybe she could help him out to repay him for breakfast. “You want me to skin and cut up the rabbits for you?”

“If you’d like.”

He handed her the knife and joined Richard at the table. Mira quickly skinned both rabbits and set the pelts aside. She could trade them at the store after she cured them, unless one of the men wanted to keep them.

Working with practiced fingers, she soon had one rabbit boned and cut into bite-sized pieces. Bill came into the kitchen as she started on the second.

“Hey, Mira, I have a proposition for you.”

“What is it?” If he wanted to offer her a job, she would give it serious consideration.

“How would you like to come live with my wife and me?”

She almost cut herself. He wanted her to live with them?

Stilling her hands for a moment, she took a breath to compose herself. Her mind raced faster than her pulse. Moving into his house was a far cry from working for him.

She went back to work on the rabbit. “Is Mrs. Montaigne okay with this idea?”

“She’s hoping you’ll say yes. I just got off the phone with her, and she made me promise to call her back just as soon as I have your answer.”

Mira finished butchering the rabbit while she thought. Why did they want her to live with them? Did she even want to live there?

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Out of Her Element is available on Amazon. Read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

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Right now, Out of Her Element is available as an ebook only. A paperback version is coming soon, so stay tuned for more information!

Wednesday Words – Wendy May Andrews

Wednesday Words graphic

Please welcome Wendy May Andrews to The West Corner! She’s here today talking about adoption and its history.

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Adoption became something I was very much interested in when friends of mine adopted their little boy from Europe. It was such an inspiring and yet heart-breaking adventure for them. They have a wonderful, healthy son and I am truly happy for the three of them. But I was left to wonder about the children left behind. My heart broke for the children that don’t get chosen. And so I researched adoption as well as its history. Unfortunately, this didn’t ease my heartbreak.

My perusing around the internet did, happily, bring me many uplifting stories of families made whole by the addition of children in need of a home. But unfortunately, for every happy story there were several terrible, tragic ones. I even discovered a horrible practice called “rehoming”. If you adopt a child from outside the country, there are far fewer regulations surrounding it and, as a result, far fewer protections for the poor child. I would like to think that the fact that there are more sad stories is just because the happy families are too busy having a good life to write articles about it.

The good news is, in researching the history of adoption, I came across information about Mr. Charles Brace, one of the founders of the Children’s Aid Society of New York, and his philosophy that a farmer’s table always has room for at least one more. Beginning in the 1850s, he, among others, organized train loads of orphans from New York and sent them out to the Midwest to start new lives with new families. This was long before the days of welfare and formal adoptions. While I’m sure there was all sorts of potential for negative stories, there is also so much potential for happy endings in this scenario. In fact, if you research orphan train children, you’ll find that several went on to even become president of the United States. Thousands of children found new lives in this way.

From this my Orphan Train series was born. I tried to imagine how these children would reach their new lives and I came up with the idea that volunteers would accompany them. My first book – Sophie, the Prequel, tells of one young woman who didn’t end up accompanying the orphans, but the next three will tell the stories of three young women and the children who head to Missouri. I hope you will find these circumstances as fascinating as I did.

About the Author

photo of author Wendy May AndrewsI’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love. I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.

Eight or nine years ago my husband dared me to write a book instead of always reading them. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but to my surprise I love writing. Those early efforts eventually became my first published book – Tempting the Earl (published by Avalon books in 2010). There were some ups and downs in my publishing efforts. My first publisher was sold and I became an “orphan” author, back to the drawing board of trying to find a publishing house. It has been a thrilling adventure as I learned to navigate the world of publishing.

I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.

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Sophie - The Prequel cover artBook Description

His pursuit of her threatens everything – except her heart:

Sophie Brooks has lived at the orphanage since she was ten years old. Now nineteen, she’s not only a resident, she works there as well. It’s the only true home she can remember and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep it safe.

When her budding relationship with the son of one of the orphanage’s benefactors threatens the charity’s funding, Sophie must choose between her loyalties and her heart.

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Sophie – the Prequel (Orphan Train Series, Book 1) is available for $0.99 from Amazon. Get it free with Kindle Unlimited.