I had the amazing opportunity to join a group of writers last year to pen a Christmas Anthology titled CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS.
Several of the writers – including myself – are back again this year with more stories about the heartwarming little town during the holiday season.
When divorced mother of two, Carole Kelley, moves herself and her children to Dickens, she figures the most difficult thing she’ll have to face is providing a perfect Christmas for her 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.
What she doesn’t count on is Jaxon Matthews, Wil-Bar Toy’s attorney and quite possibly the most infuriating man she’s ever met.
Jax wants nothing more than to finish up his current workload within the next few weeks so he can pack his bags and leave for his usual solitary Christmas on Grand Cayman Island. His plans are quickly derailed when a big contract falls through, forcing him back to the negotiating table less than a month before the holiday.
His plans are further delayed when he meets Carole Kelley. Despite his best intentions to steer clear of any romantic entanglements, he can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful woman and her infectious holiday spirit… something he hasn’t felt in years.
Once he realizes getting to know Carole means competing with her two children for her attention, he’s ready to give up on furthering their relationship. What he doesn’t count on is the power of family, and the magic of the wish stick.
“Momma, are we there yet? Will Millie be there? Are we going to have Thanksgiving at their house?” Lila’s questions came in rapid-fire succession. “Will I get to sleep in the tent in her room like last time?”
Carole Kelley shifted in the front seat of her minivan and glanced in her rearview mirror. Her daughter was fighting sleep with the stubbornness of a seven-year-old diva.
Her four-year-old son Jake, on the other hand, was sound asleep in his car seat, not a care in the world.
“Yes, sweetie, we’re finally here. At least in Dickens proper. It’ll take a few more minutes before we reach Barrett House. As for where you’ll sleep, that will be up to Rick and Cassidy.”
“And Uncle William?”
“Yes, dear, him too.”
“Are we going to live at Barrett House? I want to ride the horses like last time.”
Carole released a long, weary sigh, then pulled in a much-needed breath. “No, dear, we won’t be living at Barrett House, as much as I’m sure you’d love to.”
“They have lotsa bedrooms,” Lila pointed out.
“Yes, they do. However, we don’t want to impose any longer than necessary. We have a nice apartment waiting for us in the same building where Cassidy and Millie used to live.”
“Is that where the lady lives who’s going to watch me and Jake when you’re at work?”
Gripping the steering wheel, Carole stretched her back and craned her neck, working out the kinks from the eight-hour drive, before responding. “Yes. Miss Frances comes highly recommended. Millie says she’s the bestest babysitter ever.”
“Are you excited about your new job? Will it be like the job you had back in Chester?”
“It’s not exactly the same as my last job, but I’m sure I’ll love it. Who wouldn’t love working in toy factory, even if it is in the office?”
“Will Jake and me get to see where the toys are made?”
Where was that blasted Sandman when you needed him?
“I suppose, but not right away. They’re way too busy to host tours, even for family.”
“Do you think Uncle William will give me another Princess doll for Christmas?”
“I guess it will depend on how good you’ve been this year.”
“I’ve been really good,” Lila insisted. “Really, really, good.”
“Yes, Lila dear, you have been very good, and very helpful with your little brother.”
Carole negotiated the last of the three turns in the road leading from town to the outskirts, finally pulling into the driveway at Barrett House.
Once she’d parked at the front door to unload her children and their overnight bags, she pushed the button to slide the rear door open only to find her daughter had finally fallen asleep. Just when she didn’t want her to be.
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Nancy published her first book in 1996 and hasn’t stopped since. Her 100th book will be released on her birthday in April of 2022.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
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