by Lucy Naylor Kubash
In “Home for Christmas,” Bonnie and Charlie married after a whirlwind affair, but it all ended when Bonnie left with no explanation. Now she’s back and Charlie wants answers, about what happened to them and why she left, but especially about the three children she has in tow. Can they all really make it home for Christmas?
As an empty nester, Caroline is feeling lonely this Christmas. When she meets the new veterinarian in town, Joshua Kendall, and his two children, she’s more than happy to invite them to her library for a holiday program. Joshua’s children seem to have little interest in celebrating, but Caroline is determined to put smiles on their little faces, and to make Joshua find joy in life again in, “The Bells of Christmas.”
Brant and Hope found love the second time around, but now their farm is struggling and it’s taking a toll on their relationship. Hope’s daughter has asked for one thing for Christmas, but Brant is certain it’s something they can’t afford. There is a new baby on the way, and he’s worried about more than just the farm. Will they find a way to rekindle their love and still make “The Christmas Wish” come true?
Lucy Naylor Kubash is the author of numerous short stories, a contemporary western romance novel, and a nonfiction column, The Pet Corner, that she's been writing for over fourteen years. Lucy is a longtime member of Romance Writers of America and Mid-Michigan Romance Writers. She resides in Michigan, where she grew up, not far from Lake Michigan. She and her husband have been married over 40 years and have two grown children. They currently live with a Pomeranian named Foofoo and two cats, Zombie and Sammie Sandwich. Learn more about the author at her website: www.lucynaylorkubash.com
Charlie O’Neill stepped back to survey the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. The pungent pine scent almost overcame the small of burnt cookies.
The tree leaned drunkenly to the right. Heck, he didn’t know the first thing about decorating a Christmas tree. His sister had done it while she lived here, but Cady had remarried late last summer.
Sometimes it was tough living in the old ranch house alone. For a moment he thought about what it might have been like had his brief marriage worked out. There might have been a baby on the way by now, somebody to make noise in this empty house. What’s over’s over. It was just that sometimes he still had a hard time dealing with it.
Charlie hung a few strands of tinsel on the tree, then gave up. He’d go into town tonight, stop at the Hitching Post, have a beer. It was better than knocking around this place by himself. He’d just plunked on his hat and shrugged into his coat when the phone rang. The voice he heard when he answered it rocked Charlie down to his scuffed up boots.
“Charlie? It’s me.”
It took him a second. “Bonnie?”
On the other end, Bonnie clutched the dying cell phone and quelled her own nerves as the deep voice she remembered so well vibrated against her hand. Please don’t hang up.
“Yeah.” She sucked in her breath sharply and let it go. “I’m sorry to bother you, but…I need your help. “She expected to hear him click off but he didn’t.
“Where are you?” His voice was curt.
“In Red Springs. My car broke down. I need a place to stay while it’s getting fixed. I’m sorry, Charlie, I know you must hate me, but I’ve got no place else to turn.” She hated begging like this, but she had to do it for the kids’ sake.
Charlie clenched his jaw. The day he’d come home and found Bonnie gone flashed clear in his mind. He’d been devastated, and even a year and a half later, the pain wasn’t gone. But the soft voice he heard sounded desperate. He was probably a fool…
“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” was all he said.
What inspired you to write these stories?
I love the Christmas season and Christmas stories. In writing these stories, I wanted to show how people, who have been through some tough times, learn to find joy and love again in this season of hope. In each story a character must give of them self to earn another’s trust and love.
What scent do you love most?
I have two and I can’t choose one over the other. I love everything lavender, because it helps clear my mind and refreshes my senses. It’s also very soothing and has so many relaxing qualities about it. I love to grow lavender and use it in my house. But I also love the scent of wild sage, because it takes me back to the places I’ve visited out west. Whenever we travel in the western states, I always bring back a little bunch of sage, to remind me of those places I love.
Where do you hide away when you want to pray, meditate, read?
I believe you can pray anywhere, and I do, but I’ve always found the shower to be a place of privacy and quiet time! But if I really need to have some time to meditate, I like to go for a walk with my dog and let nature help open my mind to whatever I need to hear from God.