Christmas is long gone. January 2020 is fading fast, finally. Why is it January seems ten times longer than the rest of the months? But I digress.
A former schoolteacher, I love decorating for holidays. I guess it’s a holdover from all those bulletin boards I had to do. I have boxes for Valentine’s, St. Patrick Day, Texas Independence Day, 4th of July, and, since I live in Texas again, boxes of Fall décor. Then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and there are several boxes of those.
Anyway, I’m getting out my February decorations box for Valentine’s Day and what do I find? Leftover Christmas.
I’m surprised guests who’ve been to the house didn’t notice.
Maybe not the counted cross stitch Merry Christmas heart, but the guest hand towels were pretty obviously leftovers. I guess they pretended not to notice.
I appreciate the kindness.
The leftover discovery was really disconcerting. I believed I had all Christmas tucked away by Epiphany. That’s January 6, my yearly goal though it doesn’t always happen. Oblivious.
This year I honestly thought I’d aced the put away Christmas. Then this discovery.
I’d feel badly except I still see Christmas clearance items in stores next to Valentine’s Day merchandise. Unlike those retail stores who will hang onto leftover Christmas until it’s reduced to practically free, I’ve stuffed my two little leftovers in their boxes to come out again next Christmas.
Leave a comment, and Leann will randomly draw for a print copy (US only) or ebook version (winner’s choice) of Missing Deposits.
Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense.
Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, and Sisters in Crime.
Leeann travels extensively to research her stories, and is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.
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One thing I enjoy over the Christmas break was having the time to breathe and notice my surroundings. When I am teaching classes and private students, I find myself in survival mode only thinking of the next thing that needs to be done.
I seldom stop long enough to see what is around me.
For example, one morning, as I was coming in from feeding the chickens, I noticed a bird’s nest above the garage door.
There was no sign of occupants and I wondered what type of bird had lived there, whether it laid eggs and how many, where it went, etc. It would have been fun to watch the whole process if only I had taken the time to look up above the door.
So as I head into a new year I am planning to look up more often. Hopefully I will have another chance to see something wonderful right in my own back yard.
Donna Schlachter’s visiting to tell us the story behind her new release, Double Jeopardy.
Donna will randomly draw one name from all who leave a comment for a free ebook copy of Double Jeopardy.
The Story Behind the Story- Double Jeopardy
The story behind the story is often told in the form of back cover copy on the book, but I think it goes way beyond that. Sure, that bit on the back tells us a little about the main characters, the overall plot, and perhaps some about the decisions the main characters must make, because always—let me repeat this—always the choices they are faced with conflict with each other. At first glance, it seems they cannot have everything.
So let’s delve a little deeper into the story behind the story.
Rebecca Campbell was born in New York City, the only child of wealthy socialite Matilda Applewhite Campbell and Robert Campbell. Her mother is everything Rebecca—Becky to her friends—wants to be. Beautiful. Poised. Confident. Instead, she seems doomed to inherit all her traits from her father, who she adores. Reckless. Impulsive. A daredevil.
Becky’s father is gone more than he’s home. When a year passes with no word from him, she sets out, on her own, for his last known location—Silver Valley, Colorado. On her arrival, she learns he has been murdered. Determined to make his mine a success—his last letter promised that as soon as he struck it rich, he’d send for her and her mother—and to find his killer, she settles in at the mine.
But somebody doesn’t want her to succeed. And after a series of accidents and near-misses, she admits she’s in over her head. And the only person she can trust is Zeke—or can she?
The hero is Ezekial Graumann. Most everybody calls him Zeke. Zeke and his family own a fairly large piece of land in southwestern Colorado near the town of Silver Valley. Zeke has two married brothers, as well as two unmarried sisters. In good years, with enough rain, their land can support the three families if they are diligent and careful with their stock. However, the last few years have seen droughts and not enough snowfall, and the grazing is poor. Zeke wants to build his own house, maybe get married and have his own family, but the land won’t support another household.
Unless he can buy water rights from a spread upstream. But he doesn’t have the money to do that. So he looks around town for some weekly work to earn enough to buy the water rights and receive his share of the family land.
And along comes Miss Rebecca Campbell. She is feisty, stubborn, and doesn’t know anything about mining. Yet her determination to find her father’s killer and her resolve to make his mine successful gnaws at Zeke’s heart. And soon he finds himself imagining what it would be like to have her at his side as his wife. Except she’s obviously not ranching material, either.
But when accidents happen at the mine that threaten her safety, he must acknowledge that his feelings for her are more than mere curiosity. Now he must choose between saving his ranch or saving this woman who has stolen his heart.
So what keeps them from getting what they want? The villain, of course. Suffice it to say, it is a man. This man is one of the longest-term residents of Silver Valley, a man of impeccable reputation. On the outside, he looks wealthy. Wears nice clothes. Speaks well. Sounds well-traveled and educated.
But on the inside, he’s dark, greedy, and lazy. Well, lazy only in the sense he wants to get rich quick. He actually spends a lot of energy trying to cheat and steal his way into wealth. If only he’d use his superpowers for good.
As with any good romance, our two main characters figure out a way through all the hurdles and obstacles in their path to solve the mystery of who killed Becky’s father, as well as resolve the problem of not killing her mother who is coming to town to see her daughter married to the wrong man as the result of switched letters. In the process, Becky and Zeke establish a solid foundation for their marriage of clearing up miscommunication quickly and forgiving promptly.
Which all of us married and want-to-be married folks should remember.
Donna Schlachter loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Home is in Denver with her husband, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan.
A hybrid author, she publishes historical suspense under her own name and contemporary suspense as Leeann Betts. She’s also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction. Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management represents Donna.