A Family For Christmas [NOOK Book]


The Gift of Family by Irene Brand

Newly engaged Wendy Kenworth and Evan Kessler’ s relationship is tested when Evan must leave college to manage the family farm. City-girl Wendy can’ t understand her fiancé ’ s sudden need to work the land, but getting stranded at the Kesslers’ for Christmas gives Wendy cause for reflection. Can Evan’ s strong faith inspire her to accept the gift of family?

Child in a Manger ...

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A Family For Christmas

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The Gift of Family by Irene Brand

Newly engaged Wendy Kenworth and Evan Kessler’ s relationship is tested when Evan must leave college to manage the family farm. City-girl Wendy can’ t understand her fiancé ’ s sudden need to work the land, but getting stranded at the Kesslers’ for Christmas gives Wendy cause for reflection. Can Evan’ s strong faith inspire her to accept the gift of family?

Child in a Manger by Dana Corbit

Finding an infant in the church nativity scene was a Christmas surprise for Allison Hensley! The social worker took the baby when no foster family could be found. But working with cynical detective Brock Chandler to find the unknown parents awakened unexpected feelings. Could this child be heaven-sent to make a family of Allison and Brock?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459204768
  • Publisher: Steeple Hill Books
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Series: Love Inspired Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 378,189
  • File size: 279 KB

Meet the Author

Born on a small hillside farm in West Virginia, the youngest of eight children, Irene Brand still lives in the same community where her parents were born and where her ancestors settled in the 1840s. Her education started at the age of four in a one-room school.

Irene graduated from high school at the age of fifteen. During her four years of high school she walked five miles daily, round-trip, to catch the school bus. Irene didn't start college until she was in her 30s. She received two degrees from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Early in life, Irene had two dreams--to become a schoolteacher and to be a fiction writer. These dreams came true when, in 1966, she became a social studies teacher at Point Pleasant Junior High School, and in 1984 when her first novel, A Change of Heart, was published. Irene retired from teaching in 1989 to devote her time to writing.

It took many years for Irene to break into the publishing field. Her first manuscript, Freedom's Call, was rejected by eighteen publishers. One publisher kept the manuscript for one-and-a-half years; another publisher intended to publish, and even edited the text, but finally returned it because they couldn't find the proper niche for the book. The book was released in 1990 by a publisher who had rejected the manuscript two years earlier. In the meantime, Irene had had other books published.

Irene has had many amusing incidents during book signings. Appearing in a mall bookstore, one boy approached her and asked if she was acquainted with Robert Louis Stevenson--one of his favorite authors.

At another autographing session a woman came and, rather than approaching Irene, she stood to one side and stared at her. When she had a break, Irene asked the woman if she could help her. The lady responded, "I don't really have time to read, for I have seven children, but I heard on the radio that you were going to appear here. I'd never seen an author, and I wanted to know what one looked like." In a radio interview, prior to a book signing, the emcee asked, "Have you ever read any of your books?"

Irene married Rod Brand in 1956, and they plan to observe their Golden Anniversary in April, 2006. The Brands have traveled to thirty-five foreign countries, the last one Ireland in 2001, being there on traumatic 9/11. They have also visited all fifty states. With the publication of her 2005 October and December books, Irene will have thirty-seven titles in print, with two more under contract for 2006.

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Read an Excerpt

A Family For Christmas

By Irene Brand Dana Corbit

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-87288-7

Chapter One

Blue eyes alight with happiness and warmth, Wendy Kenworth eagerly approached the bench where her boyfriend, Evan Kessler, sat. He laid his textbook aside, rising to his feet as his mouth curved into a soft smile of approval. Florida's noontime sun illuminated Wendy's raven-dark hair, sparking a series of iridescent rays. Her head resembled a rainbow appearing suddenly from behind a dark cloud.

An involuntary gasp escaped Evan's lips, and he strode to meet her with a joyful heart. Finally he knew the answer to a question he'd been struggling with since he'd met Wendy three months ago. He loved her, and if the eager, trusting look in her wide azure-blue eyes was any indication, she loved him, too.

Wendy ran into his outstretched arms, and he hugged her tightly. She buried her head against Evan's brawny chest, and he whispered into her fragrant hair, "I love you, Wendy. I want to marry you."

Wendy's heart raced as if she'd just finished a marathon. Her feet seemed to be planted on a cloud. Evan wanted to marry her! Having lived in a dysfunctional family most of her life, Wendy couldn't believe that happiness beckoned at last.

Evan held her at arm's length and thought he'd never seen a prettier sight. Wendy's full-lipped mouthcurved in a lovely smile. Luminous eyes, enhanced by thick black lashes under delicately arched brows, were the focal point of her oval face. He kissed her dainty nose.

"Will you be my wife?"

"Of course, Evan. This is so sudden." She laughed as she used the timeworn cliche'. "You don't mean right away?"

"No, probably not until I've finished the research and written my doctorate thesis. But in the meantime, we can pay a visit to the jewelry store to check out engagement rings. You can visit me in Ohio during our Christmas break, meet my folks and we can announce our engagement to the assembled Kessler clan."

With his arm around Wendy's waist, Evan steered her toward his truck in one of the parking lots of the University of Florida. The surprise was over now, and at his words, Wendy's joy dwindled quickly.

"I don't know if that's a good idea," Wendy said slowly. "Maybe we'd better wait until I tell my mother about us."

As their relationship had blossomed, Evan had been surprised that Wendy was reluctant to let him meet her mother. He'd told his family about Wendy as soon as they'd started dating. He'd felt, right from the start, that Wendy was special.

"Let's look at rings, anyway, so I'll know what you like."

Evan opened the door of his pickup truck and boosted Wendy into the passenger seat. He started the engine and turned on the air conditioner, still amazed at the difference in weather between Florida and his native state, Ohio. Imagine using an air conditioner in November!

Before he fastened his seat belt, Evan leaned toward Wendy and pressed a soft kiss on her lips. As she responded shyly, a quick - and disturbing - thought pierced Evan's happiness. He pulled away from Wendy and put the truck in motion.

Evan had suddenly remembered why he'd hesitated to tell Wendy that he loved her. Christianity was the focal point of the Kessler family, but Wendy and her mother never attended church. He wanted a wife who shared his spiritual beliefs. Was he happy or sorry that Wendy's radiant appearance this morning had shocked the words right out of his mouth? With an inward sigh, he realized that he was committed now. Only time would tell if he'd made a mistake.

His abrupt mood swing disturbed Wendy. Evan was always so sure of himself. Now he seemed confused and uncertain.

"What's wrong, Evan?"

"We're going to choose an engagement ring. That's a pretty big step, and naturally, I'm a little shaken."

His teasing, casual tone didn't reassure Wendy. She glanced at Evan's profile, surprised to see a muscle twitching in his right jaw, as if he were upset about something.

"It could be too big a step for us to take without thinking about it," she said reluctantly. "Perhaps you should come home with me this weekend to meet my mother before we make a decision."

"I've already decided. I love you. I want to marry you," he said positively, trying to reassure himself as well as Wendy. "But I would like to meet your mother."

He turned into the parking lot of the mall where the jewelry store was located. "We may have problems to overcome," he said, "but all engaged couples face those."

"Especially the Kenworths," she said bitterly. Evan looked at her sharply. Should he have learned more about Wendy's family before giving her his heart?

In the jewelry store, the salesperson seated Wendy and Evan in front of a large display case of diamonds. Wendy's hands grew moist, and she clasped them together.

When the woman went to the vault to bring out additional trays of diamond rings, Wendy whispered, "Evan, we haven't been engaged an hour. Don't you think it's too soon to buy a ring?"

He lifted her hand and kissed her fingers. "We don't have to buy anything today."

The next half hour passed in a daze for Wendy. The saleswoman persuaded her to slip numerous rings on her finger. Her sales pitch about the quality and size of the diamonds confused Wendy. She spoke of various diamond cuts and the shapes of diamonds - round, marquise, oval, pear, princess - on and on, until Wendy's mind whirled and dipped like a carnival ride.

She barely stifled a gasp when she saw the prices of the rings. The only jewelry Wendy owned was the department store variety. She had no idea that an engagement ring could cost thousands of dollars. And the ring she liked best was a "past, present, future" ring with a large diamond in the center and two smaller stones on each side. The ring cost over four thousand dollars, and she wouldn't choose anything that expensive.


Excerpted from A Family For Christmas by Irene Brand Dana Corbit Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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