Red Velvet and Mistletoe is a delightfully eclectic collection of eleven contemporary Christmas stories, each capturing in its own way the elusive spirit of Christmas. Filled with laughter and tears, and warm feelings of love, you will quickly find your own Christmas Spirit in these stories of people whose lives are not too different from your own.
In "Never Been to Memphis" you will meet the hilarious family of wealthy matriarch Evelyn Wallace as they gather for Christmas Eve at her stately home on Edgehill Road in Little Rock, Arkansas. This family has more than a few secrets, and they all come tumbling out on this, the most special night of the year. "A Promise to Jake" is a richly woven tale of a modern day Scrooge whose hedonistic lifestyle catches up with him when a friend from childhood sends a jolting memory from the past.
"The Gift" is a magical story of redemption told through the eyes of a reluctant psychic working in the New Orleans Museum of Art as an assistant curator. This exhibition of "Angels through the Ages" includes one angel with a mysterious past that reaches out to the young woman, changing her life forever. "The Hare's Path" is the romantic story of a love and a faith that transcends death, and in "The Wal-Mart Santa", a materialistic widow rediscovers her heart and is rewarded with a second chance at happiness.
"A Good Thing" introduces us to an independent woman with a history of bad relationships who gets a surprising gift from a down on his luck Santa. In "The Face Painter" a lonely man finds peace and redemption in the life of a scared little boy. In the "Christmas Cactus" we meet a charming old woman who is anxious to join her husband in heaven - but not just yet.
"Evenings at the Symphony" shows us another side of the glittering fundraisers and evenings with Beethoven and Bach under crystal chandeliers. In "The Ascension of Harland McGregor", an angel visits a crooked politician, who's reluctant transformation touches the hearts of millions, and changes the destiny of his country forever. "A History of My Life" is a nostalgic look back by a young mother of a path not taken.
Spend a few hours with these unforgettable characters in these new Christmas Classics and remember once again how Christmas changes us all somehow, if only just a little, every year.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
Read an Excerpt
From Never Been To Memphis by Grant Devereaux
"Perry is gay?" Margaret echoed.
"Tiffany is just being nasty," Constance insisted. "Perry is no such thing."
"Yes, Mother, I am. I'm a homosexual. I always have been, at least as far back as I can remember. I'm glad it's finally out in the open. Most of Little Rock knows already."
"Oh, Constance, you poor, dear!" Margaret said in mixed tone of sympathy and gloating. "That reminds me, did I tell you my Harold and his wife are expecting their third child this spring?"
"How courageous of them after the first two," Constance snapped. "I guess some people never quit trying for a pretty child."
Margaret flushed red as a beet. "Constance!"
"Shut up, Margaret, and go on in the house. I'm sure you're dying to tell everyone your new piece of gossip. I know just how you feel. I can't wait to tell your husband about the new tennis pro at Little Rock Country Club. I believe you call him Baby Blue Eyes?" Constance raised an eyebrow; satisfied she had made her point.
"Constance!" Margaret replied with distress.
"Just so we know where we stand, Sister Dearest," Constance added. "You keep my secrets, and I'll keep yours."
Constance turned to her son and asked with concern, "My God in Heaven, Perry, when did this happen?"
Perry smiled, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "There are conflicting theories on that. Some say it happens in the womb�"
"Nothing happened in my womb!" Constance protested.
"Others say it's from an overbearing mother," Perry continued.
"Oh, no. You're not laying this on my doorstep. You just turn back straight right this minute, Perry Marshall. Do you hear me?"
"Of course, I think I really knew for sure at summer camp in 1984. His name was Drew. I was fourteen, and he was sixteen�"
"You only went to military camp," Constance interrupted. "How could it have happened there?" She shook her head, chasing the image from her mind. "It doesn't matter. No son of mine is going to be a queer."
"Gay, Mother. I'm gay."
"Gay, black, Afro-America, Native American," Constance almost shouted, throwing her hands up in the air. "When are people going to stop changing their names?"
"Maybe when you stop calling us names," Perry countered.
Constance stared at her son, her face pinched with anger. "We'll just have to get you into therapy."
"I am in therapy, Mother."
Constance's face eased with the hopeful words. "What does he say?"
Perry pulled the trays from the back of the Navigator and shut the door. "He said to ignore my mother."
Constance's face flushed with anger. "He did not! Answer me, Perry. What does he say? Is there any hope for a cure?"
Perry smiled and went past his mother on his way to the house. "He said he didn't think so, but if I could get you on Prozac, it may help," he called back.
Constance grabbed her husband by his coat sleeve. "Warren, are you going to let him talk to me like that?"
"Actually, I was just wondering who his therapist was. He sounds pretty good."
"Warren, you realize this is your fault," Constance said with disgust.
"Yes, Dear. I figured eventually it would end up being my fault."
"Well, aren't you going to say something to your son?"
Warren shouted after his son. "Perry, if you really are gay, don't you realize you'll miss out on all your mother and I have?"
From A Promise To Jake by Loree Lough
"It ain't alive, is it?" I teased, pointing at the box. " 'Cause if it is, Miss Germane will beat your ass for sure."
A little smile lifted one corner of his mouth. "Y'all oughtn't say cuss words, Homer. Cussin' is a sin, y'know."
"Y'all," I echoed. "Where are you from?"
"Geez. How'd you get from there to here?"
"When my maw died, there weren't no other blood kin to take me in, so I was sent to live with her sister, my Aunt Cassie, up here in Jersey. And when she passed...." Jake shrugged and quickly added, "An' to answer your question, if'n the thing in the box was alive there'd be holes in the top, so's it could breathe, now wouldn't there?"
He made a good point, but I wasn't about to tell him so. "What's in the box?" I pressed.
Jake inhaled and said on the exhale, "This here's an angel."
"Yessir," he answered plainly, "an angel."
"Hey, you ain't one of those sissy boys?"
His brow furrowed. "What's that?"
I rolled my eyes. "Don't you know nothin'?"
"If keepin' a Christmas angel in a box makes a feller a sissy boy," he said through clenched teeth, "then I reckon I must be a sissy boy."
Well, when he put it that way, it didn't make any sense to me, either. "What you gonna do with a Christmas angel in a place like this?"
Jake looked at the bouncing boys and the gray walls and the hard wood floor. He was staring out the window across from me when he said, "I seen worse places."
Table of Contents
|Never Been To Memphis||1|
|A Promise To Jake||23|
|The Face Painter||71|
|The Wal-Mart Santa||91|
|The Hare's Path||107|
|The History of My Life||121|
|A Good Thing||133|
|Evenings At The Symphony||149|
|The Christmas Cactus||161|
|The Ascension of Harland McGregor||179|