When Claire Ross visited her reclusive aunt Flossie upon moving
back home, she never expected her gift of a holiday wreath to come
sailing after her as she left. Nor did she suspect her aunt of
harboring past secrets...and present mischief. But the greatest
surprise was rediscovering her teenage crush, a police chief eager to
join forces to teach her aunt the true meaning of Christmas...and help
Claire realize all her dreams.
“Christmas Moon” by Gail Gaymer Martin
Caring for businessman Paul Stewart's twins was more than just a nanny job for Rose Danby, who
longed for a family of her own. So when her employer, a widower,
promised her the moon to relocate from sunny California to wintry
Minnesota, Rose agreed, despite misgivings. Then one Christmas Eve,
Rose saw the path to happiness illuminated by moonglow, faith...and
|Publisher:||Steeple Hill Books|
|File size:||666 KB|
About the Author
Award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin authored over 55 novels with 4 million books in print, receiving a Carol and 2 RT Reviewer Choice Awards. Her novel THE CHRISTMAS KITE was optioned for a Hallmark movie. Gail authored Writers Digest's WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE and is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers. CBS local news named her as the four best novelists in Detroit. Before publication, Gail worked as a counselor and a university instructor. She lives in MI.
Read an Excerpt
That Christmas Feeling
By Catherine Palmer Gail Gaymer Martin
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneNever again, Claire Ross fumed as she stepped through the front door onto the porch of her aunt Flossie's house. So much for spreading the Christmas spirit. Lifting the fragrant pine wreath she had brought as a gift, Claire jammed it onto a nail in the door and stomped across the sagging wooden floorboards.
She had never met a more irascible, heartless, crusty old windbag! The woman was impossible. Picking her way down the damp and splintered steps, Claire vowed that this first time she had visited her great-aunt would also be the last. No wonder the entire Ross family had disowned Florence Ross. She deserved it.
"And stay gone!" a voice crowed behind her.
Claire swung around in time to see Aunt Flossie point a double-barreled shotgun into the gray Missouri sky and pull the trigger. At the deafening blast, a pair of doves fluttered screeching out of a nearby oak tree, five yowling cats hightailed it from under the porch and every dog in a three-mile radius of Buffalo, Missouri, began to bark. Stunned, Claire watched as her aunt grabbed the Christmas wreath off the front door and sent it sailing like a Frisbee across the yard.
"Don't need Christmas 'round here!" Aunt Flossie shouted. "Don't need it, don't want it!"
Breathing hard, Claire stared at the tiny, white-haired woman. Flossie wore a faded pink bathrobe with its terry-cloth loops picked into long strings by the horde of cats that lived in and around old Ross Mansion. The robe's hem hung uneven and frayed around her thin ivory calves. Socks - one navy, the other black - were rolled to her ankles. And a pair of men's leather work boots with steel toes and untied laces anchored her feet.
Hair splayed out like dandelion fluff, Flossie stared at her niece. Her sharp blue eyes narrowed as her mouth turned down. "This is my property," she sneered. "You stay off!"
"Believe me, I have no intention of ever -"
A wailing siren drowned out Claire's words as a blue car sped toward them down the narrow paved road. Emblazoned with the word Police in bold white letters on the side, the squad car pulled to a stop beside the gray picket fence that surrounded Flossie Ross's yard. The siren died, the driver's door swung open and a man Claire instantly recognized as Robert West, Buffalo's police chief, stepped out.
"Miss Ross," he called as he rounded the fence and strode down the driveway. "How many times have I told you not to go firing guns inside city limits? Now, give me that thing!"
"You can't have it, you ol' turkey buzzard!" Shaking the weapon, Flossie tottered down the steps. "Get outta my yard!"
Claire's fury at her aunt shifted to concern as the chief stalked toward the old woman. Rob West was not a man to defy. Six feet four inches tall, broad shouldered and narrow hipped, he had been quarterback of Buffalo High School's winning football team and a state-champion wrestler. Though Claire had returned to her hometown the previous summer and had been teaching high school history since the start of the fall semester, she had yet to cross paths with Rob.
Not that she'd been looking for him. In school, Rob had been a popular, handsome athlete and the beloved boyfriend of the prettiest, blondest, curviest girl in their class - the sweetheart he had married the day after his graduation from the police academy. Until a teacher paired the two mismatched freshmen for an ongoing four-year research project, Rob had paid scant attention to Claire Ross with her coarse red hair, ghostly pale skin and rail-thin body. It didn't help that she adored school, loved to read and made it perfectly clear she thought Rob West was as dumb as a Missouri mule.
Still, they had somehow ended up becoming friends - easily teasing each other, sharing ideas and even confiding secrets. He called her Clarence and sneaked her pieces of her favorite brand of bubble gum. She called him a nincompoop and a lamebrain, and she blew bubbles, which he mashed onto her nose.
In the course of the four years, Claire made sure the research project progressed, and eventually she even convinced Rob that Buffalo's role in the Civil War really was an interesting topic. He made sure the other guys didn't malign skinny Claire behind her back, and she actually ended up getting a date to her senior prom.
"What are you shooting at today, Miss Ross?" Rob asked. "Is a stray dog after your cats? Or are you mad at the garbage truck again?"
"It's her." Flossie pointed a thin finger at Claire.
"She's trespassing on my property."
Rob's bright blue eyes focused for the first time on the younger woman. His brow furrowed as he took off his hat. "Claire Ross? Is that you?"
"Of course it's me," she said. "I drove all the way over here to bring my aunt a Christmas gift, and she -"
"She started right off griping about my cats!" Flossie cut in.
"Everybody in town gripes about your cats," Rob retorted. "You're in violation of city ordinances, Miss Ross. Only four cats are allowed per household. A city license is required. You've got to have proof of current rabies vaccinations for each cat. And it's against municipal code to allow your pets to run loose off your property."
"So what? They're not my cats anyhow. People drop 'em here, and I take 'em in." She gave a loud snort and shouted, "I'm a kindhearted animal lover, that's all!"
"How many cats do you have now? It was sixteen the last time I came out here."
Excerpted from That Christmas Feeling by Catherine Palmer Gail Gaymer Martin Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An enjoyable read!
That Christmas Feeling is a hardcover book with a beautiful designed Christmas jacket. It has 297 pages with two heart-warming novellas penned by two gifted authors. The first story Christmas in My Heart written by Catherine Palmer, her style of writing is easy to read as breathing and each page you¿ll turn within a heartbeat. This humorous Christmas story of course has a sweet romance. It shows how forgiveness changed the lives of three people and how it affects the spirit of Christmas in a small town of Mason Missouri. The second story The Christmas Moon written by Gail Gaymer Martin really puts you in the mood for the holidays with all the reference to snow, shopping for gifts, and Christmas decorating. It is a sweet inspirational romance and definitely a page-turner. The way the author sets up the conflicts between the hero and the heroine you wonder if they will ever get together. That Christmas Feeling, from Steeple Hills, makes an excellent Hostess gift for the holidays and that special person in your life.
That Christmas Feeling is a lovely, hardcover book coupling two new novellas by award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin and best-selling author, Catherine Palmer. Ms. Palmer¿s story, ¿Christmas in My Heart¿, is a delightful romantic tale of Claire Ross and Police Chief Rob West. Add Claire¿s eccentric Aunt Flossie and dozens of cats into the mix, and the romance is off to a crazy start. Ms. Martin¿s story, ¿Christmas Moon¿, is equally as charming ¿ in which kids¿ nanny Rose Danby tries to sort out her feelings for their widowed father, her boss, Paul Stewart. While she loves his twins like they were her own, she is certain her relationship with Paul has no future. As Christmas approaches, Rose¿s choice becomes clear. Both stories will leave you smiling and brighten the holidays. So get a copy, grab a mug of hot chocolate, curl up by the fire, and enjoy! A delightful read!
''Christmas in My Heart'' Catherine Palmer ~ Playing on Dickens' ''A Christmas Carol,'' this story conjures up plenty of original charm with a strong plot set in small-town Missouri. The Beta police chief hero and preachy teacher heroine, both once-burned-twice- shy, try to keep their resurrected friendship just that-- friendship and nothing else. The story's underlying issue revolves around society's responsibility toward the elderly and infirmed (embodied in a great-aunt haunted by her own ghosts of Christmas past), but for the most part it's handled with a light, often-amusing touch that blends nicely with the story's Christmas-and- goodwill tone. I liked how the characters' developing feelings nudged them to deliberately work against their own goals and progressed the romance, rather than depending upon a string of cute accidents to draw them together. It made the well-paced story even stronger, and kept me reading until I finished it in one evening ¿¿¿¿¿¿.. ''Christmas Moon'' Gail Gaymer Martin ~ Set in small- town Minnesota, this gentler story also features characters in the middle of a developing relationship. Martin braves politically incorrect territory with a Nurturer heroine whose primary goal in life is to become a wife and mother. Devoted to his kids, the widowed Beta hero is unbelievably in touch with his sensitive side, not that his road to love is any easier or quicker for it. I had to keep reminding myself why the nanny heroine didn't make a play for him. The reason, of course, is the conflict created by mutually excluding goals. She wants a family of her own, but if she leaves her job to pursue her dream, she'll take with her the heart and soul of the family he's desperate to hold together. After a blizzard sweeps away chronic uncertainties, the true issue in this smoothly written story remains: is she willing to trust promises made under a Christmas moon?