Since Christmas is just around the corner I thought I'd share the blurb and excerpt of one of my holiday stories, His Christmas Wish. It's the first book in my Men of Charlestown series and one of my favorites.
There is also something special on my blog for Silver fans...hmmm...I wonder what it is and where it could be??
Also, Silver has it on sale right now for half off of it's regular price, so if you've missed it, please go and check it out!!
For most children, all they want for Christmas is the latest video game or the most popular toy, but that’s not what Daniel wants. He wants to be a family again. Since his parents were killed in a horrific car accident over a year ago, Daniel had been living with his beloved Uncle Josh. Even though Daniel knows his Uncle does his best to make him happy, Daniel still longs for the contentment and secure feeling he felt when his parents were alive. He wants a family, and on the first magical snow of the season, he wishes to have a family again.
When Nick is interviewed by Joshua Thomas to be a live in nanny, he is immediately drawn to the young boy and his Uncle Josh. Even though both of them obviously love each other, there is something missing between them. When Nick gets the job, he becomes determined to bring laughter and happiness back into both of their lives. As Christmas quickly approaches, Nick decides to do whatever it takes to bring them together as a happy family forever.
Daniel looked at his sleeping Uncle and felt sad. His sight became blurry and tears welled up in his eyes then slowly ran down his cheeks. He sniffled and wiped quickly at his face and blinked furiously to keep more from falling. He didn't want his Uncle Josh to wake up and notice him crying and being a big baby. The past year had been a difficult one for both of them. Ever since his parents went to Heaven, he'd been living with his uncle, and things had never been the same again.
This was their second Thanksgiving together. His uncle tried his best to make their holidays good, but things always seemed to go wrong. Even today, when Uncle Josh tried to cook a delicious meal, nothing went like they wanted them to. The turkey was dry and the stuffing so bad they ended up eating TV dinners while watching the Thanksgiving parade on television. Uncle Josh tried to keep conversation fun but it fell short somehow, and the holiday ended up being filled with a lot of silence and awkward moments.
Not like life before his parents went to heaven.
Daniel missed the bedtime stories and the loving hugs his mother gave him. He didn't get to toss the ball in the front yard or go on Saturday fishing trips with his dad. The laughter and happiness he remembered having every day of his life were gone. In their place were lots of quiet nights eating supper with his uncle while they watched television; or he was alone in his room, reliving every joyful memory he had with his parents.
He got used to being alone. He knew Uncle Josh loved him, but for some reason they just couldn't bridge the gap between them. So many times it looked like Uncle Josh wanted to say something, but for some reason or another a sad look would gleam in his uncle's eyes, and the moment would be lost.
Daniel so wanted to know what Uncle Josh had to say.
Daniel gently eased off of the couch and silently made his way over to the front door. He quietly opened it and stepped out onto the front porch. The cold November wind blew right through him and Daniel wrapped his arms around himself to try to keep warm. Even though it was past ten at night, he could see the heavy snowfall on the ground, covering it with a sparkling pureness that glimmered like diamonds in the darkness.
Daniel knew he should be excited. After all, it was the first snow of the season. Uncle Josh had even mentioned it was rare for Charlestown to get snowfall this early in the year. Daniel couldn't ever remember it snowing this early before. In his mind's eye he could remember his parents making snow angels and building a lopsided snowman with him in the few weeks before they went to Heaven. They had laughed and played together, and after they all felt frozen, his mother warmed him up with homemade chicken noodle soup and wrapped warm blankets around him until he was snug and content.
He'd felt happy. He'd felt loved.
He figured Uncle Josh would be too busy to play with him in the snow. His uncle always worked, and when he didn't, a lot of the time he was tired. Daniel missed how safe and loved he had when his parents were alive. His heart craved the closeness of having a happy family again.
Daniel understood his parents were gone and would never be back. But in his heart, he knew they still watched over him and did their best to take care of him, even though they were in Heaven. He smiled, visualizing them popping popcorn, singing songs, and playing games like freeze tag and hide and go seek with God and all of the other guardian angels. He'd bet that when God was 'it' he'd easily find wherever his parents and all of the other angels were hidden. It was probably one of the advantages of seeing all and knowing everything that was going on with everyone.
He hoped that his parents and God were looking down at him now.
As Daniel gazed out into the shimmering snow, he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and began to pray.
"Hi, God, it's me. I know you're taking good care of my parents and you're probably in the middle of playing a game or something, but I wanted to ask you a favor. I know you missed Mom and Dad and you had to have them with you instead of them being down here with me, and I understand that. After all, Mom and Dad are fun to be around. But, I wondered if there was any way you could send someone here with Uncle Josh and me. Uncle Josh works hard and he's a good guy, but it would be really cool if we had someone here that could take care of us. Sometimes Uncle Josh forgets things. He can't help it, and I know he's busy, so I'm not complaining. I just wish we had someone here to take care of us, love us and make us both happy again."
Daniel looked out into the cold, snowy night and suddenly saw a bright star flicker in the winter sky. His cold body became warm and it reminded him of when his parents would sandwich him between them so they all could have a three-way hug.
Knowing God and his parents would grant his Christmas wish, he suddenly felt a peace within his heart and big smile formed on his face.
Joshua Thomas tossed the latest application into the nearby trashcan. So far, today's interviews had been a huge waste of time. He certainly didn't expect that it would be so difficult to find someone to watch over his young nephew, Daniel. He'd mistakenly assumed finding the perfect nanny would be a breeze. Who knew there were so many strange people living in Charlestown? He'd seen everything from a young, bubblegum-popping eighteen year old girl, to an old man who could barely walk without assistance out of house and into his car.
Some of them had seemed like nice people, but his nephew was special and needed someone who would not only take care of him while Josh worked his shift at the hospital, but who would hopefully love Daniel as well.
Josh walked over to the coffeepot and poured himself another cup. He blew lightly on it a few moments before he sipped the warm goodness. If Josh could do anything, it was make a damn good cup of coffee.
He smiled and remembered the all night study sessions he used to have with his twin sister, Jolene. They had both decided to become registered nurses, and entered nursing school at the same time. They'd intended to help each other through the difficult two year course and it had worked like a charm. They had studied hard, labored together, and before they knew it, had their degrees with high honors.
Josh gazed out the window above the kitchen sink and watched his seven year old nephew, romp in the snow with their basset hound, Fred. Daniel chased Fred around the snow filled yard and the dog was apparently having the time of his life. He ran and barked, delightedly, while his big floppy ears bounced and his squatty body tried to outrun his determined nephew.
Josh's eyes fell upon Daniel and a wave of melancholy almost overwhelmed him. All bundled up in a bulky red jacket and with a blue cap hiding carrot colored hair, Daniel's sweet plump cheeks were rosy from the cold winter air. A scarf hid the mask of freckles across his pert nose and rounded face. Daniel's joyful laughter rang out when he finally let Fred catch up, grabbing the dog in a big bear hug. Fred showered his face with doggy kisses and Daniel enthusiastically petted his beloved friend.
The past year had been hell for both of them. Josh had felt like someone amputated half of his heart the dreadful night Jolene and Roger lost their lives to a stupid drunk driver. He and Jolene had been extremely close their entire lives, and she'd been his best friend as well.
Right after high school their Dad's job transferred their parents out of state. Josh and Jolene knew they would miss their parents, but they opted to stay in Arkansas. About to start nursing school in Fort Smith, both felt that as long as they had each other, everything would be alright.
When Jolene met Roger eight years ago, Josh thought everything would change between them. Most people in Charlestown still didn't accept Josh's sexual orientation as a gay man. Even though he didn't flaunt it, he believed in being honest about who he was.
Roger came from a blue-collar family and worked as a mechanic at the local gas station. He'd been unlike anyone Jolene had ever dated before, and once they went out they'd almost immediately fallen in love. To Josh's surprise, Roger quickly became an extension of Jolene and Josh's inner circle. Roger never judged Josh for being attracted to other men; instead he encouraged Josh to seek out the happiness that he and Jolene had found within each other's arms.
Josh always dreamed of finding Mr Right. Instead, he'd found a few Mr Right-Nows, and both his sister and brother-in-law had told him to never give up on true love. He used to wish for that special person, but he never came. Now that he had Daniel under his care, Josh knew he'd have to find an extra special man who would not only love him, but embrace Daniel in his life, too. After living the past year alone with Daniel, Josh began to think it would never happen. The most he could hope for would be to get his own shit straightened out and try to give Daniel a happy and content family life.
Josh had failed miserably, so far, and he couldn't figure out why.
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, he continued to watch Daniel and Fred play together in the snow. He'd have to make Daniel come in soon. The boy would be cold and wet from the snow, but Josh decided to give him a little more time to enjoy himself.
Maybe he'd make some cocoa for them to drink when Daniel came in and they could watch one of his favorite movies. But first, he had one more interview to conduct for a live-in nanny. The agency he had gone through didn't impress him very much. None of the candidates really inquired about Daniel, nor did they ask to meet him. They seemed to be more interested in how much they'd be paid, or what days they'd have off. He might have to call another company and see if they could send more qualified applicants.
Just about to take another sip of his rapidly cooling coffee, he heard the doorbell ring. He set the mug on the granite countertop and walked to the front door. Taking a deep breath, he readied himself for another reject from the agency.
When Josh opened the door it felt like the floor fell out from beneath him. Instead of a decrepit old man or older teenager popping her gum, the most beautiful man he'd ever seen stood there.
At five-ten, Josh had to look up several inches into sparkling blue eyes. He suddenly wished he'd paid more attention to the application and resume he'd received. After seeing so many inappropriate candidates, he'd barely glanced at the information. All he remembered was the young man's name; Nicholas.