Christmas in Sweetwater Springs: A Montana Sky Short Story Collection
E. AYERS – CHRISTMAS FAR FROM HOME
Far from home, a young Wyoming rancher and the daughter of a Montana railroad man learn the true joy of Christmas is in giving.
LINDA CARROLL-BRADD – WISHES ON A STAR
Will a wish on a star foretell the future of a young suffragette and a visiting rancher?
MJ FREDRICK – ABIGAIL’S CHRISTMAS ANGEL
A lonely widow and a lonelier marshal make peace with their past.
DEBRA HOLLAND – THE GIFT OF MUSIC
Can two reserved people overcome their limitations and find love?
DEBRA HOLLAND – A FAMILY FOR IKE
A newly-orphaned boy finds and unexpected family.
DEBRA HOLLAND – THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS
The town banker learns that perhaps some things are more important than money.
PATY JAGER – A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
Ida doesn’t remember the last two years, but her husband is determined to find her and reignite their love.
JILL MARIE LANDIS – UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
A spinster discovers it’s never too late to embrace love and the surprises life has in store.
TRISH MILBURN – A NEW HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
A woman scarred in face and heart finds love with a cowboy.
LINDA MCLAUGHLIN – THE BEST PRESENT
A grieving ten-year-old girl anticipating a sad Christmas receives some holiday surprises.
BEV PETTERSEN – THE CHRISTMAS CROSSING
With a little Christmas magic, two searching hearts discover they can bridge much more than a raging river.
TORI SCOTT – A PROMISE FOR CHRISTMAS
Faced with her first Montana winter without her husband, Rachel Tanner and her young son need a miracle.
CYNTHIA WOOLF – SUGARPLUM DREAMS
Julia Bosworth travels west to fulfill a special dream and finds her heart’s desire.
Excerpt: A Gift of Music by Debra Holland
Peter Rockwell stood behind the front desk counter of The Livingston, the newly opened hotel in Sweetwater Springs, Montana. With apprehension tightening his stomach, he watched a snow-and-mud-covered cowboy–their first guest–stagger through the doorway of his pristine lobby. This is it–the time to come out from behind the scenes of running a hotel and put myself in front of the public.
Next to him, Isaac Lawson, the young desk clerk, stiffened at the sight of the “guest.” Even though Isaac had worked for a year at the prestigious Rockwell Hotel in downtown Boston, serving everyone from middle-class people scraping together the funds to celebrate a special occasion to the crème de la crème of society occupying a lavish guest suite, neither of them, Peter felt, was prepared for dirty drunken cowboys.
The cowboy loosened the front of his coat, exposing his double-holstered gunbelt.
Make that, prepared for armed dirty drunken cowboys.
We should have been. We’re in a ranching town, after all.
The cowboy doffed his hat. His mouth gapping, he studied the large evergreen in the front corner of the lobby as if he’d never seen one before. And perhaps he hadn’t. At least not one that rose twenty feet into the air, gleaming with glass ornaments imported from Germany, gold bows, and unlit candles. The man probably wouldn’t notice the tree lacked silvery tinsel. Peter still hadn’t tracked down the box he’d ordered weeks ago, which the merchant claimed to have sent.
The cowboy glanced at the grand piano opposite the Christmas tree, then eyed one of the tapestry-covered wing chairs as if he were about to collapse into it.
More concerned with the risk to the new furniture than his safety, Peter called upon the managerial dignity he’d so often seen his father and uncles assume and strode over to the man. “Welcome to The Livingston. How may I be of service?” The words came out stiffer than he would have liked. His shyness often made him sound pompous, and he couldn’t seem to overcome his natural reserve.
The cowboy’s eyes were red-rimmed, his shoulders sprinkled with the snow that had sifted down over the town for the last half hour or so. “I heard you have rooms?”
Relieved not to smell alcohol on the man’s breath, although the rest of him was ripe enough to make Peter’s nose twitch, he gave a small bow. “Indeed, we do. You’re in luck because we’re offering grand opening specials. You’ll find all our rooms have comfortable beds.” To his relief, the speech he’d practice to himself rolled off his tongue. “And we have bathtubs with hot and cold running water.” He hoped the cowboy took the hint. “The bathrooms are on each floor on either side of the hall. We offer laundry service for a small additional fee.”
The man gave him a tired smile. “A bath and food and sleep, in that order. I’ve been riding for days.” He patted his shirt pocket. “Shipped a special stud East on the train. I have the funds.”
“Congratulations.” Peter mentioned the costs of the various rooms.
The man chose an inexpensive one and shuffled over to the front desk to sign the, as yet, empty register.
Crisis averted, job accomplished. With a sigh, Peter glanced down at the mud tracked on the polished wooden floor and across the corner of the blue Persian carpet.
Our first guest.
On the morrow would come two famous performers, one the exquisite Songbird of St. Louis and the other a world-class harpist.
How well will I handle elegant women who aren’t exhausted cowboys?
COME CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH OF SWEETWATER SPRINGS CHRISTMAS
Monday, November 18th, I will be hosting my first ever Facebook launch party at: https://www.facebook.com/events/628356887207612/?ref=br_tf.
I will be joined by ten other authors who’ve contributed short stories to Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Anthology. Throughout the day, we’ll be “chatting” and doing playful question and answers. Each hour there will be plenty of giveaways, and at the end of the day, commenters will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire.
The party starts at 9:00 am Pacific Time and ends at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. The two random drawings for the grand prizes will take place at 5:00 pm. I hope to see you there!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Debra Holland is a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one time winner. She is the author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romances and The Gods’ Dream Trilogy, fantasy romance. In February, 2013, Amazon selected her book Starry Montana Sky as one of the top 50 Greaters Love Stories. Her latest book is Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Collection.
Debra is giving away a copy of last years Christmas Anthology
To one lucky commenter! Tell us your favorite thing about Christmas!