Monday, December 25, 2017

Cozy Christmas Reads: Gail's story

Excerpt from Mackinac Island Christmas by Gail Gaymer Martin:

Already Christmas decorations appeared wrapped around the old fashioned lamp posts and garland wound with Christmas lights loop along the shop eaves. The Island closed at the end of October, but that didn’t discourage visitors. Many enjoyed coming to the Island with fewer tourists and at a time that seemed more like a real town from the past—Victorian homes, horse and buggies, bicycles, and forts from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Her stomach growled as she admired the Mustang Lounge’s Christmas lights ahead of her and smiled with the thought of finding food. Since the lights were on, she assumed they were open. When she reached the door, lights inside greeted her, and she stepped into the warmth and the scent of food.

A waiter motioned to an empty table nearby, and she slipped off her jacket and hung it on the back of the chair before sinking into it. When the waiter handed her a menu, she perused her options and settled on a Mustang Chef Salad with ham and turkey and all the fixings. The waiter returned with a glass of water, a cup and carafe of coffee.

He eyed her, and she nodded. “Yes, regular black, and thanks. She ordered the salad, and then sipped the hot coffee as he headed away. Her gaze drifted to the old hewn wood walls and areas covered with logs, she guessed they had been cut from the Island trees. Much of the Island remained woods with dirt roads winding through to various historical locations. The only thing that ruined the moment was her concern for Carol.

A long sigh emptied her lungs, and she pulled out her phone again and hit Facebook. She scanned the messages of people she knew and most whom she didn’t but had accepted as friends. The idea made her grin. She lifted the coffee again, feeling the swirl of warmth rising from the cup and took another sip.

“Is this your jacket?”

She jumped, hearing someone behind her. When she turned, a man held up her jacket and arched his brow. “It was on the floor behind you.”

“Thanks. It’s mine.” She leaned forward as he lapped it over the seat back again. “I didn’t feel it fall, but then I was too intrigued with the history in this building.”

He moved around to her side. “It’s one of the oldest buildings on the Island. Dated to the 1780s, and I’ve heard it’s the oldest tavern in Michigan. That makes it very special, I’ve always thought.”

“The Island is very special. Obviously, I’m a tourist and though I’ve been on Mackinac Island many times, I’ve never been here in winter.” She extended her hand. “I’m Josie Ryan from Royal Oak. It’s a suburb of Detroit.”

“I know where it is. I’ve lived in Birmingham for years.” He grasped her fingers in his. “I’m Christopher Banks, but everyone calls me Chris.”

“Hi, Chris. Would you like to join me?”

“I was hoping you’d ask.” He grinned and slipped into a seat adjacent to hers. “Are you here alone?”

Her pulse jumped. “Not by choice. I’m supposed to meet a friend, but as you can see I am alone.”

“I’m sorry. Maybe he—”

“It’s a she.” Josie shook her head. “Carol’s a long-time friend who I haven’t seen in a few years, and we made these plans months ago, so I am at a loss. I keep worrying that something—”

“Lots of things can happen. She missed the ferry. She had a flat on the way, and it takes a while for someone to get to her on the freeway. It could be lots of things that—”

“I know. I keep telling myself the same thing, but it isn’t like her not to call.”

He patted her arm. “Just pray she’s okay and wait and see. I know you’re concerned but now you’ve been sort of stranded here, although—”

“Being alone isn’t really the problem. I can cut my vacation short, and I probably will, since I don’t know anyone—but I hate changing plans.”

“How about this? I’m here for a while visiting my granddad. He had been very ill but is doing much better now.”

“I’m glad he’s doing well.”

“Rather than leave, and have to make decisions, I’m a great Island guide. Gramps has lived here most of his life, and I spent the summers here and sometimes even came for Christmas, so I’m your man and I’m cheap.”

“I’d also love to be here for Christmas, but what’s your charge?”

He tilted his head and chuckled. “What is my charge? Zero. I love the Island and enjoy seeing everything again and again. I was teasing, but then you don’t know my sense of humor.”

Author bio: 
Best-selling and award-winning novelist of sweet and inspirational romance, Gail Gaymer Martin has 79 published novels and over four million books sold. 

Her novels have won numerous national awards, including: the ACFW Carol Award and two RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is the author of Writer Digest's Writing the Christian Romance and a founder of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

Gail is a keynote speaker at churches, civic and business organizations and a workshop presenter at conferences across the U.S. She lives with her husband Bob in Sedona, AZ. 

Readers may send mail to Gail via this address: 
P.O. Box 20054
Sedona, AZ 86341

Blurb for Mackinac Island ChristmasJosie Ryan arrives on Mackinac Island, looking forward to the Christmas season in the quaint setting with no automobiles and a back-in-time aura, but she learns that her longtime friend has to cancel her trip due to a family emergency. 

Disappointed, Josie decides to stay the day and then cancel her trip since it’s no fun being alone. But her plans change when Chris Barnes, visiting his grandfather, comes to her aid and offers to show her the sites. When she learns that Chris is raising his deceased brother’s child, she is touched. 

Amid snowball fights, snowmen, and snow angels, Josie’s life changes when she falls in love with the little girl, but Ellie wants a mommy. Even though Chris is a great guy with wonderful attributes, Josie has absolutely no plans to marry, or can this four-year-old change Josie’s plans.

Book Review of Mackinac Island Christmas, posted on Amazon:

"I enjoyed this book and stayed up all night to finish it! I fell in love with the characters and hope there is a sequel to it! I love Mackinac Island so this book brought back many memories."

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  1. It was fun to see my daughter's excitement about what Santa brought her! I'm already looking forward to my nap and the loaded baked potato soup that I need to prep for the crock pot! Haha

  2. Always enjoyed the excitement of our daughter when she was little opening up her gifts. So much joy and happiness!

  3. We only had one daughter celebrate Christmas with us, and it was a sweet time. We worked a puzzle and watched movies together. What I really loved best about this Christmas was God's protection when our youngest son hit a deer. It killed the deer but the car was minimally damaged, and our son was ok.

  4. I am so thrilled and thankful for this book, the author and the giveaway sponsor! Thank you so very much!


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