Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Isn't Always Perfect But We Have Hope In Our Hearts...Just Like Jessica Devereaux

It's December 23....sometimes called "Christmas Eve Eve" and it should be a happy wonderful day.  Sometimes it is and we're chilling with a glass of a favorite beverage gathered around the hearth or Christmas tree singing Christmas carols with our beloved.

But sometimes we're not in the mood or our feet hurt or our back aches from bending over wrapping gifts or the cookies just burned black in the oven or maybe there are other issues in our life.

 All of the holiday favorite movies, books, specials and songs depict a happy Christmas filled with peace, love, hope, and joy so we all seek it.  We look to Santa Claus to fill our heart’s desires, to the shining star of Bethlehem to provide beautiful hope, and we long for a Norman Rockwell style Hallmark themed Christmas most of us never have experienced.   In short, we’re sold on the myth and so we seek it.

            The holiday reality for many of us becomes a wild rush of shopping, overspending, decorating blitzes, cooking frenzies, and a struggle to create the “perfect” family holiday.  In our pursuit of the elusive Christmas spirit, we end up tired, bedraggled, and feeling defeated.  In the real world, Christmas isn’t always perfect.  December 25th shows up whether we’re ready or not.  A few years ago my father-in-law passed away in early December and at the funeral home we were surrounded by glittering Christmas decorations.  More than half the well-meaning friends and relatives send poinsettias instead of standard mums or carnations as floral tributes.  In my grief struck bitter mood I actually send out some very black Christmas verse which included a line “the only poinsettias I’ve seen were flanking a casket”.  I admit now it was poor taste and bad form all the way around but at the time, I felt so burned out I couldn’t dredge up much merriment.

            Yet, despite all the commercialization, the struggles, the everyday human events, I retain a little corner of my heart for Christmas.  I suppose if I didn’t I couldn’t pen a Christmas novel about hope.   In my new holiday release (December 3) from Rebel Ink Press, Sing We Now of Christmas, my heroine, Jessica adores Christmas.  When she meets Johnny Devereaux one December night, she embraces not only the man she considers the love of her life but the magic of the season.  By the Fourth of July, they’re married but when he fails to return home from fishing, her happily ever after appears to crash to earth.   Johnny’s missing, presumed dead and everyone else accepts the sad reality but Jessica won’t.  With a stubborn, often willful love and hope that refuses to die, she believes her husband is alive and that he’ll be home in time for Christmas.

            Writing this novel restored some of my own old holiday enchantment and I hope this poignant love story touches readers’ hearts too.   From Sing We Now of Christmas, I’d like to share this brief excerpt as Jessica remembers a beautiful moment…

It might as crazy as some people, including her own family, wanted to think she was but Jessica felt closer to him here.  She could envision him here with clarity; remember every nuance and each expression.  Thinking about the way his dark brown eyes lit up whenever he reached the lake gave her a quiet joy.  What made him happy made her happy too.   Mental images of Johnny fishing from this dock, a cigarette tucked in the corner of his mouth as he concentrated on baiting a hook or tying a spinner onto his line returned and she sat, lost in memory.

            “Hey, pretty girl, do you like to fish?” he asked that first time he brought her down to the lake.  It was January and very cold but clear. 

            “Sure,” she’d told him and wasn’t lying.  Although she hadn’t been fishing since childhood, she savored the times she’d gone to Shoal Creek or Elk River with her grandpa.  Once or twice, they’d even gone fishing over on Lake Taneycomo.  

            Johnny lips curved upward in that sweet, soft smile she loved so well at her answer.

            “That’s good ‘cause I love fishin’.  There’s just something almost holy about being out on the water under the sky that suits me.”

            Jessica, tucked into his arm on the shore just above the dock, gazed up him, adoring the line of his face, loving him more than she could find words to say but she tried, anyway,

            “I love you most of all, Johnny.”

            His smile broadened into a full, high wattage grin.  “Even better, honey, because I love you too, even more than I do fishin’.”

            “Show me, Mr. Devereaux,” she told him, “then show me.”

            So on the banks of Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, he did.  He wrapped his arms around her like a tight cocoon that shut the world and everything in it but the two of them.   His embrace protected her from the cold wind that whooshed in from the water and he supported her as she leaned into him, comfortable and comforted.   Johnny kissed her then, his lips teasing hers until they kindled from a slow warmth into fire, a sizzling, smoky flame of desire that consumed them both. 

            His kisses fused them together, body to body, and deeper still.  Whatever connected them within, that went beyond the physical, strengthened with each kiss and caress.   This time, his kissing, hindered by the winter coats that they wore, brought a fever for which there was just one cure.

            Frustrated because he could not get to anything beyond her mouth, Johnny picked her up into his arms and still kissing, carried her all the way to the lake cabin.   When they entered, Jessica noticed a musty aroma, product of being mostly closed and empty since fall, but nothing more.   He carried her into the bedroom, one with a big window that overlooked the lake and on that sunlight afternoon, he loved her every way he could, removing coats and clothing so that they tangled together, naked.

            Without hurry, using the same patience that made him a good fisherman, Johnny made love to her.   His big hands stroked her body as if it was fragile and precious yet he found the spots that gave her pleasure.  He used his mouth, those hands, his individual fingers, and his cock to bring delight and she gave back all he gave, gloried in it, and afterward, basked with such sweet completion that she drifted to sleep in his arms.

So if you're looking for something to boost the Christmas spirit, to kindle a little hop or jump start some joy, maybe you'd enjoy my novel.   Or maybe you'd like to gift someone with's some links just in case...

Sing We Now of Christmas
Rebel Ink Press December 2, 2011
Contemporary romance/Christmas/mainstream
ISBN# RIP0001093
Word Count: 44, 300
122 pages
$5.99 ebook
Author: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy


When Jessica Martin met Johnny Devereaux that December, holiday magic filled the air but their love was no enchantment….he was, without doubt the love of her life and by summer, they were happy newlyweds with all their life and holidays ahead.
But when he failed to return home from a fishing trip on the Fourth of July, Jessica’s world is rocked to the foundation and when the authorities tell her that her husband is missing, presumed dead, she refuses to believe it.
As the months and seasons pass, no one else holds out hope but Jessica believes.
She knows he’ll be home for Christmas no matter what.  Her family calls her crazy, Johnny’s family tries to help her find closure but Jessica’s heart refuses to surrender hope.
When Christmas comes, the truth will come out to shock them all

Buy Links:

A Page In The Life
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
On Twitter @leeannwriter
On Facebook Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Book trailer:

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post, full of nostalgia I felt.



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