Running a farm all on her own, and serving as post-mistress in Primrose, Missouri, Melinda Janze Frazier has accepted her single state. But her quiet existence changes overnight when two strangers arrive during a blizzard. He hefts Papa's old rifle form the gun rack, cocks it, and cracks open the door.
And opens her home to Zeke, a widower, and his yuong son Timothy. They fill her heart with unexpected Christmas cheer. Though Zeke insists he's a drifer, Melinda begins to hope he'll change.
How can she bear to return to the lonely life she knew before Zeke drifted to her door?
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Endearing
Posted May 22, 2010 by Shawna K. Williams , Somewhere, ARThis story is so sweet and heartwarming, I don't know where to begin. I felt for Melinda, and found myself wanting to shake Zeke at times, and say, "Can't you see what's in front of you!" Timothy is a precious character, and I smiled everytime his Pa scolded him, and he went, "Aw...." So true to life! Marion did a great job of portraying three distinct and likable personalities. She also did a great job of portraying unlikable personalities, but I'll let that be a surprise. Another aspect I enjoyed was the sense of community in this book. I felt like I was living in Prairie Hill in the 1800s, and experiencing all the town events right along with the characters.
Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
December 01, 2009
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Excerpt from Christmas Stranger by Marion Kelley Bullock
Timothy danced around the room. "I've got something for you. Wait here." He zipped into his room and returned, hands held behind his back. He handed her a card. "I wanted to give you flowers, but there weren't any -- so I drew some."
A line of purple flowers staggered across the card. Under the blossoms, he'd printed I love you. Timothy.
Tears pooled in Melinda's eyes and she hugged him. She looked around to see Zeke's reaction, but he'd left the room. Maybe the moment was too sentimental for him. Or maybe she read too much of the Bible to suit him.
"Do you like it?" Timothy's eyes were bright, eager.
"Oh, thank you, Timothy. I love it." She wiped her sleeve across her eyes. "I have something for you, too, and for your pa." She heard the door close and saw Zeke walk back inside, with his hands behind his back. Thank goodness he wasn't upset by the Christmas spirit. What was he up to?
"Timothy, stop jumping around and come sit down. I've got something for you," Zeke said. He handed Timothy a box. When he opened it, Zeke started mooing and hee-hawing and making every different animal noise he could think of.
"Oh, Miss Melinda, look! Pa made 'em out of wood." Timothy's eyes shone with wonder. He jumped up and hugged Zeke. "Thanks, Pa. They're better than anything." He started marching them across the floor. "Here's Hotey and Bob and Becky and Brownie and Tiger. I love 'em, Pa!" Melinda pulled out two paper-wrapped packages. She handed one to each of them. "Just something I knitted," she said.
Timothy pulled out a blue cap and matching mittens. "Wow. Thanks, Miss Melinda. That's my favorite color."
Zeke pulled out a brown, orange and gold muffler and wrapped it around his neck. "Thanks, Linda. That oughta keep me warm."
"Glad you like it." She started for the kitchen. Folks needed to be fed, even on Christmas day.
"Wait a minute." Zeke pulled her back to the parlor. "I have something for you." He handed her a paper-wrapped package.
"A star. It's beautiful." She rubbed her hands over the satiny finished wood, beautifully handcrafted like all Zeke's creations.
"It's a barn star. I've seen 'em on barns all across the country. People fasten them to their barns for good luck or just to look purty." He grinned. "I can put it on the front of your barn if you want."
"I do. But I don't want it for good luck. I see it as a sign pointing to God. Like the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem."
Timothy appeared at her elbow. "Miss Melinda, what's this?" He held out a clump of mistletoe that he must have found on one of her trees.
He darted a glance at Zeke, who was standing close. He pulled out a chair and climbed on it. Before Melinda knew what was happening, Timothy held the sprig over her head. "Come on, Pa."
Zeke grinned, leaned over and planted a kiss on her mouth. It started out light as a feather, but deepened, until Melinda realized she must break the embrace. Timothy shot her an anxious glance and she knew what he must be hoping, because she was, too.
She knew Zeke didn't want marriage and a settled life. But she couldn't help dreaming, could she?