Wednesday, 9 December 2009
ABOUT THE STORY:
Melinda Jane Frazier, postmistress and farmer in Primrose, Missouri, accepts her single state. But her quiet existence changes overnight when strangers arrive during a blizzard. She hefts Papa's old rifle from the gun rack, cocks it and cracks the door open.
She opens her home to Zeke, a widower, and his young son Timothy. They fill her heart with unexpected Christmas cheer. Though Zeke insists he’s a drifter, 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?
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marion Kelley Bullock attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and attends their conferences.
Her articles, short stories, essays, and devotionals have appeared in Open Windows, Guideposts, Home Life, Church Administration, Mature Years, The Lookout, the Church Musician, Preserving Christian Homes, Living with Preschoolers, and other publications. She authored The Story of First Baptist Church Past and Present, (Olney, Texas). She also wrote Sunday school curriculum materials for preschool teachers and children, for several years.
She is a Christian and the wife of John W. Bullock, a semi-retired minister of music. They have three grown children and reared a grandson, now twenty-four. Their family is active in church and community, and Marion teaches adults in the Sunday school, is the pianist, and sings in the worship group.
Marion has worked at a variety of jobs, including church secretary, school nurse's assistant, Realtor, nursing home activity director, savings and loan clerk, and supervisor of preschool work in churches.
Aside from writing, Mrs. Bullock enjoys reading, painting, working crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, and song writing. She and her husband love to travel.
Books by Marion Kelley Bullock at Desert Breeze Publishing:
Secrets of Old Santa Fe - July 2009
Christmas Stranger - December 2009
REVIEWS FOR CHRISTMAS STRANGER:
NIGHT OWL REVIEWS: 4.25
FALLEN ANGELS : 5
COFFEE TIME ROMANCE: 4