Just a little announcement here to share that the winner for the Grand prize is Chris Bures and for Sarah’s ornament and the signed copy of This Quiet Sky, the winner is Kathleen Belognia. Congratulations ladies! And a special thank you to all who entered. You were each a blessing!
The Christmas Chronicles is a blog hop between 5 historical romance authors. Our desire is to bring you joy through these letters, grounded in the true spirit of the season, and written from the fictional viewpoints of each book’s heroine. We’re so glad to have you join the event. Each day this week, a new Christmas Chronicles post will go live, complete with a letter and a new ornament giveaway for that blog post.
To read more about the project and enter to win the fresh evergreen wreath which represents the gift of eternal life, click here.
To find your way to the other four blog posts and enter each of the five Christmas Chronicles individual giveaways, read on! We have a list for you at the bottom of this post.
A Christmas letter from Sarah Miller
Rocky Knob, VA 1893
I hope your travels have been safe and I think of you every minute of every day. I want to ask you if you’re feeling alright but I know you always rather me not, so I’ll just whisper it quietly and pretend like your answer is yes.
I’ve been writing you the last few days. I don’t want anyone to find the letters, so I tuck them in a box of Christmas ribbons and scraps of plaid that I stashed under my bed, all the way in the back. Someone’s going to find it come Christmas time, so I’ll have to hunt out a better hiding spot before then. Maybe I should just start a journal.
Sometimes I don’t think my life is interesting enough for a journal, but I suppose that’s the point. To remember the little things. Well, here goes…
I fed the chickens today and helped Ma make braided sweet bread. Then I toted it up to the Nettle’s house as their ma wasn’t feeling well. While out, I walked by your house. I know you’re not home, but I did it anyway. I crossed the footbridge where we sat… then went through the sunny glen where you kissed me (that stretch of path always makes me blush so it was a good thing I was alone.) (Of course I’m not going to tell you this.)
(I may cross all that out because now I’m embarrassed.)
When I reached your house, I just stood there in the middle of the lane, watching the smoke rise from your chimney and knew your mother was home, no doubt praying for your safety on the trip. You’re to be gone a week. Just a week… but it feels so much longer.
I miss you terribly. Which has me sitting here, writing you a letter I know I’ll never mail. I’ll certainly never show it to you.
It really is silly. You’re just in Danville taking the college entrance exams. I know you’re safe and that Benjamin is there with you and that you’re going to do amazingly well on the test. You’re the smartest person I’ve ever met. Oh, I meant to ask this before you left — you don’t have to conjugate verbs in Latin and Greek aloud, do you? I hope not. None of the girls in the exam room would get anything accomplished if that were the case. And then they’d be walking out on wobbly knees.
Not that I know from experience…of course.
But I suppose you know that’s not true so I can confess that I smile when I think of it and it helps with missing you. Also…I know you’ll be back. But I can’t help fearing that there will be a time when you won’t be able to come back to me. I’ll bid you farewell and it will be for a long time.
And here I am, starting to cry.
I saw Violet when I went by your house today. She walked out to me and we perched on the edge of the split rail fence. She talked… I listened. She just ran her hand over her mounded belly, swirling the calico fabric over her and Benjamin’s baby. She told me all about how you and your brother had driven off the day before. She said your smile was as big as a watermelon slice and that Benjamin was ready for you to talk his ear off the whole way. College. You always did dream big, didn’t you Tucker? I’m glad. I’m so glad that you shoot for the moon because it makes me want to do the same.
Which is why I get down on my knees every night and pray that God will make you well. That somehow, some way, all that the doctors have told you would just stop being true and that you’ll be forever mine. I don’t let myself think about what will happen if God doesn’t make that wish come true. I’ll try not to be angry with Him, but I don’t know…
Maybe I just won’t think about it and instead make my prayers bigger.
But sometimes I think I should make my prayers smaller. One more breath. One more kiss. One more smile. Then maybe all those small prayers will add up to enough. But I don’t even know what enough is. Do you think that God knows? Do you think He really knows what’s best? I try to believe so. I have to.
P.S. There’s a Christmasy scrap here that I’m going to tie your present with. I won’t tell you what it is, though. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
P.S.S. I guess I can tell you since I decided I’ll never let you see this. I found a book in the Montgomery Ward catalog… it’s on the stars. I think you’ll like it.
There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams.
Go to college. Become president. Fall in love.
And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.
– Giveaway –
To enter to win a signed copy of This Quiet Sky, the handwritten letter, and a chalkboard Christmas ornament inspired by the story, simply leave a comment! You can leave any comment, but if you feel like sharing, what is a special Christmas memory that you cherish?
P.S. you can earn extra entries by sharing about the Christmas Chronicles on any social media site. Simply share what you did in the comments below and I’ll tally your entries!
Also, if you have not yet entered for the grand prize of the fresh evergreen wreath, you can do that here.
We invite you to join us each weekday this week as we hop through cyberspace and history, gleaning the love and joy of the Christmas season from each heroine’s journey.
Monday, Dec. 1st: Regina Jennings (Heroine: Abigail Calhoun, A Most Inconvenient Marriage)
Tuesday, Dec. 2nd: Joanne Bischof (Heroine: Sarah Miller, This Quiet Sky)
Wednesday, Dec. 3rd: Amanda Dykes (Heroine: Aria St. John, Bespoke)
Thursday, Dec. 4th: Karen Barnett (Heroine: Abby Fischer, Out of the Ruins)
Friday, Dec. 5th: Sarah Sundin (Heroine: Grace Kessler, Where Treetops Glisten)
In honor of the Chronicles blog hop…This Quiet Sky is on a Christmasy special