Featured Roses at Sunset

Christmas in Grassdale

December 24, 2017

As promised, you’ll find the second Christmas excerpt from Roses at Sunset below. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Christmas in Grassdale! But more than that, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord.

Merry Christmas!



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Anna Close wiped the last of the crumbs from the counter, rinsed her rag, and draped it over the edge of the washbasin. She looked around the kitchen and then at her three sons as they milled about the common area of the house. A smile spread across her face as a contented sigh escaped her.

“What a wonderful Christmas we’ve had,” she said. “I only wish your sisters could have been here.”

“And Miss Bennett,” Travis whined, frowning in Dunn’s direction.

Wes watched his brothers from the ottoman, which he’d pulled over by the fireplace. Dunn dropped comfortably onto the sofa, but Travis stood in the middle of the room, arms crossed over his chest, and lower lip protruding in a pout.

“We laugh when Miss Bennett is here…and sing.” The boy moaned.

“We’ve been laughing all day!” Dunn said, clearly unmoved by the boy’s petulance.

“But we haven’t been singing. We could’ve sung if she was here, but she’s not.”

“Travis, we’ve already talked about this.”

The boy shrugged, a twinge of guilt pricking at his heart. “I didn’t know I would miss her this much.”

“Well,” Dunn said, his voice light and encouraging. “That just shows how much you like her, and how special she is.”

The room fell silent. Travis trudged to the mantel and took down a book he had been reading over the holidays. He moved in the direction of the sofa, but then, remembering Dunn was there, he turned and went to a chair opposite the sofa. Anna watched from her own seat, a new overstuffed chair, which her sons had given her for Christmas.

Wes returned to the book he’d be reading before the conversation began, but he did not read. He thought about what his brothers had been saying. Travis wasn’t the only one regretting their decision. He’d never been so homesick for someone—except perhaps his sisters. Was that strange? Could a person be homesick for another person? Of course, he never would’ve made any other decision, but Jessica’s absence left an enormous hole in things. He found it strange that a person could become such an integral part of life in such a short time. One minute you could be arguing and squabbling and the next— He had to stop and think about that next minute. What was happening?

“What are you thinking about so serious-like over there, Wes?”

“Huh?” the man looked up at his mother, surprised.

“You look like you’re hundreds of miles away. What are you thinking about?”

“I-I guess my mind was just wandering,” he said, his cheeks coloring slightly. “I certainly wasn’t thinking about this book.”

Wesley snapped the book shut and set it aside. He looked up at Travis and leaned forward, resting his forearms on his knees.

“Travis, I’m with you. I think we should finish the day with some music. Run down and see if the boys want to join us. See if Carlson’ll bring his harmonica. At least we could have that much accompaniment.”

Travis’ eye lit up. “All right!” he said, leaping up from his chair and running toward the door. The rest of the evening promised to be much more to his liking.

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New to the Barren Fields, Fruitful Garden Series? There’s plenty of time to get acquainted before Roses at Sunset comes out in 2018! Check them out below!


When the cruel elements of the Montana Territory inflict tragedy on the Bennett family, life is forever changed. Jess is certain the answer to her pain lies in starting over. Her brother Marc is determined to stay true to what he has always known. Amidst the constant battle for survival and the conflict in their hearts, both siblings stand at the threshold of surrender to God. What will they choose?

From the moment she steps foot in the untamed cowtown of Grassdale, Jess discovers a whole new world of challenges: An unruly superintendent, a ramshackle school, drunken cowboys, and a letter from home that changes everything. When the hidden wounds of her heart are discovered, will one man’s secret past hold the key to her healing?

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