Roses at Sunset

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Christmas in Twin Pines

December 5, 2017

I had hoped to have Book 3, Roses at Sunset, out by Christmas. That has proven to be impossible. (Because I’m making some awesome changes that will make the story SO much better!) So, I thought I would share a little from the Christmas celebrations in the book. Below you’ll find the first excerpt. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Christmas in Twin Pines! Be watching for Christmas in Grassdale later this month.

Christmas was as Christmas should be. A fresh dusting of snow covered the ground, and a sapphire sky gleamed above. Inside, the hearth was warm and the love of each heart was warmer still. Jon and Hannah arrived with Samuel shortly after the others had finished their morning chores and were putting the finishing touches on breakfast. Jon and Marc moved Papa from his bed to the red chair, and carried him to the sitting area so he could join the family for the day. Just as Marc tucked a quilt over his father’s legs, a knock at the front door signaled the Nausbaum’s arrival, and their circle was complete. Soon, they were crowding into their places in the sitting area.

“Ah,” Jon said, dropping onto the floor near the Christmas tree, “he’s thinking it again, Ma. I can see it in his eyes.”

“What are you talking about?” the woman replied as she made her way to her rocker.

“Marc. He’s sitting here thinking he should build another sofa, and then reminding himself that he’d have to build another house to put it in.”

Marcus laughed. “It’s true. That’s exactly what I was thinking.” The young man glanced around the room, taking in the happy faces of each member of his family, and sighed. “Well, Jon, since we’ve all managed squeeze in here, would you like to read the Christmas story this year?”

“I’ll pass. I can’t compete with your reading.”

“There’s no competition.”

Jon shook his head. “I don’t even like to hear myself read aloud. I don’t want to subject anyone else to that misery.”

“It’s not that bad, love,” Hannah encouraged.

The doctor grunted. “Not that bad, but not that good either. I’ll tell you what, Marc, I’ll practice with my boys over the next year. When Christmas rolls around next year, I’ll be ready to take my turn.”

“Your boys?” Cynthia said indignantly. “You’re still convinced the baby will be a boy. I’m telling you, son, it could be a girl.”

“There’s no convincing him of that, Cynthia. I try every day, but he’s determined we’ll have two boys in our house come March.”

Jon shrugged. “You’ll see.”

“And what about you, Cynthia,” Hannah continued, “are you making any predictions about your little one?”

The woman shook her head emphatically, her eyes wide. “Absolutely not. Every time I’ve guessed, I’ve been wrong. I stopped guessing after Mary—who was Martin until the day she was born. No, I’m not making any guesses.”

Marc cleared his throat, trying to retake the conversation before it descended into the realm of cradles, blankets, and lace.

“Well,” he said, re-positioning his Bible in his lap, “we know for sure that Mary and Joseph didn’t have to do any guessing in that area. Let’s get started.”

Cynthia couldn’t help but chuckle as her son picked up his Bible and began to read. She reached for her husband’s hand and listened to the familiar story, watching the faces of her children, and occasionally snapping a finger to remind her youngest son to pay attention. She had to admit that, on more than one occasion, she had looked at the boy, or at his sister Gretel, and wondered which of them was about to lose their claim of being the youngest brother or youngest sister. She smiled at the thought and squeezed her husband’s hand. How she loved him. How she loved them all.

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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?