Happy Book Birthday to The Christmas Miracle by Stephanie Wood!
The Christmas Miracle (Christmas on The Close #6)
Diane always enjoys baking special festive treats, which she happily delivers to her friendly neighbours on The Close as Christmas approaches.
When she decides to seek closure with a romantic matter from her past, she unexpectedly finds herself on an emotional journey she isn’t prepared for.
Her granddaughter, Emma, has all the technical know-how to assist in the search for answers, but is distracted by an intense – and highly unsuitable – romance of her own.
The two women must deal with unsettling issues as they begin to face the reality of their situations, but their familial bond helps to provide the security and support they need to answer the questions they face.
The sixth standalone episode of ‘Christmas on The Close’ reveals how it may be easier to allow the head to make all the decisions, but the heart will never stop fighting for what it really wants.
Diane is reeling from discovering some unpalatable truths about her first love of many years ago and is struggling to deal with the effects of the recent news…
She could mull over the details forever and it would still never make any sense. The only way forward from this was to decide how she felt about him now. She had loved Joe as far back as she could remember, so if she was now supposed to see him for the selfish coward he was, how was she supposed to deal with all the time and emotion she had spent on her memories of him over the years? Was it wasted time? Did she deserve better? Should he pay for his unkindness?
She knew the answer was yes in each case, but it didn’t change her feelings towards him. For the first time in her life, she understood why wives often stood by their cheating husbands and gave them another chance, or two, or three. She was lucky to have never found herself in that position, but she had always believed an unfaithful husband should become an ex-husband with no further debate. Now, she understood that if you truly loved someone with your heart and soul, as she did with Joe, it would be impossible to switch it off. Impossible.
If she thought about what he had done for the remainder of her life, she could possibly begin to hate him for it, but that wouldn’t mean that she loved him any less. Hate and love were apparently two different sides of the same coin and she could see herself switching emotions between them, when it came to her thoughts of Joe, depending on what kind of day she was having.
No, it wouldn’t do to continue like that, but she couldn’t go on devoting so much time to his memory after what she had learned that morning. She knew that she would go on loving him until her dying day, so she would have to come to terms with that and concentrate on the memories of the times they shared together, rather than his sudden departure and what came after that.
Somehow, she would have to try to block out his life in Australia and all the dreams she’d had of the future he’d described to her in those letters.
She would still burn the letters as a ritual on his birthday and bury them under the tree, if it was still there, but it would be closure of a different kind. She could no sooner banish him from her heart and mind as she could swim across the channel, but she would find a way of saying goodbye to the boy she used to love and try to forgive the man he turned into.
It was easy to say, more difficult to picture, and almost impossible to believe it could actually happen, but it was the only way forward and she needed to find the strength to see it through.
Stephanie Wood writes contemporary fiction in the form of novels, novellas and short stories and you can find the running order of her titles on the first page of any book.
She published the AEGEAN SUN series of books as a fly-on-the-wall vision of life in a Greek resort during the summer season, using her extensive experience as a holiday rep to bring some unusual incidents to life on the page. The series began as an exploration of the various ways in which tourists make the most of their holidays and how they interact with the locals while they are visiting. The later books in the series have taken a closer look at the locals themselves and show how their lives and relationships are sometimes changed by the regular influx of seasonal visitors.
The CHRISTMAS ON THE CLOSE series is set in a British suburban cul-de-sac over the festive period and visits each house individually to discover how the neighbours who live there celebrate the season in their own special way.
Stephanie lives in Lancashire where, apart from reading and writing, she loves gardening and cycling and is a huge fan of the soaps Emmerdale and Neighbours.
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