Recommended reads: Cozy up to a romantic tale this holiday season

The Far Side of Heaven, by D. L. Gardner

What a memorable Christmas novella. It’s a tale you’ll treasure long after relishing your read of the last page. These touching characters exhibit tremendous courage against trying times. It’s so easy to get embroiled in your own troubles and miss seeing the lives of others. These characters learn that finding ways to help other people, their own lives are touched in a positive way. Although life’s hurdles and difficulties differ for each of us, in the end we are all in this life together. There’s mystery in the ways we can connect, and kindness is the clue. When the long, deep darkness of the winter surrounds us, it’s hope that pushes us to switch on the beautiful Christmas tree lights.

Charlene survived a deadly fire that swept through her small mountain town, but her ranch home was destroyed. Her parents made the heart-wrenching decision to move away after the devastation. Charlene continues on as best she can on her own, fighting to regain her spirit after a bitter divorce, running the family gift shop, living above it, and struggling to pay bills and survive. The town’s small population is not much of a customer base, and there is little tourist traffic, especially right now as a treacherous winter storm blows in and closes the roads. Desperation is bubbling within Charlene. If only she can rekindle a feeling of hope.

Caught in the midst of the road closure, an entrepreneur named Dallas and his partner are stuck in a place that appears in the snowy swirl to be the middle of nowhere. Stranded for now in this small town of Meritville, they’re looking for coffee and shelter. It wasn’t his intention to aggravate the owner of the gift shop. She seemed quite charming, until he got on her wrong side. As Dallas learns more about Charlene and others in this town, he’s drawn to their stories, and finds himself thrown into the whirlwind.

Cuddle up with a tender, Christmas love story of town neighbors, and of a very special couple of people who were total strangers and found the life and spirit of hope in each other. This author creates a vivid setting, and characters who are carved from its rugged landscape. You’ll be hanging on to every word, searching for hope. It’s a surprising twist in the end, for Charlene and Dallas, and the reader.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is an author with The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Her newest ebook is Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For.


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