Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Best Present #SPeekSunday

Sneak Peek Sunday is starting up again after a two-month hiatus and seemed like a good way to start the New Year here at Flights of Fancy. If you're not familiar with this weekly blog theme, it's simple. Authors post a six paragraph excerpt from a published story or a work in progress.

Today's excerpt is from my short story, The Best Present, part of Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Anthology (Montana Sky Series) by Debra Holland and Friends.


Ten-year-old Allison Harcourt's life has been turned upside down since her father lost his job and her beloved grandmother died. She's not looking forward to Christmas, especially since she can't figure out how to finish the scarf she's making for her mother. An unexpected stop in Sweetwater Springs brings her and her parents to the boarding house of the widow Murphy.

Sometimes sweet things can be found in the most unexpected places.

In this excerpt, Allison's mother gets sick while traveling by train, causing Allison to worry.

Allison pulled her knitting out of her bag. Mama thought it was just practice, but in fact, she was knitting a blue scarf to give Mama for Christmas. Only problem was Grandma got real sick before showing Allison how to finish the scarf. So she just kept knitting. The scarf was plenty long now, but she still didn’t know how to finish it off. It wouldn’t be much of a gift if she handed it to Mama with the knitting needles still in it, but she didn’t know what to do. Was it better to wait and see if Aunt Anna could help her when they got to Spokane?

Suddenly Mama groaned and stood, holding her stomach.

Papa leaped to his feet to steady her. “Are you going to be sick again?”

Mama just nodded and headed toward the necessary room in the back of the car.

Allison jumped up, but Papa’s gently raised palm stopped her.

“Stay here and watch our things.”

She craned her neck, but couldn’t see much from her seat by the window, so she moved to the opposite bench by the aisle and knelt, staring anxiously after her parents over the seat back. Mama hadn’t felt well for days and the swaying motion of the train made her stomach worse. Grandma had stomach problems, too. Problems that kept getting worse and worse until she died. What if Mama had the same illness? Allison’s stomach clenched with fear. She couldn’t lose Mama, too.

Sweetwater Springs Christmas is available for only 99 cents through Jan. 6 at for 99 cents on a Kindle Countdown deal.

I hope everyone had a good holiday! Click for more excerpts at Sneak Peek Sunday.

Linda McLaughlin

No comments: