Another wonderful Christmas Novella to add to your lists.
“Look at the baby trees!” She had never seen something so cute. “We’ve got to get a picture.” Though she needed footage for The True Faith Network’s program, she also dabbled in her own photography as a hobby. The sight was precious, and she needed to document her first sighting of the trees.
Gus squinted out the window. “I have to get my camera gear from the back. Shouldn’t we talk to the owner first?”
“Just let me get out for a minute.” She already unbuckled her belt, and she clutched the door handle. She jumped out of the car, not even closing the door, and strolled toward the trees.
Her brown leather knee-high boots scraped along the gravel road into the grassy area by the white picket fence. Fir or pine or whatever it was that made that Christmas tree smell hung heavy in the air. Nostalgia engulfed her.
All the Christmas childhood memories barreled down, and for once, she missed home. Whatever home was. It was her mom and her sister, singing carols in their one-room apartment, eating noodles for dinner, her mother reading Luke 2:1-20, the story of Jesus’s birth. No matter how hard it got, their mom always had a tree for them.
She smiled. “It’s beautiful!”
“Ma’am,” a deep voice answered back, and it wasn’t Gus.
She spun around to see an actual living breathing cowboy. He towered over her at least three inches, and she had to step back to get a full view—the chiseled face with a five-o’clock shadow, a dark cowboy hat hanging low over his forehead, a red-plaid shirt, and silver from his belt buckle to steel-toed boots—but best of all, dark blue eyes stared back at her. There was even a horse in the background, tethered to the fence, waiting.
She swept her hand to her chest. “Oh, hello.”
“Ma’am,” he stated again, tipping his hat this time. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“It’s so beautiful.” She splayed her hand out, indicating the field, trying to calm her beating heart, from the surprise or from the explicit handsomeness of the cowboy, she didn’t know.
“You’re in God’s country, ma’am,” he stated matter-of-factly with a nod.
“What is this place?”
He smirked, a small dimple appearing next to his lips, and that only added to his charm. “You do realize you’re on a Christmas ranch.”
“Of course I do.” Great, now he thought she was an idiot. She was a news reporter, after all, and should be asking better questions than the obvious. Words should come easy to her. But this man knocked her off her game.
“It’s phase two of the Christmas tree nursery.”
“What’s phase one?”
He stepped closer and pointed across her shoulder, allowing his cologne to waft to her nose. More woodsy smell, which made her sigh inwardly. “The seedlings, over yonder where the greenhouse is. See it?”
Yonder? Who said yonder nowadays? And really, why should a cowboy smell so good after riding his horse on a farm? Realizing she still ogled him rather than where he pointed, she shook her head and faced the direction he showed.
As she stared into the distance, Gus walked to her side and cleared his throat. “How’s it going?” His New York accent spilled out.
Cowboy turned his gaze to Gus. “Y’all seem to be lost.”
Gus rubbed the top of his head. “We have an appointment with the owner at eleven.”
“With the owner, huh?” His lips quirked for an instance, not that Megan noticed his lips. “Well, that’s in the Big House. You’ll need to go back to the main road.”
Megan tilted her head. “There was a fork in the road, and our GPS sent us this way.”
“You took the road less traveled.” The cowboy took out gloves from his back pocket and pounded them on his thigh. “The GPS was wrong.”
More From The Author
The message in The Christmas Ranch is the old cliche … “home is where the heart is.” I think this small excerpt from The Christmas Ranch shows the true message of the book:
That was it. She felt Him here more than anything. Not only did the Christmas spirit surround the entire ranch, but God’s spirit surrounded every corner and breathed through every person. That’s why this place was special.
Yes. Take me in, Megan. Listen.
She wanted to cry with the realization of it. She opened the Bible app on her phone and pulled up her devotion for the night. And like He always did, He spoke to her again with His word.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
So simple. She would not be discouraged. He was with her—everywhere. She would release the stranglehold of worry, and she would live freely knowing He was with her wherever she went. With Him on her side, how could it be wrong to feel the way she did?
She’d enjoy herself, not think too much, and take it day by day. She would listen to Him when he spoke to her, be it through His word or where He placed her.
And there was no doubt He placed her exactly where He wanted her.
In Hill Country, Texas.