Saturday, April 14, 2012

Excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS VISITORS


This is the introduction to my recently published ebook.  It's $2.99 and $2.00 of that goes to World Vision. Available for Kindle, from Amazon.

This is the story of a family who thought they knew what was important.        
In some ways, they were right about what was important.  They were right like a lot of people in American are right.  Family is important, they would say.  That’s why the parents, Lee and Roberta, had three children—Becca, 15, Ryan, 14, and Sarah Marie, 12-- whom they loved very much, and why they worked hard to provide for them.  Faith is important, they would say.  That’s why they made sure they spent a good chunk of time on Sundays at their church and sought to teach the children about God.  Hard work is important, they would say.  The children never had any doubt about that; they saw their dad, a high school principal in their town, work long hours, and their mom, who ran her own business, work even harder balancing everything at home and at her florist shop.

So Lee and Roberta were right, but they were wrong, too.  They lost track of some things that were important, like fun, neighbors, and stopping.  Yes, stopping.  They lost track of why important things are important.  And they lost track of the most important thing—each other.  Not just the each other of Lee, Roberta, Becca, Ryan, and Sarah Marie, but all the each others. 

Now that you know a little bit about five of the characters in the story, we can get started with what really happened, although you’ll meet some other people in the story.  Two of them—well, three actually, are from another country, and came a long way to get to be in our story.  And of course for any story to be good there has to be what the English teachers call an antagonist but children call the bad guy.  Except that this character is not so much a bad guy as someone who’s just confused and mistaken and wants everybody else to be confused and mistaken, too.  There are a few other odd characters here and there, but those nine are the main ones. 

If the story has to have a main character, it would have to be Roberta, because in novel writing school they tell us that the main character has to change, and the person who changes the most is Roberta.  And, since it’s a woman writing this story, it’s just easier that way.  But Lee changes, and Becca, Ryan, and Sarah Marie, too.  Actually, everybody does, because, well, the thing I forgot to tell you about this story is that it happens at Christmas time, and aren’t people supposed to change at Christmas time?  That’s what happens on the TV shows, right?  Aren’t we all supposed to get nicer and friendlier because of that elusive thing called “the Christmas spirit”?  The problem with the Christmas spirit is that it goes away sometime after December 27 or so, and what happens to Roberta, and Lee, and the other characters is a pretty permanent change.

Oops!  I’m giving too much away.  You won’t want to read it then.  So I’ll stop and just get on with it. 

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