Those words don’t usually come out of my mouth. When I settle down to write a story I almost always start with a title. The Authors of Main Street are working on Christmas stories for a new boxed set and I’m included…if I can come up with a title. LOL
It started as A Baby for Noel. But that just was not my heroine’s name. She told me so. 🙂 Now she is Krista and the story got deeper than expected. As the story changed I thought I wanted to go with Second Chance Christmas. But that just sounds overused. I’m sure without even checking Amazon that title is out there a dozen times at least.
So, I’m turning to the readers! I need a title for my Christmas novella!!
Krista Green is a godsend to Lake Willowbee’s foster child system. When an addicted baby needs a temporary home Krista is the first one called. She loves the babies in her care, but just once she would like to be chosen to become mom to one of these angels. Unable to have a child of her own, she dreams of becoming a mother to one of the babies in her charge.
Morgan Fieldcrest returns home to find he has a son he knew nothing about. With baby Max’s mother dead in a car accident, Morgan believes he is all the child has. Except, Child Protective Services has placed his addicted baby son with Krista, a woman who damaged his family and is the last woman he wants to care for his newly-found child.
Krista and Morgan will be forced to put the past behind them to care for Max and his special needs. They will need to face the lies of family and friends to give the little one a Christmas to remember and find out if they can be a family or maybe even more for each other.
“I’m sorry, Miss Green. There are no babies for fostering right now. With the holidays in a few weeks, that’s a good thing.”
Krista bit her lip. Of course it was a good thing there were no babies waiting for homes, but her house felt so empty without the cries and giggles of little ones, the scampering of tiny feet. Christmas was a bad enough time for her without the warmth and comfort of another to care for.
“What about an older child, Mrs. White? I know they are harder to place.”
The woman turned kind eyes her way, her glasses slipping down her nose to make her the spitting image of Mrs. Santa Claus; with her twinkling, blue eyes and snow-white hair.
“Miss Green…Krista. We need you available if any babies might come in this holiday season.”
“You mean addicted babies,” she said, a hitch in her voice at the lump in her throat.
Mrs. White reached across the desk and patted her hand. The scent of peppermint and pine trees wafted up from the older woman’s soft skin. It sent flashes of happy, childhood Christmases to her mind. Back when she’d been naïve and young and believed Santa Claus and Daddy could fix everything. Before she’d grown up and realized that miracles didn’t happen, Christmas or not.
“Krista, those babies are the hardest to place. We are so grateful for what you do for them…for us.
She looked behind the woman to the Happy Wall. The pictures of babies and children with their new parents in their Forever Homes. The images wavered through her unshed tears. For every success story there were hundreds, thousands of failures. Children who slipped through the cracks and disappeared into an unkind world.
Krista yanked back her hand, snatched up her purse, and stood. “Please let me know if you need me. Please.” She winced at the pleading in her voice.
“Of course, Krista. We need you. I hope you know that.”
She nodded as best she could and walked out of the office. Not sure how she’d made it to her car, she placed her head on the roof and let the tears come. The turmoil cleared her brain. A few sniffles and a swipe of her wet face helped her put things into perspective. She could do this. How many holidays had she’d spent alone? Too many to count. The thought shot through her head. She could do this.
Krista wrapped her coat around her and buttoned it up. Pulling on her gloves, she blinked as snowflakes wafted down to fall on her outstretched hand. She stared across the road to Lake Willowbee. The lake would be frozen by morning. Flashes of red and green showed through the trees as kids cheered and broke the thin ice at the edge of the water with their stamping feet.
She turned away with slumped shoulders and got into her car. Her teeth chattered as the heater fought against the frigid temperature in the vehicle. Krista hated the cold. It brought too many thoughts of kids on the streets, struggling to survive in killing cold nights.
“Don’t go there, Krista. You are warm in your car, going to your nice, warm house. Count your blessings.”
The daily mantra did its job as her shoulders loosened and a small smile curved her lips. A swipe of the windshield wipers cleared the glass and showcased a world of fluffy white. She put the car into gear. A shiver went down her spine. The weather in the Sierras could go from fluffy to whiteout within hours. She planned to be in front of a crackling fire before that happened.
*Readers: please help me with a title for Krista and Morgan’s story!!*
Jill James, romance author
currently working on Christmas novella and ghost paranormal romance