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Looking for a holiday romance? This full length story takes place at a snowy Vermont farm where a large family has gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Keeping promises is important to Ryan, but keeping his promise to his younger brother David will be hard. David’s final wish is for Ryan to watch over his wife and daughter, but Ryan’s been in love with Shannon for years. This holiday season, Ryan will learn he can keep his promise and still have his heart’s desire.
In the novel, Family Secrets, even though Jennie is married to a soldier deployed to Afghanistan, and the novel includes scenes from the year Jennie’s Grandpa Mike fought in the Vietnam War, Family Secrets is not a war story. Family Secrets is not a traditional Thanksgiving Day story, although Thanksgiving plays a big role in this novel. Family Secrets is about three generations of a family, their secrets, how they resolve their individual challenges and draw closer together.
Jennie realizes her family is surrounded by secrets. She has her own secret which she keeps from friends and most family members. Her husband who is deployed to Afghanistan wants a divorce because he has fallen in love with someone else. Jennie decides that the key to unlocking her family’s secrets and perhaps understanding her husband well enough to help resolve their differences is to get her grandfather, Mike Carpenter, to open up about his earlier life. She goes to a local club, the Golden Oaks Family Ties, to learn how to conduct a successful oral history interview. Here is an excerpt:
“So you’re not afraid of opening Pandora’s Box?” Kaylee asked.
“I don’t see it as Pandora’s Box. I see it as—well, not like a treasure chest—more like a strong box with important information inside that can be of great value if only I can unlock it.”
“And your grandpa is the key, no?” said Lupe.
“No…” Jennie hesitated. “He’s the lock. He’s the one who keeps everyone from talking about it so it stays hidden away.”
“So, what’s the key?” asked Kaylee.
“I think it’s more of a case of who is the key?” said Donna.
The room grew silent as everyone looked at Jennie.
“I guess I’m hoping I’m the key,” Jennie said. “That’s one of the reasons I decided to come tonight. I need all the help I can get to learn how to help Grandpa Mike open up so he will tell us what happened.”
Helen clutched her chest and leaned to her far right, her face assuming an expression of mock shock. “And here I thought you came because Donna assured you that we at GOFT are the most wonderful, fascinating, irresistible women you would ever want to meet.”
“No, Mom, this is serious!”
“I know,” said a more subdued Helen. “And I do hope you find what you are looking for, Jennie. I just hope you know that when Donna brought you to the GOFT meeting, you came to the best bunch of supporters in the world.”
Jennie laughed. “Yes, she did tell me you are great. Although, her husband calls you the ‘goofy ladies’.”
“We can be that, too,” said Arlene with a laugh. “We have a lot of fun.”
“We have enjoyed having you join us tonight,” said Opal.
“Thanks, and I appreciate all your help. I’m going to study these hand-outs and look up all the online sites so I can be as prepared as possible. Wish me luck on Thanksgiving Day, will you? That is the one holiday my mom’s side of the family always spends together. Even though he sometimes gets quiet and grumpy after dinner, it seems to be Grandpa Mike’s favorite holiday.”
“Really!” said Kaylee. “I think Christmas is most people’s favorite holiday. I know it’s mine, hands down.”
“Grandpa Mike says we can visit other sides of the family any other holiday, but Thanksgiving belongs to him. It’s really important to him to spend it with as many of the family as possible. I just hope that since it’s his favorite holiday, he will be in a good mood and agree to talk to me.”
“We will be pulling for you one hundred percent, Jennie,” assured Sandy. “We can hardly wait until next month when you tell us how things worked out.”
“Yeah, and find out why he likes Thanksgiving so much while you’re at it,” said Kaylee.
Jennie opened her mouth, but no sound came out as her breath caught in her throat. She had attended the meeting so she could learn how to conduct oral history interviews. In her mind, this was a one-time event. She did not plan to come to a second GOFT meeting.
For the rest of the story, you can read Family Secrets by purchasing it at Amazon (print and Kindle), Nook from Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. ZINA ABBOTT is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Please visit the Zina Abbott author page on Amazon at: amazon.com/author/zinaabbott
In Family Secrets you will learn:
- How Mike Carpenter spent Thanksgiving while fighting in the Vietnam War (This incident and most other scenes that take place in Vietnam are based on the actual experiences of a soldier who fought there in 1967-68.)
- Why it became important to Mike to spend Thanksgiving each year with his family
- What happened on Thanksgiving the first year after Mike returned home from Vietnam
- What happened at Thanksgiving time a few years later after Mike met Jan Reed
- How Jennie Howell, her husband, Gerald, and her son, Garrett, spent their Thanksgiving
- What happened after Thanksgiving dinner when Jennie asked her grandpa Mike to tell his life story.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving memories? What brings out feelings of gratitude for you at Thanksgiving time?
On November 26th, at the end of the five days of this TRS Thanksgiving Party promotion, from among those who leave a comment regarding Family Secrets on TRS, I will give away one digital copy of Family Secrets.
Moon Series, book 2
Also part of the Bleh! Turkey! Series
Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
M/M, Anal Sex
What’s a guy to do when the time to be with family is the time he dreads the most?
All Matt Green wants for Thanksgiving is to propose to his boyfriend in the most epic way he knows-in front of their families. There’s only one catch. His boyfriend, Reed Jordan, doesn’t do family gatherings. To be honest, Reed isn’t wild about Thanksgiving, but he won’t say why.
Matt’s willing to do anything in order to get Reed to talk, but will it make the holiday perfect or or ruin all of Matt’s plans? The Harvest Moon just might be the right omen to make everything all right.
©Megan Slayer, 2014, All Rights Reserved
Reed stood at the counter. He’d told his boyfriend he’d be home at three. The way things were looking, he’d be more than an hour late. Damn it.
Beside him, his co-worker, Jagger, rang up a female customer with a little girl. The woman had bought a couple of Thanksgiving books. The brightly colored turkey and leaves on the top book caught Reed’s attention.
Thanksgiving. He didn’t mind giving thanks for the good things in his life. He also didn’t mind the food. What he hated were the gatherings. He wished the need to bring family to one house was not the rule. Maybe he was losing his mind, but he hated the togetherness. He’d been able to dodge the holiday for the last ten years, but since he’d met Matt, he knew he wasn’t going to get around the festivities for much longer. Matt liked family functions and preferred big parties. Reed wasn’t even sure a big family party was possible.
He finished typing out a reply email to the customer in search of an out-of-print book. Thankfully, the store had the book. He sent the customer the expected price and shipping options. He glanced at his watch once more. Less than two days until Thanksgiving. The store would be open on Wednesday, but he wasn’t working. If the customer needed the book, he could wait until Friday.
The last time he and Matt had talked about the holiday, Matt’s sister, Emily and her boyfriend were supposed to be spending the day with them. He could handle that. He liked Matt’s sister and loved her son, Nattie. Still, he wanted a small dinner, not a gigantic situation. He sighed. At least with Em and Matt, he wasn’t going to have to deal with accusations.
“I’m off until Friday morning,” Reed said to Jagger. “If there is a crisis, call me, but try not to have a crisis.”
“That’s the plan.” Jagger grinned. “You can trust us. We won’t let you down. Now go, so Matt doesn’t think you got lost.”
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