An excerpt from “Envelopes of Hope”

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you for not giving up on me when I gave up on myself. Many times in recent months I thought that the world would be a better place without me, and I no longer wanted to be a part of this world. But then one day I realized I wasn’t alone, that I have a family who cares about me and loves me. It was a long, hard road until it finally sank in–my family has always cared. Guess what, Mom and Dad? I have a little girl. I named her Danielle and she looks just like you, Mom. She’s four months old and I love her more than anything in this world.

An excerpt from “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette”

After leaving Ellis Island and taking a ferry to Manhattan, the group took a streetcar to where Chaim lived. The Lower East Side offered a chaotic scene that the Geshler family could never have imagined. People were scurrying in every direction; peddlers with pushcarts sang out their wares: pretzels, hot dogs, knishes and pickles. Shopkeepers were clamoring for people to buy their chicken, roasts and fruit. Aromas filled the air with familiar and unfamiliar foods, along with a mixture of languages that Chaim explained were German, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Yiddish and Italian, among others. The clothing was as diverse as were the people who wore them.

An excerpt from “When Shadows Linger”

Looking out of the window, something caught her eye where the roses were planted. Wondering what it could be, she put on her coat and boots and went outside. As she approached the rose bushes, Maggie saw a shadow next to the roses. When she looked at the bush, there was a tiny yellow rose starting to bloom.

“That’s not possible,” said Maggie. “It’s been a few degrees above zero everyday. That’s too cold for roses to bloom. And why a yellow rose?”

Maggie turned and looked around, not knowing what she was looking for. Turning back to the rose, she felt sudden warmth that took away the chill that had come over her. Closing her eyes, she had a vision of Jason standing over her. When he whispered her name, Maggie opened her eyes and he was standing there.

“Jason,” she whispered. “It’s been a long time.”

“Maggie, I have tried to stay away so that you could settle into your new life. I want you to be happy. But I needed to feel your presence and tell you how much I love you.”

“Oh, Jason. I’ve missed you and I’ve never stopped loving you. I need you so much. I can feel you here and you are always with me in my very soul. I have such mixed feelings about getting married. I love Ben but I love you, too. I feel as though I am abandoning you and by marrying Ben, I am not giving my whole being to him. I am so confused.”

“Maggie, you were my first and only love. Do you remember how we spent hours and hours getting to know each other? We fell in love at first sight. And boy, the plans we had for our future. We had our office the way we wanted it, which was together. We bought the house and put so much time and love into fixing it up the way we wanted. And our children that we even picked out names for.”

“Annie, Corrine and Brandon,” smiled Maggie.

“Yes, two girls and a boy. We had it all planned, didn’t we Mag? But it seems that the old say, ‘People make plans and God laughs’ is true. That what I want you to take with you, Maggie, when you marry Ben. Grab the happiness while it’s there because it could slip away. You have a second chance and I love you enough to want you to have it. I won’t leave you just because you are married to someone else. I’ll always be with you, making sure that you’re happy. We’ll be together someday when it’s time for us to be. But right now is not the time so you have to move on.”

“Jason, I don’t want you to go. We have always belonged to each other and meant to be together. I don’t want you to leave me again.”

“I have to, Maggie. Remember what I said. It’s not our time yet. But I’m in your heart and soul, and I always will be. Please be happy.”

As the tears flowed, Maggie was unable to respond to Jason. As he handed her the rose, Maggie took his hand.

When Maggie started to say something, she looked up and Jason was gone, leaving a shadow. The warmth of his presence was not longer there and she was chilled. Taking the tiny yellow rose and Jasons love, Maggie went into the house.

An excerpt from, “The Primrose Garden” (sequel to “When Shadows Linger)

After Thanksgiving the inn was transformed from an autumn decor to Christmas and Chanukah. A seven-foot spruce tree stood proudly in the corner of the sitting room, decorated with gold ornaments of various sizes and shapes; small white lights flickered from top to bottom; and a gold star adorned the top. The mantle above the fireplace held a menorah and sparkling crystal dreidels that had belonged to Peggy. Smiling snowmen, snow women, and snow families dressed in various costumes were scattered around the room. shining silver bowls filled with assortments of holiday candies were placed on the tables. Pleased with the results of her work, Anna went to the dining room.

As had been done with the sitting room and lobby, the dining room had been changed into a stunning holiday area. Tables were covered with a mixture of gold, red, and blue cloths; flatware, glimmering under the chandeliers, had been shined to perfection; tall tapering candles of various holiday colors had their place on each table next to a seasonal flower arrangement; and dancing flames in the fireplace cast shadows on the walls. Anna was walking towards the kitchen as Becky approached her.

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